Sunday, October 18, 2009

dark to light

This is the last painting of Cape May in my series of five miniatures for the Cider Painter show in Wilkes-Barre. When I scanned the piece for the first time, by mistake I had my scanner set to greyscale. But when I looked at the preview, I could tell even without color that the piece had emotional impact and the water looking even more "ocean-like" than it did in the color image. I think this speaks of how well I was trained in value (seeing and representing images in light and dark alone). I don't think I'd be doing so well in color if I did not have that foundation. I believe I will continue with my seascapes and begin trying landscape paintings of our fall foilage. I think being freed of having to make these "look like something" as you do with portraiture-my approach is strictly seeing abstract forms of color and design and painting them. Also, I realized all the training I've had using filbert bristle brushes is perfectly suited to water-the "sparkle" in the water happens by dragging undiluted paint over the white surface of the bristol board with a bristle brush. The brush skips spots and lets the white show through. Likewise with the clouds, it catches and drags pure pigment over previously worked spots which looks like the edges of clouds.
One friend told me maybe because these come so easily that this may be my calling as an artist. I'd like to say I agree with that. Art isn't necessarily easy, but it should be a natural and joyful expression of who we are as people, and further (for me anyway), an act of worship, a loving gesture. Painting pure color is definitely that for me.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

"May" as well

Reproducing really strong colors always give me problems, even scanning them. The sand isn't black, nor is the water. It's a combination of blue, purple and burnt sienna, which you can clearly see in the original. But the overall effect is pretty good. So I thought I'd put it in. I guess I'll put in my other one as well. Not as bad as I thought I suppose! These were really fun. I love, love, LOVE the beach. I just do. I'd like to travel the globe photographing and painting beaches. What a job. Chuckle.

Number 4

Still working on my "minis". This is number four. The other two I did after my last post have much stronger color and didn't scan as well as I'd have liked. Reds and oranges photograph so poorly. Cooler colors are much more apt to pick up. Don't ask me why, but I think I have another very successful painting. It is so much easier to work with abstract shapes. I wish I could see faces more this way. I like that there is a hint of footprints in the very lower front-trying to paint actual footprints looked terrible. I just sort of scumbled over what I did and it looks much better.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


This is a little gem I just love. It's the actual size of an index card, and I think probably one of the most successful paintings I've done to date, maybe because of the size. I'm doing a series on our visit to Cape May. I love the ocean and I was up every morning around 5:30 to wait for the sunrise and take pictures. This is one subject I will never tire of, and I think I need to explore more. The series will be submitted to the Cider's Painters miniature exhibit. I'm hoping to sell them, but in a way, I hope this one stays with me.