Posts Tagged ‘oil painting’

Where’s The Fire

February 28, 2016

Unless you walk a dog ( or two ), or have reason to stand at the curb while the fire department hooks up it’s hose to the hydrant in front of your burning house, you’d likely never take notice of fire hydrants.

Asheville has a preponderance of fire hydrants that are,  aside from being vintage in appearance, all different and quirky.

My newest subjects:

Meet Byron of Forsythe Street-

IMG_3578  8 X 11 oil on panel

Cloud liked him. Showered him with affection too…

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We left the Caribbean after 15 years for the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and this remarkable small/big, urbane/rustic ,city/town of Asheville. And took the doggies with us. I think even dogs’ appearances are enhanced by the addition of haberdashery.

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Cuba is of the opinion it was more like chicanery than haberdashery.

After tricking them and training them for 3 months with bacon, I was able to get them into the airline approved crates to begin this monumental upheaval from island life to mainland life via planes, vans and cars. It was not easy, it was not swift, but we are here and after all, WHERE’S THE FIRE?

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Cane Cutter- New Painting, and a Show

November 22, 2010

Cane Cutter 14X18 Oil on Canvas

Season here seems to jet out of the box in a nano second. From the Hades heat of August to the relentless storms and floods  produced, the torpor of summer is finally and happily over. In between weather issues, power outages, more rain than has fallen here in 70 years and the mold and mildew that grows on your feet if you don’t dance, I’ve been able to put some work together for a one woman show.

The debut of Bassin Fine Art, a gallery whose owners currently have a very successful photography gallery- D & D Studio, on St. Croix, will be December 11th across the street from their photo gallery. I’m so pleased to be their opening artist for their premiere event. Please do have a look at Ted Davis’ stunning images of Caribbean life.

From torpor to tumult in 10 seconds. And that’s how it is.

The show will run for a month. So I get to spend the best time of the year in the gallery greeting visitors and bypassing redundant Christmas songs and cheesy decorations.

Talk about cheesy- these two would make lactose curdle with their cuteness.

As for the other missing characters, despite appearances, we do not promote the use of nerve gas for training purposes.

 

 

The Goat Man Cometh….almost. A New Painting..almost.

July 28, 2010

Bigger is better. Oh,  Really?

Remember this guy?

I really liked this subject- thought there was too much to get into an 8 X 10 so I upped my own ante and leaped exponentially into an 18 X 24.

” Win A Goat ”  oil on stretcher canvas 18 X 24- almost finished.

It’s the dangblasted shirt that’s got me vexed, to use a classically Crucian expression. I have to forget that the shirt is white because the brightness of the glare  of full sun is tripping up the value.  This is the first time I’ve worked this size in oil. Large areas without enough detail become flat and have no eye appeal.

Too much detail and the shirt won’t be finished before the goat dies.

Scraped some off, letting it dry out a bit and will finish it if it kills me or the goat and I will go together.

Tropical storm Bonnie blew through here, yes, that’s right, and how much rain did we get? How surprised was I when I went to dump the bird’s water bowl?

Nothing surprises Chili Pepper- he’s the original coolster.

And just because you may have missed her royal peachiness…. Cloud on her divan.

Mothers and Others

May 9, 2010

“At The Ag Fair” 8X10 oil on panel

For mothers and others, Happy Mothers’ Day.

I did this one twice. One version was direct- no drawing first, except with paint. The other one, was painted over the drawing from last post. Do you have a preference?

” At The Ag Fair ” 11X14 oil on panel

My nemesis, interpreting white without using white. Tricky.

No, what’s really tricky is how the responsibilities of raising families, which is often  multi -generational, meal preparations, cleaning, shuttling kids to school and back, baking and cooking at night to make extra money, seems an impossible juggling performance but the stalwart women of this island and perhaps the West Indies in general, get it all done. And still find a moment to share an observation with a good friend. And sit for a minute.

A tribute to all Mothers who put love in our pockets, hearts, lunchboxes, and DNA.

Nurturing comes from unexpected places….

Seemed like Motherhood was evident here too…. maybe too soon to cut the cord.

One Digit Off

April 27, 2009

intheshadowblog-copyIn the Shadow 6 X 8 oil on linen panel

A recent upgrade in our phone lines resulted in a mandatory change of my phone number. I am now one digit off from an ” after hours spot ” known as a getaway for husbands and wives- not necessarily those who are there together.

At least 3 or more times a week, often in the wee hours after midnight, my phone rings next to the bed. It’s like a de-fib machine, startling me awake, with some voice asking if this is the club. Are they kidding? Why are you calling a club at 3 AM? How can you not know what number you’re calling at that hour? I’m not changing my phone again- I have cards, mailers, printed material and am not going to re-do everything.

Our other phone, which is a business number that rings in the house was also one digit off from a local electrical service company. Every day, we got calls from people looking to hire electricians.

Pre-dating these occurences was  my time at home in my teen years when after finally getting my own phone, I was yet again, one digit off from a well known dance studio and fielded more wrong numbers.  Usually resulted in slamming the phone down, feeling hugely disappointed that it wasn’t the object of my teenage heartbreak angst.

A funny pattern to follow you through your life, don’t you think?

I was careful not to have the lady in the shadow, above, have any digits off. She probably needs them all to dial my house at 3 in the morning when she’s looking for her boyfriend.

Maybe I need to release a few of these in the club to clear it out and allow me a good nights’ sleep……………

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The title was not intended to refer to the case of the careless carpenter. He’s probably at the club too. Or working for the electrical company.

