Monday, December 19, 2011
I thought I would show the evolution between my original plein air oil sketch of "Live Bait" and the final completed oil painting that I submitted for this exhibit. I think this demonstrates the value of doing onsite or life sketches to enhance the immediacy of the subject.
My oil sketch was quickly painted using thin washes with the oil paint diluted with turpentine and linseed oil. The main forms and blocks of color are laid in the area of vegetation and the body of the boat. The amber underpainting shows through, which tones down most of the colors. But the areas of reflected light and shadow observed onsite are apparent.
I picked out this oil sketch from a stack in my studio when considering what I could enter into the maritime heritage exhibition. Using a couple of reference photos I took when doing the oil sketch, I was able to refine a few details and clarify the colors on the boat, in the marsh and background wooded vegetation, in the water reflections, and on the pier. I built up the color and detail with thicker paint, mixed with a little linseed oil. My challenge was to continue to paint as quickly and lightly as I could in an attempt to keep this painting looking fresh. I think I was successful in capturing the spirit of that day at Scott's Landing.
Monday, November 7, 2011
For the past couple of months, my artist friends Missy Patrick and Gail Bramer and I have been planning to spend a few days plein air painting on Dauphin Island. We decided to spend 2 nights at a Bed and Breakfast (Dauphin House) on the island and thus spend 3 days painting to our hearts' delight. We completed our trip last Wednesday through Friday. Although cool and breezy, it turned out to be perfect for some intensive plein air painting, and there were endless subjects to paint on the island. We also had a few others join us for the day the first day or two of plein air painting. This turned out to be a wonderful way to learn from each other and hone our plein air painting skills; figure out what type gear was best; and scratch the surface on painting subjects on the island. Once we started painting, the cares and worries were left on the other side of the bridge. The island has a slower pace and a definite laid-back atmosphere; and parks and scenic views abound. The days started with the hearty B&B breakfast; ended with relaxed conversation and a glass of wine; followed by seafood dinner and early to bed. As Gail said, she was suffering from DI withdrawal once she returned back to Mobile. I completed a couple of watercolors in my journal the first day; and spent the rest of the time trying out my oils and palette knife. I don't know how well I captured the scenes, but it was definitely fun trying. We are looking forward to our next foray into some intensive plein air painting, and planning some day trips back to the island before too long.
Below is scene in Little Billie Goat Hole looking toward the Estuarium and the Gazebo overlooking the marsh creation site.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
In August, the Watercolor & Graphic Arts Society of Mobile (WGAS) held our juried exhibition at the Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope. We had a wonderful juror, Paula Payne of Pensacola, FL, who is a signature member of both the Florida and Louisiana Watercolor Societies. She had her hands full, since we had 70+ entries and had to jury it down to around 45 pieces - and all were wonderful. We also had 7 prospective members showing their audition pieces in this show. It turned out to be a wonderful show, and we got some fantastic press coverage in the Mobile Press-Register. Here is a link to the article in the Sunday arts section: http://blog.al.com/entertainment-press-register/2011/08/eastern_shore_art_center_pumps.html
Also on August 25th I volunteered to help with VSA Art Partners at the Independent Living Center. My art partner was Javier, and we painted a frog on lily pads. They will have an Art Partners show and auction on October 20th at the Eastern Shore Art Center to raise funds for art supplies for this program. This is a very rewarding experience for those of you who have not yet volunteered to paint with these very special and very appreciative artists. Any much credit is due to my artist friend Carolyn Greene who coordinates this program. Javier was a delight to work with. Here is a photo of me with Javier at work.
In July and August, I attended a class presented at Space 301 by artist friend Mary Elizabeth Kimbrough on various techniques using acrylic mediums. Learned some interesting ways to create texture, and how to transfer images using acrylic gel medium. This was a different twist for me but was alot of fun. Using some of these techniques, I created a piece for donation to the Mobile Arts Council "Come Get the Skinny" art auction fundraiser - turned the piece in on Sept 15th and the auction party is on September 29th. All of you should come out for a good cause and to bid on some really neat art!
