Sunday, March 29, 2009
Another week with only one daily painting and one monster painting... this one. However, I am going to Savannah with a group of students and I hope to get a couple of plein air marsh paintings done!
This sign was a must for me. Sprayberry's is an important part of my past was well as most other Newnanites. It is the place we go when we have out of town company, when Dad and I discuss work, when I need lunch for school, after all funerals, after some weddings and everytime we get a craving for great bar-b-que. Their bar-b-que is amazing, but their hamburgers are among the best I have ever had, strawberry cobbler is drool worthy, onion rings, milk shakes, even a pinapple sandwhich... amazing. Needless to say, Sprayberry's in an institution. Dad also was responsible for the logo. So many connections to this place...
Thursday, March 26, 2009
It has become harder and harder to paint everyday. School is sucking the life out of me and I am worn out by the time I get home! I hope to steal some painting time just a couple of days a week instead of daily, and of course I have the weekends!
Last night I split this grapefruit and had it. I love the colors of grapefruit, this one was especially re. The strangest thing happened while I was painting... I would keep smelling grapefruit and say to my self, "this painting looks so good, I can smell grapefruit!" Of course I could, it was sitting right in front of my face! The sad thing is, this happened more than once while I was painting it.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Sunday's are sacred to me... and that usually involves a NASCAR race and/ or Formula 1. I also try to balance a painting in there as well. Today, I decided since I was going to be chained to the indoors watching the Bristol race, why not tackle a big one! And I did, and it wore me out... and so did the race. I should really consider sitting down, but I enjoy the energy you can put into a pianting while standing. I actually drew the painting out weeks ago and a started putting paint on it yesterday intending to complete it. However, the pull to paint outdoors was greater. I know now that my techinque only works when painting directly, or alla prime... no 2 day paintings for me... Anyhow, I love this painting and even though it wore me out, it was worth it.
What a greta day today! I got an early start today and accomplihed a great deal. I completed 3 pieces, but started 4. I hope to finish a 30"x40" painting of the infamous "Sorry Charlie" sign from Savannah.
I started the day painting a version of my logo for the Cotton Pickin' Fair. It will sit on an easel in front of my tent and hopefully bring people in. I am a huge fan of graphic design and a firm believer in branding. This logo/signature i use is a culmination of hundreds of hours of doodling and years of trial and error. It is too complex for the smaller pieces, but perfect for the larger ones. It appears on my letterhead, business card, website and every painting. Influences are many, from Albrecht Durer to Chinese caligraphy to Francoise Gilot.
After painting the logo, the leftover paint was the perfect palette I was searching for yesterday when I painted the other stand of pines piece, so I used the leftover to paint for this smaller version, a 6"x6". It is a small beauty. One of my favorites. As of now, the greens in this series greatly out number the color schemes with 5 pieces.
After cleaning some Bass David Pendergrast brought to us, I loaded up the Cruisre and Mo' and headed out on the property. The field painting was frustrating, I think I have painted these 3 cedars anough! But I love them and keep coming back at diferent times of the day or from different angles. This piece really got away from me, and I hated to end the day like that. But it got me to really think about the things that didn't work the way I hoped they would.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
It was such a beautiful day today, after painting in the studio and working on cartoons for a bit, I escaped to the great outdoors. I loaded up the plein aire gear and Mo the dog (short for Modigliani because of his long neck) in the Land Cruiser and headed out. I am not usually a dog person, but this one took up with me after being put out and involved in a dog fight. I nursed him back to health and tried to find the owners, but no luck. He is everything I do like about dogs... quiet, not too hyper and very sweet. Best of all, every time I open the door to the house, he jumps in the Land Cruiser like we are going somewhere, wether we are or not. Sometimes he just sits there in the passenger seat and watches me work in the yard, wondering when the drive will begin.
I drove around Lory and David's property a while before I found a spot not to far from our house where I started... sometimes it is funny like that. The late afternoon sun was just the way I like it. I still need to work on my lighting a bit, sometimes I feel like the pieces are lit from above instead of from the side. Shadows are still a mystery to me, but I think these are passable for now!
Thought I would dust out the cobwebs today with a smaller stand of pines piece. Spring is in the air and I have green on my mind. I love the size of this piece as well as it being on the gallery wrap. The greens and yellows were a little to bright for my taste, but perhaps later today I will do another one in a palette more suited to my tastes. I will have more posts coming from today. I have finished my cartoons and have inspiration and time coming out of my ears.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Recently my mother was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. This was a shock to us all, but at the same time, we all knew what was going on with her was not normal and we knew the prognosis wouldn't be good. However, since her diagnosis, she has been doing so well and is so much better than she has been in a long time, we are grateful to have something to fight!
