Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dawn Over the Jetty

Dawn Over the Jetty
Sunrises at the shore are often beautiful and occasionally spectacular.   It always depends on the clouds because they provide the variations, shapes and filtering that creates the prettiest color.   The fact that the water reflects all this colorful light doubles the brilliance.   This painting depicts a summer morning at the shore in Green Harbor, MA.  It really doesn't do justice to the scene, but in the absence of the real thing, the painting would be a nice reminder.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Blue Sandals

Blue Sandals
This pose caught my eye right away.    If the beautiful figure were to be leaning too much one way or another, the eye would immediately identify the imbalance and be disturbed by it.   The weight of the upper torso is supported by a straight right arm to the chair, and the remaining weight falls onto the planted foot (yes, complicated with a stiletto).    The figure is the focus, so all the other elements are intentionally subdued and blurred.  Classic but contemporary painting depicting the grace of the human figure.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Finishing Up June's Blooms - aka "The Potting Bench"

Stage One - Underpainting
Stage Two
My love of gardening is second only to painting although painting claims most of my time. Combining the two seemed logical as I set up this still life of a potting bench.   Last month I shared the foundation stages of this large still life painting (22"x 28") and work on it continued.

A long critical look at the version shown (Stage Two) and decided to make a few changes.  The circular armature was working but I thought it would be better to reinforce this flow with the addition of well-worn gardening gloves and my pruning sheers.    Where should the gloves be placed?  How should the sheers be angled.    Finding an acceptable arrangement took some playing around.   Then the question became, what would the hierarchy of the elements be?   Depicting everything with equal attention and importance weakens the painting as a whole.    The circular flow I was trying to achieve could be undermined by an ambiguous hierarchy.   In the end, I decided on the following order of importance:
The Potting Bench
  1. roses   (lightest lights and most intense color)
  2. pruning sheers  (sharp lines, and some vibrant color, but in a middle value)
  3. gardening gloves (human hand shape - naturally gains attention)
  4. jute (falls on the path of the counterclockwise circular armature)
  5. watering can (sits back, very little light, blends in with background, hints of highlights)
  6. clay saucers (muted and dark)
  7. under-the-bench clay pots  (dark and not part of the armature, ie the last thing to get noticed)
This painting will be my submission to this year's Boston Guild of Artists Juried Competition.  I also changed the name to "The Potting Bench."    I'll let you know if it gets in!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Brant Rock Oceanfront

Brant Rock Oceanfront
Low tide enabled me to get down amid the largest boulders along Ocean Street in the Brant Rock section of Marshfield, MA.   I've painted this scene before so the lines, angles and landmarks were very familiar.   It was a picture perfect day, warm, dry and breezy, certainly conducive for a good creative flow!

The 12x16" canvas had been toned in a middle value blue, a good complement for the warm, orangy light of the day.   The two foot waves rolled onto a stretch of beach in front of me in a four second rhythm, a most relaxing white noise.   Many people walked along the sidewalk above, but very few ventured down to where I was.

As for the painting, the darkest darks were first, then the lightest lights.   Next was the greenish blue water, followed by thick white waves, mostly painted with my palette knife.    Where the water met the sand, I interwove the two color masses creating the shoreline.   At the conclusion of the paint out, I hadn't even touched the blue areas.  Since the blue was a middle value, it served as the half tone without having to paint over it.   It amounted to a painting done with three basic colors, the simplicity of which I really liked.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A Bathing Grace

A Bathing Grace

For centuries in the world of art, there has been endless fascination with the human figure.    Painters have challenged themselves and each other to correctly capture an image that honors the beauty of the body.  Every time I take on a new rendering of a figure, I ask myself, why don't I do this more. The lines, proportions and color of a human being make it - perhaps - the most fascinating of all subjects.  Here is a new painting, done from a high resolution photograph.