Friday, November 28, 2008

Golden afternoon

I'm not sure about this one yet, might need some more work. But I have less time down here in NC than I thought I would, so I squeezed in about 45 minutes last night after Thanksgiving dinner,  and tried one more from a photo. This is from a photo I took at the Ship Inn, in Milford, NJ, where I had gone to have a meal with my son. It's a restaurant we all enjoy, even though it's quite a ride to get there, but the ride is half the fun. We love to get a window table were we can look out at the stream and watch the ducks. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quoddy Light

Here I am in North Carolina for Thanksgiving. It would be great to try some plein air painting here, but I'm staying with my dad, and just no time in the day to spare. But if I wake up early I can paint for an hour in my bedroom. So I brought some photos with me and am working on the idea of trying to use less than ideal photos to create my art. This is not *quite* part of my Canadian maritime series, being in Maine, but very close to the Canadian border. This is from a photo I took years ago when I took my son to see Quoddy Light, the easternmost point in the US.

The day was foggy and overcast, with a very flat light, and no shadows - so my photo is flat and faded too, so it left me free to try to imagine how it would have looked on a bright and sunny day. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Vase and pears

I'm still in the still life mode it seems, but I do love still lifes too. I feel that with still lifes and landscapes I've found the subjects that are giving me the most fun and pleasure. This one was done, as all my latests paintings have been, on a sheet of 9x12 Art Spectrum Colourfix paper. I bought 20 sheets of the rose gray color from Dick Blick, and it showed up at my house two days later. Now that's service! The Colourfix paper I special ordered at Jerry's weeks ago still has not arrived. But these 20 sheets will last a little while. The size is still a bit smaller than I'm happy with, but the large sheets of Colourfix are too big for me, yet also not easily cutable into sizes I like.

Of course one of the key features of size is that it fit into a standard frame, as I can't afford special-order frames for unusual sizes. And the large Colourfix does not seem to cut up to standard sizes without wastage. So in the meantime I'm learning to love the 9x12, though the 12x16 Canson paper is a size I prefer. I still have plenty of Canson - but it's hard to go back when you get used to the Colourfix!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Harvest Fruit

I've been enjoying, in varying degrees, my landscape kick lately, so I meant to brings my photos to class tonight and work on another landscape. But I got gabbing online with my piffle friends and only just raced out in time to get to class, and forgot the photos!

But Christina had set up the same still life we had had last week. Working from life is always so different from working from photos (though I find both valuable learning tools), and I loved this still life so much. So I had no problem doing it again. I didn't want this to be a clone of last week's painting though, so shifted my focus more to the right. I included things I had cropped out last week, and cropped out things that made it into last week's painting, so I felt I wound up with something new.

In was a fun class and I got to hear a lot of "arty" talk between Christina and one of the other students - all such a foreign world to me. I've never even *been* in an art gallery! They seem like such intimidating places, LOL.

This was done on a sheet of 9x12 rose grey Art Spectrum Colourfix paper.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Tidnish Shore (Maritimes 8)

I had some free time this afternoon, so decided to add to my Maritimes series with a second Nova Scotia picture.  I'm not too thrilled with this one. I like the tree pretty well, but I really struggled with the water and the beach. Everything I did seemed to make it worse, not better. But I finally reached a stopping point and this is it. I'll have to look tomorrow and decide if it's hopeless, or beyond me to fix. 

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Bras d'Or Lake, Cape Breton (Maritimes 7)

LOL, yesterday I had the day off, and it was back to landscapes for me. I'm still on my Canadian Maritime kick, and had several reference photos I wanted to try - but I kept saying I needed to get a Nova Scotia painting in there, so that limited my choices. In class Christina had had us working with fairly dull photos and seeing what sort of things we could do to turn them into interesting paintings, and that was fun.

So that's how I chose this ref, from a camping trip to Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island some 20+ years ago when my son was only about 5 or so. We camped one night in a campground on a hillside overlooking Bras d'Or Lake. The ref photo is dark, dull and nondescript, so trying to develop colors was a lot of fun, and I'm not unhappy with how it turned out. It makes me yearn to go back to Cape Breton again!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Autumn Harvest

Well I've been having such a wonderful time working on landscapes lately. I was all ready to continue with that in art class last night, but Christina had such a gorgeous still life set up for us that I could not resist doing that instead. Maybe I'll do a landscape today since I have the day off from work.

But this is the still life from last night - it's done on a sheet of very dark brown 9x12 Colourfix. It's my favorite support although 9x12 is smaller than I really like to work, and there is no intermediary size until you get to the big full sheets which are still too big for me, yet also can't seem to be cut into smaller sizes that I like either - which is why I've mostly stuck with Canson. It comes in a useful size.

However I love the feel of Colourfix and had been using more of it lately, even though my paintings are smaller than I would prefer. And I also loved this setup of fruit, and the colors, and the blue cloth - so enjoyed this last night thought I'm still feeling in a "landscapey" mode mentally.