Saturday, November 23, 2013

Blinding Light

©2013 R.L. Delight, Blind Light, 6"x8", oil on canvas panel
Oh this week has been a challenge. The main challenge being the weather. Not bad weather but cold sunshine and wind blowing from the East off the mountains. This time of the year the sun is low on the horizon as it approaches the Solstice. I can't find a place to put my easel, indoors or out, that the light doesn't blind me. I literally cannot see the colors on my canvas accurately. The painting above is a case in point. The color of the sea on the horizon is too intense and jumps out. I couldn't tell until I photographed the painting late this afternoon. That is just one of the issues. I will put this one aside and come back to it later to see if I can fix it. This was painted using a plein air study I made in January 2013 as a reference.
The sunshine also means calm seas. The waves are so puny that they hardly make any foam. They stretch out in miles long unbroken lines parallel to the beach. Beautifully different but not what I like to paint. I might have to look into finding some nice rocks to paint while I wait the weather out.
Well, I just deleted a whole rant about bad insurance and enormous hospital bills and assorted billing errors. Amazing how easy it is to stray off topic! I won't bore you all but will say that the U.S. healthcare system is a rather sad testament to one of the many things that ails our beautiful country. Our people deserve better. Other countries lead the way.
The only way I know, the way forward, is to paint. So, I will paint. Good, bad, I will paint. It will all eventually work out one way or another.
I will get there. Dinner time calls. Tomorrow I paint.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wave Study #68

© 2013 R.L. Delight, Wave Study #68, 6"x8", oil on canvas
This was a challenging one in several ways. We had a nice little fall storm pass through here yesterday. Today was fairly calm. On the beach there was a light breeze but there would be sudden long sustained gusts that seemed to come out of nowhere and then suddenly cut off. One such gust blew my easel over when it came up at the very moment I turned to toss my little notebook back in my pack. Fortunately nothing was broken, the paint didn't get sandy, and my terps can was still sealed shut as I hadn't started painting yet. My four brushes got strewn all over the beach but a quick wipe cleaned them off.

The other challenging part was more internal. Resistance reared its ugly head as I started out. There was that little voice at the beginning, "what a boring composition", "you have done this before", "that color is ghastly", "why are you out here? It is cold!", and so on. Each time I felt my hand starting to put the brush down I grimly pushed on. I would love to say I eventually got into the painting groove. I sort of did but it was a struggle all the way.
That is OK. I recognize what is going on. Almost buried in all the resistance chatter was another little voice that said I need to regroup a bit and study my books and DVD's to push on through to the next level.

That is what I plan to do in between painting for the workshop fundraiser and going out to do the occasional wave study. It won't take long to do a bit of studying. I don't want to stop with the wave studies though because it can be painful to start again after a period of time off as I well know.

What really kept me painting today was the wonderful light. Some of the waves were in cloud shadow and some in light. The sun approaching the Winter Solstice next month is fairly low in the sky. This makes the light golden and not very strong. I am also having fun getting more color into the paintings and I am letting myself experiment more. So much to learn still!
Here is a parting shot of my office today. As I left that squall over the ocean hit and I got a good dose of sandblasting as I made my way back to my car. Only got a few drops of rain on me.
A dramatic office today.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Gray Effect: Workshop Fundraiser #4

© 2013 R.L. Delight, The Gray Effect, 6"x8", oil on canvas panel
This is available for purchase on my Daily Paintworks site starting 11/17/13! Please click here to purchase.

The Gray Effect is another painting I created using a wave study, #66 in this case, as a reference. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been playing around with Notan lately. Notan is making a simple black and white sketch of the composition to place the light and darks. In my case, I used dark red as that is what I have at the moment. I did three Notan sketches to work out the composition on this painting. I played with the position of the horizon line in the first sketch. In the second sketch I tried a different horizon line but I also did a few quick mini sketches on the side to play with the wave placement. The third and final Notan sketch I added dynamic symmetry principles to come up with the final wave placement. I drew thick black lines to show up better in the photo for this post. Dynamic Symmetry is a whole chapter of posts in and of itself. I spent a winter studying it both graphically and mathematically about 6 or 7 years ago. I am a bit rusty but I remembered enough to use it here. Here is a collage of all three Notans:
Notan for The Gray Effect painting
The Notan on the far right is what I ended up using and has the simplified dynamic symmetry markings.
Here is also a side by side picture of Wave Study #66 and The Gray Effect:
© 2013 R.L. Delight wave study and final painting.
If you read the post about Wave Study #66 you might remember that the rain started to interfere with the paint causing it to not want to stick to the canvas. I raised the horizon line slightly and changed the shape of the wave a bit but, the colors and the wave shapes are fairly close.
I decided to call this The Gray Effect because the gray misty light brings out colors in the ocean waves that are usually only seen when the day is dim and filmy.  The waves also take on an inner glow which I had a great deal of fun trying to achieve. Not sure I hit it but I did enjoy the challenge.

