Wednesday, December 29, 2010

From Eastpoint

Every oyster boat in Eastpoint was out in the bay today.  I'm guessing it's because oysters are a New Year's staple and they are stocking the restaurants for the big night.

Here is their starting point.  Apalachicola is the tourist destination, with its romantic shrimp boats, old Victorian homes, and broad street commercial district.  Eastpoint is the real world of hard working fishermen, with its own pick-up truck culture.  The warehouses and launchpoints on this side of the Apalachicola River are much more to my artist's liking.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas in Apalachicola

I can't remember the last time I painted a sunset, but last night was a beauty.  This is the scene about a hundred feet from my room here in Florida.  I waited until today to paint it so that I wouldn't be too influenced by the details of the sky.  It was actually the live oaks that I wanted to capture.

Merry Christmas to my Followers!  I hope your stockings were full of art supplies for 2011!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Getting Settled

I hope you'll forgive me while I'm getting settled here in Eastpoint.  I took some photos of very old paintings before I left.  Oil and still lifes.... So this doesn't fit my blog site at all.  But everybody needs a break sometime.  I just didn't want you to be stuck with the same painting for a week or more. 

Have a Merry Christmas, and tune in again soon!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Going Negative

If you paint the forest, the trees will come.  Painting the areas that are not the subject, but rather the background will give a unity to the background.  Then you can cut into that layer and "find" trees by painting what's behind them.  Repeating this, each time going darker, will grow you a forest in no time!  For variety's sake, add a positive shape tree or two where it comes up against the light.  This technique can be used in depicting buildings, flowers, schooners, and abstract designs. 
Think negative!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Soft vs. Hard Edges

I've recently been re-exploring the advantages of contrasting soft areas with hard edges.  Mixing the colors on the paper rather than homogenizing them on the palette first makes for a more glowing effect and, of course, a softer look.  Soft underpainting makes a good foundation for harder edged shapes to be placed on top. 

Of course, you need to think which areas make using soft edges feasible.  A soft-edged rock doesn't register as a hard surface.  On the other hand, hard edges on clouds defy their soft nature.  Large areas also provide an opportunity to give an out-of-focus look that provides relief from the hard edged focal subjects.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

House of Cards

Here is, I think, the last of the card series for Christmas.

The speed with which I painted these was very enlightening.  Mingling colors became a sheer delight. Not knowing which colors would be chosen, but rather just reaching for a color that seemed right and then flowing it into the wet colors already on the paper seems risky, but is also very liberating! 

To get your creative juices flowing, try this assembly-line approach for a couple of days. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

They wouldn't let poor Rudolph....

Poor Rudolph with your nose so bright!  No reindeer games for you.

Pardon a watercolor gal.  This one is a pastel.  Every once in a while, it's good to get out of your major medium.  And your major motif.  I rarely resort to still life paintings any more, but this one seemed right for the season.

Watch for ways to cluster objects....and to set one apart. 

Yesterday we remembered John Lennon.  Today they pardoned Jim Morrison.  So maybe the lonely lightbulb isn't a lightbulb at all, but a symbol of all those who find themselves on the fringe, on the frontier, on the outskirts looking in. Remember, Rudolph, You saved the day when the rest of us were in a fog.  And we are grateful!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Go Tell It On The Mountain

Mountains often appear in the background of paintings.  Why not make the mountain occupy the whole painting?  This is a small paintiing, which made me think of eliminating the foreground because the elements there would have to be so tiny. 

I was also conscious  of providing contrast to the angular edges of the mountain.  Study the snowcovered areas lower on the mountain to see the curves that help define the slopes.

The snow is made by flicking a toothbrush with white paint on it.