Saturday, April 30, 2011

I Was Disappointed...

"Three Plums"
Oil on Canvas, 8x10," c. Catherine Vines
... In the plum in my last posting, (See "Three Fruits.") so I decided to concentrate on just plums.
The two fruits in the front row are defined by individual strokes, without overworking. 
The rear fellow was worked to death, poor guy; but I do like that flash of red.
I'm still fighting with my backgrounds. The almost watercolor look of the rear shadow is pretty cool though.
The process seems to be pick out what doesn't work and practice, practice, practice.

Friday, April 29, 2011

I Did It!

"Three Fruits"
Oil on Canvas, 6" sq., c. Catherine Vines
Better, at least. 
The orange - that is an orange - is more what I'm aiming for. Loose brushwork, less "coloring in the lines."
I made a funny connection: as a child I never enjoyed coloring books, and even now, I don't enjoy filling in an object from an outline. For this one, I "splashed" color in the general areas I was going to paint, and went on to refine dimension. 
Still trying Liquin.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Life Is Either A Daring Adventure..."

Oil on canvas, 6" sq., c. Catherine Vines
"... or nothing at all." Helen Keller  
This is my daughter's favorite quote, and I feel as if I'm on an adventure lately
Today's fruit is a reworked painting, again using Liquin. I am not happy with how fussy the brushwork looks, but this may be the result of painting over an old canvas.
In fact, there are a lot of problems here: value range, color variation, background. So why am I showing it?
There's something there.
I'll keep hunting.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More Adventures w/ Liquin

"Three Fruits"
Oil on Canvas, 6" sq., c. Catherine Vines
I started this painting with very loose brushwork and paint tempered with Liquin medium. I also used colors directly from the tube, something in general I try to avoid.
Gradually I added value changes while trying not to lose the brushwork.
There's a glimmer of something there I want to continue to explore!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"Momma Said There'd Be Days Like This"

"Green Onion"
Oil on Canvas, 10x8," c. Catherine Vines
I've dropped, spilled, and touched up this painting until I lost sight of my original concept.
In general, I paint without medium, so this was an exploration for me. I used Liquin and I absolutely loved the painting the first day.
Today, when I went back in to touch up a few things... 
Nothing to do with the medium, more about thinking in a different way. I am accustomed  to adding touches of color at the end, and they turned glaringly obviously rather than a subtle highlight, necessitating more painting. 
So much for an ala prima painting! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

More on Backgrounds

"Savannah's Pumpkin"
Oil on Canvas, 6"sq., c. Catherine Vines

The original background for this painting was blue. Complementary color, right?
Not so great. 
I didn't photograph some of the other choices. I think there was umber, and maybe beige.
My goal is to integrate foreground and background. 
Now I can see that I could help the process by using some of the background on the foreground and vice-versa.
Any other ideas?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Backgrounds Are A Challenge

"Red Background"
Oil on Canvas, 10x8," c. Catherine Vines
For me at least.  
So I decided to make a preemptive strike, so to speak. This red background is for a landscape I have planned. My idea to to selectively let some of the red show through.
This is another foray into Color Relationships. In this case, each red is slightly different - not so clear in the photograph.
The next step will be a value study, then on to the painting.

Friday, April 22, 2011

If Detachment is Hard to Come by...

"Sheila at 15"
Acrylic on masonite, 20x16," c. Catherine Vines
Then let someone else be the judge. 
In a case like this painting - my sweet daughter - I can't really evaluate it artistically. I just see a lovely young girl on the brink of womanhood.
My goals were to use an impressionist's palette and paint the light. It helped to have a photograph that captured some of these elements.
I do have doubts about the lack of highlights in her eyes and the darks in her hair. But....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Meet Maxine

Oil on Canvas, 10x8," c. Catherine Vines
You may remember her from an earlier posting. Maxine is another exploration in Color Relationships. 
Originally I fell in love with her body, but couldn't seem to get the background right.  I still have doubts, but I definitely think the value change is an improvement.
This is my submission to the Daily Paintworks Challenge to paint a chicken. How many weeks ago was that?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What If?

Acrylic on Masonite, 20x16," c. Catherine Vines
I had a mini-revelation about my painting last night. Although I work for the most part in a series, I enjoy switching it up, oils to acrylics to watercolors, small formats to large (even very large), and a whole variety of subject matter. 
To tune into my blog on any given day is a question waiting to be answered. What will it be this time?
I realized I could feature a more consistent style if I were to focus. Even though I am very serious about my painting, for now I am enjoying the question, "What if?" too much to stop exploring.
By the way, the owner of this particular painting lectured me on why ""Herman" should be "Henrietta," but as his mother, I could never quite make the switch.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Are Your Darks Dark Enough?

"Red Onion"
Oil on Canvas, 6" sp., c. Catherine Vines
I seem to be having trouble getting my darks dark enough lately. In this case, I can see that darker shadows, especially at the base of the onion, would help settle it in space.
I also need to work on my backgrounds. I think they could be much richer and more interesting. SO much to learn and so little time.

Monday, April 18, 2011

When Did You Last Buy Yourself a Rose?

"Red Rose"
Acrylic on Masonite, 4-1/2x8," c. Catherine Vines
To paint naturally. 
I was completely intimidated by the Daily Paintworks Challenge rose painting challenge, so I bought a silk flower to paint. If this seems like cheating to you, I have read that Manet, among others, would paint from artificial flowers. 
Manet's flower paintings, especially those completed in the final years of his life, are the ultimate to me.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Is Your Painting Telling You What It Needs?

