Monday, February 28, 2011

Step by Step - Still in Progress

I've been having a crazy week.... I had two shows to prepare for, my day job is extremely busy at the moment, and I came down with the flu, so my progress has been minimal on this painting. I tried to photograph it so that you can see some of the texture more easily. I like to create flowing lines that reflect the energy and movement of the painting. Speaking of painting, I feel like I've lost the flow on this one, so I'm going to warm up again with a few small paintings and then come back to it. Does that ever happen to you? I mean seriously, I went from bold confident strokes to fussy little "what the heck is that colour I just put on there?" kind of strokes. So I definitely need to get back in the groove.

The Federation of Canadian Artists Spring Exhibition opened on Sunday. I'm very pleased to have a piece in the show. I was sick for the opening, so I'll be dropping by tomorrow to see it. I'm sure there are many wonderful paintings in the show as usual. I'm also pleased to have a solo show of Still Life and Jazz themed paintings at a local Starbucks for the month of March. That's a fun and busy venue so I'm looking forward to that.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Step by Step Continued

I've been painting this still life from life and needed to set it up in a place where I could leave it set up for a few weeks. I have a small studio in the basement which works well for small paintings but 30 x 30 is stretching it a bit. I finally became very frustrated yesterday because I couldn't step away far enough from the painting to see what I was doing, and I needed a light on my palette so I could see better what I was mixing. I had a light on the set up and my daylight lamp on the canvas, but I needed a third free standing lamp for my palette.  Finally I shot a picture and had it developed and I'm going to finish the painting upstairs where there is more room and light, but leave the set up, so I can refer to it when needed. At some point, I will stop using reference material altogether and just put the art into it.

I had a very exciting thing happen this weekend. Robert Amos, Art Critic for Victoria wrote a long article about the LOOK show highlighting works of a few of the artists, and I was one of the artists highlighted! I'm honoured and thrilled! He said "Claire Christinel paints the elements of her joy more carefully, but also tosses them together with strong pattern and bright colours. Her 'Tutti Frutti' would be a real pleasure to take home, I am sure." I've got to be happy about that!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Step by Step - Still Life

 This is a new large still life painting in acrylic that I'm working on. I've switched over to acrylic because I need this painting to dry quickly. I often choose a birds eye view with graphic cropping, but for this one I wanted to incorporate draped fabric. The canvas is 30 x 30 so it's fairly large. I started by creating some movement on the canvas with molding paste,which I feel will create some textural interest, lead the eye, and add some energy. I then did a partial value study in burnt sienna to give me enough information to proceed.

This is the beginning of my colour block in. So far I'm liking it.

I've been working on loosening up my painting style and trying for more painterly brushstrokes. Some days I'm there and other days I revert back to what I know. It's important for me to always be concentrating on something new to focus on, in order to keep the bar moving higher and therefore increasing my skills as a painter. Before starting this painting I was reading Richard Schmid's book Alla Prima - Everything I Know About Painting. He has a check list of mistakes that artists often make and one of them jumped out at me. It was "Trying to paint things instead of colour shapes". Now I have heard  this said in 100 different ways during the time I have been painting, but for some reason, maybe merely because I'm at a point where I can make it make sense to me, this statement is really speaking to me as I paint this still life. If I ignore what I'm painting, squint hard and paint colour shapes, the brushstrokes will take care of themselves, hopefully. So this is my mantra for this painting, let's see how it evolves. Here's a link to Youtube of the opening of the LOOK Show and right at the beginning is a very impromptu, non rehearsed, off the top of my head interview.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love Tarts

 Original Oil Painting  6 x 6  $85
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I love Granny Smith apples and laid out on this cloth, they reminded me of Valentines which just happens to be coming up in a few hours, so I called it Love Tarts. This is a demo piece I did at the LOOK Victoria Art Show and Sale yesterday afternoon. It was absolutely pouring with rain in Victoria yesterday, so the shopping mall was hopping, and so many people came through to view the art, talk to the artists demonstrating, and buy something new for their walls!

I seem to be concentrating really hard. It's probably more like camera shy! I had a hard time finding a way to set up my still life, because the few plugs in the gallery were situated in difficult traffic areas. So consequently my set up was low to the floor and far away. Very few people noticed my set up and thought I was just painting from my head. Then they were impressed when they realized I was painting from life. (I think it would have been more impressive if I was painting a still life from my head!)


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Secret Path

Original Oil on Canvas Panel  10 x 8  $95
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This is an 'I'm dying for Spring to arrive' painting. It was painted from a photo of a warmer season. This is a path that runs along the ocean on Dallas Road, and it's a place that all Victorians, and particularly dog walkers, love to walk. When our kids were younger and we went for weekend walks together, they always loved this part of the path where the trees form a canopy overhead. We called it our 'Secret Path".


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pacific Sunrise

Original Acrylic on Textured Canvas

36 x 18  - SOLD

Here is the final version of the Step-by-Step from January 23rd and 24th. If you scroll down you'll find these two posts and see the texture building and painting of this canvas. I had to leave it for a few days and come back to it for the final touches, so I could get a more accurate read on what needed to be done. There's nothing like a fresh look at a painting to know where to go with it. The foreground needed to be darkened and the light on the water needed adjusting. Now I'm pleased with the outcome and had fun with the Golden mediums that I used - Molding Paste and Coarse Pumice. The Coarse Pumice was difficult to cover, so I would most likely experiment with adding some pigment before applying it the next time. Have you tried any of these textural mediums? If you've used Coarse Pumice let me know how you handled the paint coverage.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

LOOK Victoria Exhibition - Opening Night


What an incredible evening for the Arts in Victoria, BC! The LOOK Victoria Exhibition 2011 put on by the Community Arts Council, is exhibiting over 500 pieces of original art by local artists in both 2D and 3D formats. It was such an exciting Opening with an elbow to elbow enthusiastic crowd!

LOOK Victoria is an open entry show, allowing new emerging artists to get a taste for entering and showing their work. It's such a wonderfully supportive and community oriented show, with emerging and first time exhibiting artists works hanging with well known established artists. A great way to mentor. Many of Victoria's artists, myself included, exhibited their work for the first time at LOOK. One of our Oak Bay Art Society Artists, Martin Machacek, won a prize! His work is amazing and so unique! Check out his lively architectural paintings.

There was an outstanding variety and calibre of work including many beautiful 3D pieces.

 Here's one of my pieces on the top left - Tutti Frutti. An original acrylic 24" x 24".

There was even wearable art! Three fun loving women donned  fantastic glittering costumes which were true works of art. They added an exotic and exciting drama to the evening. The woman on the right with the elaborate head gear, is wearing an masterfully created candelabra which was actually lit, and glowing on her head! All in all it was truly a wonderful evening. 

The Look Victoria Exhibition and Sale continues for an entire month, Feb 4 - Mar 4, in the Bay Center, Lower Level, opening at noon and continuing until regular mall closing hours each day. Check it out!