“All artists are two-headed calves.” – Truman Capote

February 3, 2020

These are the products of my 2020 Daily Art Project in January. In 2020 I am trying to replace one of my drawings with a small painting each week and so far this is going well. If I can manage more than one painting in a week that will be great, but once a week is my starting point.
My theme for the month was basic forms and I chose as my subject matter a set of 6 geometric forms. In most of my drawings and my paintings I was trying to pay attention to the variations of tones within the planes of the shapes – the side of the square that is totally in the shade is not just a flat tone but changes from side to side, etc. I was also trying to avoid lines where I could and instead emphasize the change of tone on either side of the line and trying to keep those lines soft. 
 
For the paintings, I’ve been using Gamblin FastMatte oil paints. Although this line of paint was designed for underpainting, I was attracted to their matte quality and in practice, I like that aspect of them, but I’m not really fond of the texture of the paint itself. Some of the colours are quite stiff out of the tube and I am mixing them with Gamblin Galkyd Gel and Gamsol which helps, but they really do dry quite quickly and often by the time I’m finishing they are no longer that easy to blend into. I intend to continue with them until I either change my mind or run out of the colours I have. We’ll see which comes first. 
I returned to graphite for the last four drawings in January mainly as I found myself short of time and graphite is an old friend that feels comfortable and quick – and I have a variety of options in the graphite family. In order to keep my drawing loose, I like to use a dull pencil – as I did for the drawings on the 28th and 29th. Then for a contrasting experience on the 30th and 31st, I switched to a series of mechanical pencils with different grades of graphite. I find the precision of the fine-points influences me to approach the drawing differently and I quite like the result I achieved. It has made me think it might be fun to spend an entire month on graphite in varying forms to explore the options and results. But not in February…..

“To depend entirely upon inspiration is as bad as waiting for a shipwreck to learn how to swim….”

“To depend entirely upon inspiration is as bad as waiting for a shipwreck to learn how to swim. To leave everything to natural spontaneity is as bad as to make everything the result of mechanical pre-determination… perfection is the harmonious blending of the two.” – Francois Delsarte

June 18, 2018

Skittles, Apr 28, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 8" X 8"

Skittles, Apr 28, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 8″ X 8″

Four Cups, May 6, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 8" X 8"

Four Cups, May 6, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 8″ X 8″

Balloon Dog, May 19, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 8" X 8"

Balloon Dog, May 19, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 8″ X 8″

Cream Pitcher, May 27, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 8" X 8"

Cream Pitcher, May 27, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 8″ X 8″

It seems it’s been a while that I’ve felt torn between trying to finish as many of my old canvases as possible and starting something new and larger. And in the absence of a decision between the two, I’ve either been working on smaller pieces or not working at all. Being a collector of art supplies, I have quite a few small canvassers and panels that I’m filling in short sittings with images that are not all that special to me. Their completion almost amounts to putting in time – but the intention is not a negative connotation. It’s more about keeping at it and removing the expectation of a certain outcome beyond a surface covered with paint that I can call ‘done’. I do have some time set aside in the near future to play with cold wax techniques and that just might lead to something new…

“Everyone repeats themselves.” – Rachel Whiteread

March 26, 2018

Wine & Pears Five, Feb 19, 2018, Oil on Panel, 20" X 16"

Wine & Pears Five, Feb 19, 2018, Oil on Panel, 20″ X 16″

Wine & Pears Six, Mar 3, 2018, Oil on Panel, 20" X 16"

Wine & Pears Six, Mar 3, 2018, Oil on Panel, 20″ X 16″

I finally finished the last two paintings in this six piece series I started last year. They’re all based on the same still life and my intention when I started was to work with the techniques introduced in the Craftsy class I had completed – I liked the subject matter and the idea of creating variations.

Below are all of the paintings together. I intend to hang them all on my living room wall to emphasize the differences and similarities between them. I will probably try another series similar to this, but I will use it to explore a variety of colour palettes. AFTER I finish at least some of the many paintings I have begun and am currently stuck on.

“A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God,” – Sidney Sheldon

January 29, 2018

Today’s quote is courtesy of the latest letter on The Painter’s Keys. 

I haven’t been painting that much lately with all of the time I’m spending on my daily drawing project, but I am slowly working through a series of what I hope will be six paintings of the same still life in different styles. I posted the first two paintings in October. The latest two are here.

Wine & Pears Three, Jan 14, 2018, Oil on Panel, 20" X 16"

Wine & Pears Three, Jan 14, 2018, Oil on Panel, 20″ X 16″

Wine & Pears Four, Jan 28, 2018, Oil on Panel, 20" X 16"

Wine & Pears Four, Jan 28, 2018, Oil on Panel, 20″ X 16″

Back in September I took on a composition of spoons on the spur of the moment, but I wasn’t really impressed with how it went. It sat against the wall, rather unloved until a couple weeks ago when I decided to see if I could improve upon it. I haven’t decide which one I like better – not that it matters as I simply painted over the first version to reach the second one. I find the subject matter interesting and I may have to try it again down the road.

Spoons Round One, Sep 2, 2017, Oil on Canvas, 12" X 12"

Spoons Round One, Sep 2, 2017, Oil on Canvas, 12″ X 12″

Spoons Round Two, Jan 20, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 12" X 12"

Spoons Round Two, Jan 20, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 12″ X 12″

 

“You don’t save your soul just painting everything white.” – Ettore Sottsass

Lily, Nov 4, 2017, Mixed Media on Cradled Birch Panel, 8″ X 10″

Stacked Cups, Nov 11, 2017, Oil on Birch Panel, 10″ X 10″

I’m still not feeling like painting very much – it just seems like work when I think about it. I painted both of these more as ‘experiments’ than as paintings – which is what made them possible at all.

“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” – Rabindranath Tagore

October 23, 2017

Wine & Pears One, Oct 7, 2017, Oil on Panel, 20" X 16"

Wine & Pears One, Oct 7, 2017, Oil on Panel, 20″ X 16″

Wine & Pears Two, Oct 21, 2017, Oil on Panel, 20" X 16"

Wine & Pears Two, Oct 21, 2017, Oil on Panel, 20″ X 16″

 

I’ve decided to play around a little with a series of paintings of the same still life approached with different styles. I have two completed and I’m not sure how many I will paint in total – it will depend mainly on my attention span. The first painting was done using the basic technique introduced in the Craftsy course that I completed: Paint & Palette Essentials. I didn’t incorporate all of the ideas from the course, but I did work quite a few in. Overall I’m pleased with the results in both paintings.

 

 

“To make us feel small in the right way is a function of art; men can only make us feel small in the wrong way.” – E.M. Forster

August 28, 2017

Couple of Pears, Aug 12, 2017, Oil on Panel, 8" X 8"

Couple of Pears, Aug 12, 2017, Oil on Panel, 8″ X 8″

Couple of Apples, Aug 19, 2017, Oil on Panel, 10" X 8"

Couple of Apples, Aug 19, 2017, Oil on Panel, 10″ X 8″

 

The last painting from my July Painting Challenge inspired me to paint the same painting a couple more times. I thought I may do a series of these incorporating variations, but after the third one I think I need a break. At least I have a set of three now.