Thursday, December 9, 2010

on the easel December 2010

Long Shadows- Douglas 24x36 oil on panel
I've worked on a little bit of everything this month.  This rather large (for me) landscape and the next sneak peek of a figurative piece have taken about two months of dabbling.
I have to add that after seeing the image of this piece- I went back and added more trees and some shaping to the right side of the panel-in front of the white building.  It improved it.  Seeing it small, showed me the verticals were too strong.
Untitled 36x24 in. oil on panel

Untitled 12x16 in. oil on panel

These haven't been titled yet...any ideas?  I also have a very "Chardin" still life that is very striking.  I am waiting to get a photographer to image it for me because that snapshots are horrid.  These are bad enough!  If you are interested let me know or keep an eye out for the classier images a-comin'.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"The Bride" in Montefiascone, Italy

The Bride/Annunciation 40x36 in. 2008

About The Bride

I have titled this painting The Bride or Annunciation, but it really could bear many titles.  I don’t intellectualize my paintings while I work on them.  I choose my subjects intuitively.  Titles are slow in coming because I try not to anticipate where a painting will take me.

A young woman is seated alone in her wedding dress in an undefined space that can be past, present, or future- all of which tumble about in her mind.  It is an iconographic moment.  Anna, as The Bride, represents to me those times of struggle between the ideal and the real.  She could be Mother Earth (Gaia), a struggling nation, or the Virgin Mary at the Annunciation.  It is the moment when we recognize the real has supplanted the ideal, when the real subverts all imagined ideals. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Italian Gallery Opening

I'm going to be working with an international contemporary art gallery called Artegiro located in Montefiascone just north of Rome, Italy.  Artegiro pulls in multi-media arts from around the world that celebrate the role of exchange, transposition and displacement in art as in life.

The first show I'll participate in is called SUBversion which runs November 12th through December 12th.

on the easel October 2010

My latest few pieces...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Art Babel: Painting Demo by Steven Assael

Art Babel: Painting Demo by Steven Assael: "Watching Steven Assael work is absolutely incredible. He will literally do an oil sketch like this in less than an hour. Here's a demo from ..."

Art Babel: Brown Velvet, by Memoree Joelle-Scott

Art Babel: Brown Velvet, by Memoree Joelle-Scott: "My husband, an artist, took this photo to use as a reference for a painting he's working on. It will be something of a study after Rembrandt..."

Art Babel: Observations of a Female Artist depicting the Femi...

Art Babel: Observations of a Female Artist depicting the Femi...: "As an artist and a woman rendering nude studies, I find myself to be the subject of much curiosity, some of which has been a challenge bot..."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

on the easel August

Blue Hydrangeas, 18x24 in. oil on linen

I just finished this yesterday and really love it.  The blue harmonies for a floral are new for me.

Friday, July 23, 2010

on the easel July 2010

Below are two more paintings that I've worked on this month.  I have this 6x6 painting on panel called Shells (below) which isn't quite finished.  It is part of a little series going of small pieces painted from my son Cedric's nature collection.  This is the third I've done and I have another set up to begin soon.

Here is a pic of a hydrangea painting that I am painting for Phil and Carol Carra.  Carol loaned me glass pieces and the linen from her home to use in the painting.  This is a 16x20 oil on linen.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

On The Easel - June 2010

I'm going to be a really good girl and post the new pieces that I'm working on or just finished every month.  I was able to paint quite a lot in June with the long days of summer and Joseph being home.  When the peonies were in bloom, I did three peony paintings in a row.  One I am still modifying so I'll post that later.

This is a 24 x 18 in.  I think it will be titled: "Peonies and Red Scissors".

This 2nd one is a 24 x 30 in.    The image is a bit dark on this.  The upper background is a dark green and some details are a bit lost in this pic.  I think this one will be called "Peonies and Pink Scissors".  This painting and the one above it are amazing hung together!

Here is another piece that I'm so excited about....this is a 20 x 16 in. called "White Daisies".  This will be framed in a nice champagne-colored frame.  

Here's a 6 x 6 panel.  It has a mate to it that I finished yesterday....

This image shows the painting of Cedric, my son (which is for my own collection) with two really lovely landscapes.  The larger one is a Montana river, the smaller one is of a local lake area.  The little one is available through Water Street Gallery.  The larger landscape I may use as a competition piece.

 This 9x 12 in. oil on panel is available from Water Street Gallery.  I just painted this last week- we had such amazing clouds!  It's called "Wind From The East".

Hydrangea season is just around the corner!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Copies After Velazquez- A Study In Technique IV


This title is ambiguous, I know.  This one is loosely based on Steven Assael's technique (A brilliant painter!).  I feel this sketch turned out wonderfully chromatic but I was not as liberal with the paint as Assael would be.  I'm still on the cautious side.
The Venetian Red-toned canvas really retains warmth and glow throughout the painting.  It was very easy to keep the chroma high.  Not good, perhaps, for people that fight too high of chroma as a perpetual problem.  It was fun but I felt like I was reining in the color as opposed to the other approaches.


This is Venetian Red acrylic sprayed with shellac which I used only for this project.  Usually when I tone with red I use an earth red and Turps and let it dry a number of days.

Day 1
Palette contains a Cadmium Green Light, a Titanium White to go with the Cadmiums, and a pre-mixed light, warm gray made of Raw Umber, White, and Green Umber.  I also made a White mixed with a tad of Cobalt Blue for a cool highlight color. I just did that for fun...neither Assael (I assume somewhat after seeing a demonstration) nor myself usually pre-mix colors before trying to match something we are seeing. I also made an orange-which I don't usually pre-mix either....

