Saturday, February 27, 2016
11" x 14" oil on canvas
From time to time, I paint something that feels like a breakthrough, and this is one of those times.
I've written over and over about my attempts to focus on values and the relationship of shapes while ignoring details, but I struggle mightily to employ this practice in my painting. The temptation to paint too fine too soon is usually just too strong. I find myself breaking out the tiny brushes well before I should, and this results in muddiness or distorted values because I haven't even blocked in the masses. I feel like there's pressure to make things perfect, but there's not. I mean, who the hell even looks at this blog? So I said screw it, picked up the biggest brush I could find, and squinted. And I had a much more enjoyable painting experience.
I'm not calling this a masterpiece, but I like the clean colors and shapes, some of which just happened because I felt like they were more appealing than what was actually there. There aren't a lot of fine details in this painting, but I don't think there needs to be.
I painted this over an older painting, and you can still see some of the underlying textures - you can even see the relief of the old signature in the top right corner...Also, I didn't repaint the sides of the canvas, so if you're tempted to buy, just beware. You'd probably want to frame it anyway, so the exposed sides wouldn't matter. They're kind of an off-white, similar to the off-white in the top right, so it's really not a problem.
Friday, February 5, 2016
8" x 10" oil on canvas panel
There's a sort of guilty, lonesome feeling I get when I'm home alone in the afternoon during the work week. Maybe it stems back to when I used to play hooky as a kid and my mom would know I wasn't really sick. Everyone's away at work or school, but you're home alone, avoiding. Actually, this was painted during a snow day, so I shouldn't have felt guilty or lonesome.
I'm happy with this painting, and I feel like it captures the lonesome feeling of weak sun shining through a kitchen window at the end of January. I tried to focus on shapes again instead of tiny details. And while I painted this inside in my kitchen, with the quickly changing light, it was no different from painting outdoors.
8" x 10" oil on canvas panel
I know this painting is weird and abstract and most likely no one will buy it, but it was satisfying to paint. First, I painted over another painting that I didn't really like, which is always satisfying. I like the textures that it creates, and it's always interesting to let spots of the old painting poke through. Secondly, I was home alone during a snow day with no distractions. Thirdly, I didn't let myself get caught up in details. My goal for the painting was to paint shapes, not chairs and shadows. This approach was so much more enjoyable than trying to capture every tiny detail, and I plan to paint like this more often.
8" x 10" oil on board
Sometimes I wonder what difference it would make if I had an actual studio with adequate space and lighting and painting supplies at the ready. My setup for this painting involved balancing the blue teapot and lemon on a wooden box, perched on top of a crab pot, yes a crab pot, sitting on top of our guest bed. This was the only way I could get the lighting and angle that I wanted for the painting. The surface that the box is sitting on in the painting did not actually exist...I did my best to imagine what it would look like if the box was sitting on a table by the window.
I like the colors and the values, but it's a little too symmetrical or something. Any thoughts?