Friday, May 27, 2016

It Starts with a Long Look...

Sunday, oil on primed paper

At the start of any drawing or painting, I remind myself to look before I leap.

Those few minutes before laying charcoal to paper or brush to canvas can make all the difference. My eye is able to focus. Patterns become visible and I can better understand what interests me, where the light areas rest by comparison with darker values. I follow lines, run vertical and horizontal guides to help me establish relationships. When painting, I can access notes of color that need to be indicated quickly and I get closer to expressing the spirit felt within the subject matter. Outdoors, the air has personality - it's warm, cool and vibrant enough at times to knock over my small easel set up. :) Contrary to being in studio, no music is necessary. Birds chirp and sing, there is movement in the trees and quite often I can hear the distant voices of local fishermen.

A Walk, oil on primed paper

Fishermen, charcoal on paper

In the Kitchen, oil on primed paper

Boy by Fountain, oil on primed paper

Looking at and embracing objects from life does not necessarily give me perfection - whatever that is - but it yields a way of seeing. I can teach myself; try out and possibly learn new techniques so I work to capture mood and a sense of me in my work. Wonderful therapy for the cost of charcoal or paint on a surface don't you think... :)

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the day. Peace and Health all -

Friday, May 20, 2016

Process of Gathering Information...

Lemon and Asparagus, oil on linen, 16 x 20

I've spent time lately on smaller paintings in preparation for commission works. Studies are great for organizing my thoughts and exploring possibilities. I can let go and get solid ideas. With time, plus effort I realize at least what doesn't work well. :)

Pictured throughout are a few daily pieces that have helped me get things going.

White Bowl, Blackberry Blossoms, 9 x 12 walnut board

Two of the commission pieces are meant to be
30 x 24 - vertical, so I'm working with ideas
to make the best use of the space within this taller composition. Things like more space at the bottom of the canvas and treatment of the background to add interest and an unfinished look.

These are companion pieces and will be hung together so I want to assemble objects that allow the narration to flow from one painting to the other. Ears of corn in the foreground could move from one work to the other, or a flower stem could easily carry over to help the paintings relate and work together. In White Bowl with Blackberry Blossoms, my thought is to utilize the stem, carrying it over to the second painting and emphasize the connection. 

Buds and Gray Vase, 9 x 12

All the while I keep in mind notes provided by the client, color preferences and objects we discussed using to
convey a story. Simplicity wins the day for me, so less is more...

Time to paint -  :)

Thanks very much for stopping by. I welcome comments and invite you to visit me at

Peace and Health all

Macintosh with Bowl & Dried Leaves, 8 x 10