Friday, May 30, 2008

A basket of veggies

In art class on Wednesday we had a choice between a vase of peonies or a basket of vegetables. The peonies were utterly gorgeous, but flowers are not usually my first choice. I much prefer veggies. These were much more fun to do. The dark eggplant looks pretty black in the photo, but it's really dark maroons, purples and blues.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Apples in the Sun

I made a whirlwind visit to my dad in NC this past weekend, and I brought my pastels and swore I would produce two pictures from life. The first one is still not ready for prime time, but I may work on it more with some suggestions from Christina. It's a water scene and I still can't do water for beans. This one is the second, and it was fun to do. My dad had a couple apples on his kitchen counter that were pretty well past prime time, so rather than waste them I took them and lined them up on his porch railing and did a portrait of them. They looked quite pretty in the late afternoon light.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hat and Peaches (fast and loose 4)

This is my second-hour painting from last night's "fast and loose" session at art class. I think I was getting tired by this point. I thought I might like this best as I loved the hat, and the peaches were so lovely looking. But I'm not very happy with it. I think it's the flowers I dislike the most, actually. Working on a one-hour time limit does put the pressure on, and I just could not seem to get them way acceptable. Maybe I can figure out some way to erase them, and just add another peach!

Blue Vase and Fruit (fast and loose 3)

We had another "fast and loose" session in art class last night, multiple still lifes set up, exactly one hour to paint one, 10 minutes to set up at a new easel, and then exactly one hour to paint a second one. I do love taking classes as it pushes me into trying things I might not do or think of on my own. Fast and loose is the style I strive for, but it's totally different when the teacher is timing you, and you know at the 1-hour mark she will call "Time", and it's time to put your sticks down. That's IT! No more time, what you see is what you get. No worrying about wonky ellipses, etc. No, "I'll just take a few minutes more and tweak a few more things."

She is constantly tell us to look for the "big picture", go for the big shapes, forget the details. It's fun! Somehow I didn't feel quite as in the groove last night as I did last week. But sometimes that's a good thing too - forcing yourself to try to create even if you don't feel the muse is with you. So anyway, this is what I did the first hour.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fast and Loose 2 (Blue Bowl and Garlic)

This is my still life from the second hour of our "fast and loose" session. It was fun too, garlic has a rather sensuous shape. I think we are going to do the same thing again next week, so I'm looking forward to it already.

Fast and Loose 1 (Blue Vase and Limes)

My Tuesday "Expressionism" art class was fun last night! We had several still lifes set up in the studio, and we chose one to work on (or chose one that had an easel stand open!) and we had exactly one timed hour for the still life. The idea was to work "fast and loose". We were told not to worry about getting shapes right, not to worry about details. Just to go for the "picture", to get the big shapes, the lights and the darks.

It was great! After an hour we got a little break, and then for the second hour did another pictures - either the same still life, or finding a place to move to at one of the other set-ups. I chose to move, but this is what I did in the first hour.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lilacs at Home

I had such fun doing lilacs in art class on Wednesday that I decided to try doing some of my own today. I don't have great places to set up still lifes, with cool lighting and all - but I figured I'd just set it up on my dining room table, which is what I did.

Hmmm, it came out sort of funky looking, though it was certainly fun to do. I finally stopped as it began to get overcast and I was losing the sunlight and shadows. But I might still be able to work on in another time. Maybe I'll go take a photo before the lilacs die.

P.S. - Since I always stuggle with symmetry on vases and things like that I decided I would try the technique of my fellow student from art class, and set up a comp that didn't use the entire vase.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Lilacs in Bloom

It's lilac season in New Jersey! They look and smell so beautiful. Mine are in full bloom at the side of my house. Christina had plenty in bloom too, so she brought some in for the class still life setup. I thought the dark background she set up was quite dramatic, and I had fun with this one. Maybe this weekend I'll try to do a picture of my own lilacs before they die. Alas, lilac season does not last very long.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Knife and Apples

I didn't have art class this Wednesday as Christina was already committed to a workshop in Cape May, NJ. But one thing she does is take a series of photos of the still life setup, and then emails them to everyone. She tries to get everyone's angle, so we can continue working on the paintings at home if we choose.

But I had basically finished mine in class, and thought it was fun to look at it from a different angle. I'm supposed to be resting this weekend after a minor surgery on Friday - so I decided to paint a picture this afternoon, and thought I would try the same still life as last week, but from a different angle. So this is where I've gotten to so far after about an hour or so. It may not be "done" yet, but it's about at a spot where I need to stop and think about it, and decide if worth pursuing.