Sunday, February 15, 2009

Trying To Keep Up.........

L'Aglio 8x16 oil

It always amazes me what painting everyday can do! I see things better and can make better decisions about editing, more confident brushwork, seeing better color...everything just gets a little easier and that makes it so much more fun! This doesn't mean that I don't have a ton to learn but I can see the difference. So here is L'Aglio ( The Garlic) painted from life of course. Finished it up a couple of days ago...along with the last of the frames. I have about 30 or so more names to put in the database for labels on invitations. I do almost (Max drives me a lot of places and helps me make some decisions) all my own work (secretarial, phone, running around and which also includes running a house and keeping it clean and try to produce quality work.) I think after the show I make take a bit of a vacation (except for painting)!!
The weight program (HCG) is far I have lost 14 pounds. Seems so easy...and believe me it has never been that easy! Don't have far to go now....than just maintain it! Keep up an exercise program...weights seem to work best for me.
Anything else going on?....Facebook....I was invited by some people here in town at the workshop we attended. Problem? Very little time to say much more than what I may be doing at the moment.
I apologize if I have forgotten some of the tags I have received...I have been really busy. I manage to make a comment or two and that's about it!
Valentines Day was, cards, candy (which I am not touching until after this weight program) and some very well chosen words.....yep, the whole shebang!!!
There is probably more but for the moment this will do!
Bright days ahead for all,

Monday, February 9, 2009

Warning! Do Not Try This At Home Without Supervision....(Kidding)!!

Grapes 11x14 oil

I have been working feverishly..because the universe has decided to bless me with plenty of art activities to keep me busy! I am now doing three demos in the month of April...I have my show opening next month, on March 6 in Joplin and have another short term showing in Neosho., Mo. beginning March 30. I will try to keep posting but I am spending a lot of time at the easel and database and not so much at creative blogging so this will be the last lengthy blog for a while. Towards the end of the month I may be able to free up my time some.
Here is a little painting I did the other day...Jeff's Grape demo inspired me!!....which I will post at a later date. I have been doing some small work...they are fun and have a lot of instant gratification to them!
I will show how the still life is set up and the lighting that goes with it....also... if you have questions ...again feel free to ask!

Still Life Setup
I use a large cardboard box with the top, bottom and one side cut out then painted with black spray paint. It is on top of some more boxes to bring the setup to eye level. I add a cover to that box of cardboard also painted black if I need more shadow. I also use some black panels that measure 20x30 if I need a taller shadow box for a still life that has a more vertical composition. Max found them for me at Hobby Lobby (dear man...always thinking!!) They are taped together to form a large box with a top. If more shadow area is required than I move the top forward to hang over a bit more. Careful here or you can have a tumbling down mess! I had to have some help stacking everything. Please see warning!

My light is on a pole that I made a few years ago when I was teaching regular classes. It is a round base with a hole cut in it the same diameter as the pole and they just fit together. The pole is 6 foot. I use a clamp on light with 100 watt Reveal light bulb and it is clamped to the very top and pointed down over the top of the setup. As you can see by the picture I have my easel to the side and paint site size most of the time. I have a table in front of the easel rather than to the side as it keeps me back from the canvas.

Please note that with this setup the light shines on my setup, palette and canvas all at once. I paint with all the other lights off except that one. Everything is ready an then I start to setup the actual objects. I have some garlic that I have started to paint and took the time to arrange them in a pleasing pattern of shapes and light and dark design that is suitable to my eye.

I also have a small wooden box which the garlic is in because I like the reflected light and the color of the wood. Some of my old students may remember this box as having little still
life's on it and having to do three in a day!
So there you have it!! I hope this will be of help to some.

I am also very happy to report that I have lost 10 lbs. as of this morning!! Yeah, me!!
Back to the easel,

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Jeff Legg In Joplin...

