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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Painting From Hell

Looking back at my first year of posts on this blog, you would think I am never satisfied with any work I do. But that is truly not the case. I just always leave room for improvement. This painting, however, has been one that I do call The Painting from Hell. I started it over a year ago for one of Kevin's Saturday class assignments. I was happy with the block-in, but from there it went totally down hill. Every now and again I would pull it out and look at it and shake my head. How it did not end up in the trash is beyond me, because I know I gave it careful consideration.

Working with the gray "mother" color for Kevin's class in October, and his suggesting we continue working on that theme until January, I thought this was a good candidate for that assignment. It was a wet, foggy morning so one way to achieve that would be with gray added to every color. I ended up using the sludge from the bottom of my brush cleaning can, as he had mentioned that some artists will do that. It is more brownish than gray but the theory is the same. I am no longer embarrassed to show this piece and I will report back after class next Saturday to see what the critique yields. Just the look on my husband's face after I showed him the new and improved painting was enough to tell me I was on the right track. And then he wanted to see it in a frame (I have not done that yet) made me a feel yet more encouraged. He, of all people, knows my struggles and I think he may have even agreed that if it went in the trash it would be no loss. I am sure Kevin will give me some sage advice to improve it yet again. Gotta love the process.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Antiquerra, Spain revisited

Here is an interesting progression I have been working on when not feeling like painting on the works in progress lined up in my studio. I went through some of my older paintings and found the painting below in the stack. I have always had a warm spot for this particular piece even though I have never been satisfied with it. I added the dumpster back in - and using the photo reference, changed the shadows. I also added the vehicles and lamppost for more visual interest. Feels more complete. The version above I did in 2007 trying to salvage the scene, but I think I did more harm than good, and taking out the dumpster and the driveway just left a very bare and boring foreground.

I was in Spain painting a few years ago and the bus stopped atop a knoll over looking Antiquerra. We were literally parked next to the city dump, but there was a wonderful view of the town. That view was a bit overwhelming to me at the time, and there were 60+ people lined up to paint it, so I went back to the bus to find some shade. The door to the "hold" was open and provided a great seat with shade, but the only view was of the end of this little street with a trash can. So that is what I attempted to capture. My relative relationships were not very good, to say the least. I had run out of film (hadn't gone digital yet) so I borrowed someone's polaroid (now this is seeming very dated) and took a not very good photo of the scene.

Its been awhile

This holiday season saw a few things happening that have kept me from doing much computer work. First, we signed a contract to remodel our kitchen, with work to start on Dec7. The next week, on Thanksgiving Day, my laptop died. I just could not focus on replacing my laptop with having to move everything out of the kitchen and keep some of it handy for use during the two week remodeling. The second week into the project, my husbands car died. I have not had the inclination to do much in the studio, with having to make so many other decisions. That is not to say my mind and brush have been idle. Just quieter than usual. I did go out and paint on Christmas Eve Day, at my favorite little park. I am not overly thrilled with the piece but I was blinded by the light reflecting off the freshly fallen snow. I am not making excuses, just observations. I will post it for everyone to make their own assessment. Now that I have a new laptop up and running and am using the trial version of photoshop CS4 for a month, I will get some photos taken.

I also have been reworking some older pieces, all of which are in varying states of "work in progress." On that note, I would like to post from an article I just read written by Ron Riddick.

"As a great teacher once expressed to me "no great masterpiece ever just hastily happened." There was great searching, questioning, working, reworking, caressing, redefining and patience."
Through my reworking of older pieces, I don't expect a great masterpiece, but I do learn so much and I can't help but believe, I have improved both myself and the painting. In sharing both my triumphs and my not so successful works, I hope to strike a chord within each of you. We are all "works in progess" after all.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Harvard Gulch Park revisited

Thanksgiving Day was such a beautiful day, that I went to Harvard Gulch with some older field sketches I had done a few years ago. It seemed easier than doing another painting from scratch in the limited time I had before going to dinner. The scene, of the 5th hole of a 9 hole golf course, hasn't changed that much and I wanted to simplify and unite the shapes and clean up the relative relationships.
November 26, 2009

January 2007

November 26, 2009

December 2006
It wasn't that I thought these two studies were "bad" but they were "busy." The vertical painting is not quite finished but the light had changed so drastically I had to call it quits for the day. I sure like the violet mountains in the original...and the footprints in the snow. I may have to put those back in after the snow from today's storm begins to melt... I now consider any painting fair game to be called a work in progress... These paintings are 9x6 for the horizontal and 6x8 for the vertical.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

An interesting development Notice that I won Judge's Choice award for my painting High, Wide and Lonesome. I am honored to have been one of the few chosen and to know that my "voice" or view, resonates with others. Artists from all over the world participated in the Facebook challenge. What fun!