Monday, September 28, 2015

Blazing Maples

Blazing Maples, Acrylic on Crescent Board, 8"x6", NFS

Day 28 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - #24

In this painting, I decided to leave out the reflections and just concentrate on the foliage.  I like the brilliant colors but I'm not too enamored of the overall result.  I think I'm done with foliage for a while. I'll have to think of something else to do for the last two days of the challenge.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Maple Reflections

Maple Reflections, Acrylic on Crescent Board, 10"x10", $125

Day 27 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - #23

I'm still playing with the autumn foliage/reflections thing. I tried working a bit larger in this one - it's 10"x10" in stead of the 6"x6" Gessoboards I was using. I wanted to make the foliage really pop the way it does on a crisp autumn day.  It's always a challenge to figure out how much bright to put in against the neutrals, complements and darks. This works pretty well in spite of the amount of pure or close to pure hues that I used.

Note: To purchase this painting, please click here. You will find yourself on my website where you can make your purchase or browse through the other paintings.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Autumn Reflections

Autumn Reflections, Acrylic on Crescent Board, 10"x10", NFS

Day 25 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - #22

In this painting, I continued my exploration of trees and reflections. As I experiment with using the squeegee to create the trees and reflections, I'm trying to get a handle on what works and why. In this painting, I like the amount of looseness, but wanted a little more color in the reflections. Since the reflections are the result of picking up paint from the trees with the squeegee and blending it in the still wet gray-blue paint in the water area, it will be difficult to change later. Definitely something to pay attention to in future paintings.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Spruce Reflections

Spruce Reflections, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6", $75

Day 23 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - #21

The other day I started a painting of an apple. It was the end of the day, after I had completed two others and the results I was getting were not pretty. So I took my squeegee and smeared the whole thing restoring some smoothness to the board and erasing the apple. Once dry, I thought it had some potential for something totally different.  I used that board for this painting. It had all the right colors and patterns to go for some spruce reflections.

While I was painting, I also fixed yesterday's foliage painting, so I am now offering it for sale as well. You can see it below.
Autumn Foliage II, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6", SOLD
Note: To purchase these paintings, please click here. You will find yourself on my website where you can make your purchase or browse through the other paintings.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Autumn Foliage II

Autumn Foliage II, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6", NFS

Day 22 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - #20

I'm still a little behind but at least I'm not losing ground. This one is another foliage and reflections piece. It's a little quieter then yesterday's but still has lots of pop.  Our own trees haven't turned yet, so I am working from memory.

Note: This painting is not for sale just now. I can see a few things that need to be fixed and I will wait until that has been done before I attempt to sell it.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Autumn Foliage

Autumn Foliage, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6", $75

Day 21 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - #19

I took a couple of days to think about what to do next. I know - I'm supposed to do that a bit faster during the 30 Day Challenge, but it just didn't happen.  I wanted to figure out what to do next using the technique I used with the pears and apples. This is one of the things I came up with - pretty cool.

In this painting, I started with an orange ground. When that was dry, I painted colorful patches of what I originally thought would be reflections of trees in water using a palette knife. Then, using my trusty squeegee, I pushed the colors around to blend and distort them. While that was drying, I stepped back to see what I had to work with and thought it might look better upside down.  Good thought, because it turns out they made better trees than reflections, although I ended up with reflections, too. After letting it sit overnight, I adjusted the tree shapes, and some unfortunate patches of color, added the tree trunks and water ripples and declared it done.

Note:  To purchase this painting, click here. you will find yourself on my website where you can make your purchase or browse the other paintings.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Psychedelic Apples

Psychedelic Apple, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6", SOLD

Day 18 of the 30 paintings in 30 Days Challenge - #17 and 18

I have to admit that I am having a hard time staying focused on painting.  Our weather has been a non-stop continuation of the sunniest, hottest days of summer. While Septembers are usually pretty nice, they are also usually cool enough to encourage studio time. But, this year?  This afternoon, I am going to the beach! In Vermont!

