Thursday, May 21, 2015

Detecting a Theme?

16 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

Loyal readers of this blog may be detecting a theme around here lately. I'm working on a series of paintings of plants for an upcoming show I've decided to call "Floats and Flora." If you think that's a stupid name, don't tell me! It was hard to come up with - but I give myself credit. Last time I had to name a show I went with the yawn-inducing "New and Selected Works." I call that progress.

Speaking of progress, here's a work-in:

And here's my patient model. Holding very still. 

Thanks for looking!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Grapefruit In Four, and A Bit About Underpaintings

 "Grapefruit in Four"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

Here's a work-in-progress shot, including a view of the setup:

You can see a lot of my underpainting here - I start with a dull orange wet-tone on the canvas, then add darks and pull out lights, laying in my composition first with the dull orange mixture, then adding alizarin crimson and dioxazine purple for the darkest darks. 


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Two Grapefruit, and Upcoming Workshops

 "Two Grapefruit"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

I'm not doing any teaching this month, which is actually a good thing, since I have a big show coming up in August for which I'm trying to make a bunch of new work. 

June's going to be a bit busier, with a still life workshop in Hillsboro June 5-7th, and the second round of my new Mindful Mixing workshop here in Eugene the 13-14th. I miss teaching, but I'm enjoying some uninterrupted studio time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A New Zorn Palette Portrait

9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

This was one of those paintings that practically fall off the brush. I especially enjoyed painting those eyes! I love how the subtle topography of her face demanded really controlled value shifts across the flesh tones. 

You can see a photo of the model with her portrait on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I'm Kind of a Plant Lady

 "Floats and Flora"
12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas
click to buy

As I've shared with you before, I'm kind of a plant lady. I did actually once work as a professional plant waterer in office buildings, but my houseplant obsession was already well established by then. It's the kind of thing where, even though you know you have no where to put them, you can't resist buying more. Then they get bigger, and you have to prune them....but you can't throw those pieces away!?! Hence, lots of baby plants. Like the one in this painting. It's a Peperomia Jayde, and I bought the parent plant back in the Cleveland days, so over eight years ago now.

Here are some plant paintings of mine from years past.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Deep Blue Gaze, and I Critique my Former Self

 "Deep Blue Gaze"
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

It's been a long time since I've painted this model, Dylan. In fact, I can't believe that this piece was painted over four years ago! Here's another one from the same time period. 

At the time, I remember being really proud of this one, but looking at it now, I have several critiques. There are way too many brushstrokes on the face, especially the forehead. The line where the nose meets the shadow cast by the nose is too sharp, and the ear on the shadow side of the head is far too light/saturated. I feel like all the shadows are a bit too light, too cool. So the face feels flat.

Now, if I was delivering this scathing commentary to a student of mine, I would certainly mix some positive things in with the negative. The drawing is good, I'd say, and the eyes and face have a definite expression. I actually like the way I handled the background - one side warmer, one side cooler. And I like some of the soft edges where the hair meets the background.

Anyway, back to the present! Here's a progression:
And here's a shot, on Facebook, of the model himself with his portrait.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Citrus Catch-Up

"Orange on Yellow"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas
Click to buy

I painted this a few weeks ago, when I was working with this set-up. Somehow it slipped through the cracks and never got blogged. So here it is! No statute of limitations in painting.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mindful Mixing

 "Limited Palette Lemons"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas
Sold, demo painting

I just wrapped up the inaugural session of a brand new workshop called "Mindful Mixing." It's kind of a blend of color theory with my existing still life workshop exercises.

We started off with a complimentary color painting. Learning to see color as By painting an all-white still life using No. White. 

Here's my demo, painted with Hansa yellow and Dioxazine purple:

By the end of the workshop, we were doing full-spectrum paintings using only three tubes plus white. My lemon demo above was painted using only Alizarin crimson, Cadmium yellow, and Cerulean blue. Can you believe I got the bowl to feel that deep deep blue using only Cerulean? 

Here are some shots from the weekend, including incredible student work:

I'll be teaching Zorn palette portrait at Oregon Art Supply this weekend - there are still spots open. Mindful Mixing will be run again soon - so sign up for their mailing list for information on that! Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Oklahoma City: A Tornado of Paint!

 "Crimson Radishes"
8x8 inches, oil on canvas
Sold, demo painting

I took my still life show on the road again this month, traveling to Oklahoma City to teach my second workshop at The Conservatory for Classical Art.
We did a TON of painting - from ten minute paintings to ten stroke paintings. We painted eggs, we painted tea, we painted peppers, radishes, cantaloupe... pretty much the whole produce department.

