Magnolia blossoms -Catherine

It’s hard to believe that at 6:30 a.m., the temperature is 39º this late in April!  Being an optimist, I thought to myself, “if it were early March, I’d be thinking it was a pretty nice day!”  The good news is that the blooms on the magnolia tree are a sign that spring is here!

After toning my 12 x 12 canvas panel, I decided to start painting the negative space with some sky color in the distance.

trying for better results with a toned canvas

trying for better results with a toned canvas

magnolia tree

magnolia tree

I’m only going to work with a few colors and hope I get a nice feeling.

I wanted to paint a group of blossoms with only a scattering showing details.

Toning my canvas is something I don’t always do.  I did today and I like the way I could map out the light and dark areas for my composition.

magnolia -Catherine 24apr15

ready to add some blossoms  -Catherine

I did have a mishap this morning…  It was windy, and I didn’t take the time to weigh down my easel (you know where this is going!).  After I picked up my stuff, and brushed off the sand and grass, it was time to pack up.   The blossoms with have to be added another day.  But, this was a great morning!

Peeps! -Catherine

 

Scoop from the coop!

Hens, Fiona, Molly, Mona-Lisa. photo by Catherine

There is a bonus to raising hens that lay different colored eggs, especially in April, and my first painting class with Maryalice Eizenberg, at the Creative Arts Center in Chatham, was also in April (2010).

 

Click here for link to the Creative Arts Center.

 

 

 

My husband Philip emptied and cleaned a few eggs from our chickens, Molly (brown egg) and Fiona (blue egg), so I could bring them to class hoping the eggshells could be part of a still life.

Duck in a basket by Catherine Apr2010

Duck in a basket by Catherine Apr2010

Maryalice set up this sweet still life.  A soft, stuffed, ducking in a straw basket, surrounded by yellow marshmallow “Peeps”, jelly beans, and my real eggshells.  I hope the eggshells survived and are still being used in setting up still lifes at the art center!  Fiona is no longer with us, but I still have this sweet painting with her beautiful, blue eggshells. -Catherine

Is it o.k. to approach a plein air artist working on a painting?

People have asked if there is a polite way to approach a plein air artist while the artist is out painting.

Unless the artist is on a deadline to complete the painting, most artists will welcome your interest in their work.  That being said, you can’t possibly know without breaking the artists concentration.

If you want to see the finished painting…

If you would like to see the finished painting, hand the artist your email address and request an image of the completed painting.  Most artists will appreciate you being considerate of their work time and happily send you an image, or give you the name of a gallery where the painting will be exhibited.   Hope this helps!  – Catherine

 

Head & Figure painting -Catherine

I want to start adding figures of people to my paintings, but for me, capturing a likeness of someone on a canvas is very difficult.

Drawing by Jack Hamm

Drawing by Jack Hamm

Today I’m reading a book called “Drawing The Head & Figure” by Jack Hamm.  Click here for a link to this book.  Being a visual learner, Jack Hamm’s book does it for me.  His step-by-step drawings present good visual explanations of the structure of the head & figure and how to draw them.

I have a large sketch pad and am practicing what I learned from this book while watching T.V..  This way I have many opportunities to quickly draw the same face while it is changing expression and direction.

 

television and sketching

I filled the page with egg shapes facing different directions.

 

By filling the page with egg shapes and directional markings, I can quickly switch back and forth as the head turns.

This was a fun practice!

 

television and sketching

The woman I was drawing had many different expressions for me to practice. -Catherine

Foreground and distance -Catherine

This is a view of Mount Whiteface in Waterville Valley, N.H., from The N.H. Lakes Region.  MT. Whiteface, NHI new this would be a painting lesson in pushing the mountain back into the distance, far away from the trees in the snow covered foreground.  It was a clear day, and the clouds were casting dark shadows on the mountain range.  Not having my painting equipment with me, I snapped this photo and worked on this painting in the studio.

Mount Whiteface NH

I blocked in the darks, lights, and the cloud shadows

Mount Whiteface NH

I used the white birches and snow to show foreground, and muted colors in the mountain range to show distance.

Mount Whiteface NH

View of Mount Whiteface, NH, by Catherine