That said, I decided I really liked the effect of my last pear and had a lot of fun playing with the broken patterns, so I thought I would play with that concept and technique some more. The painting above is my first try. I love the shape and colors, but my value pattern isn't as strong as I would like.  On the second painting I used more pastel colors for the background with the intention of making the apple pop more - I like that one, too. I will be playing with this some to see where it might lead.

Pastel Apple, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6", $50
Note: To purchase these paintings, please click here. You will find yourself on my website where you can make your purchase or browse for more paintings.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Made It!

Lake Reflections, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6", $30

Day 16 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - #15 and 16

I made it. I'm all caught up - for now. I decided I didn't have any more ideas for the pears right now so I spent all last evening trying to figure out what to paint next. I opted for a few landscapes as a change of pace. The first one (above) is a quick study of lake, mountains, and reflections. The second painting (below) is the lake with a setting sun reflecting in the water - one of my favorite views.

Lake Sunset, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6", $30
Note: To purchase these paintings, please click here. You will find yourself on my website where you can make your purchase or choose from one of my other paintings.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Still Catching Up

In and Out, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6", SOLD

Day 15 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - #12-14

Another catch up day yesterday. I got three more done! After today, I will be completely caught up. I'm glad I made the attempt to catch up rather than skip the missed days. It has been quite an effort but it really pushed me to think up different angles to try quickly, something I didn't feel comfortable with but that I was able to do when I set my mind to it.

Pear Discoveries

The main thing I discovered as I was experimenting with the pears is that recognizing a pear is almost entirely about its shape, or more specifically, its silhouette.  I found I had to include a surprising amount of the outline to get the shape to read as a pear. I thought I would be able to just leave hints of the outline and get it to work but that didn't happen.  That said, I was able to mess with a surprising number of the other attributes and still keep the idea of "pear". The remaining two pear paintings can be seen below.

Are You In There?, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6", $30
This is the first pear I did yesterday.  I was trying to see how much of the pear I could take away before it stopped looking like a pear. Not much, it turns out. To paint this one, I started with the colored background and slowly added the bits of pear color, stopping as soon as I thought it was recognizable.

Green Prear, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6", $30
In this painting, I used all broken color, blending the background with a squeegee to smooth the transitions while leaving the pear itself with more texture. I also used the squeegee to mush the shadow side of the pear into the background, losing the edge. This pear has less of the stereotypical pear shape - it's more like a d'Anjou than a Bartlett - so the stem is actually pretty important in the identification.

In and Out, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6", SOLD
Once again, the last painting of the day was my favorite. Maybe having a tired brain helps me get a little looser. Anyway, I went back and forth on this one putting color in with a palette knife, then smoothing it with the squeegee, then adding more color. Once again I was surprised by how much pear shape was needed to feel like I had actually painted one, although some of it was the desire to get the sense of roundness. 

Note: To purchase these paintings, please click here. You will find yourself on my website where you can make your purchase.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Catching Up

Now You See It, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6", $50

Day 14 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Last week I got seriously behind.  After spending two full days at the Bryan Gallery in Jeffersonville, hanging exhibits, I spent the rest of the week trying to catch up with all of the produce in my garden, making and delivering prints for Frog Hollow in Burlington, VT, the household chores, and more. It's amazing how time flies.

I thought about just skipping all those days and moving on, but I wanted to see if I could catch up instead (mind over matter). That meant finding something simple enough to paint that would allow me to do a number of paintings in a short amount of time and that could be varied enough to stay interesting.  The idea was to try to recapture the momentum of daily painting so I could move forward again. I opted for pears - they are simple enough to do quickly but their shapes are interesting enough to provide variety.

