Thursday, March 29, 2018

Covered wastebasket for Plein air.

 It is frequent painting outdoor season and there is sometimes time to stop for a tasty latte on the way to meet up with friends to paint. Those sturdy cups come in handy as a waste basket with a sturdy cover. I make sure there is one available in the back of my car to collect paint rags and paper towels as well as my apple cores and gum wrappers.

It can roll around but won’t lose it’s contents as the lids fit firmly.  

Merit Award won at Kenan Center Gallery

Both of my entries were accepted to the Buffalo Niagara Art Association Spring Exhibit. I am very pleased that Juror Donald Zinteck selected this entry for a Merit Award. Two floors of excellent paintings to choose from makes the distinction more meaningful to me.This shows the painting mounted at Kenan reflecting the draped windows and chandelier of the beautiful building. The lights looked like sailboats in the water to me. 

This shows the placement between two floor to ceiling windows, it is next to their grand piano in the main floor parlor.

Kath Schifano, rapids, horseshoe falls, Niagara
Horseshoe Races 24x30 pastel c.2016 Merit Award

Spring Equinox at Buckhorn State Park

Initial marks lay out the image shapes after drawing in a sketchbook to choose a composition.

Spring started March 20th. I try to paint at each change of season. I schedululed the Niagara Frontier Plein Air Painters at Buckhorn State Park at 4:00, hoping for warm afternoon sunshine. We got that beautiful sun and some solar heat to help warm us but it was still cold especially when the breeze picked up. 30 degrees is cold enough to make the paint tacky and some colors acted like melted pizza cheese. I used to go out often in the winter but have discovered the joys of indoor painting, too.

Here is my painting right in front of the actual scene as it was nearly finished.

   "Spring Equinox Snow" 9x12 oil

All together, I had on 6 layers which impaired moving! Fingerless gloves over leather gloves worked pretty well, and I sat upon my apron folded on the fence rail of the park road. So, pretty comfortable for the start of a new plein air season with my friends.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A still life challenge

In progress!

This was my view at a Burchfield Penney Museum Sunday still life challenge. It was an open studio where an artist assembled a setup for the afternoon. Loving a challenge, I packed my paint kit. There was so much to see here that I spent a long time drawing the various objects on the table, trying to make sense of it. The individual items were mostly retro with many old dolls and stuffed critters, all with faces, as well as tangled socks, scarves and bric-a-brack. It was a visual delight but an artistic challenge.
My still life challenge.

I chose the ancient Kewpie doll but needed to create a busier composition, and boy did I achieve that.  As I finished, it needed something on the left to lead into the 'pile' so I used some basket colors to create an angle complementing the other lines. That's artistic license. So is the different time on the clock plate.

Completely unrelated to my usual subjects, this was fun yet difficult which makes it immensely satisfying. My title may be temporary, we'll see if I decide to change it.

Critters With Eyes, 9x12 oil on canvas c. 2018

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Putting color into a still life

My dear friend Raquel brought me a spectacular bouquet of tulips which kept expanding in the winter light, reaching taller and wider until I finally brought it into my studio in front of a canvas. What fun!! 

I hadn't worked larger for a while so I loved the challenge. The tulips continued to grow so I had to make artistic decisions about placement and not look back. Then they wilted, and drooped, but I wasn't finished so the artist in me had even more fun building form and light. As a simple still life of white tulips it was lovely but when I decided to add color it told its own story. 

Paintings often name themselves or rather a title comes to me while I'm working but this one eluded me. I posted the picture on Facebook and asked for help. Two Pink Tulips. Tulips Breaking Out. Spring Bouquet. In The Pink. I Will Wait For You. Just One More. Tulips From The Garden.  Beauty of Spring. Tulips Apart. Spring Splendor. Acceptance. Thank you, friends, I chose 'Color Doesn't Make Us Different ', suggested by my artist friend, Marolyn Corriere. 

The second photo shows my painting in progress and constant companion, Chiquita. She's on loan with us for a while and loves to be with us, wherever we are.

Color Doesn't Make Us Different, oil on canvas, 22x28 c. 2018

Monday, March 12, 2018

Out The Window and Fresh Snow

Winter plein air paintings are exciting. And FAST! However, I have become progressively lazier when it comes to painting outdoors in the winter. It was a weird winter season in 2017-18, sometimes cool, sometimes cold, but almost always the days were mostly gray. No shadows and no heat equal no incentive to paint outdoors. It was an easy winter to do errands or take a ride, but without the contrasts created by my friend The Sun, painting a landscape like this took a backseat to studio work this year.

This is my 'go to' subject which is the woods behind the house. A brilliant sun after a light snowfall inspired me to set up inside at the dining room window. I've been watching these cut tree logs since the neighbor cut several trees (which are permanently preserved in many earlier paintings). They seem to change each day, each week, sometimes like they have moved themselves. Naked trees quietly surround them, like mourners for a friend. I worked with color to distinguish the slices, to give them dignity in their sad state. The brilliant shadows of hibernating wetland giants slowly passed across the field as I painted.

I can still see what was there a year or two ago, and wonder about the title. It's a lovely calm winter painting but to me it is a requiem for the fallen trunks.

fallen trees, forest, winter, purple and blue

Standing Tall For Me, oil 12x16 on linen c.2018