Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Boy

Rather than bore you with yet another version of the 3 pears on a blue plate (yes I'm still working on it) I decided to post a sketch of my son that I did in November.

I won't be able to get to the studio for a while so I may not be able to post anything until next week.

I did get my new pochade box yesterday though - very exciting. I've been waiting 4 weeks for this - they make them to order. It was my gift to myself after one year of painting. A pochade box is a self-contained little studio that allows me to paint outside. It's very cool and you mount it on a tripod. I may be able to do some painting around the house and outside - if so I'll post those. My first attempt at landscapes.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My email subscriptions and feeds

Hi all - I've made changes to the way that the email updates appear - (I think) and made changes to the blog feed as well. Let me know if it is screwing anything up because I'm not clear on exactly what I did, if anything!

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I used to be really into kitchen items from the 30's-50's. It all started with a yard sale at my parent's house in Holliston back in the 70's and one of my parent's friends was selling a Harlequin teapot and teacups (exactly like this one but in a sort of light cerulean blue) I bought them and I was hooked. But suddenly, a few years ago I just lost all interest and sold most of the stuff that I had collected (although I still have the teapot, it's in the studio waiting for me to paint). It was part of getting my house ready to sell, and I discovered that it was amazingly freeing to get rid of all the crap I had everywhere.

But I really liked these salt and pepper shakers and I couldn't part with them. Unfortunately, the salt shaker broke, so now I have another lonely shaker :).

I ended up painting a wierd background because I didn't like it and futzing (is that a word?) with the shaker, so I don't actually have this anymore in this state. Now I kind of regret doing that. Oh well.

I can always paint it again.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Evolution of a Pear Painting

I've been working on this for a couple of weeks while reading the Kreutz book mentioned earlier. This painting is done on board, and I think it is 9x12.

Here's the various changes over the past couple of weeks:

Phase 1: Scary to say, but I think I might like this one the best. It's scary only because I have spent about 2 weeks working on it since then.
Phase 2:

Phase 3:

Phase 4:

Where I am today - I need to spend some time looking at it and figuring out what it needs.

Here's a photo of the still life. The angle is a little different, but you get the idea of what I was looking at.

My new favorite artist

Karin Jurick is a really great painter. She's inspirational - she started painting in 2004 and she is very successful, self-taught and creates really beautiful paintings. Here's her latest:
Check out her blog to see some of her amazing figurative paintings.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

And the Pears Keep Coming

My best pear yet. There's a lot I like about this one - the light and shadow of the pear, and the pear's shape. It surprised me when it turned out the way it did, because for a long time the pear looked like a giant turnip - a wierd green turnip. This is a little painting, done on a 4x6 board.

I'm going to work on the background and the shadow. Made some progress last night on shadows thanks to the Kreutz book.

I have this one painting (yes I know, more pears) that I've been working on for about two weeks and it has gone through a lot of changes. I've taken pictures of its evolution and will post it as one post when I'm done.

Amazing that I'm not sick of pears yet, although you probably are.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Today marks 1 year since I started painting! I moved into my studio on June 1 last year. Next to getting married and having my son - this is the best thing I've ever done (granted the marriage thing didn't work out, but no regrets).

My life has changed so much in the past year and all for the good. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm moving to a smaller studio, but I'm still in the same building surrounded by many creative, inspiring people.

I'll miss this great space, but my new one will be nice too -and cheaper so I can buy more art supplies!

Pears III

Here's two photos of the same painting showing progress from one day to the next. I got this fantastic book "Problem Solving for Oil Painters" by Gregg Kreutz which is helping a lot. When I first started painting, I had a hard time seeing the different value and color changes happening in an object, now I have the opposite problem - I see all the color changes and struggle to represent them. Kreutz points out that the role of the artist is to interpret, and to pare (no pun intended) down to the essentials needed to create the image.

In the top picture I had this reflected light on the right side of the plate. In the painting it was really distracting. Removing it made a big difference. I did this before I got the book, but it does illustrate the less is more philosophy.