Thursday, November 27, 2008

Carol Marine - "Gabbing Cherries"

Carol Marine - 6x6in. - oil on panel - "Gabbing Cherries" - bid

I have 3 lights in my studio that I currently alternate between for lighting my subjects. One is an authentically "white" light that I got from a specialty light bulb store. It is especially good for flowers. I also have a general "daylight" bulb (more yellow than the first) that you can get anywhere. I also have a "daylight" spotlight bulb. Yesterday I used the first bulb. It is a soft light, and not very directional. Today I used the spotlight. It tends to light up fruit like this that is in any way translucent. It makes the shadows crisp, and generally makes a more dramatic scene than either of the other two. I really enjoy experimenting with all 3.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Michael Chesley Johnson - Stone Cottage, Minister's Island

Last summer, when I was teaching a pastel workshop in St Andrews, NB, a student challenged me to use only soft pastels in a demonstration. I usually start off with hard pastels and then wash in the pigment with Turpenoid before moving on to the softer sticks. Could I skip the hard pastels?

We were painting on Minister's Island. Back in the late 1700s, this scant bit of land was home to the first Anglican minister of St Andrews. The island was -- and still is -- accessible by foot or wheeled vehicle only at low tide, when the receding water reveals a gravel bar that connects it to the mainland. (At high tide, you can take a boat.) My subject for the demonstration was the stone cottage the minister lived in.

I used the 80-half-stick "landscape" selection from Sennelier. You can't get much softer than these pastels! They require a very light touch, especially when using the aggressively-toothed Wallis Sanded Paper. This painting has a thick, rich build-up of pastel.

"Stone Cottage, Minister's Island"
9x12, pastel, en plein air

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Betsey Nelson - Full Sun

Betsey Nelson - Full Sun AZ Strip 8x10 $450
This was painted after another long plein air day and painted quickly. I mainly wanted cature distance in a pretty monochromatic landscape.

Summer Haze, Moran Point

Vince Fazio - Oil on canvas 24x30 $650

This was from some earlier studies and photographs this summer. I really enjoyed the larger format for the landscape and I enjoy the intense shifts in palette and tone created by the dramatic atmosperic perspective at the Grand Canyon.
Please Email me for purchase information.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Carol Marine - "Three High"

Carol Marine - 6x6in. - oil on panel - "Three High" - bid

I've been working on these sunflowers for a few days and am really enjoying it. Any kind of flowers are tough, but they all seem to have their own unique challenges. I tend to work on them in series so I can get the hang of them for a while before I move on to the next thing. They are also serving as studies for larger peices - they help me work out the colors and composition before I commit to a large canvas.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Michael Chesley Johnson - Yellow House in November

Believe it or not, this weekend the weather service issued a tropical storm warning for Downeast Maine and the Canadian Maritimes - in mid-November! The temperature climbed to 60 degrees, nearly two inches of rain fell and the winds whipped up to over 50 miles an hour. Needless to say, I retreated to the studio. I decided to do a pastel "de la fenĂȘtre" - out the window.

I was intrigued by the color scheme that an imminent tropical storm can bring to our Canadian landscape. You'll note lots of violets and blues but also in the foreground some very rich greens. And with all that rain in the air, I had a hard time seeing detail. I found that using light, scribbly strokes was a good way to describe the softness of the scene.

"The Yellow House in November"
9x12, pastel

I used Unison pastels on an Rtistx board for this one.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Adele Earnshaw - 'Morning'

As I just returned from a show on Maryland's Eastern Shore, I thought it appropriate to post this little oil titled, 'Morning'. The setting is the Blackwater Refuge - a magical place in November when thousands of waterfowl, including Canada and snow geese, arrive for the winter. I love painting there - the colors and edges are soft and muted...unlike the brighter, clearer colors and harder edges that I see in Sedona.

"Morning" is 6" x 6", framed. $295

Monday, November 17, 2008

Iris II

This is a painting I did for a public demo. The iris was given to me by one of my students, and I have been doing a series of paintings from photos I took of it. This is a watercolor; I poured paint and then erased it, which gives this very soft and mystical effect, which I love..

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Betsey Nelson - A Window To The Rocks

Betsey Nelson - A Window To The Rocks 8x10 oil on canvas panel $460
This was done on a trip to Sedona. A place I knew I could sneak a view but at a time where the light would be changing rapidly. I wasn't sure I could pull off the effects that I wanted but I did have a goal in mind. Sometimes paintingis just for pure pleasure and sometimes (maybe too often!)there is a goal and then there is a good chance I may fail. To paint what I know I can paint doesn't require the same intensity and therefore the painting often lacks that something special.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Robert Burridge - Landscape Painting Collage

This painting started as a daily warmup exercise - my goal was to create a series of "elusive landscapes" based on the surrounding coastline of bays and wetlands in California, close to my home. I chose a horizontal composition and limited palette. 
To make a more "geographic and topographic" statement, I embedded collage materials in the gesso and paint to give a rippling effect - like viewing the landscape from near space, with the earth's curvature and mountain ranges clearly visible.
Original acrylic painting and collage on paper, 10x10 - $275 + $20 (shipping & handling)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Michael Chesley Johnson - More Drizzle

I really can't complain about living in the "grey zone" here in the Canadian Maritimes.  This extended period of fog, drizzle and rain does me a favour.  The grey overcast saturates the colours, pouring rich color throughout the landscape.

I went out the other afternoon - again, between bouts of rain - and got caught.  Not as much drizzle as the day before, but enough that I could see it building up on the paint surface.  I tipped my easel forward to keep any more rain off the panel so I wouldn't  have to fight with the water.

"More Drizzle, November"
5x7, oil, en plein air
$60+$5 shipping

Friday, November 7, 2008

Betsey Nelson - Boat Study Plein Air

Betsey Nelson - Boat Study Plein Air 8x10 oil on panel $460
This study along with a photograph gives me enough information to do a studio painting. The studio painting would be a different size and having all this information would allow me to play with the painting and create another painting. I find I am unable to just create a larger version of the original I keep asking myself what's the point? But to take the information and create a new painting would challenge and interest me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Robert Burridge - Floral Still Life

Staring at a Rembrandt painting awhile ago, I wondered what made his portraits so striking. Besides the obvious masterhand of rendering a likeness of the person, using limited palette of black, white and earthtones, it finally dawned on me. His dramatic use of strong graphic design and strong lighting.
So I made a sketch painting, emulating his theory and technique, using only neutral-toned acrylic paint: The background started black at the top and gradated down towards the bottom.
The flower vase was painted in the opposite direction. The bottom of the vase started out as the blackest black and gradated lighter as I moved up to the lightest part of the flowers.
I began an entire series like this … I experimented with different human forms, floral still lifes and even free abstract paintings. I practiced this simple concept over and over again with black and white warmups - then I switched over to a color palette, using this same technique. I’m hooked!
Original painting - acrylic on watercolor paper - $425 +
$35 Shipping/handling

Monday, November 3, 2008

Michael Chesley Johnson - Looking Up

Lately, I've been enjoying painting simple pieces. I've been looking more for an abstract angle and composition. One evening, the sight of these spruces against the rich, blue sky caught my eye. I was fascinated by not just the compositional possibilities but also the color. You don't get moments like this very often!

"Looking Up" 5x7, pastel, en plein air
$60+$5 shipping