Thursday, December 20, 2007

Clementine and orange

clementine and orange
12/19. Clementine and orange, oil on linen panel, 7x5 in.

A quick post to get caught up, then back to drawing. (Aren't my titles descriptive?)


I’ve been double tagged! (Does it mean I have to do this twice?) Thanks to Alvin Richard and Jason Waskey for allowing me to reveal some odd facts about myself - some of it previously secret! But first, the rules as I've lifted them: 1) Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog. 2) Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. 3) Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. 4) Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. All right, then:

1) I secretly hate to draw. I have never filled a sketchbook in my life. Which means I seriously need to do it more, like maybe at least as often as I’m painting, especially because I wish I were a fraction as good as my ultimate artistic hero (though I don’t mention him much), Edgar Degas.

2) I used to have this fantasy that I’d one day discover Degas was really my great-great-grandfather/-uncle or something.

3) It will be a long time before I can say that I’ve read most of the books I own. Partly because I read horribly slow and partly because, as I always like to be in the process of reading any book, I used to pick up several others while still in the middle of one, only to get stuck in all of them and giving up on the one I’d set out to read in the first place. I still try to have a book going at all times, except nowadays I can get through it before taking on another, and the number of books read is beginning to grow. Not long ago my wife asked me where I’d been finding the time to read, and the answer is: in the bathroom, a few pages at a time. TMI?? (The comedian Jeff Foxworthy said recently about his newest Redneck Dictionary that it would be less likely to sit on a coffee table than on the back of a toilet. Well, in our home it could easily share the porcelain with something by Kafka, Camus, or Chris Hitchens. Sorry, Chris.)

4) I have a desire, perhaps not secret, to learn to play bagpipes - Scottish first, then maybe the Irish – perhaps as a step towards fulfilling the dream of someday, somehow, starting a pseudo-Renaissance-age/pseudo-Celtic/rock band that incorporates period pipes and a shawm and gittern and flute (and maybe a Japanese shakuhachi) and some violas da gamba and such things. Ok, forget that. Band aside, I know I would have to spend years tooting on a practice chanter before even picking up a full set of pipes and, well, it only makes me have more respect for anyone who even tries - I may be wrong but it seems it would be harder to sort of just "get by" on bagpipes than on other instruments.

5) I’m always secretly on the lookout for multiple shadows in movies - I mean, when it’s obvious that an outdoor scene is really a set. A person in sunlight normally would cast a single shadow, yet once in a while you’ll see maybe four or more faint ones. This is common in TV shows, but I began to notice it a while back in a lot of movies too - older ones, especially Westerns (never mind the absence of bullet holes or blood) - and now I can’t stop looking for them. Check it out for yourself!

Now here are some people I’d like to tag:

Paul Schmid
Connie Kleinjans
Paul Keysar
Allison Sommers
Vince Nguyen


12/17. Orange, oil on linen panel, 4x4 in.

I gave myself the problem of what to do with an orange that is almost perfectly symmetric in shape and lit from above, within a gold on gold theme. And I wanted that reflected light at the bottom to not just glow, but burn.

Red pear

red pear
12/16. Red pear, oil on linen panel, 4x4 in.

I've been working on sketches for an assignment which have been a struggle for some reason (see also #1 in the upcoming "tag" post), so I'm still behind in posting. I skipped painting the other night but managed to do one last night as a break from drawing. But about this piece: I thought the shift to green in this section of the otherwise red pear was interesting.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Clementine #2

clementine #2
12/15. Clementine #2, oil on linen panel, 4x4 in.

I've been using Indian yellow to punch up the yellows and oranges a little. I suppose using cad. red light or cad. orange might get similar results, but the subtler transparence of Indian yellow is much nicer than the overly intense blaze you get from an opaque cadmium. And although you can make a decent orange by combining cads. yellow and red together, they are never intense enough - the reason being that opaque colors only call attention to the amount of paint that's there, while transparency keeps the focus on the hue and the light, at least giving the effect of more intensity (if not actually increasing it). So I've found that by throwing some Indian yellow in the mix I can reduce the use of cadmiums quite a bit, and get a clean color that isn't too hot.

Clementines #2

clementines #2
12/14. Clementines #2, oil on linen panel, 5x5 in.

Sorry for my absence. Our computer got "sick" with pop-ups last week and was moving at a snail's pace, so I didn't go online much except to attempt some last minute shopping (maybe all my personal info being stolen multiple times in the process). But I've been painting, and now that I hope things are normal again I may be able to catch up here.