I did some more work on this picture and decided to share the final version with you. I took it too the framers this morning, so now it really is final. I worked more on the sky, particularly the lower left to break up a rather strong diagonal line. I also did a lot more with the trees and lightened the shadow beneath. And of course, did some more work on the poppies.
I thought I’d share what I’ve been going through since last Saturday morning, the day I did the demo. I learned in the morning that my mother had collapsed, probably from a stroke and was in the hospital. I did this demo, not having a clue as to her status, and it all seemed so unreal. When I got home that day, there was a message from my sister Marcia saying that the hospital told her my mother was “brain dead.” But then my sister Carol called and said that my mother knew them, thanked them, and was certainly not brain dead! On Sunday Marcia went in and my mother was cheerful and had regained the use of her right hand. That cheered me up.
Then on Monday, Carol called to say that my mother would have to go to a nursing home. This was the worst thing I could imagine. My mother is 95, but very intelligent, vibrant, and interested in life. I cried all day. But my mother has made wonderful progress and will be going to rehab, then to assisted living. This means having her own apartment AND her cat! She is very happy about it and so are all of us. What a relief. I never thought that the words “assisted living” would sound so good!!!
I will be driving up on Saturday and will visit her most days. I am so thankful for her strength and good nature. She has a lot of therapy ahead of her, but she’s already able to string together many more words. AND –they have equipped her with a hearing device so that now she can hear much more normally. Deafness was the most serious problem she had prior to this. Thanks for “listening” and for all of your support. I wanted to share this with you.
Poppies and Figs, 16 x 20, Pastelbord
Here is the other painting I’ve done–most of Friday and Saturday morning. It’s much more detailed and I spent a lot of time on it. The entire top is nothing but Giraults and they went on beautifully. The bottom is a mix of softer colors. As you can see from the underpainting, I used a lot of blue green in it, hoping to the buildings to the water. I left some of the underpainting peaking through the yellow walls and also added greens to the shadows. Also put some yellows and pinks in the water. The water was fast moving and didn’t really have an reflections, just a hint of colors. I really enjoyed doing this picture and hope to do more. I love the colors of the buildings in Italy. The pealing plaster and muck along the water line give it a real sense of age, as well. I may work some more on this one, but probably not any time soon, so thought I’d share it with you. Not happy with the title either!
Grand Canal Houses, 12 x 16, Pastelbord
I just finished the painting that I began as a demonstration on Saturday. I’ve made alot of changes, even though it may not be immediately obvious. I darkened and brightened the sky and work a lot on the clouds, trying to improve their shape and subtlety. I also changed the background mountain to a violet, after realizing that it was much too light. Did a lot of work on the foreground trees and shadows. The large mass in the demo is too much and too dark. I made two trees and added shadow, then broke up the large shadow at bottom. I also added more of the white on the lower left, to improve the shape of it. And, of course, I did more work on the poppies. I think I’m happy with it now, at last.
Painting at the completion of the demonstration
Poppy Field, 20 x 16, Pastelbord
I’ve just done a lot more work on the picture I shared with you earlier this week. One friend suggested that the water was too much the same, and I agreed. I was lazy before! This time, after brushing a lot of it off, I added some darker colors in the foreground and lighter in the back, and used a mix of warm and cooler blues. I also added a lot of pastel to the buildings, using softer pastels and aiming for softer edges. I particularly like the way the right side came out. Also used some of my AS extra soft tinted whites in the clouds and put more color in the sky. I’m satisfied with it now and ready to post on Facebook.
San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, 20 x 24, Rives and AS Liquid Primer
I got outside to paint this morning. I arrived at Swain’s Lock fairly early and painted in bright sunshine, with the sun behind me. Thus, this picture is fairly dark. But then, most of what I was looking at WAS dark! The only light was on the towpath and the nearby bushes, and I like the composition. I also liked the way the light shone off the canal. I did some work on this at home, as it was much too dark. Painting in the sun is hard. All of the colors I was using for the underpainting looked terrible! After this, I did a painting in the shade, which was more comfortable. But I don’t like the painting, so you aren’t going to see it!!! I’ve heard that people are having a hard time with comments. Please let me know if you’ve tried to comment and couldn’t–you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Towpath, Swain’s Lock, 14 x 11, UART 400
I’m doing a 16 x 20 demonstration this coming Saturday in McLean and spent this morning working out the composition and colors. When I do a formal demo like this, I like to paint the picture first, using a small version. This is really a small painting, not just a color study. One of the challenges of the picture is that it’s beautiful, so not a lot to add to make it a better painting. Me being me, I added a building! I like the opportunity to add something of interest in the background and a little warm color in the roof. I also added a mountain that wasn’t there. Otherwise, followed the photo pretty closely. I really liked the way the charcoal wash came out and thought about leaving the light triangle on left as a field. But stayed with my idea of the building. For the underpainting, I decided to try to use colors that would tie the sky and land together. Because one is blue-violet, the other green-red, I decided to start the sky with greens and use violet in the darks of the tree and shadowed grass. I also used warm pinks in the louds, along with violets. For the grass, I used a combination of warm sienna and greens. I was concerned about putting the red poppies over the green grasses, but by using Giraults for the grasses and softer Schminckes for the poppies, there was no problem. I’ve done the charcoal layin for the big picture. Have no idea how close it will look to this one! But at least I identified the pastels in my travel box and know that i have what I need to do the painting.
Color study for Puglia Poppies, 8 x 10, Pastelbord
Charcoal lay in
Hard pastel underpainting
I’m sharing two post with you today. I finished this large picture of my favorite building in Venice. If you saw the last post, you’ll notice how dark and blue it was. Most of the pictures you see of this are taken in late afternoon with the west light hitting the marble front of the building. Alas, we were only there in the morning, so the light was quite different. As it is, I’ve added a lot more light than there actually was. I also removed the vaporettos and other miscellaneous boats and added a sailboat that I filmed sailing near here. I used a light yellow base color and really hated it! It left all those little light holes everywhere, particularly in the buildings buildings. I really don’t like working on a light surface, even though it was good for the sky. Speaking of which, I made up the clouds. They were there on the third day, but I added these from my imagination. What I loved when there was seeing the light blue violet of the sky and the blue green of the water. I tried to capture this, but not sure how successful. Would love any feedback!
San Giorgio Maggiore, 20-24, Rives and AS Liquid Primer