Sunday, May 29, 2016

Apricots, Fake Milk, and Art Mentorship

 "Apricots and Milk"
10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

A very good example of a complementary color scheme: yellow-orange and blue-violet. Limiting the range of colors within your painting is a great way to keep it simple and harmonious - and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with using a limited palette (though if you're looking for color harmony, there's no easier way to find it than to use one). 

For me, setting up a still life is an exercise in color mixing - before I even take my palette out of the freezer. (What, you don't keep your palette in the freezer? You actually have food in there?) 

Speaking of the interest of full disclosure, I admit that this is not real milk. I gave up eating dairy products four months ago, so almond milk is the model here. I never knew changing my diet would have such a profound impact on all aspects of my life! Ha.

Before I end this post, I will sneak in an announcement: I've begun offering online art mentorships, and I'm pretty excited about it! More information here. :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Figuring It Out

 "Humble Prayer"
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

I've been doing a lot of figures lately. I actually spent most of May working on a portrait commission, which I hope to share with you soon. Two figures in that one! I'm also teaching a figure painting workshop this weekend (a couple of spots still available - info here!), and have been drawing, painting, and thinking up a storm in preparation. 

But first, this piece. Painted over two sessions with a live model. And believe it or not....this is Zorn palette! Ok, not entirely. I added Alizarin Crimson to the mix - so the full palette is Titanium white, Yellow Ocher, Ivory Black, Cadmium Red, and Alizarin Crimson. As my painting buddy Farley said, Yeah, Zorn is turning over in his grave.

Sorry, Anders.

Left to right: first session, second session.

Want to watch me paint a live model? You can! This Friday night from 6-8 pm, at Whiteaker Printmakers, in fact. Belle will be my model.  
Here is all the info. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

La Belle Muse

12 x 24 inches, oil on canvas
Available through Brackenwood Gallery

I painted this guessed it! The Zorn palette. Which I believe I will henceforth be calling the Sedwick palette. No, just kidding. 

Cadmium red, yellow ocher, and ivory black - look how beautiful!

I'll be teaching a workshop on this method of figure painting May 28th and 29th, in Eugene. There will also be a two-hour demo on Friday evening, which is free for workshop students, but anyone can attend.  Details on that can be found here.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Busy Artist

"Three of Two Kinds"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

A busy artist is a happy artist! And between my workshops, private lessons, a portrait commission, and gallery shows, I'm overflowing with gratitude lately. 

But it's nice to get back inside the cozy confines of an 8 x 8 square, enjoying all the colors in these green and golden apples.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Primary Palette

 "Cut Apple" 
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

This weekend, I taught at two-day oil painting workshop called "The Primary Palette," painting still lives using a three-color palette. Color choice is up to each artist - any red, yellow, and blue combo they like.

I chose Cadmium red light, Azo yellow, and a new-to-me color, Maya Blue, by Rublev paint

Painting with a palette like this is a great way to get acquainted with new-to-you colors.

Above, you can see my color wheel - beautiful oranges and greens, very dull (but beautiful) violets. That's the result of a yellowish red combined with a muted blue - and my demos of the awesome "Stroke Economy" exercise. A workshop favorite!

And here is some of my students' work. Fabulous!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Portrait Painting With A Limited Palette

 "Adrian on Red"
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

I spent last weekend teaching a three-day portrait painting workshop at The Conservatory for Classical Art in Edmond, OK. What a great experience it is to teach there, every time! The students are so enthusiastic - not to mention talented.

We had a lovely model, too, who sat for us for the entire weekend. That takes patience!

Here is my demo:
And here are my demos of an exercise that has students mixing flesh tones in four values, then using them to paint a head in simple shapes. Learning to see the big value shapes - painting from the general to the specific!

 Class picture! I'll be back in Edmond in October, for a three day still life workshop. More info here.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Demonstrating A Still Life

 "Poppies in a Blue Vase"
9 x 12" oil on canvas

I spent last weekend in Edmond, Oklahoma, teaching at The Conservatory for Classical Art. Although I was there for a portrait painting workshop, I started the weekend with a still life demo for a group of young students.

It was also an opportunity for the kids to pick my brain about art school - since several of them are thinking of going. I suppose I'm a good person to ask! I loved art school (I went to MICA), and will use the the things I learned there for the rest of my life.

With the urge to paint still lives - which always overtakes me the minute I set foot inside the CCA (this is my third time teaching there) - temporarily sated, I was ready to move on to the weekend's workshop!


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Peaceful Pears, Primary Palette!

 "Peaceful Pears"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I painted these peaceful pears alongside a private student of mine, in her tranquil, sunny home studio. 

We both worked from a limited palette of three primary colors, plus white. For my three primaries, I picked cadmium yellow, azo coral, and ultramarine blue. 


 Working with a palette like this has so many benefits - like simplifying your color mixing, and creating nearly automatic color harmony in your finished piece. If you'd like to learn more about this method of painting, I've got a workshop coming April 23-24th, in Eugene. Click here for all the details!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Big Things!

 "Self-Portrait, Pointing Down"
24 x 36 inches, oil on canvas

This one was kind of a struggle getting started, several days of scraping and redoing the face. But, that happens to everyone - even John Singer Sargent!

