“Color is the place where our brain meets the universe.” – Paul Cezanne

August 14, 2017

July Painting Challenge – Conclusions and Notes

Panel Preparation
  • Started with 20 Exhibition Wood Cradled Panels from Opus – 15 were 8″ X 10″ slim panels (3/4″ deep) and 5 were 8″ X 8″ deep panels (1.5″ deep)
  • 3 coats of gesso applied to each panel with a light sanding between coats
  • 6 panels were covered with found paper and another 3 coats of clear gesso with a light sanding between coats
  • 9 panels were gessoed in black, grey or Venetian Red gesso
  • 3 panels were covered with gesso tinted with acrylic paint – light blue and yellow
  • The edges of all of the panels were gessoed black and I covered them with green painter’s tape while I was painting
Daily Process
  • Each day I started with about a half hour of drawing, often of the same subject that I would then paint. I found this very helpful to get a feel for the values of the subject matter with graphite or charcoal prior to taking on the paint.
  • I began most of the paintings with a very quick charcoal sketch directly on the panel.
  • I spent between one hour and an hour and a half painting each panel.
  • I painted with two spot lights – one directed to my subject matter and one to my easel and kept the blinds closed in order to control the light.
Random Notes
  • I played a lot with outlines which flatten the image, but then adding volume into the objects themselves with gradated values.
  • Trying to keep the edges sharp was tedious with oil paint and my lines became very inconsistent as a result, which annoyed me. Distinct outlines also created issues regarding shadows and light reflected off the edges of objects and how to portray that in a simplified manner.
  • On Day Fourteen, I decided to soften all of my edges – with a favourable outcome.
  • I should have known better and not cut the a lemon off on two sides on Day Seven. There was no way I was going to be able to make that lemon 3 dimensional after that. And I completely forgot to add the shadow under the bowl.
  • I really need to avoid outlining round objects until I learn to draw a better circle. This was a problem in Day Seven and again on Day Thirteen.
  • My lights were quite bright and the room fairly dark, which sometimes resulted in a fairly dark painting, as in Day Nine.
  • On Day Twelve I roughed in a few colours onto the pears and was about to start blending them in and then decided I liked it how it was and I just stopped.
  • Prussian blue is one of my favourite colours and it turned up in eight of the paintings and the combination of Prussian blue and burnt umber appeared in six of them.
  • The last 3 days I used all of the same colours.
 The biggest gain I achieved from this project was developing an increased ease at just jumping in and starting and not thinking about how it’s all going to turn out – and that has made it well worth the effort.

“We do not escape into philosophy, psychology, and art–we go there to restore our shattered selves into whole ones.” – Anais Nin

July 31, 2017

Another month complete – thirty-one drawings and fourteen paintings made it a busy month. I’m taking some time to draw conclusions from my painting challenge and will post them together in two weeks with those notes.

“To embrace luck, you have to enhance your tolerance for ambiguity.” – Twyla Tharp

December 19, 2016

Circle Composition Six, Dec 17, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 6” X 6”

Circle Composition Six, Dec 17, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 6” X 6”

I managed to work on three different pieces this weekend. This one was looking so much like a bullseye that I decided to add the eye.

More Reclaimed Pears, Dec 17, 2016, Mixed Media on Panel, 11” X 14”

More Reclaimed Pears, Dec 17, 2016, Mixed Media on Panel, 11” X 14”

Possibly too colourful, but I thought I’d try a different approach and this is where I ended up.

Seven Apples, Dec 17, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 48” X 36”

Seven Apples, Dec 17, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 48” X 36”

And I have decided that this is now finished. Unless of course I decide to come back to it at some point. For now though, it’s done.

“When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss Art. When artists get together for dinner, they discuss Money” – Oscar Wilde

October 17, 2016

Reclaimed Pears, Oct 15, 2016, Oil on Canvas Board, 11" X 14"

Reclaimed Pears, Oct 15, 2016, Oil on Canvas Board, 11″ X 14″

 

Sketchbook Orange, Oct 11, 2016, Graphite & India Ink on Paper, 10.5" X 13.5"

Sketchbook Orange, Oct 11, 2016, Graphite & India Ink on Paper, 10.5″ X 13.5″

Sketchbook Pear, Oct 14, 2016, Charcoal & India Ink on Paper, 10.5" X 13.5"

Sketchbook Pear, Oct 14, 2016, Charcoal & India Ink on Paper, 10.5″ X 13.5″

This week I spent a little time drawing fruit and then painted more fruit on the weekend. I reclaimed a canvas board that I’d previously been playing around with and decided to incorporate what was already there into the new image. I like this idea and may have to try it again soon. It somehow makes it all seem less precious – probably because it’s not a blank canvas that I’m beginning with. And maybe the fact that I’m recycling something that wasn’t really anything to begin with. (if that makes sense) I took a few pictures along the way. Lots of glare on the finished piece – hopefully I can get a better shot of it down the road.

Reclaimed Pears Underway 1

Reclaimed Pears Underway 1

 

Reclaimed Pears Underway 2

Reclaimed Pears Underway 2