Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Palette Knife Painting

Spring Blossoms, Oil 8" X 10"

I have been working hard on a detailed painting of the Merrimack River under the bridge in Manchester, NH. So I gave myself a break and took out a sheet of canvas paper, taped it to a board and just played with a few oil colors and a palette knife.  I had seen a video as an example, but used my own image as an inspiration (crabapple blossoms in the spring).  I thought about using a more oriental style for this, simplifying my photo, just keeping the basics.  I used four colors only, titanium white, burnt umber, cadmium yellow and alizarin crimson. This was really fun and I can understand why people are attracted to palette knife painting. It does use up much more paint than a brush. Next time I'll try it with acrylic paint and see if I like that as much.

I liked my initial study of "By the Bridge", 8" x 10" on board and decided to make a 16" X 20" on canvas as well.  I painted these from one of my photos that I took recently (on a very cold day, but very little snow around.)  The image is for a proposal for my art group, Friends of Art Manchester. We will be doing a project for Webster House in Manchester during the winter. You can see the proposals that were submitted on their website.

By the Bridge study, acrylic, 8" X 10"
This is my initial study with acrylic paints. I think I might play with it some more using the oil paints now.

By the Bridge, acrylic, 16" X 20", WIP

I am almost done with this one now.  Every time I look at it, I see a few more details I need to fix. That is why I enjoyed painting the blossoms - no details!  I actually like doing both kinds of paintings, with details and without. I find it much more enjoyable when I don't have to worry about straight lines and perspective. But I do enjoy the final product when I have worked my way through all the issues.

I have signed up for an oil painting class at New Hampshire Institute of Art.   It is a continuing education class in the evening.  I have taken classes there in the past and I hope this one will help me with my struggles learning how to paint with oil paints.  There's always something new to learn with art.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Exhibit and Reception on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015

I have two paintings on exhibit through the Manchester Artists Association. While the reception is this Saturday, the paintings will be up at the Audubon Center in Auburn through the middle of February.

There are hiking trails at the center. If there is enough snow, these trails are also available for cross country skiing and snow shoeing. There is no fee to use the trails.

For more information and directions:

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Painting from photos

Max and Abe by the shore. Oil, 8" X 10". A little study from a photo I took in Israel in 2012.

The composition of  the original photo (above) left a lot to be desired. I didn't want my friends to be looking out of the edge of the painting. I tried using Photoshop to rearrange the composition, but eventually decided that cut and paste would work better for me.  So I printed out the photo, both in black and white and in color and moved the pieces around. I decided that less of the lake would look better too as I wanted the focal point to be on the men, not the lake. I didn't think the bird was needed either.

I'm not sure if the painting is done. I'll leave it for a few weeks and see if I feel that I need to do something more. It is study and I didn't like it enough to make a larger painting. The photo was taken at the International Birding and Research Center in Eilat, Israel (this is at the southern tip of Israel). I don't remember if this was an actual lake, or just an inlet from the sea.

Meanwhile I started a more abstract painting in brighter colors of clouds, mountains and water. I'm not sure when I'll figure out if that is done or not. I'll post it next week.

I'm also working on a study for an urban painting that will eventually be 4' x 5'.  This is for a canvas panel that will be donated to a non-profit children's home and is part of a project from my Friends of Art Manchester group. My husband and I went down to the millyard in Manchester one cold day and took photos of the bridge, mill buildings and the river.  My study is of an urban scene for the painting which will eventually go into a conference room.  It should be interesting if my study is approved as I will have to grid it up from 8" X 10" to 4' X 5'. I know how to do that, but it can be tedious. Even if it is not approved, I may do a larger 16" X 20" painting since I have that size canvas in stock and I like the image.