Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Live and Learn

I am posting some revisions I made to my plein air painting I did yesterday.  I am now a firm believer in not posting a painting till I have at least waited a day or two.  When I relooked at it, the shadows were all I saw plus the foreground did not recede or draw one eyes into the middle ground.  I did some revisions mainly focusing on how I could change the foreground.  I think it helped.  My thinking is, it will be one of the learning studies that may well be another toned canvas in the future but it has done its job in teaching me to critique and or plan better.   Any suggestions are welcomed.  Have a happy day!.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Plein Air, Indian River Lagoon, Fl

I was finally able to actually do some plein air today.  My first effort became a toned canvas but I am happy with my second attempt.  It was a glorious day today, a tiny bit of nip in the air.  One of the things I focused on was selecting the site.  I tried to look for spatial clues as Mitchell Albala recommended in his book on "Landscape Painting".  It was helpful to know what to look for such as 1. Volume - clear patterns of light that create a sense of volume that results in differentiation of shapes 2. Scale - i.e. changes in size the suggest one is further back  3. Overlapping - i.e. if  trees in the mid ground or foreground also overlap and overlap the back ground i.e. trees enter the sky in the background and 4.  introduce perspective with a fence in the foreground or perhaps shadows leading the viewer into the background.  He provided thumbnails that visually explained it all.   For a beginner landscaper, it was very helpful to know what to look for.  The next chapter will be on composition.  I am really learning a lot and today's exercise just emphasized how much more I have to learn. Have a great day!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Still around!

Thank you Celeste , your comment motivated me to remember my goal to post frequently. I have been painting but very unsatisfied with the results so have been wiping out.  I am determined to be able to paint landscapes as I have always loved being out in nature.  I am awed by her splendor.  However, this has also been a part of the problem... I want to include all the beauty and therefore lose the focal point.  Need to learn to simplify.  I am reading a new book on Landscaping which I think will help tremendously.  The book is "Landscape Painting, Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice by Mitchell Albala.  The book was recommended by K. Tyrell on her blog The Art of Landscapes
I also fulfilled one of my goals.  I entered the "End of Day"  formerly called "Florida Sunset" in a juried show.  I am thankful for all the blogger out there.  They all have so much to offer. Have a great day.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Winter Sunset Florida

 R. Henri. "No work is ever finished, they just stop at good places."
I was pleased with the original but something was bothering me.  When my two sisters, Mary and Alice came to visit the light bulb finally went off.  They have been my ardent supporters and Alice actually got me started in art 3 years ago.... my time flies when your having fun.... Alice mentioned the tree seemed too dark and bingo, the lights went off/on!!! I changed the value as it was completing strongly for attention and I am pleased enough to sign it.  I guess it just wasn't a good enough place to stop when I first stopped. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter Sunset, Florida

It is warming up in Florida, at least in the Palm Bay area.  This is my latest painting. it was done on a Frederic 14" by 18"  stretched archival canvas, smooth finish.  I really liked it, except the edges where the canvas over lays the stretcher bars.  The paint intensified on the edges.  May be how I paint but was difficult to get a smooth application.  I did this in layers taking my time to evaluate values, temperatures. After I finished the sky, it rather looked like an abstract painting...Heaven Forbid!!!... I may get to appreciate abstract more.  Perhaps, I am learning to pay attention to shapes more.... I used a photo for a general reference that I took about a week ago right outside my house.  It was a spectacular sunset.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Robert Henri - The Art Spirit

Recently I have been quoting Robert Henri on my blog and lo and behold I find that Michelle at
has already chosen it for a reading group she has started.   I started this book just about the time I started my Art journey.  It took about three years to complete the book.  I would frequently pick it up, read some, then digest it.  I finally completed it last month.  In the process, I learned that as a newbie to art the message he had was under appreciated.  As time went on, I found his message resonate deeper in my soul.  I fully intend to keep this book at my side and reread it when I seem to hit a dry spell.  If you haven't read it, I would recommend you take up Michelle's challenge.  If you have read it years ago, it may be rewarding to reread it.  I think the more knowledge you have about art, the more meaningful it becomes.
I am so grateful for all the books that are availalbe today.  They help us on our journey.  The local library has been an invaluable resource for me.  It helps to be in a local community that has a strong arts awareness and appreciation.  I am posting the picture I mentioned yesterday that I had revisited and redone.  I think it improved the composition.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Marsh Lands Oil Painting Revisited Revisited

R. Henri, "In fact, technique can only be used properly by those who have a definite purpose in what they do, and it is only they who invent technique."

I am back on target.  I revisited the Marsh Land painting and made some conscious corrections.  Also was able to photo my painting I did on N.Y. Eve day.  I am staying with the Wet Lands paintings until I feel extremely comfortable getting distance and the water to stay down.  I am also experiementing with my greens and my skies.  Florida because it is flat has glorious skies.  I have a long way to go to actually invent technique but I am trying to paint with an awareness of what I am doing.  Just have to get my 10,000 hours in.