The first is a distant view, looking back along the coast with Newport, RI in the hazy distance. It was the demo painting for the students I was with, as I turned, I saw the water churning in a little inlet beneath. So both were done standing in the same spot, I just had to turn the easel around.
This painting started as a demo, at one of the best places in the world, Sweetberry Farm over in Middletown. It was the first day outside for the Tuesdaymorning class so I had us all do the same composition- talking about starting with a simple composition and just enjoying the color mixing that creates space.
Well, Sunday morning was a great day for painting Cows. The girls were gathered the whole time as we quickly tried to capture their beautiful bulkiness. They seemed to enjoy our company as they didn’t venture far from us. As the weather started to turn and get colder and clouds were coming in, they decided to lie down one by one, by the end leaving only a couple to do the work.
I went out painting as the buds were just coming out on the trees. There was a hint of color appearing other than the muted greys of the winter season. I went to my favorite spot over in Jamestown, in search of some cows to paint but the girls weren’t around. A day later, I had driven by again on cow alert, I ran into the farm’s caretaker and he broke the news that some had “gone to pasture” to allow the aging owner with a more manageable farm.
Living in my new spot, in South County of Rhode Island, the visual potentials are endless and I look forward to sharing them with you.
Here are some new little prints I did in hopes that someday they may be big paintings. Sometimes, just an artistic burst is enough to relieve me of future endeavors. I have to admit, I loved the plates before printing more so but with a print I always like the surprise after it comes through the press. Though I feel a bit guilty at the lack of control of the outcome.
There’s still a couple of months left of this indoor weather for us New Englanders. It’s a great time for gathering inspiration, go elsewhere and no, not on vacation. We are lucky to live in a wonderful community with so many close things to do near us.
I am supposed to write about painting tips, my tip is: don’t paint—GO LOOK!!
As artists, we are to observe…so, put down the paintbrush and go observe. Stop looking at that still life that you’ve been working on forever. That can only go so far. Go open your eyes to the world beyond and what others have done or are doing. We are very fortunate to live where we do. Close by (New Bedford, Providence, Newport) are little galleries by local artists as well as some very inspiring museums.
Rhode Island School of Design’s museum is really a great little museum offering quite a bit of eye candy, from the present time to way back. It always has such a nice variety of different styles of different mediums from different periods. It’s truly an artistic goldmine!
The Newport Art Museum is just the same, a small gem for visual arts. They have a wonderful permanent collection encased in the Griswold House and across the way is the Annual Member’s Show. This year, the member’s show is all inclusive as opposed to years past where it has been a juried entry. You get to see the range of amazing to not so from all over the small state of Rhode Island and bordering states.
Given more time in the day, you could take a trip up to Boston/Cambridge and go to the MFA and/or the galleries of Newbury Street/South End…maybe there is an open studio going on over the weekend up in the Boston communities. Of course if you could afford a couple of days, a New York trip is always the best!!
The point is, go out, LOOK. Look like you’ve never seen before. Get inspired!! It’s important we see what else is out there, good and bad art. It’s important for your enlightenment and inspiration.
Different color wheels, different color theories, from cadmiums being light to dark to the funny name color with a Q that nobody can pronounce – it’s all such a headache!
Here’s an approach to simplify COLOR!
Let’s start by saying “keep it simple”, at least for now, complicate it when you are comfortable at what you are doing.
Values = light, medium and dark.
Primary colors = yellow, red, blue
So with this theory, we consider the most simple true color wheel – the primary colors, yellow, red, and blue, simply using the “crayon box” version of color. The “crayon box” color is when you look at the yellow, it should look like yellow, not yellow orange like a school bus or not lemon yellow that looks like a yellow with white in it but that color you used when you were coloring in the yellow ball of sun on your construction paper as a kid. Rich and vibrant, as a yellow should be.
Stick to the “crayon box” colors for now. The ones where yellow and red are warm and blue is cool.
Do a color wheel, using these colors to mix and find the secondary colors they make. Try to get them to what you know as orange, green and purple (you may have to add a touch of white to the purple as it’s a very dark color.)
Mix these colors with white and their complements then mix them as tones from light to dark. Know what each color does. Mix every shade you can, fill a paper with all the tones of each color. There is a whole variety of colors you haven’t even used before!!
The point is, if you get confused by color and its lingo, limit yourself first and see what they do and live with them for a while. You’ll be surprised at how much you can get with so little.
A way to know COLOR is to just mix away and know what your materials do and how YOU can do it.