Today I am posting the first four which I did over the last two days. The one above was actually the last in the bunch - doing several in quick succession is working.  The other three are shown below in the order in which they were done.
Pear #1, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6", NFS

This was the first pear.  I decided to use 6"x6" Gessoboards because they are easy to use and I have them on hand.  They are small enough to do quickly and I like the surface. I used a squeegee and palette knife to apply the paint. I was obviously a little rusty here. Still, the light is kind of interesting.

Pear on Orange, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6", NFS

This one is number two.  I tried a different background and although interesting, the pear looks too much like a cut-out here. I'll probably revisit this one after the challenge to see if I can get the pear to sit in its surroundings a bit better.I do like the "cloth" and the cast shadow to the right of the pear.

Pair of Pears, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6", NFS

This one is number three in this group of paintings. I think this might actually be my least favorite of the bunch. It just doesn't feel right to me.

Now You See It, Acrylic on Gessoboard, 6"x6", $50
This one is the fourth painting. I feel like I was making progress. The idea here was to see how much information was needed to make the pear emerge from its surroundings - hence, "Now You See It".  This one was fun and challenging and gave me an idea for the next one.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Day 7 - Fog at Sea

Fog at Sea, Acrylic on Crescent Board, 10"x20", $150

Day 7 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

This painting is the result of a considerable amount of frustration. I have been working ahead by one day so I could get my posts ready to go in the evening before they were due.  Yesterday, I started this painting - it was originally a vertical painting of trees.  I didn't like it and set it aside. I painted another painting - a 10"x10" painting of wind in the trees in summer.  That one was even worse, so I set that aside, too. Finally, frustrated and tired, I picked up the first painting, turned it on its side, and painted over what I had done earlier. I then walked away. This morning I was able to look at this "start" with fresh eyes and decided it had the feel of a foggy day at the ocean.  I decided to make it a purely abstract painting and went from there.  I rather like this, although it may well get a few tweaks after the challenge is over. So, although I think I got the essence of a foggy day, I went about the process backwards, letting the beginnings of the painting dictate its final direction.

Note: To purchase this painting, please click here.  You will find yourself on my website where you can make your purchase.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Day 6 - Wind

Wind, Acrylic on Crescent Board, 10"x10", $100

Day 6 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

I was feeling pretty stuck today. In the end I decided to use yesterday's painting as a starting point to see where I could go next. In this one, I was interested in the idea of falling leaves and that led me to contemplate how I would depict wind. I think I got some of that here although the effect would have been better without the rightmost tree. Nevertheless, I like the "breezy" feel of this painting.

Note:  To purchase this painting, please click here. You will be transported to my website where you can make your purchase.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Day 5 - Autumn

Autumn, Acrylic on Crescent Board, 10"x10", $150

Day 5 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

I am discovering that I did not put sufficient constraints on my theme for this challenge.  I am already struggling to come up with a subject each day - live and learn. Today's painting is my response to the beautiful autumn foliage we get to experience here in New England.  No, the trees have not changed yet - thank goodness! I used the following description to define my subject.

Autumn Foliage  



When I think of the glory of autumn foliage, I usually think of a gray day when most of the trees are already bare and a single remaining tree sports a shawl of orange-red. There is something about the misty grayness of a rainy fall day to make the foliage pop with an electric intensity that is completely absent on sunny days. On those rainy days, the bark of the tree is black or nearly so, providing an amazing framework for the orange and red display.

Thank You to All Who Have Commented

I want to thank everyone who has visited and commented so far. I appreciate your thoughts and your support. I know I am not the only one trying and frequently failing to learn and improve in my art, but it's amazing what a difference hearing that makes when I'm in the middle of it. Thank you for your support and for sharing your experiences!  

To Buy This Painting

If you would like to buy this painting, please click here. You will find yourself on my website where you can make your purchase. Please note that I am offering Challenge paintings at a discount for the duration of the Challenge.



Friday, September 4, 2015

Day 4 - Low Tide

Low Tide, Acrylic on Crescent Board, 10"x20", $200

Day 4 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

This painting of the Maine coast at low tide turned out to be pretty interesting. In fact it is far more moody than I had planned. I am posting the description I started with below. Some parts I got; others, not so much.  It looks like my ability to focus left town with the rest of me this summer.

