Monday, November 21, 2011

Bottles N Brushes, a marsh scene, and PALETTE KNIVES....

Several recent works on this post!

 Not exactly original work, but I had a blast at Bottles N Brushes in Summerville with some sweet friends a few weeks ago- We imitated Van Gogh's Sunflowers. Of course mine is the light one... I have a hard time following the instructions exactly! Not sure it counts, but I decided it fell into the "My Art" category enough to be posted to the blog.

This next series is a commission for my aunt. We were going for a coastal scene, focusing on the colors in the fabric swatches that you can see draped over the backbone of the easel (above the canvas below).  My uncle loves sailboats, and I love my uncle... So sailboats seemed essential. 
I really wanted the water to be still and reflect the sky colors, in addition to the fact that open sails would have taken over the painting.... that led me to a parked sailboat. As you can see, the marsh started out too light and the boat started out too big, but that's why fast drying acrylics are fantastic, as well as why it's always better to work from a picture than your head! When I stood back and realized the low contrast and poor perspective, i painted out the sailboat and added a smaller one and reaaaaally darkened the marsh!

This is a 24x36" Acrylic on Canvas. November 2011
 That marsh is too light and green! Much better suited for bright sunshine and navy water!

 darker marsh...

 goodbye giant sailboat!

 Hello appropriately-sized sailboat!

and here's a close shot of the new sailboat, in a size you can actually see it.

A few months ago, I ran across the work of Marissa Vogl, an artist that works with oil and palette knife. I had the pleasure of meeting her and owning some of her work. She described how she came to start working with the palette knife, specifically how it helped her loosen up. We have in common that we tend to produce tighter more technical and realistic pieces, but appreciate looser, more expressive styles. The palette knife opened up a new world of texture and color blocks for her- see her work at 

She totally inspired me to try my hand with the palette knife and acrylics.  Again, I didn't work from a photograph or life, which isn't ideal. The primary objective with the 3 similar projects below was to learn to use the knives and experiment with paint amount, texture, blending, and strokes. 

The slightly larger one is an 8x10" acrylic on wood panel (which i love- no canvas texture showing through under the flat knife strokes), and the two smaller ones are 5x7" acrylics on canvas board. 
 You can see some of the texture while it's still wet. This is a TOTALLY different color scheme than the sailboat painting. I love yellow ocre paint and it makes me think of the fall marsh!

on paper plates while they dried....

I love this, and I think this is a direction I could really move in and enjoy. Hoping to experiment more. The upsides: It's quick, expressive, not exhausting with details and a tiny brush, serious texture. The downsides: it uses alot more paint, so it will be more expensive, and acrylics are hard to blend before they dry, unless you use a TON of paint. One day soon, I'd love to work in oils!

More to come!  Thanks for following!

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