Monday, March 31, 2008

Ahhh, Hawaii

It's snowed twice in the past few days here in Seattle so I pulled out a sketch I did in Hawaii and made a small painting. Will have to visit Hawaii again after missing it last year. I have many sunset paintings from Maui and look forward to doing a few more.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Stylized landscape

Here is a small, 12x16, landscape, in a flat style I don't often use. It's trees throwing shadows on the ground with nice shapes and colors. Again it's an old painting I've reworked. I'm learning more about painting mainly with the palette knife and knowing when a brush is needed for the best solution.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Green Lake Homes

I live near Green Lake in Seattle so it's a constant subject for me as earlier posts have shown. This is a 16 x 20 study for a larger painting, neither of which I felt was successful. I am reworking both. The intense greens bother me although they were this bright. I've misplaced my reference slide but once I find it I will rework the larger painting too.

Also attended my drawing session as had missed several due to being out of town. Here is one of my drawings from this session.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

House Portrait

Here is a painting of a house on my street. It's only 7 x 7 inches so I kept it simple in the thick style I'm using lately. Lots of these old brick homes in my area and I've been drawing them too. You can see some of these on my Website by using the home portrait link. If you are interested in a painting or drawing of your house, let me know.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Back from LA

Had a nice sunny week, hit 88 the last day, in LA. Only sketched while there but then borrowed a great book of Manet's late still life paintings. He was ill and could no longer do large work so painted from flowers in his studio. I promised a relative I'd paint copy of her favorite for the loan of the book and it's coming along well. Here is the still life. It's an 8x10 oil and only needs a few finishing touches. We learn much copying the masters. Museums used to allow painters to set up their easels and paint from the originals. I'm not sure if this practice is still allowed. Perhaps someone knows and can comment. With the good reproduction processes available now I feel I can learn from books but would be nice to work from originals. Probably I'd spill some paint and they'd kick me out.

I've again used a thick texture to activate the surface of the canvas although could only use the palette knife for the black background. Will post a new abstract this week as feel I'm finished with several of them.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Visited Painting

I'm visiting relatives in Los Angeles and got to see one of my paintings. This is a 40 x 40 work which I enlarged from a smaller work to fit the space over a fireplace in my niece's condo. It is a view up into a tree and the sun above.

I didn't bring my paint box and instead brought a sketch pad and pencils to just draw. Also have my oil pastel sticks but with visiting, I don't have much time alone to work so it's catch as catch can. If I get something workable done, will post it soon.

Great weather here as it's 70's and sunny, a far cry from Seattle's 40's and rain lately. Even wore shorts today for the first time in many months.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Figure painting

Ahead of going to LA for a week, I'm reworking some of my figure paintings. This one is coming along and I will work on it just a little more. Still trying to develop the thickly painted surface I want combined with a somewhat realistic figure. This one is 16 x 20. Not sure how much work I'll get done on the trip or if will get a chance to update this blog much. Still deciding whether to bring my paintbox or only my sketchbook and camera.

Will be nice to get some warmer weather in the southland after a month of cool temperatures and rain in Seattle. Great for the flowers and trees but depressing as the winter just lingers. Better than the snow in Ohio but I'm looking forward to working out in shorts and T-shirt again after a season of pants and jackets. Of course, in Seattle, as soon as the sun peeks out, even if it's 40 degrees, the shorts and sandals come out and the convertible tops come down. People dress by the sun, not the temperature. I always want to ask what more will you take off when it's 80 in July?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Evening Scene

I did this painting from a photo taken while stuck in traffic. The sun was setting and the road alongside was very dark but there were orange headlights cutting through the gloom. It pays to have a camera handy and since digital models are so small now, I try to keep one with me at all times. The model I have now fits into an altoid box although I carry it in a small leather case intended for credit cards. Now that's small. This work is 8 x 10.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Under I-5 Bridge

