Tag Archives: oil paint

your plein air artist on a rainy day

This is my self portrait done with a palette knife on pastel paper.

The forecast is for a whole week of cloudy rainy days. Bummer. If I had a week of nice sunny weather I could finish my painting of the battery. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed they change the forecast.

Meanwhile, guess I’ll have some fun at home. I can use paints that might never get used before they dry up in the tube. I don’t have to mix colors or clean brushes. I’ll do more.

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.

3rd palette knife painting w. closeups

I have a plan for another subject using this technique.

This is the last time I’ll use my sketches of the butterfly ginger for the palette knife painting. The next thing I’d like to try it on is the spooky battery at Ft. Monroe which I started sketching a couple years ago and put on hold on account of the weird vibes I picked up at the fort. I want to try again to finish a painting of the battery which might or might not be haunted.

Since the palette knife makes it comes out all wavy I think it might give that big imposing scary piece of architecture a more moody look. It will be all different shades of gray, some warm grays and some cool grays.

This is a negative shape for the viewer’s eye to go into and rest.

I want to try making different textures with the palette knife. For the background on this painting I used the short flat edge of the odd shaped palette knife to scrape two shades of greenish gray in a thin layer with some peaks of the dark gray tint of the canvas showing through.

This technique uses up a lot of paint.

First I squirted a blob of Viridian green on my palette. It’s dark. I added terpenoid a few drops at a time until the paint was runny. I thought my big blob of paint would be enough to paint these dark green areas but I misjudged the amount of paint I needed and had to use more.

When I mixed my lighter greens I used big blobs of paint and still didn’t have enough mixed up. When mixing colors it’s better to have too much paint mixed that to not have enough and I usually mix the right amount for what I want to paint with only a small bit left over but with the palette knife it’s harder to estimate.

The last color I used was white and I put a huge blob of it on my palette then added so much more paint that I thought it looked like I’d be wasting paint but it was exactly the right amount to finish the flowers.

Now I have to buy more paint.

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.

Magnolias / oil

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This came out dramatic looking because I painted my flowers on a dark background. I think it’s feminine and bold.

It was hard to get a decent photo since it’s shiny from my Maroger medium but I figured out if I stand to the side a little I can get a shot without glare.IMG_2502

It was time consuming and the only thing I could do to help make it easier was to thin my paint with a few drops of terpenoid and pick up a little scoop with my palette knife. I hold the palette knife in one hand and the brush in the other when I’m standing at my easel, then I’m not reaching to my palette all the time. It saves a lot of movement over the course of the painting which makes it more efficient even if it’s still slow.IMG_2501

This shot shows a web of branches to look through. They’re making negative shapes. I like to do a finished background where my eyes can go to rest on something interesting. It gives the painting depth and keeps the interest of the viewer longer because the eye goes to the background, then to the foreground again.

I’ve been working on this at home all day for a few days. I don’t know how many hours I have in it because I started sketching for this last year. The tree doesn’t look like this very long, if ever. It blooms suddenly as soon as it warms up for a few days. Then it gets cold again and the flowers turn brown and fall off. It might do better farther South.

Now I have to get back to everything I’ve been neglecting since I’ve been working on this.