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Monday, December 3, 2012

Belle and Student Work: Cherry Pie

Upper painting - Belle, an English bulldog I think. I tried this painting twice, the first time mostly grays and yellows and it didn't feel right, it wasn't light hearted enough. This was not because of color, who knows why, I'm sure Wayne Thiebaud could do it.  Also I have been looking at other peoples' backgrounds.... as usual, it is another world all to itself. I lifted a lot of paintings out of Catherine Kehoe's Powers of Observation site and made them as large as possible on the screen of my Mac, so every time I sit down at the computer, there are ten of them to look at with various background treatments.  Bielen's backgrounds are the most stunning -- both there and not there. How to make the background the perfect surround for the image, integral to the  painting of the dog/baby/sugar bowl? How not to see the back ground as separate -- In this case, there was so much baby pink in the dog's muzzle, I had to go for the quinacridone rose, and then the cadmium red light was not far behind.

Lower painting - a student's work. I think it's so nice, good color and positively iconographic.


  1. I really like this dog portrait, Jean! Really strong and dynamic with a pose that lends tension to what could have been just sweet. Belle seems to want to burst out of the frame. Love the background colors and the velvety purples. Making backgrounds an integral part of the painting has been a struggle for me—lots of trial and error. Also really like your other dog portrait. And your student's work is very strong—lots of personality in that pie!

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