Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New from Matter Deep Publishing

There's so much going on today with our family publishing company!

The Expedition and Beyond Catalog is online and ready for purchase,
The Expedition and Beyond
58 pages, published 1 MAR 2012
The Expedition and Beyond- Work by 13 artists, introduced through the Women Painting Women phenomenon of 2010, who continue to be challenged and inspired by each other. They come together once again in a show at Principle Gallery, Alexandria, Va, April 2012.

and my daughter-in-law, Amy Strickland's novella Kissing Corpses is free for today, Happy Leap Year. This is Amy reading the first chunk of her book.

Never fear if you missed the freebie for Happy Leap Year Day, it's only .99 the rest of the time.

Here's more about The Expedition and Beyond. Here's Amy's website so you can see what all she's getting into. Here's my daughter, Carly Strickland's website, she's our designer.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Painting a Head Study, Part 3

This was the third session with my oil painting class working on this head study. If you're just now joining in, here is Part 1, and here is Part 2.

Before I began painting I did an oil out using a bit of Res-N-Gel, odorless mineral and linseed oil. This is a couching layer to restore the color to it's wet look and help the previous layer accept the new paint. I only oiled out the area previously painted.
It seems to be going slowly but I'm spending only about an hour demoing. Then the class has time to paint and I go from easel to easel answering questions.
As I work I try to see in planes, modifying the color subtly as I go. I only worked on the section I thought I would get to that day, the forehead, hairline and eye.
Lyndsey, original reference
For the kind of work I do, I find working from photos is necessary. It has positive points and negative points.

On the positive side:
~The model doesn't move, the artist isn't shifting around so the view doesn't change
~The image is already flattened so there is no translation from 3-D to 2-D
~One can capture a momentary expression that a model cannot hold for hours.
~Model fees are less expensive

On the negative side:
~Because the image is already flattened the painting could look flat.
~If the original photography or print is inferior, there won't be  good or accurate information to work from and the painting could be lacking.
~Working from a photo puts more distant between the artist and the model which some artists find less fulfilling. (Let's face it staring at a print or a computer monitor is not as fun as having a model to interact with)

However, there are things one can do to counteract the few negative aspects of working from photographs.

~Work from life as much as possible. It will help fill in the blanks so to speak when a photo is lacking. That life experience will come out in the paintings.

~Have long and fun photo shoots with the models. I find myself remembering our time together while I'm working on a painting. It's much like remembering an experience you've had when you hear a song or smell a certain scent. Enjoy those sessions and pay your models well as you will most likely get several paintings from each one.

~Paint people you know, then you can stare at them over dinner to figure out that extra little something that's missing in the photos. (My kids and husband love it when I do this)

~Watch people closely and pay attention to how light affects the color of skin, shines through ears and penetrates irises. (People might think you're a creeper but it really pays off in the studio)

~Have models come back in to model a part that needs clarification. (Or use another model, my husband has modeled the hands on several paintings including The Ascent)

~Invest in a good camera and learn how to take the best pictures possible.

~Use a software program like photoshop to help get the most out of the reference pictures.

Enjoy, see you for Part 4.

Monday, February 27, 2012

My New Black Velvet Matador Painting

I had an entirely different post planned for this morning but just had to share with you the awesome present my family pitched in on for my birthday.
"Gold Cap #106", 3'x5', Vintage Black Velvet, 1960's-70's

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Painting a Head Study, Part 2

In the second session with my oil painting class, I demonstrated premixing a palette that we'd be using for the flesh tones, the background and the hair. If you missed it, here's Part 1.
I'm a firm believer in premixing strings of color, it takes a little patience, but I think it pays off when you get into it.
I started with the background and worked forward, and in adjacent areas so that I could have good control of the edges.

I store my paint in a Masterson plastic palette with a cover. It's then wrapped in a trash bag and stored in the freezer. The paint will still be usable at our next class so all the mixing time and paint will not be wasted.

My understanding is that a home freezer doesn't get cold enough to actually freeze the paint but slows down the oxidation process which is what actually dries oil paint.

