Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
So...I've always been horrible at sales. Err, selling my own goods/services anyway. I'm too honest for my own good - I'll tell you if I don't like a painting I've done, or if I'm no good at this or that. I've had to be careful here not to say which paintings I'm not happy with - or should I even say that???
That said, this painting has bothered me all day. And I finally figured out why. My mother made this cup, and it's green on the outside, blue on the inside, and white around the rim. But the white on the rim is a little confusing I think when it's painted from this angle. Or is it? I don't know... That and the fabric doesn't recede...there I've said it. So shoot me.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Every once in a while a painting just falls onto the canvas, without effort. Those are the most enjoyable, and ... this was one of them. Sometimes they even begin to compensate for all the bad starts and lousy finishes.
It makes me wonder ... would painting be worth it if we didn't have these magical moments?
Sunday, June 24, 2007
I hope you can tell that the fabric to the left of the apples is sheer. It was a challenge but really fun to paint. My favorite thing about painting is when an illusion is successfully pulled off. Really all realistic painting is an illusion - you're taking a 2D medium and creating the illusion of something 3D. Really, I like to think of myself of as a magician. :)
My workshop in Round Rock (15 min. from Austin) is official! July 28th and 29th, it will be an intensive 2-day workshop on all aspects of daily painting, from design basics, color mixing/theory and composition to blogging and ebay. If you are interested in attending, please visit the Williamson County Art Center's website, and click on "adult workshops." They require a $25 deposit to hold your spot, and I'm only taking 12 people, so sign up quick. If you have any questions, please let me know - leave a comment or email me.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Ok, so you might think this is cheating, but I didn't paint at all today. I took a little break. Not that I didn't want to paint, just that I wanted MORE to sit on the couch and do nothing...err, watch tv (during my 2 hours of freedom, AKA Jacob's nap). It was nice actually. So these garlic bulbs are from yesterday. I really like the part where the fabric disappears under the shadow of the plate. The plate is one my mom made for me - a saucer for a cup - perfect for 3 garlic bulbs.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I remember vividly playing hide and seek as a kid, and this set-up reminded me of it. My favorite part is the apple on the right. There's something about it...
I was doing some research yesterday, for my workshops, about the rule of thirds vs. the golden section. They're actually a bit different, but most art books/sites talk about them as if they were the same. I would appreciate any insight on this from other artists. Personally I think they're close enough, and art loose enough, for it not to matter much, but it's interesting nonetheless.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Someone asked me today about photographing my work for the web. I haven't yet found a set-up with lights that works for me (but then I haven't tried very hard). I take all my photos outside. I have a spot that works every time, as long as the sun is out.
This is how I found it: I went outside and looked for a place in open shade (not closed in and dark). My perfect spot is in front of my house, on the porch. The house is white limestone, and so is light all the time, even in shade. I lean my painting against a collumn and place it so that it doesn't face any light, or harsh reflected light. So, it can't face the sky, or a window reflecting the sky, for example, or else you will get lots of glare. A trick is to walk around with your painting at arms length, and when you don't see any glare on it, put it down right there and take a picture. You want to photograph it as square to the camera as possible, and you'll want to zoom in a bit from wide angle. If it is a mostly light painting, fill the frame with the painting. If it is mostly dark, back up a little until what you see on the LCD panel is right (it'll get washed out the closer you get - but you don't want to be too far away either as it'll get too dark).
My husband just showed me a new idea he found on-line for basically recreating the lighting situation I have on my porch. It's a worth a try - check it out (scroll down a bit and check out the box with vellum on the sides). The website shows using the lightbox with a flash, but any strong "white" light will do, even the sun.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
So, I'm not sure if I've already talked about this, but there is one thing I learned within the last few years that really clicked for me, and I thought I'd share it. I was reading Harley Brown's Eternal Truth's for Every Artist, (which I recommend), and he has a whole section about needing a dominant color in every painting. I had never thought about this, but it made so much sense to me. It seems like it would really pull the whole thing together.
I think this painting is a clear example of this idea. I tend to enjoy using the compliement of that dominant color for the main element(s). In this case I am using the Munsell wheel version of compliments - turquoise as my dominant color, and red as the compliment.
Monday, June 18, 2007
I'm really liking the dots reflecting off the sides of these cups. It makes me think about focus.
If the focus of this painting is the tomato, then why am I so drawn to the reflecting dots? And did I spend as much time on the reflecting dots as I did on the tomato? Probably more.
I used to do portraits, and they tended to take many days. Once I was working on a rather complicated portrait of two young boys. They were sitting on a bike, and it wasn't quite full figure, but close to it. I spent the first day working on the clothes of one boy. A friend came over and I said "I'm so happy with how the pants turned out." She laughed and said, "but that's not even the important part."
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
I did the unthinkable - I bought a smaller brush. I don't know why I was so hesitant...maybe because I used to get SO caught up in the details, too soon, that I missed out on the larger picture. At any rate, I made sure I laid in the whole painting with my larger brushes before I got into any detail work. The small brush was especially useful for the tomatoe stems, which I had a lot of fun putting in.
Friday, June 15, 2007
My peaches are finally turning, so this will be the last of them.
I went and checked out the spot for my Austin (Round Rock) workshop today. It'll be at the Williamson County Art Center on the 28th and 29th of July (Sat-Sun). I will post more details here and on my regular website when I have them.
