Monday, July 26, 2010

Progress on the tulips

I've added the reflections on the table but they're not completely finished. I also haven't finished the reflections in the glass vases themselves because I'm working on the background. Thus far, the background consists of Prismacolor Seashell, Beige Siena and Terra Cotta. On top I've started layering Artichoke which is a harder pigmented pencil so its working nicely to burnish the colors beneath it. In the margin on the bottom I've made marks for color suggestions. My goal is a warm brown neutral background with tones of color as to create a classic (?) still life and this drawing still needs work overall to tie everything together but its moving along!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Climbing the tower of St George's Cathedral

Today I climbed the tower of St George's Cathedral. St George's is a private (boarding) school located in Newport, RI and the cathedral was built in 1928. Fellow Spring Bull artist Richard Grosvenor, who taught art and was the head of the art department at St Georges, offered to give us a tour of the tower. Dick nimbly climbed the ladder (like he was still a teenager!) and opened the trap door at the top for us. Yes, I gathered enough courage to ascend the narrow staircase and ladder to see the view.

I found the gargoyles very inspiring. I might like to draw some of them sometime!

Fellow artists and tower climbers: Mike Chambers and Dick Grosvenor.

The view of the reservoir and Newport Bridge from the top.

I forgot this fellow's name. He sits in the stairway where we began our climb at ground level. Lucky for us, the heat and humidity had subsided a bit. While it was still warm, at least it was dry and breezy out.

I am working on my tulip drawing and will post it tomorrow.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Japanese Woodblock Workshop

Judy and I have begun coordinating and hosting workshops in our studio. This past week we were lucky to have artist Daniel Heyman instruct us in the traditional art of Japanese woodblock printing. Daniel teaches at RISD, Swarthmore College and Princeton University and this year received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship Award. He has done some amazing projects and artwork in which we were awed by. You can find more information on his website In this photo, Daniel is demonstrating inking and printing.

I spent the entire week cutting woodblocks and printing. My piece consists of 4 colors so I cut 4-12"x16" woodblocks in which I started printing in class. Let me tell you I carved wood day and night, even burning the midnight oil at home. I still don't have a print of all 4 colors so I can put my woodcut on the blog just yet.

We all surprised Daniel today by wearing headbands. Joan even dressed in her kimono!
Even Bandit put on a Japanese bandana (although it didn't quite fit on his head).
Daniel is showing us his work and explaining his projects and art installations that are very much about the lives and emotions of different people that include Iraqi prisoners or individuals living in homeless shelters.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tulip blossoms are added

This weekend and over the next week, I am enjoying some free time in which I've been devoting completely to art. My husband is in Scotland and even though my son is here, the house is quiet, and I can live and breathe colored pencil. I just don't have to think about much else for the next week, which is really nice and sometimes I just need to immerse myself in art. When life gets in the way and I am not able to draw or paint, I start to get very irritable! I imagine that most artists might also feel this way because we have the need to nourish our creative spirits.

Today I've been working on the tulip flowers in this piece and have completed them. I started drawing in the reflections in the glass tabletop below the vases. I am happy with the delicate feel of the flowers and glass and am not sure what I'm going to do with the background. If I'm not careful, it could overpower or detract from the subjects so I have to give it some thought as I continue.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Glass and Tulips

I've started this new still life with various glass vases and bottles we have at the studio and some leafy green tulips. I spent about a week just setting up the glass and tulips and taking lots of pictures until I found a composition and lighting that I liked. I can work the glass from life but the tulips have since died so I have to rely on my photos. I'm working on white Strathmore 100% rag illustration board which I love. The surface is smooth but slightly textured and the board is durable.

I'm also starting with as limited of a palette of Prismacolors to make it easier for myself. The greens in the leaves are: 1004 Charatreuse, LF189 Cinnabar Yellow, 1005 Limepeel, 912 Apple Green, LF109 Prussian Green and 988 Marine Green. The grays in the glass are: 1086 Sky Blue Lt, Cool Grays 20%, 30% and 50%. The blue/green bottle has the following colors added: 992 Lt. Aqua, 1006 Parrot Green, LF110 Green Hue, 905 Aquamarine, 907 Peacock Green. Thus far, my tulip flowers are: LF915 Lemon Yellow, LF127 Lt Peach, 929 Pink, 921 Vermillion, LF122 Permanent Red, LF126 Carmine Red and Coloursoft C130 Deep Red.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Artist's Magazine 27th Annual Art Competition

My piece "Patti's New Bowl" has been selected as a finalist in the Still Life/Floral category of The Artist's Magazine 27th Annual Art Competition. Just my name will be featured in the December 2010 issue of the magazine so here is the piece. I'm really excited to have been chosen!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Japanese Koi

I took photos of colorful koi when I was in Napa Valley a few years ago. One of the wineries had a beautiful koi pond that really inspired me. And Providence Art Club is having a members' exhibit in which the theme of the artwork is vertically or horizontally much longer than the width. So I chose the koi as my subject. I worked on the cradled gessoboard and this piece is 6x24". I did change the color of the original water, it was more yellow green and I prefer the aqua blues and greens to compliment the fish. I like it so much because its more abstract than most of my work. Sometimes I like to move away from always being so photorealistic. So this piece is hanging at the Providence Art Club until August 31st.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Samantha completed

After 2 months of working on this portrait, she is finished. I can't tell you how many hours I have put into this because its been a learning experience for me and I really enjoyed it. I would stand the piece in my house so that I could walk by, look at it and think of what I needed to change. The most difficult part was capturing the dark values in her face while keeping the subtle flesh tones. I used a lot of black in her hair and dark values of Tuscan Red, Indigo, Sienna Brown and LF105 Cobalt Turquoise on the left side of her face to create the dark values of her face turned away from the light. The other challenge I found was the flower was competing with her face and I wanted her face to be the focal point. After putting all the colors and values in the flower, I had to readjust her face. It was amazing how pale the values in her skin became. Now I'm excited about working on portraits and I'm looking for another great subject to practice on!