Friday, January 2, 2015

A Studio Day!

It has been a while since I had a day of working in the studio. I guess that is a good thing in that it means the weather has been pretty nice most of the time which isn't usually the norm. The clouds rolled in early this morning which trapped the cold air for a while before warming up a tiny bit. Cold in the damp cloudy air is much more intense than on a beach in the sunshine. After taking a walk to check on conditions, I decided to work in the studio.

It has been a long time since I have set up a still life and painted. I recently got re-inspired by one of my favorite artists, Terry Strickland. She is not a plein air painter or landscape artist, although she may paint in this manner at times. She paints inspiring portraits and still life. What makes her work fascinating for me is that there is a story-line that runs through her work. I have long admired her story telling abilities and the fact that she does it with paint. Her whole family is talented and I enjoy reading about their exploits. Check out some of her paintings here.

Her recent newsletter arrived in my inbox containing not only pictures of recent paintings for an upcoming show, but a bit of instruction in how she works. This combined with the damp, bone-chilling cold weather definitely prompted my decision to stay inside for a change.

I spent a bit of time playing with a still life set up. I wanted to incorporate some of the things I find on the beach in the set up. I played with a simple story to go along with it but found it a bit challenging to come up with one in the spur of the moment. I decide to settle for something that I liked so I could get to painting. Here is a picture of my still life set up, with apologies for the photo quality:

It was getting dark when I stopped to take a picture and the camera was a bit confused between the lighting in the still life station and the studio lighting. I will get a better picture tomorrow. The paper behind the set up wouldn't stay taped to the background and wanted to roll down. I liked the effect so kept it in as you will see.

I ran out of time so did not finish the painting even though it is small 5"x7".  I am having fun with this and just playing with it. I have forgotten how relaxing it can be to paint without racing against light, tides, and changing weather. Don't get me wrong, I actually love being outside and prefer it to being in the studio.

Here are a couple of more pictures. I used my plein air easel to paint with to keep things easy to move around.

Well, as you can see, I got some of it blocked in but not all. I took my time mixing paint and considering values, etc., not to mention getting the drawing right. The shapes still need tweaking but it is underway. I will work on it some more tomorrow, and with any luck, given the time I have available, finish it. In the meantime, I am going to think about a story or two to tell....


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