Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Indoor Picnic With Watermelon - 6 x 9" Pastel

Watermelon is a real treat this time of year, so I bought one of those little melons, cut it up, painted it, then ate it. I really loved painting the pinks of the melon. Too bad it was seedless, because seeds would have added visual interest. I guess I could find some photo reference and add the seeds; maybe I still will.

In my initial set-up there was a knife in the foreground that gave me so much trouble, after several attempts I just took it out. Having a little trouble with still life composition...I think I need to simplify them going forward.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Apples and Honey - 6 x 6" Pastel

Today was another experiment. I made a shadow box similar to the set-up that Peter Yesis uses (one of the other daily painters). I like the way his still lifes have that dark background with lots of lost edges, so I wanted to give it a try. I think I will try a few of these. By the way, the photo came out darker than the actual painting. (I need to figure out how to photograph it more accurately).

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Untitled - Work in Process 16 x 20" Pastel

I'm not sure what I was thinking when I started this. I know I responded to this older couple and their easy comfort together, but I'm not sure it's as compelling to me now as when I started. In any case, I hadn't worked on this painting in a while, so instead of doing a small daily painting I thought I would work a bit on this larger piece. I am trying to work out the figures, and not sure of what to do with the background, either...so it's a challenge!

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Conversation (Artist Wooden Mannequins) 6"x 8" Pastel

So this is what happens at 2am after your daytime painting comes out badly. Well, at least I finally used the mannequins that have been hanging around for the last 30 years.

Too many days in a row of trying to create art with a capital "A"...I need a break. Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Rose's Rocks - 10x14" Pastel

While walking with my sister-in-law Rose, she admired the rocks that dot the landscape in my neighborhood. I have walked by these rocks for 17 years, and I had never noticed them. Damn, they are nice rocks!

Now there are paintings of rocks, and paintings of rocks. For instance, look at Albert Handell's rocks...things of beauty, every one. Well, I basically suck at landscapes, so maybe I just have to do a lot more of them to get better at it. But you should visit my neighborhood and see these rocks...this painting really doesn't do them justice.

As far as this painting is concerned, now that I look at it I noticed that the trees really detract from the rocks. Maybe tomorrow I'll take them out and repost.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Innocence( Young Girl in Summer) - 8x10" Pastel

This little girl caught my eye, with her summery pink flip flops and breezy walk. I tried to capture her innocence. I love the way her dress caught the breeze, and the sunlight on the figure.

This original is sold, but this painting is available as a giclee print.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Riley - A Dog and His Stick - 8x10" Pastel

Trixie's friend Riley is a real character. He usually watches the world go by from atop a large rock in front of his house. One day when I tried to take his picture on the rock, however, he lost interest right as I was about to snap the photo, bounding off with a big stick that he had gotten from the woods. Later, Riley!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Low Hanging Fruit (Yellow and Blue Still Life With Lemons)- 6" x 10" Pastel

Today I went for the low hanging fruit...literally. After yesterday's painting debacle, where I painted for 5 hours and ripped up the dismal results, today I decided to go back to basics. I set up a simple still life, and just tried to do a quick study with a few complementary colors. Not a masterpiece, but at least I didn't feel like I was all thumbs.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Mona Lisa Smile (Romantic Painting with Statue) - 8x10" Pastel

I enjoyed doing this close up of a sculpted womans face, based on a photo from Wet Canvas. I tried to get the likeness, and also put some life in the color of the stone. With that little smile, she reminds me of the Mona Lisa!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dark and Stormy Night - 5x7 Pastel

On a rainy night, my son took some pictures out the car window. This is my second nightime scene. The other one came out better. Enough said.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Chianti Classico, Italy - 12x15" Pastel

While in Tuscany I visited Chianti, and it turns out that the rooster is the official symbol of Chianti Classico wine. The rooster symbol adorns every bottle, and I spotted this clay rooster on the rooftop of a little winery there. I wanted to capture the sunbaked feeling of the brick as well as the contrast between the clay and the sky, and the shadow pattern in the roof.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Dog's Life - 11x14" Pastel of Sheltie

