Among the Rows
Every job includes problems but how you solve them is the difference between success and failure. I learned that from a mentor when I was a fashion designer in New York but it also applies to my art. Starting a painting, I am fraught with anticipation. It holds the promise of being the best I have ever painted or the disappointment of failure. So many factors play into the success of a painting starting with the subject.
I was doing research for a series of paintings and took a day trip to Camarillo to find inspiration for the California Bounty show at La Galaria Gitana. I wasn't very lucky in the morning since it was a typical June gloom day, everything looked white. Not inspiring, I stopped for lunch and by 2 the clouds started to part with the sun breaking through. The weather was working with me but my afternoon painting turned into a mess. I had experimented with a gesso board and hated the slick surface. After wiping down that painting at 4, I was thinking the day had been a waste but I pulled out a tried and true 8x10 canvas and completed a little painting (Orange Grove in the Late Afternoon) before the sunset. As I was driving, out I saw that the sunlight was the prettiest of the day and took lots of photos before the sunlight faded to twilight. "Among the Rows" was painted from those photos. So despite my rocky start, that day yielded two paintings for my upcoming show. Even the failures have the possibility of success if we persevere.Comment on or Share this Article →
I have another show coming up, so I am in the process of working up yet a different group of paintings. The theme is California's Bounty. I envision plenty of oranges, still lifes of fruit and farmers markets. By approaching this theme through my love of landscapes, I will be exploring the bounty of the land and sea and hope I will be a little different.
This lovely vineyard nestled against the mountains was found during one of my road trips. The trees planted for a windbreak perfectly silhouetted the grapevines. I screeched to a stop, backed up into the driveway and got out to paint. I took several photos trying to find the right angle but could only find this upward view from the road. I do not recommend setting up an easel on the road. That is a no, no. So I didn't paint this plein air but instead stashed the photos to my computer only to take it out last week for this studio painting.Comment on or Share this Article →
Side Door at Carmel Mission
Whether on location or in the studio, painting is always challenging. I have been inside for several weeks working on my series, The Great Art of Doors, for Gallery Elite in Carmel. It has been fun, frustrating, exhilarating, boring, easy, difficult and of course a learning experience.
"Side Door at Carmel Mission" is a wonderful example of how a little extra effort transforms a painting. Below is a photo taken after working on this 24x24 work for about ten days. I thought it was pretty good and nearly finished but the response I received from the gallery was not as enthusiastic as I had hoped. This led me to examine the painting more carefully and realizing that there were several areas that could be improved.
I am told bullets are good to use so I will highlight my changes using them.
- First, I darkened the side wall where the Bougainvillea comes up the wall. But I didn't just add a darker adobe color, I played with adding blue to the shadows.
- Next, I decided the entire building needed a small color change so I glazed the wall with a burnt sienna mix.
- I then darkened the green plants on the other wall. They were too prominent and needed more depth.
- With that change it became obvious that wall behind that same plant needed to be changed so again I added both a darker adobe color and blue shadows.
- That led to the corner of the building above the door needing to be darkened also.
- Now that I had more balance of color in the painting, the ground in front of the door looked too blue so I then added a putty color with a few more detail elements thrown in.
- Getting close now, I added some pure color to the Bougainvillea to make the flowers pop.
- The final touch was giving the door knob a stronger highlight.
A critical look resulted in a much improved painting (see top photo). Happy with the changes, I sent the work off to the gallery yesterday and am hoping that someone will see all the thought I poured into this piece.
If you would like to purchase "Side Door at Carmel Mission" contact Teresa at Gallery Elite in Carmel by phone 831-625-2233 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Rest Stop (Study for Hangin' at the Mini Mart)
I have submitted a few articles to Empty Easel and they have previously used one of my pieces, Your Art Will Never Improve...Until You Embrace Change, in there weekly newsletter. Another will be published this Tuesday, July 19th in the art opinion section.
Tuesday in Art Opinion - When an artist does multiple paintings or drawings of a single scene, and sells them separately, what do the collectors think about it? Sharon Weaver was curious, so she made a point to ask. . . and she’ll share what she found out this Tuesday.
With so much talk about how to promote yourself and your work I think this is a no brainer. The last time my article appeared on the Empty Easel site I saw a very nice spike in the number of hits to my website so if you have something interesting to say, try submitting to an online art forum or art website. It is an easy way to get your information in front of a whole new group of potential clients.
Hangin' at the Mini Mart SoldComment on or Share this Article →
Chevron Door Study
Today, I shipped out a number of studio paintings and it is amazing how involved the process becomes. I finished painting yesterday and this morning sprayed a workable varnish over the mostly dry paintings. I am very encouraged by how the paintings looked in their new frames. The group is coming along well and I am hopeful that the buyers will have the same reaction.
With limited customers having less disposable income, wouldn't it be great to know what the buyers want even before you start to paint? How can any artist make sure that their work will sell? Can a successful artist pick subjects that collectors want thus boosting the likelihood of a sale? I have noticed that buyers are responding to the paintings which I have a real connection with. Is there an intangible attraction to a painting triggered by the artist's emotion toward that painting? They say that attraction is what holds the universe together. Some people even call that attraction love. So maybe, just maybe the secret ingredient to selling is love.
Afternoon Glow, 24x20, Oil
If you are interested in owning Afternoon Glow contact Teresa at Gallery Elite in Carmel at 831-625-2233 or email her at email@example.com
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I have been busy painting in the studio on a group of five paintings. I still have two more to paint but I thought I would give you a sneak peek before I send them off to Gallery Elite in Carmel. It has been a great experience working on a theme, while still making sure that each individual painting stands on its own merit. I have always had a soft spot for architecture; specifically doors so when I was asked to paint a group of doors I knew it would be a rewarding and fun experience. I have taken several studies and used them as the starting point for two of the paintings.
Faded Door has always been one of my favorite compositions and the predominantly warm colors of the painting radiate the warmth of summer. I refined the stairs, improved the grist wheel and added the flowers to the larger piece. Liking the original painting as much as I did, it took several passes and a lot of thought to improve on the study but I finally achieved my goal.
Faded Door at the Mission, 16x20, Oil on Linen Panel
If you would like to own Faded Door at the Mission please contact Teresa at Gallery Elite, San Carlos, between 5th and 6th in Carmel, California at 831-625-2233 or throught her email at firstname.lastname@example.orgComment on or Share this Article →