Thursday, May 26, 2016

Practicing - more studies

Class exercises. I am taking a weekly webinar with Johannes Vloothuis on "Landscape Symbols". The classes are too long for my attention span, but I can go back online and watch the recordings. This was a very reasonable fee for so many hours of classes ($19.99 for three Saturdays).  Now I have to practice what I have learned.  I have also downloaded the classes so I can refer back to them. He is an excellent teacher and provides PDF files of his pointers.  I have his book too (Landscape Painting Essentials). The webinars are through North Light using Lightstream.  Once you have paid and signed in, you can also post questions during the webinar while he is teaching. Here is a better link if you want to sign up for any of his classes or to buy videos.

Top painting shows a mixed group of deciduous and evergreen trees (from my own photo of fall trees at Lake Massabesic). Middle image on left shows a watercolor practice piece from the webinar.  Right image is a study of an abandoned boat (from my own photo) along the road in Ein Hod (Israel).

Bottom image shows (left) deciduous trees practice and top is the mixed one.  I am using canvas panels, canvas paper and Arches oil paper for the oil painting studies.  I am using a watercolor block for the watercolor study.

I have started a new 16" X 20" oil painting and have done the basic block in (below).  The blob in the middle will eventually look like a rowboat.  I rearranged my composition since I did not want to have the boat in the middle (see study above).  I plan on working on this today. I'm a bit distracted as the plumber is going in and out of my studio repairing a leaky pipe. He had to cut into the drywall in the kitchen above to find the leak.  Luckily nothing got damaged as we caught the leak in time.

High and Dry WIP

Ein Hod view 16" X 20"
I think this one is finally done. I've left it for a few weeks in case I thought I might want to fix anything but I'm happy with it as is.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Decisions, decisions

Sometimes I can't decide which photo to paint and which media to do it in. I had done an acrylic sketch of this round house (a private home) in Ein Hod, Israel while I was there, but my sketch did not show how rounded the house was. This time I tried pen and ink first on cold press paper, then I used my acrylic paints as watercolor.  The painting is not for sale, it's just a study for me so I haven't put it up on my website.  I don't like it enough to paint a larger painting, but when I look at it, I remember my walks through the village and all the interesting stone buildings I saw there.

This is the completed sketch from last post, the arches at Ein Hod. Again, I don't like it enough to do a larger painting, although if I did, I would change the color palette to make it more interesting. The doors on the building appear red in the photo, but they are really a reddish brown. I still haven't figured out shadows and need more instruction on those. I signed up for some webinars that start this weekend. I saw that "shadows" was on the list of instructions so that should help me.

I practiced with a few scraps of canvas this week, just some Bob Ross techniques.  He makes everything look so easy, but when I try, I wind up with a big mess.  Meanwhile, I have a friend prodding me to do some "plein air" (outdoor) painting with her. Just waiting for a good day to do that. It's still cold and rainy here, but hopefully we are finished with the frost in the early mornings now.  I'm looking forward to taking my bike out again soon and getting out on the trails. Since I've had a meniscus tear, I haven't been able to walk as much as I like, or to go hiking. I should be able to manage the bike on easy trails since I can do the bicycle at the gym. Now that I am 70 I find that my body takes a long time to heal from injuries, much longer than when I was younger, but I still have the desire to go out and try, especially where the trails are concerned.

I have a big exhibit coming up in July and I've ordered frames and designed some labels. Some of my paintings look fine without frames (just wired stretched canvases), but I didn't think they would look good that way for a professional exhibit. I'll put up more news closer to July. There will be a public reception in July in Bedford, NH. I'll also be reading two of my poems that reflect two of the landscape paintings that will be up. I'm looking forward to it.