Saturday, May 22, 2010
12" x 24" oil on linen
This painting has been around the block a few times. In its journey, a few marks and scratches have shown up. North Light Gallery had it last year and asked if I would fix the marks. Not having seen this piece for some time, I viewed it with fresh eyes and made a discovery. . . it was too dark overall. So not only did I fix the marks, I lightened the background and made small alterations here and there. The painting is now a show-stopper (in my opinion). Note to self: put a painting away for a few weeks to a couple of months without looking at it. Then bring it out, look at it fresh, BEFORE, sending it out into the world. Writers do this with their manuscripts; the same is true for paintings.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Country Kitchen 18" x 30" oil on linen
After three months, this piece is finished. Not only did the cheese go bad but the milk became cheese, or something to that effect. The plums shriveled and I don't know what condition the raw egg was in when it went in the trash. Working from life presents its own set of problems. I think there is a parallel to life if I think about it for a while. This piece plus three other ones will be sent to North Light Gallery for my One Person show in June. There will be a reception Sunday, June 20th and I can't wait! I have never been to Maine.
I have spent about three weeks on a figure in an environment. Boy did composition issues become a major challenge in the process. Painting a figure is not easy but putting it in a space with other objects made me take out my books on composition to help create a more dynamic piece. Note to self: work out all these problems ahead of time with sketches, value and color studies.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
This is an 8" X 10" on oil primed linen that I sent to the North Light Gallery in Kennebunkport, Maine. As I look at all my pieces that I sent, I was drawn to this one more than any of the others. Why? It's the combination of both realism of the fruit and yet a soft, almost (but not quite) impressionistic brush work in some places. Up until today, I didn't really know what to call this marriage of two camps. I've always been aware of the different styles and movements in the history of art but didn't know what to call the striving for academic accuracy combined with soft brushwork. Yesterday I was clicking through Gurney Journey's blog on painting techniques and came across some information that told me I had found my "camp." It's call The Juste Milieu artist. The words translate as "the right mean," or the "happy medium." These artists aimed for a middle ground between the Impressionist and Academic camps. It is both a philosophy of painting and a movement of painters. Carolus-Duran was a member (Sargent's instructor). In the late 1880's, the group separated from the Academy, forming under the name Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts. According to Gurney's research, Joaquin Sorolla traveled to Paris, not to see Monet but Bastien-Lepage, a juste milieu painter. Their palette seems earthier in color, closer to a Zorn palette. Sir George Clausen was another member. I guess we still can learn something new each day!