A New Painting using a Limited Palette

March 16, 2009

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Solo 8X10 oil on linen panel

Limited palette consisting of : Yellow Ochre, Cad Red Lt., Phtalo Blue, Titanium White and Mars Black ( didn’t have Ivory Black but living on an island, you learn to substitute ). Minimizing colors is good practice to force yourself to see in a simple way, warm/cool, light/dark. I’m not fond of using black and perhaps Ivory would have been softer than Mars. This was a slight variation of the Zorn Palette which you can read more about on another blog I found here and see what Anders Zorn produced with a minimal use of color here at their website.

What was also limited was the amount of time I gave myself to finish this piece. I toned the canvas first in a drippy wash and went right to work with placing darks and mass- no drawing. Drawing with charcoal first is something I’m used to doing to get the figure in proportion. It also encourages the undesired characteristic of painting by ” filling in the lines ” rather than seeing shapes in relation to each other.

I’m taking another workshop next week, here on St. Croix, and wanted to loosen up before the class begins. I’m pleased with what looks like essence and gesture. Not including the wonky bend in the neck of the guitar. I promised myself that I wasn’t ” going in ” to re-do or do-over or fix it a little. This is it.

I also promised I would wash the cat by hand next time……

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The Swearing in of, and not at, The Muse

January 21, 2009

Maybe it took the not so subtle shift of 180 million people leaning towards the  hopeful, optimistic, proud and unified. But the days’ and weeks events have put me back in step.

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A seminal shift it was. As the oath was taken, the oaf was taken- away by helicopter.

Don’t look back, you’re not going there, as my favorite needlepoint pillow used to say.  Yesterday, there was a sense of a  fresh start, the feeling that we’re in very capable hands.  No matter how many times the blackboard got erased in 3rd grade, it never looked right until, at the end of the week, it was washed. New. Clean. Ready for the clear absorption of the next lessons.

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Her capable hands are a work in progress. This might even become a study for the next one.

New Years this year, fell on January 20th.  Hello Muse.

I’ll be away from the studio and home for a week to spend time with my mother. I’m leaving a plate of cookies for the muse so she doesn’t run off. I think this time, she’s here for all of us.

Locally Grown- Finished Painting

October 28, 2008

” Locally Grown ” 11X14 oil on panel

Mr. Carter has now got a face and a proper identity. I took the advice of Frank Gardner, who can nail the essence of a subject with minimum fussiness, and did a loose rendering of the features. It was good advice. ” Squint “, he said. Little did he know that’s my usual state of vision anyway.

Working backwards now, and so you don’t have to scroll back to an older post, here’s what preceded this finished piece:

Got more detail and warm tones in the left side foreground and aimed to set what is behind him, into the background with bigger blocks of color, cooler tones.

The beginning:

Sometimes I like the whole painting and other times, I like parts. I like the knees down in this one. Hands down.

A lot of farmers took a big hit after Hurricane Omar- it’s going to be some time before regeneration and re-planting yields viable crops again. We almost bought our way out of another season, but almost wasn’t cause for celebration.

I’m going to show this painting and some others at The Good Hope School Art Show in February, a repeat of the one I did last year.

Locally Grown- New Painting in Progress

October 13, 2008

When I first moved here from NYC 7 years ago, I was in for an awakening in the produce department of our supermarket. Everything is shipped in from the states ( so you pay for food AND fuel ), and the produce is old by the time you get it.

I was introduced to Mr. Carter, above, a farmer, living here for the past 50 years and a strong believer in organic farming. Using a quarter acre of his land, my husband and I grew: lettuce, watermelon, peppers, squash, basil, chard, and fennel. And sold it at our local farmers’ market. We no longer grow, but still shop at the market to support the farmers who still do. We’re a fairly dry island and water is unpredictable.

It’s easier to paint a farmer than to be one.

I started the sketch on a toned canvas using vine charcoal- I love its’ softness. Then I washed in some tones to get composition.

Mr. Carter does have a face- I’m having some trouble getting it right so in the name of patience, I’ll get on it tomorrow after it dries a little more. The pants and the boots are NOT giving me trouble.

Works in progress remind me of the bride in curlers, no makeup, old clothes and sneakers. Then the stages of makeover, and layers, and magic, and good lighting and a loving congregation, and presto! She’s a beauty. I’m hoping some of that happens here.

Mr. Carter and Miss Bonnie as St. Croix Gothic.

Traded a pitchfork for a palette knife- neither job is easy.

I’m going to Florida to see my mother for a week – leave me some comments to come home to. Even constructive ones on finishing this piece.

The Jazz Man- New Painting

September 22, 2008

Skin tones. Not skin colors. That’s what I was going for with this one.

The Jazz Man 8X10 oil on panel

Limited palette: ultramarine, alizarin, raw umber, titanium, black and letting the values of light and dark define the features.

I sketched first with vine charcoal on a tinted canvas.

I went at it with squinting eyes to let the contrasts be prominent and laid in the darks first. Then went back into it with lights and mid tones.

Squinting eliminates detail and lets the brush strokes loose.

I did some softening of the colors and features from this step to arrive at the finished one above. If kept at it, I’d have not known when to stop, short of trying for eyelashes. I wanted to capture some essence and not get hung up on details….

It’s been raining for days and after the dry dust bowl we’ve been through the entire summer, we’re now getting 10 inches of rain in 2 days.

In between curtains of falling water, I took clothes off the line and was met by this guy, who also espoused squinting ……

Our local tree frog. In a planter under the clothesline.