Archive for April, 2010

The Art of Viewing Paintings From a Distance

April 29, 2010

Although I have been painting, its been a few weeks since I posted. My neighbor Sam lent me his easel but after several attempts to fix it I still cannot set it up so will be returning it. Several Saturdays ago I took my supplies out to Morrison, a small town on the west edge of Denver. I was headed to Seattle for a work conference the following Tuesday and wanted to enjoy some fresh air. I struggled to find a free parking space, a good setting to paint and a good spot to arrange my supplies. I resorted to sitting on the grass alongside the river and began painting this house on the opposite river bank. This is not a bad effort for a quick few hours of work. I like the almost luminescent colors that “pop” in this photograph. It was only while standing in my dark bathroom later that night viewing the piece from a distance that I realized its effectiveness. My recent painting instructor Michael Gadlin encouraged me to do this with my finished, or almost finished pieces.

Last Saturday I was happy to finally give this gift to my friend Kim at her baby shower. Her daughter is due in May and these calla lilies fit into her nursery’s color scheme and design. I worked on this piece during my recent class.

Now I have to begin brainstorming for ideas for a few more “commissions” for friends who have asked for accessories for their homes. Watch this space for city scenes photographed in Seattle.

A Ghost House?

April 10, 2010

Last weekend I packed my painting supplies and drove to Washington Park with no ideas of subject matter. After sitting on a park bench overlooking the Boathouse pond I decided to switch spots so that I looked directly at one of my favorite houses bordering the park. Saturday afternoon was windy and I sat rather uncomfortably on the grass surrounded by my paint palette and other supplies. After a few hours of work I returned on Easter Sunday afternoon which was far warmer. Several runners and walkers peered curiously at my painting, and a few asked if it was my house. I wish! I would love to own a house overlooking Washington Park.

The left side of the house is covered with construction scaffolding so I did my best to “reconstruct” its frame, however I am not wild about the peachy color I selected for it. While its design is far from it, something about this painterly setting makes it almost resemble a ghost house. Perhaps its the surrounding trees or the dark window just below the roof? In reality the exterior is painted light grey, the house has large paned windows and a simple architectural style. On Sunday afternoon I struggled to decide if my painting was complete. Usually when I struggle with this I usually leave it be.

Sitting awkwardly on my haunches and in other positions was really uncomfortable which only fueled my motivation to fix the painting easel that my neighbor lent me. We took care of it on Sunday night in preparation for my next plein air outing.

April Fool

April 1, 2010

I painted a lot in March but have not posted my favorite piece because its a gift yet to be revealed.  On Tuesday night I completed this colorful collage of kitchen odds and ends that I worked on in my Abstraction class.

Michael allowed his students to pick a number out of a bucket before assigning the corresponding bag of odds and ends that he had coordinated, and assigned us to select an abstract piece to craft with this collection.  I settled on Pablo Picasso’s Les d’moiselles d’Avignon because I have always liked his work and it is one of his more renowned pieces.  After painting my wooden board I started cutting up my materials to adhere with gel gloss.  On Tuesday night I finished this piece to Michael’s applause of my creative use of the hideous white kitchen cupboard liner (see the top left corner and the woman on the right’s skirt).  Michael’s critique had the class in hysterics, especially when the smashed shells framing the other woman’s bosom and armpit began falling on the floor!  Now I have to find space for this large, heavy item in my very small apartment kitchen.

Last Saturday I whipped out another Picasso rendition on a masonite board. The board’s texture was a little unusual to paint on compared to the canvas surfaces that I am more familiar with, and I could not create as much texture with my palette knife as I would have liked.  It is still a successful piece.