Monday, February 23, 2009

Buried in sand or cement?

Yesterday I worked on a painting that I started in class Thursday night. My cousin Amy had sent me this cute picture of her kids when they were in Florida and I thought it might be a good palette knife challenge. Amy-if you are checking the blog today, thanks for the reference photo! From left to right, that's Danny, Teddy, Jack, and Betsy.

I took some photos along the way of the progress. Here is where I was after class on Thursday.

I started with the faces because that is usually the most challenging part and yesterday I felt they needed a little refinement. Here they are after a little more work.

And here are a few close up shots of the faces.

Then I started in on the shoes, the shovels, and finally the sand. I wanted to make sure the sand color was different enough from the skin tones but still read as sand, When I stepped away for awhile, I wondered if the color I used made it look like they were buried in cement instead of sand. What do you think?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Think spring!

Yesterday I was walking around downtown Boston at lunchtime and it was beautiful outside. I could really feel spring coming. Yesterday's weather had a little bit of everything actually-rain in the morning, snow in the evening, but in-between, it was gorgeous. I haven't been too productive lately so I don't yet have a new painting to share. In the meantime, it's time to start thinking spring. I love this watercolor painting "A Garden in a Sea of Flowers" by Ross Turner . Thanks to Kim for figuring out what painting I was talking about by my weak description ("It feels like you are sitting in a field of wildflowers") and where I had seen it (at a Boston MFA watercolor exhibit a few years back). I think I had this in mind when I did this palette knife painting of wildflowers on Martha's Vineyard. I shouldn't put them near each other, because mine pales by comparison. But I hope that they both help you to Think Spring!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Are you superstitious?

Today is Friday, the 13th. 13 is my husband's lucky number so I know he doesn't believe this is an unlucky day, but just in case you need some positive thoughts, I heard this morning that owls are lucky. The Zuni believe the owl is the protector of the home, protects against harm, represents wisdom and truth, and has the ability to see what others can’t. It’s feathers are worn to ward off evil spirits. A co-worker spotted this beautiful owl on her way to work this am. I think it's the sign of a great day!
There is another Friday the 13th next month too so come back and visit him on March 13th if you want! I think this guy is a great inspiration for a painting too!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Middle Sister

Today is my sister Lyn's birthday. As a surprise, I mailed her this painting I did of her from an old family photograph.
Lyn and I are both cat fanatics, and Lyn especially loves black and white kitties. I think maybe it started with this photo.

I also found this image from the Gallery 9 blog that was taken when I did live painting there last September. I like it because it shows this painting in an earlier stage of the process. It also shows you the cradled board that I like to use, my makeshift glass palette, and the photograph itself.
I hope you have a great day MS!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kids love art too

I was doing some research online for work today and happened upon this great blog Art Projects For Kids . I just love these. How fun and motivating this teacher must be. Here are some samples of my favorite projects. Can you tell which famous artist inspired them?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Give me plein air!

This weekend we went shopping for a new plein air easel. Polo wanted to buy me one as a birthday gift and we heard that Ocean State Job Lots had some good prices. Well-it was such a good deal that Polo bought himself one too! These things can be a little tricky to set up. Here is Polo setting his up in the slounge.

I can't wait for the weather to warm up and the black slush to go away so we can take them outside as they were meant to be used. They look all clean and pretty now, but I'm sure they will be covered with paint soon.

I am also getting psyched up to paint larger and the wanted to see how big I could go on the new easel. This is a 18" by 24" sized board.

There is no excuse now.

Oh and I need to turn in my gift certificate from now.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Radiant colors

I ordered some new oil paints from Dick Blick and as a special gift for my order, I received a four pack of Gamblin's Radiant oil colors. Awesome surprise! The sample pack includes Radiant Green, Radiant Blue, Radiant Magenta, and Radiant Yellow. This photo is a little blurry, but aren't they beautiful?

I decided to try them out during class last night. Our instructor, Kim, had made the observation that my colors tend towards the cool side due to my heavy reliance on white to lighten the value of a color as opposed to mixing it with another lighter color on the color wheel. She said that radiant colors have the advantage of being a pure hue eliminating one less step when mixing colors with white. I spent most of the class working on this painting, a Mini Manet from a book of his floral paintings that Frank loaned me.

I think it did come out on the cool side, but I enjoyed using hits of the pure radiant colors here and there.

During the last few minutes of class, I tried another, warmer painting from Manet's collection. I think the quick, decisions I made during this painting are interesting and I quite like how it came out.

Now-the question came up during critique, how would you frame these?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

This bag is a work of art!

The other day, I had a birthday lunch with my good friend Danielle. For many years now, we've had a tradition of giving each other the same gift bag on our birthdays. It started (we think circa 1994) as a simple gift bag printed with colorful golf balls and tees. The next year a photo of 2 girls in a convertible was added and it took off from there. The rule is that when you give the bag back to the birthday person, you must embellish it with things that are reminiscent of events that we have shared together. Take a look at it today.

The pink tulle inside the bag has also remained. That was from a memorable performance of Guava Jelly that Danielle and my sisters did for Polo and me at our wedding. If you look closely you can see a couple of images from that performance in the bottom left corner and behind the Gallery 9 Buy Art/Give Art buttons.

We moved inside and underneath the bag and after awhile, we even had to add "annex" gift bags to the sides to allow for additional space. Here is a photo of the other side of the bag.

You will find everything from swizzle sticks to a photo of Danielle with Bill Clinton. There is a story behind every image or object added and you can imagine that it gets a lot of attention when we celebrate our birthdays in a busy restaurant. Don't you think it is a work of art?

Monday, February 2, 2009

View from a cube

I just finished this new addition to my View from a Cube series.


It was painted from a photo I took of the view from one of our office's conference rooms. You are looking up Berkeley Street and you can see what used to be Louis Boston and the Charles River waaaay in the back. We recently moved off of this floor to a lower floor in the building so we no longer enjoy this wonderful view of the city during conference calls. Oh well. It was nice while it lasted.

You can see the others in this series by clicking the link in the side column under Ann's Art Porfolios.
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