Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Not just a pretty picture

This is quite big for a bouquet & took 3 months on & off my easel. It started as a flat presentation & gradually developed depth & light. I visualize it over/behind someone's buffet or server, or perhaps in an entrance hall, acting like a huge bouquet on the table it is hung above.

The light & fresh life is on the right & the flowers there reach into the brightness, while the other side has a bit of wilting, past their prime. Little bits stretch to get out of the jumbled interior, struggling with the confusion of stems, leaves & flowers.

I appreciated the story telling quality as I painted, giving life & portraying death in what appears to be just a still life of cut flowers. The lights & darks symbolize a relationship. It will be easy to live with, hard to inspect.

I think it is not done. But almost finished.

More or Less Like Life 28x22 oil 2009-2010

Great Lakes Garden at NYS Parks

In the Fall, Niagara Frontier Plein Air Painters [NFPAP] met at the Great Lakes Garden. It was planned for dramatic landscape color, so I paint there a few times a year. This day was chilly, and turned into rain as we ate lunch-outdoors, on the park benches. I finished the painting in the rain with aprons & an old Maid of the Mist raincoat over the easel to protect the painting.

Then I misplaced it. A few weeks ago, after it had dried, I took several paintings downstairs to be lightly varnished & left them there. Since I usually varnish outdoors, I forgot about this batch of paintings. I wondered where one of them was every time I saw its empty blue frame, but they were all small & I assumed it was under or behind something else in the studio. Well, out of sight, out of mind-I just found four paintings & they are all very dry.

This is still not varnished-apparently I realized it was too soon & set it aside!

Skyline from Great Lakes Garden, oil 10x14 2009

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lights in the Garage-a Tonawanda portrait

'Lights in the Garage' House Kath Schifano Kathy PaintingCommissioned as 'the house I grew up in', Colleen Sullivan's parents still live here. The house faces north, so it took a number of visits to figure out the best sun light. It turned out to be 6:30 pm in August, when tree shadows appeared on the side walls & as a bonus, the flags are shading the entrance. However, I wanted the trees the colors of Fall so it is a creative jumble of references. As many times as I drove by, the car was always in the driveway & I felt like a stalker taking reference photos while her parents watched tv in the summer room/garage. Therefore, they are here & silhouetted in the painting.
The second dilemma to create this painting was...what color is the house? Seeing the photos taken in evening light added a lot of gold, but it looked very true blue as well as nearly black at other times. Imagine my surprise when Colleen said it was a greenish charcoal--and I had painted it dark blue. It was an easy change which worked out better than if I had planned it, glazes of cadmium yellow toned the blue to green & emphasized the elusive light while creating additional texture. Success!
Lights in the Garage, 18x24, oil 2009