Monday, March 2, 2015

The Brass Pot Done Twice

I don't usually paint metal, but every once in awhile, I like to do something besides my beloved blue and white.  I began this painting in the fall.  I was setting up a still life and decided to throw the pot in so I could practice painting brass.

I got so involved in the painting that I did not take a photo of the block in, but this is the painting after the second day.

As you can see, I just blocked in the colors and the shadows.  On day three it began to look like a painting.

This is always a fun time in the painting process.  Your vision begins to come to life and you can start adding in the fun details like patterns and highlights.

This is the finished painting.  I was so happy with how this painting came out, that I decided to go back to a still life of the brass pot that I did years ago.  Unfortunately, I cannot find the original photo, but take my word for it, it was not good.  I don't feel bad about that as it was the best I could do at the time, but since I had the opportunity to fix it, I did.

Luckily, I showed it to Gregg, and he found the problem right away.  I had the pot and the bowl at the same height.  Not only was that incorrect, but it did not help the painting at all.  I have no idea where that bowl is, so it was very lucky that I did not have to do anything with it.

I started by repainting the background to add more shadow.  I then repainted the blue cloth as I did not have the first clue about painting patterns when I did it.  I also painted over the fruit and the yellow pot in front.  The shadow on that had not been very strong and the little vase really needed it.

I spent quite a bit of time on the cloth and the yellow vase, but it was worth every minute.  I'm so happy with this painting now! (As usual, I will varnish and properly photograph these paintings as soon as the frozen tundra that is NYC finally melts) :)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Havana, Cuba: The Classic Cars

Upon returning home from Cuba, the number one question I received was about the cars.  Everyone wanted to know:  what did they look like? Did they really exist? What was their condition?  I'm happy to report that the cars do exist and I even got a ride in one or two.

I spent much of my time painting on the Paseo de Marti, a grand boulevard that reminded all of us of the great streets in Europe.  There is a huge median that divides the street in half.  People walk there, hang out, people watch, play chess and just generally enjoy life in the city.  The cars are everywhere on either side of the median, so I was able to get some great shots.

Paseo de Marti

Many of the cars double as taxis, and one night we got a ride home in a '57 Chevy!

Tuesday seemed to be the day people got married.  After the wedding ceremony, couples would get into a convertible and be driven around and everyone on the street waved to them.  It looked like such a fun way to celebrate.

It was such fun seeing and riding in these cars.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend and stay warm!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

My Biggest Painting Adventure Yet: Havana, Cuba!

Hello from the frozen tundra that is New York City!  I'm hoping my modem holds out so I can complete this post.  On top of the unrelenting cold/ice/snow,  Mercury in retrograde really hit me hard this time around.  However, I'm quite happy to report that my planned trip to Cuba went off without a hitch.  My teacher, Gregg Kreutz, and a group of 24 of us went to Havana to paint and photograph the city.

I started planning this trip last August, so it was a long time in the making.  We started planning our trip well before the US loosened travel regulations, so there was (and still is) a lot of paperwork and planning to be done before you can get on the plane.

We had to get a visa to travel to Cuba and there was a host of other paperwork, but it was relatively easy.  In the US, you take a flight from your home to Miami or Tampa, then after much paperwork and luggage weighing, you get on a charter flight to Havana.

This sign greeted us outside the airport.  I expected to see many more of them, but there were not many around.

Upon arrival in Havana, we boarded a bus to our hotel in the Vedado neighborhood.

The hotel kitty.  Everyone stopped to talk to him, but his only interest seemed to be what time the dining room opened.

After resting up for the night, we set out to find our first painting spot.

This was where we settled the first morning.  The streets and architecture reminded me very much of New Orleans.  Even though many of these buildings have not had any repairs in years, they were still very colorful and beautiful.

To start off the workshop, Gregg did a demo for us.

Gregg starts his cityscape paintings by taking a paper towel and some turp and blocking in the buildings (the paint is usually a combination of ultramarine blue and transparent red oxide).

Next, he puts in the sky and then gets to work on the buildings.

After just a few hours, Gregg finished the painting and it is beautiful.

After the demo, we each found our own spot to paint.  I chose the coconut seller just across from where we were standing.

The Coco Loco coconut sellers

I'll give you the details about this painting in another post.  It was great fun and the guys at the fruit stand were incredible to me.

I'll be back with many more posts about my Cuban adventure.  It really was the trip of a lifetime!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hello Everyone.  I'm a few days late, but I hope all of you are off to a good start in 2015.  2014 was a mixed bag, so I'm glad to put it behind me and have a fresh start.

One of the good things about last year was that I got a lot of painting done.  I have a few that I have not posted about yet, so I will start to remedy that today.

This was the original set up.  I'm obsessed with peaches, even though they are the hardest fruit for me to paint.  If you don't get the peach fuzz just right you will end up with nectarines!

To start I did my usual block in, then background color, then shadows.  Finally, I put in the rest of the colors.  I like to at least cover the entire canvas during that first painting session.

This was day two.  As you can see, it is now starting to look a bit more like a painting.  This is a good time to make sure everything in the painting is the way you want it to be.  I spent some time getting the dimensions and shadows of the vase just right.

More layers of paint.  The trick to working with Innerglow Panels is to do as many coats as possible.  I'll never be a daily painter, but that's okay.  I like to work until everything is just right.

Once the vase was dry I put in the blue pattern.  You don't have to wait for the original paint to dry, but the advantage to doing so is that you can wipe off any mistakes you make with the pattern.

This is the finished painting.  It was tough to get those peaches, but I'm happy with how the painting turned out.

This is not the best photo, I just snapped it with my phone so I could show it to you.  If we ever have a day when we are not in a deep freeze and it is not raining, I will varnish this and properly photograph it.

I hope everybody is staying warm!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Two Shows And A New Painting

Today is an exciting day for me as I have paintings in two different shows tonight!  My painting Lupines In A Blue And White Vase was selected to be part of the Huntington Arts Council's still life exhibition.

The exhibition will be up from today, December 12 to January 4, 2015.

The second exhibition is a fundraiser for the Art Guild Of Port Washington revitalization fund.  As I've mentioned before, a fire after Hurricane Irene caused damage to the building where the Art Guild is located.  After three years the building is up and running again, but there is still work to be done and I was very happy to donate a painting toward this effort.

Members of the Art Guild were given a 10x10 painting panel and asked to contribute the painting.
I never work on square panels, so it took me awhile to work out a design, but once I did, I got to work.  

This was the set up.  I went with a small pitcher so I would not have to worry about shrinking the size of anything.  Then I just added some oranges and grapes and got to work.

This is the block in of the set up.  I was happy to see that it worked on the square panel.

Next I put in my background color.

After blocking in the shadows, I got to work filling in the rest of the painting.  At this point, it was just a matter of layering in the paint until I got the painting the way I wanted it.

This is the finished painting.  I'm thrilled to report that the painting has already sold, but there are many others for sale at the exhibition.  The show will be up until December 21.

If you are on Long Island, please check out these shows.  I'll be at both receptions tonight.  Hope to see you there!