Leonardo da Vinci

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.

--Leonardo da Vinci

Friday, April 27, 2012

Spring Time Still Life

Spring Time
This last weekend was mostly about still life painting, and i had these three Daffodils left over that i begrudgedly did not paint during Eric Jacobsen's workshop. I was determined to not let my efforts of finding them on the side of the road go to waste though, and so i stayed up way too late Monday night in an effort to give them their due.
After painting it, i let it rest for a couple days to let things get good and tacky, as i was planning on a second coat, but all i did was add some lighter shadow values to the daffodils and that was it. There are a couple things i was wanting to change, but the most important thing i found to this piece is its spontaneity. Much of the time, i enjoy going in two, three, and four times adding texture, building up a painting surface that would rival the consistency of a chewy granola bar, but not this one.
Although, there is a good amount of paint, it doesn't get bogged down and retains a freshness that i really like.
I've talked about it and many others have too; knowing when to stop can be a real challenge. And i am not willing to sacrifice the feeling or mood of a painting for sake foodling, at least not for today.
Today is about Spring, flowers in bloom, and of course the timing of things....

Friday, April 20, 2012

Going Outside the Lines....

Academy Ruins V
A main focus for painters is knowing where your light source is coming from and how it falls upon a subject. It is a most critical key ingredient when designing a composition. For many, that means getting out in the field before sun-up to capture that elusive early morning light, or staying late to take advantage of the amazing colors of a nocturnal scene.
As a rule of thumb, most painters and photographers put down their gear between the hours of 10am and 2pm due to the flat light that ocuurs that time of day. However, rules are meant to be broken, right?....
I began this painting about 1pm last sunday, not for its outstanding light quality though. I have been wanting to paint this scene for the lines and how the shadows fall across the grass and the face of this part of the Academy's old laundry building.
Even though it's the wrong time of day, i really enjoy the effective light on this old structure. Plus it was a great study of line and composition.
It's important that we know what we are trying to convey, what initially draws us to a particular composition and execute the emotion.
Like many, I enjoy painting amazingly lit scenes, but i also won't limit myself to staying in the lines; if you couldn't tell.... :{>

Friday, April 13, 2012

Urban Impressions

Out for a Stroll
Recently, i have hit my urban impressions of downtown Vancouver,WA. Last weekend, the weather was so nice - it gave me a great chance to get out and snag some well-lit scenes for a couple of plein air pieces, and some photographs for studio work.
This painting was done in studio, but i wanted to give it a plein air feeling. The initial pass went in quite quickly - i did not fuss with perfect lines. Instead i focused on putting splashes and swipes of color and value in loose fashion. If you've never done that, you should try it. It's almost like being a kid again. Or in my case, dinner was just about ready.....
Over the next couple evenings, is when i really focused. I tidied things up a bit and infused some intense light, but still tried to keep to the playful feeling. I left all the signage as strokes and splots to keep to the looseness of the design. And although this is a representational painting, it could be more an expression color and light.
I know this is a tall order for anyone outside the area; but can anyone guess what the subjects are in this painting?
One hint....The yellow building was the first home of The Columbian newspaper.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Still Life

Young at Heart
This past weekend was filled with the painting of Still Lifes and the main focus was an Eric Jacobsen workshop at Art on the Boulevard.
If you've never taken a workshop from Eric, i would highly recommend taking one. He is a great instructor with a wealth of knowledge and one of the most inspiring people i have ever met. If you already have, then you know what i mean.
Saturday, after MEKing around, we went trinket hunting at local thrift shops and i found some new subjects to add to the collection as well as a Frank Sinatra album that i just had to get.
By Sunday afternoon, my new vinyl, interestingly shaped friends, and flowers were begging to take center stage and perform. So, after my display was set, the turntable began to spin and i started to paint in a most passionate way. I usually paint in silence, as i am a deep thinker, but the electrifying sound of Sinatra energized me and i just didn't want it to stop.
I painted all afternoon, until it was dark, having to get up and flip the record every so often, but i didn't mind. Having Ol' Blue Eyes, fill our home with his captivating sound was worth every moment of what would be considered, to this day and age, a hassle.
After letting this painting sit for a few days to tack-up, i revisited it and made some modifications. I may make a few more adjustments, before i consider it done, but never-the-less, i hope you find this painting, Young at Heart.