Category Archives: oil paint

Battery De Russy progress report w photos from Ft. Monroe

This is the first coat of paint on top of my underpainting. The underpainting of the battery was a wash of cool grays that I painted with a brush. This layer is warm grays that I painted with a palette knife. I need to go over the whole thing again and make adjustments. I’m excited to see my progress so far. The next step is to go over the sky again. I’d like to make some clouds.

This is what the battery looks like to my camera. Yesterday when I left home the sun was coming out but by the time I got to the fort it was foggy. I worked on my painting a little while anyway and took this photo so you can compare my perspective drawn with my naked eye to the camera’s perspective.

This lighthouse is at Ft. Monroe. It was built in 1802. It’s still operational and automated since 1970 something. They called it Old Point Comfort.

This is the moat around the fort. There are some pretty views of it and I might try to do a painting of it eventually.

This is the way into the fort. I can get my car through with just inches to spare.

October storm / palette knife painting on glass

darn it, my photo doesn’t do it justice.

The texture on the background is duct tape on the back of the glass. It’s there for a practical reason. what if the glass breaks? Now the pieces won’t go all over the place creating a hazard. I like to use my imagination sometimes. Could the background be the side of a building?

The paint is thin on the glass.

2nd palette knife painting w close ups

This one came out better than my first attempt.

I did the whole thing with palette knives and split it up over two different days letting the gray green background and the light gray of the flowers dry overnight. The paint was still wet the next day but only slightly dried which helped my brighter greens and white from mixing in as much. So I did layers but I don’t know if that’s how other artists do a palette knife painting.

It was fun and I’ll do another one.

The good thing about a palette knife painting is that you don’t have to clean brushes. The bad thing is that this will take months to dry. I can put it in my outside closet where it will be out of danger.

This time I went over the background twice to add more texture.

The dark green paint was soupy and it ran off my palette knife nicely. I thinned it with terpenoid.

It reminded me of my cake decorating days.

The white paint was like soft icing.

It’s practically impossible to keep the edges sharp.

The palette knife is harder to control than a paint brush. You have to be careful how you scrape up the paint off the palette so it’s on the knife in a good position to make a blob where you want the blob. Paint goes where you don’t want it to go. Most of the time I just let it there but a couple times I scraped up a big blob that fell in a bad place.

Horse V. Candy / feat art jargon and story

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This is a still life I painted with oils a few years ago. I used the same flower pot as I did in my most recent painting. It’s one of my model horses with a bowl of peanut M&Ms and a Rex begonia. It was fun because I arranged the M&Ms as if they were coming out to defend their fortress against the horse.

A couple weeks ago I read a post by one of my blogging friends, Judith, at art discoveries,  and she talked about art jargon which I find impossible to read. So many times I’ve tried to read an artist’s statement and been annoyed by meaningless jargon. I think, why can’t they be honest?! Why do they try to confuse people with a  meaningless statement? So I was amused to find out there’s a site that generates art jargon.” the instant art critique phrase generator.” It’s a bot. All you do is type in 5 numbers and it gives you meaningless bs! You don’t have to upload your painting. This is as random as the zodiac. These are some of the things I got from it by typing in zip codes.

“I find this work to be playful because the optical suggestion of the fracture makes the eloquence of this piece.”

“The disjunctive perturbation of the negative space specially undermines the distinctive formal juxtaposition.”

“As an advocate of the aesthetic, I feel the metaphysical resonance threatens to penetrate the exploration of the montage elements.”

“The subaqueous qualities of the elements bring within the realm of discourse the substructure of critical thinking.”

That sounds important and very esoteric! doesn’t it! And there I thought it was impossible to get a real critique these days!

I’ll tell you a true story about this painting. When I lived in Richmond and most of my paintings got rejected from the juried shows, I joined an art club, because when you enter with a group they have to hang your painting even if they don’t like it at that certain non profit, because the group paid for the wall space.  The first day when I wanted to join the group along with a few other artists, they wanted us to bring a piece of our art so they could see what kind of art we did. I took this still life. When I got there, I saw the others had leaned their paintings up on chairs so I did the same until the meeting was ready to start. A lady came in and threw her coat over top of my painting which I thought was kind of weird and I left it there and so did she. Then when it was my turn to talk about my painting I moved her coat. It seemed hostile to me. We had to wait in another room until they decided if we could join the group. I didn’t know if I’d get in but then they called us back and I did get in the group. When the meeting was over that lady was walking out in the hall close to me and she told me she’s the past president of the club for x number of years. I guess she was someone important. I said that’s nice, it looks like a good group. Then I entered shows with the group but I knew some didn’t want me to join. I got a weird vibe the few other times I had to interact. This isn’t my imagination. I’m neither an introvert or an extrovert. I’m just an ambivert, which is the correct term for someone that likes people but is ok alone.