Trixie just chillin' at the end of the day. Well, if you chased squirrels and chipmunks all day, you'd be tired too! I don't know why these dog paintings are easier then other subjects for me. Then again, I had a great subject, and a great photo reference to work from, which I got on Wet Canvas and adjusted to reflect my own dogs features and markings. It worked.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Guitar Legend - 5x7" Pastel

Who could it be...Steve Vai? Joe Satriani? No, it's Chris, my son's guitar teacher. As for this small study, it's just good practice to paint people once in a while, and this casual pose appealed to me.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Struttin' His Stuff (Rooster and Chicken) - 9x12 Pastel

I went to Muscoot Farm to paint outdoors on a gorgeous day, and the animals were so pretty, but I forgot to bring my camera. I found this photo on Wet Canvas, which satisfied my urge to paint a farm scene. The problem was that the lighting in the photo was very flat...so the painting took a lot of noodling to get an interesting pattern of light and dark. I probably could have pushed the contrasts even more. Doing the painting was instructive. Guess the moral of the story is, remember to bring your camera!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

(Life's Just a ) Bowl of Cherries - 8 x 8" Pastel

Today's painting was experimental. My inspiration was the 6x6" format I've seen on other daily painters' blogs, and the strong graphic style I've been admiring lately. I started with an eye-catching 4x6" photo of cherries from the WetCanvas Photo Reference Library, and did my best to achieve a painterly effect with the pastels in a square format. I think it was successful, but a lot of the credit goes to the photographer. I liked it so much, in fact, I made giclee prints of it!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Girl Reading in Italy - 5x7" Pastel

I traveled to Italy this past summer, and each place was more beautiful than the next. I especially loved Siena. As I wandered the streets, I was captivated by the people I saw, and ended up with more pictures of people than scenery! One of these days, I hope to travel there again.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I feel pretty?! Cosmetic Case with Make-up - 5x7" Pastel

I have quite an assortment of makeup for someone who rarely wears the stuff! Well, I felt prettier just painting this...how's that for art therapy?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Want An Apple?: 8x10 Pastel

Farm stand apples are perfect right now. I just love them, especially Macouns. I usually enjoy painting apples, too, but today it didn't go so well. I tried doing an underpainting, usually a good idea. But instead of the fresh look I was going for...well, can anyone spell O-V-E-R-W-O-R-K-E-D?! At least I tried!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Black and White: 5x7" Pastel

This afternoon I was in a coffee shop and the display of Joey's cookies caught my eye. B&W cookies are a favorite in my house, so I had to buy one. Are black and white cookies just a New York thing? Like egg creams, maybe (the kind with no eggs in them). I don't mean to be picky, but they really aren't cookies, either. Fun to paint, though. And fun to eat!

Home Alone (Shelties are the Best Dogs) - 5x7" Pastel

Yesterday I struggled a lot, but today I knew exactly what I wanted to paint and I completed it quickly. The subject is my dog Trixie, who gives me that look every time I have to go out and leave her home alone. Today she was my muse!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

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Day One Of My Daily Painting Blog

I have decided to join the ranks of the "painting-a-day" painters, and today is daily painting blog "day one". Hooray for me!

By the way, I am the person posing in the photo above - I tried to post this picture in the "about me" part of the blog, but I ran into technical difficulties so it ended up here. Oh well....

Todays' painting is based on a photo I took in Italy this past summer. The painting is almost done(street scene shown above), except for the buildings on the upper left. Unfortunately after painting all day I realized a fundamental problem with the composition. Don't you just hate when that happens?! Well, that is the point...there is always room for improvement, and painting everyday is my plan for improvement.

I plan to finish this painting, but I don't think I will ever be happy with it, because there are too many elements competing with the focal point, and I should have simplified the composition before I started.

I have been told that each daily painting doesn't have to be a masterpiece, and so I will try not to be deterred by this inauspicious start!