Saturday, May 30, 2009
Learn to draw. Learning facility with drawing materials is the fundamental skill in painting, regardless of whether you want to do realistic or impressionistic or abstract painting - take a look at Picasso's magnificent early drawings. By learning to manipulate the fundamentals of form - line, edges, and values - in gray scale, without having to deal with color, makes the whole process of learning to draw not easy, but a bit easier.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
More animal drawings, paintings, and photographs. And poetry, another "natural" form of expression for me, but one I've never developed.
Picture credit: "New Zealand Hill Climber"
Click here to learn more about this cow photograph
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Oh, yes! I'm impatient by nature, so I tend to tackle a painting without doing a detailed underdrawing or underpainting. Often a fast simple sketch on the canvas is sufficient, but sometimes I get part of the way through a painting and find I need to change the composition or make other corrections. Fortunately oil paint is a rather forgiving medium so it's generally possible to scrape off mistakes, but it would be much better to start with an accurate foundation so as not to waste time and effort. And, yes, sometimes I've abandoned a painting entirely because I can't make it work.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Recently I decided to take photography more seriously as an art form in itself rather than just as an aide memoire for places I've visited or as reference material for my paintings. I love taking photographs of birds, especially the larger wetlands birds such as egrets and herons, but am looking forward to photographing many different subjects. Another exciting canvas is our garden, which my husband I have been rescuing from years of neglect by previous owners. After 8 years of organic attention, it's finally providing more pleasure than exhaustion, although there's still plenty of work yet to do, but it's worth it to be able to eat fresh tomatoes and apples and enjoy cut flowers out of our own garden.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
I've completed a 3' x 4' painting in 4 days while some 16" x 20" paintings have taken a month or more, so there is no "average" time. The length of time it takes depends a lot on the complexity of the subject, how well I'm focusing on the process, what else is going on in my life, and, sometimes, a lot of luck in having fallen in love with a subject that just has all the right elements in it that make a good painting.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
The subject seems to choose me...that is, something about the subject strikes a chord in my heart and I simply have to express what I feel through painting.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Well, I'm not so sure I have a consistent technique. It seems I never approach two paintings in a row in exactly the same way. I've learned a lot by taking classes and workshops in university and art school settings and by studying books about art. The single most important influence, however, was a six-week stint with Charles Cecil at his academy in Florence, Italy, where he teaches classical techniques of drawing and painting. He taught me the sight-size method of working - positioning the drawing surface such that the image observed is the same size as the drawn image - and that helped me solve some major problems I'd had with my drawing. All that aside, it's the innumerable hours at the easel that have taught me the most.
Picture credit: "We Three Sheep", oil on canvas
Click here to go to Cow Art and More to learn more about this sheep painting
Monday, May 18, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
The website provides digital images, biographical documentation, book references, auction data, and the opportunity to engage in open forum dialogue about artists. In 2007 AskART expanded to include auction data, images where available on artists worldwide. The content features painters, sculptors, and illustrators ranging from our early artists to modern urban expressionists.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Life! Something I see - usually animals or people - grabs me emotionally and creates the urge to capture and express that emotion in a painting.
Picture credit: "Oshosh", charcoal on paper
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
My paintings are realistic/representational, done in oil paints, often mixed with Winsor & Newton Liquin, which dries overnight, facilitating reworking. I have a poor visual memory, I love detail, and I love to portray an "instant in time" so my paintings are based on photos I've taken. For most of my career I used a non-electric slide viewer to look at slides of the subject as I painted, but I've now entered the digital age and view images on a laptop computer set up near my canvas. Although I rely on photographs as the basis of my paintings, I freely move subjects around and combine images from multiple photographs. In one large triptych of horses, I combined images from more than 2 dozen slides.
Picture credit: "Team Plus One", oil on canvas Click here to learn more about this horse oil painting
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Picture credit: "Heads or Tails", watercolor on paper
Click here to go to Cow Art and More to learn more about this cow watercolor painting
Saturday, May 9, 2009
I drew a lot as a kid and my mother, who I suspect wanted to be an artist, encouraged and supported me as best she could, even somehow finding the money for some art lessons when I was in high school in the late 1950's. Unfortunately the teacher wanted to teach abstract painting and I wanted to learn realistic painting, so that experience was somewhat disappointing. Later, when I was an art major in a small college, someone told me I couldn't be "a real artist" and focus on equine art. So I showed them...I quit art and became a veterinarian instead! But the art muse wouldn't leave me alone so nearly two decades later I turned back to art.
Photo credit: "One Horsepower"
Friday, May 8, 2009
Cow parade has been one of most widely viewed art exhibition worldwide by an estimated 100 million people. The exhibits have also managed to raise 20 million dollars for charity. To borrow these words directly from their website, "The cow is a universally beloved animal. The cow represents different things to different people around the world-she's sacred, she's historical, she connects us to our past-but the common feeling is one of affection. There is something magical about the cow that transcends throughout the world. She simply makes everyone smile." The website has a slide show of the all the cows that have been on parade and answers to their most frequently asked questions.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Each of us has some form of creative energy that longs for expression. My emotional responses to life are varied, but when it comes to outwardly expressing my response to something I've experienced, creating a realistic image, through painting or photography, seems most natural.
Picture credit: "Greys", oil on canvas
Click here to learn more about this horse painting
Monday, May 4, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Picture credit: "Curious Creatures, Cows!"
Click here to lean more about this cow oil painting