Sunday, January 08, 2017

"Coffee Shop" pen & ink 9 x 12

We got the first real snow of the season last night, blizzard conditions.  I learned from the local weatherman that "blizzard conditions" refers to visibility and duration, not to the depth of snow received.  If the visibility is under .25 of a mile for at least three hours, it is called a blizzard.  We had a blizzard last night, woke up today to about 14 inches of snow and 13 degrees.  The snow was light and easy to move. Happy that.

I spent an hour in the local coffee shop before church this morning, sipping fresh coffee, and sketching the variety of winter-clad people coming in for hot chocolate, coffee, and pastries after their morning shovel.  There was a big rush, during which I grabbed likenesses of all kinds of people.  A few minutes later (see my photo), all calm...  Nice way to begin the day.
As always, thanks for looking and I love your comments.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

"Last Call" oil 10 x 10

The December challenge for our Girls Just Wanna Paint group was "frosty".  Here's my take.  I painted using the Zorn palette of black, yellow ochre, white and cadmium red, and wanted to set the feeling of a dark, intimate bar.  I deviated from the palette only in the beer glass itself, adding a little cadmium yellow to the mix. You can see the rest of our takes on "frosty" here.  

Thanks for looking.  Happy New Year, and as always, I love your comments.

Friday, December 30, 2016

"Sweet George" pen & ink

Looking through an older sketchbook last night, I found these drawings from 2010 of our wonderful George hanging out on the couch next to me. George was sixteen at the time, a graceful sweetheart, all his days. George was a people cat, and we were lucky enough to be his people. He's been gone a few years now, and I still trip over his name now and then when I'm addressing our new male cat, Fred.  Very happy to have found the drawings.  

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Blue and White Zones of Light

I teach art project at school along with my math classes.  This week we are looking at the five zones of light, and seeing them to create the illusion of rounded 3-D objects on the two-dimensional picture space.   Each student created a contour drawing of the subject, numbered the spaces according to a 5-value scale, then reproduced the drawing, filling in the spaces as assigned with a monochromatic rendering according to the observed values.   It's our first foray into painting, so some students struggled with the mechanics of using the brush.  But, a number of students produced great results, and were pleased to see the 3-dimensionality of the objects begin to reveal itself.  
This is my quick take on the idea so they could see their expected result.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Architectural Grouping

This afternoon, the Girls Just Wanna Paint hung a group show at the South Shore Natural Science Center in Norwell.  We each hung 5 paintings.  I brought several more, so I could decide as I looked at the space.  Ultimately I chose all architectural paintings. Seeing them together is a nice reminder that I love painting buildings.  I like their shapes against the sky, with crisp edges, and the way those edges fade into their surroundings as the eye descends.  I love the shapes that coalesce into a visual of the structure... very exciting to me.  

Monday, October 31, 2016

"Berkeley and Boylston" oil 12 x 12

This month, Girls Just Wanna Paint explored the limited palette often used by Swedish painter Anders Zorn (1860 - 1920).  The Zorn palette is limited to yellow ochre, black, white, and cadmium red deep.  I have always told my students that if the values are accurate, then the painting will hold.  It was interesting using a warm red and a cool yellow with the black and white.  I almost never have black on my palette, so it was disconcerting at first to make gray with black, a technique I usually avoid. However, I never left the gray as only black and white, but altered it each time with a little of the cad red, or a little of the yellow.  The "battleship" gray possible with just black and white doesn't ring true to me, regardless of the palette I am using.  Every gray out there is influenced by its surroundings, even on a battleship. This is a painting of Berkeley Street from the intersection at Boylston in Boston, looking down at the Church of the Covenant, which creates a beautiful silhouette against the sky. 

You can see my block in for the painting and some iterative photos here.  It was a fascinating exercise, and very interesting to make cools out of black with yellow ochre, which makes an interesting olive green.  I'm going to do some more experimenting with this palette. You can see the rest of our paintings here

As always I love your comments.  What do you think?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"Zinnias" oil 12 x 12

Was thrilled to join my Girls Just Wanna Paint group at the Hingham Arts Walk.  We set up a still life in the middle of the room, top lit so no one had light in their eyes.  We formed a circle around the center and each painted our take on some beautiful zinnias.  Lots of visitors came through the door to watch our demo, and hang out.  It was a great day.