Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chanel No 1

This is the sketch from our Monday portrait group. I did finish it on Monday but didn't photograph it till today.
This beauty works behind a cosmetics counter in a department store. Her job is to see the beauty in people and pick a strategy for capitalizing on it to their advantage. When she finishes, they are more able to see their own loveliness.
This is the job of an artist, I believe.
Chanel said that often, her clients do not feel beautiful, comparing themselves to her. She confessed that when she looks in the mirror, she doesn't always see the beauty that they see. Tall, willowy, lithe, with flaxen hair down to there... it would be easy to argue with her, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
When you have a mix of Scandinavian and American Indian blood, beauty would be almost impossible to escape, methinks.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Little Lone Ranger

This is a painting that I started more than a year ago, of a ranch where we paint in Wyoming. It's a beautiful place and on this day, the clouds were rolling over us, creating killer shadow patterns.
I quit painting on it because I was bored with it; it's 16x20, so I'd invested a lot in it but the scene wasn't enough.
Then, the other night, got the idea of putting a pathway down the mid-ground and placing a figure on it, to add a narrative element to it and a focal point.
The fellow on the path is a little cowboy in red, white and blue. He's on his way home for supper.
I'll tell you how he knew it was suppertime in another painting, coming soon to a blog near you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Start

My plan today was to go to my Monday portrait group, stop by the post office afterward and ship some paintings, then finish this one in time to photograph and post it for you.
Alas, I didn't finish crating last night so I had to do that as soon as I finished painting this afternoon. Then, alack, the Post Office was closed today!
Long story short: paintings still not shipped, The Start still not finished.
The good news: I DID blog today!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Whiskey Basin

Just to the left of these trees was Whiskey Creek, which I've already posted, and this is one of the paintings I promised in that post.
There was not a bad view anywhere in this canyon and a lucky painter could have spent the whole week there and never been bored painting it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stone Maiden

The Stone Maiden is a 20x16" painting, still wet, done for a Black and White show at the Salmagundi Club in New York.
For so many years, I was a pencil artist and saw the world in terms of its values. Since becoming a painter, I have employed that knowledge but added hue and chroma. I still draw a lot but it's not often that I paint in black and white. It was a lesson in restraint. The stone statue that I was painting was white, but the color in the pits and moss shadows was so enticing, it was all I could do to keep myself from dipping my brush into the colors, just to tell you how beautiful it was!
Anyway, Black and White, by definition, restricted such indulgence.
Still, both my black and my white have colors in them.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Still Life with Winchester

Honorable Mention, Salon International 2010
This still life was orchestrated by my husband and also included a cigar box with 7 red and green shotgun shells, which (shockingly!) I could not fit into the 16x20"canvas. He set it up in our kitchen and set the easel up for me in the breakfast room. We had to squeeze around it for the duration of the painting process. By the time it was finished, the concord grapes were concord raisins, the rose petals had gone from wilty to crispy, and the squash was growing something greenish blue. The really fun thing though, was that I had to drink that wine every night while I was cleaning up.
Never waste a good glass of wine.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fred Shed

I am so proud of this painting. It was started very late in the afternoon during the OPA paint out, really too late for a sane person to start a painting and expect to catch anything worthwhile. For that reason, I grabbed a tiny panel and a large brush, thinking about how prominently math figures into art.
I had begun to paint it a certain way while the sun was a little higher, and then deviated from the sage teaching, "Never chase the light!" because the shadows that were stretching out before me were just too irresistible.
I was the very, very last painter to finish that day, so I guess that makes me the winner!


Our Monday Model.
I am working on three things right now: brevity, color-value planes, and light. Actually, I'm always working on light; seeing it, understanding it, painting it. But as it hits an object, it bounces a certain way into the eye based on the planes of the object, the color of the object and, of course, the color of the light.
When one is working to record something like this, the mind is processing massive amounts of information but the artist has to simplify it, organize it and reproduce it in such a way as to render it recognizable using spots of color, brushed onto a piece of cloth with some hair on a stick! In that process, I think the beauty and the power are unleashed by brevity.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

OPA Paint Out

Welcome to the new year!
2009 was full of travel and adventure, the last trip being this one: the Oil Painters of America regional paint out in Fredericksburg.
This coming year, the Artist in Residence will be in residence a lot more, which should make blogging easier.
Happy New Year!