Friday, November 14, 2008

the soundry

there is a new cool studio/gallery/coffee shop opening up in vienna, virginia in december 2008. it is called the soundry. i will have studio space there and will have the following pieces hanging there in december (i like the series in this order because to me it shows a progression):

Thursday, August 14, 2008


still trying to figure out acrylics. so far, i do not think they compare to oils and i hate how they dry soooooo quickly, but supposedly that is one of their advantages. one nice thing is that i did the following piece in about 45 minutes and was able to just throw it in the car and not worry about the seats getting paint on them.

this is detail of a model's arm, side, and leg. i liked the negative space that is created in the center. one good thing about the quick-drying of the acrylics was that i could do several glazes in a short period of time. however, a friend said that i am using the paint like water color (too thin and transparent) and that i should thicken it up. i'm going to work on that.

Friday, August 8, 2008

abstraction -- or my version of it

i have been taking an abstract painting class for the past month at the torpedo factory in old town alexandria, va. i took the course for two reasons: 1) to learn how to think more loosely and more creatively; 2) to learn more about how to work with acrylics.

it seems that as i move from realism to abstraction, i have taken a path toward surrealism. it was not intentional, but now it seems logical, as it is so hard for me to let go of realism. here are a few examples of the stuff that has resulted from my classes:

Thursday, August 7, 2008

still working on this guy

a bit more color, a few more background images emerge:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

walking man takes on a life of his own

after glazing with more color, things started to emerge from the background. it was a similar experience i had with the mountain behind the eagles. so, i just enhances what seemed to be there already.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

figure study with abstraction

It is always challenging to paint a model in a short 3-hour session using oils. But I love a challenge. For this piece, I covered the canvas with a thinned layer of burnt umber. Then, just as when making a charcoal drawing, I began to remove paint from the highlighted areas, and added thicker paint to the darker areas. At the end of 3 hours I had the following monochrome piece:

One of the artists in the session commented that she liked the wood-grain type of pattern in the background. I realized that I did too. That is something nice about working side-by-side with other artists -- we share thoughts and ideas and it becomes very enriching. I used some "secret" techniques (LOL) to cause the white streaking, which I thought added drama to the piece.

At the session the following week. I planned to add color to the piece. Luckily, we had the same model that week (that is never a given). However, he assumed a seated rather than a standing pose. Another challenge! So, I used the feelings I got from his expression, positioning, and the light to help me to decide which colors to apply. The model (Emmanuel) emanates a warmth which I tried to capture by using mostly warm colors. I like how the lemon yellow communicates his glow. The result of adding color is here:

I kept my colors pretty pure on my pallet, but mixed them a bit on the canvas. Once I had added about as much color as I could without getting things muddy, I still had some time remaining, so I decided to incorporate Emmanuel's seated figure. As I was adding that, it almost felt like it was a shadow of him, rather than another figure.

We will have a different model this week, so I will no longer work on this piece at the O Street studio, but will continue to work on it in my own studio. I will add many more glazes of color. My goal is to get him to glow and burst from the canvas.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

eagle spirits

this painting began as a standard wildlife/landscape composition. however, as layers were added to it, something surreal began to emerge from the mountains. the following photos show this progression.

this painting is now in the show perspectivo: unexpected views of nature at the falls church arts gallery (virginia).