A handful of studies fresh from the studio.
Filtering by Tag: Oakland
I meant to post this three weeks ago, but forgot...
Our crit group met last night. I brought the two paintings I recently dusted off and am reworking. The experience was a reminder the feedback is invaluable. The comments and suggestions on where to take the paintings were much appreciated. It is easy to become blind to your work. Critiques give you an opportunity to see your work through another's eyes.
During my critique, I was reminded to not get distracted by detail and to look at the shapes.
I specifically asked for feedback in regards to Kim - I was concerned about how sacharine it was and wanted suggestions on how to make it less so. One group member suggested I remove the plants and pots. I did that first thing in the studio today. I also am paying more attention to the angles in the painting. In Lindsey. I removed the ambiguous shape behind her head and simplified the space.
I finally bit the bullet and hired a professional photographer (John White of Phocasso) to photograph my paintings. I could not be more pleased with the results! Below is a sampling of some of the web-friendly versions of the photographs.
What a difference a month makes! Norton Factory Studios has undergone a transformation in just a few short weeks. It's been fascinating to watch the space come together - the sheet rock is up, taped, and painted, bathrooms installed, doors cut, concrete poured.
Don't miss the opening party this Saturday!
I was honored to be part of the inaugural meeting of an artist group yesterday evening in downtown Berkeley. We met in Sarah Haba's studio which is located in the Berkeley Free Market Building. The studio is beautiful and teeming with history. The Berkeley Free Market Building was the studio home of Bay Area Figurative artists Richard Diebenkorn, Elmer Bischoff, William Theophilus Brown, and Paul Wonner.
Each artist presented their work and shared their motivations for joining the group. Seeing the quality and variety of the other artists' work was absolutely inspiring!
The tie that binds the group is that each artist has taken a class with Mel Prest. She has done us all a huge favor in recognizing and acting on the importance and need for artists to have community. We will be meeting once a month for critiques, conversation, and community.
In other news, I've begun prep work on several beautiful birchwood panels from Kevin Keul. These panels were built to order for commissioned portraits.
Just a quick update on Rockridge Nightscape. I diminished the contrast of the tree's shadow in the foreground. Pushed back the lights on the horizon line and increased the contrast; alluded to windows in brownstones (town houses?).
Added more complexity to the horizon line and a stroke of red. Almost done!
Trying to add more depth and interest in the foreground. Struggling with the tree on the left. All I can think about is broccoli.
I've become particularly interested in documenting my work, in tracking the development of a painting over time. In an effort to study and share the many lives a painting lives, I will post the history of a painting at the point when I've decided it is complete.
Below is the source photo, the study, the underpainting, and the finished painting of Claremont and Forest.
I've been working on Rockridge Nightscape AKA Liquor Video for 4 weeks. Because I only work on it during class - twice a week for three hours - each time I paint I look at it with fresh eyes. I made several major changes (at least major to me) this past class. Although the painting may look worse for it for now, the changes are for the best. The tree that was dividing the canvas virtually in half is gone and I've brought back the green leaves in the foreground. Next up: bringing back the depth in the sky and foreground.
And you may recognize this painting. It's a larger version of a study I did several months ago. I'm really happy with how the foreground is shaping up.
This painting is from a photo I took with my phone this past Friday night. It is the intersection of MacArthur and Park Boulevard by the high school.
And the latest iteration of "Liquor Video". I've been trying to paint only with 1" or larger brushes to keep the stroke loose and painterly and force myself not to fall into my old habit of overworking details.
Before photos on the left, after on the right. Special guest appearance in the last photo by my new bestfriend, the Shop Vac.
Latest iteration of Rockridge Nightscape, AKA Liquor Video.
Fonda, Jennifer, Lisa and I met yesterday in the future home of 10th Street Studios to discuss logistics for this year's East Bay Open Studios.
The walls will be going up in the next few weeks. It will be exciting to see the space alive with artists, but I will miss the beauty of it in its current state.
We are gearing up for this year's East Bay Open Studio, and part of that is making sure all of the collateral is in place. Here's the design for our postcard which we're sending off to Greenerprinter in Berkeley momentarily.
I've been continuing to work on my Oakland Nightscapes series. It's been somehwat of a challenging venture, I'm not particularly good at working from photographs not to mention low-quality photographs taken at night.
One of the particularly challenging aspects is the inability to fully understand the physical structures. Edges and relationships between shapes are indistinct. However, and I think I touched on this in an earlier post, this may be a good thing. The nature of these images is forcing me to try a new style, too keep my brush strokes loose.
Additionally, because it is not my traditional way of working I'm allowing myself to work using different techniques. Specificially, introducing charcoal and sandpaper into the mix.
I've begun painting the fourth large painting in my series of Oakland nightscapes. The reference photograph (below, middle) was one the first that I took in the series and the color study (below, right) was the first in the set of studies that I created last June.
The new painting is in it's *very* early stages - it's just an underpainting. I've probably only spent about an hour on it. BUT I really like the gestural quality it has and am afraid that I will lose that quality and by continuing to work on it. It's that fine line that I continue to search for - mixing looseness and gesture with line and fully realized form...
I spent another hour working on this painting after taking a fresh look at this morning and being dissatisfied by the color and contrast.
This painting is based a photo of our neighborhood corner store from the opposite direction of the previous painting (Laundromat Night Hawks).
Instead of diving head first into a large canvas, I decided to work on a preliminary painting to get the feel of the composition and color. This painting is small, probably around 12 x 18 and done in about two hours. I plan to work just a bit more into it and then will consider making a go of it on a bigger canvas.
What I am pleased about is how when I work quickly on a small format my paintings have a softer, dream-like quality. There is also an energy there that too often I lose when working on my larger paintings.