Thursday, January 12, 2012

"Late Roses" (oil on linen; 10" x 8") sold


I have been avoiding the reference photo for "Late Roses" since I took it last November.  I was into painting fall colors and snow scenes.  But there was another reason for my dillydallying.  It seemed like a lot of drawing to get the flowers right.  After the figure painting workshop last week, however, I suddenly felt like painting them. 

And I was right about my gut feeling.  Everything is relative.  Compared with the drawing and color mixing involved in a figure painting, it was nothing.  Of course, one has to get the gesture and color temperature of each flower just so.  But there is a lot more room for error in flower painting, to my relief.

I consider "Late Roses" a still life, although it wasn't set up on a table top, but in a natural setting.  An arrangement of a limited number of objects and a close look at them.  Isn't that a still life?  I suppose one could also call it an intimate landscape.

"Red and Green Apples" (oil, 11" x 14")

Speaking of still lifes, I started taking a still life class with John Murray at the Art League School.  The first class met yesterday, during which I painted "Red and Green Apples."  Doesn't it look quite different from my usual stuff?  I loved the way John did the quick demo with a big brush, dipping into the huge piles of paints on his palette.  Bold colors and brushstrokes!  A great departure from what I experienced last week during the workshop with Stephen Early.  Check out his website to see his paintings, then you will know what I am wowing about.

John said, however, the same thing about the way I handled the shadows, as Stephen did, despite their different styles.  I see too many colors and end up fragmenting a dark value shape.  Interesting, isn't it?   Styles may vary, but the fundamentals in painting remain true.  I hope to learn much from my new teacher.  How exciting!

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