Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Beach Bound

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Caribbean Blues
12 x 12 x 1.5 Oil on Canvas
Original available at Etsy
This is another scene of Seven Mile Beach at Grand Cayman. When you see a location like this in person, it is hard to capture its awesome beauty in pictures or paintings. But the challenge exists and the only option is to keep trying :) .
I had a second 12x12 cradled cotton canvas on hand and chose a gray base coat, which has worked well for these types of seascapes in the past. However, if I paint another, I will use a bright pink or red foundation.  In my experience, the first layer greatly affects the outcome, especially when you have areas of it showing through.
I was hoping for something a little brighter and bolder. That said, you quickly learn it’s better just to finish the piece at hand and think about what to do differently the next time around.
And the best thing about painting without boundaries is you are free to recreate any image… as many times as you’d like!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Slices of Light

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12x12 Oil on Canvas
Available at Etsy
While working on my latest Egret paintings, I began to wonder what it would look like if I took a similar approach and made another painting, focusing on the sun.

sections of previous paintings
Sometimes I will do a study to gain momentum and experiment with color combinations, before selecting a larger canvas. In this case, the larger paintings inspired a smaller piece.

It is liberating when you can finish a painting in a few short intervals and have fun. The important thing is to keep creating, because one thing always leads to another! 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

On the Fly

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20x20 Oil on linen
Original Reserved
I enjoyed painting “Swamp Walker” so much that I decided to make a match. The key to keeping the colors fresh was to mix them first on the palette, rather than blending on the canvas. Much of the time, it was necessary to add two or more coats over a single brush stroke, to obtain the purest form of that pigment. Each layer was dry to touch, before adding the next.
Admittedly, the last four paintings began without much of a plan, except to have the Egrets appear realistic, be of similar size, and surrounded by a colorful abstract/impressionistic background. I wanted to create enough variation in the sets and loosely define elements of a tropical climate. Between imagined palm trees, water, sunshine, and vegetation, ideas evolved during the process… also known as winging it ;)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Swamp Style

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Swamp Walker
20x20 Oil on linen
Original Reserved/ Prints are available

This painting was completed before my latest commissions and functioned as a model for their style. I used a linen canvas, applying oils with mostly flat brushes.  The variety of lines and forms in the background seem to draw attention to the main subject, while suggesting the environmental elements of water and vegetation through color.
Here in Florida, images of birds often line the walls of local banks and offices. There are entire stores dedicated to feeding and caring for wild and domestic birds. Bird watching and general appreciation for their prevalence all year long probably stems from the warm climate and time we spend outdoors. At any point, you could see a cardinal, hawk, owl, or eagle. The red headed woodpeckers that fly around in our yard are so handsome. And during the winter months, cranes flock together, filling the airspace and prairies.
“Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty if only we have the eyes to see them.”  --  John Ruskin (source goodreads.com)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Designing a Custom Painting - Take Two

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20x20 Oil on Linen (Reserved)
Prints Available/ Click Title
This is the progress of the second commissioned painting. I applied varying lengths of diagonal brush strokes including pale blue, green, and white, in the direction of the perceived light source. Additionally, I used less purple in the background, since it is a primary color forming the bird's body and wings. The suggestion of a palm tree adds to the tropical island theme that I was trying to create.

When viewed together, they appear to connect and complement each other. 
I have received approval for both paintings and will fly them to SoFlo when the paint dries! 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Designing a Custom Painting

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20x20 Oil on Linen
Work in Progress

I am currently working on the design of two commissioned bird paintings with a special decorator located in South Florida. This is the progress of the first piece. The pair will be displayed along on the same wall, so they need to be the same size and similar in appearance. 

As with most custom artwork, we are referencing a specific palette and style preferred by the clients. These fabric swatches include beautiful pastels and jewel tones with light blue and pale green. Varying shades of brown and beige are carried throughout the home. The darkest color is a deep purple. Additionally, black and white can be added to the palette, offering an even wider range of colors. (I’m always searching for ways to squeeze out more paint!).  

During the interview process, the decorator mentioned her clients favor high contrast artwork, even though the fabric patterns appear soft and subtle. My objective then becomes to create contrast through the value scale. This is fairly easy to accomplish by painting a dark background, with strokes of pure white. Additional light and medium colors vary slightly from the palette, while maintaining tonal harmony.
So far, so good! I received approval for the direction of this painting and started on the next…