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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Spanish Sheep Market Circa 1962

the Art of the Deal, Sheep Market, Spain, Circa 1962; oil on panel, 18x24

Here is my latest painting shown below as a work in progress.  I had wanted to do this in a square format but I did not have that sized surface ready when I was ready to go. The image used for this painting was from a slide that was turning orange that I had made into a digital image at Costco. My mother took the photo circa 1962 in Spain. The men at this sheep sale make me think of the Basque but according to her note it was just north of Barcelona, a place now known for its beaches. I was attracted to this image for a number of reason. I liked the composition; I liked the subject and I appreciated the group of men doing business. Each of them taking a unique stand, as it were. Something about a wet gray day and fairly flat light attracts me.

Sketching in on the canvas with colored pencil

Starting the big shape block in

Working on unifying the dark shapes

First wave of color in big shapes

Second wave of big shape value correction

Fine tuning figures and values, 18x24, oil on panel
I am struggling with a name for this painting; The Art of the Deal; Market Shares-Sheep Trading; Deals Going Down; Your thoughts?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Green on Green

You might ask, why do I keep painting over old works? Do I not have clean canvas's to start anew? Sometimes, yes I am out of a certain size of canvas or board so I scrounge for a piece that can be sacrificed for the greater good. Other times I choose to use an old painting because it is not worth saving in my opinion and I want to have the colors to come through on the new painting. A quick way to layer color, in other words.
Developing stage 1
Wishing to once more play around with bottles of varying colors of green, I started this piece over an old study I had done awhile back for a larger painting. (See bicycle with balloons below) I wanted to keep some of the color coming through.
Developing stage 2-getting some darks in
I began with a piece of greenish blue rice paper that I set down on the table. I then found 5 greenish bottles out of my collection that worked well together. To block out the background I put up the Japanese doll screen and used the back as the backdrop. It is a light greenish neutral color. Loosely sketching in the bottles I then used blocks of color to quickly block out the distracting balloons and bicycle leaving bits of color and line to show through. Really liking it at this stage and wondering how far do I want to take it?
Stage 3-more form
Proceeding rather cautiously at this stage as I cannot decide what to leave or what to cover. In person, I like the stripes going across the gold label on the right. But in the photos posted here, I am not liking them much. Overall, I do like the way the painting is right now and do not want to get too far along and ruin the energy it has. Any comments on that? Should I leave the line between the bottles on either side and the one in the middle (my sketching guideline)? Does it add to the composition or detract from it?
Green Bottles, 14x11, oil on panel
Writing out my thoughts in questions really helped me decide what I wanted to do. As you can see in the finished painting, I took out the sketching guide although there is a hint of it left. The dark lines across the bottle on the right also came out but not in the background. I should have been able to paint this in one sitting, but I took my time on it so that the likelihood of me getting carried away might be tempered.  Working on it in small bite-sized pieces.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Castlewood Canyon Parking Lot

The Bird Box, oil on panel, 8x10

My daughter and I had planned to go hiking yesterday at Castlewood Canyon State Park near Franktown. Unfortunately as the time drew near to leave I realized that would not be in the best interest of my knee, which is giving me problems. So she and my husband hiked, and I took my paints along to enjoy being outside on a glorious winter day.

The top one came first. This was not what I had intended when I began. My original idea was to make it more abstract and flat. The textures in the grass got the better of me as the wind kept them moving the whole time I was out there. I see now some things that will be altered from this field sketch such as the dark green at the bottom. That needs to be softened down to be as one with the rest of the field.
Plains Study, oil on panel, 6x8
This second smaller study I was going again for flat color but the undulations of the sky and the fields come through. I hesitated to add the photo with my painting as I see so many accomplished plein air painters do this and their painting looks just like the scene they painted. I can't say the same for me...That field looks mighty monotone and mono color compared to what I 'saw.'

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Hideout Teepee

I am a bit behind these days; I am sure the break is as welcome for you as it is for me!
The Hideout, 8x8 oil

Last Saturday I went out plein air painting again. Oh my. Will this become a regular thing again? Who can withstand the call of being in the beautiful outdoors doing the one thing you love even on an off day?

It was a new location for me, being almost to Castlewood Canyon off Parker Road. Called Hidden Mesa Open Space (part of the city of Castle Rock). I saw so many great scenes I would have enjoyed painting on my way back to my car! I must remember to pay more attention when out scouting for a scene to put to canvas. So much to think about. Be that as it may, I did find a a little spot to sit for spell and did this small sketch. I discovered this little lean to someone had very meticulously built at the base of these willows. I don't normally like to sit when painting plein air but it was necessary this day so I wanted to focus on something close up and not a broad landscape view. There was a picnic bench nearby and a trail where some one or a number of people must come here. It is not seen from the main trail that takes you back to Cherry Creek and the walk along the mesas. It may not look that big from this sketch but I would think two kids or one adult could sit in there comfortably. I did  not go in to see the insides.