Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dozing model

Yes, the afternoon was hot and we were all sleepy. How do models ever stay awake, anyway? I was  almost nodding off and I was standing at my easel, moving around....a little. This is another vine charcoal on some mystery drawing paper that I found in my studio, made during my weekly portrait class at River Gallery School of Art.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Little Bitty Pretty One

I returned to my stuffy little studio after a few days of travel painting wondering what I would paint next. As I opened my door this is what I saw. One of my homely little prickly cacti had turned into a butterfly and it was begging for all my attention...Right Now! 

I might be working on a new series: Windowsill Bloomers. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Portraiture Class

The River Gallery School of Art offered 5 afternoons in July of portrait class with Jason Alden instructing. The class is full at eight students and our feverish labors are taxing the "air conditioner". We are all struggling with our own goals and abilities. The school does not promote one style of work over another. It encourages students to explore various styles and mediums and find their own individual method of expression. That said, we all worked in charcoal on newsprint yesterday. We were being encouraged to see the overall structure, proportion and direction of the face, skull, neck. This is my 35 minute drawing of the model's head. Having a few hours perspective on it makes me see some things I could have done better, but I still like it. I think I am falling in love with portrait work again after many years away. Do I have any sitters?

Friday, July 06, 2012

Retreat Waters

These quiet waters are on the property of Brattleboro Retreat, a 620 acre mental health and addictions treatment hospital. It is the shallows just where the West River joins the Connecticut River. The public uses these vast and picturesque waters year-round; canoeing, kayaking, ice fishing, cross country skiing. And it has been the subject of many a painting and photograph, which did not stop me from joining a small group of plein air painters on a recent Wednesday morning. We were invited to set up our easels on the lawn of a private residence high above the water. In good spirits at such a fine day we each made a very different painting of the same place.

I am an intense plein air painter. I spent two hours working on this from 9:30 until 11:30. By that time it was a very different scene than it had been when I began. That is my signal to pack up. After hundreds of paintings done out of doors, I am not leisurely about getting my subject painted as quickly as possible. I have trained myself to work fast and search for the essence of the scene. I work the whole picture at once. No dawdling; just enough detail to convey what I think is essential about the light and place. After two hours you might just as well go home or start another painting. This day I was happy to save my remaining energy for an afternoon of gardening.

This painting is for sale. Contact me if you are interested.

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