In early September, we started back up with our Figure Group, which has just moved from the downtown Space 301 facility to a bright and spacious classroom in the Spring Hill College art department. In a future post, I will include some of my recent watercolor attempts at the figure.
Satomi and I later captured the Saenger Theatre.
The Cathedral Square Gallery artists are working on putting together a cookbook that will feature artists' recipes as well as recipes from some of the downtown restaurants, and will include original artwork of some of the downtown historic buildings and popular eating establishments. More on this later.
Tomorrow I have Figure Group in the morning and then my Paint Day with the Mama Lisas in the afternoon. And Sunday afternoon we have the WGAS Members Meeting, and this will be my first members meeting as President of the Society. It was a busy summer and we will discuss plans for our future shows in the upcoming year.
Having some fun learning to do monotypes, and working with my friends Kathy Friedline and Phyllis Jeffery to put together the second biannual The Art of Reading Show, which is coming up on October 1st. I've completed a monotype for this show. More later on all of this . . .
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
I washed in the light blue background (cerulean blue + cadmium yellow light + titanium white); and blocked in the green grassy areas (cerulean blue + cadmium yellow light + yellow ochre + naples yellow), adding a touch of cadmium red to the green mixture to hint at shadow under the cow. Blocked in some white areas on face, neck and horns, adding some cool shades of blue and violet to establish some forms and contours.
I began building up layers of color to establish the mass of the cow - my palette here is primarily burnt sienna, yellow ochre, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, burnt umber, ultramarine blue and cerulean blue. I like using a relatively limited palette with lots of the earth pigments included. I apply glazes and swatches of color in a painterly and almost abstract fashion, hoping that the shapes will eventually emerge. The beauty of acrylic paint for me is that I can paint in glazes, and if it doesn't suit me, I can build over it with more glazes. The challenge is to make any "paint overs" still look fresh.
6. Further refinements. I made some adjustments to the cow's rear legs to weight them more evenly to the ground, and deepened the shadow under the cow. Also filled out the calf's legs. At this point there was something not quite right about the cow's right front leg.
7. Final adjustments to front legs and hooves, addition of highlights, and worked up layers of texture and suggestion of vegetation in the grassy area.
8. Final adjustments and highlights and a coat of varnish - and it is done! Come see "Persephone and Calf" (acrylic on canvas, 36" x 48") at the Mobile Arts Council this month, during The Mama Lisas - Young at Art exhibition.
The show will hang at Mobile Arts Council, in the Green Room, from May 9 through May 27. The opening reception is this Friday, May 13th, 6-9 PM. Please come on out to see us and our art! Here is a photo of our group.Gail Bramer, Joanne Brandt, Janie Brown, Kathy Friedline, Karen McGahagin, Claire Noojin, and Jane Sawyer.
Front: Carolyn Greene, Gail Bramer, Karen McGahagin
Back: Joanne Brandt (me), Jane Sawyer, Kathy Friedline, Claire Noojin, & Janie Brown
We've been painting together for several years, and providing inspiration and moral support to each other along the way. I like to think there is a certain synergy to having other artist friends to encourage you to keep working, following your dreams, and to progress and grow in your art. And thanks also to the Mobile Arts Council for giving us this opportunity to share our art!
Friday, March 18, 2011
One of those haunting scenes of the dead trees rising out of the impacted marshes on the north side of Hwy 90.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I also have a couple of miniature paintings in the Spanish Moss Miniature Art Show at the Mobile Arts Council. And several other galleries will also be open for the artwalk festivities. So come on down for some fine art, food and music, and to co-mingle with fellow art lovers downtown.
Cathedral Square Gallery: 5:30 - 8:30 PM
Spanish Moss Miniature Art Show Awards Reception: 5:00 - 6:00 PM
LoDa Art Walk: 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Monday, March 7, 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
"Cozy", acrylic on matboard, 4 in. x 4 in. (This is based on a photo of our grand-daughter Priya bundled in her favorite afghan and blanket.)
"Feeding Time", acrylic on matboard, 4 in. x 4 in. I loved the cows in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island - here are twin calves feeding in a small farmer's yard - I also loved the blue barn/shed in the background.