This is a tiny little 3" x 3" that I did as a birthday greeting for a friend at work. Our birthdays are one day apart and as 'birthday buddies' we try to do something a little special for each other. Birthdays are a good time to take stock, think about how you have spent the past year and what you would like to accomplish in the next. After a few Christmas gift dog portraits on the schedule, I want to go big. I bought a supply of large canvas, ordered new paint and am ready to begin!
I have some dogs waiting to be painted but it's fun to stretch and explore other subjects. The current nautical theme is my attempt to hang on to summer as long as I can.
This painting was an exploration of the bold transparent colors. The original plan was to tone them down with the opaques but I always worry about over-painting and ending up with a mess. Each attempt is a learning experience and sometimes knowing when to stop is the hardest lesson learned. (although I just might have to go back and clean up the green that has snuck into the fence)
I feel so fortunate to live by the ocean, with so many painting opportunities. I follow an artist who lives in the midwest. He paints the flat landscape with big skies in all the changing light. His work is beautiful. The truth is we paint what inspires us, we know best, what we see in our daily lives. I am so happy to live by the ocean!
The true end of summer for me is when we turn the clocks back and the sun sets as early as 4:30 in the afternoon. I read an interesting article in the Boston Globe proposing that the New England States adopt Atlantic Standard Time matching the Canadian Maritime Provinces. The change would mean not having to adjust our clocks between November and March. Luckily I have taken lots of reference photos so my painting can happily continue during the dark days ahead.
The boats are coming out of the water, the mooring balls will be replaced by winter sticks.
The key to capturing the fish was to use only transparent colors. In the end I needed a tiny bit of ice blue but the transparent brown, indian yellow and phthalo blue really give the underwater look. Time to paint more fish!
I think it was the rusty chain that inspired me to paint this anchor left in the sand after the tide went out. The tide goes way out in P-town leaving boats high and dry, tilting one way or the other. Boats always make for beautiful paintings but no, this time I was intrigued by the anchor.
I am excited about painting more boats with the palette knife but I had a few dogs to catch up with. It was a good creative weekend and these two little rascals were a pleasure to work on. They are
6" x 6" which is a good size for a pet portrait. We visited friends in AZ who have a very large, life-size painting of a large dog they once had. It is a very dramatic painting and they have the perfect spot for it but I do love the small canvas close up with a focus on the dogs expression and eyes.
I had the privilege of hosting Leslie Saeta, from the blog talk radio show, Artists Helping Artists, and her occasional co-host (and my good friend) Margaret Sheldon for four days this past week. Leslie held a Palette Knife Painting Workshop here in Falmouth with participants from all over. This was my best effort, my first attempt was a bit of a muddy mess that quickly got tossed. I am excited to try another larger canvas platte knife painting or perhaps a combination of knife and brush. Leslie is a very high energy person with lots to share about art as a business. The changes to my web site were her great suggestions. We also talked about painting for our own satisfaction and yet still selling our work. All good stuff.
My September is lining up to be too busy for a painting a day but I would like to paint some dogs. If you are interested send a couple of photos (firstname.lastname@example.org) I will paint a 6" x6" portrait. There is no commitment on your part. You have to be pleased with the results. It is not easy painting a dog I have never met! The finished oil on canvas painting will be delivered framed and ready to hang and the cost is $125.00. When choosing photos, straight on head shots are not the best.
Happy to announce that my portrait of "Freddy" received a Blue Ribbon at the Falmouth Artists Guild Members Annual Exhibit judged by Sarah Hannan, Executive Director of South Shore Art Center:
Commissions are nice because the painting has a home to go to but it does effect the process. We had some Russian visitors who shared a photo of their cat. It was fun to interpret the photo rather than try to paint a copy. I will try a more realistic painting but this is the result of a very happy afternoon of painting!
And so below is the more realistic attempt. I am happy with them both for different reasons. As soon as they are dry they are off to Chelyabinsk, Russia.
This past summer I was fortunate to attend a workshop with Colley Whisson at the Landgrove Inn in Landgrove, VT. Colley is an Australian artist