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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bathroom Still Life, Toothbrush

This blue is not the antidote for pink. The last few paintings have been such intense color I feel the need for beige. And I wasn't trying to make them intense, it just sort of happened. All in all, it was a good painting day today. I did this one and 2 more small studies not worth keeping but I learned a lot in each of them and was relaxed and in the zone.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Composed Still Life, Pink Cloth

More pink.
I also wanted to do a composed still life, formal. Now that I have done it, it's too formal. Maybe it should be MORE formal, maybe stacked on top of each other. Not quite what I had in mind, but a good exercise with the pink vase.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Aster, Turquoise Cup, Plum

The top painting is mine, the lower one is my student's who has never drawn. We were exploring pinks. Also this is proof (to me) that drawing skills aren't necessary to making a good painting. I find that very curious, but sometimes there is a magic that happens you can't account for with logic. And you can't generate that magic at will. Damn!

Monday, July 26, 2010

HEB Cupcake on Chevrons

Another cupcake, this time taking the pattern over the whole surface.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Long Still Life with Pink Vase

It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Some of the problems were a surprise - for instance, when I drew out the composition I was excited about the dynamics of it, but I forgot that the transparency of the glass removed the mass from the center of the composition, so it is sort of empty there with the stem of the aster making a bridge to the heavy forms in the top and bottom half. Weird. I also worked in a different part of the studio which is much darker and I did not have a light on the canvas, only on the set up. Half way through I set up the light overhead and found I had some serious value problems. These seem worse when you have big shapes going off the edges, because the eye gets drawn off. Aside from that, it was fun to do. I have been looking at that pink vase for a while, working up to it. Also, I used Grumbacher red for the pinks rather than cadmium red and like it very much. I'm reading Making Color Sing, Dobie, which is all about water color, a place I am never going to go, but there's a lot of graspable color theory in it which I am finding helpful.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

HEB Cupcake, Chrysanthemum Kimono

My thinking was, a large area of pattern, small cupcake. I think the scale is not quite right here, but if I do say so, it is superior chocolate frosting.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Still Life, Orange Kimono

This is another 8x10 -- feels so large!
Still looking at Klimt, playing with pattern. It is the REPEAT I love - I discovered in this painting that random pattern doesn't fill that need exactly, it needs to have that exquisite monotony of repetition. I can't remember who said that, not me, but it is true.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cupcake Bevy

I realize this is excessive. I meant only to do three of them, but.... I read A. Leifferth's blog about how to prepare a panel, so off I went to the hard ware store to get some hardboard. I used a jig saw to cut the panels and then gessoed them twice, sanding in between. I need to get a squeegee to make the surface really smooth, no matter how much I sand the brush strokes are still in there. But it's ok for now. I like to be able to cut a narrow panel and work on odd sizes, for instance I thought it would be fun to do some tiny panels with candy on them or some other small objects. Also the whole thing is cheaper than buying already prepared panels. The drawback is that the jig saw sort of runs away with you and you have to be very focused and have Herculean strength to cut a straight line. Anyway, I was whipped after cutting three panel that were usable (slightly wobbly). When I put the panel on the easel I could see 3 cupcakes weren't going to fill it up, so I had to go for five. Then I had to deal with chocolate frosting and I was planning on only doing white as I have just got it down....but the chocolate was fun, not too scary, and now I can do chocolate AND vanilla.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Junk Drawer Still LIfe

This is 8" square -huge in comparison to a 6" square, much more comfortable. My paint handling skills are improved from the last time I tried this subject matter. I dispatched it with, well, not ease exactly, but with modest confidence and no agony.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Slippers on Prayer Rug

This one is 8x10 inches, I'm so excited! I've moved up to a larger canvas and it feels like another universe. Those little babies are great discipline, they force economy in many ways. But it is nice to have some room, some air in there, it's like going from a cot to a king sized bed.
Also I am looking at pattern now, at Klimt and Gaudi, and I need room for decorative stuff, all very exciting...

Monday, July 19, 2010

HEB Cupcake on Red Striped Cloth

This is a wiper for various reasons, the first being the red cloth which I need to study more so I can find the range of variation in this went from orange red in the light to blue red in the semi-light and I couldn't quite get it. There is a touch of green icing on the left lower side of the paper cup that I liked and could have used more of, so next time I will not complain when there is smear-age.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

HEB Cupcake on Black and White Checks

This cupcake is now very old, and the hot lights have worn her down. Time for a fresh young one.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

HEB Cupcake on Blue Polka Dots

Several posts back I did a cupcake on top of some candy papers I glued to the panel. I liked the patterning behind the image a lot, but the edges were all wrong, too abrupt from the painted edge of the form to the candy paper surface. It finally occurred to me I could paint the pattern, duh, and be in control of the edges. Still, there was something interesting about the wabi-sabi of the painted form and the machine precision of the pattern repeat. But this is a start. Also, I got some Ampersand gesso boards, which take the paint differently. I think I like them a lot. A little drag on the brush to get used to. The matte surface allows you to push and pull the paint more.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Stained HEB Cupcake

