This boat is a fully hand build wooden ketch, that my husband bought from a classy man in Texas, who built it for his father. I did an oil painting of it with our two boys in it. Jonathan is manning the tiller in the background. He is 17. My 9 year old, Andrew, is in the front on the right hand side. This one’s a keeper! (not for sale)
Archive for January 2012
Yesterday was almost the last day for the exibit of several of Monet’s original water lily paintings. I was thrilled that my husband and I got to go see them at the St. Louis Art Museum. For the first time in a long time, all 3 panels of the triptych were reunited and displayed together, as they were intended to be by the artist. There is nothing like seeing the original painting. This triptych is about 47 feet long, and it was in a large, spacious, low light room. There was a long padded bench on which to sit, and contemplate the painting, which I did for some time. There were many thin veils of vibrant, luminous color for the water reflections. The combination of blues, light violets, and yellow greens was sublime. One group of water lilies has a deep rich red for the shadows. This made for a good contrast with the yellow white lily pads. All of the tops of the lily pads were white and yellow. Some of them were mere wisps of color. There are actually no agapanthus in this painting. Monet worked on this piece for 11 years – from 1915 to 1926, the year in which he died, and he eventually painted them over.
There were also several other paintings of the water lilies. I loved the one where he used red for the shadows under the lily pads.
Well Friday the 13th wasn’t so bad after all. After I took Andrew, my 9 year old to school, I stopped at St. Louis Bread Co. for breakfast. Their asiago bagel breakfast sandwich is wonderful. Then I went to my studio to work on my oil painting. I painted Jonathan’s face, Andrew’s life preserver, and did a few details on Andrew’s ball cap. Yes, that is the SAINT LOUIS CARDINALS, YAY CARDS, WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS IN 2011!! I didn’t have that much time to paint, as Andrew got off school early today – 1:00 PM instead of 3:00 PM. Trying to paint along with family obligations, is tough, but I’m determined not to give up my painting. My elderly infirm in laws are not coping well at all with the deterioration of their health and ability to fully function. My husband is an only child, and he is really stressing over this. I’m working hard not to stress over it. Some days I’m able to stay calm, but I do get stressed on certain days. I’m also raising 2 boys, ages 17 and 9. However, I don’t think it is good for anyone if I were to take care of everyone else, and not take care of myself, too.
I’m really happy with the way Jonathan’s face came out. As you can see, it is in the shadow, as his back is to the sun. However, there is subtle ambient lighting, and the warmth, sun, activity, and deep love of sailing and boats has brought some nice color into his face. His desire is to become a naval architect. We are working hard to help him achieve his dream. He is incredibly smart – he is a 4.0 student at a tough private Lutheran school, and very involved in robotics, music, and cross country running. You can tell he’s a runner – look at them legs! And he does have really long legs.
I’m tackling a new subject. I’m a landscape and architecture painting, and now I’m including people in some detail in a landscape painting. Last summer, we sailed our boat “Bama Breeze” several times on Creve Coeur Lake in St. Louis County, Missouri, USA. It’s a nice little sailing lake. It also has a nice paved path encircling the lake for walking, skating, cycling, etc. My palette (oils) is cadmium yellow medium, Windsor red, purple lake, pthalo blue, sap green, Permalba white, and optical black. I try to use a limited palette, to make it simpler for me, and to create more unity in the painting. I’m using a bit of cadmium yellow for my influence color. At first, I drew the subjects in detail with graphite, then sprayed it with workable fixative to maintain my drawing. I put down an imprimatura in Payne’s gray with Liquin medium. That way it doesn’t run. The result is on the side.
Jonathan is manning the tiller in the background. That boy has got some legs – his knee actually shows on the other side of the mast, even though you can’t see it in this drawing. He is 17. Andrew, who is nine, is on the right side. They are both looking down.
Here, I have done the imprimatura, and have started by painting the sky, mast, lines, and hardware. I don’t yet have the hilights – those come last. I had a rather hard time painting wet on wet (imprimatura hadn’t yet dried). I’m happy with the colors in the mast. I mixed yellow and red, then some optical black to reduce the chroma. The mast became warmer and lighter as it got closer to the hull, because of the sun reflecting off of the boat deck. This is a wooden boat, that was hand built. Later, I could see that the shadow side of the sail in the upper left corner was too dark. I will be adding clouds to the sky later.
Here is what I did today. First, I corrected the sail shadow. I changed the proportions of sunlit sail to sail in shadow to improve the composition, and refined the highlights in the sail. As you can see, the sail is slack, as we were in the middle of a tack. It’s starting to look like the bright, warm, sunny day that it was. I put in the background trees, the caps, the clothing, and the interior of the hull. I like the way that Jonathan’s body is leaning forward at a tilt, and you can see how the rudder is turned all the way to the side, as it would be during a tack. Notice how the white boat interior reflects the warmth of the sun, even though it is not in direct sunlight.
Can you see why I’m calling this painting Singin’ the Blues? I don’t know if I will keep this as the title or not.
Here is another blog that shows all of the stages of the painting “Uphill Climb” lined up.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog. Lots has been going on, including end of year holidays, and familyillnesses.
I’ve just recently finished a large oil painting. It is an impressionist fall landscape. This is the first time I’ve worked on an oversized canvas. I was concerned that my regular easel wouldn’t handle a painting this size, but I managed to get it to work. Interestingly, it didn’t take that much longer to complete. I’ve done so many landscapes, that it’s no big deal.
My husband, kids, and I all went hiking there in October. This is in Grafton, Illinois, northeast of St. Louis Missouri, where we live. The drive there is beautiful too – we took the Great River Road, which goes right along the banks of the Mississippi River. Here is the etsy listing.