Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bits and Pieces

This is my kitchen window featuring a partial view of the yard in winter and what I see every morning as the sun moves from east to south east casting light through the evergreens that live beyond our fence. It's been so cold that none of the snow from past storms has melted of today it's waist deep and the snow banks along the roads are like giant white tsunamis. The funny collection on the window sill includes a photo of my oldest son and his wife in an unusual pewter frame, a few antique bottles..I have a large collection of those in other places, a Purina hand held scale hanging on the left and an old brie cheese box. The martini glass holds cuttings of a favorite houseplant waiting to be transplanted. There's also a small ceramic frog basking in the sun...(boy does that sound good), a crystal doorknob and a stained glass pear... These are bits and pieces of favorite things.... mementos of people, places we've traveled and cherished gifts. I left the goose neck faucet in because I like the organic shape and it looks to be leading the parade...
casein 11 x 14
There's just no getting around the winter landscape that surrounds us at the moment and the light and shadows created by the snow are very interesting so there's another snow scene in casein the works.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This is Gracie

I got alot accomplished today...cleaned up the studio and the house, gessoed some panels to prepare them for painting and started one of those with an underpainting. I've been thinking about the one I'm about to start for quite some time so stay tuned as I work though it.. I'm thinking forward to shows and hope it will be worthy.
While waiting for the underpainting to dry I painted this portrait of my middle son's 8 month old puppy Gracie. She's a rescue from Arkansas and a sweet little dog. Her ancestry is a guess.....the vet says a Jack Russell and Dachshund she looks like a very long JR with a full length tail. Her big floppy ears are really comical and her markings are definitely that of a JR. We don't know how or where she was found but her temperament is just right for a young family.
I got a nice photo of her with a very trusting look in her eyes...typical of her. The contemporary design of the carpet she was sitting on adds an interesting background as well. The black curved structure in the top left is a rocking chair base.
This is 5x7 casein...and not for sale..I know who'll want this one..

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tweaking Process

A day or two after I consider a painting finished ...or even longer, sometimes weeks, I find that some tweaking is necessary. The shadows cast by the barn, horse and groom
had to be pulled closer in hue to unify the painting. The ground in the distance was toned down to push it back.. and the bright sunlight on the horse's back needed adjustment.
This process is part of how I work all the time and the biggest help in this finishing stage comes from using Photoshop. I photo the painting in bright natural light then load it into my computer. This is where the real fun begins. I check for tone values by removing the color and making the image black and white, or flip it horizontally (like looking at it in a mirror) to find distortions. This saves so much time and seeing a painting on a monitor is like looking through a different set of eyes..I've included a black and white image that's been flipped to show you.
hmmm.... in another day or two there will be a few more subtle adjustments.
I guess "The Final Touch" is an appropriate title....

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Final Touch

Choreographer Twyla Tharp got it right when she said , "Art is the only way to run away without leaving home." As the snow piled up outside our house today my head was working out this scene in pastel of the Fryeburg Fair. We enjoy wandering through the livestock barns at the fair, especially where the draft horses are stabled. When I took this photo there were lots of people around oohing and aahing as well as the horse owners and handlers, but I was interested in this twosome who were preparing for a show. I snapped the shot before they moved.
The reflected light and shadows caught my eye and also the way the Percheron's head was framed by the barn opening across the way. This is 14 x 11 Unison toned pastelboard..It's available..
I had a reality check when the painting was finished and shoveled a foot of snow off the roof and walkways in 15 degree temps with my husband ...the painting getaway was fun while it lasted..

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Barn in Jefferson

We came upon this grand old barn in the town of Jefferson during a drive this past fall. It was a beautiful day and the late afternoon sun hit the roof and front of it in the most interesting way. The road through this area was full of surprises and we stopped often to take photos......but I just had to paint this barn first. Architecturally speaking barns are an endangered least here in Maine. The huge structures generally fall to ruin because they are no longer practical for storage and are too expensive to maintain or repair....icons of the agricultural age. Luckily this one looked to be part of a exclusive summer camp and had been completely restored. The property behind it runs down to the shores of pristine Damariscotta Lake.
There will be more paintings from this rural region....and definitely more barns and farms in all kinds of condition.
This painting is available. In an effort to make my original artwork more affordable I do offer payment plans....please inquire. Really....I'm flexible and want people to enjoy my original work in their homes.
This was done on 11 X 14 light umber Unison Pastel board...great to work on! It's archival and ready to pop into a frame.