Sunday, December 30, 2012

Revisiting Old Paintings

Since it's been chilly outside and I don't much like painting when it's cold and drab, I decided to work on some older paintings that needed some attention or just needed some editing. One painting that I did a while back was of the Mark Twain estate in West Hartford. It is an interesting building, set up high on a hill. The painting was scratched from mishandling on my part, so I decided to fix it and try to renew it. I sprayed it with retouch varnish and it now looks very fresh. I feel pretty good about it now, so I will probably put it out for a showing this year.

Another painting that I decided needed some work was one of a horse stable, Carriage Farm. I felt the hills were too blurry and I didn't like the pine tree on the right side of the canvas, so I removed it. I hated the clouds, they didn't add anything so I removed them. Don Demers said that you shouldn't put clouds in if they don't add anything, and I now look at my landscapes differently. Sometimes clouds can add to the atmosphere, but sometimes they just detract from the scene. I textured the sky with color and it's much brighter now, but it doesn't take away from the subject. I also worked more on the trees behind the building and the fields. I'm much happier with the outcome.

I think that if you are not happy with a painting, you should consider reworking it. I don't like to give up on paintings, though there are those that just are not worth the trouble.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

My Favorite Bowls

"My Favorite Bowls," 20" x 32", Oil on Canvas.
I have an affinity for bright, crockery bowls, either old or new. I love interesting designs and shapes, and I love the weight of them. I also love the bright and subtle colors. I have a number of them now, and decided that a nice still life of bowls would be fun to do.I pulled out this table cloth, an old-fashioned floral design that was bright and cheery and incorporated some of the colors of the bowls.
I chose a large canvas for this one because I wanted the bowls to really stand out and show off their beauty.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bench Painting Holds a Special Meaning

I was out in Wallingford one day painting a scene at the corner of Center Street and Main Street of Moran’s The Dressing Room and other shops along the street, when a young mother came by and admired my work. She asked for a card, which I provided, and she went on her way. I give out cards a lot and I enjoy talking with passers by. I forgot about it until a few weeks later when she called me up and reminded me of our acquaintance. She had thought about my art, visited my Website, and liked it. With Christmas coming up, she thought that a unique gift that she could give to her husband would be a painting- but not just any painting. The subject was a special one. She told me the story of how her and her husband used to meet during her high school days at the Wallingford Country Club, which was a halfway point between both her and his houses. Later on, they went their separate ways, she married another man, had a family, subsequently divorced, and then reconnected with her high school sweetheart. This time the relationship stuck. She fondly recalled that he proposed to her at the bench where they used to meet all those years ago. This was what she wanted me to paint. It was a totally romantic gesture and it will make a unique and personal gift. The young lady met me at the Wallingford Golf Course and we scoped out the bench.

Meanwhile, the head groundskeeper came by to check us out. Alas, I was not allowed to set up on the course to paint, but I could come back and take photos of the bench and the surrounding area. I returned when the fall colors were bright and colorful, took several photos and sent them to the young lady. She wrote back, apologizing that the bench that she had pointed out was not the correct one, but rather another bench further down that we had first looked at. This information was revealed to her when her husband pointed out to their child the exact bench where he proposed to his wife while driving by the golf course. A close call, just in the nick of time!

I returned to the golf course and photographed the correct bench, got go ahead approval, and proceeded to paint a large, gallery-wrapped painting of the scene with some autumn color.

I recently delivered the finished painting and I believe that the young lady was very pleased with the results. I thought that it was a great idea for a very unique and personal gift for someone special.