I am still a bit behind but things are moving forward and are falling in place. I am ready for the new week!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Of Land, Sea, and Sky: Exploring a Palette

I have crossed a lot of things off my to do list this week. I plan to get another painting finished tomorrow as well. Which reminds me, available paintings for my Workshop Fundraiser can be found here. I will post a link somewhere in the beginning of each post for the duration.
The following is a bit of technical painting geekery so you have my permission to skip it if you are not interested and come back to read my next post! However, this is one of those behind-the-scene things that goes into a painting.
One of the items I crossed off my to-do list was a long overdue color chart of my painting palette.   I have been using these particular colors to paint my seascapes for a year now. Here is the list of what I use and which brand of paint:
  • Burnt Sienna- Gamblin
  • Raw Sienna- Gamblin
  • Greenish Umber- Rembrandt
  • Alizerin Crimson Permanent- Gamblin
  • Cadmium Red Deep- Gamblin
  • Cadmium Red Light- Gamblin
  • Yellow Ochre- Gamblin
  • Cadmium Yellow- Gamblin
  • Hansa Yellow Medium- Gamblin
  • Viridian Green- Gamblin
  • Green Earth- Rembrandt
  • Cobalt Blue- Gamblin
  • Ultramarine Blue- Gamblin
  • Titanium White- Sennelier
Here is a color chart I painted using this palette:
Color Chart for palette, 2012-2013
Roughly for rows 1-8, I mixed yellows with blues except for the last 5 columns. I mixed the paint 50/50 more or less. I just wanted an idea. I have messed around with these colors enough to know that I can shove them one direction or another with the addition of more color. Underneath each row of mixture, I painted another one mixed with white. The final 5 columns I added a third hue, one of each of my reds mixed with each of the two blues.
Sounds complicated, I know, but it works really well for me. Rows 9-14 I used my greens to mix with the blues. Here is the actual list of paint going across: Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Ultramarine Blue+Alizerin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue+Cad. Red Deep, Ultramarine Blue+Cad. Red Lt., Cobalt Blue+Cad. Red Deep, Cobalt Blue+Cad. Red Lt.
I added Cerulean Blue and Raw Umber just to try. I don't use these in my current palette.
The only new paint I added to try in the line up going down the chart is a yellow ochre from Michael Harding. I wanted to see how it compared to the one from Gamblin. I liked it very much and will try it in the field when I use up the Gamblin.
One of my reasons for doing this is that I am trying to get a bit more translucency in my paint. Looking at this line-up, my cadmium reds are opaque paints. I hauled out a few semi-translucent reds that I had on hand to compare and did another chart with the three color mix of greens, blues, and a bit of red. No scientific measuring, just striving to hit the colors I end up with in my finished paintings. Here is that chart:
Color chart for new paint consideration with inset from first chart.
I pasted on a snippet from the first color chart with the cadmium reds to the bottom of this chart to give a general reference for comparison. Again, these are not precise, just somewhere in the neighborhood. I used Perylene Red, Napthol Scarlet, and Napthol Red, all from Gamblin and semi-transparent, for the reds in this chart. Quite honestly the difference was very slight. The reds were tricky to use since I am not used to them and I had a tendency to add too much. It didn't take very much to go too far either.
I have decided to give the Perylene red and Napthol Scarlet a try out in the field and I am going to drop the alizerin permanent for a time as I rarely use it. I will have a report after I have used them for a few times. The bottom two rows (not on the inset) are using cadmium green. I had it and thought I would throw it in to see how it worked. I won't be using this green but I might try cerulean blue or the raw umber once in a while.
I am happy I did this as I now have a reference when I get stuck trying to achieve a certain color. I did another notan sketch for the next painting and will have a bit more on that along with another painting for me next post.

