Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Central Park Sax

This fellow was photographed in Central Park by Lee A. Brown and is the March challenge for "A Day Not Wasted": http://adaynotwasted.com/.   I have been painting musicians and was pointed to this challenge by Linda Nickels - see her blog in my list.  I used the daily painting 6" x 6" format and tried to avoid the "over do - redo" trap!   It was a lot of fun painting the mottled background but the horn was a real challenge!

Central Park Sax 6" x 6" Oil on Panel

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blue Pitcher

I painted this little blue pitcher at a Carol Marine Workshop back in December.  I was thinking about how to make my paintings more successful -- browsing back through my notes -- and it struck me that simplicity is a good thing!  Particularly when painting in the 6" x 6" format.   Some of those old sayings come to mind:  "Less is More", "KISS ... Keep It Simple Stupid", "The Less Said the Better".  These seem to hold true for painting as well!

Blue Pitcher 6" x 6" Oil on Panel

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Palm Near the Tracks

Plein Air painting is one of the hardest things I have ever tried.   That is probably why it has been over a year since I have attempted it!   Last week my painting group ventured out between Hwy 101 and the Del Mar Race Track.    The train tracks were on one side of us - the Coaster whizzing by - and the horse track on the other.   It was a gloomy socked in day at the beach so our outing for beach and waves was thwarted.  It may be another year before I venture out again!  

Palm Near the Tracks 6 x 6 Oil on Panel Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Forward!

Although it was difficult to wake up in the darkness this morning (sunrise at 7 am) it will be nice to have daylight this evening. I painted this white daisy to celebrate spring!  I am looking forward to flowers, blue skies and sunshine.

I tried to paint this loosely, not worrying about the details and studying how to paint white flowers without using pure white!  I was happy I stayed loose in the background without covering the ground completely like a "wall painter".  The set up had a direct light to one side which helped keep the shadows consistent.
Spring Forward   6" x 6" Oil on Panel
Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 11, 2011

B.B. King ... Kinda!

This quick study of B.B. King was challenging since I decided to use some color instead of the tonal studies of blues singers that I have done in the last weeks. Without using a small brush I am not satisfied with the "likeness". Portraits are such a difficult thing! I think it must take a very long time to be really good at it. I may have started too late!

B.B. King ... Kinda! 6" x 6" Oil on Panel
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ray Charles

One more blues singer for my series.  I know ... Ray Charles was more famous for R&B, Soul and even Country ... but he did sing the blues.   The reason I choose this photo reference was his expression of pure joy.  After getting well into it I realized that it is easier to avoid painting teeth!   What a challenge a big toothy grin is!

Ray Charles  8' x 8' Oil on Panel

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blue Reflections

This still life was set up on a piece of glass on a blue tablecloth with a blue background.   It was interesting observing how the surrounding background and cloth affected the relections in the glass - changing the gray pottery into "Shades of Blues".  

As in life, where we go, when we choose to pause, and who we choose to stand next to becomes what we reflect.

Blue Reflections  6' x 6'  Oil on Panel

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Howlin' Wolf

When starting the third painting in my Blues Singer Series, I asked my 17 year old who to paint next ... he didn't hesitate  - Howlin' Wolf.   It's been fun painting and listening to blues musicians that came from around Louisiana where I spent much of my childhood.  This excerpt from http://www.howlinwolf.com/ says it all:   "With a musical influence that extends from the rockabilly singers of the 1950s and the classic rock stars of the 1960s to the grunge groups of the 1990s and the punk-blues bands of the 21st century, plus a legion of imitators to rival Elvis’s, he was one of the greatest and most influential blues singers ever."

Howlin' Wolf  8' x 8' Oil on Panel