Monday, April 25, 2011

{4/25/2011 from my inside:outside photo series}

Hello friends,

At the end of last week I came down with a horrible cold, that has really knocked me off my feet, so I do not have anything to share and I expect this will be a sparse week on the "painting" front as I really need to rest and recover. I do plan on keeping up with recording my daily impressions with this week's photo diptychs on my other blog.

So please stop by and say hello if you so choose.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tete-e-Tete Daffodils {a new painting}

20110414 Tete-e-Tete Daffodils 12x10
Tete-e-Tete Daffodils
{12" x 10" (30.5 x 25.4 cm) – oil on linen panel}

Last week I finished this painting, these miniture daffodils are my favorite because I like how delicate in scale they are. I have tried to paint them a few times this spring {here is one other success} and I have been playing with different backgrounds lately, and the mid value gray has been a fun experience. It is a cool neutral that works well with the warm and vibrant colors found in several spring flowers.

I also realize that reflections on glass are becoming a bit of a love affair for me. The edge quality and value contrast of the highlights and reflections seen on glass is a perceptual puzzle that I strive to capture in a convincing and interesting manner. Each time I paint reflections I observe different nuances that adds to my understanding and then each subsequent painting has a more developed highlight and reflection.

Have a wonderful evening/night, Liz

Monday, April 18, 2011

Principle Gallery Spring Still Life 2011 Exhibition

Principle Gallery Spring Still Life 2011 Exhibition

Principle Gallery Spring Still Life 2011 Exhibition

This Friday a local art gallery in Old Town Alexandria, Principle Gallery, had an opening for their Spring Still Life 2011 Exhibition and I stopped by to see the paintings in person. Here are a few scenes of the gallery...

Principle Gallery Spring Still Life 2011 Exhibition

Principle Gallery Spring Still Life 2011 Exhibition

And here is a link all the paintings in the show.

Being that still life is my favorite genre it was fun seeing the work of contemporary artists and how they interpret objects and share their personal viewpoint in the work they create.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oriental Lilies {a new painting}

20110403 Oriental Lilies 18x14
Oriental Lilies
{18" x 14" (45.7 x 35.6 cm) - Oil on Linen}

After several weeks of contemplating and working on this painting I think it is completed...

When I think I have finished a painting I will hang it on my living room wall and observe it over a few days or week to see if there is anything that needs immediate attention. So far this painting has passed the test, in that I have not taken if off the wall to paint on it some more.... so it is ready for its debut as a finished piece.

Here are the work in progress posts about this painting, here and here


During this past week I have been working on another painting and will presently share it with you and there is not update for my NGA copy because I was unable to attend on Monday due to being very tired and the pregnancy keeping me from getting down to the museum. Everything is going well, some days slow me down some and it is easier to work/paint from home.

Have a wonderful evening.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art


This weekend S. and I traveled to Philadelphia for a little getaway and the first place we visited was the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A museum I have wanted to visit for a long time because lately we have been watching a Teaching Company lecture series given by William Kloss titled Masterworks of American Art where a lot of the paintings highlighted in the series can be found at this museum.

We were both eager to view the Thomas Eakins pieces that are part of the collection. Here are a few images I took while in the museum...

Thomas Eakins

Thomas Eakins detail
A beautiful detail of the hand and how lost and found edges are used to such great effect by Eakins

Thomas Eakins
I sat in front of this portrait of J. Harry Lewis for the longest time, I was so struck by how expressive the face is even with more than half of it being in shadow.

Thomas Eakins

Thomas Eakins detail
{detail of the taffeta fabric}

While the museum has several interesting and special exhibits going on we chose to focus on the regular admission galleries making sure to visit the exhibit on George Inness in Italy which is ending May 15th. Even though I do not often paint landscapes, they are really one of my favorite types of paintings. I love how you can get lost in them and how there is such a variety of capturing different scenes and weather conditions.

George Inness

George Inness detail
One thing I learned from this exhibit is that George Inness was a master of varying paint thickness to create affect. In this paiting of Lake Nemi the paint application goes from thin layers where you can see the neutral underpainting ground to a thick impasto like this detail shows.

George Inness

George Inness detail
I was also struck by his use of color, even though Inness was a tonalist, passages in his paintings show the use of intense color.

