29 December, 2010
I am on a Taos jag lately. Love the raking light of early morning--especially against those mountains. This one actually came very close to what I had planned. Mainly I wanted to concentrate on the edges of things. By fracturing the edge of the mountain against the sky--it made a beautiful shape and the mountain melts into the sky the way you actually see it. The colors of the foreground are in shadow so they are richer and darker than the background.
26 December, 2010
Merry Christmas to all! We had a great time with my kids and especially my little grandson who made this Christmas especially sweet. I had to rework this last painting after a tough review. I decided I not only didn't like the foreground but the background sucked too! Hope you can see the difference. The mountain way in the background is now flatter and not so humped looking. The next mountain now has some shape that forms a more interesting shape against the further back mountain. The foreground weeds and bushes have just been simplified and very slightly lightened so they pull forward a bit more. Also added a bit more fire to the sky and now I like this painting-whew
22 December, 2010
Decided to try a larger format this time. I like the sunrise effect but not terribly happy with the foreground area of this painting. Just doesn't look like what I had in my "mind's eye" for this painting. But after struggling and trying several different things, its sometimes better to just stop and try again in the next painting. I am happy with the trees and the houses all in shadow but the mesa area just doesn't seem very interesting. It is definitely a minor player in the painting but should still not be boring and I think its kind of boring!
12 December, 2010
Here's that 12x12 format again. This painting came from a photo I took while we were driving somewhere in Alabama. I usually keep the camera ready for "drive by" shots when we travel. 99% are unusable but once in awhile I get lucky as with this one. I just loved the shapes the clouds and landscape formed as well as the contrast between the sunlight and shadow. Since the shapes were quite simple, I tried to loosen up on my brushwork, hopefully that helps those simple shapes to be more interesting. Now I have to stop painting for awhile and get Christmas under control!
07 December, 2010
I like this 12x 12 format although finding frames that size is challenging. Did find some at Gardenridge--sometimes with art included but usually just prints so take them out and pop in the painting. I am sort of skipping around on subject matter lately. But to me the goal is to improve on color, edges ,value, and shape so what ever subject helps me do that is what is important. I think I need to improve on blocking in large areas of color and yet keep them interesting--that was a problem I had with the last cow painting-how to keep all that snow area from being boring. I didn't think the painting was much of a sucess in that area so next I will work on that. This gondola painting was mostly about values and working in two major colors-orange and blue green.
29 November, 2010
I am trying to do some larger paintings as I want to start entering some shows and I think the small paintings get sort of lost in the shuffle sometimes. It definitely is a different dynamic. The larger pieces take more planning and under painting. What I can do in one day takes two and I think the mistakes are more glaring but maybe that is good--At least with oil paints if you see a bad area you can repaint until you're happy!
We went to the San Antonio Art League's fundraising gala last night. It was a silent auction of the donated paintings-over 200 paintings! They started at 4 pm through 8 pm. We didn't really want to stick around for 4 hours so arrived at 6 and my painting had already been sold and gone! Don't even know what they got for it but hope it was lots and lots!
20 November, 2010
Love these boats from our Italy trip. They are everywhere along the Cinque Terra coastal towns. I guess they are just pleasure boats as they don't look big enough for any serious fishing. And we learned that one thing the Italians are really good at is pleasure!
Just heard from the River Art Group Members competition that my "Laundry Italian Style" won second place in oils. I am pretty happy with that because the oil catagory always gets the most entries and there are lots of good painters. If you have a chance to get down to the Riverwalk this weekend, the show will be up until 4pm tomorrow. Its right there at the River Art Group Gallery in La Villita.
11 November, 2010
I believe these were boats at Porto Fino. It was a beautiful sunny day and so much fun to pretend we were part of the rich and famous that frequent this Italian Riviera! I loved this white boat glowing like a jewel in the sun and that is what I tried to capture. Its difficult to place a white object on a dark ground without it looking cut-out or floating there like a balloon-- so the red boat helps to balance and the boats in shadow help to give some more spatial depth to the image. Anyway-these are the kinds of visual problems that make each painting interesting and challenging.
06 November, 2010
Think I am going to love this Italian series. This one is on what they call a museum wrapped canvas. The sides are covered with canvas and I extend the colors around the sides so you don't need a frame. It gives a contemporary feel to the art work even when it is representational like mine. I like frames in general but fun to do something a little different and I am always in favor of fun!
02 November, 2010
We are back from our fabulous tour of Northern Italy--now my new favortie country in the whole world--and I have seen alot of it! A special hello to all our wonderful tour mates and to our lovely and charming tour director-Anna. We devoted a week to laundry and chores and jet-lag but enough of that as I am ready to paint!! These are two drawings I have done to get started. Think I will do the "Italian Laundry" first. The Cinque Terra Boats will have to wait. I took so many great photos that I am sure I will have many many paintings to create. If you are a Facebook friend, you can go to my Facebook page and see all my photos-just click on Italy Trip. If you would like to be a Facebook friend-just send me an invite!