If you made it this far you get a virtual gold star and a heaping of gratitude from me.
Until next post!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tidal Shift

© 2013 R.L. Delight, Tidal Shift, 6"x8", oil on canvas panel
This painting is available for purchase at my Daily Paintworks site! Please click here to purchase.

I am still behind but catching up. There are a few things that I need to have in place for this workshop fundraiser that I didn't realize I needed. They differ widely from needing to have daily needs organized, to getting the backs of the panels sealed, to ordering a few shipping supplies. I also took a day and cleaned and de-cluttered my studio a bit. Just a bit as there is still clutter. I have a tiny sewing area in one corner, my cello and music gear in another corner, and all the art stuff in the other two corners. It makes for a full studio.

It feels good to get all that organized. I am still working on the final bits today and I want to do a color chart exercise to work on my seascape painting colors. I have started to build a daily habit of working on some of the fundamental skills such as drawing too.

I painted Tidal Shift in the studio yesterday. This week will be a studio painting week just because I need to catch up and get organized. This isn't an exact copy of Wave Study #67. In fact, here is that wave study to compare it to which I published last time:

©2013 Wave Study #67, 6"x8", oil on canvas
 There is a bit of a difference. I like both of them for different reasons. I decided to play around with each wave study I choose to use as a reference. With that in mind, I made several quick sketches called Notan using a dark felt pen to get an idea of values and composition. I think it is a big help and will be doing that with each painting in the future.

It can be a challenge, at least for me, to create the best composition and use the values to the best effect when out painting plein air. I am hoping that by doing this in the studio each time, I will get better at being able to do that out in the field.

Tidal Shift was painted late in the day and the light was growing dim. The tide was also changing which causes the waves to sometimes change direction.
I am enjoying the mini challenge I have going with this workshop fundraiser. I think it will contribute quite a bit to my artistic growth. I hope you all will enjoy the paintings too!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Painting in the Wet

I am behind in my posts. This first full week of November was a busy one but I did get out to paint. There were a few wet and wild days, and a few just plain wet days.
If you look closely, the little dots you can see is the rain on my easel. This is with an umbrella over me too! It was wet this day but warm and no wind. It was a fairly pleasant day to be out and the waves were decent. Unfortunately, the wet crept in a bit too much and my paint did not want to stick after a while. Here is wave study #66 which suffered a bit from the wet.
© 2013 R.L. Delight, Wave Study #66, 6"x8", oil on canvas
I painted last week's wave studies on canvas panels and they became my first two paintings for sale in my Workshop Fundraiser. I decided that I did not want to do that for several reasons.
The main reason is that I want room to experiment, fail, make mistakes, and have a breakthrough, or two, once in a while. I also want to keep the wave studies. With that in mind, this week's paintings for the workshop fundraiser are not plein air studies but painted from a compilation of studies.
They aren't finished quite yet but will be soon.
Here is Wave Study #67:
© 2013 R.L. Delight, Wave Study #67, 6"x8", oil on canvas
 Both of the above wave studies were painted in about an hour to an hour and a half due to conditions. Wave Study #67 was done late in the afternoon on a mostly gray day. The sun peeked out through filtered clouds toward the very end.  I pretty much ran out of decent light to paint on this one.
Up to this point I have had a policy of putting the good, the bad, and the ugly on the blog to show not only my process, but what it takes to build an artist. Basically, it takes years and hard work! I am still going to more or less continue to post the studies but I am now going to allow myself  not to post one if I choose. I want to give myself mental room to push a bit harder. That means even more mistakes and bigger messes than usual.
One final bit, I am happy to say that my painting Zipper Wave sold and looks very nice hanging in a frame in its new home.
© 2013 R.L. Delight, Zipper Wave, 6"x8" oil on canvas panel
This is a painting from earlier this year. More can be found on my Daily Paintworks site.
I appreciate the support! Stay tuned for more new paintings.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Wave Study #65: Out of the Blue

© 2013 R.L. Delight, Wave Study #65: Out of the Blue, 6"x8", oil on canvas panel. 


