Today I sold one of my favorite paintings. It's hard to let a painting go, but it feels so good to know that it will be on someone's wall and not in my painting rack. And this painting couldn't have gone to a better home!
Filtering by Tag: oil painting
Six years ago, when I first moved to the Bay Area, I thought the land around the Dumbarton Bridge was stinky, ugly, and to be avoided by any way possible. The last several years have seen a restoration of the area, from a solar salt industry back to native salt marsh.
One of my clients is located in Palo Alto and once a week I drive over the Dumbarton Bridge. Last week, the bridge was a parking lot due to an accident near Facebook headquarters. Being stuck in my car for an hour gave me the opportunity to look at my surroundings and appreciate their beauty. I snapped several photos of the sky and the marsh. Later that week I began my first painting of the area.
I decided to try something new (for me) for the piece I submitted to Norton Factory Studios' silent auction. I painted a cloudscape. I'm pleased with the result and am considering doing more. Let me know what you think! And, if you are in town, come to the auction on Saturday night -
This weekend I decided to spend some time painting from life. Here are the three resulting pieces, each at slightly different stages of completion.
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.
For the past several months I have been working on a portrait commission for the Illinois Institute of Technology. It was, at times, a struggle but I am excited to annouce that it is done and has been installed in its new home at the Paul V. Galvin Library at IIT. To the right is the final portrait and a shot from the unveiling.
For better images of the portrait, please visit my Portraiture page.
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.
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.
Latest iteration of Rockridge Nightscape, AKA Liquor Video.
Below are three photographs juxtaposed with painting studies. My primary interest in comparing the two images was correcting spatial and color discrepancies. However, viewing them as a set, what I find most fascinating and valuable is the difference between perception and reality.
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.
To the left is the original photograph that I took of our laundromat and cornerstore. To the right are overlays of my first efforts at the painting overlayed with at different opacities on the original photo.
Below are images of my second efforts at the painting. I moved and minimized the corner shop and adjusted the size of the laundromat.
A few weeks ago I was trolling Design Sponge and came across this DIY project that used cedar slices to create customized silhouettes, and I thought hey, those would make great coasters.... but where do I get the wood? Meanwhile, my month-old Christmas tree sat sagging in the corner and voila! - a project was born!
Using slices of the pine tree, a stamp carving kit, and various types of stain and polyurethane, I'm working on creating an army of coasters.
The first image to the left is a close up of one coaster pretty far along in the process. The second photo is of the gathering army.
The next three images are paintings in progress. The first two paintings were begun months ago but never taken much further than the inititial color blocking, so I'm re-working them, trying to bringing in more colors and depth.
The last image is Kim. I've addd a few more transparent layers of color but what it really needs is a few days of serious work because all of the transparent layers have caused it to lose some of it's structural believability.
Looking at these paintings makes me realize two things - 1. I need to work on a big painting in which the subject is not front row and center and 2. My next portrait cannot be of a person looking to their right.
I cleaned up the studio yesterday and spent most of the afternoon and evening painting. The images below are of Kim. The left-most image is the painting as I left it in June. The middle image is a photo of my studio today and a portion of the painting. The right-most image is the painting as I left it tonight. It may not seem like that much progress has been made, but I've shifted and repainted two of the planters, begun to paint the plants, and started to think about her hands...
A few years ago someone remarked that my style of painting reminded them of the paintings of Mary Beth McKenzie and I very much appreciated the compliment! Mary Beth McKenzie is an accomplished oil painter who's work is owned by many public institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian Institute, the Brooklyn Museum, the New Britain Museum of American Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Butler Museum of American Art, the Museum of the City of New York, the National Academy of Design and the New-York Historical Society.
Her application of paint and the use of color to build form reminds me of the landscapes of Cezanne. Contributing to the quality and solidity of her shapes is incredibly careful measuring. I love how she leaves the traces of plum lines. They serves as a window into her painting process and constant reminders of her hand.
All images copyright Mary Beth McKenzie.