25 September, 2010
This is another Snowmass painting for my friend Julianne. Am finding that the snow is really fun to paint. This will probably be my last post until we get back to San Antonio. I have really enjoyed our time here in Alabama. I have an Alabama calendar available called "Discovering Guntersville and Nearby Places" with 12 of my original Alabama paintings. You can go to my Facebook page to see all the paintings.. If you would like to "friend" me just send an invite. I am finding that Facebook is a good contact for alot of people.
22 September, 2010
This is the first of three paintings I am doing for my dear friend Julianne. She has the neatest condo in Snowmass Colorado and wanted some original art for it. She has so kindly offered to let me attach a business card so I can sell these to her condo ski renters if they are so inclined I think it is a neat way to market art. Original art is a hard sell in a down economy as the little extras are always what we cut down on first. So why not try something new.
07 September, 2010
This painting will be my donation to the San Antonio Art League's annual fund raiser. Wanted to do something very Texan and I love the Texas hill country in the spring when the wildflowers are everywhere--and especially when they are mixed in with that ever present stand by--the Texas cactus! Maybe I should title this "Beauty and the Beast". Any other suggestions?
28 August, 2010
This barn is situated just a few miles from our turn off to Riverbend Circle. it is somewhat hidden in this culvert, but since Jim is usually driving-I look and look for scenes to paint. We actually stopped to take pictures of it one day instead of the usual "drive by" technique--it was worth the stop!
25 August, 2010
I did this one just for fun. I wanted to paint something that was all white so I could concentrate on the values. It is harder than you might imagine. My colors are too vivid and way too lavendar if you look at the photo. Getting a neutral gray is hard. Next time I do this I will use my color isolation tool and really try to mix the exact gray that I see. The color isolation tool is simply an old film canister with a 1/4" hole poked into the bottom. You look through the hole and isolate a color on your photo or set-up or landscape. Then try to match that color in your painting. By switching back and forth between the color on the photo and on the painting you can more easily determine if you need more yellow or red or blue in your mixture.
23 August, 2010
Well, the Art Stroll was hot but it didn't rain! Lots of people and lots of good comments but no buyers. Disappointing but it happens. I was a little depressed for about a day but that is all the time I can give to that foolishness. So I took 7 of my Guntersville Lake paintings to The Impressions Art and Frame store in Guntersville and they will be hanging in the front window this week. So back to work and here are 2 new paintings. Just loved the yellow bowl and cherries but the design didn't look complicated enough for a 12x12 so did it 8"x8"--just right. The other is a view of driving in to Guntersville from Huntsville one evening. I love the night colors!
18 August, 2010
Our computer developed a virus and has been in the computer hospital for 3 days. It is all better now-thank goodness-you'd think it was a family member the way we have missed it! I am doing the last Art Stroll of the summer in Huntsville tomorrow. Just hope it doesn't rain. These three new paintings will be included in that. I really like the Red Barn. It was one of those paintings that just came together easily right from the start. I think it is the result of painting on a regular basis these days. Before when I was a working person, I had to paint on the weekends or in the evenings for an hour or two after supper. Now I can devote a 4 or 5 hour chunk of time most every day if I wish and now I am reaping the benefits fo all that practice!
09 August, 2010
Decided to do a little more complicated still life this time. Lots of textures in this one--shiny plate, textured cheese, shiny cherries, and matte apples. I like the lighting in this one too. Dramatic lighting is really what makes a still life interesting. Its the play of highlights and shadows that make the shapes come to life.
03 August, 2010
Today I spent about 2 hours finishing up this painting. Mostly I worked on that apple to get that acid green and soft highlight looking right. Also added some green into the front fold of the fabric that the still life sits on. Actually added a few acid green touches in several places to balance that apple. When you have a strong color like that acid green, it needs to be repeated or else it becomes too important. As one of my wise teachers told me--the eye is drawn to singular things. For instance if you have a black sheet of paper and one white dot on it--the eye will go directly to the dot. Same thing if you have a white sheet of paper with a black dot. So if the apple is the only thing in the painting that is green then the eye will be drawn to that and not appreciate the entire painting. Now I will let this dry for 24 hours and then paint on a coating of Liquin as a sealer. It also brings out the colors that can be a little chalky when dry. I like this little still life. Hardest thing to do is stop. Overworking kills a painting so I try to learn a little with each one rather than expect myself to produce a masterpiece--ain't happening--and wouldn't be any fun anyway! Main thing is to enjoy the process and that I really do.
02 August, 2010
Here is the palette that I use. White, cad yellow medium, cad yellow deep, cad red light, alizarin crimson, veridian green and cobalt blue. Some times I use a few more but with these you can make any color. I pour a blob of Liquin on the palatte too and mix a little into all my mixtures as a drying agent. Later I will use it as a sealing varnish. To start the painting I usually choose something simple and actually try to make it look good. It gives me confidence that I can continue that throughout the painting. Some artists try to block in the basic colors but since I have a nice drawing to go by, I can take my time and move from area to area as I wish. I usually try to put in my darkest color first which is the stem and leaves of the flower here. I painted the flower first, then the apple leaving the jar for last. I can then be sure to include colors of the apple and the flower inside the jar which gives the whole group a unity. I painted for about 5 hours and now the canvas is pretty wet, so i will let it dry overnight and tomorrow I will work on making the background more exciting, punch up the highlights and clean up the darks.
