|"Tuscany Sunflower Field" 10x12" Acrylic $300 Click to Buy|
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Friday, September 12, 2014
|"Studio Sunflowers" 8x10" Acrylic $250 Buy it Now|
What do sunflowers have to do with making lemonade? Maybe nothing, but while I was painting these from my studio window all I could think of was that I was making lemonade from lemons. The flowers are certainly not in their best form, as you can see in the photo (below). The light and shadow were nothing to speak of either.
So why did I choose to paint them when there were probably better subjects with less challenging issues? Well, for the challenge. When painting plein air sometimes your view and subject matter is simply a painting waiting to happen. Other times there are factors that are not exactly working in your favor. Thats the thing - you never know till you get there. Lately, in preparation for my Tuscany workshop, I've been treating myself to some "worst case scenarios" to see what tricks I can pull out of my hat. Which may be totally overkill... I mean really, a bad view or uninspiring light in Tuscany? It must be the virgo in me over-preparing as usual. Or maybe it was just another excuse to paint sunflowers.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
|"Next to Compton's" 12x12" Acrylic Click for Info|
Monday, September 1, 2014
|"Lavendar Lane" 12x12" Acrylic Click for info|
Friday, August 29, 2014
|"Nyack Houses" Acrylic 12x12" Click for info|
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
|"Pink Sunset in Tuscany" 8x10" Acrylic Click for Info|
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
|Cortona Piazza 8x10" Acrylic Click to buy|
Many of the ancient buildings in Italy are stone - grey, brown, terra cotta. Painting all those earth tones may be accurate, but doesn't always truly convey my reaction to the subject. Like many artists, I often use what's in front of me as a springboard to play with shapes and design, as well as use colors that convey impressions. The colors in this painting are my interpretation of this festive setting and bright sunlight on a crisp fall day. This is a scene from Cortona, Italy where I look forward to teaching next month. Join us if you can!
Clemente, CA Nov. 10, 11, 12. Click here for more info.
Sunday, August 10, 2014
|Green Lakes Trail 7x7" Acrylic Click for more info|
There are still a couple of spots left for my workshop in Tuscany in late September - it's sure to be fun! Here is the info.
Clemente, CA Nov. 10, 11, 12. Click here for more info.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
|"Beach Bums" Oil 14x17" More info|
Thursday, July 31, 2014
|"Beach Scene" Acrylic 24x36" Click for more info|
This was a commissioned painting. I was supplied reference material of all the elements that the client wanted included the photo. It's not exactly what I would have chosen, but rarely are commissions what I would do if left to my own ideas...on the other hand often it is a learning experience, on some level.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
|"Soho Watertower" 8x10" Oil Click for more info|
These watertowers, such a NYC fixture, and quite endearing somehow. They are like little mushrooms sitting atop of buildings everywhere. I heard that no other city has these? How tragic - they're so cute!
Monday, July 7, 2014
|"Red Awning" 8x8" Oil Click for more info|
Yesterday I came upon this photo and decided to paint it, but wanted to change it to a sunny day. I don't usually do that - but that beautiful red awning seemed to need some drama. By adding some shadows and strong highlights I think I kinda pulled it off. And if I didn't, thats OK... it's definitely snappier than the photo.
Want to paint urban landscapes in an ancient hillside town in Italy? Come to the Cortona, Tuscany Workshop, Sept 24 - Oct 1, 2014.
Monday, June 30, 2014
I've been wanting to address this issue for some time, because I've received so many emails from people who saw my videos and want to know how I keep my paints wet. So, here is the scoop...
I store my paints (Golden Heavy Body) in a plastic craft bead box, or bead organizer. The one I use is divided into 18 compartments, the brand name is "Darice". I bought it at Michaels or AC Moore. It is a type of plastic that is sort of flexible and has some give to it (high density polyethylene). I don't buy the type made from hard plastic which is as rigid as glass, and snaps if you try to bend it. Reason being, the acrylic paint adheres to that type of rigid plastic and does not peel off when dry. BTW, the bead box is not air tight.
The reason my paints don't dry out, I am assuming, is that there is a LOT of paint in each compartment, and the amount of paint stored is a pretty thick depth-wise. Acrylics dry when the water in the paint evaporates, and due to the thickness of the paint in each compartment, it takes a lot of time for the water to work its way out. Plus I spritz all the paints while I am working. I may not have done that in the video, but in between filming segments, I spritzed. Also, I put the whole container in a ziplock 2 gallon bag with a moist paper towel. My paints last for months and months without drying out. Its not a perfect solution, as eventually they seem to get a tad dry, but it works for me. I don't like setting out blobs of paint each time I have some time to paint, this allows me to flip the lid and start immediately. If you put tiny little blobs in the paint compartments, I can guarantee they will dry out fast.