The "Supposedly Unfinished" Canvas
By Jeff Legg 16x20

As promised here is the visual of Jeff's workshop. I will begin by explaining his basic setup and composition and then progress to the paint color and paint quality.
Several years ago Jeff and I were both invited to a show in Joplin Mo. (his hometown) He was rather surprised that I painted so well for a beginner....the paintings for the majority were painted from life. He told me later that if I would paint from life, take my time if I needed to and put miles on the brush I would become the painter I was meant to be.
Those three things are pretty much his standard for painting. He often tells his students to just stop and really look at what they are painting and figure out how to paint it. I have told my students and myself the same!
He starts with a smooth linen panel (16x20) in the demo....toned with raw umber...sometimes mixed with Ultramarine Deep or Ivory Black. The undertone is rather dark but necessary for the drama of this style of painting. The paint is applied with a loose feel that lends itself to the atmosphere of the setup.
The composition is of itself a beautiful thing to see.....with the rhythm of music...staccato notes and adagios and passages of sotto voce and legato all translated in paint to canvas. He may take days to arrange a still life (I completely understand this myself) and the effort is well worth it as you can see be the photos.
He will then begin massing in large shapes PLUS their shadow shapes with raw umber and a little black mixed with his preferred medium. Maroger is what he has used for years but since switching part time to alkyd paints he also uses Liquin.
Here is where I get sold..haha! I never used Maroger with much success nor did I use Ivory Black or Raw Umber or Prussian Blue...all of which Jeff uses. I discovered I wasn't handling them quite right and am now quite happy to use them. Some of this color usage has to do with whether you paint like the Old Masters or the Impressionists....I am still open to anything that will work for me.....but I must say I have been getting some nice effects with using them.
After massing in the large abstract shapes into a pleasing design on the canvas....he then "Goes for the jugular" as he likes to say. Mixing up a puddle of paint the color and brilliance of the melon he applies a deft stroke in the exact shape of the small wedge to the canvas...this is the focal point. Over the next 2 hours or so we watched a painting come to life and appear to be almost done. Jeff stated that he would refine the painting a few more times before it was finished.
If you have any questions feel free to ask I will answer what I can.
Until tomorrow,

Friday, February 6, 2009

This Could Be Called Too Much Information!!

Quiet Evening 30x40 sold
Ok...I have been naughty and not even posted so much as a hello!! I will try to update over the next few days ..all the goings on artwise and personally...geesh where do I begin??
First of all I have been painting, painting, painting (I have a show coming up in one month exactly) when I paint it has to have my undivided attention.... also preparing canvases and touching up and ordering frames....I have also built a database of clients, fellow artists, friends and family, and potential clientele (people who have expressed an interest in my work and or have taken workshops and classes from me or intend to in the future). If you would like to be on the mailing list and live in this vicinity go to my website and email me your address and phone number if you feel like one will know but me...promise!!
The other thing that I have done is get back on my diet and been getting all my checkups done ( cholesterol, mammogram, bone density, etc., etc., etc....I have always been a little on the curvy side...but the last year put 12 pounds on me...that I neither need nor want!!! Now you may wonder why I would even bother to mention this...but there are a few people out there that know some of my health views and what I have been doing about it for some time.
First of all I am very blessed with an extremely good constitution. Most of my family has lived into there 90's and 100's with the exception parents....what??? you say!!! Well, my Dad committed suicide when I was very young (which by the way is another very long story) and my Mom died of undiagnosed metastasized breast cancer at 65 (unbelievably she was afraid to go to the doctor!?) brought on by being an alcoholic and smoking 2 to 3 packs of cigarettes a day plus a worrisome frame of mind. For myself I have been adamant about eating healthily most of my life...whole grains, vegetables, fruit and lean meats plus the occasional dessert (sometimes too much)!! organic when possible and affordable...(which led me to grow all my own food for many years). I have smoked less in my life than I have been a smoker....about a pack a day when I was smoking and too much alcohol makes me feel miserable!
Back to the checkups have been doctor cannot believe I am 61 (on the 17th if this month), cannot believe what my tests indicate, even my bone density increased by 10% (after falling to a minus level) and my overall age is 42. She also can't believe my legs are in such good shape (no veins)..LOL!! I believe one of the reasonsfor some of this good health is the fact that I use Bio-Identical Hormones (small amount of estrogen plus testosterone and dhea). I have been doing this for about 3 years. Unfortunately, the one bad thing in my checkups was a slight rise in blood pressure...not dangerous but a rise never the less....which brings me back to the weight issue. My doctor suggested HCG. I had never heard of it....but after seeing the scales I was anxious to hear more!! By the way, I pay my doctor with framed giclees which she so kindly has agreed to and obviously she likes my work. So I am now on the HCG Protocol.....OKAY!!!! I am 100% amazed and sold!!
First of all I am Italian....seems to be a bit of a genetic thing...also both parents were over weight at sometimes I get carried away with portion control...I have a slow metabolism and losing weight has always been a slow thing for me although I have done it twice in the past. I am here to tell you...especially the ladies...this is amazing stuff!!!! I have been on this protocol for 5 days and have lost 7 pounds....this has never happened in my life....and the first two days I ate what ever I wanted fact you are supposed too. I am never hungry and do not feel deprived on this way of eating. You can only stay on it for a month than you must rest before you do it again. Wish me luck!!
Well, friends and folks that is some of what I have been up to. Tomorrow, I will begin explaining Jeff's demo. Promise!!!
Back to the easle,