Friday, October 30, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Oil on Canvas Board, 8"x10"
I tried to paint faster this week without a marked difference and am reminded that things just take as long as they take. I arranged the yellow paper, unrolled like a photographer would do. My aim was to create smooth background without a break between the back wall and the table top. It seemed to cause more issues for me than it solved.
The light green jar was a junk store treasure purchased for its beauty and for no other reason. It held seashells on top of the fridge for a couple of years before it made the cut for a still life. The feathers, well, you know I found them. I have no shame about stooping to pick up a feather from the ground, just like my Ukranian Bobba had no shame for stooping to pick up a penny or a nickel. The dark green bowl is something left behind when one of my dear daughters moved out. There is just the suggestion of my own reflection in the centre of that bowl.
Thanks for stopping by to take a look. Painters are invited make suggestions; I accept not only compliments, but input.
PS I've written about three different posts before this one, full of wisdom about finding my voice as an artist and my ruminations about style. I left them unfnished, on the metaphorical cutting room floor and instead just wrote about the painting. That is probably best.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Acrylic on Canvas
16" x 20"
Earlier in this century I went on a memorable vacation that included some biking along Highway 101 on the Oregon coast. Last week, I dug out some photos from that trip - they were taken on film! How quaint. This painting is based on one of the photos taken near Yachats, somewhere between Newport and Florence for those of you in the know or those who care to Google it. The road curved and rose and dipped down to the ocean and back up over the peaks. While I painted this, I had great memories of cycling in the moist sea air with that awe inspiring view of beach and ocean.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
High Tide on the Nicomekl River
Acrylic on Canvas 11" x 14"
The weekend workshop hosted by the Federation of Canadian Artists featuring Robert Genn, with guest artist Alan Wylie, was three days full of information, painting exercises, demonstrations and entertainment. Ocean Park Hall in Whiterock was just big enough to hold the 25 enthusiastic artists in attendance. We had the double doors flung wide open, sun streaming into the room and Genn's friendly dog, Dorothy, wandering around amongst us. The dog seemed to have radar for detecting when her master stepped out for even a moment; she would immediately start whining pathetically. Several of us women would go Aaaaah. Genn would re-enter the room and say "Pull yourself together!" I am pretty sure he was talking to Dorothy.
But... the weekend was a roller coaster for me. By attending workshops, we sensitive artists, open ourselves up to the growing pains that come with change and improvement. I laughed and I cried (or felt like it). I embraced change and I balked at it. One afternoon, I felt like my paintings were wonderful and another day I was sure that I do not know how to paint at all. In time, I will digest all the input, decide what is right for me and take a pass the things that don't fit. Here are my take-aways (I do love a good list).
Be generous with the amount of paint you use. If you are worried about cost, buy cheap paint, it works too.
Commit with each stroke with the full knowledge that you can change things. With acrylics, no one will know what mistakes are on the paint layers below.
Let the hand of the artist show in the painting.
Paint the foreground first, get it right, then work back through the other layers.
Try for more than two or three layers in the composition, try four or five or more. Foreground, mid foreground, mid-ground, mid/background, background, sky.
Be free to change things you see to make them work, don't be slavishly bound to the source. Let the painting speak to you.
Three sources for content : what you see, your own references, what you create in your mind.
Let go of the details, simplify, simplify, simplify (Shelley)
When deciding on a gallery to handle your paintings, contact some of the artists whose work is there already and get their scoop.
Three Bonus Take-Aways from Other Artists