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Monday, September 15, 2014

Texture and Paint Quality - painting without a brush

Anyway you turn looks interesting...and reads well

oil on linen panel, 11x14, Abstraction
Here is an exercise in paint quality. What is meant by that is the texture of the paint applied. I have had a tendency to paint fairly thin over the years. I have been working on a more painterly approach the past year or so but this exercise was helpful as it took me out of my comfort zone in not using a brush. One does get attached to painting with a brush! The tools used to apply paint to canvas were: a credit card, a putty knife, oil sticks and a plastic tool used in printmaking. I had some old paint on my palette that was not quite dry but had started to dry and I used that in places (notice the "white block toward the center) with those flat edges to get some interesting textures.

Painting a "non-subject" does not come easily to me but I did find this freeing in a way. It is also harder in that there is no subject to rely on. I had to think of varying the shapes, the colors and the values to make something pleasing and interesting. I was quite stunned when my husband asked to see it and then said he liked it and liked it whichever way I turned it. Now that is high praise! My daughter also likes it and the two images above are her preferred directions.

In case you are curious, the original way this was painted is husband wants me to frame it but I can't decide which direction. I am open to suggestions. Let's go with 1, 2 or 3 in the order they are posted.Thanks!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Day on the Delta

Locke, CA, 20x16, oil on canvas
I heard about the "town" of Locke, CA through a plein air workshop a friend of mine went to called Delta Funk. It is put on through a local gallery in the area. On a visit to family I was able to take a day trip to some of the towns that are included to explore the funk around the Delta towns of Sacramento. Locke is a small China Town, built by and for the local Chinese of the time (early 20th century). It contains only a few blocks but it did fit the bill for a funky little town. I took quite a few photos for reference, this being the first view I have chosen to paint. I have another view of this covered walkway from the other end of it that I want to do as a companion piece.
The day we were there it was dead as you can see, but I was told it was packed on the weekends.

I started this painting two years ago and finally brought it out again this summer, determined as I was to not start anything new before trying to finish up some of those I had left hanging out there. It technically is a light and shadow painting but I painted it as flat local tone because most of it is in shadow with reflected light bouncing in.