Monday, May 28, 2012

Beach Scketches: Memorial Day

My first scketch of the season, now I have a better idea of the information that I need to collect for future paintings.
Oil on canvas. 5 x 7

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fridays at the Met 7

My last "official" day at the Met; but since there was a little chaos at the beginning, we are getting 2 more weeks at no charge. No instructor, just museum time.
Today was very challenging,  I thought copying the face was difficult but the texture on the fabric of her dress was just as bad.  I, again, thought that I could make "my version of". Well, no! Copying is copying stroke by stroke. I'm not sure how close I came, but it was an exercise in discipline and patience.  The instructor said that most people settle for something not entirely right, because they want to be done with it.  As a result, their work never progresses to a new level and they end up wasting their money and time.  There's a lot of truth to that and, just between us, I was going to settle. I was going to let that fabric pattern go and dazzle everybody with her beautiful face. But once he called me on it, I couldn't, because I want to be the best artist that I can possibly be, and there are no shortcuts. Maybe that was the real lesson today.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lifeguard Boat

Yes, I'm on Summer mode!!  I have a show coming up in Brigantine, so I'm working on a few new paintings.  This is a studio painting done from a plein air sketch.  I did use a photo to remind me of some of the details; but mostly, it is my own notes that tell me about the colors and values.  I like it, it has a "fun" feel to it, I'm not sure if I should put the writing on the boat. I'll try it once the paint settles, so if I don't like it, I don't ruin the entire thing.

Oil on linen.  8 x 10

Sunday, May 20, 2012

White Irises

"Nothing in the whole world is of interest to me but my painting and my flowers." Claude Monet.
This statement was very true for me this morning.

Oil on canvas.  8 x 8

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Fridays at the Met 6

Today was the best day I had so far, even though I managed to get lost, again!.  The guards were unusually cooperative, not disturbing my time by asking me to move back and forth.
I started early on the face, before the instructor came.  I wanted to change some lines that he put in last week.  I wish he wouldn't paint on my canvas.  I did get a lot of useful critiques from him today, mostly concerning skin tones.  I seem to lean towards the yellows too much.
The painting is coming along nicely and I'm enjoying my time at the Met.  I'm learning a lot!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Sometimes I don't want to get involved with the details.  I like these quick sketches.

Oil on linen.  9 x 12

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Flower Study: Iris

Not a good picture, I'll re take.
Vincent Van Gogh is my favorite painter of Irises.  He painted them in a vase or growing in the garden;  always taking care to show the individuality of the plant as a whole as it reaches out from the group to get to the light.

oil on canvas.  4 x 4

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fridays at the Met 5

Today was the first day that I did not get lost in the museum looking for my gallery.   Now the copying is getting more intense, trying to match the colors and overall mood of the painting and putting the eyes and some color on the nose and cheeks.  Time goes by so fast, that before I know it, it's 3 o'clock and have to rush to finish.
I love what I'm doing!!! I know there's a lot of things that could be improved with the painting, but it's not really that important to me right now, just being there, doing this, is great.  The tourist and onlookers are pretty distracting, it only bothers me when they stand too close. And I can't figure out why they would want my picture!!  I'm thinking of hanging a sign that says:"May bite if provoked", but I don't think the museum would be too happy with that.
Anyway, this is what "my Judith" looked like today.  I can't wait to bring her home.

Copy after :

Judith with the Head of Holofernes

Massimo Stanzione  (Italian, Neapolitan, 1585–1656)

Monday, May 7, 2012


This is the first of many more; my orchids have been blooming for a while now, and if I don't start painting them soon, I would have to wait 6 months to a year.
They are so beautiful and perfectly symetric, one could never do them justice.  I think of my painting them as an opportunity to study and admire them.

Oil on linen. 6 x 6

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fridays at the Met 4

Today I was told to paint her face as if it was a plaster cast, in black and white.  This is new to me, but OK, I'll do it.  I carefully apply different tones to the planes of the face, but I was told to treat the face like an egg.  From there I applied brighter blues to the shawl.  Next week I'll work on the dress and more of the face and shawl.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Magnolia Tree

There's this beautiful magnolia tree across the lake.  I know what it is, but all I see is a pink spot surrounded by greenery.  The house was not an aferthought, since somebody had to plant the tree, it made sense to represent a human presence.  I have been researching how best to put houses and buildings on a landscape; I find it very daunting.  The best advise I got was to put a landscape with a house, not a house with a landscape.  I'll keep working on it.

Oil on linen.  5 x 7