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.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Nude Nite entry - The Watcher

The Watcher
Acrylic, 24" x 24"
This is my Nude Nite 2012 entry. The basis for the painting was a charcoal figure drawing I did a few months ago, called Veronica. This is the first time I have deliberately designed a painting with a story in it, and this is something I plan to keep working on. I feel that my background in illustration can be put to good use, as soon as I figure out how to do that consistently from piece to piece, as well as striving to figure out what of myself goes into each piece.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Blue Shoes

Blue Jewel Shoes
Acrylic, 12" x 12"

Blue shoes, but not suede: satin. With little jewels on the toes and impossibly high heels. I love shoes. I may have a problem...even if I don't buy them, it's fun to paint them and play with color.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bad Girls

Bad Girls
Acrylic, 10" x 10"

I love shoes and actuallly own this pair-although they don't get worn much. But they're gorgeous and outrageous so I just had to paint them. This painting fit right into a recent Daily Paintworks Challenge: Color of the Year which is a deep orangey red. Scroll down a bit to see all the entries. Posting on the Daily Paintworks was a first for me and feels like a step towards achieving my goal.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Another Sunday afternoon

Another relaxing afternoon at the Lake Eola Farmers Market. The weather was ideal for sitting under the oak trees, listening to Joseph Martens, eating good food and people watching.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Drawing Session

Drawing session -I wanted to try a different way to lay in value rather than using the side of a charcoal stick, but not sure this is it. It seems kind of a harsh look.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Boston Sketchbook

Chess Players in Harvard Square. For two dollars, you can play the chess guy.
These games have been going on since I first saw them in 1981. 

Playing guitar in Central Square T station. Musicians frequently play on the subway platforms. 
I actually wasn't as interested in the musician as I was in the couple standing near him.
The Boston version of a farmer's market is the Haymarket, every Saturday, all day. Fruit, vegetables,
 bread, meat, fish, cheese. The meats and cheeses are sold from basement shops on the street.

This is a hurdy gurdy player. Still not sure how it's played, but it was definitely interesting. 
This musician (this link will take you to a video of this actual guy playing the hurdy gurdy)
was set up next to the Old State House, his short-legged dog next to him. 

The view of downtown Boston from  Greenway Park.

The guy in red was set up in the northwest corner of the Public Garden, very near to the duck
 sculpture. Within a half hour, the other two guys showed up and joined in. My knowledge 
of classical is limited, but I thought I heard Vivaldi. I know I heard AC/DC.

My daughter absorbing "Watson and the Shark" by John Singleton Copley. 
I still remember my first viewing of this painting. It's hard to forget.  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Fusion Tacos at Lake Eola Farmers' Market

We love to spend a few hours at the Sunday Lake Eola Farmers' Market. The weather was perfect: warm, dry, and sunny. Joseph Martens performs starting at around noon so people arrive early to get a good seat under the huge oaks. There's a great selection of food and a particular favorite, judging by the amount of business it got, is Fusion Tacos. The tacos come in spicy Korean beef, sweet potato,  and two others that I can't remember. I tried to get the sun dappling the yellow tent and the marbled fabric dressing the serving tables...don't know how successful I was. I think I was too full of tacos, music and sunshine to do much more than this sketch.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Change in the Weather -- Sanibel, December 2011

We spent a day on Sanibel Island between Christmas and New Year's. The weather was capricious: gray and dark, sunny, rainy..but warm, thankfully. Perfect for watching the waves, the shifting clouds, people looking for shells, the occasional dolphin and napping.