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.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

"Early Light, Scituate" 5 x 10 soft pastel

"Early Light" is a recent and early exploration with soft pastel.  I wasn't sure where to begin, but knew I wanted a dark ground. I squeezed some burnt sienna, viridian and ultramarine gouache onto the board, and spread them out which provided a very dark ground with some cool and warm components.  Turns out the gouache dries with a nice matte finish with tooth!  Great for the application of the pastels.  My plan was to build up the lights, leaving the ground in places.   You can see a few transitional images to the left.  I'm pleased with the result and encouraged to keep exploring.  One of the challenges for me was that when I wanted a neutral violet of value 4 with hints of ochre in it, which I could make quickly with my oils... I had to hunt and open another box, and lay color next to other color to approximate the color I was looking for.  It's a puzzle, an exciting puzzle.  Looking forward to more exploration.  
Every couple of years, North River Arts Society holds a fundraiser, Outside the Box (OTB).  The public is invited to create art, this year on a 5 x 10 inch board.  Nothing is signed, and each participant is invited to make art that is different from their norm. The resulting hundreds of pieces of art are displayed for a month as silent auction.  Visitors bid on the art they love, without knowing who created it. "Early Light" was my entry for this year's OTB. 


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"Fair Friends" oil 8 x 8

Every year, I do a painting demo at the Marshfield Fair.  You can find me on the first Sunday hanging out upstairs in the main building.  The juxtaposition of inside and outside is always intriguing for me.  I chat away with children and adults.  The room is visually stimulating with beautiful quilts hanging from the rafters and a wide variety of handmade arts and crafts entered by the public. Check the Fair website for entry categories and dates in the exhibitor handbook each year.  
To the left, you can see how I blocked in this painting, with one dark and warm shape for the inside, and a cool yellow light shape for the outside space, along with the indication of some people in the doorway.  I may get back there this week for another painting day.. hope so.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Collage - Make it Personal 10 x 10

 My very talented friend, Laura, took the plunge and opened her own shop a few months ago.  It is my "go to" destination for gifts, and recently a group of us joined Laura for a "make and take".  She runs two-hour classes in her shop studio.  We learned, laughed, exercised our creative selves, and came away with beautiful, personal collages. Laura has tons of material, and I brought a few things of my own to add. Must say, I almost swooned when I found ruler masking tape in her bins of supplies.  Here's her web site, Haven: Little Shop of Laura's.  You can schedule time in Laura's studio with a group up to 5, or she'll come to you for a larger gathering. She offers several different projects.  Trying to decide which one to do next....