Monday, January 28, 2008

Small Paintings and Value Study

I’ve noticed that a lot of artists do small paintings and sell them either on eBay or their blogs. I’ve sold a few small paintings at the store in Milford, CT. I’m going to work on more of those and see what happens.

The small paintings are a lot of fun to do, and since they are small, I don’t labor over them as much. They are a great way to practice value studies too. I’ve found that my weakness is getting the values in my paintings just right. It’s really hard to wrap my mind around this concept. It’s in all of the art books and every teacher I’ve ever had emphasizes it, but it’s not easy to translate it on the canvas. Watching Richard Schmid, I noticed that he starts at his center of interest and works outward, but he doesn’t rework a stroke. He puts one down, leaves it, and works on one next to it. This is how he compares his values. It seems that if you go from one stroke to the next one over, you can tell better if your values are off. I can see how that might be true. Richard works with such certainty. It’s a confidence that is born from years of experience, I figure. I am trying to do this, but it’s really difficult. That’s way starting with something small works best for me.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Notes on Art Marketing

I’ve been thinking seriously lately about how to market myself judiciously as an artist. With the economy sinking and near recession, it just doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on a canopy and outdoor festival fees. Plus, it would really eat into my time for creating art. I’ve kind of gone back and forth on this in my mind. I need to get my work out in the public, but how do I do it without running all over the place, wasting time, and without spending a lot of money?

And what about entering my work into area society shows? Is it worth it to do that, or should I just stay away for a while and concentrate on working on my art? I just don’t know.

I’m hoping that having a blog will help bring viewers to my Website . I’m also trying out some online galleries, like Boundless Gallery . I’ve been reading in Art Calendar about how so many artists are using the Internet to display their art and to attract viewers to their sites. Does this work really, or does it really depend on the artwork? How do I find my audience?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Landscapes in Oils at Boutique in Milford, CT


I've got some of my work at a wonderful boutique and gift shop in Milford, CT. It's called Something of Bev's. Bev is a wonderful warm person, and she is the best person to work with. This painting, Duck Sitting on Falls, is featured at her store.

Albert Handell Workshop, Day One

Day one was spent with a morning lecture about pastels and color theory. It included demonstrations on how to divide up a pastel box into six different values of colors, from light to dark. I had never seen a pastel demonstration before, so I didn’t know what to expect. It was definitely an eye-opener.

Albert works on Kitty Wallis paper, on 12 x 18 size paper. Anita uses panels. Panels do not let light shine through when painting outdoors.

Anita mentioned that you can keep pastels clean by shaking them up with cornmeal and drain the meal off in a colander.

To figure out if the values are the same, you would put two colors up against one another and look for an edge. If there is no edge, it means that they are in the same value group. If they are the same value, you can use them together and you will not get muddy color. But, you must keep to the same value. Albert started with the darks and then lay in the lights. He said to be aware of the temperature. A good varied temperature includes 2-3 darks, 2-3 midtones, and 2-3 lights.

Albert also spoke about the direction of the sun and how it looks on paper. A flat look is one where the sun is behind the object, a rimmed look is where the sun shines on the front of the object, and the half view is when the sun is shining across from one side. For the half view, you must quickly do the patterns of shadow before they change. It is important to capture proportion and placement.

Another thing to consider is lost and found edges and space. Things that are behind a subject get softened.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Scenes from New England


I love to paint scenery in my native countryside. I am lucky to have friends who have homes in Cape Cod, Old Saybrook, Ct, New York State, and in the Boston area who have offered their homes as weekend retreats so that I could set up and paint.

This painting of a friend's cabin in upstate New York is an example of my attempts at plein air painting.