Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In the HEAT of Summer: Part Two Plein Aire "PLAYING"

Besides taking a class at college, I tried to put my birthday present (a new plien aire easel) to use this summer. These pictures are backwards in time, but I started in late May at Point Pinos in Monterey and the last location is here at home at Vasona Lake. It is my intention to keep working at capturing a painting quickly on location. Vasona Lake

I did two plien aire just about 3 hours. ---------------------------------------
Donner Lake
Oil 9"x12"

Yes...the smoke was here too!
We were out in the California Fires for our two weeks of vacation!
And I still painted in "plein aire"...cough...cough

This was after about an hour.


Lake Trinity

"Di Ja Voux" Houseboat
Our trip was cut short due to the fires.

"View from SawMill"

Oil 6"x8"

Dale made me a drying rack...last minute...but it worked out great. You can't just let oil paintings sit around a houseboat with 12 people and a dog!
"Di Ja Voux"
Oil 6" x 8"
while Nick was chopping up the waters on a jet ski!

Point Pinos Lighthouse

After one hour....

The other three little paintings were just playing with what paint I had left on my palette.




In the HEAT of the Summer: Part One - College Class

Assignment One: Monochromatic Painting from a Newspaper Clipping

I was assigned this newspaper clipping and was told to paint with only black and white...but you can't use black out of the tube! You have to make your own black. Well I have done that before, but I never did a whole painting with just black/white. I really was pleased with the results. I just had a hard time keeping the black consistent...sometimes it was day bluer.

This is a close up shot of Michelangelo's "Pieta" marble statue where Mary is holding Jesus after he was taken down from the cross. You can see Mary's hands holding her son.

Monochromatic "Pieta"
Oil 16" x 20"


Assignment Two: Still Life in Local Color

Basically we were assigned to bring in whatever we wanted for a still life or use the teacher's set up. I brought in some of my stuff and used some of the classrooms stuff. One thing I learned was to have a backdrop of color in your set up. I usually just pretend to see a color or use the wall is so much better to have a color behind to sort of unify the objects. I didn't finish this one...came close, but had to leave for a week for our family vacation. I think I would like to finish the grapes and maybe strengthen the highlights on the pitcher. Oh Yeah..local color is just what it looks like. The class did a second painting the week I was gone of the same still life, but the next one was to be done in an "Expressionist pallette"...meaning whatever color strikes your fancy!

This was my set up before I started...

Still Life: Grapes and Pewter Pitcher

Oil 16" x 20"


Assignment Three: In the style of ...

The assignment was to pick from a list of Expressionist painters and paint an original painting that would look like another painting by that artist. Well I picked "Utrillo".

I started this one...didn't finish, because I just wasn't getting the colors right because Utrillo didn't have sunsets like this. This was from a photo I had taken from an apartment we had stayed in in Paris. It fit the style of the painting, but the not the color scheme. So instead of trying to paint it all again,

I just started over and the second painting is more


This was our view from our apartment in Paris

...see the beatiful sunset

...well not Utrillo-ish!

Rue de Madeleine

Acrylic 16"x 20"


Assignment Four: Landscape Pastiche

"pastiche" means....

work of art that combines themes and styles from various sources in such a way as to appear obviously derivative. Pastiches are frequently passed off as works by the artists from whom the motifs and figures were taken.

We were to take several plein aire landscapes and combine them into a new painting. I used the plein aire piece I did at my friend's property. I combined it with a vase of flowers from my garden and a pie dish I had.

It is not always easy to figure these things out, but this is what I came up with.

Summer's Kitchen

Oil 22" x 28"

I love to Learn...

I love to Paint...

I love to Enjoy Summer!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

At Summer's End

Here at "Summer's End" I'm pleased to say that I really enjoyed my summer of 2008. I loved watching my Artist's Garden grow and was inspired often to quickly sketch what I grew from seed. I also absolutely loved that I could get wonderful sweet tomatoes that tasted like candy. I made so many bouquets of flowers for the house and friends - couldn't be better. Now that the summer is coming to an end...I just have to make a few more batches of fresh pesto!