Friday, December 30, 2016

Fegart, Donegal Pair

Fegart, Donegal Pair
One of my favorite locations in Ireland is all the way to the north in County Donegal.   My great-grandparents owned a farm on the Isle of Doagh, specifically an area called Cuill.   Some of the winding roads on the Isle are better walked than driven and it was on foot that we enjoyed the scene depicted in this pair of paintings.  Not far from Cuill was an area called Fegart with breathtaking views of Trawbreaga Bay.   This body of water separates the Isle of Doagh from Malin Head, the northern most tip of Ireland.

A stone structure overlooked the landscape and gradually sloped down to the waters' edge.    I would imagine that the stone structures that dot the countryside are hundreds of years old.  The stonework was often overgrown with green moss and lichen, a suitable match for the emerald green landscape.    When the sun was shining, it was just dazzling and I'm quite sure it looks no different than it did when my great-grandparents were here one hundred and thirty years ago.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Opie and Studley on the Beach

Opie and Studley
Here are the six year old brothers after a good run on the beach.   They are predominantly white, and after any vigorous exercise, their skin turns all pink, which is most visible where fur is sparse on the underside and ears.    They are very muscular dogs, although Opie on the left has a bit more weight than svelte, eye patched brother, Studley.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Kale and Peonies

Kale and Peonies Left
Kale and Peonies Right
You know I love flowers and I enjoy painting flowers, yet only occasionally do my flower paintings turn out favorably - at least in my opinion.   I noticed this new opportunity to paint with local artist Jenny Kelley at a one day workshop.  

Jenny also shows her work at the Copley Society in Boston, and the objective of the workshop was to practice flowers.    Jenny had brought along a variety of blossoms and vessels which were used to make several set ups for painters.  She demonstrated her stunning painted flowers and painting technique with some beautiful pink peonies.   Jenny also demonstrated her natural flair for teaching and engaging students. The whole day was thoroughly enjoyable!   It was fascinating to watch paintings being developed by others, their compositions, color choices, and scaling.  A personal and unique work of art emerged. all different, like a signature.   It was such a nice group conversing about many interesting topics, painting and beyond.   This was a truly multi-talented bunch including painters, a cartoonist and writers.   I appreciated observing their work and technique as well as getting their feedback on mine.

Peony Pair
I worked on a square format to capture some pink peonies and kale blossom.   The kale was not something I would ever have picked on my own - that is why stepping out to try new things is so inspiring.  The kale actually became my favorite element as it turned out.   I liked the gray green feel which complemented the pink of the blossoms.  I turned the vase in another direction and painted a second 8x8 square.   Below is the pair shown side by side.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Assembling and arranging the elements in this painting exercised my improvisation skills.   Dispersed were the feminine forms, negative spaces around the forms and the linear and geometric shapes.  

The random shapes of the billowing white chiffon of the woman in the foreground contrasted with the angular background but connected with the splash of light on the background figure's platform.   Although there was ambient light in the studio, the nude model in the background had an overhead spotlight, while the chiffon model faced a 45 degree angled light.  Dispersion of a sunbeam through a window prism cast a spectrum too, a rainbow spectrum.

The beauty of the figure and the challenge of painting it can't be compared to anything else for a painter.   The portrait never seems done, as in this scene with two models.