If you want acrylic paints that dry 10 times slower, try "OPEN Paints", also by Golden. They are a slightly lower viscosity (not as thick). You can mix the regular heavy body paints with the OPEN paints too - they are perfectly compatible. If you mix in a 50/50 proportion, your paints will dry 5 times slower than the straight heavy body colors. You can also use the slow drying OPEN Medium, which, when mixed with either the OPEN or heavy body paints, helps increase the flow of the paint off your brush, and extends the dry time. You can also put a drop or two of OPEN Medium on each of your colors, whether you are working with blobs on your palette or in the compartments.
Many people use water as the medium with acrylics, not realizing that they could be using a medium such as "Polymer Medium". When I want my paints to dry faster, I use water as the medium. When I want them to dry slower, I use a medium. Polymer Medium is glossy, Matte Medium is matte. OPEN is the slowest drying medium, and is available in both sheens. Again, all OPEN products are designed to work with the faster drying acrylics too.
Another tip: You can use OPEN Titanium White in your mixures (rather than regular heavy body Titanium) to extend the dry time in any mixtures that have white in them.
I hope that helps! I hope it is also obvious why I did not answer each email individually :-)
On another note, I just got back from teaching a fabulous workshop in upstate New York. There were many break throughs - and I saw them happen! So many "ah ha! moments"... which makes me so happy. I had a great crew of gals and guy, and was really inspired by the amazing work everyone did.
I'm looking forward to my next workshop in Tuscany in September. BTW it is open to all media --not just acrylics, as the fundamentals, value, color schemes, composition, etc, apply to all. Hope you can join us!
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
|"Rye Boat" 12x12" Acrylic Click for Info|
Below I included a photo of the site, it needed a little infusion of color, I thought.
Saturday, June 7, 2014
A nice article about pushing and swapping out colors was published this week in an artistsnetwork newsletter, accompanying this painting. I will be focusing on "pushing color" throughout my upcoming workshop in Tuscany. There are few spots left, June 20 is the last day to register!
|"Harlem Rooftops" 30x30" Acrylic More info|
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Monday, May 26, 2014
|"Ray's Pizza Route" 16x20" Acrylic Purchase Info|
It's memorial day. 80 degrees, not a cloud in the sky. I catch a scent of barbecues, and hear the faint sound of oldies playing on a radio... all this from my open studio window. Here I am, painting away. This is my idea of a holiday. I gave up pretending to be like everyone else a long time ago. That being said, I do have other ideas - but this one ranks way up there.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
|"Rooftop Party" Acrylic on Panel 8x8"|
Monday, May 19, 2014
|"Tuscan Church" 6x6" Acrylic on Canvas SOLD|
Friday, May 9, 2014
|"Latte Break at the Met" 8x10" Oil Purchase Info|
Posted by Patti Mollica at 4:58 PM
Thursday, May 8, 2014
|"Ivory Teapot" Acrylic 8x8" Purchase Info|
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
|"Delivery Dude" 16x20" Oil Purchase Info|
Saturday, May 3, 2014
|"Text Stop" 16x20" Oil on Canvas Purchase Info|
I have several workshops coming up...
- Paint Fast, Loose and Bold in St. Michaels Md, June 3,4,5 2014. For information contact Valerie Sunderland, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Paint Fast, Loose and Bold in Syracuse, NY, June 21,22,23 2014. For information contact Linda Cohen, email@example.com
- Let's Paint the colors of Tuscany in Cortona, Italy, September 24 - Oct. 1 2014. For more info, including the full week's itinerary click here.
Friday, May 2, 2014
|Click to see sample previews of each video|
I'm happy to announce that my 3 videos about painting fast, loose and bold are available for purchase at the North Light Shop. They were released in February 2014. In the videos I cover my methods and processes for painting with big brushes, thick paint and in a speedy manner.
Each dvd covers a different lesson:
- Value Techniques - how to design and create value plans (using black, white and grey) as the springboard for an interesting composition. Any good painting rests on a solid value structure.
- Brushwork Techniques - learn exercises that lead to lively, gestural application of the paint for a bold, contemporary look. I demo brushwork methods in several small paintings.
- Color Techniques - how to use various harmonic schemes based on color combinations derived from the color wheel. I demo 4 paintings using various color schemes
In a soon to-be-posted blog post, I will answer some common questions that I have received from many people such as "How do you keep your acrylics wet and juicy for so long?" And "what is that container you keep your paints in?" Stay tuned for answers to those questions and others.
Posted by Patti Mollica at 8:57 PM
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
|"Window Shopping" 16x20" Acrylic Purchase Info|
Sunday, April 27, 2014
|"The Guy Walk" 16x20" Acrylic on Canvas Purchase Info|
While I was painting this I totally assumed the dog was a male, and had this title in my head from the start. Why, I don't know, it just felt like a "guy moment" in the city.
