Thursday, July 21, 2011

Corner Cafe

It's always challenging to make sense out of a crowd scene from a painting standpoint. All those little faces and figures, all that architecture. I chose this scene for exactly that reason, aiming to keep the lively quality but not get too caught up in small details. Waiter - another martini please!

Corner Cafe
Oil on Panel 5x7"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

White Rose 4

A rose is a rose is a rose... I seem to have roses on the mind lately. They are a great shape to play with, endless opportunities to explore color and structure. This little study was done in a color-spot-by color-spot approach, a technique I was introduced to in the early 90's when I took a 5 day workshop with a colorist who studied with the late great Henry Henche. Since then I have noticed that my favorite painters were either Henche students at one time, or come from that tradition. The spot by spot approach requires that you constantly judge color relationships, by color temperature, value, and saturation or intensity. It also involves a lot of exacting color mixing, which in some ways is better suited to oils, since acrylics dry fast. I've been experimenting with Golden OPEN Acrylics and mediums lately, they dry up to 10 times slower than the regular Heavy Body Acrylics. I may paint more roses with oils just to compare. Regardless of the medium, painting a white rose against a white background is a great way to discover spots of lovely, neutral colors lurking everywhere.

White Rose 4
6x6 Acrylic on Canvas

Monday, July 11, 2011

Orange on Pink

Some workshops are better than others. The workshop I taught this weekend falls clearly in the better to best category. At the top of the list is the wonderful group of gals I worked with - ranging in experience level from total beginners to very advanced art teachers. The commraderie, sharing, humor, and personality mix made this a group from heaven. They were a joy to work with as well as a hoot to hang out with. Altho I'm a taskmaster with the pace and the exercises, there was a good balance between learning and laughing. Add to that perfect weather, stunning seaside location and roomy gallery/studio sponsored by the ultimate hostess with the mostess, it doesn't get much better than this.

Here is a still life painting I did, which demonstrated using a color scheme of dominant analagous warm colors with small hints of complementary cool color as accents. The painting took an hour and was done with one 2" brush - which I rarely (if at all) dipped into water because the colors were so related. There was a lively discussion that followed about how to make subjects glow, which translated into a series of exercises on color harmony and relationships.

I always hand out an evaluation form at the end of each class and one of my questions is "What would have made this workshop better?" No matter how long the class is, whether it be 3 hours or 3 days, the answer is always the same... "more time". That makes me feel good, I'm thinking about new lessons and exercises for a 5 day workshop. The icing on the cake, however, is always the great people I meet and get to know. Thanks gals, f0r such a great weekend.

Pink on Orange
9x12 Acrylic on Canvas

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Peachy Rose

We are nearing a finale with the seemingly neverending book project, it has already gone thru its first set of major revisions, (way less text and bigger images) and I expect minor things like punctuation finessing from here on in. I see light at the end of the tunnel!

This weekend I'm teaching a two day workshop called "Fast and Fearless Fruit" on the North Fork of Long Island, way out there in a beautiful town called Greenport. The focus will be on technique and translating value to color, rather than on drawing, using very simple shapes. The best way for me to practice for demo-ing is to paint something with a complex form in 15 minute segments, using big brushes. Roses make a perfect subject for this exercise. I set up a white rose on a white background in my studio and did a slew of quick studies, using various color's one.

Peachy Rose
Acrylic on Canvas 6x6"