Thursday, May 21, 2009

Baby Shoes II, Mary Janes

" Baby Shoes II "

Here is number two in my baby shoe series, sweet little white patent leather Mary Jane's. There is something wonderful that happens when you paint baby shoes. I found myself reminiscing about my own childhood, recalling shoes that I could remember. In grade school I wore tan and brown saddle shoes, ( I didn't like the black and white ones) and mostly loafers in high school. I remember spending a huge amount of money on a pair of red shoes...$15 in the 1960's. At 25-35 cents an hour baby sitting that was quite a bit of money..but hey, they were red shoes that I lusted after!
Marc Hanson's recent accomplishment of 120 small paintings in 30 days has certainly raised the bar in the Daily Painting arena! Check out his blog to see these remarkable paintings. Sounds like he's having withdrawels!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Daffodils for Mother's Day, Art Tip #14

" Daffodils for Mother's Day "
Our mornings are still in the twenties so my daffodils are just starting to bloom. Flowers are quite a challenge for me especially painting directly. I wanted to quit and let these daffodils dry then go back with overpainting. But, one of the challenges of a painting a day is to complete a painting in one sitting. I'm glad I stuck it out as I like the finished result.
Art Tip #14 When painting flowers alla prima/direct/wet n wet..I find it works best to lay in the flower colors first. It's easier to add darker color around the clear flower colors. It is nearly impossible to lay clean, bright colors over darker wet'll end up with mud.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Still Life: Vintage Mary Janes, Art Tip #13

" Mary Janes "
Vintage baby shoes that I found on eBay..they came with the original box dated 1915! Real patent leather made in the good old USA. "Baby Beaver" shoes, size 0. A piece of leather stiffened the bottom of the box and they were sold at W.T. Grant stores, a mass marketing chain. I looked the store up on Wikipedia..the store went out of business in the 1970's. I grew up in Spokane and remember a W. T. Grant store there. They were a "5 & Dime" store and fun to visit if you just had a dime or two in your pocket!
Art Tip #13: Place a clear piece of glass over black paper for a wonder reflective surface to set a still life on. "Mary Janes" was set up this way, black wall on left and back, piece of pink paper off to the right that reflects onto the shoes.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Still Life with Yellow Warbler, Art Tip #12

" Still Life with Yellow Warbler "
25" x 38"
Wow, I can't believe how much time has gone by since my last post. It has been a bit of everything that has kept me away; family, procrastination, working on large paintings for summer shows, etc. But mostly it has been procrastination and perfectionism! I fight these two devils daily but some more than others. A bit of each is good and gives one time to reflect/work on other things. A quote I put in my April e-newsletter by Mark Twain "Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow" makes me smile. I also mentioned that Leonardo DaVinci was a procrastinator. He created wonderful drawings of inventions while other work awaited his attention. I think it is human nature to procrastinate...might even be an inate self-preservation tactic.
The oil painting I posted here is several years old and still one of my favorite. I used information from several photos to created the design. It was fun to paint..I love the patterned fabric, old bakelite flatware and china plate.
Art tip # 12: This is helping my procrastinating: I bought my husband a new boom box (he listens to books on tape/CD) and now I have his old one that I can set next to me at my easel. I find that I can paint and follow the story just fine. When I tried to listen to books on tapes on my main stereo system (with great quad speakers placed in all four corners) I couldn't follow the story, I was too removed from the sound source. Now I get hooked on the story and it gets me to the studio and painting sooner and I stay longer, working through any rough spots in the painting process. I do listen to music, too, but getting into the story is what seems to be working for me now. I am thinking that one of the main reasons I am able to follow the story and paint is that I premix my colors for a large painting..those decisions are made ahead of time so I'm not constantly making color/value decisions as I paint.
If anyone is interested to learn more about premixing let me know and I'd be happy to elaborate.
Tomorrow I'll address perfectionism...if I can find the perfect words!