Monday, August 26, 2013

Summer Song

Summer Song, 8x8 oil on canvas.

Ahhh, the fleeting days of summer.  Here in the PNW we have been experiencing a few previews of fall.  A little misty, a few short showers, a hazy day.  Currently, as I look out my window, I see a spot of cerulean blue surrounded by wispy strokes of warm grey with dabs of lemon yellow atop.  It's all good.  Change is good.  I probably wouldn't appreciate summer so much if it were here all the time.

I promised myself I would get a portfolio of landscape photos this summer so I would have much to keep me busy this winter in the event I wanted to branch out from my still life.  Unless I get out soon my photos will be lack luster in that they will be lacking luster.  No sunshine, no strong lights against deep shadows.  No heat.  Oh well, I did go to Jackson, WY this summer and got plenty of photos there.  I also got a little plein air in this summer and so have some studies to work with.  All that is in the event I migrate to landscape. 

I have migrated somewhat but not to landscape.  I took a workshop with Michael Maczuga on portraits.  Whatever possessed me to do that???  I can only say that I am mesmerized by his work and wanted to get inside his head if at all possible and see how it ticks in there.  Following the workshop I immediately ordered the Asaro Head and went to work.  So far, I am not a portrait artist.  :(    But I haven't given up.  I did, however, learn a bit from Mr. Maczuga and how he thinks.  One has to be tuned in to pick up subtle clues about the inner workings of others.  It's the inner workings that translate to the canvas, right?  We paint our character - so to speak. 

Okay, enough about that.  With the exit of summer comes the re-entry of Routine, my long time friend.  Routine and I go way back.  We indulge in each other and melt into the studio while the leaves drop and the wind blows.  Just me and Routine.  We have long winters here in the PNW but they are survivable by and large. 

Perhaps I'll squeeze in a trip to Arizona again.  :)

Friday, August 02, 2013

Summer Heat

Summer Heat, 8x8 oil on canvas.

I started painting pansies last winter from a photo.  My initial impression was how difficult flowers were going to be compared to my many foodie subjects.  The reality is, it's all the same in that I approach it the same way one would eat an elephant:  One bite at a time!   Rather, one petal at a time. :) 

I became hooked on pansies and did several studies but was limited to the one and only photo I had and superimposed pansy faces to meet my paintings needs as necessary.  Frustrated because no fresh pansies were available at the time.  I waited.. 

Once pansies hit the shelves I purchased several colors and took many (MANY) photos for my next winter paintings.  Finally, I could set up my pansies in my light box and begin painting from life!  Glorious, glorious painting from life!  Woo hoo!

Boy-- did I have a lot to learn about pansies.  Apparently a COOL weather flower, mine didn't last long because once I was done with one painting I set it in the sun to "flourish".  It got leggy and awful.  So I hit the stores once again only to fine out that they are sold out for the summer and wont receive anymore until Fall.  So I wait again... 

Fortunately, I still have my leggy, awful leftovers (now in a cooler locale) and I can set them up in my light box.  And because I'm an artist, ;)   I can enhance them from leggy to squat and from scraggly to abundant.  I can push them and pull them and prop them and you, the viewer, will never know the difference, unless I tell you.  So this is my little secret. 

Don't tell anyone.