Well, my sister is anxious for her art lessons so here goes! I am a little nervous just hoping after I give all this advice that I don't produce a "clinker"! It happens, believe me. I will send the email as the painting progresses. These first photos are the set-up. First I put down an under color to get rid of the white canvas. I like Cadmium Red Light and mix it with a little Liquin so it dries in 24 hours. I mix all my colors with Liquin so I get the convenience of drying but retain the lush colors of oil.
So the next day when my canvas is dry I can draw on my still life or whatever. I always do a value drawing first to decide on my design. I liked the jar in one photo but liked the flower in another so combined the two. I take alot of time with my drawing. Not the details but just the big shapes and where i want them. Terrible to get a painting almost done and realize the house or whatever is too high too low too left or right! I redrew the flower in this still life 3 times to get it in the right place. Where it overlaps the jar is important-that little area will lead your eye into the jar and over to the apple. Its just visual transportation!
Now I am ready to paint--see you later!
30 July, 2010
We are back from Jim's Auburn Knights Reunion and it was a memorable one. Jim's band of reunion friends recorded 12 of Jim's "tunes" and what a CD it is going to be! I am literally back at the drawing board--this is the third in the still life series. That black cup was a devil to paint. You wouldn't think so hard but had to really be aware of the edges and avoid a "cut out" look. Next I want to publish a little step by step email as my sister has been wanting me to help her with oil painting. I know this won't be everyone's thing so just delete if it is more information than you desire!! Thanks to all of you for commenting on these emails. Please feel free to pass along my blog to others who like art and painting. It is pamelaclarkson.blogspot.com.
20 July, 2010
I am loving working on these still lifes. I love the abstract shapes they form and love pushing the color to the max. Had to get one more done before we take off for Jim's Auburn Knights reunion. He will be recording a new CD of his tunes and the band will be composed of all his old cronies at Auburn and even a few young cronies. It will be a weekend full of fabulous music but no painting for me--I'll bring my drawing tablet to keep me busy.
18 July, 2010
This 8"x8" of the Hay Bales I did right before the Art Stroll. The Art Stroll was lots of fun but very hot! We lucked out with a spot under the trees and enjoyed talking to people and handing out cards. I did sell a few paintings which made it worthwhile. More important was the opprotunity to connect with the Huntsville art lovers and start establishing myself as an Alabama painter as well as a Texas painter! Now I am busy creating some still lifes to replace all those sold by my darling Little Green Store Gallery on Monte Sano. This first one will start a series using apples and cherries--love the shapes and the colors. They are done on a gallery wrapped canvas that is 2 3/8" deep with no frame. They have a more contemporary feel and give me a chance to experiment more with colors, shapes and texture in my painting. They sell for $195.00
13 July, 2010
This may be my last painting before the Huntsville Art Stroll. Now I have to tag them all and pack them up. Just hoping for no rain and lots of lookers. These geese are everywhere here at Lake Guntersville. There are also signs everywhere that say "Keep the geese wild--Do not feed". They are so elegant swimming or walking in a row-especially when they have a string of babies trailing behind them.
09 July, 2010
Here are two new lake paintings. Both are taken from my early morning sunrise photo session last month. Since then-we had a short but violent rain storm that blew part of the roof off this boat dock! They still haven't fixed it and a big sheet of tin roofing is still lodged in the trees you see here behind the dock!
06 July, 2010
This is the third painting I have done from this scene. The two previous ones were sold in Texas so I thought Alabama deserved one too. Looking back at the other two I can see that I am handling the trees better and the lighting is more dramatic. This one goes to the Art Stroll. I have never paintied on a deadline before, but am trying to do at least 5 more paintings before this event. Don't think I would want to do this all the time, but for now it is kind of exciting.
03 July, 2010
I am back from my visit to San Antonio. Had a great time seeing friends and visiting the grandson and my kids. Now I am getting to work for the Art Stroll in Huntsville this July 16. Will be doing Alabama themes of lakes and Alabama countrysides-so beautiful. Then as soon as the Art Stroll is over I need to hit the still life trail as my Little Green Store has sold 6 out of the 7 still lifes I gave them and want more! I love changing subject matter so am looking forward to doing a new series of Still Life pieces. Happy 4th of July to all!
23 June, 2010
Had to do one more Riverwalk piece before my San Antonio trip and I never get tired of these "at Night" pieces. You really have to look at the colors because they are so influenced by the dim lighting. As you can probably guess-this one is at Christmastime when the River is a wonderland of tiny lights.
Here in Alabama last night Jim and I were taking a "night walk" because it has been so hot during the day. The area around our condo is thick with trees, grasses and various shrubs. Under the trees you could see hundreds of fireflies--looked like a Tinker Bell convention and reminded me of the sparkle on the Riverwalk at Christmas time. I think an "Alabama at Night" series might be fun!