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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

#103 "Saturday on First Street", oil, 16"x20"

This was a very complex painting to make, and that made it very fun to do. I concentrated on shapes and values and tried to ignore subject matter. I also tried to be really loose and let just a stroke tell the story. Not say too much. I think I still said more than I needed to, but the result is, I think, a lively cheery, portrait of the town of Langley. I am falling more and more in love with Langley. Studio 106 is just a few feet from this view of First St. I have done some work on the studio and moved in some studio furniture and brought some paintings in. It is slowly becoming mine. I also talked with a very talented gardener who will be installing the gardens around my space. (I'm responsible for caring for the gardens around Studio 106). I'm so excited to see them take shape. The gardens in Langley simply bring me to tears. I want to add my little corner of that community to the garden treasures of the city. The Ray for the Day is "Saturday on First Street".

Thursday, September 23, 2010

#102 "On the Edge", oil, 12" x 16"

Yesterday Joanne and Chris came to my studio and we all painted for a couple of hours, had a lunch break and talk, and more painting. Afterwards Chris and I went for a nice walk along the lake. Painting, time with women friends, and some exercise! A great day. This painting makes a nice companion for #101. Again, I really like the color combination, the yellow, green and peach against the lavendar and the deep blue against the pale yellow. These two paintings were inspired by the table setting Chris made for Joanne's birthday garden party last Spring, so it was fitting that I painted them with the two of them here. The Ray for the Day is "On the Edge".

Thursday, September 16, 2010

#101 "Blaaack Cawfee..." oil, 12" x 16"

Guess what? No painting is easy. I thought I would just do an easy little painting after struggling with the complexities of portraits. This simple seeming composition went through some very interesting stages along the way. The background color has been difficult to photograph. In reality it is a very lime green. I like the lime against the purple and the purple against the peach. I find the various circles and their placement quite interesting. This little coffee cup turned out to be quite an abstract painting. The Ray for the Day is "Blaaack Cawfee....".

Thursday, September 2, 2010

#100 The Final Four

These are the last four stages of the painting of Rachel. Even though I checked, rechecked, and thought I had everything in the right place.....her left eye migrated from it's appropriate place. I really treasure this painting because it is a great learning. I got so mesmerized painting that left eye that I didn't pay attention to where I was putting it. Hopefully I will be more and more mindful and alert with my paintings. Perhaps I should name it Rachel With the Wandering Eye? What a great 4 days that was! I do know, also, that should I get really serious about painting portraits of people I will want to paint much more expressionistically than these paintings. However, now matter how or what I paint....I want things to be in the right place. I just got the keys to my new Studio 106 and am going to Langley tomorrow morning, so I will spend some time there planning, measuring, thinking about how I will be using it. So that's it for portrait workshops for awhile. The Ray for the Day is The Final Four.

#99 Day Four of Portrait Workshop

The last day of the workshop Liana did a masterful 4 hour demo in the morning. For the last 4 hours we had one model for one pose. I took photos of my piece every 20 minutes so I could look back and see the steps and the development. I have chosen 8 of those photos, and will post 4 today and the final 4 tomorrow. During this process the task was to check and re check the position of each facial feature in relation to all other parts of the face shape, and to keep in mind the shape of the negative spaces as well. I did not know how to get these images in the right order....they are exactly backwards, so read from the bottom to the top. These four stages took her to "the guy in drag" stage. She is, in fact, a very feminine woman with a very square jaw, big wideset eyes and a wide mouth. Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to figure out how to get the images in the right order. The Ray for the Day is Day Four of Portrait Workshop (or the beginning of Rachel).

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

#98 Day Three of Portrait Workshop

By Day Three our heads are full of what to do, what not to do, and a complex mix of eagerness and frustration and some mental fatigue and excitement all rolled into one. It's a great group of painters and the comraderie, support and encouragement is high. This day we had two models, and had two hours with each model. There was a sigh of relief to know we had two hours to stare, correct, paint, stare and correct again. We are all beginning to see the subtleties of skin tone, shape, etc. a bit better. Most everyone in the group is an accomplished painter in their own right, yet we confessed we had totally forgotten anything we knew before and are concentrating only on the principles Liana is truly trying to transmit to us. In my opinion this is the best way to be at a workshop....with an empty and open mind. This day turned out to be really fun. I enjoyed the process immensely. What a woderful way to spend a day! The Ray for the day is Day Three of Portrait Workshop (or Jess and Garrett).