For our 3rd and last painting we were permitted to choose items with color from home. I chose my 1000 year old ancient pottery that I have wanted to paint for years. These are a couple of items I have been restoring and never finished. I sort of like them that way.
1st step was to draw large charcoal drawings from different angles and identifying the values. I chose to go with this setup, which was at my home studio where I had good lighting.
Next, block it out on the canvas with the water soluble oils we were using for class. I could have stopped here. I really liked the colors. The black was made by mixing phthalo blue and burnt sienna, giving it a really funky blue/brown look when creating the grays.
We let that layer dry and then the fun part. Putting color onto the canvas. I love painting!
In the classroom lab I chose to arrange them on a table at the back of the room so I had some space around me and could be comfortable. It also meant I did not have any lighting to speak of, but that was fine. This was a truly pleasurable experience.
This final photo was taken on my cell phone because the teacher asked to keep this one and hang it on the wall at school. I am not finished with it yet, but the teacher felt it was done and told me to stop. The details that I want to cleanup and finish will drive me nutty for the next 3 months as I see it hanging there, but overall I like it.
One thing I learned was that I can paint faster than I thought! This process was done over 4 weeks in the classroom, but it took me a couple of weeks just to get used to the setup as well as letting layers dry. The total hours in this project was, at most, 7.
2nd painting was learning the “fat” over “lean” technique using gray scale. I found it very difficult to manage in the claustrophobic classroom space using the black and white items on a table. I am so used to painting with great lighting, in my own comfortable space, and with whatever time is needed that I simply couldn’t concentrate.
We blocked in the values, let it dry a week, then painted a thicker layer over that (fat over lean). The final touch was to paint in the details.
I just couldn’t get into it and finally brought it (and the shells) home to finish. By then I was “over it”, so I don’t feel this is a finished piece. I met the requirements and received an A, but don’t expect to see much of this piece in the future. The canvas will be better served by my painting over the top of it, if I may say so myself. (And yes, I am disappointed. I was hoping this would be more fun than it was.)
- Joy Comes in the Morning
oil on canvas
Expressionism showed up in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was an avant-garde movement that was reacting against the academic standards that were current at that time (naturalism and impressionism among others) and was more about the emotion than about the literal replication of the physical world.
For our first exercise in Painting class, the entire group was given the same layout of abstract lines on the canvas and told to simply paint what we see or feel in those lines for the next several hours. We were to get a feel for the water soluable oils and how they react to each other, the brushes, the water, and the canvas. It was amazing what showed up in our diverse group! Everything from beautiful abstract geometry to soft illusions to bunnies crying black tears to a duck with antlers. That being so, mine was the only one that came out choppy and looking like this!
This is a definite and radical departure from my own personal style, but that is what college is all about, right? I felt like exploring an expressive style, even though I did not get as bold as the Expressionists tended to get with their colors and lines. (Hey… baby steps!) I would like to learn to paint in different styles and this seemed like a good time to try it.
As this painting developed under my brush, the title and feeling presented itself. I was not searching for it, it just came, and that was a beautiful experience. It was fun. I still have not figured out my personal reaction to it… but I don’t have to. It just is. And right now it is hanging on our wall.
The first week of Feb. I think we had an ice storm that beat all within living memory. It also closed down school for a few days, which gave me my first break this quarter. It was a hugely welcome break, but I ended up working harder busting up ice on the driveway. We had 6 – 8 inches of sleet/ice on every level surface. This stuff was hard as rock. My brother was even able to drive a tractor on top of it!
The most harrowing part was using a mallet to bust 4 inches plus of ice off of Lainey’s new Lexus. It makes me shudder even now and has made me determined to tear down my studio in the garage so she can bring the car inside next winter. All three of us worked hard on the drive just to clear a path. Then it snowed. The sky just kept on giving.
That ice stayed around and was a hassle for 2 weeks before unseasonably warm days (50 – 65F) worked their magic on it. If it hadn’t, the piles would have stayed until Spring!