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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Varietal 2

Varietal2   oil/canvas   8 x 24
This is the third of "quick" paintings designed to boost my self-confidence after spending most of the summer on "Equilibrium".  This still life was set up in my studio, and was painted using direct observation.  It took two days.  This small series enabled me to tackle my more complex compositions with a bit more enthusiasm.  Seeing things simply has its advantages.  I wish I could do it more often.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

White Pumpkins and Roadside Purple

White Pumpkins and Roadside Purple   oil   9 x 12

This is the second "quickie" painting done to regain a sense of balance within the bounds of painting exactly what is in front of me through direct observation.  The light source was a studio lamp. The canvas was pre-toned in a warmish neutral.  White pumpkins have always been thrilling to me.  Added to that is a bunch of roadside wildflowers that carry a vibrant purple that can be seen from afar.  They always pop up this time of year much to my delight.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pumpkin and Nasturtium...Searching for Balance

Pumpkin and Nasturtium   oil   12 x 9
Like most folks, I suspect, I am always searching for balance in my life.  After spending most of the summer trying to resolve the painting challenges that "Equilibrium" presented, I was ready to just paint from life, to paint only the effects of light and shadow on a subject.  I armed myself with some of the bounties of the season, and painted three smaller works, each taking one day. 

This canvas was pre-toned with a warmish mix.  Day 1 left me feeling satisfied...painting only what I see, and foregoing all that I imagine.  It was healing.

Saturday, October 7, 2017


Equilibrium   oil   30 x 42
is the title of this painting of a kayaker.  It also describes what I lost during the very long process of painting it.  Each pass offered some good passages, but was, overall, not acceptable to my sense of correctness.  Again.  Again and again....throughout the long hot summer.  I kept going back to my initial sketch to repaint as that usually does the trick.  My sketches are done so spontaneously...the goal is usually an even distribution of values.  I kept trying to solve the dilemma with color, even though I have never really been a colorist.  Eventually I realized that I had to depart from the initial sketch although, while powerful, destroyed the mood of this enthusiastic boater on a hot summer day.  I am, at long last, pleased. 

I am now realizing that I needed to declare a value dominance of the work, one that supports the mood that I am trying to achieve,  in addition to the playful distribution and linkage of values. 

This lesson was learned the hard way.