Friday, November 24, 2017

Study of Blueberries Oil Painting

Study of Blueberries and Depth, 6x8 Oil on Canvas, Click to Bid

This little study of blueberries was to re visit my earlier approaches at depth and atmosphere. The question looming in the far corners of my mind, "just how far back, exactly, IS the horizon?"

Friday, November 03, 2017

Renaissance * A Red Carnation Oil Painting

Renaissance, 10x20, Oil on Canvas, $855

Softly lit and gently splayed carnations.  So many layers, so much to consider.  On the other hand less is more. 

If you like RED, and I do, here it is.  I wondered if I was going to be in over my head when I first started painting carnations but once I got into a groove they all started to come together.  (BTW, the study for this painting was posted here: http://loritwiggs.blogspot.com/2017/06/red-carnation-study-in-chiaroscuro.html   )   Here is the study image:  
So from study to gallery painting I am learning more about technique and my personal spin on it.  I've found this principle to be true:

Darker colors recede when warm and come forward when cool
Lighter colors recede when cool and come forward when warm.

But rules were meant  to be broken from time to time.   It's helpful, though,  to have that little tidbit when something isnt working the way you think it should.  

For instance, the interior of the blooms are deep and I want them to recede.  If I mix Ultramarine blue with Crimson I will get a cool dark relative to Ultramarine mixed with red deep or especially red light which is uber warm.  Now I painted this a few months ago so I cant swear to what colors I used but I'm just sayin'.  So to get a deep interior to the blooms I'm inclined to use a warm red mixed with UB.  If Crimison/UB works then fine but if it doesnt give me the depth I want then I go warmer.  See?

This principle is useful for backgrounds and foregrounds alike but opposite (get it?).  If I want a dark background I find it is a bit of a tightrope walk because my darker colors are generally cool, ie: UB, Black.  To warm them I generally use lighter colors, ie: reds, yellows - which in turn lightens the color and I will lose the bold dark background to some degree.  I use a lot of Transparent Oxide Red which is pretty dark but transparent sooo...  I add some UB then warm it with either yellow and go greenish or maybe some red light.  Either way I want to keep the chroma down.  Dont want to saturate my background...  :(

Foregrounds are the opposite.  I want more chroma - but not so much that it competes with my subject.  AAAAnnnnd I want it to come forward.  So in the light areas I will go warmer, generally and relative to the surrounding color.  In the darker areas, like the corners I may try to brighten it with a little cooler color - Cooler, that is, relative to it's surrounding color.  It's all relative..

Good Grief.  I just read what I wrote and sound like a babbling know it all but it's just me thinking out loud on screen..  It's probably not as complex as I make it sound.  I suppose for some people it's all intuitive.  But I like to think about things like that.  After all, some of the best advice I got was from a workshop instructor  Robert Rohm who said to me:

" Ask yourself, is it lighter, darker, warmer, cooler?  "

That really sums it up.  

Friday, October 27, 2017

Tomato Sfumato * Butterfly Blooms and Cherries * Original Oil Painting



From Dictionary.com:

sfumato

[sfoo-mah-toh] 
 
nounFine Arts.
1.
the subtle and minute gradation of tone and color used to blur or veil the contours of a form in painting.

Ahhh.. and Whew!  I am finally recovered from the Oldfield show.  My husband and I have all but perfected the art of R&R so art shows which are polar opposite to R&R can be, let's just say, taxing.  
That said, it was, and always is, a good experience.  

It used to be the Oldfield Western Art  Show but they have recently dropped the Western so collectors will not be limited to those loving only cowboy art - which there is plenty of - and good stuff too but collectors of several genres of art - including my primary genre, still life.

Old Worldly | Quiet | Serene

I heard several buzz words repeated in my booth.  "Old Worldly" was one I heard several times.  Also, "Quiet" and "Serene".  But one that was new to me was "Sfumato".  Sure, I've heard the word and was vaguely familiar with it's artful meaning but never really related it to my work.  When I google imaged Sfumato in Chrome I got a bunch of images of the Mona Lisa and the liqueur Amaro sfumato Rabarbaro from the Cappelletti website.  And from that site I quote:

"The term Sfumato derives from the italian word for smoke "fumo" .

It is traditionally associated with a style of Renaissance painting characterized by subtle transitions between areas of dark and light.

This speaks directly to the profil of this amaro wich marries a dark smokiness with nuanced bitter woodsiness from alpine herbs and notes of sweet alpine berries."

*the direct cut and paste quote allowed for misspelled words.  I did, however, change the font, size and color for emphasis...   :)

So what does that have to do with my artwork?  Hmm. I have considered myself a Chiaroscuro painter to some degree and often think about a smokey piano bar, hazy and blues-y (you know, like the singing the BLUES).  And since the Italian word for smoke is "Fumo" and "Sfumato" is drived from "fumo" then, yeah, I guess it does indeed have Sfumato qualities.  

