Monday, May 31, 2010

New York...these streets will make you feel brand new...

Alicia Keys -  "Empire State of Mind" is a such a fabulous song. I could listen to it over and over again (and I do). I believe I have a girl-crush on Ms. Keys.

Just came back from 7 days in NYC. Fantastic in every way - even the annoying things were great. I love that city - the energy, the noise, the smells (sometimes really really bad), the lights, the traffic, the art, the endless supply of good food and fantastic restaurants, and above all, the people. I have been to the city maybe a dozen times total, and every time I go I am surprised by how different it is from Boston. People actually talk to you in NY and I am amazed at the humanity and kindness. That is counter to the stereotype of NY but I find Boston to be very cold and aloof, while NY is warm and engaged. Just don't piss them off.

I was there to take a painting workshop with Karin Jurick. I learned so much and I am re-energized. Karin is incredible, the art-changing thing that I took from the class is that I need to trust my instincts. Karin paints what she loves and in a way that makes sense to her. She is so completely honest in her approach to life and it permeates everything she does, including her painting. I found it unbelievably freeing. I have read so many books on painting and agonize over the "rules" to the point where they paralyze me. I used to be a bit of a rebel but I eventually succumbed to what I thought I was supposed to do. Conforming works ok for my day job but does not work for art and I need to get the freedom back if I want to be the kind of artist I hope to be.

I only painted two paintings at the workshop. Here is the first painting - I will post the second in a couple of days. We all painted the same subject - I like this a lot, and I was able to just place the paint down without agonizing. Of course it helped that I got to watch her paint first.  The second painting is completely different from anything I've ever painted - it feels like a bit of turning point. You'll have to wait and see - I guess you'll either love it or hate it.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Summer Shack

I am almost finished with the painting that I started two weekends ago. I worked on it last weekend a bit, and this weekend I only had one day to paint and I painted non-stop for 8 hours (after I did my required 1.5 hour procrastination). That is what is so great about painting - I get totally lost in what I'm doing and time goes by unnoticed. Impossible for me to think about anything but what I'm working on.

My So Called House
Oil on 9x12 Canvas

There are a few things I still want to do - break up the cast shadow in the foreground so it doesn't look like a big triangle, darken the front shadow on the house, straighten the basement door and do a couple of things on the trees in the upper left. I also think I'm going to connect the light sections of the leafy tree on the right. I may put the rungs in the porch railing - I needed it to dry a little so it didn't get all muddy.

Working from one side of the painting to the other worked well for me because I was able to keep control of the color and not get all confused like I usually do. I'm pretty excited about this painting because I finally "got" some stuff that I've been trying to do for so long - simplifying the color shapes, minimal blending, and capturing light.  I also left out stuff that I didn't think worked in the composition. That was one of the things my painting teacher kept telling me last year - just because its there, doesn't mean you have to paint it.

The giant palette was really fun - (in the previous post I talked about Karin Jurick's recommendations). My favorites were radiant lemon, radiant white, indigo blue, portland grey medium, violet grey, horizon blue - the coolest colors that really made a difference for me. Also used cobalt blue for the first time which is an awesome color and one that I see on lots of other artist's palettes.