The oil painting group I work with on Wednesdays had our holiday lunch today and exchanged small 8" x 8" paintings for christmas. It was a great way to get us working on something small and fun with oils.
I started out painting an Amaryllis but when it wasn't going too well I painted a still life of Cassia flowers from a shrub at the gallery courtyard just as a back up. The Amaryllis eventually came around and was taken in the exchange today. Both oils are pictured below.
The Amaryllis painting has a metallic gold background that I was trying out after looking at a lot of advertisments of a major Klimt show. I really didn't realize where that impetus came from until I looked back at some blogs I follow and saw all that gold in his work.
I stretched a 36" square canvas and then realized that I don't usually work in a square format. So.. I bought some 12" square linen panels to explore the square. It then turned into an obsession of painting these small flower portraits and I couldn't stop until all the linen panels in my possession were finished....
I still haven't started the large canvas but at least these are done (until I order more panels anyway)
Well at long last here is the first painting from the reference photos I shot at the north rim. It was very hazy while we were there because the smoke from fires in Idaho and other northern states had come down and was settling over Utah and northern Arizona. The haze gave a kind of difuse blue to the shadows at certain times of day.
Just back from traveling to see family and we saw the most amazing show of prints by Canadian artist, David Blackwood at The Rooms in St. John's.
Fire Down in Labrador
Etching 32 x 20 1983
His work was haunting in it's subject and beautiful in the rendering. He is a Canadian artist working in Ontario and Newfoundland so his work isn't real well known here in the states but well worth checking out.
I have been working on some oil paintings lately, trying to get back the feel for that particular medium. So far each has been entirely different than the next, but I am just stubborn enough to keep at it. I was asked to join a group of painters who are trying to promote working in oils here on the island. We meet once a week to paint together so it has kind of forced me to work in oil as well as in a group setting. The feedback is great as I have struggled to adapt to the limitations as well as the opportunities that oils bring into play.
Now if I could just remember how long this paint stays wet I wouldn't be smearing paint all over myself and my studio moving them around.
Since my own orchid plants are all on hospice care right now I thought I would just paint some orchids with actual blooms on them.... Here in Fernandina we have an amazing orchid grower/vendor that comes to the farmers market each Saturday. I take photos of his tables a couple of times a month when if I have a camera with me at the market. I have "stitched" together some of my favorite images from those photos to create this painting. This is another of the supersize watercolors, 30" x 41 1/2 " on Artistico Fabriano 300lb watercolor paper.
Portrait sketching with models at the Island Art Association is over until we start up again in the fall but we had a "show" of work done this past year on Saturday. I started drawing with this group last fall and it re-awakened for me the joy of just taking charcoal or pencil to paper and having a good time with it. I have also noticed an improvement in how I sketch in for my paintings so it has been a really useful tool as well as a good time. Below are some of the sketches I did this past year in that group.
Over the years I have taken many photos of the two paper/pulp mills here on the island. I have finally printed out some of the shots and am working on a painting that is my compilation of the shapes and patterns of the two sort of morphed into one. I have been taking photos as I work on it so I can see where shapes have moved and changed as I gesso out some areas and remove or add elements. This painting is acrylic on canvas and about 3' by 4' in size. A few people have been interested in seeing the progress photos so I am posting what I have here.
30 x 41.5 Watercolor on 300 lb Artistico Fabriano Paper
30 x 41.5 Watercolor on 300 lb Artistico Fabriano Paper
30 x 41.5 watercolor on 300 lb Fabriano Artistico Paper
I have been experimenting with some extra large watercolor paper that I ordered. The paper is 30 x 41 1/2 Artistico Fabriano and it has been a real challenge getting a feel for working that large in this medium. So far I have three paintings done and each of them has been a little different for me in how I approached the work but they have all turned out kind of nice. They are a bit challenging to get framed for a reasonable price but so far well worth the effort for the result.
Well I have family coming in for the next week so I am breaking down the studio and converting it to a guest room. Sometimes taking a week off from painting is really helpful to me as it keeps me working on those paintings that I keep "creating" in my head. After a break some of those actually get put on paper or canvas.
Above is one of those "after a break" paintings that was done following one of our trips to New Mexico.
Summer Storm Over Egan's Creek 18" x 24" Acrylic on Canvas
Egan's creek is part of a natural greenway that runs for miles down the center of the island from north to south. There is a large marsh with many water channels in the northern area of the greenway near the state park, Fort Clinch. I seem to take a lot of photos of this part of the greenway in all kinds of weather conditions.
Sometimes it feels like all the painters on this island are required to produce at least one marsh painting each year. For some, all they paint is the marsh, in different weather, at different times of day, with or without birds etc...
I did this painting quickly, trying to keep from getting lost in the detail but staying loose enough to capture the feel of that afternoon storm.
Waas House Amaryllis, 22 x 30 Watercolor on 300lb Arches
This is my first post to this new blog and having never been a person to keep a journal, this is kind of a challenging task for me. I have been asked by several people why I don't have a website or place they can look at my work on the web. I have kind of resisted having any larger dependency on the internet than I already have for fear of losing even more of my day to the computer. So we'll see how this goes...
I have just finished 5 large watercolors for an upcoming show and now I am working on loosening up with some moderate size acrylic works. Watercolor as a medium tends to bring out my worst tendencies for exacting detail so the change is my attempt to bring a more spontaneous and expressive result to my painting process. This is an example of one of my watercolors from this past year.
There is a wonderful victorian mansion in our neighborhood known as the Waas House for it's first owners. Each spring Amaryllis planted and now naturalized between the sidewalk and their fence bloom in a riot of red flowers. This painting is from photos taken last spring at the beginning of their bloom.