A few years ago we visited Finland and north of Helsinki we visited a historic artists colony. I snapped a photo of a lake just as someone in a canoe came into view, past some scupltures of birds. My latest painting, “The Wind on the Lake”. Oil on Canvas. I have been experimenting with minimalism and paint texture recently. 22 x 22 inches.
Birds and Owls
When I paint birds and owls, I look at how they interact with other animals and other birds. And then I think of how humans interact. Often we have modified our means of communication and travel so we communicate far beyond the local territory that constrains a bird.
Some of my paintings are meant to open the door to discussion, such as Hash-tag Hoot where the father owl is tweeting #Hoot on his cell phone. Or Odd Birds in the Family Tree, where in the same painting are found American Owls and owls found on far flung continents.
Here I have collected a few of them. Enjoy!
I admit, a few bears, and foxes and other critters snuck into the gallery as well.
My Cold Toes
Foxy Gets Married in the Enchanted Forest
The Trickster (aka Foxy) in Love.
In Your Dreams
(Painting not availble, donated for fund raising to the Ridgefield Guild of Artists)
Odd Birds in the Family Tree
Rather than a snowy winter we have had a wet one. I think all that water inspired my muse to think about the ocean. Here are some watery thoughts for you!
As I painted this theme it became more and more abstract
Night Moves EXCITING NEWS! NIGHT MOVES WAS JUST ACCEPTED INTO THE RIDGEFIELD GUILD OF ARTISTS JURIED SHOW!
Sometimes you meet a tree and it speaks to you.
The first painting completed in 2018. This is oil on canvas and the title is “The Last Customer” It is of Bob’s Diner in #Brewster, NY. I’m painting some of the buildings that will be demolished when they build our new town center in a couple of years, as we will not see their like again. Small theaters, 50’s diners, and Pool Halls.
Brewster, New York is a village within the Town of Southeast. They are going to renovate the village in late 2018-19. They will knock down several historic buildings, including a 50’s Diner (Bob’s Diner) a Pool Hall and the old Cameo Theater. I plan to paint them each before they are gone.
Here is the Last Customer, the interior of Bob’s Diner in Brewster, NY
My husband is from the south coast of England and loves the area. I decided to paint one of his favorite landmarks in the area, The Cobb. I do have a mantra to “paint what you know” and I haven’t been there. So I did some reading on the Cobb and also found a You Tube video that allowed me to visit. Here is the video.
After getting to know my subject I used a circular composition to which this well suited. I like my landscapes to have an abstract element. This is also oil on board. I like how the paint sits on top of the board (I used a marble gesso and allowed it to dry for several weeks before painting) and allows the light to refract through. The title of this is “Safe Harbor”.
The Cobb is a naturally circular structure. I decided to use the same composition in an entirely different format. Here is Lavender in the Hills, another circular composition.
Who doesn’t want to live forever? I thought it was time, before my delightful hubby and I get too wrinkled to attempt a portrait of ourselves. I love Lucian Freud’s work and think he was incredibly skilled but I didn’t want to wait until we are like this self-portrait he did that can be seen in Vienna. I of course then had to watch a video about him and his art, and found he was a great fan of Cremnitz White, which I have on order. This is a lead based white paint, so don’t eat in your studio while using it. The video I watched on Lucian Freud can be found on YouTube here: A Painted Life I love the emotion he conveys although he obviously was a haunted and tortured individual who didn’t play well with others.
Back to my painting. My husband and I went out to our favorite French restaurant and dressed up for an anniversary one of the staff took a fabulous photo of us. I decided to use that as my reference photo, along with peeking over my wine glass at dinner, an assessing, did dear hubby have a few little crows feet, how did the cleft of his chin look in profile?
A book I referred to was
Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form by Eliot Goldfinger.
This year, I used a marble based gesso to cover my boards. The white is so white it hurts your eyes. If you are just tuning in you might want to read my post on Mischtechnik.
Next I spent a fair bit of time looking and reading about the anatomy of the face and neck. And then spent a couple of weeks on an initial sketch.
And here is the initial glaze, I used iron oxide red. It was still wet in this photo.
Meanwhile, as I wait for this to dry, I’m reading another book and learning even more about portrait painting. It has an excellent section on blending colors for the skin. I’m only half-way through, but I’m sure this will be a better painting because of it.
Portrait Painting Atelier: Old Master Techniques and Contemporary Applications
by Suzanne Brooker
The next step, after it was fully dried, was to work on the highlights creating more tones, with the egg tempera. I freely thinned the egg tempera with a little cold pressed linseed oil, so I could have different shades of white. Some I used undiluted and some thinned.
And of course wait. I usually keep a second painting going and work on that while I’m waiting. This year its a semi-abstract in acrylic paint that has lots of free movement and invention and dries fast. The antithesis of this.
Another glaze, this time I used transparent yellow ochre. In the past I used a bright primary transparent yellow, but I like the warmer tones of the earth reds and yellows.
Ah, finally we are starting to see some of those magic mid-tones arise out of nowhere. I had on a top that was covered in black sparkles and I want to show that, but I’m not sure whether I have a handle on it. I have a few points of light on it, but I’m not sure if they work yet.
Here is the white tempera on the highlights after this glaze.
Now the blue glaze.
Technically I should do another layer of the white highlights, but I like where I am. I am going to start glazing local colors as soon as this dries. Oops…I forgot to take photos of a couple of glazes. Don’t worry you didn’t miss much, just the first coat on the walls, shirt and shawl.
I had a wonderful time showing some of my work at Art Around Town in Chappaqua, New York. My paintings will be up at Noelle Marie Photography at 140 King Street until the end of June. There are more than 30 other artists of the Northern Westchester Artists’ Guild showing at merchants about the town.. Do stop by and see our work.