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Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 6 and 9 combined

Day 6, 6x4, Thread oil on linen

Day 9, 6x4, Vernia's Thread, oil on linen
I did Day 6 in 15" and decided after looking at it for a few days that I wanted to make a painting out of it. I tried a new set-up for it. The first one I had the spool sitting on a canvas board with my MAC laptop showing silver in the top corner. I pulled out a dish towel for the second, upgraded version. I tried to paint the "finished" spool of thread in 15" but I did go over that time. Still, I don't really want 365 rough sketches laying around the house so I may do more of these duplicate studies as I go along. I have never done thread spools before but I may look into doing a few more. I have more wooden spools to play with but I did like the large size of this one and the nice slope to it. I found this when my elderly neighbors belongings were being boxed up and given to ARC. I was told to take what I wanted and I saw this spool sitting on top of a box of sewing sundry items with the needle in place. Perfect little model for a quick study. I also found an iron from the 1930's I think. It will also be put in the role of a model.

Birger Sandzen at the Colorado Springs Art Museum

Cedar and Rocks by Birger Sandzen
For those of you who don't get or read my newsletter, I wanted to be sure you are aware of a wonderful opportunity to view one of the more colorful exhibits to come our way: the Birger Sandzen exhibit at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. 66 paintings, watercolors and drawings are on view through January 8, 2012.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 7 is Eggplant - 15" study

Day 7, Eggplant #4 oil on watercolor paper
I am finding 6x8 a little rough to get done in 15" so I found some watercolor postcards that are 4x6. I am going to use them up until I get a bit faster. It was fun painting on this cold press surface and it took the oil well. No oil leakage through the paper. I am not past the eggplant stage yet as they are really fun to paint. I have one more I hope to do before I move on. Now that the garden has been nipped, there are no more to be harvested. It has taken me about two weeks to do 8 days, so I am not yet actually doing one a day. Whatever works!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vincent Van Gogh - new theory on how he died

Vincent Van Gogh, one of many self-portraits
A co-worker mentioned last Monday that he had seen a very interesting "60 Minutes" episode on Sunday night. Serendipitously, I found it while following another, work-related story. I must say, I am happy to have watched this as I have read more about Vincent Van Gogh than probably any other artist and it never "sat right" that he would kill himself. If you have a half hour, I would recommend watching the two parts posted on CBS's website. Or look for the October 16th segment of "60 Minutes." I went to Auvers-sur-Oise 4 years ago and it is true. It would have been very difficult for a gut shot man to walk down the hill from the wheat fields to his room in the center of town. I walked it. It is still a very quaint, old world town. If you are ever in Paris I highly recommend a side trip to Auvers. We saw very few tourists there (less than 5); We had the Chateau Auvers to ourselves and it was one of the most memorable museums I have been to.
This show also leaves you feeling sad; Vincent not only had no friends but his own mother turned against him.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

# 3 - Eggplant

Day 3 Eggplant, 8x6, 20" study on canvas board
Eggplant is always fun to paint. The rich colors in one little homely shape-but oh what interesting shapes they all have. I only have 6x8" panels as my smallest size on hand and this one did go over the 15" - I just wanted to carve out the shapes of the crown (can't really call them "leaves" and I don't know the proper term for the eggplant cap.)
I noticed that inadvertently I have a color thing going on here. Red tomato, Yellow pear and now Purple eggplant. I did paint eggplant for the next 2 days which I will not be posting.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

15 minute paintings Day 2 - bartlett pear

Pear Study, 7x5 done in 15 Minutes
Pears are by far one of my most favorite subjects. I paint them not only when they are in season but when I travel it is the first fruit I gravitate to at the market. I have a travelogue of Pears where others do landscapes. Day 2 found me with a 5x7 panel. Those extra inches mean keep it simple!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 1 is a beautiful heirloom tomato

1. Mr Stripey, 4x6, 15" study
I read a blog post last weekend in which the author had just attended an art workshop. He had garnered from it the discipline of doing a 15" painting every day for 365 days. I have attempted variations on that theme on and off over the years, never making it the whole year, but always gaining something from it. One of the best life drawing classes I have ever taken involved painting the model in motion for a half hour. Then getting 30 seconds poses, a minute, and by the time we had the 5" poses it seemed like a plethora of time; all this in 3 hours. I was always exhausted at the end of the evening but the exercise itself was invaluable. Don't get hung up on the details!
So, I have started this regime again. Here is #1. I may not make it to 365 days but that is okay. For now it is working to loosen me up after spending so much time getting ready for the museum show. I have missed painting plein air. This exercise will get me warmed up for that. Luckily we have the last of the garden produce to get me started. I grabbed this heirloom tomato off the counter.
I will not critique these as they are not meant to be "serious" works. I usually love these studies the best, though.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Prairie Glow Work in Progress

Prairie Glow, 18x36, oil in progress
I first saw this scene 6 years ago and it has haunted me every since. This past August found me back there once again. This is the view of my boss's in-laws property from his property on the prairie lands of NE Colorado. The setting sun lit everything with this pinkish orange-y glow which I have thus far only intimated at. I got to this point a few weeks ago and have not been inspired to finish it off quite yet. There will be a beautiful highlight of light separating the purple cloud from the blue sky; I have a fence to build and a few more horses grazing in the shadows of the hillside (I am still debating whether they are needed or not-the fence may be all that is needed). Then I want to add the rosy light in a more unified pattern throughout.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Reflected Alley Work in Progress

Reflected Alley, 36x24, oil painting in progress
"The real jolt comes...because the viewer becomes lost in the sheer beauty of it. The painting gives a person an experience of the eternal." I read this last night in a novel I am reading and it so captured how I think about my work. To capture the eternal...Wow!

I worked on this painting this weekend. Made progress and it is heading in the right direction. I have not yet been  able to jump back into painting with gusto, but the passion is still there when I do stand at my easel. The building blocks are coming together (ie the big shapes are all there now and I am starting to work on breaking them down into smaller shapes which will then reveal themselves as "details.") I like the freshness showing already in this painting of how it looks after a spring rain when the sun comes out. Glorious!