Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Still Life as Painting Mode

Four Friends - Oil Painting In times past, my artwork focused on patterns, colors, graphic images and things other than the old fashioned classic topics. Now, as I re-enter the realm of my creativity, I am starting at the beginning, with the basics. Still life subjects are something that I never had a great interest in painting, but now, with limited space, and a shift in focus (and eyes that are less sharp than they were 20 years ago), still life subjects hold a different type of fascination. I question what I am really seeing, and wonder why the way I perceive them is so different than how I did before.

It's not a question that I will answer easily, if ever, and in reality, as soon as I start painting, I forget the question, and fall into the lovely colors and shapes and the process itself.

My deep metaphysical self only remains in control for a short while, and then the hedonist takes hold. That's the one who prefers dark chocolate, and the bright white of gardenias. Hmmm, gardenias.... something more to paint.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Results of Painting with Susan Sarback

Sunflower The final session of painting classes with Susan Sarback is arriving soon, and these are the pieces that came out of it, plus one that I played with on my own. I can say that I've expanded my skillset, and I'm curious to see how the techniques I've been exposed to will translate in my own works. S. Sarback is a colorist, which works well with my own way of painting and creating. My feeling is that it will mesh well, when applied to my own strange methods of working.

The sunflowers and spitoon were fun to do, but in reality I was more interested in the pot, and the sunflowers were supposed to be the focal point. I have an old brass spitoon serving as a wastebasket in my bathroom, maybe I'll play with that someday.

The poppies turned out well, don't feel like throwing it under a bus. During this class, I worked with pallet knife instead of a brush. Going to have to relearn brushwork with the new color theory and application.

Blue Bottle
The blue bottle was actually a pain in the patootie, but I learned a bunch.

Peaches and Pears
I'm happy with what happened with the Peaches and Pears, but part of me wants to go back and work on it more. Susan's preference is not to get too fussy on the details, and I itch to add stuff to it. We will see how that tug-of-war comes out. Maybe some subtle glazes with a brush to add some complexity to the colors and...

One of the hazards of starting to paint is that now I am goint to have to figure out a storage system. I thought about that, and decided to begin this new part of my creative life doing smaller pieces, so that it would be easier to store, but now it's getting to be crunch time.

And, last but not least, the sunflowers that I did at home, from a bouquet bought at Trader Joe's. This one is also something that I will probably nudge and fiddle with before I turn it loose.

The next project is probably a small Tonka dump truck I picked up at a yard sale. I've done a working sketch already, and now am ready to transfer to canvas board. Maybe Sunday...