Thursday, December 27, 2018

30 Paintings in 30 Days, Part 1

Last year about this time I painted several small landscape studies because I wanted to experiment with color, composition, and mood. After making a painting a day for almost a week I decided to challenge myself and create 30 paintings in 30 days. It was a success though exhausting, but I feel it made me a better painter.

Most of the paintings were tonalist, a style which I had been interested in since Summer 2016. The 30 day challenge allowed me to explore tonalism and I enjoyed creating mood and atmosphere in my landscapes. In addition to tonalism I was inspired by Corot whose Barbizon landscapes inspired the later American tonalists.

The landscapes were also inspired by growing up in rural Prince George, Virginia. For the past couple of years I had wanted to paint landscapes inspired by the place I grew up. I created a few paintings, but they were in turn inspired by 18th Century Colonial Virginia. This series of paintings focused on my connection to rural Virginia and the beauty of the countryside depicted in the tonalist style.

Here is the first ten of 30 paintings in the order in which they were painted along with some commentary on each piece.

 6 x 8, Oil on ACM Panel
The first of the 30 paintings, inspired by the farm of a family friend in Prince George, Virginia. I used to metal detect on her land in search of relics from the Colonial period through the early 1800's. Often I'd stay til twilight hoping my metal detector would find something long lost and forgotten. 

6 x 6, Oil on Masonite Panel
This one was inspired by the James River Plantations in Charles City County, looking west across the James river at sunset.

5 x 7, Oil on Masonite panel
Sunrise when the fields are covered in morning dew. 

5 x 7, Oil on Masonite Panel, Private Collection
Summer Sunset in Prince George County.

6 x 8, Oil on ACM Panel
In the past decade parts of Prince George County have seen the development of land cleared for new houses and subdivisions, especially with the expansion and growth of Fort Lee. This painting was inspired by rugged tracts of land that had been cleared of the forests. 

5 x 7, Oil on Masonite Panel
I was inspired by the oppressive humidity of a hot Virginia Summer. I miss Virginia, but not the heat and humidity. 

6 x 8, oil on ACM Panel
Originally was a winter landscape-no snow, but reworked with asphaltum glazes last June.

5 x 7, Oil on Masonite Panel
Sunset during a Virginia Summer.

6 x 6, Oil on Masonite Panel
This one was not a Virginia inspired painting. I wanted to try something with a pond.

5 x 7, Oil on Masonite Panel
This little painting is among my favorites. I love putting people (and sometimes their dogs) into my landscapes. It speaks to the human experience with nature and the moments in which we find peace or behold the evening light in awe. 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Still Life Paintings 2018

I haven't posted to my blog since earlier this year but I plan to post more regularly! There's so much I want to share regarding plein air adventures, books, technique, materials, and the art I love.

2018 has kept me busy painting landscapes, portrait studies, and still lifes. Recently I counted all of the paintings I made since January 1 and it's over 100! This is the most I've ever painted in one year. Since February I had painted a number of still lifes. Here are some of the paintings along with one from 2016. All of these were painted from life using props from my collection.  I posted them in chronological order from oldest to recent. Some paintings are still available through Eggleston Goetze Art Advisory

Song Dynasty Cash Coins and Vermillion Pigment, Oil on Masonite Panel, 6 x 6

Crayfish and Berkemeyer Glass, Oil on Masonite Panel, 8 x 10

Pomegranates and Berkemeyer Glass, Oil on Masonite Panel, 8 x 10, Private Collection

Doughnut and Anole Lizard, Oil on Masonite Panel, 5 x 7, Private Collection

Doughnut and Rhino Beetle, Oil on Masonite Panel, 5 x 7

Blood Orange and Roemer Glass, Oil on Masonite Panel, 9 x 12 

Shirley Temple Cupcake, Oil on Masonite Panel, 5 x 7, Private Collection

Crayfish, Oil on Masonite Panel, 5 x 7

Oysters and Roemer Glass, Oil on Masonite Panel, 11 x 14, Private Collection

Florida Fighting Conch and Striped Fox Shell, Oil on Masonite Panel, 6 x 9

Seashells, Oil on Masonite Panel, 6 x 9

Still Life with Horseshoe Crab, Crayfish, Berkemeyer Glass, and Vole Shell, 
Oil on Masonite Panel, 11 x 14

Lemon with Small Roemer Glass, Oil on Masonite Panel, 12 x 9

Pomegranates and Anole Lizard, Oil on Masonite Panel, 10 x 8

Pomegranates, Small Berkemeyer Glass, and Anole Lizard, Oil on Masonite Panel, 12 x 16

Friday, February 9, 2018

Discovery Park- Plein Air to Studio Painting

I recently completed a studio landscape of a view in Discovery Park, Seattle, WA. This post shows my painting process and how I used various plein air studies to create the larger painting.

September Sunset, Discovery Park, Oil on ACM Panel, 12 x 20, 2018

Last September 10, 2017, I painted at a spot in Discovery Park I had never painted from before. I noticed that the tall grass had been cut in one area surrounded by hedges and I decided to check it out. I really liked the view of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains framed by the trees to the left and right. I decided to set up on a little slope among blackberry bushes.

This is how the view looked at 5:50 PM as I was setting up my pochade box. I immediately got to work sketching out the composition on a 8 x 10 panel.

An experienced plein air painter knows how the light can rapidly change this time of day. At 6:20 PM the light and shadows were looking nice.

This is what I had at that point- composition worked out, shadows established, and washes of local color started. At this point I waited a bit until the light got even better. That's what I often do when I'm painting this time of day. Earlier in the session I have my composition worked out, basic forms painted, then wait for the brief moment when the light is beautiful.

Often as I'm painting in public places it's interesting to hear the conversations people have as they pass by. Some of them are hilarious. On this afternoon I heard a boy who must have been 5 or 6 say to his mother, "So you're telling me that sharks don't live in water?!" His mother was equally irritated as her son replied," That's not what I said! I said that sharks are not living in water here at the park!"

At 7:44 PM this is how my session ended. I had enough information to take back to the studio and work with.

Discovery Park Sunset Study, plein air painting completed in the studio from memory, oil on masonite panel, 8 x 10, 2017

A few days later on September 16 I completed refining the plein air study in the studio, working from memory and my imagination. The painting is mainly about the light I observed and I moved a few bushes changed the forms of the trees a bit.

I liked my plein air study and I wanted to turn it into a larger studio painting. Using a 12 x 20 ACM panel I wanted to make the composition wider. I began this last November, blocking in an underpainting. It sat untouched for a few months because I was occupied by other projects.
The underpainting

I decided to continue working on the painting on January 19. Using James Groves Copal Gelling medium I started the over painting. I changed up the composition moving trees and eliminating bushes. 

As you can see I changed the shape of the trees to the left and right. I also began painting figures into the composition. 

On January 26 I completed the painting. Comparing the light in my plein air study to the studio painting you can see I went for a golden yellow/ orange glow. The light at Discovery Park is beautiful when it looks like that and that's what I wanted to capture in my painting.

I posted the painting on Instagram and one of my followers told me, "You did a great job capturing the beauty of this park. This is where me and my husband had our first date almost 12 years ago. Thank you for sharing!"

That's what my landscape paintings celebrate- the beauty and our connection to these places we love.