There is debate among artists about this but it makes sense to me. What everyone agrees with is never freeze your brushes or a painting! The cold will adversely affect your painting surface, the wood in the brushes, etc.

Be prepared to have your family complain about losing freezer space, a mini turf war of sorts. Especially when you have multiple palettes in there. (I'm up to three). The war generally fades to a rumble if you have your defense prepared.  Go on long enough about saving time and money and you shall prevail!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Voice of the Tiger, Step-by-Step Oil Painting Video

I recently reworked a video of my in-progress slide show of Voice of the Tiger. It now has a voice-over with thoughts about my painting process. Enjoy!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Expedition and Beyond at Principle Gallery Video

This week was (between painting sessions) about putting the finishing touches on a preview video for the Women Painting Women, The Expedition and Beyond Exhibition at Principle Gallery, which opens April 13, 2012 and runs through May 15.

Catalog is available if you can't make it to the show. Preview catalog.

Here's a complete list of artists that will be in the April show at Principle Gallery:
Mia Bergeron,
Linda Tracey Brandon,
Rachel Constantine,
Alia El-Bermani,
Diane Feissel,
Catherine Prescott,
Cindy Procious,
Shannon Runquist,
Kate Stone,
Terry Strickland,
Stefani Tewes,
Alexandra Tyng,
Sadie Valeri

Hope you enjoy and share away!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Painting a Head Sudy, Part 1

I've started a new project with my Tuesday class. We are doing a head study working from a photo. This is the first time I've done this project with them, so it's kind of an experiment.

We are all working from the same photo, one of mine. I chose a mostly full front view of the face. It is classic Rembrandt lighting, in which there is a triangular patch of light on the shadowed side of the face.
I printed an 8x10 grid on a transparency to lay over the image. The grid dissects the image into thirds. This helps with the drawing, placement of the head on the canvas and of the features on the head. I think it is also helpful in learning to draw.

It helps to start to see things flattened and in relationship to each other. Drawing the individual shapes within one square helps to see it primarily as shapes. This shift in the way of looking at something is very crucial in learning to draw.

We first drew the image in a graphite pencil.
Next we redrew it with a Faber Castell permanent sepia pen.
I noticed (after it was drawn in the pen) that I had the right side of her face too wide, but that's okay. Oil paint is very forgiving and the marks will be covered eventually with paint. 

The important thing, listen up here my students, is to make the correction as soon as you see it! It's much better to have caught and corrected it at this stage than later after I had perfectly rendered the ear.
Next I did a rub out using Burnt Umber thinned a bit with linseed oil, mineral spirits and res-n-gel (to speed the drying). I painted in a few of the darkest areas.

My intention was for everyone to get to this stage in the first of four 3 hour classes dedicated to this project. None of the students got to this point. I spent about two hours additional after class, getting  this far. Most of them had their drawings well along. Next time I will know to leave two class sessions for this stage of the project.

You  may recognize this model from another painting. I'm excited to be painting her again.
"Cardea", 16x16, oil on canvas over panel.
She was part of my Elements series.

Here is a post I did about under painting with Gamblin Fastmatte,
And another about this under painting technique, "Aye, There's the Rub".

Friday, February 3, 2012

Would That Art Could Heal the World

I'm deeply saddened by the murders of five young African American men here in Birmingham, AL last weekend. I'm utterly heartbroken for the three African American teenagers arrested for the murders.

Like ripples in a pond, the devastation of economic inequality moves through our world. I wish that art could heal.

I post this in dedication to those 8 beautiful young men and their families.
Home, Building a Life Series, 24x24, oil on canvas over panel, 2007

Thursday, February 2, 2012

All About the HeART

Current exhibit up at Peterson-Cody Gallery in Santa Fe, NM. It is all on a Valentine's Day theme and the color red, My favorite!

The show is up Feb 1-29, 2012.

Here are a couple of mine in the show.

Oil 32" x 47"

Oil 11" x 14"
Here is sampling of a few others.


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