Day 1 cont'd.

This was it!  It was such a small piece I didn't use more than 1 alla prima session to do this.  I tried to spend roughly the same amount of time on each of these.  Some processes take more than 1 day for sure- and some don't IF it can be done well and is so small.
I'll add another pic that has a bit higher color showing.  The truth is somewhere between the two and a bit better in person, of course.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Copies After Velasquez- A Study In Technique Ill


Day 1
I did a thin drawing with Yellow Ochre and Raw Umber on a gray imprimatura.  An important quality to Rubens work was his layering of warms on cools and cools on warms.  These were either painted in separate layers or wet-in-wet with the idea of layering; not mixing warms and cools together directly.

Day 2
On a couch of balsam-based medium, I painted the shadows and background, then jumped into working the thick light areas.  As I mentioned, I tried to mix on the canvas and keep my warms and cools separate, floating color on color.

This seems like a good approach for projects from life when you have limited time.  The effects were easy to get.  From the beginning there is a complex silver and gold glow that just seems to appear.  Getting close to the canvas, you can see how much the visual effect relies on the warm underpainting which can be a drawback.  The half-tones may have less body than other methods.  Some of Rubens paintings look like they were left like this (it is a very loose, spontaneous look).  Maybe this is what his first painting looked like.  I followed the approach suggested in Max Doerner's The Materials of The Artist and Their Use In Painting.  This was an experiment and I am not a Rubens Expert-FYI...

Copies After Velasquez- A Study In Technique Il


Day 1
I begin on a white canvas to sketch in the subject with Raw Umber and a little Turpentine.
Day 2
I refine more if needed with the Raw Umber then add Flemish White highlights on a thin dammar layer (dammar put only under the areas to receive white).  I let this dry at least two days, more if possible.

Day 3
I have a lightest light represented but have more room to push darks.  I establish a taste of my darkest dark and then make an educated guess at the background color and value.

 I proceeded to paint the hand itself and bring the whole sketch to a finish. Obviously, most paintings don't get finished this quickly.  I used an earth palette for this-no cadmiums etc.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Copies After Velasquez- A Study In Technique I

I began a series of oil copies of a hand painted by Velasquez in order to clarify to myself some of the different technical approaches I am aware of.  I chose the hand because I wanted something I thought I could paint five times without going crazy.  I also wanted to start all five with the same cartoon transfer so they would start out with the same exact drawing.  Next time I do something like this, I will work from a very simple object from life.  It was, perhaps, not a fair set-up because it may have limited color interpretations and textural interpretations.  The other difficulty is that of labeling the techniques.  I settled upon labeling them with a broadly understood term or the great painter that I associate with the technique.  Another limitation I ran into is that, really, this is a "first" painting.  There wasn't much visual information to go beyond that.
Labels and Working Distinctions 
Van Dyck and oftentimes my familiar method:  Transparent shadows first in Raw Umber and when dry, underpaint thick lights with Flake White.
Grissaille:  Opaque underpainting, mixing Raw Umber (some use a warm black or green earth) with Flake White on the palette and painting a covering layer lighter in value than it will need to be later on.
Academic Method/Ingres:  Greater care given to line and an opaque dead color stage for an underpainting.
Rubens:  Transparent shadows, cools and warms kept in separate layers and on separate brushes.
Assael: Start with opaque and higher chroma midtones and build lights and darks into them.  Sculpting very thick highlights.
All grounds are Claessens 13SP (single-primed)
Van Dyck:   White ground
Grisaille:  White ground
Academic/Ingres:  White ground
Rubens:  Gray toned
Assael:  Venetian Red toned

See Image 2

Before Day 1.....In order to keep things similar from the beginning, I transferred charcoal drawings onto each canvas.  However, below I pretend that I am working from life and describe what I did each day under typical working conditions.  Remember this is a very simple, small subject and it would take more days at the later stages for more complex paintings.

The Subject: Image 1

The Grounds: Image 2 Rubens
The Grounds: Image 2 Assael

The Grounds:  Image 2: All other grounds remained white

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Figure Painting demo by Jacob Collins

Be sure and visit  to watch the progress of a figure painting painted by Jacob Collins alongside of his students.  This method is very similar to the approach taught at the Angel Academy in Florence.  Note the length of time and care that goes into getting a drawing/cartoon to work from.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Just Finished!

Here are a couple of pieces that I just finished and am really fond of.  They are inspired by Cinderella and the fairytale pumpkins that I love to see in the fall.  The paintings are titled "Principe" and "Principessa"- italian for prince and princess. I just got them in their frames which are wide brown with gold inner edges-very striking.  The paintings are being juried for the WMAS - Exhibition at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art this spring.  If you live locally, stop in!

Monday, January 18, 2010

French and Californian Wines

This fall I had fun working on a pair of 19 x 42 inch wine-themed paintings commissioned for a specific spot in a lovely home on the shore of Lake Michigan.  The items are all pulled from the owners' home making it all the more personal.  It's tricky getting all the parts to play together. An item such as the candelabra is quite elaborate in itself, yet is supposed to retire a bit in the presence of the wine.  Also, both pieces needed to relate to one another without becoming redundant.  I was happy with the result... Salute!

Snake River Trip

In August my family and I made a trip across the northern states to Washington to visit our family in Seattle, Spokane, and Asotin.  My In-laws live on the Snake River just below Hell's Canyon.  The landscape is incredible.  We live more outside than inside in the summer there, soaking in the precious sunshine and fresh air.  I've sketched there over the years and I'm posting a piece from this summer's visit.  I'm using the inspiration of the cloud movements for a couple of pieces I'm presently working on.