Friday, May 11, 2012

Morning Train station in Orlando

Another stop on my meandering travels from subject to subject. I am not usually drawn to any architectural type subject, but I really like the way this building looked in the very yellow morning light. The composition is very symmetrical, but the huge trees in the front obstructed it too much for my liking from an angle.

I was concentrating on indicating the shadows cast by the trees on the front of the building and conveying a sense of depth. I don't know if I will paint another building, but this was fun.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Searching - The Sailor

Based on a tip from a fellow (much more established) artist,  I am painting whatever strikes my fancy and in no particular order so I can figure out what my focus might be. When I get there. Whenever that is.

I'm reluctant to share too much of myself in my work, so this approach of painting on impulse will probably reveal more about me than I'm comfortable with, which is good. (It's hard to make progress if you stay in your comfort zone.)

The Sailor - acrylic - 18 x 24"

This painting is outside my comfort zone in that I might like to be. Not that I sail, or am of epic proportions but I tried to indicate someone who is independent and self-contained.

It's definitely a struggle to put together a painting from multiple references, and some parts of this are a bit hinky but I love painting those big voluminous shapes and contrasting the very warm with the cool.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Encounter at the Boston MFA

During a trip to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts last summer, I was lucky enough to catch this sort of encounter between two old ladies-the one regarding her viewer from a few hundred years ago. While I prefer to sketch from life, I often don’t have the time I want to do so, so have come to rely on my camera to catch interesting and fleeting moments. I am moving into painting something other than the nude, since that’s been my comfort zone.  I’ve reduced the scale and paint with a large brush to avoid the pitfall of excessive detail. This year I’m focusing on learning more about what I want to paint and not thinking too much about it. I asked Andre Lucero for advice in this area, since I am so new to painting, and he said to just paint whatever struck my fancy and paint a LOT. I like that I can just go with my impulse for now.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Reading at the Boston Public Library

This is an experiment for me-painting a figure in an environment which is not a nude. It's on canvasboard, which I really disliked. I prefer the slight springiness of stretched canvas. I feel like the sense of cool light coming in the open window  is coming across. This is from a photo I took of my daughter when we visited colleges in the Boston area in mid April. We found the time to do a little tourist stuff along the way.

Friday, March 2, 2012

In Progress

This is the sketch for the painting I am currently working on. I really liked the 'fat lady' painting (Adephagia at the Beach) I did last fall and wanted to play with that more. I liked the idea of a very independent woman, but also wanted something that would allow me to work on the design of a painting and work on color. I can see from the gray sketch that the values in the area around the head and shoulders against the sky are very close. I will pay attention to this and see if the color provides enough zip to keep the figure distinct. I am also going to have issues with the cast shadow of the figure on this imaginary boat. Still, I am really looking forward to getting started. Just as a side note, I rarely share process with anyone, so posting about this may or may not be a good idea. I am pretty uncomfortable with it, but in my experience, getting outside the comfort zone is usually a good thing.

Monday, February 20, 2012

More sketches from the Lost & Then Found File: Clearwater Beach

Date Night, Clearwater Beach, Florida

I am a people watcher and I have to confess that while people (from a discreet distance) are always interesting, few things are as intriguing as relationships that have gone or are going sour-as long as it doesn't descend into physical fighting, that is. This couple is a perfect example. I was having dinner with family and I happened to be perfectly situated to sketch this young couple without being observed. I did edit the background pretty heavily; the restaurant's walls are festooned with all manner of beer ads, surfboards and other detritus aimed to make one feel sufficiently beach-y. I also like the strong vertical of the table's one leg that divides them visually and I feel like the discomfort of sitting at a high top just reinforces the awkwardness of the dynamic between them.

Balloon guy, Pier 60 Sunset Celebration, Clearwater Beach, Florida

Some people are creeped out by clowns; for me, it's carnivals and balloon animal guys.This sketch was done more as a way to pass time as opposed to a commentary. I sat on a low cement wall near the actual pier during the city's nightly Sunset Celebration and watched the balloon while I waited for family. I like the sketch of the guy, his chair and his cooler, but not so much the setting. Once I get the figure, I tend to be less interested in the surroundings, but I feel like that's a mistake because the setting gives the figure relevance.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Found sketches

Well, I've been laid low by the flu for the past couple of weeks, but I found a flash drive I thought I'd lost-and it had some sketches on it. 

Charleston Exchange
 This sketch was done during a trip to Charleston and Savannah last year. The basket weavers were not very open to having photos taken, so I took a sketch instead. It takes a lot longer than a photo but is much more fun, especially if you've been forbidden to photograph.

Schnitzel at breakfast
 We also spent a couple days on St. Simon Island on the way back to Florida. Schnitzel's people sat right next to us at breakfast one morning - it was on an open patio - and I was struck by how unhappy he seemed. He was as far away from his person as he could get and standing up. His little daschund body was quite expressive, so I did this sketch while we waited for breakfast.

Savannah tourist waiting for the tour
I sketch whenever I think I will have to wait more than ten minutes. In this case, we were waiting to tour a house in Savannah. The house was fascinating. Built before 1800, it had indoor plumbing with water supplied by multiple interior cisterns which were the repository of rainwater collected from the roof. Green thinking 200 years ago.