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A different viewpoint

           image courtesy of Wikipedia  Arriving at painting class armed with a photocopy of John Singer Sargent’s watercolor  A Morning Walk, some fashion plates from the same era and  photocopies of a human skeleton, I announced that I had an idea. This idea either would be one of my best paintings yet or would serve as a learning exercise. I wanted to do something more painterly. However, I didn’t want to copy Sargent’s portrait, but rather do something similar but  more Mexican in feeling. La Bella Epoca (La Belle Époque in France, Edwardian Era in England) is also the heyday of the henequén trade.  So my choice of costume worked for me. The seaside was more appropriate to Mérida than a lake.    La Catarina del Henequén Takes a Morning Walk Here is my portrait. Does it work?

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Same person, different day

Mijo at 21 Same subject as in Faire Brat just fifteen or sixteen years later. The beard stubble was done in pencil rather than acrylics. Unfortunately, I overdid the glaze and it puddled in places on the portrait, I wanted to make sure that the pencil didn’t smudge. This is the smallest painting that I have done about 10 x 10 inches.

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Success with photographing a painting!

Faire Brat Following Calypso and EricC’s advice I think I have the glare problem licked. Not glazing this portrait probably helped too. I learned quite a lot from this portrait. At one point, the lad resembled several faire brats of my acquaintance. I almost left it like that. I also had a problem blending flesh tones. Putty is not an attractive skin color, no matter how skillfully rendered the rest of the portrait is. The painting class is designed for us to finish a painting in one four hour session. I’ve realized that this format is a guideline, it’s okay for me to take longer. Faire Brat took much longer, I started it last week, worked on it for several hours between classes and finally finished it during this week’s class. Having our teacher point out things that were eluding me, helped so much. Saying that painting is a profound experience for me sounds pretentious. However it’s true. It is ...

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Back from the framers

  Here they are! I picked them up from the framers yesterday, and got them up on the kitchen wall this morning. The two paintings on the ends have less glare in this photograph while the center one shows less reflection when I photographed it alone. This was the second painting that I did. Those grapes were quite a challenge. One of the reasons the paintings are so reflective is that I glazed them. Having read that glazing makes the colors more translucent, I decided to try it out. Once I had glazed the first still life, I felt compelled to glaze the other two so they would match in style. I don’t know if you can see the phantom apple shapes in the background. Painting the tomatoes was hard! I cannot believe the different shades of red that I needed to produce. I call this Greek Salad because of the kalamata olive and the little pieces of feta cheese ...

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Only two students showed up at painting class Friday. It was like having a private lesson. Throwing caution to the winds, I painted a trio of flowers. My natural inclination is towards realism, yesterday, I had a break with reality. As I was adding paint to my canvas (actually it’s Masonite board, but canvas conveys the idea well enough), I realized that somewhere along the line, my reference photo stopped having meaning to me. My wandering eye had focused on a flower that had been edited out of the composition, things were out of kilter. Oddly enough, I didn’t care. image courtesy of Wikipedia Abandoning the mundane restrictions of rendering realistic images freed me up to try something new. Mrs WB was painting a landscape using a palate knife. Admiring her results, I asked the teacher if I could do so too. My daisies took on  a marked resemblance to Van Gogh’s famous sunflower series, though much brighter in color ...

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Planning a painting

  Painting is definitely getting a lot of my attention these days. I decided that for my 2nd effort I would paint Lakshimi the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity among other things. I have a small print of her sitting in a lotus blossom. In order to work out some of the details I did a drawing of her from the shoulders up. Outside of the fact that her hat seems to have a mind of it’s own, I’m  content.  My sketch book was undulating a bit which doesn’t help the photo of my preliminary sketch.

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Back to the drawing board

I finished my first painting. It’s done with acrylics. It’s just okay, I know where I went wrong. I won’t bore you with the critque. I am sure number two will be better. The colours aren’t quite right in the photo either.

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First Artistic Friday

  My first painting class was today. The time just wizzed by. It’s a four hour class designed so you can complete a painting per class.  Being who I am, I chose something difficult for my first effort, a portrait. Hunting around the web and browsing through our many art books I realized that I like Realism especially art from the Romantic Era but my all time favorite are the Flemish painters. The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck fascinates me. My goal is to be able to paint like that. I have a long way to go. My next class is in two weeks. I will post my finished portrait after that.

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