After an amazing workshop with Colley Whisson at the Landgrove Inn in Landgrove, VT, I have been anxious to paint landscapes. But here I am, painting dogs and more dogs. A lot of what I learned translates to the dog portraits but I do need to push myself outside my comfort zone.
Finding the focus and expression or atmosphere of a landscape is always challenge to me. Perhaps instead I will listen to Malcolm Gladwell whose theory suggests I need to paint 10,000 dogs first.
Last summer we were in Rome and Venice. I took lots of reference photos for painting and am only just beginning to work with them. The color palette is a very comfortable one for me and painting these scenes puts me right back in these wonderful locations. The top painting is 12" x 12". The laundry caught my attention as the only sign of life in a deserted piazza on the day we got lost in Venice. Wait, we got lost in Venice every day. The lower painting of the canal is 16" x 20". The photo was taken in a very busy location. I was struck by how the canal was peaceful and quiet. While I
would love the opportunity to paint these scenes on site, there is a lot to be said for the controlled environment of the studio. I find I paint best when comfortable and undisturbed. I have a lot of admiration for the plein air painters, but for now, I will enjoy painting Italy at home. More to come...
Busy holiday season and catch up in January. Hopefully I will get better at website maintenance in this new year. My love of terriers certainly comes through in this image. Hopefully I captured a face full of the mischief he is capable of getting into! When I look at the paintings online I am tempted to go back and fuss with it a bit more (the hard edge of the shadow by the nose, extend the reflection in his right eye) but sometimes it is better just to call it done and move on to the next one.
This 16" x 20" is of the beach on the way to Woods Hole. Falmouth has 68 miles of coastline so I should not run out of subject matter in my work towards representing water. Driving along the shoreline on my way to work each day I have noticed that the water color does not always complement the sky color. On other days the difference is indistinguishable.
Planning to spend the three day weekend working on landscapes. As I look at this painting I wonder if I can find the eyes and expression of the beach and the waves. Painting is 'seeing' things in a different way. The dogs always come so much easier for me.
I try to avoid portraits with multiple dogs because you will always prefer one over the other. The description that came with the reference photos was that one dog was serious and the other goofy. I was very happy with the serious dog but the goofy one…. well he is just goofy. Fortunately the person who commissioned the painting said that the white dog was spot on. It is always easier you can meet the dogs in person.
I am obsessed with this location. Having sold the previous Gay Head painting I was compelled to paint the cliffs again.
Portraiture has always been an interest of mine and younger members of the family are less apt to complain. I was pleased with this one though and it encourages me to keep working my way through the family. I was particularly pleased with the "baby skin." Getting the age right is always a challenge. My inspiration for portraiture is the work of british artist, Simon Davis.
Since the beginning of the year I have been focusing on large canvas landscapes. Every now and then I need to go back to my comfort zone and paint a dog or two. It reassures me that I can produce something I am happy with and in a much shorter time frame. Dumpling
seems like a perfectly named sweetie-pie.
This is another large canvas 30" x 48". I was able to drive to the beach on my lunch hour to take the reference photos on one of the days when we did not have snow on the ground. It was a fairly cold day but I was thinking summer while painting!
I took a series of photos of the cliffs at Aquinnah. We were there as the tide had just turned so there was a lot of standing water. This more colorful bluff is east of the one in the previous painting. My New Years resolution was to paint big but this is on a more comfortable 12" x 12" canvas.
This canvas is huge by my standard, 3 feet by 3 feet. Over Christmas we visited Aquinnah on Martha's Vineyard and walked the beach on a foggy morning. I took lots of photos and did a little monochrome sketch. This is just the first of many paintings from photos of our visit to Martha's Vineyard. I have lots more to explore, but perhaps not quite as large next time, definitely not as large!