Sunday, July 28, 2013

Plein Air - Sunflower Fields

                                                                      Acrylic Plein Air, 8x8"

This painting needed me to go out in the field two times to complete it.  The first time poured buckets on me before I even finished my block-in!  I went last Sunday and finished this past Wednesday.  It has taken me until now to find time and good weather enough to get a photo and blog it for you.

I may have bitten off more than I could chew on this one, and I may have overworked it, too.  However, it was a very good experience for me in that I had to deal with lots of people seeing me paint publicly for the first time.  The way I was set up, though, was next to a road, so people could only see if they were driving.  They could slow down, but they couldn't really stop to watch for long, so how self-conscious could I really get?  I was able to practically "paint like nobody's watching."  One woman did turn her car around, asked to take my picture while I was painting, and told me she thought the painting was beautiful, so that was tolerable!

My favorite part of painting this one was doing the brushstroke in between the tree trunks!  That one made me so happy!  That occurred the first day of painting.  I had the foresight to take a photo of my stage one, because I liked the block-in enough that I was afraid I would ruin it by going back to work on the painting.  So, for the first time, I can show you the bones of one of my paintings.  Not quite a step-by-step, but the closest I have come so far:

                                                                First step, plein air acrylic

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Back Home, In More Ways than One!

                                                                                       Acrylic, 12x12"

Home from where?  First, I am home from my workshop with Dreama Tolle Perry.  I urge you to check out her combo website/blog if you haven't already, by clicking on her name.  She is a wonderful painter, writer, and motivational speaker for artists and for everyone, because she speaks to life, not just to painting.  I wrote about her workshop in my post yesterday (click here to read my workshop review).

I am also home in another way--I am back with my acrylic paints!  I used oils in Dreama's workshop, which seemed necessary to learn what she teaches.  When I came home, I couldn't wait to dive into my acrylics.  Started Thursday and finished this morning, I had a blast painting this painting!  I made a point to not be too concerned about neatness, feeling ok with the paint intermingling at its own will.  I was so happy to be able to layer wet on dry, too, and allow some of the underneath layers to show.   For instance, the darkest parts of the vase have purple peeking through, and you can even see some of the initial magenta drawing.  Even though it doesn't make for a tidy painting, I really enjoy seeing the color vibrations (more than the photo can show) and levels of process in the finished painting.  This is how I like to paint, at least for now...

By the way, I am soooooo glad I painted this on 12x12" -- four times as large as I often paint.  I loved having space to move that brush more freely!  And I am quite pleased with this painting....

Thanks for being here, Watchers...

Friday, July 19, 2013

I am no Dreama!

                                                                                             oil, 12x12"

This week, I had the pleasure of attending a workshop with Dreama Tolle Perry in her hometown, Paris, Kentucky.  As an acrylic artist, I had to muster up some courage to attend an oil painting workshop, but muster I did.  Dreama has a unique style of teaching her method of using the paints, in that she will go through one stage of the painting as a demo and then the participants go back to their own easels to do just that part.  Then...more demo, bringing the painting closer to resolution...and, you guessed it, students back to their easels to do the same thing.  Well, I can't exactly say I did what Dreama did, but I did the above, to the best of my ability.  It was quite amazing to see how different all our paintings were, even though we all witnessed the same demo and worked from the same reference photo.  We artists truly do all have our own "handwriting," as Dreama talked about. 

My favorite part of the workshop was the musical easels.  Dreama gave us each a reference photo to work from--I think there were four different photos.  We were to start our paintings and move on to the next easel when Dreama gave the word., taking our brushes with us, and using the paint the last artist had put out in order to work on the painting THEY had started.  We had very little time at our own easels--I would guess just a few minutes.  And so it went.  We moved from easel to easel, just a few minutes at each stop.  Before the workshop, knowing that Dreama does this exercise, I had imagined I might have to apologize to people for messing up their paintings, since I don't know oils.  But, what actually happened for me is that I would arrive at a painting and could see exactly what I thought it needed next.  So, I was able to approach each easel with the mindset "how may I serve?"  How may I serve this painting?  I can't tell you how great it was to just see something and act on my idea.  I felt quite supported, knowing I was surrounded by a group of very good artists who could always come in behind me and fix up if I had messed up.