It was a great day spent in the museum, here are a few more links that may be of interest for further investigation on Thomas Eakins and George Inness
complete works of Thomas Eakins

complete works of George Inness

Friday, April 8, 2011

Randy Higbee Gallery 6" Squared Exhibition

Next week opens a national juried exhibition held at the Randy Higbee Gallery in southern California and I am pleased to share with you that one of my little floral paintings was accepted into the show! Still Life with Freesias, Bottle, and Bowl was one of the 400 paintings selected out of 1200+ submitted pieces.

The artist reception will be held on April 16th, and the show will run until May 6th. If you happen to be in the area please stop by and see the show, I am certain it will be a fantastic grouping of artistic talent.

Have a wonderful weekend, Liz

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

John Ruskin: Lectures on Landscape

tree study by john ruskin 1845
{Tree study by John Ruskin, 1845}

This week I have been listening to John Ruskin's Lectures on Landscape and the ideas and thoughts presented have been particularly inspiring to me. Here is a expert from the first lecture I thought you may like to know about:

"But though the virtue of all painting (and similarly of sculpture and every other art) is in passion, I must not have you begin by working passionately. The discipline of youth, in all its work, is in cooling and curbing itself, as the discipline of age is in warming and urging itself; you know the Bacchic chorus of old men in Plato's Laws. To the end of life, indeed, the strength of a man's finest nature is shown in due continence; but that is because the finest natures remain young to the death: and for you the first thing you have to do in art (as in life) is to be quiet and firm—quiet, above everything; and modest, with this most essential modesty, that you must like the landscape you are going to draw better than you expect to like your drawing of it, however well it may succeed. If you would not rather have the real thing than your sketch of it, you are not in a right state of mind for sketching at all. If you only think of the scene, "what a nice sketch this will make!" be assured you will never make a nice sketch of it. You may think you have produced a beautiful work; nay, perhaps the public and many fair judges will agree with you; but I tell you positively, there will be no enduring value in what you have thus done. Whereas if you think of the scene, "Ah, if I could only get some shadow or scrawl of this to carry away with me, how glad I should be!"—then whatever you do will be, according to your strength, good and progressive: it may be feeble, or much faultful, but it will be vital and essentially precious." (paragraph 13, pg. 8)

This passage about the virtue of painting and how spirit must be infused in the work you create is more than just limited to painting landscapes, but really is about all creative endeavors.

unabridged electronic version of Lectures on Landscape
unabridged audio version
additional electronic books by John Ruskin

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Week 4: Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honore Fragonard

week 4: end of day
{end of day status}

Yesterday I was back in gallery 55 at the NGA to work on my copy. The day was focused on correcting the structure of the girl's head and then deciding I needed a little more space from the constant re-working of this part of the painting, so I decided to move onto the dress. Instead of trying to copy every single stroke with deliberate control I am trying to capture the energy of the composition and paint the gist of the folds and puckers of the collar and dress.

You will notice that I also laid in the yellow ochre background again, this is because I got the burnt umber ground too dark and thought it would be best if I just went back to the original value of what the ground was. Next week I will go back and lay in the background in again and this time making sure my values are more in line with the original painting.

Thanks for visiting and being a part of this learning process,

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Week 3: Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honore Fragonard

Last week I was at the NGA to work on the copy of Fragonard's Young Girl Reading on Thursday. For the first part of the day I worked on correcting the structural issues of the painting, working to get the scale of the girl correct. I worked until lunch time on just focusing on this aspect.

The day was a particularly gray and dark day which affects the quality of light of the museum's galleries, something I did not really notice in the morning because I was so intent on correcting the drawing aspect of the painting. It was only when I came back from lunch did the difference really seem aparent to me. Each painting in the gallery has a spotlight that has a warm tint to it, where the easels are solely reliant on the natural light that filters into the galleries via the skylights above. This difference in light quality was affecting my ability to get color and value accuracy because the light on the painting was so different than the light on my canvas.

Here is a photo taken just after lunch with my painting on the easel and the original on the wall.

week 3: middle of the day
{middle of day status - with different light qualities}

Here is another photo where I set my painting under the original painting to compare color and value differences. See the light ground behind the pillow, how different it is on the easel versus when propped up under the original painting, while working on this painting I also need to work on adjusting for this shift in color temperature also.

Week 3: middle of the day
{middle of day status - with the same light quality}

So my time spent after lunch was a combination of getting the drawing correct while also adjusting the color and values some.

Tomorrow I return to the NGA, Monday is my regular day to paint, so hopefully it will be a bright and sunny day to warm up the natural light some. I need to work on the structure of the head some more and will hopefully be able to move on to other parts of the painting as well.

{end of day status}