Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I ♡ the Arts Community

"Instrumental (sketch)"
9 x 12 inches oil on canvas

After receiving a tip that some musically-inspired paintings might fit the theme of an upcoming art show, I set about finding some subjects - lazily (I know) by putting out a request on Facebook. Luckily, I live in in an amazing arts community, and was soon answered by Tim Boyden, proprietor of Out on a Limb Gallery, and furniture artist extraordinaire

He told me a tale of an instrument store going belly up years ago, donating their stock to MECCA (a place I could not figure out how to describe, you'll just have to follow the link - it's crazy), and being notified of a bounty to be claimed. He created this amazing piece of art with the instruments:

"All That Jazz"
by Tim Boyden

Having a few bits and parts left over afterwards, he generously offered them to me. Bonus: I got to visit his home studio, which was completely coated in sawdust, and chock-full of fascinating artifacts. I'm sorry I didn't snap any pictures - I was too busy taking it in! 

Long, long story short, I returned home with all the ingredients to stage a macabre quartet - or most of them. I suspect that these instruments are only fragments, but hey - they look awesome, and I'm loving painting them. Today's offering is my sketch. Stay tuned for a more finished piece - and some reminiscing about my own history with music - tomorrow.

Monday, April 28, 2014

In Which I Wax Nostalgic

 "An Impression, Purple and Green"
18 x 14 inches, oil on canvas

I've been doing some navel-gazing blog-wise of late. Back in February, Sedwick Studio turned six - that's a year-and-a-half older than my daughter! Randomly searching through old posts has brought paintings back to me that I'd completely forgotten about. Today I searched for "purple and green," wanting to see how many times I'd used that title before (twice), and trying to figure out what to call this new one...

Here's the second time I used the title "Purple and Green." That painting is hanging in my upstairs hallway now - in fact, I dusted it yesterday. Looking back at work like that, and seeing what I'm painting today really makes me wonder what I'll be posting on this blog several years from now!

Perhaps it will be completely abstract? (Though I doubt it).

Friday, April 25, 2014

Sketchy, yet satisfied.

 "Lilies and Tulips (sketch)"
12 x 9 inches, oil on canvas

I brought the lovely Easter lily home, and paired it with a Kaffir lily that hangs around my studio, blooming every few years, but mostly just filtering my air and looking green and pretty. 

 I thought I'd work out my thoughts about a larger composition, and start with a sketch - and I loved the way this turned out. I've tweaked the still life ( the tulips died), and am already working on the expanded version.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

In Which I Discuss Amputation, Serial Killers, and the Zorn Palette

18 x 14 inches, oil on canvas

When composing a figurative painting, keep in mind that letting a limb exit the picture plane ("cutting it off") at a joint is a definite don't. It's supposedly reminiscent of amputation in the viewer's mind - mostly subconsciously - unless, of course, your audience is composed of HBO-style serial killers (in which case, do it! $$$$)

This blog post is rapidly getting out of hand, and I certainly don't want to imply that the human body, minus certain capabilities, is not still beautiful. What I'm saying is this: you take a figure model with no disabilities, and create some for her, and your viewer is going to wonder why.

Which brings me to this particular painting, which I banged out last night. It's another Zorn palette effort, which has become my rushing-out-of-the-house at 5:30, get-your-own-damn-dinner-dear-family go-to.

I'd like to pat myself long and lovingly on the back, though, for getting the entire body - head, hands, elbows, knees, and BOTH FEET on the canvas. That almost never happens. And when I mean almost never, I think the last time was January 2012. Don't call me out on her fingers.
It was two years ago, after all.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tulips through time

"Tulips in Silver"
12 x 9 inches, oil on canvas

Tulips, as every flower painter knows, need to be painted fast. Under strong light, they move and open! It's like a slow dance. I've been painting these red and white beauties for years - they grow in my mom's yard (along with almost everything else I paint during the warmer months). Here are the same tulips from two years ago, from four years ago, and even from six years ago

 Do any of those look familiar? How long have you been with me, dear reader?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Doings

 "Easter Lily"
14 x 11 inches, oil on canvas

I had a lovely Sunday! Through a liaison with my local gallery, I was invited to paint during an opulent Easter brunch at the Eugene Hilton hotel. Of course, I chose an Easter lily as my subject. 

Below you can see my value sketch, done with two grays and a black Copic marker. I tried to stick to that value structure as I moved into the painting, but I think I ended up too dark on the ground plane.

I always benefit from preliminary studies - and opulent brunches. Shrimp, salmon, and crab at 11 am? Yes, please!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spring Pinks: a floral still life oil painting

 "Spring Pinks"
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

The colors of spring on my street, including a sprig of exuberant purple Azalea. I stayed very loose and suggestive on those purple blossoms - I'll tell you it was my way of keeping the focus inside the composition, but really it was to keep from making myself crazy!

Here's a work-in-progress:

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Zorn Palette Portrait and a New Model

12 x 9 inches, oil on canvas

 It felt so great to be back in front of a live model this week, after the Art Center's spring break and my trip to OKC. I love this young woman's face - she has the most transparent green eyes and a nose that reminds me, pleasantly, of my sister's.

....And just to prove how obsessed I am with facial likeness:

I truly wish I could be a little more obsessed with composition sometimes!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Traveling and Teaching

I just got home from teaching an amazing group of painters at The Conservatory for Classical Art in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma! I must say I was thrilled with it all - the space, the students, even the crazy Oklahoma weather, which certainly keeps it interesting. I'm already looking forward to heading back next year!

Below you can see the space, in the upper left, before I brought my explosion of fruit and fabric to the scene. The Conservatory is housed in an old dance school, so it has a soft wooden floor, with lots of give - great for walking around on all day. Also mirrors on three walls - and barres, in case you need to take a break from painting for a pliƩ or two!

What would you choose to paint, from the cornucopia on the bottom right? 


 These are my demo paintings from the weekend - each painted "at" specific issues I wanted to address.


 Here I am with my students, with one missing. It was a great group, and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them!
(I'm second from left, sitting down)

These were some talented artists, and undaunted by the most complicated subjects: halved peppers, glass bowls...the only thing that intimidated these brave ladies was the timer. And I do love to use the timer!

 For information on my upcoming workshops, subscribe to my blog here, or follow me on Facebook - a great place to keep up with all my doings (and see even more pictures from OKC).

Monday, April 7, 2014

Hi, Remember Me?

 "Red Camellia in a Tea Cup"
10 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

Well, I won't bend your ear making excuses for why I haven't posted in a month (*no guilt!*). I think instead I'll just move on to the excitement, of which there's plenty!

I'm leaving in two days to teach a master class workshop at Leslie Lienau's Conservatory for Classical Art in Oklahoma City.  Really, really excited about this! I love to teach, love to paint with my colleagues. I paint the figure with a weekly group, but I always feel really lucky when I get to share a still life with other artists.

 I just got done taking an amazing workshop myself - right here in Eugene, from Yer Za Vue, an accomplished Portland painter, teacher, and former Disney animator. 

Huge thanks to the Plein Air Painters of Lane County for bringing her down, and putting her up (Victoria)! I met Za for the first time at Eric Sandgren's coast paintout last summer (which I will totally be attending again this year, as it was life-changing). She rocked an amazing two days of art-making and art-teaching, and we were so graciously hosted by Ann of Aragon Alpaca Farm.

What a great way to kick off Plein Air season! (Even if I won't really be out there until it's legitimately warm here....maybe July?)