Dreama gave us a three brushstroke allowance when we got back to our own easels to make any changes or additions, then we were to bring our paintings to a spot on the floor for the group photo shot.  Here's the funny part for me...I took Patti Mollica's workshop in April, and she had us paint a complete painting in 20 brushstrokes, teaching us how to really load our brushes and really move that brush around to get maximum coverage and interesting brushstrokes.  So, when I decided the entire background in the upper part of my painting needed to be darker, I was able to make that happen in ONE stroke.  BY that point, most of the other artists already had some paintings up for the photo shoot, and there was grumbling that some of us were cheating.  However, I knew I had NOT cheated.  Dreama defined brushstroke the same way Patti Mollica did.  Touch the brush to the board and when it lifts up, that brushstroke is done.  So, I absolutely didn't cheat!

Being around Dreama Tolle Perry for a few days was hugely inspiring.  She has a way of uplifting her students and emphasizes the importance of enjoying/loving the process of painting.  It was a pleasure to meet her and the other students, as well. 

Other students kept asking me if I would be using oils in the future.  I am not sure.  I think I will probably play with them, but I was really happy yesterday to be back with my good friends, my acrylics!  One thing I did learn, though, is that I want to paint larger.  The larger board helped me feel more comfortable and free.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Last One Before Workshop

                                                                                         Acrylic, 6x6"

I enjoyed painting that mug from the last painting so much, I decided to paint it again.  I have spent a couple sessions on this one, too.  I labored over this one more than the other one.  Hmmmmmm....what did I say about the last one?  I painted "for the sheer pleasure of applying paint to board."  There might be something to that approach!

I am headed off to a painting workshop tomorrow with Dreama Tolle Perry.  Maybe I'll learn a thing or two about a thing or two.  I am looking forward to having some instruction.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Should Have Been Sleeping

Acrylic, 6x6"

Three nights ago, I started painting this when it was a half hour past my bedtime.  I had energy and basically took a notion that I wanted to be painting.  "Painting" as in verb.  I wasn't focused on product, just process.  I pretty much went to the kitchen and took the first few items I saw; didn't give too much thought to arranging the perfect composition or anything.  Just put the items down in a way that was pleasing enough to me and went at it.  For the sheer pleasure of applying paint to board, not thinking too much, just doing.  Two nights ago, I had a second short go at the painting, putting in some fixes I wanted to do, also past my bedtime.  Tonight, I took this photo and get to blog it for you!

Thanks for looking....

Sunday, July 7, 2013

WC Friends, Don't look at this till the 21st!

                                                                                         Acrylic, 6x6"

Hi Watchers, long-time no post.  Today, my sister made me promise that I would post my monochromatic studies, since I haven't posted to this blog in awhile.  I decided to post this one instead.  It's my first shot at painting for an on-line challenge.  We are all supposed to be inspired by the theme of pubs, and everyone withholds their painting until the 21st of the month, so no one is influenced by anyone elses' painting.  This is painted from a photo, which some of you know can be difficult for me.  The reference photo is my own, although gorgeous references were provided in case we wanted to use them. 

I am more pleased with the painting than the photo of the painting.  As usual.  You will be happy to hear I am going to invest in Photoshop Elements.  Then maybe you will stop hearing me complain about my photos of my paintings.  I know it doesn't become me.

I may make a couple of changes to this one, but I also think the learning for me is to use a larger panel if I want to paint something with so much intricacy.  

Perhaps I will show you those monochromatic studies soon.

Thanks for checking in!  I do appreciate your being here....
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