I had a blast. Already looking forward to heading back in September to teach Zorn Palette Portrait.

 "Lemon Tea in OKC"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas
Sold, demo painting

What a fabulous group! Thanks for painting with me.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Saying More With Less...And What I'm Up To This Weekend

9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

Here is a nude from several weeks ago, painted guessed it - the Zorn palette! I tried really hard not to overwork any part of this painting - often it's more difficult to say more with less than to take an area and work in every little detail. I'm extremely pleased with the variety of flesh tones happening in this one.

Here's an in-progress shot, on Facebook. You can see how small tweaks to the face make a huge difference in expression.

I'm in Oklahoma City this weekend, teaching a still life workshop at The Conservatory for Classical Art. You can follow my adventures on Facebook and Instagram.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Two Portrait Demos

9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

Here are my two demos from the last round of Zorn Palette Portrait at Oregon Art Supply. They each took about two hours to complete. Here's a roundup of the previous session.

If you'd like to explore this uniquely-portrait-suited palette, I've got a TWO DAY Zorn workshop coming up May 2nd & 3rd. You can read all the info here.

"Lindsey With Earrings"
11 x 14 inches, oil on canvas

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Splatter Paint!

"The Speckled Dish" 
10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

To achieve the speckled effect on this little ceramic dish, I first modeled the form, including the highlights, then I loaded up my brush with runny paint, hauled off and flicked it at the canvas. You can see how it looked at that point here.

Of course, I had to take care of all that before painting anything else, going against my usual method of bringing the whole painting together at once, never finishing any one area before moving on.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Floating Colors

"Floating Colors"
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

I love painting these glass floats! Especially all the crazy things that happen in their cast shadows. This colorful composition, painted under halogen lights in my home studio, is a far cry from the muted, window-lit compositions I came up with when I painted these floats on the coast!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My First Pregnant Model

18 x 14 inches, oil on canvas
 I've wanted to paint a pregnant model ever since I fell in love with Alice Neel's work, back in college. I don't really paint like Neel, but I'm inspired by the frankness with which she sees her subjects - and the fearlessness of her paint handling. She obviously had zero fear of a blank canvas!

I've painted this woman many times, but this is the first time during her pregnancy. It's true what they say - and I witnessed this in myself when I was pregnant - there's a radiance that comes with the territory. I hope I captured just a little of it.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Citrus Morning

 "Citrus Morning"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I really enjoyed painting this orange, which was surprisingly red on the inside - more like a grapefruit than your traditional orange. The variety is called "Cara Cara," and it's also surprisingly delicious!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Curvy Company

 "Curvy Company"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I crowdsourced this great title on my Facebook page. So fun to see what everyone suggested! 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Green Apples, Pink Plates

"Granny Smith Snack"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

I love Granny Smith apples. You can keep your weirdly expensive Honeycrisps and your other strange new varieties. My favorite apples to eat (and paint) are these. It's funny, though...growing up in Ohio, and now living in Oregon, apple picking has been an annual tradition - and yet I've never picked Granny Smiths. Where do they come from?

I'm also pleased to report that, though I bought it sometime back in 2014, this is the first time I've managed to (somewhat) successfully paint this pink plate. :)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Teaching in my New Studio

 "Sliced Orange Still Life"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

I've been teaching my still life workshop in lots of places lately, but not right here in Oregon. That's going to be changing very soon!

My new studio is the perfect size to host a small group of artists, and I'm hoping to do just that April 10-12th. We'll be painting still lives very much like the one I posted today, and doing exercises focused on loosening up our eyes and our painting hands.

Here's all the information.

And here's a shot of my new studio (before I started messing it up!):

Can't make the workshop? I'm also offering private lessons, in 3 hour blocks, for groups of one to three. For more information on that, email me!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lemon Wedges - A one dollar auction!

"Lemon Wedges"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

A few weeks ago, I moved into a new studio - and as I'm coming to find out, getting acclimated to working in a new space is a process! Familiar objects take on new characters, colors don't look quite the same. Lighting has to be experimented with. If you're me, that one's an endless process!

This is the first sketch I made in my new space. Since then, there have been several wipers, a truly weird painting (I won't post it, I'm not really even sure who painted it, it looks nothing like my normal work), and at last, more recently, some better stuff. 

Which I'll begin to show you tomorrow!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Come Paint With Me!

"Garlic on a Purple Plate"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

Here's a painting from last year which I'm pulling out of the vault because it's a perfect example of the type of subjects we paint in my workshop, "Painting the Dynamic Still Life." It's three days of fun and hard work, and I've got sessions coming up in Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Portland, and also at my home studio in Eugene!

You can read about some of my past workshops here, here, and here.