Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Flora / Floea

I was out walking in late November and came across some blooming azalea bushes. Now, I never did get that graduate degree in horticulture, but I'm pretty sure azaleas normally bloom in the spring. Anyway, the bushes were a little worse for wear, but I was still impressed at their tenacity. Evidence is here. I did another little piece last week but no photo yet. I'm also working on a portrait I started in the fall. The limitations of my abilities have become more obvious to me as I've been experimenting over the past year or so, and as I've been following the work of many fabulous painters who post work online. Sigh. Practice, practice.

We spent the weekend at the Chesapeake Bay with family & friends... entertainment that is pretty hard to beat, in my book. It had been cold enough to produce some big, chunky ice floes that we had fun pushing around and breaking apart with sticks. And no, it doesn't take much to amuse me.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


I had a little fun with some garlic earlier this week.
It's been a nice Saturday... I got some cleaning done, stumbled on a nice gallery exhibit, and fit in some exercise. I don't know about you, but I think the best part about going to the gym is having a good excuse to reward yourself with sushi. Off I go!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

New Painting Goodness

I know, it's been a while. You can find the new piece here.
My camera setup ain't the greatest, so it loses something in translation... but you get the general idea.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Cautiously optimistic

I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch, but I think the latest piece is going to turn out nicely. I had another good session at the easel the other night and got the piece to what I can safely call "substantially complete." I'm going to let it dry in a corner for a couple of days and make sure everything stays the way I want it, and no mistakes pop out at me. Recently, another little piece I "finished" wound up all lifeless and contrasty after drying for a couple of days. I think some more experimentation with mediums is in order... I might try out the Neo Megilp medium from Gamblin.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Back in the Saddle

So I was working on painting an onion this evening, and had an interesting experience amidst the vapors and the mess. I was working on a small, sparkly highlight on a part of the onion's translucent skin. At that moment, while admiring the onion and making a little mark on the panel, I felt this kinship with all the Dutch still life painters who did that work so long ago. Not to say that this little piece looks like anything like a Pieter Claesz... just that some things don't change much from era to era, such as how lovely onions are, and how much fun it is to paint them. Which reminds me of this Robert Henri passage that I like a lot:

"The object of painting a picture is not to make a picture - however unreasonable this may sound. The picture, if a picture results, is a by-product and may be useful, valuable, interesting as a sign of what has past. The object, which is back of every true work of art, is the attainment of a state of being, a state of high functioning, a more than ordinary moment of existence... These results, however crude, become dear to the artist who made them because they are records of states of being which he has enjoyed and which he would regain. They are likewise interesting to others because they are to some extent readable and reveal the possibilities of greater existence."