Monday, February 28, 2011

Working in a Series

This is the painting that started my current series on trees. All of these paintings are based on trees within a few blocks of my house. I found when looking for a tree to paint, I was most interested in their sculptural quality, the same characteristic I'm working to convey.
I love working in a series. It's so interesting to build on a previous painting, to take that idea and change it up. Format. Size. Medium. Even tools. Today's was created using a palette knife.
But my major requirement for a series is that something catches my imagination, something that I can see possibilities in, something that I want to explore further. With this series I started thinking of painting  portraits of the trees and wanting to capture their individual expressiveness.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Studio Space

This view shows the end of my living room, one of those long l-shaped rooms. Although I lose something in privacy, I gain from the ability to get distance on my paintings without having to go outside and look through the window. The cabinet is actually an old housekeeper's cupboard where I store my books and photos, along with watercolor supplies. I'm using a tv tray to hold my palette and the table at the right holds my paints. My easel is on wheels for ease of movement.

Choosing Color

This is #5 from my series on trees.  I followed a suggestion from Ken Kewley in his "Notes on Color" by picking out my favorite color as a starting point.  You don't have to be long in my house to see that aqua rules.  His article offers much food for thought and you can read it at "Painting Perceptions," a wonderful blog in itself.
Only my third time blogging and I have already deleted my first posted photo about my studio.  Since I am such a slow painter, I'm sure I'll be returning to that subject when I'm out of paintings.  Even with this photo of the aqua trees, I see things I could tweek.  See why I have so much trouble being really finished! And why my friends are always fussing about my not signing my work - it's not done yet!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Completing a Painting

This is the latest tree in my current series (I'm working on #7 now).  Posting is helping me realize how long I take to complete a painting. I tell myself, "It's finished!" and hang it on the wall. But over time something starts to bug me; then off it comes and back to the easel.  Thus the process starts all over again.  I'm learning to pay attention to those nagging bothers rather than talk myself out of them. But I seem to need time to digest the painting before I can really see it.  Weird, huh?
These color choices are intuitive and very different from my usual.  In this case I had prepainted the background, also an atypical choice, and worked from there. The dark is Gamblin's Torrit Grey from last year, made from their recycled pigments.
The further I get in the series, the looser my brushstrokes become.  Think where I'll be by #15!

Thank you to everyone for your comments on my last post.  It's so nice to have you looking at my work. I hope you'll come back.