Making Art in Early June

It’s quite warm in my apartment and it’s hot under my painting lights so I thought I would take a break to show what I’ve been up to these last few weeks.  First off last weekend I did my first “almost” alla prima painting. It went a little longer than expected because I had to learn how to paint and paint and orange fifty times to get it right. Someday when I start a painting I will not have to relearn again everything I have learned before. Could be my memory isn’t what it once was, could also be that PAINTING WELL IS HARD!

The pitcher came surprisingly easy. I was surprised with how quickly the color came to me through the whole painting. I think this is because I did a pastel of this same still life image a while back. Yes, I worked from a photo of my still life on this one. Shame. But I have very limited space for big still lifes. I think in this one I could have paid a lot more attention to edges. It’s a real juggling act. That is the bugaboo of working from a photo. The edges are much more exaggerated than in real life. You also often get your shadows defined and colorful with your lights over exposed or the opposite, your lights defined well and your shadows exaggerated and dark. I think if you take these things into consideration when painting form a photo you a photo can be extremely useful, especially in close quarters. It is important to me though to use original images only.

I will always prefer life. I have arranged a “light box” area next to my easel for me to do very small paintings form life so expect to see lots of little paintings this summer. A still life might be a couple of fruits or eggs, single items, etc. I will be able to paint from life so that will really be great. Matthew, a beloved teacher of mine challenges me to work from life as often as I can.

I miss my teachers and my friends at the Neoteric. It is a terrific school and I will go back one day when I am able to make a consistent commitment at actually being there. My health is improving a lot lately and I know I will be able to rock it in the studio again soon.

I have also FINISHED (!!) my sketch of Josie.  The images of Josie that I am working on are from a photo shoot I did a number of years back. I cannot have a live model in my apartment. I might though have a friend over to sit for me for sketches. They would have to sit a long time though. It takes me forever to finish anything. I also came to the realization that though I love the delicacy and responsiveness of charcoal I prefer working with graphite. This drawing was done using mainly Coates willow charcoal.

I have made some progress on my second Josie drawing in graphite.  Again learning what to do with the edges of the drawing. This is a test drawing, a practice drawing for a real drawing I am going to do of this image. It is a practice drawing because: a) I am really studying my pencil skills in this one and b) in the block in I was too heavy handed and made some deep grooves into the paper. It’s hard to see that in the drawing but that is why it is a practice drawing.

My online work with Sadie Valeri’s Atelier continues, this time with block-ins and a final sphere. She gave me the go ahead to start her first painting lesson which is – value scales!! I am learning so much about the basics one step at a time through this program and it is paying off in my work. I see it all the time. These things seem small and unromantic but they are like backbones to build your hopes on.

Finally, My Varo copy continues and I with it…..