March 20, 2019

Hiking & Painting in Montana

It was a warm-ish day in Montana earlier this week, so I put gouache paint into my backpack and did a short hike to the South Fork of the West Fork of the Gallatin River, where I knew a bench would be waiting for me.  I attracted a fair amount of attention from other hikers, and had a gorgeous day painting the snow and water and trees.

I'm pretty new to gouache painting and was using the gouache that's based in gum arabic.  I'd be warned that, like watercolor, the paint would lift as additional layers were applied.  I definitely experienced that, particularly when I was painting the trees and trying to deepen the green where it was in shade and almost silhouetted against the bright sky.  I'm going to try "acryla" gouache in the future, as that's got a different base and performs (apparently) more like acrylic paint and doesn't lift once it's dry.

February 28, 2019

Connie Morella Library Exhibit, Bethesda

I'm  the featured artist at Connie Morella Library, Bethesda MD this month -- you can check out the exhibit at 7400 Arlington Road, Bethesda.   The paintings on display are paintings of Montana, Metro  escalators and NYC.

Lone Mountain Oil Sketch

I am headed back to Montana to do some painting, and to get my head in the right place, painted a little sketch in oil of Lone Mountain.  It's the ski hill that looms over Big Sky.

February 22, 2019

Dog Portrait Commission

I had a dog portrait commission that was given as a surprise gift this month. Today I got to see a photo of it in its new home!

February 13, 2019

From Study to Larger Painting of Montana - updated!

work in progress
final painting
I did the small painting months ago and now I've taped it to my easel so I can use it as a reference for the creation of a larger painting.

The study was done in oil paint on multimedia artboard, which is a resin and paper product that doesn't absorb paint.   Working now on canvas, I'm struck by how much more building is required to get a depth of paint and color.

That said, I like the study's narrower range of values --  having been tempted to have greater contrast, I can see now that the next thing I have to do is reduce the contrast and get back to the balance of values that I liked in the study.

The mountains in the study are in purples and blues.  I'd started out the painting with those colors, repainted in a range of greens... and now I think I want the purples and blues back.  Stay tuned.

January 25, 2019

Afternoon on a hill in Boston

I'm struggling to work out the strong light effect vs the very large facade of the house that's in shade. Details in the shade shouldn't attract much attention, much less be included at all.  Yet, I find the large side of the house didn't play as a strong, solid mass when I left all of the details out.  It just looked unfinished, as the remaining painting did have a sense of smaller shapes representing details.

I am taking a week off soon and I'll be letting this sit in this state for now.  When I come back, maybe it will be clear to me how to resolve this.

January 16, 2019

City Scene and color

I painted a NY City scene earlier this year and I've been thinking a lot about how that painting didn't expand the sense of color.  I've been playing with a larger and more colorful iteration of the scene and I'm either done or close to it.

here's the new version, 18" x 24"

this is the smaller, earlier painting of a similar scene

November 7, 2018

Value Study of Oysters & Wine

 I was thinking about painting this still life of oysters on ice and a glass of muscadet... and then I got it into my head that I need to paint more and more often.  One thing a lot of painters do is a daily painting and I love the way those painters take small amounts of time to build up a library of small studies.  In spite of my best intentions, I get too busy and painting or drawing ends up feeling like a luxury more than a necessary part of every day and I've been devoting more time to working on a painting that's the final realization of an idea before I've explored different ways to approach the subject.

Thus, the study I just completed.  It's just values in black and white and I painted it on paper that's supposed to hold up to oil paint. I think it's going to help me get the daily habit going if I limit myself to studies and limited palettes.

I may tomorrow may take this study and use it for the basis of a new study with color.

October 4, 2018

My First Fish

I did this small-fish (14x18) study of the moment I caught my first fish on the Yellowstone River.  I'm thinking about whether to make a larger painting of it... or whether this fishing series has run its course.

I have time right now to think about what I want to tackle (ugh, fishing pun) next.  Over the weekend, I'm hoping to work outside on some studies and maybe that will result in my next direction.

September 15, 2018

Big Fishermen

this is the latest iteration
I roughed in this large -- 48 x 36" -- painting 2 weeks ago and got a first pass going into it and covering the canvas yesterday.  The reference photo, which I took when my husband and I were fly fishing with a guide last month in Montana, was very contrasty and monochromatic (pretty much all greens).   Knowing that's a limitation of my iPhone camera, not of the scene, I'm teasing out the blues, purples, pinks and oranges in the scene.

in progress