Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sunflowers and Blue Bottle and Pears

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This is a painting I did a few weeks ago, and have been meaning to post. Creating a still life in plein aire and alla prima was a double challenge. I had to work quickly. I had to be precise about what I was seeing. I had to really look at the values. I find this all to be very rewarding because my primary purpose as an artist right now is to stay loose and painterly. Plein aire and alla prima sort of force that to happen. When I work this way, not every painting is a keeper. In fact, some are truly bad. The ones that work out, however, are very satisfying to me.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Plated Fish

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So, the fish made it through a night in my freezer and was ready for another full day of modeling. It is amazing to me that the same fish, the same plate, the same artist could create two such different paintings only a day apart. Compared with the painting I posted yesterday, this painting is cooler in temperature and more raw in nature. I intended none of it. That's what makes painting so exciting for me; this element of mystery. It is always bigger and stronger than my plans... and that's a good thing.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fish and Lemons

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I love painting fish! It is a treat right from the start; heading to the market and making my selection based on the color and shimmer of the scales. Then there's the still life setup; plating the little guy and surrounding him with colorful condiments. Of course, the actually painting process is the ultimate; trying to capture the glistening, soft belly and rendering the eye without making it look like the fish is giving you the "stink eye!" Finally, I think I always form a special little bond with my fish.  This one was gently placed in the freezer when the painting was complete. I am trying to get two days out of him. More of this fish tale in tomorrow's post!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sunflowers in Sunlight

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I love setting up a still life in direct sunlight and then, having a go at it. What a challenge! Perfect, however, for keeping me loose and painterly. Sunflowers are key to this plein aire adventure... they don't wilt in the sun and you usually can get a few days of painting out of one bouquet!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Duck Walk

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I think one of the elements that makes this painting successful, is the element of tension. The ducks are walking, quickly in fact, to get away from the approaching onlooker. As I was painting this I imagined one duck saying to the other, "Keep walking. Don't look back, just keep walking!"

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Stables at Comfort Farm

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It was another beautiful day at Comfort Farm, in Bridgehampton, New York.  I painted here with my daughter and fellow artist, Edwina Lucas. At one point, we found ourselves surrounded by curious onlookers, with their necks stretched long across the fence to get a better look at what we were doing.  One horse got so close, it almost knocked over Edwina's easel. He then turned his back to us and pushed his rump up against the fence. We really weren't sure how to interpret all this ... could it be he didn't like our paintings? Tough crowd!!