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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Abstracted Dawn - Migennes

Block in, 18x24

Seriously blocking in.
I decided to paint over a bad abstract painting and let the colors from that painting peak through the new image. I wanted to see if I can come close to the effect that Richard Diebenkorn was so amazing at doing. Layering. Layering my paint is something I am working on and this seemed an easy way to get me going in that direction.
I like how this came out although it is a far cry from where I hope to get to. I have scavenged more paintings from yesteryear to play with this concept.
Dawn in Migenes, France; 18x24, oil
Migennes is a town on the L'Yonne River in Burgundy, France. We were there to pick up our boat to explore the river for a week. This was myy sister's idea on how to spend her 50th birthday. The boat came with an operating manual and the men took turns being captain. Timing was everything as there are locks on this river and the lock keepers are state employees. That meant that we had to be through the locks by a certain time or you were stuck until morning. Below is "our" boat with my sister talking to one of the lock keepers. I got pretty good at tying the boat when we docked and then recoiling the rope after we cast off.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Windswept, 9x12, oil on linen
A fun little painting I did last week. I was playing with texture. I used a different brush size for each of the main components. i.e., a big brush for the sky, a medium brush for the tree and a small brush for the grass. For the path I used the large brush first and them the small brush. The exercise was to equalize the texture within any given area. That is why the pattern in the grass is a different pattern or texture than the greenery of the tree or the ocean or sky.

The scene is the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean at Half Moon Bay, California. We were there for Easter and a walk on the beach seemed so perfect. It was a beautiful day, though still a bit chilly. The cliffs are so amazing. I hope to do at least one painting of the cliffs. Here is an image of these same cliffs viewed from the beach although the photo is a bit north of where the tree was. The painting I highlighted in this recent post was also painted from our walk that day. I do love being on a beach no matter what the weather. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sunday Morning-Dun Laoghaire side street

Sunday Morning Side Street, 30x24, oil on linen
We don't often think of Ireland being sunny, but here is an example of a beautiful, quiet Sunday morning in the coastal town of Dun Laoghaire which is just south of Dublin by commuter train. It is pronounced Dun Leary I learned when I was trying to catch the train and I was making sure I was on the right side of the tracks. My sense of direction was not tuned to the area yet. It was not that early in the morning but I felt like I had the town to myself as I wandered around. Although the sun was out it was quite chilly near the water so I explored the town first. 

This little street scene reads more like an alley but it was a street as you can see by the stop signs. I was attracted to it because of all the colors. and repeating shapes. Pink, green, blue, yellow and that great terracotta in the sun at the end of the road. I was in Ireland in March but the planter boxes were already green and flowering.

The visual approach for this painting is light and shadow. This is my first painting from Ireland but I do intend to do more.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Young Artist at Work in black and white

4. Young Artist, color started; 5. above finished dark/light pattern
3. block in for painting, 24x18, oil on pane.

2. Study for Young Artist, 9x12, oil on panel
1. study for Young Artist, graphite on paper

  1. This was my first attempt at a dark/light pattern for this painting. (In doing a dark/light pattern you have to think of the mediums values going either towards the dark or towards the light while maintaining a good flow to the pattern created.) In this version I joined the stool and the taboret (artist storage shelves) together and it seemed too heavy, not enough pattern, even though the colors of the two are very closely matched which made me think to tie them together.
  2. In the small oil study I carved the stool she is holding on to out of the dark shape and also a tube of paint that is standing up on the lower shelf within the shape of the legs of the stool. I decided I had to leave parts of the legs tied to the dark pattern and I am liking #2 better. 
  3. On the full sized board I decided to start the color version with a black and white block in to help keep me within the pattern I had created. I added on more section of the fourth leg into the light pattern but I am not convinced it will stay there. At this point in time, I don't think it adds anything to the whole. 
  4. Here I am starting to add color. In the dark recesses of the taboret is dark blueish red, which reads as a dark as does the blue black of her jeans. Distinct color shifts but not value shifts. This is not going to be a "color filled" painting overall, but you can see what color does to the overall image already. Her shirt is a solid black but I was leaving the black of her shirt that is in the light separate for the subtle value shift that will come. This is just where I ended my day.
  5. This is the completed dark/light pattern although technically I would force a few more areas now that I see the photograph. In the light hitting her shoulder for one. I forgot to go back in and tone that down. It is now too late as I am moving it into a local tone painting. Stay tuned!