Sunday, March 27, 2016

Tea things on a linen tablecloth

(10 x 10 inches)
25 x 25cm approx
Oil on linen panel

This still life was set up on a natural linen tablecloth.
Painting white objects is really quite tricky. White objects with a glossy smooth surface such as these cups, pick up and reflect all the colour in their surroundings, so there's a lot more going on than first meets the eye.
I started this painting with a view to trying for looser brush strokes, but it didn't end up that way and took me a lot longer than I expected.
This painting was lit using a daylight bulb from just one side to help accentuate the shadows.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Purple, meet Aqua

(10 x 10 inches)
25 x 25cm approx
Oil on linen panel

I'm really happy with this painting - I like the combination of purple and aqua. The plums in reality were darker and blacker but I decided to ramp up the colour a bit and I'm pleased with the result.
It's a colour combination that seems to work here.

The colander is made from terracotta stoneware, with the edge left unglazed, showing off its natural earthy tone.

I've been trying out different surfaces to paint on. I definitely prefer a smoother surface. This is painted on linen which is mounted onto a hard (masonite) panel. It's somewhere between the textured surface you get with canvas and the smooth surface you get with gessobord. I like it.

Something else I learned in the last few days is that it really is better to photograph paintings outdoors in the shade. I have good lighting in my house and have been using daylight bulbs but the result still isn't anywhere near as good as natural light.

Here's the same picture using artificial light.
The quality is okay but not nearly as good as the picture above.

Lemon Tea Time

(12 x 12 inches)
30 x 30cm
Oil on gessobord panel

Back to a larger painting.
I'm very pleased with this one. I could probably work on simplifying the reflections I paint in glass, but the reflections were actually a lot more complex than I have represented here! So I still have some work to do on that. I'm very happy with how the teapot and cup turned out.

Three studies in sepia

I recently took a series of workshops with Karen O 'Neil at the Art Students League of New York. She is a superb teacher and gave me some great insights in how to use colour.

Karen uses around 16 colours and a lot of Titanium white. She focuses most of her painting on colour value 7 and doesn't diverge too much from that. She's an amazing colourist. Her paintings have this luminous quality.

One of the things I also learned from my workshops with Karen is that I need to work on my representation of 'values' (light and dark) in my paintings.
So I set myself this task of painting 3 white objects -  keeping the colour restricted to sepia tones - I also chose a neutral background.

Looking at these, I definitely could still go darker with my shadows.

These are all small 6 x 6 inch paintings
(15 x 15cm)
Oil on gessobord panels.

Red Chilli Peppers and Olives

(12 x 12 inches)
30 x 30cm
Oil on stretched canvas

I tried this study in a larger format a 12 x 12 stretched canvas. I do prefer painting larger.

Olives and Peppadew Peppers

(6 x 6 inches)
15 x 15cm
Oil on Gessobord

Another small olive study, this time with peppadew peppers added in.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

5 Little Olive Bowls

15 x 15cm
(6 x 6 inches).
Oil on gessobord.

I have had this set of 8 tiny little bowls that I have been dying to paint. Perfect for olives. I knew there was reason for buying them!
The purplish olives are Alfonso Olives. Very yummy. The green ones are called Cerignola I believe. I don't know which variety the stuffed ones are. These were all from the Deli at my local shop.

I'm the only person in the house that likes olives. Oh dear!

Monday, March 21, 2016

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” ...Albert Einstein

 “Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.”   ...Albert Einstein

I have been following the 'daily painting' movement for probably 3 years now and I have been inspired by so many artists. I think it is high time I gave this a go myself - so here we are - my first blog post!

A brief bio.
I have always been involved in some sort of creative field. I grew up in the UK and started out (as so many artists do) in graphic design. Finding after 3 years that I wanted to explore other disciplines in art, I embarked on 2 years at art college and a further 3 years gaining a degree - which somehow led me into teaching high school level design and technology.  I was soon made head of department at a secondary school and the job quickly became all enveloping - my time being more consumed by paperwork than with teaching.
So when my own children came along I decided it was time to leave the profession and focus on my family for while.
Still needing a creative outlet, while my children were young I started taking classes in ceramics (I had dabbled in it at art school).  I somehow fell into another career when I bought and installed a second-hand kiln at home and started running pottery painting parties, and painting and selling commission plates for weddings and special occasions.

In 2011 our family was presented with an opportunity to move to California. My husband was offered a job in the Bay Area, so I sold the kiln, we picked up sticks and moved to America. Once there I got involved in lots of artistic fund raising activities for a school charity, making many dozens of ceramic flowers for auction and helping out with school art projects.
We moved again about a year ago, this time to New York. Inspired by the fantastic art of many artists in the daily painting movement, I decided to just paint, post what I painted and record how I go.

I'm looking forward to this new creative challenge!