June 28, 2010

summer break

8 x 10, oil on canvas
My focus in this painting was to capture all those wonderful colors in the shadows and still keep light and shadow families separate and distinct--a super duper fun challenge with all the light reflecting up from the water and white ground plane.
"Raising teenagers is like trying to nail Jello to a tree" (anonymous)

June 19, 2010

beach stroll

12 x 16
oil on canvas
My focus in this painting was to capture the luminous quality of early light when the sea takes on the color and value of the sky. The clouds had rolled in and everything looked hazy except for this lady who stood out brilliantly against the neutral background. I love how her hair was illuminated by the warm light.
"A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight,
and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world"...Oscar Wilde

June 11, 2010

The Magic Hour

10 x 12, oil on canvas

I've been a "sunset junkie" since I was in high school. That "magic hour" when the sun slowly sinks into the west and creates those wonderful orange and peachy pink skin-tones. It is Simply THE Best and there is nothing I relish more. I just don't think we can witness this light without our cares and thoughts fading away and being replaced with the feeling that everything is as it should be in this moment. The trick then is to breathe in that magic, and take it with you wherever you go...and then you can "paint it" into your day when the vacation is over. It really is That Magic. And it is available just about every day in even the most remote locations...
"I don't know what you could say about a day when you have witnessed four beautiful sunsets"...Astronaut John Glenn

June 5, 2010

Homer's Sirens

8 x 10, oil on canvas

These girls were The Perfect Models on the beach. And no, actually I'm not referring to the fact that they were fashionable, gorgeous and had absolutely no cellulite. They were Perfect because:
a) they stayed relatively still long enough for me to sketch them 
b) their varied poses make a wonderful composition
c) and I was especially smitten by how the shadows connected and formed an interesting dark and light pattern 
....all of which reminds me of a question... Another artist told me she was snapping photos of her son on the beach when a stranger approached and demanded to know if her children had been included in any of the photos taken. The artist explained that she would be happy to delete any that the stranger's children may have accidentally been a part of--and continued on her way, only to discover that the stranger had begun following her and announcing to other strangers that the artist was photographing everyone's children! Which begs the question...Should artists be required to interrupt The Perfect Models to seek permission to photograph and paint them, or should we go into stealth mode and do it unsuspectingly? In an age of cellphones in every pocket and cameras on every building, aren't we all being photographed all the time anyway? My experience has been that when I have asked permission, the "models" say yes, but then they are ALWAYS self-conscious and no longer strike a natural pose, which defeats the whole purpose. 
"First you will come to the Sirens who enchant all who come near them. If any one warily draws in too close and hears the singing of the Sirens, his wife and children will never welcome him home again, for they sit in a green field and warble him to death with the sweetness of their song...therefore pass these Sirens by, and stop your men's ears with wax that none of them may hear..." Homer's Odyssey, 800 B.C.