Wednesday, July 31, 2019

In Love with an Island - Monhegan's neighbor Manana

Each summer we spend two weeks on Monhegan Island in Maine.  It is 10 miles east of the coast of Maine, sitting in all its 1.5 mile by .5 mile gloriousness.  Monhegan has a small neighbor island, Manana, which forms the sheltered harbor here.  I have written about Manana many times, here, and again here, or here, here, or here, and again here.  In fact, if you search my blog for "Manana" you'll have a lot to read, and/or see.  This week I have added a number of Manana views to my sketchbook.  Here are a few of them.  I will add another post soon with some more.  
I love painting Manana from above, below, through windows, beyond boats... just love it.  The Monhegan Museum has a splendid collection of work, including fascinating paintings of Manana in all its personalities, seasons, and times of day.  A couple of favorites are my Aldro Hibbard and Andrew Winter.  As always, thank you for looking at my work.  I appreciate your thoughts and your comments.   

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Complements in Action - Figure Painting

 A couple of weeks ago I took a workshop on figure painting by David Shevlino. The supply list included primed boards.  He asked us to use a mid-range gray as tone.  I tinted Gesso with black, ultramarine and red acrylic to arrive at my gray.  I prefer a little hue to my grays.  The cool background worked very well with the color mixtures David demonstrated as his flesh tones; yellow ochre, cadmium orange and dioxine purple for flesh in the light and burnt sienna, dioxine purple and olive green for flesh in shadow. On the second day, we painted the model shown here.  I blocked in the painting (see below) and began to lay in the light flesh tones.  I added some blue in the background where a blue cloth was hanging.  When I turned away, then turned back, I wondered how or why I had used the blue on the figure itself... and realized I had not, but the warm flesh tones acted as the complement to the cool gray background to make the background look like blue. 

The illusion was startling.  Look at the top photo, which I cropped down to hide most of the background tint, then the second photo in which you can see the blue in her forehead as you compare it to the background on the left and the blue cloth on the right. Each time I looked at it, my brain saw blue, not gray, though I had only painted blue in the background cloth.  
Complements are powerful, we know we can use them to neutralize color by mixing, and to enhance color by laying them side by side.  This illusion from the workshop is a great reminder. 


Sunday, June 30, 2019

"Lunch Date" oil 12 x 16 - spring date along the water

This month's challenge for Girls Just Wanna Paint is "Maine".  I spend two weeks each summer in Maine on Monhegan Island, and have been  going to Midcoast Maine near Pemaquid for decades.  The Maine coastal air has a beautiful crisp quality and sparkle.  I decided to paint my take on  Maine diner, which could be in any one of a number of coastal towns overlooking the local harbor.  You can see the process photos below.  My intention was to show the conversation  of this couple inside, with the active harbor beyond the 

windows in the bright of day.  My initial design had two women, one younger, one older, having lunch, but I changed it to a man and woman having lunch.  I liked the  contrast of the interior against the general boat shapes and sky outside.  Eventually I glazed everything inside with a warm to unify the interior.  I moved a few things around, lowering the lantern to break the line of the beam, and removing one of the dock posts outside, which was interfering with the intimacy of

the conversation between the dating couple by obscuring the interesting profile of her face.  
As always, thanks for looking and for your interest.  You know I love your comments.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Days 620, 624, 626 New Coaster Art

I continue to carry a few of my blank coasters with me each day.  This past month, I drew on them in The Snug, as I watched two men have a conversation at the bar, and at Flann O'Briens the night of the ill-fated Bruins 7th game in the Stanley Cup Finals, and out to dinner after a movie one night with my husband.  I enjoy drawing on the coasters in pen in any restaurant setting, then adding watercolor later from my head, using colors that suit the mood of the scene.  I am going to try adding a finish to the coasters, and am amassing a nice-sized collection.  They look wonderful side by side and tell a story.  
These are my six hundred twentieth, six hundred twenty-fourth and six hundred twenty-sixth daily drawings.  As always, thank you for looking and for your interest. 

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Day 612 "Lunch Break" pen & ink

This is such a busy time at school.  Students are catching up on missing work, studying for finals, and excited by the warm weather and promise of summer.  I am working hard to keep students engaged, to review learned materials, to challenge the interested students, and to grade all the work.  Today I stepped outside with my lunch, sat on a bench for a blissful fifteen minutes and drew the trees in the school's front yard and beyond.  You can't see it, but the yard to the right was filled with kindergarten students laughing and jumping and digging in the dirt with twigs while they navigated their recently created social mores.  It was peaceful, and a welcome break from the hectic inside atmosphere.  
This is my six hundred twelfth daily drawing.  As always, thank you for looking and for your interest.  

Monday, June 03, 2019

Day 608 "Royal Escort" - remembering a beautiful day

The theme for this month's Girls Just Wanna Paint challenge is "fashion".  As soon as I began to ponder, last year's royal wedding jumped into my head.  I remember the morning, setting the alarm to watch all the pageantry, and to listen to all the commentary about the thoughtfulness that went in to the ceremony, including honoring Diana. I remember that Meghan Markle walked half way down the cathedral alone, followed by a cadre of adorable children, and then was met by Prince Charles for the remainder of the walk, a couple of meaningful statements.  Bottom line, I loved it. This is my value study for a painting I am putting together.  I took the photo from my television during the festivities.  This is my six hundred eighth daily drawing. Thank you, as always, for looking.

Day 605 "Dinner at Dogwood" - coaster art from Jamaica Plain

I scooted into town tonight for an impromptu dinner with my daughter.  She suggested the Dogwood, a nice pub with good pizza an interesting beer list.  We ate at the "social table" which meant sitting up high and possibly getting to know your neighbors.  It was a good vantage point for my latest coaster art.
Nice evening all together. Thanks for looking.  This is my six hundred fifth daily drawing.  I appreciate your thoughts.