Saturday, December 27, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Friday I worked on this piece from the Bobolink Trailhead in Boulder, done in October. I had wanted to even out the grass field so that the plane gave a better feeling of being flat. I do tend to get carried away on the textures and patterns. So I tried to keep the color the same but lighter in value on the foreground and to darken the tree itself. I left some of the grasses as is as I weaved the lighter values in. I do actually think of it being a "weaving" of color when I am painting on top of an existing piece. I know there are many artists who use their field sketch to do a bigger painting from, but I actually like to work on the painting itself. It helps me to think about what I want to capture in the field that I am not getting done.
Saturday I revisited the painting I drove to Boulder twice to work on in the field. The Teller Farm buildings. I was still not satisfied with it and so onto the easel it went. I wanted to simplify the shapes and add contrast between the light and the dark shapes. I also flattened out the foreground.
Sunday I pulled a painting out from September painted in Fraser. I have been looking at this painting for months now and wasn't sure if I should mess with it or not. I finally decided that yes, it was something I wanted to do. I toned down some of the colors and unifed the values. I am much happier with all three of these paintings.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Last weekend I also put some finishing touches on the paintings I did at Teller Farms a few weeks ago. The one above needed one of the grass planes flattened out in the foreground. Sometimes you just don't see those things when you are on sensory overload in the field painting. this is a better photo than the original posting. I have realized that when I take photos of wet paintings I get too much glare and reflected light, so I may not be so hasty to post right away in the future. I need to work on that dilemma
The painting below, done the week previous to the one above, also needed some touching up. I was not happy with the flat plane (again) of the foreground. I also wanted to create more movement in the grasses and cattails. I did not touch the tree color or the background at all so you can see the difference in the color saturation when the paint is so wet. That is why artists tend to like to varnish their work - it brings back the wonderful colors.
This weekend I am painting walls, as in a room. Since my daughter has moved out, I am turning her room into a guest room. The walls are almost finished but the trim is still to be down, and in this old Victorian, there is LOTS of trim to be done (3 doors and 4 windows!). We are also thinking of installing wall to wall carpet (oh my!) in the bedrooms and hallway. So this is creative as well, just not a canvas, although a canvas of sorts.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
It did not leave me much time to catch up on the computer or to be at my easel. So be it. BUT I did decide to finally take up a painting that I had done early last spring. This was done from a photo reference. I had never been happy with the outcome but felt it held potential and I wasn’t ready to ditch it quite yet. I totally reworked it. Viewing the photo of the reworked painting I see that the dark brushstroke in the lower left hand side is too distracting. It is showing up a bit darker in the photograph than it really is but still I will touch that up. It still isn’t where I wanted to go with it originally. I just realized that as I was looking at the photos of the paintings.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Friday, November 21 found me painting with Melinda and Jody up in Morrison, CO. We were met by a friend of Melinda's, Lance. The four of us set up to paint the town church. Actually, Lance set up on the hillside behind us and painted us painting the church. I should have thought to have taken a photo of his painting to post. I am still a bit slow on thinking ahead of what I might want to post.
Melinda is a fast painter, and I have slowed down since I have been painting larger formats. I picked an 8"x10" for this painting so we would all be on the same page. Lance did a 12x16 and still finished with us all. Hmmm. I kept mine simple and I have not touched it up at all. I see things that would improve it but just haven't had the time.
After lunch we drove along hwy 8 and painted near the quarry. I was still not feeling on top of my game; I can be intimidated painting with new people sometimes and I think this was one of those times. I again chose a small format, and then wiped off the first attempt. the second attempt is okay; Strong shapes anyway. this is 8"x6."
Friday, November 21, 2008
Here is a painting I posted back in October, I believe. I painted it up on the road between Bergen Park and Mount Evans. I was not unhappy with it in its original state, but I felt I could improve upon it. This is one I tweaked on Saturday afternoon.I feel it is improved but there are those that would argue otherwise.
Being on a roll, I also touched up "Holy Cow" and "Cherry Vale Farm."
In Holy Cow I added the tree behind the mother's head, which I had intended to be there all along, and broke up the building shapes, which is also something I had originally wanted to do. to see the original posting: http://victoriasart.blogspot.com/2008/09/holy-cow-part-ii.html
In the Cherry Vale Farm painting I only lightened the roof, which had continued to bother me and I broke up the barn itself . Very minor adjustments.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Saturday morning I reworked a painting my daughter has. The original was painted in or around 2004 and it is, I hope, obviously, on the left. The pale green background just did not go with her new decor in her "new" apartment yet she still liked the painting and wanted it to fit in. I offered the option of repainting the background (phew!) to fit the color scheme, and luckily, the color scheme was a neutral gray blue. Perfect for improving this painting. I spent the morning on this as since I added texture to the background to match the texture in the blossoms, I also had to paint over the other flat areas, such as the leaves, bottle and table/paper. while I was at it, I orchestrated a few of the blossoms as well. Oh my, what fun.
