Thursday, February 27, 2014

Experiments and WIP

Wild Apples, 11" X 14", oil

I have been experimenting with the canvases that I got to keep after I completed my testing for the Dick Blick Company.  It was interesting being a tester and I would be happy to do that again.  I gave some of the canvases that I felt were only fair or unacceptable to some of my artist friends to play with. They would still be good for collage, or with another couple of coats of gesso would be quite usable. Also, the ones with a texture that I felt was too rough might be fine for someone using a different technique.

The painting of Wild Apples is not quite finished.  I haven't been able to get a good photo and I notice that all my highlights on the apples disappear in the photo.  I think I need to lighten them some more and take a picture outside in natural light.  It has been quite cold and snowy here this winter so I will wait for a warmer day for that.

Anyway, I feel that I should apologize as I haven't been blogging as often as I would like.  I have been very busy with projects for the different non-profits that I am treasurer of and my painting time has been limited.  Those projects are almost finished now and I should have more time to paint.

These are experiments on Fredrix medium texture real artist canvas, 9" X 12". This paper comes in a pad and as you can see I taped it to a board to work on it. The canvas is already primed and ready to paint.  I was using up the paint that was left on my palette for the painting on the left.  I was looking at a photo, but not being precise.  Just getting the sense of the road and the trees in the background. I decided to make an actual painting (next photo below).

The experiment on the right, also on that same canvas pad was not from a photo or a view of anything. I had watched a Bob Ross demo online and thought I would like to try the wet in wet technique.  I found a recipe online for the "liquid white" or magic white that is used as the base and mixed some up.  Then I just tried some clouds, mountains etc., typical scenery.  I liked the way the paint (Artist water mixable oil) flowed and will probably try this again.  I didn't care for my trees, but that's probably because I wasn't painting from direct observation.  I felt that the composition was a bit boring, again for the same reason.  Some people can paint beautifully just from their imagination and memory. I still need visual aids but enjoy learning all these new techniques.

I haven't gotten too far with this 11" X 14" painting, but will continue to work on it.  I am going to put in some fall colors to liven things up. The photo is of Route 3 in Pittsburg, NH.  This is the road that goes up to the border station (Quebec, Canada). It's also informally called "Moose Alley". We like to go up to that area for fishing and hiking.  I'm not sure if I'll put in the road signs in the final painting or just leave it as a generic landscape.  The wild apple tree was also in Pittsburg. I took that photo by the First Connecticut Lake on our last trip there.

I'm setting up an exhibit at the Derry Public Library next week and will post my photos of my framed paintings then.  The library had a last minute cancellation for March and invited me back. They kept my name on file since they liked my work from last year.  I was happy to hear from them. More next week.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Winter 2014

Some people complain about the snow and cold weather, but I love going out into the woods on cross country skis. I've always felt something spiritual out in nature, no matter where I lived at the time.

My old skis gave out on me last week and I bought a new pair.  It is amazing how much better the new skis are.  They are wider and shorter.  Even though the snow was a bit icy, I did not have any difficulty staying up and moving along.  These trails are only about 15 minutes from my house.

The sun was out last week (photo below) and the snow was better quality. This was a different trail than the one above, but near it.

And this is what happens to old skis. It's called delaminating.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Finished Paintings

Sewalls Falls Bridge
Concord NH
Acrylic on canvas board, 11" X 14"

I had one leftover 11" X 14" canvas from a class. I thought this bridge would look good in that format. I cropped my photo with Photoshop and played with some of the artistic filters to decide how to paint the bridge.  I decided that less detail would work for me.  This is acrylic on canvas board.

There is an easy walking trail at the Sewalls Falls Multi-Use Recreation Area in Concord. The trail runs along the Merrimack River.  It continues to a second parking lot and another trail that goes to Concord Rotary Island Park.  We walked this trail in July last year and the shade from all the big trees was much appreciated.  There was a little beach further on and we met some friendly dogs and people there too.

View from West Rattlesnake
Oil on stretched canvas, 8" X 10"

A small 8" X 10" oil painting on stretched canvas.  The trails on West and East Rattlesnake in the Squam Lakes area of New Hampshire have beautiful views. They are easy to moderate for hiking and many families bring their children up there to have a little exercise and a picnic.

I am getting more comfortable with the water mixable oils (Winsor & Newton Artisan), but still haven't tried a larger size canvas.  I did an underwash with transparent pyrrole orange (acrylic). The colors are a little brighter than my usual and I like them.

To purchase a card or print of the scene above: 

Rabbi Y'Shia Stebsa Dion
Acrylic on canvas board, 8" X 10"

I finished my sepia painting of the rabbi.  After some good comments from other artists, I decided to make the right side lighter (the way it looks in the photo in my post of Jan. 22nd). I also worked on his beard a little more.  I'm happy with the result now and I probably won't try another portrait for a while. This was very challenging.  Acrylic painting on canvas board, 8" X 10" with limited colors, titanium white, burnt umber.  I did a very light burnt umber underwash on the canvas before I started the actual painting.

To purchase a card or print of the rabbi: