My first interior painting - my kitchen with another vase of yes, sunflowers. This was a lot of fun without getting too caught up in the details. I'm trying to concentrate on center of interest. I love studying about having a center that is more detailed but when it comes to painting, I want to make everything detailed. So, here, I tried to keep soft lines except on the right sunflower and vase. This large pottery has become a favorite to paint.
I've never been much of a sunflower person until this year. They are so bright - such a big dose of happy! Can't help but make you smile. This is my 3rd sunflower painting. They challenge me so - trying to keep the yellow fresh and bright. I'm determined to keep trying to capture that elusive brightness they possess.
Walking around Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts one early spring morning in 2013 was such an unexpected treat. Our daughter, Amanda, came with us from Boston. The white trim and picket fences everywhere are so amazing when that morning sun strike.. Wrought iron whales over doorways, nautical symbols everywhere, widow's walks on top of houses, unbelievable scenery of lighthouses, boats, ferries and of course, sharks. Well, not really, but Jaws was filmed there. I came upon these steps that felt like such a warm welcome to the home. I snapped a picture and later did the study and the fianl 12 x 16 painting.
We stayed in Edgarton on Martha's Vineyard in early spring, in fact the island had just opened back up after closing down for the winter and everyone was out painting their white trim and picket fences with that super shiny paint which I think may be more durable for the ocean air. But everything was bright and cheerful and wonderful.
Last month I did a 30 day challenge and painting every day made such a difference. I could feel like a barrier had come down when faced with a white panel. Havarti, a cute little cheese knife and a bottle of red wine got me started again.
This the last day of the 30 day challenge and it has been difficult and yet so rewarding. I've learned so much from this but the biggest take away is that it has gotten me to dive right in and start painting quickly. I used to labor over it in my mind as to what I would paint, how big, the colors, the composition etc, and now I am putting my brush to the canvas as soon as I start. It's removed the fear that I felt before starting, the fear of failing, the pressure that it had to be good, the thought that others had to like it. Now I'm just painting for me, for my knowledge, trying new things, trying transparent colors, trying palette knife, try to paint fuzz. Yeah, fuzz.. That was not easy. I labored over these peaches and want to try them again because peaches are a real challenge for me. To paint something soft seems harder to me than to paint something hard or shiny. So, I've learned about painting, but more so, I've learned about myself, and I'm still learning what evokes emotion in the choices of what I paint. I am planning a new piece, larger, to be a landscape with people in it. I've chosen a picture I took at a French farmers market of several older french men who met Saturday morning at the market. They are so cute. I think that will be my next piece. Be on the lookout. Follow my blog for new paintings that I will post here first.
It's getting close to the end of the 30 day challenge and it's been a fantastic experience. It takes me so much less time to get into the painting now. I going to try to keep this going as I have always heard that painting or drawing each day helps you to improve.
Don't you just love Trader Joes? I was there today and they had these wonderful Brussel Sprouts and they just looked like they would be fun to paint.
I can't express what a great excercise it has been to paint daily. I tend to spend more time than neccessary picking my subject matter, but it is not what you pick as much as it is how you paint it. Regardless of what you pick, you can still work on the composition part. So, moving quickly to select a subject and then painting quickly has been so helpful. I subscribe to Duane Keiser's blog and he recently painted an acorn on an old book and made it look amazing.
This painting is from a picture I took in Palm Desert at the base of the Aerial Tramway. You don't see many trees with leaves and these were so brilliant that I have really wanted to express that. I loved the interesting rocks too.
My Mom used to come up to stay with us in the summer and at Christmas. My kids loved having Gramme here. One Christmas she taught us all (even me) a game from her childhood - Sardines. It's simple and fun. One person hides (just like hide-n-seek) and when you go to find the person, if you spot them, you must hide with them. So eventually people disappear till one is left searching alone. We have had some hysterical times.
My sardines painting was just my fascination with shiny surfaces and here I got 3 in one painting, the sardines, the can, the utensil.
I'm running behind in my daily challenge postings - I'm doing the paintings but haven't had time lately to post them and add them to Daily Paintworks, so I'm trying to get caught up this weekend. Thank goodness for weekends!
I did a quick painting yesterday of grapes to understand how to paint them. Alot of times when an object has a lot of parts, I get caught up in the details and didn't want to do that with these. I was happy with how this came out. I love to throw pots - this bowl was one I made a few years back.
In France we drove by many sunflower fields but one field was very close to the road so we stopped for photos and soon noticed that they had their faces turned the wrong way. Although they still appeared yellowish, they had their backs turned on us and they weren't as vibrant as they could have been. We learned that the sunflowers face the sun and as the sun moves throughout the day, so do the sunflowers. I wish we had gotten to see them on the return trip so we could have seen their sunny faces.
I am always challenged by sunflowers. But these were just crying out to be painted as they sat on my windowsill.
Fried green tomato anyone? We don't get much sun in our yard for a garden but planted just a few tomato plants this year in a corner where the sun hits. This is all we've gotten and it's September. This bunch broke off and I loved the green tomato against the red ones. Two to eat, "One to Fry".
These clam shells were more fun to paint than I expected. Clam shells are basically grey but when you look hard, you start to see other colors. I'm also struggling a litte to see what compositions work better in a square painting, as I'm used to painting on rectangular board.
I painted a large watercolor of a country store's outdoor produce several years ago and was taken by the tomatoes, but found them difficult to represent the smooth shiny skin of the tomato. So, I've wanted to try painting tomatoes in oil. When I saw these summer tomatoes from Irma's I couldn't resist.
We visited lavender fields in France, a truly wonderful experience. While the plants are beautiful to look at, the scent of the lavender fills the air and the sound of the bees ... yes bees/ They are all so busy buzzing in the flowers that you can stand right in the middle of the lavender and hear an amazing buzzing sound. I suppose that since lavender calms you, it helps relax you while surrounded by so many bees. But truly all they want is the lavender.
One of the buildings at Le Vieux
Couvent was called the Medieval House which was built in the 1400's. It was full of character and charm. I was fascinated by the way the
light played on the old staircase leading to up to the home in Frayssinet.
I've decided to take the plunge and go for the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge with Leslie Saeta although I'm starting on day 3. I'm really excited to be part of it. My first painting is a French potted geranium sitting on a ledge across the street from Le Vieux Couvent in France where I painted with 18 crazy artists under the amazingly fun and talented leadership of Dreama Tolle Perry.
Oil on gessoboard, 8x8