Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What a wonderful town

It's A Wonderful Town

Oil with a palette knife on canvas
12" by 6"

This is my entry into this week's Different Strokes From Different Folks challenge. I was just in NYC last week so I was really looking forward to painting this one. I love New York. It is truly a wonderful town. That's why in my painting the sky is a beautiful blue. I found painting the taxis came quickly, the buildings...well I sruggled a bit with those. Getting straight enough lines with the palette knife is a bit difficult. You can check out Karin's reference photo here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

En plein air in Walpole

Last weekend, our art instructor Kim Morin Weineck arranged a painting workshop in Walpole center. We all met at the revitalized fountain that was completed last year. We were hoping that the water would be flowing, but alas there are a few leaks to repair first so no spouting turtles to paint. Ah well. 

Here is Polo busy working on his painting using acrylics. You can see Nancy in the background working on her painting.
And here is Kim working on a wonderful pastel. Check out the cool gadget she has to hold her pastel in place.
This was the first time I painted really large with a palette knife. It was an interesting experience, a little intimidating and frustrating because I wanted to cover more ground faster than I was able to. I should have brought the bigger palette knives I just bought recently-d'oh. Here is my painting at the end of the day. Still needs some work, but eventually got it to a point that I liked what was happening. 

Here is a photo from where I was painting. I'll need to use this as I work to finish my painting.

And finally, here is photo of everyone's paintings at critique time. A wonderful variety of compositions and styles.
It was a great day. Thanks Kim. We had a little bit of everything weather-wise and onlooker-wise but all in all a great day and surprisingly exhausting. 

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Momma Me-a

As a tribute to my mother on mother's day, I wanted to post some paintings I did from old photos I had of her.

My mother's side of the family had a farm in Ohio, and this first image is of my mother, probably in her early 20's, standing in front of the barn. I loved her red plain dress and the glasses.

My mother also was an avid golfer. This second painting was a composite of several images I found from a trip she, my father, and some friends took to Spain.

I think the man on the left was their caddy. I'd like to be there right now, wouldn't you? (TIP: speaking from experience, Mother's Day is a great day to get a tee time on the golf course! You will practically have the course to yourself.)

Have a great day and I hope you are doing something you enjoy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Life with Vermeer

Sunday was the third and final part of our RISD art history lecture series. The subject, Vermeer!

There is very little record of Johannes (Jan) Vermeer's life, but here is what we do know. He lived in Delft, in The Netherlands (1632-1675) and had 11 children, 8 survived. He only produced about 30 paintings in his short lifetime, about 2-3 a year, which was significantly less than most artists of that time. He married into wealth and even though he was an art dealer by trade, he seemed uninterested in selling his own work. The book and movie The Girl With The Pearl Earring obviously raised recent interest in his life and work, but his paintings of everyday life have made him a popular artist for many years.

Like other artists of the time, he started with religious subject matter. Here is one of his early paintings.
Then he started painting images from his everyday life. Below is a view of Delft and was the only panoramic scene he painted. Apparently, if you went to Delft today, this scene would still look very similar. I find this painting mesmorizing and would love to see it in person some day.
This next painting is called The Little Street and it shows Vermeer's house. Isn't there something kind of Norman Rockwell about this?
Then he moved inside for his subject matter and stayed there. The painting below is called the The Concert and was the one of the paintings that was stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum here in Boston in 1990. What is so appalling is that the thieves actually sliced the painting right out of it's frame. Ahhhh-so tragic! Hopefully some day it will be recovered so we can all admire it again.
Vermeer was quite the set decorator. Everything was positioned to create the most dynamic composition with the light source almost always coming from that same window at the left. I particularly appreciate the intricate floor patterns he creates and his use of negative spaces to aid in his composition. It is believed that he also used the camera obscura to help him with his compositions and to maintain consistency with repeated sittings of the models. His use of highlight (such as on that famous pearl earring) is also an indication of some kind of camera-like effect. In addition, he used the scenery to give hints about what was going. For instance, when you look at his work, take notice of the paintings hanging on the wall. He was known to have quite a sense of humor.

I noticed, even though the lecturer didn't mention it, that in his later paintings, he focused in more on the people instead of the entire scene. This was one of my favorites.
Check out that red feather hat. Amazing! The book, Vermeer by Lawrence Gowing was recommended for those wanting a good read about his life. And if you've never read Tracy Chevalier's book , it is one of my favorites.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I'm married to a famous artist!

My husband's latest show at the Moose Hill Massachusetts Audobon Society Gallery has received some great media coverage. He's been too busy to brag and blog about it so I'm going to do it for him. His picture and articles have appeared on the cover of this week's Sharon Advocate, The Walpole Times as well as the MetroWest Daily News. There is also a You Tube video that one of the reporters posted. I am SO PROUD!

Here are the links:

And few more images from the show:

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