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Friday, June 21, 2013

#174, "Cat's Whisker", oil, 16" x 24"

I know this is a rather odd painting for me. It is a part of my Langley Inside Out series. I walked into Big Sister one day (a Langley clothing shop) and while I was talking with the owner she reached over and plucked something from my scarf. "What is this?" she asked. And then she answered her own question: "It is a cat's whisker!" How did she know? She collects them. She put it in a small clear envelope and labeled it with the name and breed of my cat, Arthur. I was charmed. I took her photo and couldn't help painting this. Probably more importantly....I learned so much while painting this picture that I keep it up in my studio to remind myself of the brushwork and use of cools and warms, edges, light, value and the use of color spots. A lot to ask from one slightly odd painting. The Ray for the Day is "Cat's Whisker."

Monday, June 17, 2013

# 173 "Double Tall", oil

This is another of my "Langley Inside Out" series, interior scenes of buildings in Langley. This is where I stand to wait for my coffee when I am at Useless Bay Coffee Company, a very popular local hang out. I bought the support panel one day just because I liked the size and shape of it, and have been waiting for just the right composition to present itself for that format. While waiting for my coffee it appeared to me. Inspiration can strike at any time, right? Like most painters I find myself composing paintings all the time. Everything I look at becomes an imaginary painting. Most never get to the canvas. But some do. As is the case with The Ray for the Day "Double Tall".

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#172, "Two Slices of Life", oil, 6" x 6"

On day 2 of the Qiang Huang workshop I painted this little still life. I used a palette knife and thick paint for the orange slices. I often use thick paint with a brush, but it was so satisfying spreading that paint on there like butter. Also I'm not used to painting so small, but I really enjoyed focusing all of my attention on this little 6" x 6" panel. I look forward to doing more small ones in my studio. I have been painting more than I have been posting. So I should be getting a few more larger pieces posted in the next week or so. There is so much life out there to live it is hard to get around to everything all the time.My Interiors of Langley series is coming along really well. Stay tuned! The Ray for the Day is "Two Slices of Life".

#171, "An Apple a Day", oil, 6" x 6"

Recently I spent 3 days in a painting workshop with Qiang Huang, a gifted teacher and painter. I am so lucky to live near Whidbey Island Fine Arts, an art school that brings exceptional artist/teachers to our island. Whenever I need an infusion of inspiration there is always an excellent workshop nearby. Qiang's (pronounced Chong) classes were very well organized, and loaded with helpful information. I think one of the more valuable things I practiced during these 3 days was to paint more slowly and thoughtfully, to spend more time looking and choosing hue and value. I have been able to hold onto that somewhat since the workshop.  I need to remind myself everyday. Sometimes I get rapture of the paint and just start whacking away. It's fun, but I have to make a lot of corrections. This is the first little still life I painted in the workshop. The Ray for the Day is "An Apple a Day".