I am enjoying the abstraction process even though I think my progress is kind of patchy. By giving up some of the representational aspects of a subject, I seem to tap into a more emotional response to it. I think that is a good thing.  

The Maine Coast


The sky is blue with puffy white clouds. The islands make a ragged silhouette along the horizon with some additional outcroppings closer to shore. The water is blue with bands that are lighter and darker showing the currents and the varying depths. Every now and then you see a colored lobster buoy or boat mooring.  A light wind ruffles the water here and there.

Note:  To purchase this painting, please click here. You will be transported to my website where you can make your purchase.




Thursday, September 3, 2015

Day 3 - Doorway

Doorway, Acrylic on Crescent Board, 12"x10", $100

Day 3 of the Thirty Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

OK. I'm not even going to pretend that I planned this. I started out with the goal of making a more minimalist, more abstract apple than yesterday's.  To that end, I put on an orange underpainting. Then I painted an apple drawing and put in the shadows - my structure, if you will.  Once those layers were dry, I started painting with a fairly large brush making interesting patterns and putting in the areas that I wanted to make light. This is what emerged. When I saw what was happening, I decided to go with it and it evolved into what, to me, looks like a doorway.

I don't know if this painting will stay like this after the challenge is over or whether I will decide that it really isn't all that strong.  I have learned that once in a while it pays to listen to what a painting is saying and wait to see if it makes sense.  For someone as methodical as me, that was a really hard lesson to learn, but it has resulted in some surprising and interesting paintings. So for now, this painting is done.

Note: If you would like to buy this painting, please click here. You will find yourself on the September 2015 30 Day Challenge page of my website where you can make your purchase. Please note that Challenge paintings will be at a reduced price for the duration of the 30 Day Challenge.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Day 2 - Apple

Apple, Acrylic on Crescent Board, 10"x10", $100

Day 2 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge


Today's painting is an apple. Apples are so basic that almost anyone can recognize one with the barest amount of visual information.  I like this painting although I think I put in too much of the apple. I will likely try this again with the goal of showing less while still getting the idea of "apple" across.

Apple 




An apple is one of those objects that we learn to recognize from early youth; they are sort of inscribed on our brains so we recognize them with very little information.  I think an apple should be red (I know there are lots of different kinds with lots of different colors); it should be roundish, bigger at the shoulders; and it should have that indentation where the stem is attached.  If I see those things, my mind says, “apple.”

Note:  To buy this painting, please click here. You will find yourself on the September 2015 Thirty Day Challenge page on my website where you can make your purchase. Challenge paintings will be specially priced until the end of the Challenge - at that time, I will make any changes and tweaks that I think are needed and add them to my normal inventory.
 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Day 1 - Sunflower

Sunflower, Acrylic on Crescent Board, 20"x10", NFS

Day 1 of the 30 paintings in 30 Days Challenge!

I was going to start with that simplest of all forms, the apple. But when I got ready to paint I decided to go for a sunflower instead.  Since I have been playing hookey pretty much all summer, this painting is a little rough. I'm sure that as I get back into the habit of painting daily, my skills will return. Meanwhile, there are certainly a lot of elements in this painting that I like - particularly in the greens (leaf) and the stem area.

As part of this challenge (I have named my upcoming series "Getting to the Essence of a Thing"), I am posting the description I used to define the painting. Please see my previous post (Aug. 26) for a description of my theme for this Challenge.



Sunflowers

There are many forms and colors of sunflowers, but to me a sunflower should be yellow – the color of the sun - (although I do have red ones and orange ones and bi-color ones in my garden, too) and it should have a big brown center.  It is tall and has great big, dusty green leaves. When I see those characteristics the first thing that comes to mind is sunflower.


Note:  This painting is not for sale. I have many others to choose from. If interested, please click here to visit my website.