"Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence,"
She Shimmers, 16 x 12
(from a photo of a workshop
student's granddaughter, which she kindly shared)
While preparing to teach a workshop later this week on painting children/the figure from photographs, I have been printing my handouts, and actually reading my own words on the importance of drawing practice to hone the eye. It is essential to catch the correct angles, relationships, all of it -- in order to express the gesture and feeling of the subject. When those key elements are off, the painting does not resonate!
Pictured below are a few studies of late, where the truth of the pose is expressed to varying degrees; it is evident that I need to practice what I preach with more regularity!! Also, I've included several very nice studies done by participants in my September figure workshop in Macon, all of which are quick timed exercises, resulting in very strong and true expressions of gesture and feeling.
My Moment, 12 x 9
Butterflies, 24 x 20
Soccer Girl, 16 x 8
Macon workshop demo
( I have many photos of this
little girl, and I LOVE her vibe)
Fast Walker, 14 x 11
20 minute Macon workshop demo,
done with chip brush from hardware store,
(one of our "warm up" tools)!
Here are a few studies done in Macon last month. AND, I missed getting photos of many other terrific ones
(all done in 90 minutes or less)....
Incidentally, today I learned that there are 2 - 3 spots in my workshop at Atlanta Artists Center this coming Friday and Saturday on painting children/the figure from photos...so
call Zindi at AAC (404) 237-2324, if you would like to join us!
Last week, we were visiting Aspen, Colorado, and it is impossible to describe, or to even capture in a photo, the shimmering gold light shooting forth from the aspen trees and the flowers all around. What a magical and inspiring time to visit! Eva Cassidy's song was playing on my iPhone and in my mind...
Oh to be able to create that magic on canvas... I am hoping to
carry this inspiration forward!
It's the dark values that make these yellows sing
(Flowers near the Aspen Institute)
AND.. the complementary colors of the sky pop the yellow as well
Softer, but so strong - love the pattern here
(Rio Grande Trail, on the Roaring Fork)
I shall carry these golden Aspen inspirations in my mind, as I go for bolder color in my work.
The pieces below are still in my high-key vibe, but I am feeling a change in the wind :-
I have included them because they are at least inspired by golden light...
"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.. if you love what you are doing, you will be successful." - Albert Schweitzer
I think sometimes I try too hard to figure out what the expectations of me and my paintings are, rather than painting what I feel. Lately, it's been refreshing to let that go!
I like the photo below of my palette mixtures -- which would make a cool abstract painting -- better in many ways than lots of my "real" paintings. I have, however, turned a corner of sorts for me -- letting spots of paint fly and enjoying the process. Knowing the basics is necessary, but fun experimentation is giving me a new lease on life -- woohoo!
Ooh, the heat of summer, which I have learned to appreciate, is upon us here in Atlanta... the sun is shining brightly and I swim whenever I can in the mornings -- as it's so very nice to float along and stay loose. Of course, staying loose is easier said than done, both in life and in painting! The Italian painting trip was truly a special time -- a joining of like minds, in very many ways. Along the sparkling Ligurian coast, it's easy to be enchanted, by the views, the lovely food, and the chance to paint small slices of the shimmering color and beauty! The paintings here were plein air sketches or petite demos.