Speaking of a weird vibe, I might go back to Fort Monroe and finish the drawing I started a couple years ago. The universe told me the guy that was planning to rob me over there got corona! hahaha Just kidding, the universe doesn’t talk to me. If I still get the weird vibe there, I’ll leave.

Poe’s Enchanted Garden / oil

Whoa, I’m venturing out of my comfort zone, trying the new WordPress editor.

This is an old favorite painting of mine that I did a few years ago in Richmond VA. at the Poe museum. I’m using it here for the new editor experiment.

About the new editor / Blocks with symbols keep popping up.

Could this be something I’ll get used to? Probably not. hahahah

Too many changes for this old boomer!

AAAAH! Make the blocks go away! They’re covering my words! They’re EVERYWHERE!

Get me out of here!

Magnolia painting update

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This shot looks a little fuzzy. It’s hard to photograph because my Maroger medium makes it shiny, so I took this shot in the dark of my dining room without a flash. The shutter was open a long time. The other photos had a glare. This painting could be a challenge to get a good photo even for a pro photographer.

The background is finished but not the Southern magnolia in the middle ground. I worked on it at home a couple days since the weather wasn’t good to paint outside, but wasn’t happy with the green leaves. I knew I had to go back to the tree and do leaf studies. Today it’s nice out so I got some leaf practice in and mixed up a few leaf colors. I think I can improve on it before I put the bright pink flowers on top of this.IMG_2478

Today’s leaf studies, oil paint on watercolor paper.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is good then 3 days of rain. This might be enough leaf studies so that I can paint at home again, but I could go over to the garden tomorrow and do a few more leaves and mix up my pink flower colors to save for next week.

The cold took a toll on the flowers. They’re turning an orange brown and drooping. A few buds still look ok. The orange brown petals are pretty too. I’m undecided if I should paint some of the fading blooms or make all  my flowers fresh and pink.

My tree needs a lot more leaves before I paint the branch with the pink flowers. And I need to make my leaves better defined, more like this study.

I think my pink flowers will show up real bright on top of this dark background but I might have to go over them 3 times, the first time as a gray underpainting on top of this then 2 coats of pink and white.

Japanese Maple / oil

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Don’t you just love to see fall leaves backlit? With the sun shining through the leaves the tree looks like it’s plugged in and turned on!

I wish I was a better photographer because this is brighter in person than my picture makes it look.

I was standing on the shady side of the tree and I could see the branches but on the other sunny side of the tree all you see is a skirt of leaves.

This is another try at painting like Matisse in my quest to understand more styles of art than the traditional, which is what I was indoctrinated into at art school. I taped my paint brushes onto yardsticks and stood back to paint it. It’s fun and this time I felt like I had more control over my brushes than before. I’m still mixing different styles together in this painting. I did some glazing, which Matisse probably didn’t do. And I used gray even though most modern artists don’t like to use it. Matisse wanted his paintings to reflect some kind of emotion, but I’m not feeling very emotional these days.  If I was to represent any emotion it would have to be my love of this tree.IMG_2138

This photo shows my canvas hanging on the wall over a piece of packing material and a piece of checkered vinyl to protect the wall from my paint when my paint brush taped to the stick goes off. You can see my sketches taped up too. I did my sketches and mixed up my colors in plein air on the path by the tree, but the canvas was too large for that narrow path so I painted it at home ala Matisse.IMG_2135

This was the first step, the background. I didn’t do an underpainting, which is the traditional way. This background took over a week to dry because when you paint with the brushes taped to a stick the paint goes on thicker. After I looked at this while it was drying, I decided to kill the brightness a little so the background wouldn’t compete with the tree. I wanted it to fade back a little, so when it was dry I put a thin glaze of white over the yellow and green. I think  glazing with oil paint is verboten in modern art styles.  Once a juror that rejected a painting I entered said, “Don’t mix different styles together.” I needed to do a glaze here. So much for dumb art rules.