Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tea and Tonic - AGGV Summer Small Works Show

Tea and Tonic  Oil on Linen on Board  8 x 10  $300 SOLD

In my last post I talked about a workshop I took with Tanya Bone. This painting is one I did following her workshop, focusing on edges, brushwork and a painterly style. I was quite pleased with the outcome and also because it has been selected into the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Summer Small Works Show. The show runs July 12 - Sept 5, in Massey Hall, and features beautiful small and affordable pieces by many of your favourite Victoria artists. Be sure to check it out when you're in the neighbourhood. 

Tonight I attended the Artists Reception for the Mystery Show at Red Art Gallery. This is such a fun event! There are 40 artists and 40 works. All works are 10 x 10 and priced at $295. The mystery is who painted what? No names appear on the front of the paintings. There is a lottery style draw to determine who gets first pick and so on. When your number is called you have 60 seconds to put a red dot on the painting of your choice. Last year this event was a huge success and a great patron pleaser, and this year promises to be just as much fun. I'll post my mystery painting after the show.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tanya Bone Workshop

I was recently in Vancouver for a weekend workshop with the extremely talented Tanya Bone. It was a fabulously inspiring weekend and Tanya was a very attentive and giving instructor. If you ever have a chance to take a class from her I would highly recommend it. She specializes in still life and was teaching how to paint in a painterly manner. I learned so much about edges and brushstrokes. I have a tons of tips and techniques to now try to put into practice.

Tanya likes to be up close and personal with her set up. She spends a lot of time getting her set up and the lighting just right before she begins. 

One of the things I found the most difficult but that is definitely one of the beautiful aspects in Tanya's paintings, is the loose textured background she does, suggesting foliage and different light patterns. She paints it with a fan brush and transparent colours. Watching her it seems like it would be easy but I felt like I'd never painted before. I wiped my canvas so many times! Other participants were on their second and third painting and I was still wiping!

Here is a detail of the beginnings of the vessel she was demonstrating. She also demonstrated painting the gold edge on the vessel which again was a build up of layers on transparent paint until she got to final layer which was the highlight mixed with white. It was magic!

Tea and Tonic  8 x 10

I went home and spent a two sessions slowly working through the techniques she taught and ended with this first attempt at a more painterly style. It is SO HARD to paint loosely like this! I'm going to keep working on small pieces trying to blend my style of painting with the techniques I've learned from Tanya, and hope to create my own painterly style. 


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Mandarin - Painting Step by Step

I have a favourite consignment store for finding the best props for my still lifes. This Asian inspired  set up is compliments of that store. The large red and gold plate and the gorgeous vase came together  perfectly with the bowl of mandarins and the floral branches from my garden.  I loved the simplicity of the set up and the way the round shape of the plate enveloped the pieces bringing a sense of serenity to the setting. The bowl was blue and white but I changed the colour to work with the other pieces.  

The block in stage, positioning the shapes and starting to define the values, although they aren't very defined in this photo.

I reached this point with the painting and then went to see a movie. When I came back I took one look at the painting and knew the center of the plate was not working the with rest of the painting. The center is actually convex, and when I painted it accordingly to how I saw it, the center appeared like a mystical orb, floating in the painting. It was all I looked at. So I scraped it off and painted it as a flat base to the plate, which was a great improvement. I then added a sprig of foliage to the table top beside the bowl. I also corrected the bowl which started tipping down on the right.
Mandarin  Oil  16 x 16

The mystical orb syndrome reminded me that although we have to paint what we see, we also need to interpret and change things for the good of the painting as a whole. I sometimes lose track of that in my effort to capture the subtle light on vessels etc. Luckily I saw the flaw quickly and was able to make the change. Do you ever commit too much to painting what you see and forget to look at the painting as a whole?