6/3. Avocado #4, oil on linen panel, 5x7 in. SOLD
I don't have a good studio set-up with sunlight through a window; I had constructed a thing recently sort of like a photographer's macro light box/tent, using a white cloth to soften the light - something I had been thinking about coincidentally about the time I read Paul's comment way back - but I can't say yet how effective it is. Here I shone my lamp through a white trash bag.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
5/19 - 5/22. Strawberries, oil on linen panel, 5x5 in.
These strawberries were still only halfway posted in "draft" limbo, when I saw the other day that my old teacher Jeff had done some as well. I can't say how good it feels to see his paintings online. It really takes me back. Not that he paints the same as I remember - in fact he described his recent Florence-influenced palette to me and it got me thinking differently about my own thinking. With Gary online as well I said it felt like we are walking the same halls again. The Internet is wonderful.
This painting is not illustrative of any new thinking, but rather how I haven't been doing much thinking while painting. I decided to take the in-progress shots of this piece when as soon as I realized I was having trouble with it, and if this is any lesson it shows how one could do things better in the beginning. These sessions were perhaps under a couple of hours each, plenty of time really, but the first night I failed to get the shapes right and I wasn't paying attention to even the basic light and shadow masses of the strawberries. Plus I got too much white/grey in everything.
The next night I tried to do better but still lacked focus - if you're like me, you sometimes do something without being wholly aware along the way, especially when you pre-suppose it to be easy - you can't paint subconsciously and effectively, apparently (at least in my case) not strawberries. The reds were giving me a hard time as always, and I knew everything had to be drawn better and I couldn't get around that. By this time the leaves were changing shape and mold had begun to show in places, which was upsetting because this batch of giant strawberries was probably the sweetest I've ever tasted.
I wanted to abandon the piece but a couple of nights later I went back into it. This time I arrived at a better sense of the form. Things finally were feeling round and I had had enough. I touched up the shadow area a little just before taking the last photo, but managed to somehow seriously mess up the darker red parts. So I was forced to unify the whole shadow area the way I should have in the first place - and it actually looks better, even if the end product is kind of stiff I think.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Well, back to the Illustrators Club show. The gallery that evening was packed and hot and stuffy and I was nervous and sweaty and feeling more un-photogenic than usual, so I'm not in these pictures. Really I was just happy to be there.
I am sorry that all I documented of the event centered around people looking at my piece (or not looking, as that's a gold medal winner by the awesome Greg Harlin they're admiring):
But I did catch these guys taking a closer look:
I was so proud to be in this group, knowing I was a small fish in the pond. And hey, my name was mentioned in last Friday's Washington Post review!