Monday, April 28

Sometimes Painting = Frustration

Sailing Away
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
11 x 14 in/27.9 x 35.6 cm
Copyright 2014
Today's image is one of my recent paintings, fresh off the easel just last Saturday. I suppose the warmer weather here in Texas has me thinking of summer, so I sifted through a lot of my digital photos until I found one that fit my mood, and painted it.

I like the high horizon line and the somewhat complementary colors of the green-ish water against the warm orange-ish glow of the late afternoon sun on the hills.

Just so you know, I did it over several times trying to paint the illusion of distance in the water correctly, and it can get frustrating. But understanding that sometimes frustration goes with painting helps. I think I read even Monet had those moments--not comparing myself to Monet, of course, just the frustration.

Anyway, I hope you like it. If anyone is interested in it, email me.

Monday, April 21

Keep on Painting

The Summer House
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
8 x 10 in/20.3 x 25.4 cm
Copyright 2014
The simple message in today's blog is to remind yourself to keep on painting no matter what. Paint through the good times and bad, through the successes and failures.

When your head tells you to quit but your heart won't allow it--keep on painting.

When you're ready to throw your painting(s) in the proverbial trash bin, don't do it--keep on painting.

When you've run out of things to paint and your creativity has left the building, just take a walk, and when you get back--keep on painting.

Like getting back up on that horse after you've been thrown, you must get out your paints and keep on painting.

Otherwise, like so many things in life, you will regret it in the morning.

Monday, April 14

Deciding on a Color Palette

A City by the River
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
12 x 12 in/30.5 x 30.5 cm
Copyright 2014
One of the things I have both enjoyed and struggled with in my painting life is finding a color palette that suits me. Evidently this causes angst for others as well from all the blogs and articles you read online. Everyone seems interested to know which painter uses which colors and how that works or not and how many colors should you use, etc.

It's enjoyable, in a way, in that it's a continuous learning process on color theory and you get to try it out with each painting. The struggle is that it can get confusing and, if you're like me, you tend to switch it up too often as you run across painters you admire and want to paint like.

I admit I don't spend too much time worrying about if I have too few or too many colors or if I should use both a warm and cool of each primary, or whether split complementary colors is the way to go or whatever.

Anyway, for the moment--this week!-- here is my palette for both acrylic and oil (water-mixable):

Titanium White

Cad Red Light

Primary Red

Cad Yellow Light

Lemon Yellow

Yellow Ochre

Ultramarine Blue

Pthalo Blue (green shade)

I basically try out a palette and if I like the way it looks on a finished painting, then I'm happy (or pretty happy).

Monday, April 7

To Paint or Not to Paint Photo-Realism?

Southern Coast
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
16 x 20 in/40.6 x 50.8 cm
Copyright 2014
You would never know it by looking at today's image, but I was NOT trying to paint it photo-realistically. No way around it--it looks like a photograph or pretty much like a photograph.

That is not how I wanted to paint it. Yes, I was using a reference photo, but to repeat, that is not how I wanted to paint it.

Many people like (or love) photo-realism. If the painting doesn't look like a photo, then they don't like it.

Many people don't like photo-realism either very much or at all. I am one of those who doesn't like it very much. I think it has its place and is naturally convincing--if done well, how could it not be? Certain motifs lend themselves to photo-realism, such as architecture, in my opinion.

I, however, would much rather be painting more loosely, more openly, more impressionistically. I have been working and working on doing that. And then I painted today's image, and even though I could see it happening (before my very eyes), I just couldn't seem to stop it.

I believe it's because for several years I did nothing but paint almost exactly what was in my reference photos. That's the problem with painting from reference photos--you rely too much on the camera and not enough on your artistic and painting ability.

Others may love it, but I am trying not to paint photo-realistically. However I may just enter it in the annual National Society of Painters in Casein & Acrylic show.