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

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Glorious Sunday Afternoon!

Caleb / 16x20 / oil on canvas panel
What a great Sunday afternoon! The weather was warm and wonderful with a delicate breeze perfumed by flowering trees and bushes. It was intoxicating and I felt so peaceful, so happy as I headed over to the Museum for open studio. My panel today, at 16 x 20, is the largest size I have used in painting from life. I have been having trouble fitting the model on smaller panels and so wanted to try painting a little larger. As you can see, the figure still ended up barely fitting! It must be me and not the panel size at all! Caleb was the seasoned model as he has posed for many weekday open studio sessions but today was the first time I had an opportunity to paint him. I loved his relaxed pose and pale skin with shadows filled with wonderful color. I painted him in about 2 1/2 hours and may decide to work more on the background in my studio.

Last Wednesday at the open portrait studio session, Kay modeled for us and this was my attempt. I want to call it a feeble attempt as I am not happy with it. She looks too tentative to me, too forced. and, not surprisingly, that is how I felt as I painted.

Kay / 12 x 12 / oil on canvas panel

14 comments:

  1. I am so glad to see you paint and paint.
    Big size of canvas is great idea, it helps to free hand, to forget the details, specially when you are limited in time.
    I like both paintings. Bravo to portrait, and artist is often not happy with the result.

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    1. I have been especially unhappy with my portraits lately - I seen to be using colors that are too vibrant, too unnatural. Even though I am not trying to paint in a very realistic manner, I don't want my color to be jarring. I am working on it!

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  2. You are so hard on yourself Susan! I think that having the figure slightly off the page is more interesting than having him all in, if you know what I mean... and honestly, the portrait as always looks lively and not in the least forced :0)

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    1. Thanks, Sandra - I guess I am grateful that I at least came close to fitting him all in! I struggled with the portrait but am glad its not too apparent!

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  3. Both paintings are beautiful, Susan! I admire so much the way you paint human figures!

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    1. Many thanks, Judy - practice, practice, practice is finally giving me a bit of boldness in my figure painting.

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  4. Je portretten worden steeds levendiger Susan.
    fijn weekend,
    Simonne

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    1. How kind you are! Thank you so much! :)

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  5. Two wonderful paintings Susan! Also a wonderful written entry. I so love the way you described your day! I am so happy picturing you happy! How great happiness is!
    Glorious Sunday and a glorious job with Caleb! Relaxed and pleased to model! You capture so much with your painterly style! I am happy you are working on a larger scale. I would love to see you work even larger. Maybe forty inches by forty eight inches or so! Wild huge colorful brush strokes! You are so talented! I think you could paint anything and your love of the subject matter and your love of making a wonderful work of art would come through! So large or small in many ways it doesn't matter as long as your heart and soul show in your work. I know you love Vincent Van Gogh! One of my favorite quotes of his is...."I put my heart and soul into my work and I lost my mind in the process!"
    Your Loving Anything Painted By Susan Art Buddy!
    Michael

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    1. Good afternoon to you, my faithful art buddy! I had a great time painting Caleb and am not unhappy with the result. I have yet to try 40x40 inches - it would take a lot of courage and a very special subject for me to attempt a canvas that size! Perhaps I will work up to it in small increments! The largest canvas I have done so far is 24 x36. I have painted a few of those. I love your quote from, Vincent I would love to follow in his painterly footsteps but perhaps keep a vestige of my mind in the process!

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  6. Très beau travail, l'étude des sujets est magnifique!
    Have a nice day-
    Cath.

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    1. Merci, Cath! Thank you for your kind words!

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  7. What wonderful flesh colors you achieved painting Caleb. Lovely work, Susan!

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    1. Thanks, Diana - his pale skin demanded a pastel approach with the skin tones. I never decide what colors to use until I see the subject under the lights. Painting from life is such a challenge - you hvae to think, choose and create on the fly!

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Your comments are welcome and brighten my day!