Loosely applied, basically just blocking out the different areas of the picture. At this point I’m trying to close my eyes to detail and just get blocks of color in place. I didn’t even work too hard to cover up my base color, since I want that warmth to ultimately show through.
February in Alabama is wet, cold, and grey. A perfect recipe for malaise. Will I hibernate? Will I huddle under the covers and whine? Will I crawl into bed with a pan of lasagna and try to get as fat as possible? Not this kid… not anymore at least. Let’s get back to work. And this time I think I’ll try things a little differently.
Step 1- Underpainting rub-out
Gamblin’s Solvent Free gel mixed with transparent earth orange (about 50/50).
The underpainting acts as a value study- letting me study the dark and light areas of the painting and decide if the composition is interesting enough to stand on its own without the color.
The paint/gel mixture is applied to the entire canvas (or in this case primed panel) with a large brush, then, using a t-shirt rag I rub out the lighter parts of the painting, using varying pressure to get the gradations of value.
Stay tuned for more… unless I go back into hibernation mode. Then you can find me on the couch with a pot of chili.
Don’t you love those errands that take you to an enjoyable part of town on gorgeous early fall days? Last week I dropped off some pictures at Little House Galleries in Homewood. Little House resides on Linden, one street over from Homewood’s main shopping destination. If you’re in the Birmingham area, go by and check them out! Tell my paintings I said, “Hi!” and grab a cup of coffee at O’Henry’s Coffee.
New Beginnings, 20″x24″, Oil on aluminum
New Beginnings II, 20″x24″ Oil on aluminum
Backyard Treasures, 12″x12″, Oil on reclaimed copper
The other day I stopped by Littlehouse Galleries to check on some paintings I had there and found that one was missing! “Bright Idea,” one of my favorites has recently sold and made its way to a new home. Happy trails, little friend.
I took a break from painting on metal for a little while. However, I just can’t stay away.
For the past year (among other things) I’ve worked on a four piece series commissioned by a customer as a gift for her father. Working in my “Reflection Series” style, I’ve been creating compositions to represent the four seasons. For Christmas last year, her father received this painting-
T.J.’s Winter, 12″x12″ oil on copper
For Father’s Day, he received this one-
T.J.’s Spring, 10″x10″ Oil on aluminum
And now I’m about to begin the next in the series, summer. Join me over the next several weeks and I’ll show you how I go from this
It had to be done. I’ve done it before, but it always stings a little. I sanded down part of my painting. That’s one advantage of working on metal. Mistakes can literally be removed. It takes some work, though, physically and mentally. Eeek…
In a yoga class this morning the instructor announced that we would be doing splits today. Excuse me? She wasn’t talking about banana splits. She meant real, my-body-doesn’t-do-that splits. Amid everyone’s protests she reminded us that in yoga, as in many things in life, it’s the journey that counts.
I’ve been craving instant gratification in another area. This picture:
What is it with me and almost impossible pine cones??
which I feel will NEVER be finished. I can’t slide down into the splits and I can’t snap my fingers and make this painting finished. And if I could, what then? New poses that I can’t automatically do and new paintings the I can’t finish in a session.
Little by little I can work towards difficult poses and little by little I can conquer difficult paintings. I may never be able to fully do the splits, but my body will still benefit from mindful and careful attempts. I may never be a wildly successful and famous artist, but I will still benefit from daily brush strokes. There’s a reason why yoga is referred to as a “practice,” perhaps I should think of painting as a practice, too.
This picture is not worth 1000 words… because you don’t know what you’re looking at! I’m excited and I’ll tell you why. This is my painting (in progress). This is my painting stuff. This is not my painting studio. This is my kitchen. Still not excited, huh? Let me explain.
I’m really big on the idea that work begets work and creating breeds more inspiration, etc. It also seems to me that people manage to make time for the things that they really want to make time for. (I think that last sentence was grammatically wrong. Forgive me.) Anyway, lately I have not been practicing what I preach. I’ve been feeling very uninspired. I’ve dragged myself into my studio hoping to lose myself in my painting, only to realize that I’m hopping up over and over to do some forgotten household chore or check my email (as if I ever get anything THAT urgent!). Then ended up feeling a strange mixture of frustration and relief when my little girl’s nap is over and thus my painting time has ended. I’ve griped that I haven’t had time to paint when, in reality I was just wasting the little time I had.
Today, though, I decided enough was enough! Out of my studio where lately I’ve felt isolated and down. Into my kitchen. And guess what. The change of scene did wonders. Not only for my attitude, but also for my painting which, after some concentrated attention, looks like it may turn out nicely after all. Here’s a close-up (with a little too much light on it. Turns out the kitchen is a better place for painting than it is for photographing paintings. Oh well. Can’t have it all):
Remember- It’s still in progress!
What about you? Any simple change make a big change in your attitude lately? Any changes need to be made? Just do it!