Here is a painting I've never shown before. It's from under the large bridge spanning Interstate 5 in Seattle. There are some willows willows under the bridge and I contrasted them during sunset against the pillars of the bridge. This is a fairly large work that I've always liked for its unique angle.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Northwest Roads

I have a lot of reference photos of the criss-cross of roadsways and overpasses that I take while in a car as a passenger and love the contrast of the roadways and the Northwest forests surrounding them. l like to paint the roads deserted although will have to see about including some vehicles. Here is another old painting I went over with thicker paint. Am getting a good feel for handling the palette knives and when a little brushing is needed to move toward completion. This work is 16 x 20.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Arboretum Trees

This is another small landscape of water, skies, and trees. I feel I captured the rich reds of the foliage.

I also completed my three larger abstracts I've been working on. Will photo and post these once they dry a little more. Have moved them out of my studio where I don't have room to store them and work too. Starting a new one plus redoing several more landscapes before start a new series.

Also started another figure but don't quite have the thick palette knife technique down for these yet. The paint takes several days to set up at this thickness so I have to work wet-in-wet to make adjustments. Will see where these lead. The challenge and learning experience are most important. The goal is to incorporate my figure drawing and thick impasto paint technique.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Figure Painting

Have had a cold the past few days so not very productive. Seems I get through the winter well and then catch a cold in the spring. Tried a figure painting using palette knives only and although this image doesn't show it well, I'm fairly happy with the result. I tried to stay very loose and have thicker and thinner paint layers. The goal is to be able to paint a quick figure this way in my drawing sessions using only 3-4 colors of paint, mainly white, black, tan, and red or brown. I've been studying Nathan Oliveira's very abstract figure painting and what I want is the paint quality but with somewhat more realism in the actual figure. The image here is on an 8x10 board and I will probably work on it some more, maybe even destroying parts, but wanted to show the work in progress.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bathhouse Theater

For many years I've enjoyed the view of the Green Lake Bathhouse theater. Here is a fall scene with the theater peeking out between the trees. I've exaggerated the colors a little to bring out the season. You can see, even in this small image, the thickness of paint I've been striving for. This is done mainly with the palette knife with just the lightest touches from a brush. This work is 8 x 10 inches.

I'm also working hard on my two large abstracts and feel they are almost finished. I'm getting the look of infinity I want. The paintings take you into a new world, one without end. I want to push this as far as I can and then back off and make them not as quite as dense as the current works are as I explore color, paint, and line.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

New Drawings

Several drawings satisfied me today. The closer I get to painting the figure, the better I like the result. Today I used oil pastels again, expanding to a few more colors. I first sketched the figure in with white lines, then used several pastels to block in the major shapes and shadows. Last, I used pencil lines to define the edges and details. This backward seeming method works well for me as it allows corrections like a painting process, as well as lets me focus on the larger areas first before I pin down the edges. Hope you like the results.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

New abstract work

This is what I have been working on in my abstract class the past 3 weeks. It is on two panels, side by side, 36 x 48 in total size. I started from an image I created in the computer Microsoft Paint program. Then, with the image as an underpinning, I scribbled oil sticks over the surface to destroy to create. I added many more lines and shapes of color and it's starting to come together. The original background color at the edges was black but today I covered it over in a rich silver as I expanded the lines and colors almost to the edges of the canvas. I think one more session should get me toward completion. I have two others in progress at home, very different in color and effect, yet similar in density and feel. Viewed close up I want a density of surface while viewed far away, I want a merging of colors, like Seurat's dots, that shimmer.
The small size here does not do justice to the work. Here it looks like a rectangular pizza but what a tasty dish it is. I'll post a larger photo on my Website once it is finished and for sale.

Sunday update

Here is another of my new Green Lake views. I've been reworking the foreground and getting closer to the colors I wanted. I have lost my reference photos from some of these so am working from my intuition. Usually, when I get stuck, I go back to the photo. Going back to the scene in most cases doesn't work as the season, the lighting, clouds, or colors are way too different. By using photos I lock in what I loved about the scene. The two I've been working on were from the same day where there was bright light during summer.