Thursday, December 29, 2011
Here are a few still life paintings from this year. I think that it is helpful to see my set-ups. Sometimes I just use the wall as my background, but I do use backdrops with different colors, as well. The eggplant and the top floral were demos in some of my weekly classes.
Very often, when I work on a painting, I will let it rest. That means it sits unframed and leaning against the wall of the studio so I can think about it. Something really bothered me about this painting, which was painted from life (like always). I finally decided that the two main flowers were just too similar...they were about the same size and the faced the same direction, vying for attention.
In the seventies, I was a fashion illustrator for several pattern companies in NYC. If you did any home sewing back then, chances are you might have seen one of my illustrations. They were nothing like my paintings or drawings today, but were mostly in pen, watercolor or charcoal and very stylized. Anyhow, doing an illustration involved turning in a preliminary "sketch" for approval, which was then returned to me with "corrections". The "corrections" were on a piece of tracing paper place over my original drawing, and I would then do another illustration, a "final" incorporating the corrections. Because I do not own Photoshop or something that could help me visualize what I wanted to do, I decided to try something similar to the pattern company "corrections". Tracing paper was too murky, so I used acetate, which is clear and I could paint on it, but it would not bleed onto the painting.
The top photo shows the painting, and the second photo shows the painting with the "correction" done in oils on top of the acetate sheet which is over the bottom right of the painting. The last photo shows the "correction" on the acetate against the floor of the studio. I thought it was a pretty neat idea!
In September, I spent a week in Cape Porpoise, ME with 8 women (Wah Wah Sisters). It was a painting vacation for most of us, with 6 painters and 2 bicyclists. The weather was perfect allowing for plein air studies each day, as well as exploration of the little townand surrounding areas, dock, lobster shacks and galleries. I brought both oils and watercolor/gouache for fast studies, and hopefully, I will work up some of the studies into larger studio pieces. For most of the women, it was their third trip together, but it was my first.
The smaller, graduated, landscape palette was used for this trip, so that I could use my M Box easel and tripod, which took up little room. Painting seascapes takes definite decisive action, because not only is the light changing, the water level changes too, producing very different effects the longer you paint. Deciding what and where my light effect would be was very important. Painting boats, that turn and move with the waves and wind, adds another dimension of difficulty to seascapes, but I plan to try it again next year! Painting with a group is encouraging and inspiring!
I have been very slack in keeping up my blog, so I am trying to catch up on some of the paintings I did this year. These photos were taken at the 3rd Annual Jeffersonville Art Festival, August 13, 2011. It was a one-day festival featuring artists and craftsman, mostly from Lamoille County. I decided to participate by being a demonstrator, where I would be painting "On the Spot", so that people could watch and ask questions.
Choosing a nice shady spot, I painted the tents of some of the various vendors along Main Street in Jeffersonville. It was a lot of fun to try to put in people, who wandered back and forth enjoying the beautiful day and supporting local artists. Here is the result of that effort, a 10"x12" oil on panel. Two of my grandkids came by to watch grandma in action.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
There are 2 basics ways to approach painting. One is to do a careful drawing in line and then proceed to fill this in with paint, which is a slow, indirect approach. The other is to paint a relationship of lights to shadows by massing, without starting with a finished drawing, and this is faster (the artist is drawing and painting simutaneously, or drawing with the brush). Massing is working for a general "Light Effect". Maintaining the integrity of the masses, or holding the mass of light in relationship to the mass of shadow, is what creates an illusion of light.
When I had the Open Studio, I painted a couple of little head studies, and I decided to do a self-portrait, too. I photographed the process, which gives a visual explanation of massing. I took the top photo looking into a mirror, however, if I took the photo at the correct angle....the camera would have covered my face. But, you get the idea. I normally stand when I paint, but I sat for this one. You can see my palette in the bottom photo. As usual, I have my grayscale. The portable walls with the paintings is from the December 3rd hanging for the Open Studio. This was changed for the December 10th sale.
I began the head study with a basic umber shadow mass, then I massed the lights which included the side of my face, vest, hair and hat. My 2 main masses that had to be protected were the shadow created by the brim of the hat across the front plane of my face and the mass of light, which included the side plane of my face. The light hitting the green wall was a little lighter than the shadow plane. With each pass, I tried to model a little bit of the features, but I subdued anything that might break up my mass. The power of the illusion is in keeping a strong shadow mass to light mass relationship.
This tiny painting was done very quickly, and it holds together as a unified light effect. Painting in mass allows the artist to make changes, developing the piece from general shapes to more specific details, and works well if you are under a time constraint.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
|South wall - unframed paintings on the tables|
|6"x8" paintings, framed and unframed paintings and a detail from Jack's screen|
|North wall with skylights|
|6"x8" head study with model|
|6"x8" head study of Carl|
My Open Studio Sale was held December 3rd and December 10th. I re-hung the studio for December 10th, and changed the portable walls in the middle of the studio for better light. In the picture with the north wall, you can see my card rack with note cards from some of our paintings, too.
I painted another head study. When I re-hung the studio, I put all of my 8"x10" paintings together on the green wall, but for painting a head study I like a plain background. So, I removed a few paintings in order for Carl to have the same background as Diane. Both of these tiny paintings were done alla prima, or in one sitting.
|Here is the start of one of my 6"x8" head studies.|
|...moving along massing in the lights and shadows|
|Diane with scarf - 6"x8" oil on panel|
Here is a sequence of one of my head studies. This one was done on December 3rd at the Open Studio Sale. I am using a 6"x8" panel with a gray tone. These panels were made during the summer at a panel-making class my husband taught.
I began with a loose umber sketch followed by massing all of my shadows. In the second picture down, I have pitched the background, and I massed my lights and shadows in relation to the background. At this stage, the massing is very flat and general. These basic masses are then developed as I model, edit and draw with the brush, working from the general shapes to more specific shapes. As I continued to add details, I look to the "whole" to make sure that my painting has a unified light effect.
|8"x10" oils by Karen Winslow|
|Some paintings along the east wall. Jack Winslow painted the landscapes and the Trompe L'oeil.|
|Jack Winslow's double-sided screen.|
|Some paintings on the portable wall. The ones with the mats are oil on paper.|
|6"x8" head study - this one was a sample and it was a demo that I painted at Lyme Art Association in one of my workshops.|
|Deciding on a purchase. The top painting sold.|
|More paintings along the east wall.|
I have been remiss again in keeping up with my posting. So basically, I will try to catch up by posting a bunch of photos to show you what I have been up to. Starting with the latest event...I decided to do an Open Studio sale over 2 Saturdays in December. The sale would include painting little portraits for anyone who had the time to sit for me.
Paintings, both framed and unframed, were all around the room. The unframed ones were on tables, and framed ones were on the outer walls, as well as portable walls in the middle of the room. Having paintings unframed saves me a lot of trouble and money, and it gives clients the option to purchase whatever frame might suit their own tastes. Etchings were included in the unframed collections. For people just beginning to buy and collect art, original etchings are affordable alternatives to buying original oils. Unlike the "giclee" reproduction, an etching is a real piece of art. Each print is individually inked, wiped and hand-pulled by the artist; and each print varies depending on the wipe, the pressure, the dampness of the paper, etc., making every print a unique piece, not a mass-produced reproduction.
In the top photo, I hung all of my 8"x10" oils together on the moveable west wall. All of these were painted from life, and 5 of them were demos in some of my workshops.