Here's a fun little painting with a little inspiration from the
paintings of Mary Fedden. Don't think she's terribly well known in
America, but she's important to British still life painting. I enjoy her work and it was fun to tweak my usual style to incorporate a little of her work and the Naive like flattening of forms.
Here's two recent paintings featuring Stargazer lilies. As flowers they have such dramatic color and shapes, they're great fun to paint.
I begun these paintings together, but after the early 'under painting' stage I finished the one fully, before tackling the other. Looking back now I can't recall, which was ahead of which. The bouquet was the same for both, though you may notice I made a few aesthetic alterations to each to differentiate the paintings, and build different compositions within them. Within "Oranges, reds' the stems of the flowers twists and curl across the width of the composition, whereas in 'Watermelon & Stargazer' the flowers primarily stretch up, lengthening (or 'aiding') the tall design of the overall painting.
I enjoyed working on them as a pair, the same size and a similar subject; however with a few conscious color and composition changes, each seems distinctly different in tone & treatment.
In late fall last year I took a commission through my gallery in Santa Fe, to paint a still life for a collectors dinning room. They loved my work but had some ideas on subject matter and we agreed on the size of 60X72. When working to this size I move from the studio to my garage. In truth the canvas can fit in my studio, but there's not a lot of room. Though the garage may not be luxurious, there's lots of space to move around.
Here's an early sketch, I produced a series of these concept sketches. Gradually elements from various drawings are pulled together to produce the final design. This isn't the final, since I felt it more interesting to show some other choices during the process to provide a contrast to the final painting.
After the sketch is approved, I provide a number of different color designs to choose from. You can see how different the final color choices are when compared with the final painting to this plan.
Some elements within the painting are discussed in detail, such as what tablecloth design to use.
The final canvas is stretched primed and ready to go.
Notice my embarrassing, but surprisingly functional makeshift easel. The studio easel would cope with this size, but it's heavy. Rather than carry it to the garage I used a cool chest with a length of wood on top. The canvas is placed on this and held above by two metal wire coat hangers bent and twisted over the top of the painting.
The cloisonnist lines are painted onto the canvas, sometimes I'll even project my loose sketches over the canvas to help guide me, keeping strongly to the initial sketches. I will also refer closely to photographic reference materials of elements on the table to make sure I represent them accurately.
Using the color plan as a base design I paint in strong under-painting color.
A painting of this size takes some time to complete, it represents many weeks of hard work.
Below in the final painting. The colors within this work are hard to show within a photograph. Taking
a picture of this scale of work provides unique challenges, the color
represented in the small detail image, represents the work far better
than say the shot with me beside the painting.
Have just returned from teaching my workshop in Traverse city, Michigan. Sounds crazy holding a workshop in North MI in late Nov, but the weather really wasn't too bad. It was held at the Crooked tree art center in town and I met some wonderful and talented artists, at the event.
The night before I gave a talk about my art, it's process, my influences and more. I think in the end I rambled on for almost an hour, which is pretty impressive. Who knew I had so much to say about flowers and fruit? Of course when you get into my career history and influences I can pad this thing out!
Lake Michigan, looking cold
One of my workshop arrangements, I see a painting of this in my future.
A few of classes color exercises, great fun and good colors.
My demo piece, I'll post a better photo of it soon.
I'm always really bad at remembering to take photos at
these things, so I've only a few photos to share at the moment. Who knows, I
may be fortunate enough to find some from students who attended? If I do, I will try to add them.
Thanks to all involved, couldn't have done it without you, ( you know who you are): Also thanks to all the students who attended, you we're a great and talented group!
Find this one at #Chasen_Galleries,
Richmond VA. For more info. (804) 204-1048. Some of the artists who attended my
workshop in Nashville earlier this year might recognize this arrangement ?
Plums with Cantaloupe over blue
24X36 Acrylic on canvas
I decided to make a lot of little alterations to the original still life arrangement. There were a lot of colors in the tablecloth pattern, so I unified it, but tried to keep it's original flavor. I placed a new color in the vase/jug, to tie it with the tablecloth. I also added some oranges on the table to add some color variety. Finally I placed chairs and a little floor in the background, to increase the interest of the setting.
Later this week I'm visiting again the beautiful town of Santa Fe for its 'Paint
Out' festival. It all begins on the evening of the 14th (Friday), when my gallery (Ventana Fine Art) will be holding a group show and the
Then on the Saturday (15th Oct) the town holds it's 'Paint
Out' festival. Many of the galleries throughout the town encourage their
artists to paint in or around the gallery. It's a huge event and a
great opportunity to meet artists and see them at work.
If you're in the area this
weekend it's a must for art lovers and the curious, and I'd love to see you at the gallery and show you what I'm working on.