Monday, August 29, 2016

Go Figure!

"What we need is more a sense of the wonder of life, and less of the business of making a picture,"  Robert Henri

As we head off to Provence tomorrow, I am planning to emphasize that idea; perhaps some of the wonder and joy of being there will translate to the canvas.   Releasing investment in outcome is difficult at first, but once embraced, will set one free!  Eight painters and I will paint the countryside and enjoy the silky air,  as we share ideas and inspiration in the coming days - what a special privilege and opportunity for a re-boot and welcome respite from the studio!

Les Imberts, 12 x 10

En Plein Air, Painting Mt. Ste. Victoire, 12 x 9

Below are studies from a recent weekly figure painting class (taught by the inspiring Margaret Dyer) which I recently attended; while they are rough, I was able to catch a bit of truth, most likely because I wasn't worried about creating a painting!  

Model in Repose (from a photo reference),  12 x 9

Beach Study (from photo reference), 12 x 9

Speaking of the figure, a few spots have opened in my upcoming Figure Focus workshop on September 22 and 23, at Soulful Art Studio, just north of Atlanta in Cumming, GA.  This is a two day, fun session where we make "soulful" figure studies from photos of kids or any figure in the light.   Check out my website for details or call Jeanne Matey if you want to join us! (404) 403-8334.   

Look at this little French girl in blue shoes, 
full of wonder, as she watches an artist at the easel

Au Revoir!

Monday, August 8, 2016


"Wherever you go, go with all your heart,"  Confucius

Heart and Soul: Victoria, 16 x 12

Or as Robert Henri said, "Do what you do intensely."
Children naturally do this, non?  I keep reminding myself to commit to that painting... perhaps losing some part of it that I wanted to preserve -- in order to make a better overall statement.  That's easy to say, hard to do!

During  a recent workshop at the Bascom Visual Arts Center in Highlands, NC, I noticed several participants using thinned paint and tentative strokes in passages they weren't sure how to handle -- i.e., cast shadows, or perhaps background areas.

How well I know that feeling, when I'm thinking, "What now?"

My advice to myself and to others too:  DECIDE -- decide on something, a shape, color or value, to at least try,  and apply the strokes with generous paint and confidence.   As oil painters we can wipe off, scrape and re-state if it doesn't work.
Take the plunge, for confidence looks good on a painting -- fear does not.
Always, always, I strive for the look of confidence and ease, however I get there!

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness; boldness has genius, power and magic in it."  William Hutchison Murray

Below are a few recents from my wonderful week in Maine, from my garden, where hydrangeas were abundant,  along with some reminders of Provence (where we happily return in about three weeks)!
This painting life continues to be a most special one ...

Study - Our Cottage, Maine, 12 x 9

Study - Friends' Cottage, Maine, 12 x 9

Dance of Summer, 36 x 36

Aix en Provence, 20 x 16

Coustellet, 12 x 12

Return to Les Murets, 24 x 20

Merci, Mes Amies, 14 x  11