Saturday, October 28, 2006

A New Series?

I have the coolest idea for a series. It came to me this morning as I was reviewing my work from yesterday. I set up a still-life consisting of toast, coffee and a set of salt and pepper shakers in the studio and proceeded to paint. This was not fun or even very easy to paint because it was a rainy day and the light was gray to begin with. The light changed to blue as darkness approached and I had to pay very close attention to my shadow colors and where they were located. Around 5:00 pm I had to stop and make something for dinner and by the time we ate and I returned to the painting it was almost dark. All my natural light was gone. So I finished the painting knowing I might have to make radical changes the next day. I brought the painting out into the kitchen this morning and wow! It still looks good; in fact it looks great. I paint in a semi-dark room, because it suits my style pretty well. Oh... and because there are no overhead lights in there. Maybe some day I will be able to afford a studio with skylights but that day is not here yet. When I think about that I just recall the old masters who managed to turn out masterpieces by candlelight or lamplight. Painting in low light helps me to keep my lights lighter. I have noticed when I paint in a room with overhead lights that my paintings tend to be too dark when you view them in a room with normal light. But I am digressing. My idea is to paint a series of paintings in a diner with different food. I will use the same red checkered fabric for the tablecloth and change the food and utensils. This one will be called Diner Series No. 1: Low maintenance. Then I will do a painting of the person who would eat this breakfast. They will be a matched set-- although I won't sell them like that. For display purposes this would be great. The woman who eats this breakfast would be someone thin but not worried about her weight. OK.. like me.. but I am not going to paint myself. I want these diners to be almost caricatures of themselves. A huge plate of bacon and eggs would have a hefty diner- maybe a trucker. AND I just had another idea- they could be painted with the same palette of colors as their food. It would be almost like a puzzle for the viewer to try to match them up if they didn't know the titles. So if I do about seven at one a day it would take me 2 or 3 weeks to finish. I can't count on getting one a day done but I'll try. I am excited about this idea! I don't know whether to do all the food first or do the food then the person. Here is a picture of the first one. The size is 9 x 12. This is not a wonderful picture because I took it in the dark last night under poor lighting conditions. I like to take my pictures outside on a sunny day in the shade. But the sun did not shine here in Northwest Ohio yesterday. Doesn't look as if it will shine today either.

I just realized that I would have to cook the food and leave it sit there until the painting is finished. Or I could go to a diner and order it to go. Mmmm. What a temptation that will be for a certain untrained kitten if I leave the room for a moment.

This picture is a bit crooked too. I am the only one up and I'm using my notebook, which does not have any image editiong software on it to straighten my bad photography.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Our Model from Last Night

Mr. Hinajosa was our model at open studio tonight. What an awesome guy. He really knows how to make you laugh. He didn't hold still too well though but that was OK because we all enjoyed his company so much. He let me take a couple photos so I paiunted this from the photographs - another watercolro and they are getting to be fun now. You just need to know when to stop. Here I stopped sooner rather than later because I liked the spontaneity and I caught the twinkle in his eye.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Our new kitten

This is really Katie's cat, a replacement for the guinea pig whose life quickly ended in May when he met a large pit bull puppy at a birthday party. So far she is taking pretty good care of the cat, who she named Cocoa. Today Cocoa dumped a plant in the great room and yes, Katie cleaned it up. This cat is so darned friendly and she doesn't like being alone so she follows me everywhere I go. I have to remember to cover my palette- she already got into it once and luckily I was standing right there when it happened and I grabbed her. I can visualize some paintings of her in the not so distant future.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Circle of Life

A painting as a metaphor. It's been done before... many, many times. But this one is different and it's up to you to figure out what the apples have to do with the pottery and why one apple is cut open. Mmmmm it's a mystery, but fairly obvious once you figure it out. Here I have chosen to use cool shades of violet and teal in the tablecloth to accent the warm fall colors of the apple and the vase. I love the reflections of red and green in the blade of the knife. This lieelt still-life was a challenge but really a lot of fun when I reached the end and started adding highlights.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Here is where I am at with this slice of life painting. I feel as if I will never finish it sometimes. I thought I had a clear vision when I started- and that is really important. You need to have an idea of what you want to achieve and how you want it to look in the end. But there are so many elements in this painting that I lost my way a bit. It is perhaps the most difficult image I have ever attempted to reproduce: a multi-figure composition with two distinct area of light and shadow. The fact that the painting is outside provides an even greater challenge. When I began I realized it might take awhile to complete a project like this and that's precisely why I wanted to paint it. I do a lot of "quick" paintings; it's a given with my method of wet on wet painting. I wanted a long-term project to fiddle with while I painted the smaller bread and butter oils I'm known for. Here are a few pictures of where I'm going with this at the moment.