Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Still Life Class with Jack Keledjian

On Saturday, October 18, I drove up to Putney, Vermont to take another class with Jack Kelejian. We painted a still life of apples and a white dish. There were seven other students, most of them regular followers of Jack’s. It was a chilly fall day, so we all elected to stay inside to paint.
I decided to watch Jack paint for a while instead of painting along with him. It was interesting to watch his approach, which was to put down a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Transparent Oxide Red with a large brush, in a criss-cross motion. Then, he wiped out the area for the white dish and the apples. He laid down color in solid long strokes, keeping the warm tones in the shadows and putting some juicy reds in the apples. I will continue to work on this, as my leaves need some work and maybe some more items to add to the composition. It seems empty right now. Still, I’m pleased with the progress on this painting so far.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Emil's Bench

Recently, I made a weekend trip to Maine with two friends to visit Marge, another friend, and her husband. We stayed at Marge’s sister-in-law’s house for the weekend while she and her husband were away on a month-long meander through France (How lucky for them!). The house is a four-year-old, upscale two-level colonial, with tenderly cared for gardens and flowing paths, that backs up to Penobscot Bay on the east. The view from the back of the house, which is lined with large picture windows overlooking the bay, was breathtaking, especially in the morning when the sun slowly shows its face above the horizon. Marge drove us early the first day to a few local sights where she thought that I might find some good places to paint. One place was a campground, with a long winding road to a very high vantage point that overlooked Camden Harbor. Later that day, my friends and I went back there and I set up my easel. I painted the busy harbor with its many boats and the view of the bay while my friends read their books and relaxed. The fall colors were just starting to infuse the scenery, so the painting is splashed with shades of red, yellow, orange, and green and lined from above with the sea-blue ocean and bay. With the crisp fall air, it was a wonderful day to paint.

While up in Maine, Marge asked if I could paint a painting of a hand-hewn wood bench that her husband Emil’s father made many years ago. It is now in his sister’s possession sitting amongst the flowers, trees, and young bushes in her side garden. With my camera, I took several photos of the bench from different angles. One photo included a red wooden bird house, which I thought looked great with the bench. I used this photo as a reference and created a cozy, mini painting of the scene. The leaves were starting to change colors, so there were some light oranges and yellows, plus a strong beam of light on the bench that became the focus of the composition.

Emil's Bench, Oil on canvas over board, 6"x8"