Monday, February 23, 2009


Karen Winslow will be offering oil painting demonstrations from life at the studio in Cambridge.  These demonstrations will be held on one Saturday per month, and they will cover still life and portrait painting.  The demonstrations are free and open to the public, but the space is limited, so please call for more information and to reserve your spot.  Thanks.

Mommy Paints very fast

I took a picture of my palette before I started the painting.  It is basically a cadmium palette with grayscale.  I mixed some "flesh" tones as well.  The palette is a 12"x16" piece of glass that is painted with a mid-tone gray on the bottom.

After about 2.5 hours of work, Phineus woke up, Ryann had to return to her kids, and the painting session was over.  Given a longer amount of time, I am sure I would have developed the painting differently.  But, not knowing whether or when I could get the model again, dictates my methods.  Learning to work with time constraints gives me an incentive to work quickly, deciding what is essential and what is not.  Painting is a journey.  I have discovered, along the way, that I must stay true to my own temperament, and painting fast is how I paint.

Mommy Paints fast

In these 2 photos, you can see the model, my painting and palette, Priscilla drawing and some random still life set-ups.  I teach on Fridays, so I always have still life set-ups at various stations around the studio.  My class is very low-key and  friendly, and I paint as well, demonstrating and explaining principles.  Students are free to watch me paint, and I am available to answer questions and help them with their paintings.   

Mommy Paints

Ryann, who is a mom to a 3 year old and a 1 year old, posed for around 2 hours.  Priscilla did a pastel drawing while Phinny (3 month old) slept in his little seat.  I painted fast and furiously, massing my darks and then massing my lights.

Mommy Paints

Facebook is an interesting way to stay connected with other artists.  It is also how I stay connected to my kids who are living out west.  With many "art groups" to choose from on FB, I joined one called, "Mommy Paints".  The creator of the group proposed a 3 month project where all participants would show what they are working on, with the goal to have something at the end of 3 months.  Yesterday, Priscilla (part of the group and mom of 3) and I painted.  Here is the start of an 18"x24" head study of Ryann (who happens to b a mom of 2).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

...and more photos of the big landscape

More photos of the Big Landscape

Progress on the Big Landscape

Jack continues to work on the big landscape.  He has been painting on it since October.  His palette has premixed scales of gray and green, along with his line of cadmiums.  After each painting session, he covers his palette and stores it in the garage, which, at this time of the year, is equivalent to storing it in the freezer.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Mother & Child

Phineus was born in November, and I attempted a Mother and Child painting in late December.  Priscilla was actually doing a drawing, and Phin was sitting in his little seat.  Every time she picked him up, I tried to paint him.  I liked the start, which was painted in one shot,  but I couldn't get back to it.  A few days later, I tried to work on it again, but over did it.  I'll think about this one for a while, and I'll try to tone it down and finish it.  For me, if I can have a solid chunk of time to paint it in one shot, or alla prima,  I am usually happier with the results.

Slow Going

In June, Jack and I are having a 2 person show at the Southern Vermont Art Center in Manchester, VT.  I decided to do a few larger than usual still life paintings.  Here is one that I am currently working on.  Working on a larger painting means not working alla prima, my normal approach, but working in layers.  This is slow going, with a lot of re-working, and trying to keep the painting unified is the biggest challenge.   This painting is 30"x40" and it is an oil on linen.