Monday, April 29, 2013

April Showers

 The first day of the Clarksville residency, Denise and I were forced to stay indoors because of the freezing cold rain. And by "forced to," I mean "got to." It was a wonderful day of music and laughter, hard work and joy. 
There are only two windows in the studio; she painted a scene out of hers (left) and I painted some flowers on mine (right) that I cut from the garden and taped to the sill.
The flowering quince, or japonica, was in full bloom, so I thought that a painting of them would mark the exact time on the calendar that we were there. I liked that they harmonized with the bricks and that they seemed to be trying to peek out the window at the other buds, just like Denise was doing.

This is my donation painting for the Red River Historical Society. It is 9x12 inches and called Japonica on the Windowsill
They are going to restore the old jail in town and convert it into a museum, the last we heard, and eventually have all the residents' contributions on display there. For the immediate term though, they will hang in the Lennox house, along with Martha Lennox's own paintings. I am honored to have my work hang alongside the work of such a woman as Martha.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Color Wheel

The Color Wheel. Different from the charts in that it is not a value study at all, but a look at the spectral sequence that results from the three primary colors. At left, some of the OP-101 members are seeing how math and color collide as they measure out secondary and tertiary colors from the primaries. Isaac Newton was the first one to note the spectrum within a beam of light, and that the end of the sequence resembled the beginning; and voila! the color wheel was born. In addition to laying out neighboring colors, the artists are adding the complements in the inner ring, to see how quickly a color can be desaturated, and to learn the vast color potential of just three colors.
I'm off now, to paint the Spring! Thanks for stopping by.    

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

4 Color Charts

We are more than half-way into our adventure in the Oil Painting Foundations at the Woodlands Art League. We've gone from a concentration on the study of values, with only one color + white, into a full but limited primary palette. We are using brown, blue, red and yellow +white.
At left is our last assignment: Color Charts.
Each set of color squares represents one of our colors and how it relates to every other color (rows) and how those mixtures look in a 5-point value scale (columns).
I brought this chart with me on my residency trip and could see why Richard Schmid is so enthusiastic about having these done and with you in the field. It's useful in note-taking in your sketchbook and my resident partner used it on the first full-moon night for her sketches, noting that she would have remembered a much higher key had she not had the actual color-values in her hand to refer to. And as just an exercise, every single square requires skill, discipline and much consideration. The OP-101 members made me so happy with their excitement and efforts. I have a completely different plan for our color safari tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Residence

The Lennox House is "the residence" of the Artists in Residence program, sponsored by the Red River Historical Society in Clarksville, TX. It is still filled with the furnishings and effects of the family, and you feel very much the visitor while there. There is an artist's bedroom and studio, but even in those rooms there is the feeling of being in someone else's place. The last Lennox to live here was Martha Washington Lennox, an artist herself, who studied at the Art Students League in New York City and the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC. That was pretty cool for a woman in the 30's. Many of her paintings hang in the home and I have grown very fond of her. I started painting her house the last time I was there and have been working very hard on it between then and now.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Chimney of the Charles DeMorse Home

 Colonel Charles DeMorse is known as the Father of Texas Journalism, having established and run The Northern Standard (later called The Standard) from 1842 until his death in 1887. His home is the oldest building in Clarksville, built in 1833, three years before Texas independence. It was a 2-room log cabin and the logs can still be seen in cut-outs on either side.
The thing that is most beautiful and intriguing to me is the odd chimney. It is unique and fairly beaten up. It appears to be made of pieces of ceramic tile, eight around, stacked four high with a metal cap on top. Like Texas, it stands proud atop its rough and tumble history: a survivor. The Historical Society is planning to restore this home, which bears national and state historic markers and is well worth preserving.

Monday, April 1, 2013

North Texas Residency

We had a wonderful eight days in North Texas but it was very, very cold. Still, we managed to get in about one painting a day; I'll post pics of the week as well as paintings from the residency in the coming days.
For today, I have a short video filmed by Steve Whalen who, with his wife Deborah Paris, conceived the Artist in Residence program. The video was taken on the day that this painting was done. I will leave both the video link and the residency link at the end of this post for you.
The sun was high when we set up, but as the barn faced west, the key shadows stayed relatively constant. I've learned that when you're cold, you paint smarter because you want to hurry up and get warm. We were promised a bonfire that evening and the thought of it gave us anticipatory warmth, but then, about midway through the afternoon, Steve came out with a box of piping hot tea! The box had lidded china tea cups, choices of tea, mason jars full of cream and sugar, and a thermos of hot water. Not at all uncivilized! 
Here are your links and I hope you enjoy them: