Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Suits Heading Home, King St. Toronto Ontario

8" x 10"
Oil on board
The pedestrian rush hour in Toronto as everyone heads for the subway or Go train after work. when doing this painting, I tried to break it down into simple elements. The painting in the previous post needs some simplifying. As I mentioned in Janelle Goodwin's blog, I try to do a preliminary thumbnail sketch, dividing the scene into three values and then maintain the values when painting. I often get lost in the details. And then I must remind myself to "keep it simple".

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Crossing Dundas Street, Toronto Ontario

17" x 16"
Oil on Foam Board
I am becoming a storm chaser. When the forecast called for lots of rain, I packed up my camera and rain gear and headed for Toronto. I love Toronto. So much activity, so many people, and just a wonderful city. Its only 50 miles away, so I should go more often.

Monday, June 15, 2009

"Wilson and James" #2

16 x 20
Oil on Foam Board
The second attempt at this subject. The composition is a bit awkward. It may need a bit more work, so maybe I'll go back to it later.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Another Rainy Day in the Hammer"

16 x 20
Oil on Stuff
I wonder if studio painting makes us treat every painting as a potential "masterpiece" rather than as a spontaneous rendering of a subject as is done "plein air". Do we overwork them, lose the sense of the scene? As I often mention, changing to a looser more atmospheric style is my goal. I would like to use bolder more energetic brush strokes, some thicker paint and maintain the sense of time and place. But old habits die hard. I have a solution. After doing a bathroom renovation, we were left with some stiff foam shower material. I have been eyeing it as a potential painting surface. It is light, durable and waterproof and can be cut with an exacto knife. It is cheap, so I can paint larger without worry of wasting canvas. A perfect surface for doing an oil "sketch". It can't be sold, so I won't be focused on sales or "masterpieces". Just for practise, experimentation or anything else I want to do with it. It has a subtle texture, but a couple of coats of Gesso should help. This is my first "oil sketch" on the foam board.
As an example of what I don't want to keep doing is "Lighthouse Fish Market". I loved the quircky signage, and the boxes of fruits and vegetables etc, but I got too laboured in my approach, got out the pointy brushes, and went against all my goals.

8" x 8"
Oil on Gesso Board

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"Saturday shopping 2"

11" x 14"
Oil on Canvas
Sometimes I look at a painting(posting May 29) and wonder how I could have thought it was finished. Especially if I leave it near the easel. I think, what the heck was I doing? How could I have thought this was done or in any way an adequate painting? Many times when I leave a painting, thinking its done, its out of fear. Fear of messing it up, fear of painting a certain subject, fear of failure. The tree in the picture was mostly branches and not much foliage yet, so I decided to leave it out rather than paint it. I guess a combination of lack of experience painting trees, and fear. The painting needed the tree. So, I put it in. A nice green one. I think it works better. Any comments would be appreciated, positive or negative. Sometimes others see what we can't.
I hear often that artists want to paint looser, more spontaneous. This is where the smaller canvases come into play. I am much more free with the paint on the 6 X 6 size than the larger ones. I am hoping to be able to transfer this freedom to a larger picture. I have to repeat this again...its that fear that gets in the way.