A modern day tender on a morning slack tide. Years ago when I started paying attention to and painting these casual little work boats they were made of wood. Mostly plywood things. Some were more elaborate but most were simple. The served one purpose. Get the lobsterman to his boat then hang about until it master needs to get back to dry land. This is a modern plastic tender. Inexpensive purely functional. Even still in the right light a charming object.
This is a painting of the Cookie Jar. The cookie jar that sat on the kitchen counter while I was growing up. We didn't have a lot but we did have cookies. My mother was a fabulous baker. The cookie jar was always full. Oatmeal, molasses , wheaties, chocolate chip, sugar, all kinds of wonderful made from scratch cookies.I can see that little knotty pine kitchen with the latch cabinets and covered cake dish. Where there was always a freshly made cake.
Recently I was cleaning out a shed and found it full of a clan of mice living in the at cookie jar. Eggh! I 'washed it out good', popped insome freshly cut Peonies and painted it on a 12 x 9 rough canvas.
A finished sketch really. Just enough to write the story of Ma's cookie jar.
This is three weeks of painting effort on the last pose. The pose lasts 1 more week but I 'll be in the city. I'll work on this in the studio over the next week. It is intentionally not a polished realism. It is an exercise in neutrality even exaggeratedly so. When I painted with watercolors I thought of neutrality as earth tone thing. Making grays from colors mixed with various earth toned pigments. These neutrals are created with compliments. The effect is a lot like my acrylics from the 70s, transparent layers that created neutrals achieved unconsciously.
This is one of the most painted light houses in Maine. A search will find hundreds of variations of the iconic structure. I think my painting is a little unique in that I focus on the two windows. One has the last light pouring in the other reflecting the darkening sky.. I love looking trough windows in my paintings.
It seems that nothing is getting finished lately. This is a painting from lif that I have worked on for the past 2 weeks. I did do a little work on the background in the studio this week to allow more effect use of model time. There are some figure adjustments to be made and background details. So far probably about seven hours into this. I like painting from life. I like figure painting from life. Its a puzzle with feeling. A good model can create feeling and story through simple gesture. This is Catherine and she is a great model. Every week I paint with several other artists for about 3 hours on a long pose. A pose lasts about 2.25 hours over the the three hours allowing for breaks. We have one more session with this pose. I can't wait. Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks. I learn something new every week.
As an illustrator and painter I have always worked in the studio from imagination or reference. I'm learning to paint from life. In a recent paint out experience i made a little painting in the late afternoon. I chased the light that was changing almost constantly. In discussing this with my painting partners, both very accomplished life painter, said that painting from life with changing light allows you to more experience the feeling of the painting.
I have never been a big landscape guy. I love landscapes. They've just always seemed so complicated. All those damn trees. How do you paint those damn trees. Recently a friend of mine convinced me to join her in a workshop with landscape artist Peter Fiore. It was an renewing experience. There was a lot of information passed around. Much extremely useful. But non more than the statement 'You are painting the light.' I have heard this many times since art school. Many of the my photographers friends talked about it. Painters told me that they owned their success to the moment that they discovered light. I accepted all of this as gospel and continued with my humorous illustration. Line and wash drawings where tone and value were at play but not necessarily light.
For years my painting were representations of accidental light. Random. Good luck. Bad luck. My encounters with light were totally accidental without the understanding that I was in control of my light. Not in the sense that I could move the sun about in the sky. But I could be in the right place at the right time by design.
At the same time I was preparing for Peters workshop there were a couple of news bits floating around about apps to help photographers 'chase the light'. One is an add on to an APP called The Photographers Ephemeris or TPE. Which offers as an optional 'add in' called Skyfire. These tools are supposed to help with finding light events related to sunrise, sunset, weather conditions and track the path of the sun. After the workshop I bought the TPE app and SkyFire add in. Heres some resulting work based of chase light based on information vs luck.
This was in the morning, not dawn but early light. I was bight enough to casta shadow but defuse. A very hilly river valley.
This is the first successful attempt at achieving light. When I say successful I mean that I understand the value structure. I may not have expressed it right but now I'm understanding it.
Needless to say that this 'new' awareness is helping with other challenging lighting situations.
Another result of chasing light with previous warning
Last of this season smalls... I think. This is painted with a new paint from Mark Carder. Geneva Paints. I enjoy these little things. So small that its hard to detail and show volume. It has been a great exercise. I'll get back to them soon enough but I have some largish painting that I've been itching to do for a while. I'm going to get back into watercolors and starting a Outdoor Painting group for the spring.
The 94417 is the code used for these Read Pears at checkout. This is another in my take on 'kitchen art'. Quick sketchy. This was paint from life and to about 4 hours including set-up, prep and paint. Someone has suggested that these two fruits are having a conversation. I wonder what they're talking about.
Before this pear went into a salad I had to give it a painting. I like pears because they come in so many varieties, colors and shapes. The fit right into my idea of 'kitchen art'.
I can't seem to stop this kitchen art thing. This little squash came out of our garden this year. All lumpy and bumpy. This is still officially a work in progress. I'll wait a few days before I call it finished. The old box it's sitting on has become my favorite platform. This single overhead light set up is really revealing in it's simplicity.
I've started a series of 'Wild Apples' paintings. The one is almost done just waiting for a little glazing. The idea came from Yanni's giving me a few of his tiny unmanaged Macintosh apples. I was intrigued with the little mis-shapen things. I decided to eat one ,after much carving found it was great. I looked at them and saw another piece of 'Kitchen Art'. Then I realized the there were hundred of apple trees within just a few miles of my house. I've run around and gathered and was giving a bunch of untamed apples. Northern Spy, Macintosh, Cortland, Green Delicious and a couple of undetermined fruit. I am in the process of photographing all of them, I can't possibly paint them all while they are still fresh, for a series of paintings on panel. 6 x 6, 6 x 8, 8 x 8 and 8 x 10s. Maybe even a few watercolors.
Many of the prices on my recent oil and acrylic paintings are being lowered by 1/2 or more. It's time to make room for more and different pieces. Many of the changes are done and by Friday all will be online listed under Available paintings. Four new paintings will be added into the pile. I hope this moves you to consider purchasing one. If the price still seems too high make an reasonable offer.
This and several others will be listed soon. They are being varnished and will be ready to ship next week.