"No More Carrots"
Oil on canvas, 6x6," c. Catherine Vines
Evidently this little fellow was saying he did NOT want to be a bunny. Just as if something is wrong with that. My Manly Muse thinks he is a bear, and I can't come up with a convincing story to prove otherwise.  He did start to be a rabbit, if that's any consolation.
Just yesterday I was talking about balance and today we are on our way to SC to help some friends who were in a wreck on the interstate. They are the kind of friends who would do the same for us - the best kind. And they weren't hurt. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Does This Make Me Look Fat?

"Does This Make Me Look Fat"
Oil on Canvas, 6"sq., c. Catherine Vines
Last night I read an article from Zen Habits, "Simplify Your Life with Balance." This little guy looks like he could stand to read it as well.
Like so many people I am trying to figure out how to balance my job and my painting, my family and my friends.  Not to mention those nasty little details like housework.
Thank heavens I don't cook. I guess I will just have to quit cleaning house as well.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

This Little Chicken...

"This Little Chicken"
Oil on Canvas Board, 10x8" c. Catherine Vines

More work on Color Relationships.  I do have a strategy: I start with one beautiful color, in this case, the blue, and build from there. With this painting I can see that I don't really have a good range of values.
But I was so happy with the chicken's body, I was reluctant to change.  Isn't there a warning about not falling in love with one part of your painting? And the feathers? I think I am going to have to do some more work! Until tomorrow....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Daily Paintworks Challenge - Landscape2

"German Landscape"
Oil on canvas, 10x8" c. Catherine Vines

This is my second entry in the Daily Paintworks Weekly Challenge - for the previous week!  
I am still concentrating on my color studies by developing color relationships. There are parts I love in this painting, or at least like: the road, for instance. On the other hand, my Main Squeeze thinks the road looks like a river. He could be right.
Seth Godin writes in "How to Fail" that successful people fail often and learn from it. At least I've got the first part down and I'm working on the second.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More about Alex Powers

"Sheila in White"
Watercolor, 15x20," c. Catherine Vines
After writing about Alex Powers (see Monday's blog: "Pretty in Pink"), I thought I would post a watercolor where I tried to use his design concepts. In this case, I am referring to movement through the rectangle. I used the lightest values to carry the viewer's eye in a U-shaped movement.
It says something to me about how hard it is to digest new information that I have never tried to translated these concepts into other mediums. Another challenge, as if learning about color relationships wasn't enough!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pretty in Pink

"Pretty in Pink"
Oil on canvas, 6" sq.,  c. Catherine Vines

This little girl (she is a girl, don't you think?) is actually a figurine from the thrift store. I brought her home and just starting painting. Unfortunately, I didn't really think about her placement on the canvas.
The author of my very favorite book on design, Alex Powers, emphasizes designing your painting rather than just putting shapes in a [rectangle]. His book, "Painting People in Watercolor," is relevant regardless of the medium and I highly recommend it. Now I need to go back and reread it!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Daily Paintworks Challenge

"German Ess Curve"
Oil on Canvas Board, 10x8," c. Catherine Vines

For sometime now I have been wanting to participate in one of the on-line challenges. Being such a slow painter, the sponsors are usually way onto the next challenge, before I am ready to participate. But I finally made it. On the last day.
The site is called "Daily Paintworks." Here is the link to the Challenge where you can see the original photograph and view the other entries.
p.s. It's my birthday! Be happy!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Singing My Head Off!

"Singing My Head Off"
Oil on canvas, 6" sq.,  c. Catherine Vines

This is the cohort in crime to yesterday's post, no doubt singing in protest to being posted in second place. Times are tough all over, but I'm still singing.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Here I Am!

"Here I Am!"
Oil on canvas, 6" sq.,  c. Catherine Vines

So Spring must be here. This little guy is one of a pair of wooden birds sitting in my window, just in case I get discouraged about winter. 
Some of his buddies visited my porch this morning, and complained loudly when all they could find was dog food.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Heart Breaker

"The Heart Breaker"
Acrylic on Canvas, 6x4", c. Catherine Vines

Sometime between when I took this photo and then painted it, this - the eldest of the four brothers (see Monday's post) - has the neighborhood girls calling his name.  The only female not in his following is my dog, Luci, although maybe that's why she always barks at him. In that time he has had one of those infamous growth spurts so we literally have to look up to him now.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

An Interruption for Snow

It's Time for Spring"
Acrylic on Board, 15x30", c. Catherine Vines

Even in our old home, daffodils in the snow were a rarity. In fact, snow itself was pretty rare. I miss the daffodils way more than the snow.  They always seemed the epitome of spring. Growing up one of my neighbors had a hillside full of these wonderful flowers.
This painting was done entirely with a palette knife.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Maybe It's Monday!

"Maybe It's Monday"
Oil on canvas, 6x4," c. Catherine Vines

For him as well. How else could you explain that expression?
This handsome fellow is actually the second of 4 boys, all equally good looking, just like their parents. 
Now that I think of it, I took this picture on the first day of school.  That could explain everything!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Blue Eyes

"Blue Eyes"
Oil on canvas, 6x4," c. Catherine Vines

I mentioned that I prefer to paint from black-and-white photographs.  Only it can be misleading. I originally painted him with brown eyes. Fortunately his mother caught the mistake in a New York minute! 
I find I am having trouble remembering to write the Height size first; something about "old dogs" comes to mind. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Missing Tooth

"The Missing Tooth"
Oil on canvas, 4x6," c. Catherine Vines

Another of my portraits of children.  I especially love the freshness of the painting. It doesn't hurt that the subject is one of the favorites either!
Recently I have been reading an article by Gabor George Burt on the relationship between creativity and childhood play. I think this portrait captures that playfulness, both on the part of the child and the artist.