Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hot Off The Griddle

Worked on Sanctuary, mostly the two large scale painting on either side of the center. Subtle suggestions of features for the faces, glory hallelujah blue on the virgin's robe, shadows under the feet. It's very nearly done, and what a pleasure it's been.

Took a final photo of Gene Pool Roulette. Time to start uploading new works to the website, but I still don't have a title for the portrait series, so for now I'm going to create a new portfolio group called 'Hot Off The Griddle.' Or maybe 'New Works.'

I have three on the drawing board - literally -  one for the portrait series (me and Emily looking at a tree that fell on our house), one that's a companion to Sanctuary and one that's Robert in Gripland.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Self Portrait x 3

Went back to the portrait today. Lightened the background, reshaped the mirror frame and added the beveled edge, began pulling individual hairs across the face. Added to the chintz pattern on the coat. Just plugging along.

Friday, March 25, 2011

One for the money, two for the show

Varnished and wired, ready to deliver to Mason Murer and the realism show, opening April 8.
Death Takes a Holiday, 24x30, oil/linen
Tomato & Hambidge Knife, 10x10, o/c

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Suggesting a Chandelier

Worked on the Sanctuary painting today - the bottom edge of the chandelier (at the top of the frame), and the tops of the columns. I love the slightly off-kilter set of the chandelier. It was like painting a crystal glass of water, lots of random ,abstract shapes that make up a visual sum greater than its parts.
Varnished three paintings - Gene Pool, Death takes a Holiday and Tomato & Hambidge Knife. Started in the garage, but finished in the drying room as a horrifying number of winged insects, airborne wisps of seed pods and dog-related effluvium headed straight for the sticky surfaces.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fruit and Vegetables

Spent yesterday taking photos of tomatoes & knives. Still in garden today - worked on peaches on a silver tray.

Then back to the the Mae West of tomatoes on an aqua plate with Carpenter's (my painting teacher's) knife.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Face on the Canvas

Here's the first pass of my portrait on the canvas. It will get sharper, plus more wrinkles and other marks, but not polished, because it's an in-progress painting and not a reflection.
I did this working from a few white chalk marks, and a photograph taken a few weeks ago.  I stopped before I blended all the subtle color changes into silly putty.

Here's the whole thing at current stage.
I need to do something to the mirror surface. Make it slightly hazy? Add gleams of reflected light? And the frame needs punching up. Think I'll set it up in the studio and work on the frame and the mirror surface from life instead of from the photo.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Peaches & Japanese Knife

Pulled out a painting I started last fall, before I got sidetracked by the portrait idea. It's a variation on my ongoing love affair with knives and tomatoes -  peaches on a silver tray. Messed around on the surface of the fruit and the knife, then worked on the under color of the silver tray. The trees outside the window reflected in the rim. Actually looking forward to doing the engraving lines, mostly swirling. I'll probably end up as enamored with the tray as I am with the fruit.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tomato & Hambidge Knife

I pulled the little tomato painting out and finished it today, give or take a highlight or two.


Something is so satisfying about them. This one is a fish knife loaned from a friend who works at Hambidge.

I think I'll go ahead and draw up the other two, one with a knife from my art teacher and one with a very curious gold colored knife with an edge that looks like a flame pattern. It belonged to a friend's grandmother and is engraved with her name, Wise.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Realism show. Friday, April 8 at Mason Murer Fine Art

Death Takes A Holiday. 24x30" Oil on canvas

One coat of varnish short of being ready for the show.
Got a very nice email from the director of the Mason Murer gallery asking for Death Takes a Holiday for their Realism show, Friday, April 8. Yippee.
I pulled it out of the drying room, gave it a good look over, punched up the light on the shoes, did a wee bit of highlighting on the lion's mane and signed it in brick red on the bottom right.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Back to the Sanctuary

At this point I dive into a section to sharpen and clarify it, and also scoot around the rest of the canvas where the same colors are needed, making changes that have a cumulative effect.
Today I worked on the center painting, the top and back of the throne, and edges of all the picture frames, plus another layer on the oriental carpet to narrow the brass rods and give them the right curve. Scribbled a little more pattern on the marble columns.

Here's the overall.
Next up - the top of the throne area and the chandelier.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Subtraction and Addition

I decided the artificial flower brooch was a distraction and took it off the mirror image, but kept the red knit top.

Took out the maul stick altogether and made the repainted canvas a scant half inch narrower. Worked on the hand. Before I started painting, I placed features with a few chalk marks  - my plan is to paint directly on the canvas without an under drawing.

The most fun part - recess - was working on the coat back, especially the panels made from a rose chintz. To come: many more small flowers and twining stems, a rick rack edge. I do love this coat.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Indicating patterns and bas-reliefs

Painting away on the pattern in the oriental runner, and the gilt carvings and bas reliefs around the throne. Very loose for me.

A detail of before

And here's after.

Stopping for lunch and to remix paint colors.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Face In the Mirror

After a little time off (painting the church interior), I returned to the triple self portrait.
By the end of the morning, the image in the mirror is closer. Much to do on the hair and knit top, but I know I can get there from here. Here's a close up -
The wet paint is reflecting light, but you get the idea. I added a layer of detail to the mirror frame and the central figure's hair. Put another layer of paint over the background.
I'll work on the pattern of roses on the coat this afternoon. Next up will be painting the sixty year old face on the canvas. I may try painting directly, without more of an under drawing than a few guiding chalk marks. It may be looser than the mirror image. Still thinking about it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

To Chandelier or Not to Chandelier

Finished the first layer of the two big paintings on either side and the painting over the throne in the center. Two of the figures on the left hand side are angels (the halos gave them away- their wings are very faint and almost translucent) The rest are shepherds with a distinctly Greek look. The center image in the oval frame depicts Christ crowned, with God overhead looking down from a cloud.
Now I have to decide whether to include the crystals of a chandelier that dips into the top of the painting. I know what it is, because I saw it in situ, but will the viewer who comes to the painting cold know? Do they need to know? I like it, especially like the way it's just a glimmer that's off center at the top.

I was the source of general hilarity yesterday, when I explained to some friends that I'm doing this painting as a break from the rigors of portrait painting. But it's the truth.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Painting Saints and Shepherds

ImageWorking on the two large paintings in either side of the throne. John the Baptist is on the right, and and the figure on the left is a shepherd holding a ewe. The blue robe belongs to the Virgin.
My autodidact art education includes time spent absorbing the extraordinary artworks that fill Italian churches. That, plus a Presbyterian childhood steeped in vacation Bible school, taught me to recognize the symbols that identify the saints.
My favorite part was getting to paint that lapis lazuli blue. So so gorgeous. I'll post closeups after I've developed the painting a little more.
Spent an hour searching (thanks Google!) for the name of the church - it's the Greek Orthodox church of St George in Vienna.