Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter

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I bought myself a big beautiful lily plant, with hopes to paint it. After many attempts, I just couldn't create a still life arrangement that "spoke" to me. It seemed the plant was just a little too tall to work. So, I clipped off one of the blooms, popped it into one of my favorite glass pitchers and threw in a couple of eggs. White lilies and eggs can only mean one thing ... Happy Easter.

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Little Demitasse and Orchids

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I found a set of demitasse cups and saucers at a local thrift store. They are so sweet, and just the right size for my shadow box still life setups. I love the little glint of gold along the lip of the cup. So fun to paint.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Orchids with Sugar Bowl and Bottles

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I am so excited to have remembered a painting process that I read about years ago in Richard Schmid's book Alla Prima and just recently saw demonstrated by Daniel Keys in one of his painting videos. The basic idea is to look at the still life, determine the shape and color of an area and then put that color and shape directly onto the canvas. Return to the still life, look again, determine the next color and shape you see and then put that down directly onto the canvas. There is no underpainting, no glazing, no reworking. One precise color, value and shape placed repeatedly on the canvas until the painting is complete. When I DON'T use this method, I often find myself "repainting" the painting several times over which is obviously very inefficient and incredibly frustrating. I am so happy that I was reminded of Schmid's technique by watching Key's video. I am determined not to slip back into my old lazy painting habit of just going round and round on the canvas until it all works.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Orchids and Bottles

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I told you I felt an "orchid series"coming on! This is a new size panel for me, and I love it.  It's lots of fun to set up a still life when you've got a bit of elbow room.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

Orchids and Apples

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My grocery store sells small orchid plants. I bought a few the other day. They are perfect for still life. The blooms last quite a long time and the buds open slowly. I think I feel an "orchid series" coming on.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hat to Hat Talk

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I worked from a photograph for this painting and for some reason, was having trouble determining the values. I think it was because the sky appeared "bright" in the photo but was actually "darker" than the skin tones and clothing. It was a feature on iPhoto that helped me get some clarity. I used the black and white "effect" to eliminate the color and that helped me...  get the picture!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Holding On

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     This is one of my older pieces. I painted it the summer before my oldest daughter was going off to college.  In fact, this is not actually my daughter and me, but in feeling, it very much is. I remember being aware of the big world that awaited her, so beautiful and so alluring, but so unfamiliar and scary. I recalled all the times that I could hold her steady, help her out and keep her safe simply by extending my hand. I was very aware that the time for letting go was fast approaching. I remember deciding that until it arrived, I was going to enjoy holding on.