Thursday, February 26, 2009

a blown white tulip

I used only cobalt blue and mars yellow on this little study. Oh and a little bit of chromium oxide green. 
I just had to paint these blossoms when I noticed the western sun slanting in through my studio window and lighting up the inside of the petals. The tulips are past their prime, the petals are starting to fall off the stem and the whole arrangement looks translucent.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

to dust you shall return

Today is Ash Wednesday. I worship at an Anglican church and find this day of repentance and contemplation to be deeply comforting. It is like the feeling at the beginning of a new year, start again, don't look back, be forgiven and go in peace.
This painting is one that I did a couple of years ago at the beginning of Lent, it is 36" by 48", acrylic on canvas.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yellow to ease the gloom and the doom

All I read in the newspaper and all I hear on the radio is bad news. The economy is going down and everything is turning from bad to worse all over. Sometimes you have to just turn it off.
This is an experimental painting on heavy watercolor paper 29"x23". I used acrylics, pencil, and oil pastel sticks and just played around. Does it look playful? 
Here's a detail of the mixed media sunflower.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mimosa yellow

"Mimosa yellow picked to ease gloom in 2009. Enough gloom and doom; there's a prediction from a leading color source that cheerful and sunny yellow will be the influential color of 2009.
Pantone, which provides color standards to design industries, specifically cites "mimosa", a vibrant shade of yellow illustrated by the flowers of some mimosa trees as well as the brunch favorite cocktail, as it's top shade of the new year. In general, Pantone expects the public to embrace many tones of the optimistic yellow."
From the Chicago Tribune, early January 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pink and Yellow Primroses (correct title)

I put these in the kitchen window for that cheerful effect in the middle of winter. 
Very simple, gesture and emotion.
Tomorrow it is supposed to snow some more!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Just in time for pink hearts and red roses day

Or is it red hearts and pink flowers? 
A sweet little watercolor of an azalea that I brought home to brighten the day.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Drawing in church

Something that I can't help myself from doing is sketching. I listen just as well when my hands are busy. Really I do, although my teachers in grade school weren't convinced.
I draw in church, discreetly, I hope, in my moleskin.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

painting a sacred icon

sketch from "Virgin and Child" by Sandro Botticelli. The Art Institute of Chicago
I recently attended a new show by an artist who is very skilled and highly trained in the painting of sacred icons in the Greek Orthodox tradition.
The moment that has remained with me since I viewed these icons is the answer that the artist gave to me when I asked her about the time it takes to paint these. She answered that a small icon might take 25 hours, but then that doesn't take into account the amount of time she puts into preparation. I nodded in agreement because I understand too about the hours spent in sketches and preparatory drawings, color studies,and research. The artist surprised me then by saying "And then there is the amount of time that must be spent in fasting and praying before each painting is undertaken" 
Wow, if I had to fast and pray before I started my work, imagine how much that process would take out of me. 
I have my own version of sacred art and it is within these lilies that I have been painting as a series for several years now. This is a detail from a very large canvas titled "golden".

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I picked up a rose...

I picked up a rose and it poked through my clothes
I followed a winding stream
I heard the deafening noise, I felt transient joys
I know they're not what they seem
In this earthly domain, full of disappointment and pain
You'll never see me frown
I owe my heart to you, and that's sayin' it true
And I'll be with you when the deal goes down
"When the Deal Goes Down" Bob Dylan 2006 
A small painting today. Watercolor 8x10. Experimenting as usual with color combination. Acid yellow and fuchsia.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super bowl sketching

I am not a sports fan. But sketching while enjoying tasty food at a super bowl party is a very good time. I was really interested in attempting to sketch as rapidly and fluidly as possible. A great chance for me to work  on anatomy and action.

And of course, sketching the spectators in the room is also fun.

And I am really fascinated by the player's rear ends- so shapely. Should I censor that?