Friday, February 22, 2013

New Faces Exhibit Starting March 1st at the Artist's House

Greetings fellow art lovers!  We are beginning the last week of February, which means next Friday is first Friday.  What is First Friday you ask? Good question.  Many Philadelphia art galleries stay open later on the first Friday of the month, hence the name First Friday.  Next Friday kicks off a new exhibit at the Artist's House gallery in historic Old City featuring Caroline Weitzman and Portrait Society of America award winning, Kerry Dunn; both Studio Incamminati alumni.  Both are amazing artists in each genre; Caroline captures unique still lifes in vivid and beautiful color combinations, and Kerry, along with capturing an uncanny likeness of the sitter, also communicates their emotions and attitudes.  I can't wait to see the show next Friday and enjoy their artwork with them and with you.  Below are a few of my favorites.  At the very bottom will be links to their websites and the gallery's website.  See you there.

Caroline's work

Beautiful! One of my favorites of Caroline's

 I love Caroline's choice of  diagonal stripes.

Look at this awesome color block setup Caroline painted.  We 'peep' your creativity!.

Kerry's work

Kerry's White Roses.  Simply gorgeous!

Breathtaking painting from Mr. Dunn!
I don't believe this painting will be at the show, but I had to include it because it has always been one of my favorites.  What great attitude he captured!

Artist's House Gallery is located at 57 North Second Street, Philadelphia, PA

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Alla Prima Demo

If you are like me then you probably love seeing other artists' demonstrations.  I especially enjoy trying to figure out what the artist is thinking about during the process of building a painting.  When working with a long pose or even spending multiple sessions with the same still life requires planning.  This is a muscle that I appreciate and am currently developing, but I also enjoy paintings that are completed in one sitting a.k.a.alla prima.  I remember one of my teachers saying, "Know what stage you are in and focus on getting the most out of that stage before moving on to the next one."  I find this discipline very challenging, but rewarding when I take the extra time to get it right.  Enjoy!

I've never painted on an oval format, but I thought it would be a nice element for the amaryllises.  I first started the grissaille focusing on the over all relationships of the shapes with a loose envelope, keeping in mind my focal point.  I didn't want the stem cutting right through the vertical center so I pushed it slightly to the right.

This is about an hour into the painting and I am focusing on angles, especially extending the lines and how they intersect with other shapes.  I am thinking about the gesture of the flowers, how they are moving and extending from the stem.  I am just as concerned with the abstract negative shapes as I am with the flower shapes.  I am also starting to separate light shapes from the shadow shapes.  I move the paint around until the shapes lock into place.

Keeping in mind how much daylight I have left I am content with my shapes so I  push into color.  I start with the easiest color to see which for this situation was the blue color on the amaryllis in the background.  Because I am seeing so many colors I edit what I see by asking myself, "What is the overall color in this area?"

I continue to spread my colors out to cover the entire canvas.  I am starting to think about the form of the flower, and not just about abstract shapes (i.e. "Which shapes or closer or further from me?").  In addition I am trying to reach my complete value range of colors.  Because of the whiteness of the flowers I am pushing more tinted pinks, purples and blues into the light masses...but not at the expense of value.  I am also finding variety with the yellow and greens of the stems.

Ok, it's make it or break it time.  I have about an hour and a half to express the forms of the flower.  I start to caress the paint over the forms, like I was an ant walking over the individual forms.  For me this is what I work for.  I love modeling forms, and tweaking value relationships.  I start softening and sharpening edges and trying to discover the variety.  I pay particular attention to form and cast shadows.  I am seeking harmony in the masses. 

Time is up!  Now I have to find an app that crops oval formats.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Daniel Sprick Workshop

Good Tuesday afternoon! Last week I attended Daniel Sprick's weekend workshop. Two days is not enough time with such a talented artist and teacher like Dan. But I'll take what I can get. Saturday, he demoed the portrait the entire day! What a gift, and yours truly took a boat load of notes. Here are a few of them:

- "Starts painting with vine charcoal linear drawing. Focused on composition and establishing the big shapes."

- "Explains the light on the form, direction and most brightest area. Illustrates the light on the most simple spherical form of the head. Emphasizes the edges based on core shadow and cast shadow."

- "Squinting a lot. Trying to have minimal accurate lines. Looking for harmony, and which lines he can unify."

- "Starts the color notes with the shadow first. Spends a lot of time cooling the shadow because of the 'hot' light."

- "Make a large batch of paint for the light notes. This value will be close to the final overall value. Starts laying in on the areas receiving the most light. Then he works the half tones by mixing the shadow color with the light color. Focusing attention on soft edge transitions (core shadow)."

- "Talks about seeing the human forms as basic forms (i.e. cylinder, rectangle) to understand how the travels, especially as the light transitions into the shadows."

- "Tools of the artist : 1. Edges (soft vs. hard) 2. Values 3. Temperature of color.

- "Establish the interlocking shapes of light and shadow while working the edges and halftones. The lights are mostly one mid-tone value. Starts modeling the light forms by noting the variety."

- "Dan points out that squinting is a good way to eliminate the detail. This is helpful when confused about what to do next."

- "Before moving onto color changes establish the value relationships, then come back to the area and change color in the same value."

- "Starts placing the dark accents 4 hrs. into the painting."

-"Still squint even while working detail"

Some great quotes from the weekend:

"It's like rowing across the Atlantic Ocean with two little paddles." A workshopper's commentary on Dan's brushes."

"Painting is a systematically controlled panic."

"Paint what you see when you squint."

"What will be the most effective decision to progress the painting?"

Here are some photos