oil on canvas panel, 8″ x 10″
This painting is of a landmark north of here called Greyhound Rock. I have, as you probably already know, a fascination with the vivid colors of ice plant. On this day, however, the foreground ice plant was green . . .almost kelly green. So, taking artistic license, I chose to use different colors to help throw the focus up onto the rocks and sea. (By now you must be getting bored with this, but I can’t help myself!)
On another note, I should say THANKS to all who came to my open studio. Many artists, including myself, often measure the success of such an event in the numbers of paintings sold and the dollars brought in. I must take pause, however, this year for the obvious reasons relating to the economy, and make sure that I don’t drift too far into the mercenary mire of revenue versus artistic success.
Considering the financial climate we are all suffering, I had a fabulous open studio. The first weekend averaged about 130 visitors per day. The second wasn’t quite as well attended, but still, very worthwhile.
The studio was set up with several lessons that the lay person and artists alike would find to be interesting, such as a simple still life set up painted in 9 different color strategies to show how mood is often determined by the artist’s color choices. There was also a large board onto which I collaged (loosely) around 20 plus pencil sketches of preliminary studies. This board was next to two watercolor paintings (posted a few weeks ago) which were derived from those sketches. People found these displays fascinating . . . and the studio, too. ( Art studios are where mystical magic happens!) There was something for everyone from over 100 framed, original paintings on display around the property to the studio to the informative displays.
Open studios, as I reflect on it, are exciting and fun, like ‘open house’ kinds of parties . . . . . . . . .where friends and neighbors drop in, munch a little, chat, visit, update each other and eventually wander out refreshed and glad they came. This is similar, but there is much that happens in the way of expanded networking and being introduced to other artists and art events. In short, it is a function from which many new challenges and activities grow. Aside from selling nearly thirty paintings, this was a rich and enlivening experience. I could go on and on about the value (priceless!) of such events, but I shan’t bore you with my verbosity. Just know that with all the complaining about the amount of work, I will do it over and over again.
Thought you’d like to know how it went. If you came, thanks for coming. If you didn’t, I hope to see you next year!
oil on canvas panel, 8″ x 10″
The colors of the ice plant on the sand dunes of nearby beaches has been a source of fascination to me for as long as I can remember. Vivid, intense colors combined with the near white sand and neutral decaying matter on the edges are a painters challenge for sure. Combining complementary colors (red and green) yields neutral grays. So, capturing the uniqueness of the comingling complementary colors in this ice plant makes for rich entertainment at the easel. I have attempted this subject many times in the past, but I come back often because of the difficulties I must overcome with the edges and colors.
Edges are key in this subject. Softer, lost edges don’t hold the eye. While sharper edges grab the viewer there must be a happy medium of the two. Blending the edges between colors is necessary ( I think), but, sometimes, I can get carried away and lose the brilliance I sought. It is all in the practice and learning, I suppose. When enough paintings have been done that one more doesn’t matter, then the artist does things without the worry of failure. That is why it is so important to paint often without concern for the outcome.
It seems I am gaining ground a little at a time. Sort of like climbing a sandy hill; up three steps and slide back two. Progress comes from repeated forward steps, each time with small (but significant) gains.
“Misty Brilliance II”
Oil on canvas, 24″ x30″
Back in July, (scroll back to July 17 and 21), I attempted this painting, “reconciled” it, then set it aside. I wasn’t happy with a number of different aspects . . . . . .color being one of them. I had let the colors get merky from not wiping my brush often enough. Also, both of the July versions seemed broken up to me. Neither version flowed to a center of interest . . . and there was a perspective problem.
Beginning early this morning, I tackled it again . . .and this time I scored. The photo here is not quite how it looks. There are a few extra edges in the photo that don’t appear in the painting. Go figger dat!! The painting, however, has the brilliance I was after in the foreground and the spacial separation between the two bluffs. I am also pleased with the atmospheric sensation of the sun breaking through the fog. This time, it is going into a frame!
Never say die!!
oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″
Putting all that study time into practice helps. But, if you are like me, your brain goes flacid the moment a brush is in your hand.
I dunno what it is, but this guy’s left brain ceases to communicate with the right brain once the painting act begins.
There are so many decisions to consider when the painting begins . . . .light over dark . . .no greens . . . .warm dominance . . . . .what will I do with that corner over there? . . . .and what about that building that is perfectly behind one tree so that its roof peak coincides with the tree trunk . . .gotta move it . . .and more and more and more.
This piece was to be a practice piece. I have more to go, obviously, but I really did learn something about layering progressively warmer and lighter schlobs over the thin darks this time. I had a blast with it. Enjoy!