Monday, April 14, 2014
|"Happy Family" Acrylic 8x10" Purchase Info|
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
|Blue bottles and Bowl Acrylic 9x9" Purchase Info|
Saturday, March 29, 2014
|"White Cups" Acrylic 8x8" Purchase Info|
Thursday, March 20, 2014
|Carmel Mission Acrylic 8.5x6.5" Purchase Info|
Just as the workshop was ending, I was asked to do a final demo. With only 1/2 hour left, I picked a photo that is a little outside my comfort zone, and told everyone that I was not feeling confident about doing this demo, especially so fast, but I'd do it anyways, since I had asked them to be brave, experimental and non-judgmental about their work and I should do the same. I didn't have time to sketch it out and make sure I got the drawing correct, but at least I did have a small 3-value thumbnail sketch to refer to. I used a 2 inch brush and finished in exactly 35 minutes. I say "finished" but it wasn't, really. Working so fast and not cleaning out my brush much in between colors made for a muddy looking sky and some too-neutralized greens.
So last night I went to my studio and spent a few minutes cleaning up some of the colors and adjusting some values. I also changed the value of the sky from a light to a middle value, which made emphasized the stucco wall and helped the composition. Below is a photo of the demo painting and the value sketch, and above is the finish, with better color, using some smaller brushes for flowers and vegetation. I like the final painting and feel like I stretched a little. I'm glad I stuck my neck out and tried something I hadn't had time to plan out, especially as a final demo in front of 16 people. The moral of my story is, its essential to move outside your comfort zone if you want to grow. The only risk is not taking one. I have a lot of favorite sayings about facing fear but one of my very favorites is: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." Now if I could just motivate my critters, who are clearly stuck in theirs!
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
|Behind the New York Public Library 12x12", Oil|
|New York Public Library 12x12", Oil|
|Lawn Loungers 8x8", Oil|
|The New York Public Library Lion ("Patience") 12x12," Oil|
|Blue Shirts 12x12," Acrylic|
That is perhaps one of the more challenging aspects of urban landscapes. Especially when working "en plein air" in NYC. FYI, no one poses for you unless they are asleep. And if you can spot someone who hasn't had 5 cups of coffee and actually stays put for more than a minute or two, consider yourself lucky. Gotta capture that pose quickly! I learned this last year when I was hired to stand outside on the busiest intersection of Manhattan, 42nd street and Fifth Avenue/Bryant Park, and paint the city sights - en plein air. No safety nets - such as photos, pre-location scouting, protection from the elements (or the crowds). Just stand there and paint whatever. Often I did 2 paintings per day, in oil or acrylic. It was a wonderful opportunity to take those moving, grooving, hustling New Yorkers and quickly incorporate them into a painting. The trick is getting the gesture and "shorthand" right.
Luckily, in my upcoming "Paint NYC" workshop, we will be painting "en plein studio", in the comfort of the National Academy of Design which is directly across the Street from the Guggenheim Museum and Central Park. The participants will work from photos - theirs or mine - so no need for rushing to capture those moving figures. We will work on gesture, composition and design, simplifying buildings, perspective and... cars! Yes, what is a city without cars? (Hint: if you don't get the cars right, they look like something out of a cartoon book.) The shorthand I will teach about painting figures and cars will help you add them to your paintings with ease.
So, if you want to learn how to capture the energy of New York City, register today for this workshop from May 19-23, 2014. But don't wait - registration ends very soon! If you are considering it, better call today and let your intentions be known. Hope you can join us for this unique city experience.
Click here for more info at Sedona Art Center or call 928.282.3809.
PS - btw, when I say no protection from the crowds, I'm not joking...
Monday, March 17, 2014
|57th Street Dusk Oil 10x12"|
Capture the energy, excitement and colors of NYC - in person and in paint! For more information and registration click here.
Posted by Patti Mollica at 9:54 PM
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Fruit Fest Acrylic 10x10" Purchase Information
I'm in Cary, North Carolina teaching a "Loosen up!" Painting workshop with a fantastic group of gals. There are a lot of wild women in this group, who apparently have been wanting to let loose, and thats just what they are doing - with fresh, unexpected color combinations and exciting brushwork. Here is my demo from yesterday, and a photo of the class.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
|"Yellow Tulips" 8x8" Acrylic Buy Now|
Just returned from my recent workshop in Carmel CA at Carmel Visual Arts. I had a great group of 17 students who went from 0 to 90 mph in 3 days. The progress they made in so short a timeframe was stunning. We started the workshop with value simplification studies, moved on to methods for creating interesting brushwork (in fewer strokes) and finished off with 15 minute paintings. I'll be returning to teach an intensive 5 day workshop November 3-7 2014. Interested? Better sign up now - its already starting to fill. Other topics to be covered: Color theory, color mixing, working with color schemes, creating colorful greys, and much more. This time I'm going to allow for more chill time in Carmel - it is heaven on earth... and a great gallery town.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
|"Canal Street Pretzel Vendor" Acrylic 12x12" Buy it Now|
There are a few spots left in my upcoming "Loosen Up" workshop in Cary, NC - we will be grooving out freely (with paint) ... here is the info Loosen Up! March 14-17, 2014 Cary, NC