Monday, October 18, 2010

Red Wine

Theres nothing like a whirlwind of sales to put wind in my sails. And no better way to celebrate than a bottle of good red wine. Or even cheap red wine. Frankly, anything with alcohol content will do. I sold 9 paintings today to two art lovers visiting from Germany and Switzerland. They rented a car and drove up from NYC, navigating to my impossible-to-find studio, charminly located across from a horse stables and a chicken coop. By the time they got within earshot of my place, Kermit the rooster who is notable for his incessant crowing (aren't they only supposed to do that in the morning) provided them with perfect-pitch audio GPS. Thanks Kermit - I couldn't have done it without you. Now could you keep it down till my next studio visit?
9x12 Acrylic on Canvas
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Blue Bottle

A pretty setup from my Rye class, simple but old blue bottle that had a beautiful glow about it, and a juicy red apple. The pistachio green cloth really provided a nice complementary contrast with the red hues of the apple.

The challenge when trying to capture a beautiful light effect is less about recording exactly what you see - once you learn certain painting skills any "technician" can do that - and much more about creating the effect of the light, the magic. This involves a whole host of other considerations - pushing, pulling and manipulating warms against cools, lights against darks, neutrals against saturated hues, soft edges, hard edges, simplification vs detail, etc etc. Its a game of pulling out your bag of tricks and using everything in that bag in the right proportions to coax out the magic of the light. And when you finally achieve that glow - what a treat ... just in time for halloween!

Blue Bottle SOLD
Acrylic on Canvas 8x10

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Girl on the Beach

This is a painting I did recently on the shore of Long Island, in a pretty town called Greenport. It was windy, cloudy, sunny, cloudy again, etc, making the changing light effect difficult to capture. There is nothing like painting en plein air, fast - on the spot, to get your focus sharpened and your reflexes in high gear. No time to think - just paint!

Girl on the Beach
Oil on canvas, 9x12
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lemon Slices

Yesterday was a painting marathon. I setup this still life for one of my students and painted along with them, painting from whatever angle I could find. I always let the students get the "good view" and I take whatever is left, but that in itself is a great lesson for me. As artists, we are often faced with less than ideal settings and situations and we have to find ways to "make it work" one way or another. If the composition doesn't work or the lighting is bad or the angles are awkward or the subject gets up and leaves, what can we do to fix it? The good news is that we have permission - aka artistic license - to do whatever it takes to make the painting work. Having a deep bag of artistic tricks, learned from dealing with many imperfect situations helps. In otherwords, learning how to best make lemonade from lemons. The other two paintings were done after class, where I could arrange the slices however I chose, stand wherever I wanted to get a good view. Interestingly enough, I like the first one the best, where I had to work dilligently from my big bag of tricks.
Lemon Slices 1,2, and 3
6x6" Acrylic on Canvas
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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Salsa Shoes

Ok, I don't know if these are latin shoes or not but thats how my husband describes them. I can't imagine trying to dance in them but I recently heard that some women broke the Guiness Book of World records by running a marathon in stilletos to raise money for breast cancer research (without breaking their ankles in the process).With that in mind, it's entirely possible to dance in them.
So enough of painting shoes in lieu of wearing them, I'm starting to feel like a poser. I courageously wore these "Latin" numbers last night, to a swanky restaurant. Now I see why women in stilletos hang tightly on to their men - its less about romance than stability. Besides towering over my husband, who normally towers over me, I had to think twice about drinking that second cosmopolitan. Tipping over face first would definitely add drama but not in the intended way. I made it home without incident, delighted to slip into my cozy fuzzy pink bunny slippers.

Salsa Shoes
Acrylic on Canvas 12x12
For more information or to purchase, contact Simie Maryles Gallery at:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pink Platforms

Crutches, anyone? My days of wearing these lovely accidents waiting to happen are over - at least for 3 more seasons. I got thru summer with no broken bones, now I can safely and gratefully pack them into storage oblivion. I've decided they are easier to paint than to walk in, but fashion never was about logic. Goodbye pink platforms, make room for the pink suede boots!

Pink Platforms
Acrylic on Canvas 12x12"
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btw, I took step by step demo photos of the painting evolving in stages, which took about 2 hours total, if you would like to see them, let me know and I'll upload the images to my website under "demos"

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cotton Candy High Heels

This was a still life that one of my students set up in class today. I pulled out my paints and decided to join them, setting up my easel wherever I could squeeze in. I couldn't be picky about views, had to take whatever I got. The composition was interesting - one shoe in a complete profile, the other in extreme foreshortening. It worked out OK, I think! One of the things we talked about in class is that shoes are deceptively challengin to paint, because if the shoe is not drawn properly and in proportion, it will look really wrong - especially if its a high heel. Women know shoes, the way guys know cars (OK, thats a generalization, but...). And they can spot in a split second if the proportions or angles are off. Its best to get the drawing correct before jumping head first into the thick, soupy paint or ... mudpie city!

Cotton Candy Slingbacks
Acrylic on Canvas 12x12

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