Showing posts with label oil painting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oil painting. Show all posts

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fading Light

18 x 22"
soft pastel

Rough day.  I eventually got to the studio, painted for two hours, and wiped it out.  I know it happens, but I still find it distressing.  My hat's off to all of the daily painters who paint so beautifully, and so quickly.  I'm posting a pastel study that's preparatory for a larger oil.  This is my mom, who lives with me.  She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's three years ago.  I've finally taken leave from teaching art at the community college to care for her full time. Each day brings a new challenge. Some days I just feel flattened. And at a loss for words.  : -)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Live Sketch

Live Model
oil sketch
11" x 14"

Moving models are a particular challenge to paint.  And by moving, I mean anyone breathing. Too often, I'm chasing subtle shifts in light and expression all over my canvas, forgetting the lesson to simplify and grab hold of the essence. The frustrating thing about sketching live is the time limit.  The great thing about sketching live is the time limit.  I can only "tweak" things for so long before the sitting's over.  Usually, I just pray I've learned something to take to the next painting.  It was heartening to read that Sargent would pace back and forth in front of his easel swearing, and that Degas' family would wrestle paintings away from him because he never thought they were done.  

Friday, March 13, 2009

Look Up

Study: features
5" x 5"
oil on gessoed paper

The eyes at an angle, looking into light, posed a challenge. How to keep them properly shadowed and in the socket, yet feel illuminated and wet, all within a relatively narrow value range. Like most painters I know, I've spent a good deal of my life studying the works of others - past masters like John Singer Sargent and John White Alexander, or contemporary painters like Burton Silverman or Jeremy Lipking --wondering about paint handling and mediums, light direction, the colors in shadows, and what gives a particular painting life. In the end, it isn't until I tuck the mental analysis away and just paint that things begin to come together.
Thanks to my first blog followers, things are looking up!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Up Close

5" x 5"
oil on gessoed paper

I had lunch with a good friend today who asked if the last post was cropped or the full image. Good question! These studies of facial features are the full image. I was zeroing in on the parts of the face I wanted to practice painting. Keeping the format small and intimate, I could concentrate on developing skin tones and color mixing without worrying about the dreaded "rest of the picture." Thanks, Clare!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


study: features
5 x 5"
Oil on Gessoed Paper

I've been wrestling all day with understanding the technical side of blogging and search engines. Whew, do I have a lot of catching up to do. So I'm posting a study that I did a while ago to remind myself to smile.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Oil on gessoed paper

This is Darla who was a foster pup at PGSPCA. She was hanging out with the Townsend pack until she went to her forever home. Pam Townsend took some amazing photos that she graciously let me use for reference. Thanks, Pam!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Bloom Where You Are"

White Rose in Window
7" x 10"
oil on gessoed paper

This is my first post.  I'm a life-long painter, but I'm new to the blog party.  I'm trained as a classical realist, and decamped the corporate publishing world to paint full time fourteen years ago. Life, death and health intruded, as they do, and I'm now finding my way again.  Have been studying with Ed Ramsburg for the past year, and having great fun painting abstracts in acrylic.  Ed's critiques coupled with the freedom and challenge I've found in non-objective painting have informed my representational painting.  At least I like to think so.  Thank you for stopping in!