I am forced to buy 6 of these at a time and they come in a plastic house with sockets for each cupcake. Since I have to order them naked of sprinkles so I can see the ridges of the frosting, I also have to come up with color choices for the icing for each cupcake. The colors are horror/sci-fi movie colors, but maybe I can work with this case, all the cupcakes fell out of their dedicated sockets and co-mingled, smearing themselves on each other. I had to eat 4 of them. Two survived in tact, one chocolate with white frosting and one vanilla with white frosting with just a smear of red on the fluted paper cup. This is she.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Heb Cupcake on Green

I have a little run on cupcakes this week. Happily, they get better as we go along. On a few of them, also this one, the shadow was so interesting because it had the zig zag of the fluted paper cup. I have to wrestle with my inadequate rigged up spotlights and multiple extension cords, etc., and sometimes in this process I see something wonderful happen on the set up.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

HEB Cupcake on Pink

This little cupcake is a good image to do in repetition for me, because it's wry/sweet and because I am learning a lot about the greys necessary to make whipped cream and even when to put the paint down. White goes first! There are many folds in the icing, so it has to be simplified and sort of architectural, and I have to really understand how the folds occur. If I am sort of vague about that, I soon have a mess. I had to yell at the HEB baker for putting too much icing on them -- how to paint it if it is slopping over its own self? What was he thinking?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Primo Cigar

Cigar very enthralling, so black, soggy and reeking and held so delicately, respectfully.
Really fun.

Grapes, Turquoise Bowl

I bought grapes with the express purpose of learning to paint them, even though I dreaded all those little rabbit pellets of form grouped together - How to paint them as one mass? I separated them into smaller groups to see how they looked. Still clumpish. Then I ate some of them, carefully picking out inner grapes by the stem, to make some space in there. I took the big long bunch and laid it across a plastic turquoise bowl to get it out of the way while I ate my way to a perfectly shaped small group. Then I looked over at the long bunch hanging over the bowl, and I could see how it would be done! And I did it! Now I love grapes.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Self, Tongue

Please to be not taking offense... I just wanted to see if I could do it.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I am happy with this one! For once, I got the drawing of the objects about right for the space of the canvas. Usually everything just slops over the edges because I get everything too large. This time the cropping of the bananas was intentional. And there's not too much stuff in it! And it's simple and clear. And the shadows are rich - actually much better in the original (!!!).

Friday, July 9, 2010

Scissors, Plum,Leaf

The scissor shape is one I like, it is so strange and inorganic in every way. Also, I am enjoying the plate sized leaves from my red bud tree. If I prune them just right I can get them to cantilever out in space and fill up an empty part of the canvas.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Self/Pursed Mouth

Although this is possibly a little scary in the cosmetic sense, it was a great opportunity to paint grungey shadows and folds, etc. Also, the distortion from the camera elongated the glasses and narrowed the chin so it was very interesting to paint, especially since I am trying to get most everything on a 6" square or as this is, a 6x8". Also, for me, if the image is an unusual one, I am right away interested in how to get that down rather than how to make a painting that looks good. If my prime motivation is to make a painting that looks good, I am lost immediately.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Asters, Cut Apples

I tried for the same basic composition as the last ones (mid vertical, tied to the sides) but without saturated color. This one was better 10 minutes before I stopped, even though that would have left some things undone that seemed necessary at the time. A good thing about painting glass is that you are forced to integrate the many shapes into the whole to get coherence, so it makes you see the shapes flat. Also, I understand there is pretty much only one stroke available for each shape, so it should be correct the first time. I am loving these little asters, so humble, easy to paint and lasting a long time too. Because the petals are so fine, there's no way to paint them, you have to paint the broader form and it makes getting it right easy.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Company: Aster, Plate of Grapes

I underworked the grapes, and everything else as much as I was capable and like the overall better. I also wanted a composition that flattened the canvas, tipping it forward at the top, and tying it to the sides by having forms break the edges. It was a good exercise, fun and mercifully quick.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Company: Asters, Cut Plums

How not to overwork?
This one better. I have been looking at Jane Freilicher's flowers lately, they are underworked and fresh, sometimes to the point of neglect, you think (almost) she hasn't done enough - but they are never never slick.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Company: Cigar Box Still life

I don't know where this came from. This is not what I meant at all.
And having done it, I am remembering my man Bonnard saying, you can't have too much yellow. And I have proved him wrong.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

Company: Right Hand With cigar

This was interesting and challenging to do. I was determined to get the darks as dark as they really were, which I did and tried not to futz with the edges. All of the hand was in shadow, so there were no obvious lights. The range of tones was narrow because of this, mostly differing in temperature rather than value. I learned a lot -- hope to do more of these so that this understanding is easier to drive to my fingers.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Company:Asters, Cherries

This one an improvement over the last one.