CHIAROSCURRO | SFUMATO


Neither one really rolls off the lips but when you say them you sound really artsy.  It sounds like you know what you are talking about whether you do or not.  :)   I find that's true with a lot of artsy comments though.  Sure there are sciences and principals to be found but by and large a lot of artsy talk is opinion and theory.  Often no one is really truly right or really truly wrong.  

So, do I paint using Sfumato??  Or do I paint using Chjiaroscurro??  Neither you say?  Both? 
I shoot for QUIET INTROSPECT.   Those will be my new buzz words.  At least for a while.  

QUIET | INTROSPECT
Smokey, hazy, atmospheric, quiet.  What ev's...  It is what it is.  And perhaps even more introspective with that bottle of Cappelletti Amaro..    :) 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Another Pansy Painting :)

Study of Pansies and Apple, 8x8 Oil on Canvas, Click to Bid

I was hesitant to list this piece. Partly because I really like it and thought about keeping it. Also because it strays from my current direction in that is it's... well, let's face it, a little more cheerful than I usually paint. Bright colors against a brighter background isn't usually my style.

So much for style and authenticity, right? I guess I was just in one of those moods where light and bright was the song for the day.

As for keeping this piece, I guess I need brushes more. I use my small studies to fund my supplies so for that reason, I'm letting it go. Also, and this is big, I'm learning to NOT hold onto everything. Gotta let stuff go. Otherwise we'll end up on one of those TV shows that would embarrass the bee-geebies out of my kids. You know the ones.

I just gave 2 boxes of art magazines to the library and promised not to come back for 2 weeks to give them any more. :) It's my little effort to minimize the stuff around here.  It's baby steps.  Eating elephants.  A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step...    :)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Red Carnation Study in Chiaroscuro

Red Carnation Study,  8x8  Oil on Canvas, Click to Bid

A lower key version of the previous carnation studies. I ended up doing a full size gallery painting with this palette.

Once again I've sprawled my flowers across the table top in my shadow box for a slightly less "arranged" look. But to be clear, they were arranged. And re arranged and re arranged and re arranged.

I know what you may be thinking... there are 4 carnations there. How much arranging can really be done. Apparently 4. :)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Study of Pansies and Brass on Green

 Study of Pansies and Brass on Green , 8x8 Oil on Canvas, Click to Bid

I originally painted these pansies in a different vase. Every time I looked at it I felt that it lacked something. I took it back into the studio and edited in this brass pot. So much better. 

The lesson? That while the vase was greenish, it didnt relate well with the pansies and background. It was very blah which I thought would make the pansies pop. And it did but too much. They almost floated. This brass pot ties in well with both the pansies and background. The pansies still pop but their reflections on the brass help unify them. 

Thanks for looking! :)

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Pink Carnations on Red - Floral Oil Painting...

Study of Carnations on Red, 8x8 Oil on canvas, Click to Bid

​This time I went bolder with the background just to see what would happen.  I used my deep red drape for my set up wondering how pink on red would pan out.  Then I pushed the light to give it that little glow.

It certainly made a bolder statement.  A little sexier then the previous painting.  This one might even work in a bachelor pad where as the previous one, in my opinion, was a bit softer and more feminine.  
It looks great against my buttery - parchmenty colored walls and it sends a completely different message than the last one.  The carnation is facing forward sends a bold, in your face, I'm trying to tell you something - message.   

Maybe I'm over-thinking again.   :) 

Monday, May 01, 2017

Pink Carnation Study on Camel

Carnation Study on Camel, 8x8, Oil on Canvas, Click to Bid

Carnations are a tenacious bloom. My son brought these over at Easter and they are still holding on. Unbelievable. 

I've never painted carnations before and really wondered what I was getting myself into with all the layers they have. It really gave me a chance to get in there and focus. Then I had to un-focus a little just to simplify them somewhat so they weren't quite so tight.

My thought here was about the pink blooms and how to make all that pink fit into my house - or any house. I had been told once that pink was the kiss of death relating to a painting. Stay away from it. But really, that only makes me want to paint it more...get the picture?

This experiment was painted with a camel-ish colored background because it's similar to my walls at home.  I did a quick color study on a scrap board and found it pleasing so it was time to get down and dirty and start painting.  The real test was staring at it in my house for a while to see if it really DID work or if I was just in denial about the whole PINK thing.  

I like it.  It might not work in a bachelor pad.  More of a granny style bedroom kind of feel.  I actually have one of those (I refer to it as heirloom decor) and it would fit there nicely but it was drying in my TV room and frankly, it looked great there.  Or even my dining room which has cranberry accents.

I dont have any degrees in interior decorating and I'm starting to see how that could benefit me when I'm putting together a painting but at the end of the day, if I dont like it in my house, it doesnt get posted.

