"Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul." Vincent Van Gogh

Friday, May 31, 2013

Painting on a Wing and a Prayer

Oil on linen panel / 24 x 36
I have no title yet for this rather overly ambitious piece. I worked on it for about 3 hours and feel drained so knew it was time to stop for today. So many decisions as my only references are the sketches I did in life drawing, each one from a different vantage point in the studio so each one with different light source - and of course, done in graphite. So the lighting and the color are a conglomeration of imagination, whimsy, trial and error and past experience. Perhaps this is what painting is really all about. I am not displeased with this second day of painting this piece but I hope I can maintain my interest and stamina. Its a big painting and quite a challenge!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Life and a Laugh!

Cyndi in Repose / graphite on smooth tan paper / 35 minutes

Today was the end of this current session of life drawing and I am so sad! There is something so magical about drawing the human form from life and I always wish it would never end. The poses today were excellent as our model was very intensely focused. I once again went for the view with extreme foreshortening and am happy how this sketch turned out. I think 30 or 35 minutes is enough for me to catch the essence of the pose without going into excruciating detail. This drawing is on smooth tan paper with a few white charcoal highlights here and there.

Cyndi / 20 minutes / ebony graphite on newsprint

We did two sitting poses and eliminated the  long standing pose today. I think the instructor had a fear of the model falling off the platform and wanted to reduce the risk of that happening again! In any case, each one was a great pose and I was happy.

Cyndi /  30 minutes / ebony graphite on newsprint
As a warm up, we did our usual five 1 minute poses - they are so quick, I am never sure what I am capturing with my Conte as I draw them!
Two 1 minute poses / Sienna Conte on newsprint

Three 1 minute poses / Sienna Conte on newsprint
And now that the life sessions are over for a while, I found myself wondering what I could do with these sketches. It seems a shame to just hide them away in their sketch books so I decided to try my hand at painting a few of them in oil and came up with this composition.  I am not sure what I will do with it but it was fun getting to this stage!
24x36 / oil on linen

I had a very funny conversation with my husband the other day and thought I would share it with you. Last week, after coming home from my drawing class, I told my husband about the incident with the model where he fainted and fell off the platform. I explained that he was nude and the instructor ran over with his robe to cover him and my husband exclaimed "You are drawing naked men!" When I told him yes, we draw nude men and women in life drawing class, he asked me "Can't you find a Farm Animal drawing class instead?" I laughed so hard - I had just assumed he knew what life drawing was - but apparently NOT!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday Life Drawing and a New Painting Start

Ebony graphite on newsprint l4 x 17

Last week I had to attend to some unexpected family matters and was out of town for a while causing me to miss last Thursday's life session. Today is the next to the last class and I was overjoyed to be there. I missed some excitement last week when the model fainted during the sitting pose and fell off the platform! Apparently he was not hurt and even finished the session with the reclining pose! Today went smoothly with no model mishaps, thank goodness. This sitting pose was about 40 minutes and is my favorite of the session. I loved all of the many angles and sinuous curves, the foreshortening of the hand coming forward and the general complexity of the pose.

Ebony graphite on newsprint / 20 minutes
I felt like I was still warming up with this initial 20 minute standing pose. It is similar to one we did a few weeks ago with the model leaning on a pole.

Ebony graphite on newsprint / 30 minutes
I generally position my easel so I can have some fun with foreshortening on the reclining poses. This one was only 30 minutes as we ran out of time.

I also had a chance to begin a new equine painting since returninghome. Its rather large at 30 x 24. Here is the initial oil lay in:

And this is how far I have progressed so far:

As I may not get the opportunity to spent time in my studio tomorrow, I am hoping I can finish it this weekend.

And now I am off to have some fun in catching up with all the blogs I have been following and missed out on last week! I know there is lots of wonderful and inspiring work out there for me to view and comment on!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Robert Hughes - Portrait Practice

Robert Hughes / oil on cardboard / 16 x 14
 Recently having purchased a used copy of the book The Shock of the New by Robert Hughes, after reading it cover to cover, I decided to try my hand at painting a portrait of the author from a photo. As it is only a practice study, I decided to use a piece of cardboard as my support. As cardboard is slightly rough textured and quite absorbent, I love painting on it now and again!

Robert Hughes was a well known art critic for Time magazine and in 1980 he wrote this book after doing an 8 part BBC TV series of the same name. The book is a well written, engaging and provocative journey through the history of modern art from 1880 forward. It addresses the development of modernism from the Impressionists through Andy Warhol and is brutally honest with a delightful flair for the dramatic phrase! It's fascination for me is how Mr. Hughes relates each artist that he addresses to his time in history and how the major events of the time shaped their work. Its a dazzling book. He passed away last August and that is when I first heard about him and his book. In any case, reading his words inspired me to paint this quick portrait.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Figurative Drawing from Life

A frenzy of sketches - 1 minute each

20 minute pose / ebony graphite on newsprint / approximately 20 x 14

40 minute seated pose / ebony graphite on newsprint /  20 x 16

45 minute pose / graphite on medium brown paper with charcoal white highlights / approximately 24 x 18
A better life drawing session today than last week. I seem to have regained a bit of confidence, thank goodness :).

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Equine #10

Equine #10 / oil on canvas / 16 x 12
Another spirited horse trying to defy gravitational pull!