April 30, 2008

(155) Complements: Red Orange and Blue Green
"Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer the goal”...Elbert Hubbard

April 29, 2008

(154) Complements: Orange and Blue
Ah yes, orange and blue...a lovely duo found in a New York Mets uniform
, a setting sun over an azure ocean...
"What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset”...
Crowfoot saying

April 28, 2008

(153) Complements: Yellow Orange and Blue Violet
These colors work well for landscapes. Again, I added a tiny amount of the colors halfway between the complements; in this case, red and green.
"A lot of it's experimental, spontaneous. It's about knocking about in the studio and bumping into things"...Richard Prince

April 27, 2008

(152) Complements: Yellow and Violet
Complementary pairs such as these appear opposite each other on the color wheel, so if either appears too intense, it can be toned down, or neutralized by adding a small amount of the other. Added together, they make really clean neutrals. Placed next to each other in a painting, they intensify the other, and seem to vibrate.

The studies on the top and bottom left are mixtures of the two complements in varying amounts of each with white. To experiment a little further, I added a small amount of red-orange to all the mixtures in the top right study, completely altering the feeling of the day, and appearing as a late afternoon sunset. I can see how this combination would work well in a Grand Canyon painting. In the bottom right study, the small addition of blue-green offers lush greens that would work well with spring/summer trees. I chose these latter color additions because red-orange and blue-green are exactly halfway between yellow and violet on each side of the color wheel, and they too, are complimentary pairs to each other. I'm really enjoying these color discoveries--pretty cool stuff, indeed. Normally when I mix colors, it is a push/pull effort where I adjust a mixture by warming, cooling, lightening, darkening until I get what I want, but this type of mixing offers less steps which equals less muddy colors. (and did I mention it is fun?)
"Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow"...Ralph Waldo Emerson

April 26, 2008

(151) Triad : Red Orange, Blue Violet, Yellow Green
This is the last triad, and for the next few days I will explore color combinations using only complementary colors that appear opposite each other on the color wheel.
"There are only 3 colors, 10 digits, and 7 notes; its what we do with them that's important"...Jim Rohn

April 24, 2008

(150) Tertiary Triad
Using yesterday's color combinations from the yellow-orange/red-violet/blue-green triad, I added more white to lighten the values and render this little study in a higher key.
“The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts”...Marcus Aurelius

April 23, 2008

(149) Triad: Yellow Orange, Red Violet, Blue Green
This triad is probably my favorite so far. I thought yesterday's neutrals were gorgeous, but these teals, blues and lavenders are the best. I love the juxtaposition of the blue-greens with the peachy tones. (click to enlarge these for a better view)

"First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do"...Epictectus

April 22, 2008

(148) Secondary Triad: Orange/Violet and Green
This is also not a combination I would normally reach for, but I especially like the rich neutrals that these colors produced (wow, aren't they gorgeous little grays?) It occurred to me today that once these little studies are dry, I could put them in clear plastic sleeves and transfer them to a spiral bound notebook for reference. Now how cool would that be?

You just knew I would have to paint a tree (with my limited palette) on Earth Day, right?
"If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen...

I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines"...Henry David Thoreau"
I'm off to keep my "appointment" with some of my favorite trees...Happy Earth Day, everyone!

April 21, 2008

(147) STUDY: Primary Triad
I have enjoyed my "break"-- got caught up in a flurry of stuff: spring cleaning, planting flowers; registered my son for college, hosted a tea party for dear friends, all fun stuff-- thanks to all who checked in to say hello and inquire why I was absent from the blog. I enjoyed every minute of the shift in focus, but now look forward to a painting routine again. Because this week marks my 6th month anniversary of initiating this blog,(oh yes it does!) I thought I would move in a different direction and explore new things.
During my break, I re-read Kevin Macpherson's books, and made a list of the many challenges and painting exercises he suggests. I took the list, cut it into strips and placed them in a basket where I plan to blindly choose one or more to explore. (Why didn't I just pick one from the list?--because its more fun to be surprised with each assignment-and admittedly, I feared I would get lost looking for the "perfect challenge" and waste time searching.) I plan to take a workshop with Kevin later this summer, so I hope to work through many/most of his suggestions in the coming weeks. Today's exercise consists of tiny studies using a primary palette. Just for fun, I chose colors that I normally would not pair together and noted the secondary colors and neutrals mixed from those color relationships. I tried other combinations for comparison that I will share in the days to come. One of my other favorite books is Edgar Payne's "Composition of Outdoor Painting" so some of my landscape configurations are an exploration of his suggestions for compositions. Too much information?(sorry)
"All the tube colors in the world will be useless to you if you do not properly relate them. A palette of three primary colors gives you all the relationships you need and is simpler to work with"...Kevin Macpherson

April 5, 2008

(146) Blue Hydrangeas
private collection
6 x 8, oil
Robert Henri talked about the importance of painting the spirit or essence of your subject. Eckhart Tolle explains this concept further when he suggests that we consider the wonder and awe of life, stating that a flower "silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you. This is what great artists sense and succeed in conveying in their art. Van Gogh didn't say 'That's just an old chair.' He looked, and looked, and looked. He sensed the Beingness of the chair. Then he sat in front of the canvas and took up the brush."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"An artist's studio should be a small space because small rooms discipline the mind and large ones distract it"...Leonardo da Vinci
While I see merit in da Vinci's statement, some days I feel like the "old woman who lived in a shoe" because it can become equally distracting to efficiently organize a tiny space. So, with that in mind, I'm stepping away from the easel for a few days in an attempt to do some major sorting, filing,and spring cleaning. Who knows what I'll find out there?Maybe the weather will cooperate and it will actually feel like spring!...TTFN

April 3, 2008

(145) History of Art
6 x 6, oil
As I painted this, I was thinking about how this brush cleaner is a much more inviting subject compared to "everything else" in the set-up because the wonderful reflections force me to see it as only abstract spots of color. Whereas, I tend to see the book as a preconceived idea of what a book is, which gets in the way of seeing it as a shape or a value. I've tried squinting at the subject, but it just doesn't accomplish the same goal for me. A lot of artists paint from upside-down photos for this reason, knowing that if the left brain can no longer label what is there, the shift to the right brain is easier--not possible if you are painting from life instead of a photo...
So, short of standing on my head to paint, how can I reduce everything to spots of color? something to ponder...
"The airless studios grow stifling. Kick the door open--the hum of life turns into a roar!"....Feliks Topolski (one of my
favorite quotes)

April 2, 2008

(144) Strike a Pose
6 x 8, oil
"Without the studio, however humble, the room where the imagination can enter cannot exist"...Anna Hansen

April 1, 2008

(143) Mannequin
6 x 8, oil
"Room service? Send up a larger room"...Groucho Marx