Spring Rose Series #6

“Spring Rose Series #6”, oil on Yupo, 12x9”.
“Spring Rose Series #6”, oil on Yupo, 12×9”.

I was careful to get these roses painted in one afternoon, after spending a couple hours arranging the still life and getting the drawing down because I knew the flowers would keep changing. On the second afternoon I worked on the leaves and background. I saved the vase for last, thinking it wouldn’t change. But of course it did, as the flowers slumped and the water level dropped. I wanted to paint it from life, but had trouble making sense of what I was seeing and ended up wiping it off. 

By the next day I had to toss the flowers so I used a photo reference on my iPad of the vase. Two more days of fails and wipe-offs followed. Finally I got to a point where I was willing to declare it done. You can see some of the steps in the process below.

Photo reference and initial block in stages
Photo reference and initial block in stages. Worked on flowers first.
Worked on leaves and background. Tried and failed repeatedly with vase.
Worked on leaves and background. Tried and failed repeatedly with vase.

Spring Rose Series #5 (and #2-#4)

“Spring Rose Series #5” Oil on Yupo, 12x9”
“Spring Rose Series #5” Oil on Yupo, 12×9”

I was happy with this painting of my roses, done from life in 2 1/2 afternoons, especially after having tried and failed several times to paint my neighbor’s pink roses. (See below for photos of the process).

I’d read that oil painting on Yupo paper worked well and was archival so decided to give it a try with a pad of Yupo I’d bought long ago for watercolor. It hadn’t fit my watercolor style then, but I found it very fun to paint on with oils and also easy to wipe off. It’s similar to painting on DuraLar except it’s not transparent.

Photo of setup and steps in the process
Photo of setup and steps in the process of painting above

Every time I tried to paint my neighbor’s roses, I’d get the drawing and block in started, run out of time and the next morning the flowers had slumped or collapsed to the point I’d have to give up, wipe off and start over.

 Roses painting attempt 3 and 4
Roses painting attempt 3 and 4

I finally decided the square oil primed linen panel was jinxed and abandoned it. (Or maybe it was karma? The first bunch I’d taken without permission but even after I’d gotten permission his roses just wouldn’t hold up.)

Rose painting attempt #2
Rose painting attempt #2
Dead Flowers Again!
Dead Flowers Again!

Hanging Lemons: Two paintings and a Candy Jar

Lemon, Candy Dish and a Cosmetic Swab, oil painting on unstretched canvas, 16x12”

Lemon, Candy Dish and a Cosmetic Swab, oil painting on unstretched canvas, 16×12”

I had so much fun painting this hanging lemon and grandma’s candy dish and the previous hanging lemon oil study below. Also scroll down for the fun Procreate color studies and sketches and WIP photos.  I know the candy dish is wonky but I decided I like the wavy distortions.  I’m not sure which I prefer more, the iPad color study or this painting (which is available at my DPW gallery here.)

I’d love to know which you prefer: iPad painting or oil painting? And here is the little hanging lemon painting I did earlier:

Hanging Lemons, oil on Gessobord panel, 7x5"

Hanging Lemons, oil on Gessobord panel, 7×5″

This little painting came first; a fun experiment in composition and hanging things from the wall to paint. The painting is available at my DPW gallery here.

Original color study sketch in Procreate on the iPad. Print is available upon request.

Original color study sketch in Procreate on the iPad. Print is available upon request.

In some ways I prefer this chunky quick study more than the oil painting. I am working towards finding a way to apply what I’ve been doing on the iPad to my oil paintings. Next up on the blog are a series of more of these iPad sketches. Read More

Grandma’s Laundry Sprinkler and Apples

Grandma’s Laundry Sprinkler and Apples, oil on canvas, 9x12 inches

Grandma’s Laundry Sprinkler and Apples, oil on canvas, 9×12 inches. Click Image for Purchase Info

My grandmother ironed everything including underwear and sheets! Doing laundry was a major project. My mother bought her a dryer but she refused to use it, preferring to hang everything out to dry on the backyard clothesline. She dragged her wheeled canvas laundry cart with a big pocket for wooden clothespins (see sketch below) down the stairs and then pinned everything up to dry in the sun.

Before she ironed she sprinkled the stiff, dry laundry with water, using her special sprinkler cork (in painting above) stuffed in a bottle. Steam irons made laundry sprinklers obsolete but I wanted to honor this artifact of my grandma’s life in a painting. A few years ago I also made this sketch of her hanging laundry (below). I always loved playing with the clothespins and hanging out with my sweet grandma on laundry day.

Grandma hanging laundry with her laundry cart, Digital sketch.

Grandma hanging laundry with her laundry cart, Digital sketch.

Here is a photo of the setup (which I painted from life, not from the photo).

Photo of still life set up

Wedding Bouquet (Finished or Fix?)

Wedding Bouquet, oil on linen panel, 10x8"

Wedding Bouquet, oil on linen panel, 10×8″

I started this painting of my daughter-in-law’s wedding flowers soon after the wedding in January 2014 but wasn’t thrilled with the way it turned out so set it aside. I began reworking it again recently, and after several times reaching a point of saying, “Finished” and then working on it some more, I remembered the saying, “Art is never finished, only abandoned” and decided it was simply time to stop.

But there’s still one thing that bugs me in this painting: the pink rose on the right just feels too Barbie pink to me. Every time I look at the painting it irks me. But I’ve repainted it 5 times and perhaps because the photo I’m working from isn’t very good, especially of that rose, it keeps turning out the same. I may try one more time. What do you think? Leave it or try again? Or maybe find another photo of the set up with a different view of that rose and try again from that photo?

My challenge in painting is always how to maintain the freshness of my original inspiration, color choices and brush strokes while holding back my inner perfectionist who wants to keep noodling around forever. Another challenge with returning to an older painting is that the fresh flowers are long gone and only a so-so photo remains to work from. Likewise all my new fresh ideas about painting have to be set aside to work on something from the point of view of a year ago.

EDiM 14: Glass of Juice

EDiM 14 Glass of Juice. Ink and watercolor, 7x5 in

EDiM 14 Glass of Juice. Graphite, ink and watercolor, 7×5 in

I got confused and skipped over posting this glass of yummy Trader Joe’s Garden Patch juice yesterday, and numbered the two pics I did post with the wrong numbers, which I’ve now corrected. This is an odd glass, made by Bodum and meant to be used for tea as it’s double-walled for insulation.

This was more fun to draw than to use since I prefer my tea in cups with handles, even if the glass doesn’t get hot. I love painting glass!

Flowering Crab Apple Blossoms in Bottles: Oil Paintings

Crab Apple Paired, Oil on Archival Panel, 10x8"

Crab Apple Paired, Oil on Archival Panel, 10×8″

The branches I snipped from a tree in Berkeley provided many opportunities to sketch and paint. The first were watercolor sketches. Then I did these two oil paintings and some other sketches I’ll post later. Two of my favorite things to paint: flowers and glass. Crab Apple Paired (above) is available here.

Sake Bottle with Flowering Crab Apple

Sake Bottle with Flowering Crab Apple Under Warm Light, oil on archival panel, 6×6

This sake bottle is from a nice sushi dinner I had with my son. He’s much more knowledgeable about such things so he ordered the sake. I was delighted by its wonderful peach colored bottle with a kind of etched surface. I knew it would be fun to paint. I used a very warm light for this still life set up which made everything a little peachy. This little painting is available here.

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