Here's the progression. If you think I look serious in the finished piece, check out that grumpy underpainting! It looks like I just ate something unpleasant.

 I'll replace the photo of the finished piece with a better one soon; I was in a hurry to get the painting off to this show, OBJECT/FORM, which opens Friday! (I finished it the day before I had to deliver my work - the perks of a local gallery.) 

This is kind of a big deal - I have thirty paintings on view. If you're in the Eugene area, please join me for the opening reception, Friday April 8th, from 6-8 pm.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Inspired By Teaching

 "Faith's Fruit"
14 x 18 inches, oil on canvas

I've been working with this young lady, Faith, since the middle of last year. When her mother, who also happens to be the force behind the online arts magazine Combustus, first approached me about teaching Faith, I was hesitant - she was only 11 at the time, and my students tend to be, ahem, just a bit older than that. 
But I snapped out of that very quickly - after all, had I myself not been the recipient of mentorship and lessons at exactly that age, in the home-studio of an artist? The first time I ever oil painted was during one of those lessons, and I will never forget that day... 

Also, she's quite talented, as you can see!

 I set up this still life for her last lesson, and the next day, I looked at it and thought, "Hmmm..." Add a few white objects, and voila - a still life for me! I know I can take some lessons from the freshness and immediacy of Faith's painting.

I love teaching all my classes - workshops, demos, and private lessons. Who can say who gets more out of it, me or my students? 

I've got a brand-new workshop coming up April 23-24th in Eugene. It's called "The Primary Palette," and it's all about how I paint with three primary colors (or stand-ins for what we typically consider the primaries) and white. More info on that here.
I'll also be doing a 1-day intro to oil painting workshop, April 30th, which looks like it's filling up fast! 
And, since I'm plugging away....private lessons are always available, at my home studio or yours. Email me for details.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Saying Goodbye to a Model

 "Yellow Becca"
14 x 18 inches, oil on canvas

Becca is a great model, who I've painted many times. In fact, I counted - and I've painted her 21 times over the past five years!

Here are my some of my favorites:

 It's an incredible experience to paint someone multiple times - as they age, as you your style changes, as they get more and more tattoos.... :)

Becca is moving away from Eugene, so this may be the last time I get to paint her - at least for a while. 

Thank you, Becca! 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Looking Left

"Looking Left"
14 x 18 inches, oil on canvas

A new figure painting, from life, using a fairly limited palette - mostly burnt sienna, yellow ocher, alizarin crimson, cobalt blue, and white. The last time I painted this model, Hannah, was about a year ago.

Here is a work-in-progress photo. The color looks really different from picture to picture - that's caused by taking them in different lighting situations. The final photo is closest to the actual colors of the painting. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

A Painting of Flowering Quince

14 x 18 inches, oil on canvas

I passed this strange, woody, leafless, flowering bush several times on my jogging route without taking too much notice. Then, I saw a small vase of these blooms on a random desk, and stopped in my tracks. So many of my paintings start with my just noticing some small thing and thinking, "That."

Back to the jogging route I drove, with my trusty glove compartment scissors!

 I've got a still life painting workshop coming up, March 19-20th, in Eugene. It's going to be two intense and informative days - oils and acrylics welcome. More info and online registration here!

Friday, March 4, 2016

More Tea!

 "Green Tea with Lemons"
10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

A second stab at my still life from yesterday. I just shuffled the players around a bit! 

I made a pencil sketch for this painting - which can be seen here. AND! I recorded almost all of this painting-in-progress on time-lapse video, and strung the clips together into a 4.5 minute segment. Watch it here, on YouTube.

....And have some more tea!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Green Tea

 "Green Tea"
10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

I drink a lot of tea. Mostly generic black tea with lots of cream and sugar....but it's nice to have these fancy tea bags around for painting! The multi-colored individual packets are a fun element to experiment with in a still life set up. 

Here's my work-in-progress. Remind me to use this painting if I ever need a great example of an analogous color scheme:

And here's the sketch that started me off. More sketches like this can be found on my Pinterest page!

I'm teaching two workshops this month in Eugene. March 12th is a one-day Intro to Oil Painting class, and the weekend of March 19-20th, a 2-day still life workshop for oils or acrylics. I guarantee hard work and lots of fun. I mean, I haven't had a student cry yet..... :)

Friday, February 26, 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

On A Pedestal

 "On A Pedestal"
16 x 20 inches, oil on canvas

Instead of taking a photograph, I painted these blossoms in first - and quickly. They opened fast! Once I got those down, I had plenty of time to work on the rest of the painting. The white blocks weren't going anywhere. Though the sphere did manage to roll off the table overnight....I blame a mischievous kitty.

Here's an on-the-wall shot:

Saturday, February 20, 2016

It's my Blogiversary!

 "Big Reds"
12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

More red Camellias! I have a larger painting in the works with this setup, but in that one the blossoms are still mostly closed. I thought they looked lovely the next morning as they opened, so I started a second painting. 

Eight years ago, on February 21st, 2008, I wrote my first blog post - and it wasn't much! Looking back at my work over the years is fun, and I see some subjects I'd like to revisit...