Saturday, November 4, 2017

Listen to your paintings

I've always heard this, it's just that my paintings weren't talking, or maybe I just wasn't listening. Recently, when I hit troubling passages instead of wrestling it to the ground, I've heard the painting say "walk away"

Today I started a pastel based on the oil study I did in Amesbury on Thursday.  I wanted it light, ethereal, moody and overcast.  I kept the underpainting light and was happy with the alcohol wash. I did the trees first to lock them in following the advise on Liz Haywood Sullivan's video "Mixing Greens"

It didn't start to go wrong until the block-in when I started to place my dark and medium greens. I had to leave, family errands called including a trip to the dump.  On the way home I heard the painting say " too soon with the greens, keep the block-in violet and purple in tone.

I brushed out the greens, as much as I could, and added dark and mid purples, violets and mauves for my block-in. I think it is going to be ok, I'll work more on it tomorrow.
underpainting using pinks and purples

wash-in, I lost a lot of the darks
block-in after brushing out the too deep greens and replacing them with violets and purples

Friday, November 3, 2017

Nov. 3, 2017

I am trying to re-organize myself and my painting life.  At the first of the year I will have a new system for cataloging my paintings but for now I want to start recording my processes to better understand what works and what doesn't.

Today's painting was of a pomagranite, started yesterday as a grisaille using brown madder. I used a 6x6 panel with a linen oil primed surface. I started the painting using liquin impasto as a medium. After several wipe-outs I took a break.  When things do not go well with my painting I go up to the house and cook.  I made Rippolitto for lunch and a huge batch of marinara sauce as well as prepping my vegetables for tomorrow's pizza.  Well then it was time to face the painting which I finished using a 50% mix of OMS and linseed oil. I am not totally happy with it but tomorrow is a new day.

I also did a little pastel study based on an earlier version of Tancredi. 6x8 on Uart 400 mounted with 3M to foam core.  I painted the surface with black gesso and then with clear gesso to give it more texture. While working I realized that the original was on a board painted with a sienna acrylic which would have been a better choice.  All the more reason to continue my  journal of technical info.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

11/2/17 Plein air today in Amesbury
It looked like rain was possible, an overcast, flat light day in mid Autumn.
It became quite mild for this time of year. 70's 

9x12 oil on panel

I used a Raymar linen panel, oil primmed and previously toned with indian yellow.
I used the Coulter box to give me more mixing area and I tried liquin impasto and new large hog bristle brushses. 

Julie suggested that I wait to do the sky, keeping to tansparents for as long as possible. I wiped out  the opaque sky areas and worked my dark transparents. She also had me darken the path,  I originally had it as light as the sky.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Sept. 2, 2017

6x6 oil on canvas

Practicing stopping before I over-work.  I have been away from oils for a while and have gotten rusty.  If I do one small one a day for the month of September it may come back to me. I liked starting this in yellows and violets.
Sept. 1, 2017

Still Life with Sunflowers 
9x12 oil on panel

I worked on this for a day, trying to convince myself that I could still paint.  Wiping out at least three times.  I was losing the battle.  The next morning I couldn't wait to get to the studio and throw it in the trash but when I got there I found it wasn't as bad as I thought, or worth rescuing or at least not admitting defeat.  I changed the base from wood-tone to light and moved the lower flower closer to the pitcher.  I continued working until suddenly the painting told me it was finished. I won, its ok but I still won't buy it a frame.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Harris, Yellow Sky
16x20 pastel on Uart 400

This was based on yesterday's study. I am happy with some of it but still like the study better.  I like these portrait style landscapes with masses of trees and light peeking out from behind.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

8x10 pastel 

I started this with a grisaille and of course I forgot to take a picture of that first step. My plan is to use the same reference photo to try different underpainitng techniques.

I believe this was art spectrum white.  I used graphite for the grisaille. The problems I had with this I am attributing to the surface.  Maybe if I am trying to compare techniques  I ought to stick with a known background.