Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Triptych - Day 3

stage 4

stage 5
Yesterday I was able to paint all day and so I worked on the triptych and another large painting that I am hoping to enter into a show next week (but will show you that later). It has been and continues to be an interesting process as I refine each panel, while keeping an eye on the other two. If you compare them all you will see the changes and refinements - and hopefully improvements. The good thing is I know what  I want to work on next, in each panel - but won't have a chance to do much for a few days. I think I getting closer to completion, at least in the short term. As always, time will tell.
If you have any thoughts - let me know. Have a great day.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Triptych - Day 2

I had time to paint today, so made some compositional and object changes, added more colour, changed colours, and generally just played in the paint and the moment. I am really liking how this is progressing. I thought this painting was going to be about the edges but now I am not so sure. The biggest challenge has been working on the three canvases together. Generally one is on my easel and the other two propped up close by. I work a little on one canvas, then move to the next, and so on. 
Any thoughts or suggestions?

Friday, 17 February 2012

Why Paint One When You Can Paint Three?

Yesterday I worked on New Hat, a painting based on a photo of our daughter. I made some changes that I am quite happy with, and others that I am not. It continues to be a work in progress, and I will post it here soon. While working on it I also started another painting - which you can see below.

Last fall I painted a couple of still life paintings in which I lost and found edges, blurring the lines between object and ground and thus played with space and illusion. I have wanted to continue exploring these ideas, and because the canvases on hand were 24" squares, I decided to put several together and create a triptych. I drew the objects on the canvases with a water colour pencil crayon, and then went over the lines with acrylic paint.  At that point I wasn't sure what I had - so I started just filling in the shapes with colour. 

I know it looks like a cartoon - but it will change when I can get back to it. More colour, more drawing, some additions and subtractions. I am looking forward to this one (or three).  But if you don't see much in the next week it's because our daughter is arriving today for her university winter break and spending time with her will be a priority. I am sure you will understand!

Thursday, 16 February 2012


Two visual ideas collided this week in the painting below.

New Hat   16" x16"
A few years ago I took a wonderful photograph of our daughter posing for me, wearing a new hat, and I always thought that the picture had some potential as a painting. Recently I came across a figurative painting by Terence Clarke - an English painter whose work I love and it (the painting below) provided the inspiration for mine.
The Straw Hat by Terence Clarke
In comparing the two, I definitely 'nailed' the pink background - sans interesting yellow-orange circles and paint dabs - which of course make that pink ground so interesting! There are also remnants of blackish outlines around Clarke's figure (shoulder area and hat) which I have not incorporated into my figure painting, and makes it less 'defined' on the pink, I think. Unfortunately the photo I used does not show any strong shadows on the face, so I couldn't really play with those beautiful turquoise shadows he uses, as much as I would have liked. I also changed the colouring in the hat - a pseudo leopard skin angora knit in greys - and then played with colour elsewhere in the clothing. I did not intend to paint a portrait of C, but I did try to draw her face accurately. My husband thinks it is close - but I need to go back and adjust the cheek line and chin (lose the point) to make it a little more like her. Perhaps while I am doing that I will just revisit the background, outlines, clothing, hair and face colouring too! Lots of work here.
Thanks for 'listening' - I just needed to express these thoughts to motivate myself to take some risks ( I might wreck what I have already done), but what the heck. Stay tuned to see what happens.

Monday, 13 February 2012

The Palm Trees are Everywhere

Well, I stared at that large painting (mentioned in the last post) and froze up. So instead of painting, I washed the floor and cleaned the bathroom. I realised that I had to start small, and so found some very small canvases and began to paint sheep. The first and smallest (6 x 8) was ok but the second was a disaster. Neither of these will be posted at this point. I finally got somewhere with this.

Palm Trees and Leaves
20" x 16"
I am in the Sunshine State and everywhere I look, I see palm trees. Of course they are not red, orange or yellow, but beautiful shades of green. I have taken great liberties in this work - meant to be an impression of the larger scene - and have used the intense colours of the bougainvillea and other tropical flowers in bloom.
Have a great day!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Starting a Painting

It has been a busy 2 weeks.....moving  from a large house where we have lived for over 26 years (not to mention the prior purging and packing) to a condo, two blocks away from our old neighbourhood, unpacking a few boxes, and then leaving for Florida......where I am now,  and feeling much more relaxed, and best of all - ready to start painting. I always find this a little 'scary' after being away from daily painting for so long. What to paint? Do I go back to my sketchbooks, picture files, set up a still life, go back to some unfinished painting with fresh eyes or just dive in and see what happens. I have to tell myself that it probably won't be a masterpiece, but a start - and that's what counts. 
Here is what I am presently looking at and thinking about - a large (36" x 72") canvas that I threw colour at last November when I was here. It needs lots of work, because it doesn't know what it is, yet, and it's hanging in my living-dining-kitchen room so I can't escape it. 

I could carry on with its geometric forms and lines, and/or allow them to evolve into something more objective and recognizable. To do that I will start by turning it 90 and then 180 degrees, though I would prefer to maintain the horizontality (is that a word?) of the canvas. I think more drawing is also required. Stream of consciousness? Perhaps I will listen to some music and seek inspiration there. Or do you see windows? Or bird's eye views of the land? I am thinking Richard Diebenkorn, whose work I love!!!! 
Enough writing, it's time to get out the paint.
Stay tuned.....