As you artists know, some of the best days are ones where you can spend hours in your studio. It brings me quiet and peace in my busy life, and gives me a chance to breathe in the lovely fragrance of turpentine…ha ha. My husband caught me at one of those moments when I had been painting almost all day; fresh out of bed hair-do, no make-up, no shower (yuck), and decided he must take my picture with my blissful smile.
It’s also a time of experimenting and painting exactly the way I want to paint, without outside influences. Here’s a favorite of mine, done that day. Simple shapes, simple understated color:
I look forward to winter and pray I receive the gift of time, to paint more.
I spent a week in Delco Idaho soaking in the beautiful fall and the clean air with some other Bend painters. We had a great time and painted hard! Now that I’m back home I’m trying to get more days of painting in during the week and that is difficult. But it won’t happen unless I make it happen, right? I hope you all are pursuing your passions as well!
It has been a good long time since I have posted and have made a resolution to be better at this. I recently watched a free video of a talk by Bryan Mark Taylor at the annual Plein Air Magazine Convention, on the topic of becoming a master, and “chunk” learning. The second half was especially good when he took questions from the audience. So here is the URL for the video. I’m sure you will find it interesting. Enjoy!
“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.” -Edward Degas
“Paint the essential character of things”. -Camille Pissarro
“Goodwill is a necessary condition for peace.” -Fr.Jacques Philippe
It’s so important to keep your artist eye tuned up and the best way is painting from life. It’s usually more fun too! The snow has been blowing a lot this winter and when it gets below zero at night, the days don’t seem to every get warm enough to venture outside. So looking out the studio window is the next best thing. Here are a few studies done the last 3 days which is the beginning of the 30 day challenge in which I’m participating.
Burr, Painting Fast
My studio generally looks like this, and this is why:
To get the most mileage out of your brush, work on many paintings at the same time. That decreases eye and brain fatigue and lets your brain re-boot, so when you get back to a certain piece, you can see it with a fresh eye. Set aside one day a week to experiment. Most of us don’t experiment enough, and through experimentation we learn and grow. But experiment with a goal i.e.: color, or design, or editing, or format, or different techniques and styles. I recently did a bunch of 5 x 7’s, of the same landscape design, in different color harmonies by using my color wheel. Some of the color schemes I tried were monochromatic, complementary pairs, primary triads, secondary triads, tertiary triads, split comps on and on. The results taught me a lot about combinations that attracted me. I’ve also been experimenting with different formats for the same image. There are a lot of areas for trying new directions and winter is a perfect time to hole up in your studio and enjoy God’s gift of TIME. Happy painting!
I was flipping through the photos on my iPad and a big sigh exited my being when I saw this one. I think we can be sure now that the warm days of plein air painting are behind us as we head into winter. Why do the days just fly by?
Sometimes seeking inspiration in plein air is like being lost in a sea of rocks. This pic was from my adventure at the Umpqua Valley Art Association’s plein air event and is on the Umpqua River early in the morning of the second day (taken from my painting buddy, Kathleen).
Some artists don’t, but I do…..use my plein air paintings to create larger studio pieces. Here is one I just finished using an 8 x 10 plein air sketch. I feel that paintings done in this manner are far more personal and honest than using photographs.
Is it going to hang with a frame or without? Frames can definitely add a polished and elegant look to a piece of artwork, but the deep canvases of today offer a very contemporary feel, without necessitating a frame. I had been a fan of the no-frame family, but recently I wondered what a simple floater type frame would look like on a couple of my large landscapes. I liked the change! That doesn’t mean I will totally frame everything, it just means I will keep it for an option. Here is Hymn of Winter, 24 x 30, with it’s new frame:
What do you think?