I don't usually paint diptychs so this was a fun challenge. The question now is, frame them together or frame them separately? I'm thinking separate, using floater frames to show up to the edge of the panel.
These cows in Little Compton, RI have it pretty good- free range, hay fed, with expansive views of the ocean.
Having visited Puerto Rico two years ago, I'm really stunned at the news of the devastation caused by the latest hurricane. I will donate the entire price of the painting to relief there.
The sky was really interesting on this particular evening so I got in my car and hunted for a good spot to observe the sunset. As is often the case, I ended up on Veterans Memorial Parkway in East Providence, not far from home.
When I parked in front of the library, across the street from this house which I wanted to paint, I thought I'd be inconspicuous. Cars are constantly coming and going from this spot. I was wrong, though, the woman who lived there saw me staring at her house and came out to ask me why. It's too bad that it looks like you're casing the joint when all you want to do is follow your muse! Fortunately she seemed quite happy when I told her I was an artist and showed her my sketch, and no cops were called.
Ever since I found this garden with hollyhocks by the water in East Providence I've been really intrigued with them. Something about the simplicity of the shape of the flowers(not that they're simple to paint) and the light keeps me coming back for more.
I did get out once this winter to paint, on a mild day when the snow patches were melting fast, at a wildlife preserve near my house. It's a little late to be posting this now that the daffodils are blooming, I know, but I like it too much to wait for next winter ( :
I've really been enjoying the class I'm taking with George Nick. Each week there's a new assignment. We started with a red/green still life, 16 x 20, then a blue/orange cloth, in a square, 20 x 20, a yellow/purple interior in a circle, and a long narrow landscape, 8 x 32. All had to be painted with ONLY six tone-values ( think six pieces of colored paper) and, after the first red/green painting, they all had to be painted with a palette knife.
The boots (or still life) had to be painted on a 14 x 20 oval. (My oval is a little wobbly.) Painting a relatively large painting with a palette knife week after week gets you out of the habit of being too fussy and detail oriented and skimpy with the paint, and the odd shapes force you to think about the design of the canvas. Using only 6 colors makes you combine and simplify shapes and boy, do you spend a lot of time mixing the exact right color. When you're limited to six, each one needs to be right.
Last Saturday, George asked me if I ADORED the background color of the boots. Strong word, adored. All I could say was that I really liked it. Could I have mixed a better color? I don't know, but he made his point. What's painting about, anyhow?
I looked out my window very early the other morning and saw this scene. That little oak tree holds onto its leaves all winter, giving a little color to the winter landscape. I realized it would make a great little painting, so I worked from memory but then finished it from observation early the next morning.
Oil on canvas, 18" x 18"
I liked it so much I had to do it larger. I didn't include the larger shed in the first one but decided it was a good element for the second piece.
I lost interest in painting for a good part of the last year, but have been getting back into it lately. When I heard about a master class that George Nick was offering, I decided to sign up for it, because so much of what I have been painting just felt so uninspired.
The first assignment was a 16 x 20 still life in no more than 6 shades of black and white. So I decided to paint my husband's hiking boots.
The thing about using such a limited value scheme is that it forces you to simplify and, in the process, to eliminate edges and other unimportant details. I'd never painted such a big value study before, and I found it liberating. I would recommend it as an exercise to anyone. It forced me to simplify the shadow areas and let them blend into the background.
Boots, 16" x 20" oil on canvas
The photo heightened the contrast in the background of this painting, in reality it's a little flatter and less brushy looking.
After I painted the big black and white, I painted the 6x6 in color, letting any detail in the shadows remain indistinct, and detailing only the light areas.
These portraits were actually done quite a while ago but they remain among my favorites. I just reframed them and they are now on display at the artist co-op that I joined about a year ago in Warren, RI. It's called Made in Warren and I'm really enjoying being a member. A great group of people and a lovely storefront on Main St. in Warren.
"Beer for Breakfast"- this was to be a 3 week pose. I did the pastel as a study for an oil painting. The next week he showed up with a shaved head! Just not the same. The painting didn't survive. And no one was having beer for breakfast; it was just the name that popped into my head.