Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's here - Lowell Open Studios Weekend

No paintings to post, although I did finish up a couple of paintings over the past week that I've been working on. I'll post them in the next day or two - you've seen them before, but they're closer to "finished".

Today is the day! I open my studio for the first time. I spent the last 2 days getting ready and I'm still not done. Yesterday I rearranged the studio to make room for my friend Nadia who will be selling some of her paintings. I framed a bunch of my paintings and hung most of them. Need to finish today.

I'm looking forward to this so much. My son is managing the elevator/parking lot/visitor counting crew so he'll be busy. Last year 2500 people came through the building.

I'll let you know how it goes - I am not expecting to sell anything but if I do it will be very exciting. I'll try not to be a complete goofball if I do and freak out the buyer.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Going back into an older painting again

I've been at the studio a lot the past couple of weeks getting ready for Open Studios next weekend. I have paintings I want to show, but it is kind of wierd looking at the earlier ones because I've progressed since then. So I went back into two more paintings this weekend.

This flower painting was originally done as a quick study in my MFA painting class. It was done in a couple of hours and it really was a great exercise. It was the first, and one of the few, large paintings that I've done - I think it is 24x40 or something. I had a lot of fun painting this because it was so big and my teacher kept urging us to be quick.

But there were things about it that really bugged me - especially the background.

So Saturday I just said "f@#$ it" (sorry Mum) and started changing things.I am having a blast - just painting away and using my imagination.

- I have 3 pictures - the original, yesterday's changes, and where it is today. I'm going to keep going. The background is interesting now, but not right. Also want to put the tall flowers back in, but I'm waiting until I settle on the background.

Here's where it is now:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Open Studios!!

I'm finally doing it - opening the door, showing my work and actually putting prices on my pieces. Two of my favorite people will be with me - Nadia Richman will be selling some of her paintings and Annie Cronin will be there handing out yummy gluten free treats.

Come to Lowell Open Studios!

I have about 12 people that read my blog :) but if you love art, and want to spend the day enjoying the creative world, you HAVE to come to Lowell on the 26th or 27th. There are over 100 artists open in my building alone, others in downtown Lowell, and lots of activities going on. Bring your friends, your kids, yourself and have a relaxing day immersed in art of all kinds.

Hard to believe that a year ago June I started painting and wouldn't even open my door on a normal day - and now I'm opening for open studios. I'm really excited about it - I don't really care if anyone buys anything, its more about the evolution of feeling confident enough to show my work.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Work in Progress 2

Stopped by the studio on my way home from work and did a little more work on this painting. Also started prepping a small canvas to paint something small for the Open Studio on 9/25 - 9/26. I'm going to try to paint at least 3 smaller paintings in time for that weekend.

I worked on the chairs and I'm getting closer, but spent the most time on the porch and the background. The black lines on the porch need to be toned down. So far so good with this painting.

Two new things I've discovered that I LOVE: Filbert brushes and Windsor Newton Naples Yellow. The brushes because they allow me to both push the paint around freely - they're sort of soft and flexible - but also create straight lines and details. Naples yellow because it is a really great, pale shade of yellow. Before this I had used Cadmium Yellow and Lemon Yellow - both great colors but they are very strong and bright. Naples is like a creamy, soft, mellow yellow (to quote Donovan).

Every day that I paint is like experiencing a little miracle.

Work in Progress

This is what's on my easel today. I'm painting from a photo that I took this summer at the cottage we rented. I'm doing something different with this painting (every painting I try something different) - I'm starting by blocking in the large color areas with thin layers of paint mixed with mineral spirits. First I painted the entire canvas orange using acryllic, which, if I don't completely cover it up, should give the whole painting a warmer feeling. I'm trying to get across the feeling of a warm summer day.

The chairs are a bit tough because of the angles - and I painted out the trunk of the tree so I could work on the background without muddying it up with the brown from the tree. I'm also changing a few things - there is no house in the background, but it sort of painted itself in :)

Since I took this photo I've removed and restarted the chairs. They are the focal point of the picture so I need them to be right.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Landscape Struggle

I'm trying to paint a landscape of some wetlands near my house and I just can't get it. The water was the biggest challenge, and then the damn dead tree - which was supposed to be the focal point and is just getting worse and worse the more I paint.

I will keep going until I work some stuff out, but this will never be a work of beauty.

I'm posting 3 versions so you can see the changes. Hopefully I won't get so frustrated that I scratch the whole thing out before I learn what I need to learn. Or maybe I just throw in the towel now and start another one.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Peach tree

Labor Day weekend meant three days of painting! I worked on two paintings and this is the first one. The other one isn't done yet, and I can see a few things in this one that I'm going to tweak.

It's fruit again, but its still on the tree so technically this is not a still life. :) I have this wonderful, rickety old peach tree in my backyard that produces big juicy peaches that I hardly ever eat. No clue why because I love peaches.

I'm happy with this painting because it captures the light and movement in the leaves. I'm a little shocked to be honest, because I'm starting to get things down on canvas that are close to what I envision. In the beginning it was all a big crap shoot; I never knew what would happen and the paint definitely controlled me, rather then the other way around. It was very frustrating because I knew what I wanted to create but I couldn't do it. I guess all the painting books and magazines I've been pouring over for the past year are starting to actually make a difference.

Back to work tomorrow - ugh. Work is fine and I really have absolutely nothing to complain about, not to mention that it provides the means that allow me to have the studio and paint - but, still - ugh.