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Monday, February 25, 2013

The Painting Process Continues....

A Week of Painting


has resulted in a good deal of progress.  I brought the same hues to the right side of the canvas that I had painted on the left side.


Working with bold strokes of the brush, the pigment was laid down and pushed around to create a blending of hues on the canvas resulting in the formation of the Bird of Paradise leaves.  The layering of the leaves was accomplished with inclusion of Pthalo Blue in those to the back and Buff Titanium White mixed in for those to the foreground.  

beginning the first layer of pigment on the hibiscus flowers.

Next I moved to the center of the canvas to begin layering pigment in the area that would become the hibiscus flowers. 

Hibiscus flowers with first layer of pigment.

Due to the black under painting the flowers required multiple layers of paint to take on the fleshy look I wanted.


Hibiscus flowers after second and third layer of pigment.

After the petals were near completion, the stamen and pistel were added.


This week the Birds will be painted and because I desire there be a whimsical feeling to this work, the plumes of the bird heads will bend, twist, and fold as if dancing.  Already, with the size difference between the two represented flowers there is a look of fantasy and/or whimsy...exactly what is needed with this painting!  

Check back next week to see read and see how I bring this painting to completion.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Process of Creating a New Painting


Showing The Process

The canvas is under painted with black gesso.
The composition is drawn on with pencil.

(I am not sure why, but some of the words in this post are high lighted in a color and double underlined.  It appears they link to advertisements I have not put into this post.  My apologies.  Please do not think I am leading you to these advertisements.  Preferably you should ignore them.)

 Many of you continue to ask me to show the process I go through when creating a painting. Last week you saw the blank canvas and sketches which were developed after completing a similar work and after spending time visiting the two different plants.  I find myself doing that, spending time looking at, thinking about, researching and sketching what ever it is I am going to use as subject matter.  In fact, when I am out on my bike or hiking or on the golf course, I find myself looking, looking, looking at everything around me, considering the shape, line, form, color of everything.  It's all part of my 'see where you are' philosophy.  And yes, that is the title of my book...See Where You Are.

In the case of the two flowers in the commission, hibiscus and bird of paradise, I can see them first hand and even bring some of them into my studio for sketching and inspiration because they grow in the yard where I am living for the winter.

Hibiscus petals and Bird of Paradise Flower.

After the composition is sketched onto the canvas the palette is selected.  Because I just completed a similar work, I will use the same palette.  These are acrylic paints, some from Liquitex, some from Dick Blick, some from Daniel Smith and some from Golden.  Typically my selection is limited to 5 or 6 hues, but for this work I have four greens, two blues, two reds, an orange, a yellow, three hues from the brown tones, and unbleached titanium white.  You can see I do some of my color mixing on the palette, but a great deal of it is accomplished directly on the canvas.

Palette for the painting.


I begin by painting in the background, which in this case is Phthalo Blue, Cobalt Blue and a bit of the Unbleached Titanium White.  It is my desire to have the deepest tone at the center of the canvas, lightening as the color spreads to the outer edges of the canvas.  


Next I lay in the veins of the leaves using most of the hues in the palette with emphasis on the use of the Cadmium Reds because I want the brightness and drama of red to appear in the painting.



Working from background forward, left to right, the leaves begin to take form.  All those greens, a bit of yellow, the Phthalo blue for shadow affect, and the Unbleached Titanium for high lights create the leaves.


After many hours at the easel this section of the painting has life, color and movement.  I will move to the right side of the canvas next to work in the leaves on that side.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Floral Painting


Three Birds


Three Birds
Acrylic on Canvas
36" x 36"
3000.

Bird of Paradise and Hibiscus flowers flutter over this canvas.  It just came off my easel, so it's time to begin another painting, and a commission it is.  Another floral of birds and biscus, but this one is long and thin with horizontal format.  The palette will be similar, the composition quite different.  



I picked up the custom canvas about two weeks ago, so I have been staring at the blank whiteness of  20" x 62" wondering and planning the composition in my head.  Last night I started sketches and plan to place three hibiscus close to center with the birds flying around out to the sides.  



The selected sketch for composition.....more or less anyway.

Today I will under paint with black gesso and sketch the design on the canvas.  Then tomorrow I will begin to loose myself in the wonder of applying paint to brush to canvas.  These floral paintings are captivating for me with their stylized presentation just hinting at whimsy.  I hope you are enjoying them as well.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Creating or Producing?


This is a Great Question!

If you are an artist, are you creating or are you Producing?


Last week I had the opportunity to see Yo Yo Ma perform.    Because he played typical classical as well as a few unusual pieces there were questions about what is expected from an artist.  On his web site, there is talk about how Yo Yo Ma is  multifaceted and searches for new ways to communicate with his audiences.  He has pushed himself in his search for artistic growth and renewal. These statements lead right into one of my on going discussions about how an artist needs to push, change and grow in order to continue to create rather than just produce. If an artist isn't experimenting, changing, and discovering are they truly creating?  If an artist is doing the same thing over and over and over again, are they producing and not creating?


Our galleries and buyers don't always want to see new and different work from an artist they represent and from whom they purchase. Sometimes we are stuck in a spot by others, which we may like, but what about the burning desire to try something new?  How do we handle that?

Four Cairns

A few weeks ago I reintroduced a fabulous piece of glass art into my home.  Having this work back in my environment inspired me to paint a couple rock cairns, which is part of my oeurve, those rock cairns.  

Glass Cairn
Artist:  Robert Madvin

While I was working on the first canvas I discovered my curiosity peaked by the negative space.  I completed the first painting focusing on color and movement.

I had a couple small canvases sitting in my studio so using the same palette and the same emphasis on movement I painted a couple cairns, or more precisely, I painted around what would be the rock cairns leaving the area that would have been the cairns a negative space.  


Some of you saw the use of negative space last week in the palm painting I posted and some of you reacted with very positive statements about that negative space.  By the time I received those comments I had painted in the space with a palm tree (that painting is currently on exhibit in the 15th Annual Palm Springs Juried Art Show at The Desert Art Center in Palm Springs).  I wonder if I might have considered leaving the negative space in that painting had I received those comments before moving forward with the work?  

What do you think?  Like Yo Yo Ma, should an artist push themselves to find new ways to communicate?  Is it too risky to seek artistic growth?  Is it only possible to create if you are  only moving forward with experimentation?  What do you think about creating vs. producing?

To contact me click HERE
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