Here is the second painting in my workshop fundraiser series. It is also Wave Study #65.
Out of the Blue was painted at Indian Beach in Ecola State Park. It is a stunningly beautiful place. The day was our final warm blue sunny day of the season. It was a fantastic day to paint and I also had a painting friend along!  Our next blue day will be brilliant and cold. I titled this painting Out of the Blue because it feels like we have ran out of the warm blue days until next year.
This will be on my Daily Paintworks site November 5th, 2013. Click on the link below the picture to visit. I  have also updated my website. I had to visit every page and therefore saw the work I first put up last year. Oh dear. I have to admit part of me cringed. Another part was pleased to see the progress I made. Then, there was a tiny voice in the back of my mind wondering if this year's work will make me cringe next fall.
I am not where I want to be in my painting yet but I am getting there little by little.

P.S. Don't forget! Anyone who buys a painting will be entered into a drawing for a 12"x16" painting that will be painted after the workshop by July 31, 2014. In addition, if you refer someone who buys a painting, your name will be put in the drawing too!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Wave Study #64: A Bootstrap Kickstarterish Project

Before I get started, here is Wave Study #64, which not only has a title but is for sale on my Daily Paintworks page starting November 1, 2013. I am putting it and the next 54 or so paintings I make for the following project in a Daily Paintworks Auction. The title of this painting is Gray Break. Read on for the full story on the project!
© 2013 R.L. Delight, Wave Study #64: Gray Break, 6"x8", oil on canvas panel.
This painting is now for sale! Please click Here if you would like to purchase.
One of the activities I did during my recovery time was to write down my goals as an artist. I wrote the goals 10 years out. The first five years' goals were much more detailed than the last but I am glad I did this. I had the time to put some thought into it.
This month will be my official one year anniversary of plein air painting. So far I have been learning mostly from just going out and painting. I have also studied books and videos. One of my goals this coming year is to attend a plein air workshop. I have only had one other workshop, from Robert Liberace, which was two years ago and definitely not plein air. It is time.

I have a short list of two people I would like to take a workshop from. Donald Demers, and Kathleen Dunphy. I am still adding to the list but these two are at the top. Don Demers is mainly on the East Coast of the U.S. and for my next workshop, I decided to stay closer to home. Kathleen Dunphy is in California and lives near my husband's family.
Kathleen Dunphy teaches around two workshops a year and they fill up fast. Of course, it was already too late for this year but I found a workshop in May 2014 and sent my deposit in. I am very excited! Her work is exquisite and more importantly, her painting and art philosophy appears to mesh with mine, with room to grow. I have actually been wanting to take a workshop from her for quite a while. She recently was interviewed on the Artists Helping Artists podcast which pretty much sealed my decision to sign up.
It is one of the shorter workshops but this one is a prerequisite for her longer "No Whiners" workshop. The shorter one will also give me an idea if I want to invest in the longer one. I don't intend to take very many workshops so I am going to be choosy.

Speaking of investments, that leads me to the "bootstrap kickstarterish" part of my post title. I will need to pay not only for the workshop but travel and lodging expenses. It is a financial investment well worth making. With that in mind I am going to paint my cute little rear end, um,  dignified posterior off!
This project will go from November 1, 2013 to May 1. 2014.  I will be painting 2 small paintings a week to sell on my Daily Paintworks site with a starting bid of $75. The auction goes for one week with a re-list of three times. If the painting is not sold in that time it defaults to $125. All of the proceeds will go to pay for the workshop and the expenses of travel and hotel. There is also the added beauty that people will own a painting to enjoy.
Wait! It gets better! As a small token of gratitude, every person who buys a painting will be entered into a drawing for a 12" x 16" painting that will be completed after the workshop and no later than July 31, 2014. I will be painting 54 paintings in all so that means a one in 54ish shot for a larger original piece of art.


Well, I know that I am personally not in a position at this time in my life where I have a few extra dollars to buy a wonderful piece of art. If someone refers a lovely person to my site and they purchase a painting then both the art collector and the person who referred them with be entered into the drawing. Believe me, I would love to fill my walls with all the wonderful art I see. This gives someone a chance to be rewarded for doing a kind deed.

This is the project and Gray Day is the first painting in the series. I will come up with a name for the project soon. Suggestions in the comments section or on my Facebook page are welcome! Details on the drawing of a winner at the end of the project will be coming in the next post.

Whew! That is it for now. Time to go roll up the sleeves and paint! 

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