There you have it.  Pink Carnations on Camel.  :)

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Back To My Roots

Study of Red Tulips, 8x8 Oil on Canvas, Click to Bid

​I think I may be going back to my roots.  That is lower key and quiet paintings.  While I havent posted them on Daily Paintworks I've been doing a lot of larger gallery pieces this year which have been very consuming.  So consuming that I often forget to eat lunch - which is saying a LOT.  That's right, I work straight through lunch and right up to dinner.  YOWZER! (Did I spell that right?)
But all this heavy lifting, so to speak, has me doing some "heaving thinking". 

Sometimes I wonder if I'm spinning my wheels in the studio.  Why am I really doing this??  Who am I doing it for ?  And various other philosophical questions clutter my thoughts - until I get my brushes wet.  From that point on it's pure and utter focus.  My thoughts turn to questions of hue and brush strokes and what would Richard Schmid do here?  But when the dust settles, I'm back to the age old question, what is it all for?

In an attempt to answer this deep, philosophical question, I've been throwing a few things against the wall to see what sticks.  So far, this is what I've come up with:

I live on a small farm. Why? Because my father shared his memories of his farm life as a boy then for a short period moved his family to a small farm - his roots.

As a young girl with a horse I too developed farm life memories and so convinced my husband to move us to a farm some 20+ years ago.  My roots

As an adult, I often wonder if all the work is worth it.  
  • Hay has to be cut, raked, baled and stacked.  
  • Tractors have to be maintained $$$.  
  • Water pipes in the barn have to be protected from freezing weather and repaired when they werent.. :(
  • Fields need to be cut in the off season to keep the weeds down and grass thick for better hay.
  • Outbuildings need maintenance (we need a new roof on one of our lean-to's ASAP).  
  • And that doesnt even account for the animals :  
  • A geriatric horse.  
  • Cows due to calf (while we are away no less).  
  • Goats that are like puppies on steroids.  
  • A dog who seems to search out skunks and a cat that has been here since, well, since forever.  I cant remember a time when she wasnt here.  
  • Then of course there are the critters that come around just to keep us humble:  Raccoons, opossums, rodents of all shapes and sizes and of course the afore mentioned skunks.

I've decided that it's worth it.

So what does this have to do with my art?  I'm getting to that.  I think, and I'm still percolating on this, but I think I have rural farm life in my blood.  Sure, I fantasize about living in a condo with an extra room for a studio.  NO animals and NO yard to take care of.. Certainly no outbuildings. But when I go out to feed the animals with my husband in the morning and evening, I always have an appreciation for where we live.  I love my barn.  And I love seeing the cows in the fields.  I love taking care of my aging horse. Two decades plus later and I still love it.

Still, how does this affect my art?  I'm rural deep down.  Like everyone else I've had my share of crisis and like everyone else I've had to deal.  But I've learned a lot living on a farm.  And I give some credit for my (relatively healthy) emotional status to the slow but steady pace we've adapted here.  And it's my emotional status that drives my artwork. I often see people rushing off in so many different directions.  So many priorities.  So many commitments  (all of which used to be me).  And I often wonder if I'm just lazy.  Jury is still out.  But lazy or not, it works for me.  :)   We get things done.  We try not to lag and fall to far behind lest our farm will quickly get trashy.  But we also stop to smell the roses, lilacs and my new clematis vines.  

Can you see it yet?  How it relates?  I may be reading more into it than is there but here it is:  

I relate to quiet paintings.  Less is often more.  I think (still experimenting here) I gravitate towards dominantly warm paintings over cool.  I inject quiet atmospheric backgrounds vs. active brushy backgrounds.  (I do like brushy though.  It just rarely works in my pieces).   I dont put a lot of inorganic items into my paintings anymore.  I try but it never quite works for me and I often just take it back out.  

So I dont quite know how to articulate it yet but I can tell you that while I was the only (pretty much) exclusively (can you be "pretty much exclusive"?) still life painter at the Fred Oldfield Western Show last year I felt like I finally found my tribe.  Most of these people painted horses and mountains (beautifully so) and here I was with a booth of pansies.  But I felt like we were family.  

So there it is.  My rant.  I live on a small farm and I paint quiet atmospheric paintings.  Less is more.  Stop to smell the good stuff.  Fix the fences and bake a pie.  Enjoy today because time is the one thing you cant own (I got that from Marc Cuban. Dont know where he got it).  But that doesnt mean stay busy.  It means do what counts.  :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Brrr... Cold Days Cold Roses

Frosty Mug, 16x20, Oil on Canvas, Click for info 

More Manganese Blue please.  What a great color.  Uber icy.  And paired with red it just makes me want to grab a sweater.  :)

This is so far from my earlier pieces that were warm and smokey that it almost looks like a different artist!  But I assure you, it's all me.  As always, I continue to experiment and push myself because...  well, I'd be bored to tears if I didnt.  

So this bright painting has been delivered to the gallery along with another one that I will post next week. Today I start a new project.  But I dont think it will include Manganese Blue.  It will likely be a warmer painting but still a new palette for me.  More on that later.  :)