October 22, 2012

A little "Rothko" in the landscape

My new mantra, don't be boring, was on my mind today out at the farm.  I was facing the silhouette of the farmhouse, a large looming dark square, when it occurred to me that it looked like a Rothko painting, just with a large tree in front of it.

With that in mind, I painted the landscape with more abstraction -- there's more to go, I'm sure -- and kept the looming square effect as a strong element of the painting.

 I have more work to do on this and I'm enjoying the push-pull of abstraction vs. the landscape before me.

October 17, 2012

Farm Fatigue

I was working on a painting this morning and Walt came over to me and said that I wasn't using enough red and the composition was fine, but boring (ok, he didn't say boring, but I knew what he meant).  Predictable.  Safe.  Red, he reminded me, was passion.  Was I lacking passion?  Um... yes.

I didn't take a picture of where this at the start, but here's the more passionate, less predictable painting of Rocklands Farm.

October 16, 2012

Lunch on the Amalfi Coast -- A Cool Palette

I started working on this painting today, which is of a lunch we had on the Amalfi Coast a few years ago.  It's got a Vermeer level of contrast with brilliant sunlight coming through the window to a very dark room.  So far, I've put in the darks (and they are dark!) and lights and am finding the middle values.

As to the color, the Foundry Gallery is having a show in December entitled "A Cool Palette" and the works in the show are going to feature the blues, greens & purples of the cool side of color.  My plan is that this painting is going into the show when it's done.  I am going to take it as far as I can without a warm yellow, peach or red, although I may put a little warmth into the sunlight.  We'll see.  I'm also -- and this is actually going to be kind of inevitable, since my reference photo is not great -- going to resist a whole lot of detail.

October 10, 2012

Loosen Up!

Happy to spend some time painting a very loose painting of a pick-up truck parked at a home being remodeled in Washington Grove this morning.

October 5, 2012

October 4, 2012

Working on Luminosity

The paintings I've been working on -- Main Street Kentlands and Town Hall, Washington Grove, have both been working for me ... mostly.  In my studio at home, where I'm not so blinded by outdoor sunlight (although I use a lamp that's supposed to provide the full spectrum of sunlight), I could see that my colors lacked luminosity in indoor light.  The show they'll be going to, at the Framer's Choice Gallery, will be illuminated much the same way that my studio is, so I have been working on putting more sunlight and contrast into the paintings.

When I was outside, I only had Payne's Gray with me -- indoors, my Ivory Black was a much darker, richer black and even so, I mixed in blues and crimson to make it warmer and cooler in the paintings.  Outside I was mixing white into paints to lighten them -- indoors, I used colors that are premixed to look like sunshine in a tube:  radiant lemon, radiant blue and the like.

October 2, 2012

Morning on Main Street, Kentlands

My next show is at a frame shop in Kentlands, a community that's part of Gaithersburg, Md.  The show will be on display -- my work, artists Melissa Miller and Jan Lamb, too -- during the month of November.  We're going to show work we've done featuring the community sites.

Here's early morning on Main Street.

October 1, 2012

Model Merger

I started on a painting of this model in front of a Japanese gate last week.  Today, she was posing in a garden in the neighborhood of Washington Grove.  Rather than start a completely new painting, I took the gate painting and today's pose and merged them.  Once I'd done that, I realized that the lighting on the gate and the lighting on the model were out of sync.  Also, the charming tilt of her head in real life looks a bit odd on the canvas, so she will probably need a bit of posture improvement as well.  This is a work in progress.