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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Exciting Block Ins - or How I love the Block in process

After a month of no inspiration or even thinking much about painting in any way, I started with three, no four, block ins within 3 days. So exciting and excited to be off to a good start. Only one has been moved past the block in stage so it will get its own post shortly.

The first one was inspired by an artist I discovered via a share by a FB friend. The artist is Leonhard Lehmann, a contemporary Austrian artist. His abstracted scenes really drew me in and reminded me somewhat of California artist, Richard Diebenkorn. This is a direction I would like to go more towards. It isn't hard for me to do this in the block in stage but as I go forward, I tightened down no matter what I see in my minds eye. Here is the piece that broke my month long hiatus due to life circumstances.
Road Ribbon, 18x24, oil on linen panel. Block in stage
A week ago, late in the day, I went to my easel and got the canvas covered in about an hour or so. Just goes to show what you can do when you are motivated. The weekend before I had gone up to Fraser to house sit for a friend of mine. This is the county road heading to his house off of HWY 40. The field off to the right was full of hay bales. Looking this direction was looking into the sun so the colors are dark and muted. I turned around and shot a photo of the road I had just traveled and it is full of light - almost a night and day study. I used colors in this block in that I want to use in layering but they are growing on me so who knows what will happen once I get going on it. What drew me to this scene is that I feel I can play with the colors and the large shapes down to smaller shapes. The rectangles, circles and triangles. It comes across to me already as abstracted shapes so I am wanting to keep it that way while also playing with the colors and not so much thinking about the colors as they are in the image.

The next morning, I decided to start a companion piece to the one above and paint the hay bales in the field. I took a number of shots of this field at different times of day, but I settled on this one due to its repetitious shapes. The hills repeat the rounded shapes of the hay bales and I also like the lines leading the eye into a Zig Zag through the fields and the houses into the foothills.

Since I am looking at this scene with my back to the sun, you can see how bright it is going to be relative to the scene above. These were both shot between 5:30 and 6 pm.
Hay bales, 18x24, oil on linen panel. Block in stage
Today, I started to work on top of the block in of the hay bales and it is coming along nicely. I also started a small one of the road. Who'd have thought a country road could be so inspiring...or just what I needed?

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Venice Crossroads -

Venice Crossroads, 30x30, oil on linen, available
Motivated by my recent visit to Tuscany, I pulled this painting out of the closest. It isn't that I didn't like this painting as it was; There was a lot I liked about it. It just felt a bit too dull for me. Even if it was overcast while I was in Venice 3 years ago, it was brighter in my memory than I had painted it.
Rereading the original blog post is always interesting! I don't disagree with any of it but I had been working on it then for almost a year. So there is no limit of time when I don't feel reworking a piece is called for.
In the painting below from two years ago I was going for a more local tone approach even though there was a sliver of light coming down. I am still going for the same thing but I added a bit of brightness to the colors and not as much atmosphere. I also reworked all the figures and gave them a bit more personality, yet not pulling anyone out. I defined the chairs and table a bit more showing more of the light hitting them. I think it aids the movement I want to create through the painting. A few areas got broken down a bit more. I ended up doing a bit more than I had expected as once you get started you see all kinds of things that need tweaking.

Venice Crossroads, original, 30x30, oil on linen