Rose in Mom’s Milk Glass Vase

Rose in Mom’s Milkglass Vase, oil on Dura-Lar, 12×9″

This was a fun two afternoon painting. Below are the steps in the work in progress and photo of the setup. This was painted about a year after my mother passed away. It’s poignant to be painting some of her special glassware.

Rose in Mom's Milkglass Vase, Procreate sketch on iPad.

Rose in Mom’s Milkglass Vase, Procreate sketch on iPad.

iPad on the easel with still life set up

iPad on the easel with still life set up

Photo of the set up

Photo of the set up

Irises on White Cloth

Irises on a White Cloth, oil on panel, 14x11" Available here.

Irises on a White Cloth, oil on panel, 14×11″ Available here.

I painted these from life, but first did a value sketch in Procreate to help me stay within the range of values I chose for the painting. That’s a concept I’ve been pondering: that you can design whatever value range you want for a painting, from mostly light to mostly dark, and then mix the paint colors accordingly. I printed out the Procreate value sketch and put it on my easel for reference as you can see in the work in progress photos below.

Roses in Mom’s Antique Yellow Glass Bowl

Rose in Mom's Antique Yellow Glass Bowl, 8x8" Oil on Panel

Rose in Mom’s Antique Yellow Glass Bowl, 8×8″ Oil on Panel

I’ve been working on doing Alla Prima (all at once) paintings in order to become more decisive about the paint I put down instead of noodling around. It requires getting the drawing right, understanding what I’m seeing and if it fails, starting again instead of trying to keep fixing, which usually goes badly. This was the third attempt at painting a rose in my mom’s yellow glass bowl. The previous attempts and photos of the set up (as the rose opened) are below.

Queen Pomegranate and Princess Persimmon (Painted Thrice)

Queen Pom and Princess Persimmon, oil on panel, 8x8"

Queen Pom and Princess Persimmon, oil on panel, 8×8 inches (Available to purchase here)

There was something regal about these two, hence the name, despite the queen sitting in a soap dish, not a throne. I started out thinking “values and planes” and then, as usual, got seduced by color and detail. I did manage to keep some of the planes I saw in this pomegranate (which was becoming more faceted as it became more elderly, having been painted a few times over the past couple weeks). However, I’m not sure the painting actually benefitted from leaving the planes (or so many of them) visible.

Below is a photo of the set up and below that the two previous pom/persimmon paintings that were a nice warmup and introduction to the subject, though perhaps not terribly successful in terms of paint application, composition and/or drawing.

Photo of setup for Queen Pom

Photo of setup for Queen Pom

4 Poms on a Black Plate, oil on panel, 8x10"

4 Poms on a Black Plate, oil on panel, 8×10″

3 Poms on a Black Box, oil on panel, 8x10"

3 Poms on a Black Box, oil on panel, 8×10″

3 Poms on a Box painting on easel and still life set up

3 Poms on a Box painting on easel and still life set up

Oil Portrait of Baby Toa; Painting with Joy and Freedom

Portrait of Baby Toa, oil on linen panel, 10x8 inches

Portrait of Baby Toa, oil on linen panel, 10×8 inches

I really enjoyed making this painting of my friend’s grandson Toa. The biggest challenge was working from a cellphone photo taken in a carseat in the dark where his skin looked dark and bright orange. Fortunately I was able to see some other snapshots with better skin color.

I’ve been taking a new approach to painting; focusing on the joy of creating and letting go of the internal “committee” that demands perfection. I have accepted that my work will never be perfect and that perfect art bores me anyway. A bit of wonkiness, even in a portrait, is ok with me, if I feel I have captured the spark of the subject. I’m painting for myself; if it pleases someone else too that’s a bonus, but not at all a requirement. Giving myself this freedom has completely changed my life.

Below are my initial sketches, a picture of the setup with the photo, and an early stage in the painting.

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