I will save the afternoon's touch ups for another post. When one is having this much fun, one keeps going!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
In the afternoon, I did go out and work on finishing the Potting Bench, which as you recall, is 24" x 18" - a large painting for me. Here is where the painting is right now, and again, I see in the digital photo a few things that pop out and I will tweak.
If you go down to the entry of November 3 you can see this in its more unfinished state. My husband's comment on this painting was "it is a nice painting but I don't like the subject." I just noticed that I didn't get the hooks in that would help break up the space of the flat board in front. My intent was to do a still life with the pomegranates, which I did accomplish, and you will see that I do like to paint this particular fruit as the winter progresses and I am indoors more. These particular fruit were hand-carried by Richard from his brother's orchard in Vacaville.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
You have to love digital photography as an artist. As soon as you see the digital photo you see glaring "issues" with your painting, dispassionately. Or at least I sure do. In both of these finished pieces I see things I will most likely "fix." Minor changes, relatively speaking, but I think they will improve the work overall. In the top painting I am not liking the grasses and the foreground ridges of the flat ground. In the bottom painting the bales of hay in the upper left-hand corner are not reading well and also the crows on the barn are just at tad too dark in value. The foreground grass field may also require some attention. I am still, overall, very happy with the days work.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Today I met Pat in Louisville and we drove to Teller Farms. What an amazing location. We had perfect weather and I did two paintings that I will try to photograph tomorrow. FINISHED paintings, imagine that. I was beginning to wonder...
Monday, November 3, 2008
A bit of irony on this particular subject: our patio slants down towards the sidewalk so the potting bench is normally at a slant, not level. I put a piece of flagstone on the slope side to bring it up to level before starting this painting. Note that the potting bench is sloping towards the right. I must be so used to seeing it at an angle that even when it is straight, I can't see it that way. I plan to finish this up tomorrow afternoon if the weather holds.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I have not painted at all this weekend with so much going on around the homefront. All of us out of town last weekend and our daughter moving out next weekend I have had to go with other priorities.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Just for fun, I will also post a photo of my father-in-laws barn that I painted plein air the last time I was in Hopland in 2007. This barn did house sheep, goats and if I remember correctly some pigs at varying points in time before he gave up: the mountain lions won.
And his neighbor up the hill and friend, Lou's vineyard, which I had painted a study of on site and then painted the following 12"x16" Ravano's Vineyard:
You can't help but love the rolling hills of northern California. May you Rest in Peace, Dorothy.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I am thinking that the problem with photographing this painting is its size- or it could just be me. But you can still see how much I changed it from the first try at adding color; I decided to play with breaking up all the grass. I am much happier with the new color on the chairs. I also darkened the house on the right and lightened the house in the middle. Not using any reference frees you up to orchestrate the painting. I missed the follow-up class critique for this exercise because I so wanted to paint the fall colors at Big Bend while it lasted. I did show the painting to Kevin this past Saturday and his comment was: I lost the local tone aspect of it. Especially on the two buildings towards the right and my grass, sigh. Which translates to: the value shift from one side of the building to the other is too great. Those buildings are reading as light and shadow. The original B&W version had basically three values and I have gotten away from that. Local tone essentially flattens out a scene. Back to the drawing board. Luckily, this was a test run and I still have two other B&W paintings to add color to.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Jeannie still wanted to work on her painting and I felt I was finished with mine, so Fritz and I went wandering. Since she had an hour to go before leaving, I found a spot up the trail and did the painting below, Blaze of Color, 8"x6".
Friday, October 10, 2008
We headed back towards town, stopping at the Audoban Center at Chatfield Resevoir to see what the colors there might be. It was noon, and though pretty, I did not feel like hauling my gear that far for what was there at that time of day. Fritz and I took a walk along the loop. It was a nice break.
At home, I remembered an old painting that had been done about this time of year in the backyard. Perfect! I painted over the old painting (ie 2002), keeping the existing structure even though I had moved a plant or two in the meantime. The white rose is now to the right of the mums. The plum tree had gotten bigger (imagine that!) so I had moved the rose a few years back to give them both more room to grow. It was nice to paint the scene from life over the old painting - usually I am lucky to find the photo reference! This photographed on the dark side.