A new daily painter has come on the scene, and he's really good. His name is Aaron Lifferth. Check him out.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I used a different light for this setup. For the previous 3 I used a soft daylight bulb. For this I used a spotlight, which is a bit more yellow. I like the long shadows and the strong orange against blue, but I lost a little bit of the subtle fuzz look.
Today I met one of my favorite daily painters - Justin Clayton. His work inspired me to begin my own daily paintings. I watched him begin a lovely figure painting, and then proceeded to talk his ear off until he had no time left to paint - sorry Justin!!! I think one of the greatest parts of this blog is getting to meet all kinds of neat people - in person and via email.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Usually the more I paint something, the easier it gets. I swear these peaches are getting harder. Errr, they're actually getting softer...but you know what I mean.
A new art buddy of mine sent me a link to a great artist I'd not heard of before. His name is Dik Liu, and if you click on his name you'll see a few of his portraits and still lives. He has a very interesting style.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
You guessed it - peaches again. It is summer in the Texas hillcountry and the peaches are overflowing. Expect them to continue - at least until I get sick of them.
Peaches are a real challenge for me to paint. I am used to shiny objects and easy highlights to pull it all together. Peaches are fuzzy and have subtle color transitions. I really liked the purple here, and tried to pull out the green in the peaches to compliment the purple. Someone asked me once if I always think about color schemes when I start a painting. I do. Mostly I go by instinct, but I have found that if I add a compliment to the dominant color somewhere in the painting, even if subtle (or not) it is more successful.
Monday, June 11, 2007
There were two things that struck me about this arrangement and made me want to paint it: 1. the contrast between the shiny cup and the satin peaches, and 2. the reflected lines on the green cup made by the striped fabric.
I swung back to impressionistic today. Thanks to you all who left comments on yesterday's post saying you understood about my conflict between painting realism and more suggestive painting. It is so good to hear I'm not TOTALLY insane, and that others relate.
Something came to me while I was painting this. Color is relative. You may look at a color in your setup and think "oh that's blue." But sometimes it's only blue in relation to colors right around it. A trick I use is to start with the color right around it and think to myself..."ok that color is MORE blue than this, so I'll add some blue and try it out." Even still, sometimes the real color can be kind of boring so I tend to exaggerate. I have found that if I keep the value accurate, I can experiment more with the color.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Sometimes I'm torn between rendering things realistically and getting more impressionistic with my paint. You can see here that I'm leaning towards real today. Maybe it's a mood thing. Or maybe I'm just being lazy. I think I tend towards real most of the time, and have to force myself to impress...errr get crazy with my paint. It takes more of my brain to suggest things, but then I think those are the more successful paintings. That said, once in a while, I like to paint something and have someone say "wow, that looks real." I think that's why I started doing art in the first place - my friends thought it was cool I could draw realistically and I enjoyed the attention. :) My goal is for suggesting things with paint to become second nature, rather than just simply rendering. Anyone else experience this, or is it just me??? Am I making any sense? Now that's the real question. :)
Friday, June 08, 2007
I got some new material at the fabric store today, some darker peices, and thought I'd try a couple out here. Fabric is a real challenge to paint, but I enjoy it.
I'm going camping with my family this weekend, starting today. We are going to Bastrop State Park, which is conveniently only about 40 minutes away. The trees are very tall, and mostly pine - I think. I love trees. I will hopefully get some time to plot out the structure of my workshop - errr, workshops. I have been invited to teach a workshop in October in Sacramento, CA. I'm also considering giving a workshop in Austin this summer. I'll post that information here when the details are worked out.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
I guess this is what you would call a monocromatic color scheme. Boring maybe, but what really struck me were the complementary shapes of these two cups. The one on the right seems to be asking the other a question, and the other is ignoring it. "Hey, blue, would you pass me the sugar?"
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
I've had this idea for a while to do paintings of fruit that convey some sort of drama. Mostly, with this blog, I have focused on HOW to paint rather than WHAT to paint. However, I am now getting to a point where I am comfortable enough with the how and am getting more into the what. What?
Sometimes I have an idea ahead of time of a funny/interesting scenario, but mostly they come to me as I position and reposition...and reposition, etc. With this one I was going for an army of pears because they were on the floor of my studio like that and I liked it. But it was missing something. An orange. So, is it a casual surrounding? Or are the pears picking on the poor orange? I suppose that's for the viewer to decide.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
I haven't been feeling well the last couple of days, but am back to painting finally!
I was walking through Target last week and this polka-dot scarf called to me.
"Carol," it said "you NEED me."
My favorite color is green, but lately I am finding myself inexplicably drawn to turquoise. Don't get me wrong, I am loyal to green...but there's something about turqoise. And dots too... I find I really like the interplay of colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel. Like...red and orange together. Or blue and green...or turquise and green. The trick, I think, is making sure the values are interesting as well.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
I loved the blockiness of the vase so much, and putting down the paint in blocks, that I continued it with the pears. This may sound strange, but I've always wanted to paint this way. I'm not sure what happened, but I will say that painting small and often helped a lot. It gave me the freedom to try all sorts of things I've always wanted to try. I think that's the best thing about this whole painting a day "thing", if you use the freedom if gives you, you can pull yourself out of just about any rut!