My mother has touched many lives in her years of teaching and doing cotillion and the outpouring of support and love has been nothing short of amazing. On one of my trips by to see her after school, she had this Mason jar full of daffodils sitting on the breakfast table. They were so simple and beautiful, the perfect symbol of the person she is and the life she has lead, simple beauty and elegance. They were a gift of the Crosby family. Dr. Kay had come by with her daughters Mollie, Ellie and Maggie, for a visit and brought the flowers to her. The visit meant so much to her, and the gift of the flowers was so telling of what great people the Crosby's are and why they are so connected to my mother and my mother to them.
In a moment of unpreparedness, I snapped a picture of the flowers in the window with my Blackberry and attempted to paint them a day or so ago... I wasn't thrilled with the final result, but the are beautiful to me in their abstractedness and what the represent... who knows, I will probably work on it and give it more definition after it is dry. This would be a first for me since I do not revist a piece after completion.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I had fruit on my mind today. After the landscape, I set up this pear and had at it. I had kind of decided that I wasn't going to do solo fruit for a while, but I wanted to paint and knew I could whip this one out on a small canvas and try a new idea I had about using a smaller knife on these smaller pieces. The idea kinda worked and I didn't lose the object to the knife strokes. The resulting piece turned out well.
It has been over a week since I have painted, but I did paint large last Sunday and prepped for the Rite of Passage show in Union Point. Jules and I took 4 paintings to them on Saturday... Vacation Hotel, From the Floor, Williams Seafood and Last Harvest. They kept them all, so I hope they all make it an the walls for the show. So, today was the first day in over a week I have been able to it!
I was bringing a load of wood up from the barn in the rain the other day and looked out over the field and saw little patches of purple flowers. They are tiny, you can really only see them from a distance because when you are standing right on top of the patches, they are separated from each other by 7 or 8 inches, from a distance they meld into one. It was cold and rainy and still no leaves, but there are small signs of spring everywhere.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I bought this beauty and a green one to go with it. The green one made it as far as dinner, and I wish I had painted them together. I like the way this one came out, but I am getting a bit tired of the one object studies, however. I especially liked the way the green and orange worked together. Oh well, to bad for me. The green pepper was delish... and the orange one will be soon.
I did a demo for Fayette Society of Fine Artists on Monday night. It was the first demo I have done outside of my class room and also the first in oil. I had a blast. They were a great group and were very receptive to the abstract nature of the Stand of Pines series. At times I work with the painting upside down and push the paint around with a palette knife. They asked great questions and were very patient with me. Finishing a piece this size in under an hour was a challenge, however, the lose nature of the finished piece is great.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
This is the first painting I have done since Wednesday! I have been going crazy to paint, but I have had a very difficult time balancing my usual hermit ways with my new social life with Julies back in town. I have no need or desire for socializing anymore, but she isn't a freak like me! I draw my cartoons on the weekend, which have a deadline, so they take precedence on the weekends. It makes it difficult to paint on the weekends when I am not recovering from a day of teaching high schoolers. I am going to have to try much harder to carve out that time during the week. This piece is a monster, hopefully it will make up for the time lost. To date, it is the largest oil piece I have done, measuring 30"x40". This one is based on a picture I took almost 3 years ago. The idea to finish it came to me when I was trying to think of something to do for an upcoming group show called Rites of Passage. I hope it is dry enough to take to the gallery on Saturday! I did this piece in one day, maybe 5 hours, and it was a long 5 hours. I hated it every step of the way. I am very pleased with the outcome, however!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I dove into a larger piece today, I had more time to paint that usual. I also went back to some old photos I had taken of a rusty , old dump truck in Washington, GA. I got a ton of great photos of it, it is rust perfection. I wasn't real happy with the outcome, I can't quite put my finger on it. I wasn't very pleased with the cast shadow on the ground, so I re worked it, which made it tolerable. But there are still other issues. Overall, it works, but I guess they not all can be winners!
Monday, March 2, 2009
I got a snow day today, so I took advantage and dug into a larger piece. I had taken a picture of this sign in Savannah of one of my favorite seafood places. It is no longer there, but the sign is! The restaurant was famous for it's deep fried seafood caught fresh of the Georgia coast. According to rumor, the restaurant was burned for insurance money, what a shame. This piece was very time consuming, it took much longer than anticipated, and since I paint standing up, my back is paying for it!