Thursday, October 30, 2008

Progress of a painting

This was painted on Wednesday morning at my painting class from a photo I took at Beavertail Park in Jamestown on October 20th. We all painted and then the teacher had us comment on our own paintings. That was an interesting twist! I had to leave early so that I did not hear all of the critiques, but the ones I heard were pretty negative and process oriented. When it came to be my turn, in my head I tried to buck the trend, and had a difficult time. Overall, I was pretty pleased with the sense of light.

9" x 12" oil on panel

Tony did suggest that I look again at the light in the upper left corner, and I noticed that I wanted the light rocks to darken slightly as they moved back in space. Sometimes I will take a picture and try those kinds of things roughly to see what effect it might have. The manipulated photo below is the end result of some exploration tonight. After this, I will try making the changes that I did like in paint.

9" x 12" oil on panel, after Photoshop

Over time, I have gotten a little better about seeing what changes a painting might need. It used to take me months. One thing that I love during class is putting the paintings together at the end. I always see new things and a better overall idea of the painting when I look at it objectively (in a group, 12 feet away). It never fails.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Vermont Garage

8" x10" oil on canvas

This scene struck me when we were in Vermont over Columbus Day weekend. The colors were so strong that they filled the shadows. This garage was camoflaged by the tree shadows. The whole scene was glowing. The bits of sky popped out the orange. I have seen this building over and over, but this time it was an inspiration to try to set down.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Edgewood, RI

oil on linen panel 11" x 14"

Last weekend, we were doing some photography at a finished residence. When I turned around and looked at the water, I was caught by the clouds, the back lit yacht club building, and the compelling sheen on the water. I have tried to capture this in the studio, and I think that the painting catches the light even better than it appears on the photo above. I tried to capture the moodiness and the silver quality of the light, with the dark flatness of the building contrasting with the extremely bright reflections of the water. I remember Stan's repetition of the adage that "value does all the work, and color gets all the credit". I should look that up, and find out who said it first.
Painting today at the Providence Art Club was as much fun as ever. Anthony talked again about finding one's passion about the painting you are doing, and enjoying the process of putting the paint on the canvas. This is such an energizing group of people.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

oil on linen panel 9" x 12"

This is a painting that I have been looking at and working on all summer. The study for it was painted in Watch Hill RI. The site is next door to a construction site on the ocean. I was attracted to the backlit quality of the house and the shape of the pine. The whole scene had to be simplified to emphasize the quality of the light, and the pine visually extracted from the wild summer foliage. Looking at it on the computer makes me think that I might darken some of the reeds around the pond. They seem to detract from the glow of the light on the shadow side of the house.

Monday, October 20, 2008


oil on linen/panel 11" x14"

This painting was done after my return from Monhegan, based on a small field sketch. I was attracted by the layers of trees and other objects, and by the cool silvery glow of the light over the water. The light gets warmer and clearer as it gets closer to the viewer. This is an example of a painting I am still looking at, and may refine more before I consider it done.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Studio Organization

Today I worked through the piles of paintings in the studio, and in the house. I took the old paintings that I was tired of out of their frames. They got labeled as to their year of production and put away. Paintings from the recently worked on pile were sorted through. Some were put in the "available to paint over bin". Some were left on the table for continued refinement. Then I looked at the frames that I had, and picked out paintings that I liked or wanted to look at more. Paintings were paired with available frames, and then a pile was photographed. After cleaning up the images in my newly acquired Photoshop Elements, I now have a pile of paintings to post. I think that clearing the decks like this has also improved my energy level. Robert Genn suggests keeping your best work out to look at as a positive boost.
To keep things simple, I will only show a painting per post this week. This painting was a field study of the bell at the Monhegan Island Light from the Stan Moeller workshop in September. That makes it extra special!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Farewell Dock

8" x 16" oil on panel

This was painted the morning that I was leaving Monhegan Island this September. The light in the sky plays against the dark water and general moodiness. It echoed how I was feeling about connecting to the wider world.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Manana Morning

11" x 14" oil on panel

Today I have been working on painting and on editing photos of paintings I have done before. This is an painting from Monhegan, looking at a glowing Manana.