I just finished this small springy piece and found out it sold this morning! I really enjoyed painting this one, trying to keep things lose but deliberate. I noticed it's very similar to a few of my earlier pieces.
I'm studying right now! I've bought a few more art books and am watching Peggy Kroll Robert's videos on demand. I love watching other artists paint! It's so relaxing and inspiring at the same time. My favorite workshops are Richard Robinson's landscape workshops, but I love painting people too, so I was thrilled to find Peggy's videos. I actually first found her from a plein air site which was advertising her workshop coming up in Palos Verdes, this March but I'm not able to take the workshop at this time. Her videos are a great substitution
and are pretty reasonably priced.
I read an article last week about how art school is a waste of money. That's a little controversial, I'm sure, but I was happy to find several links to videos and recommended readings that are supposed to take the place of school. It was a very well thought out article, that mentioned about the need for a mentor. Hmmm, don't know where I'll find that around here, but I do my best with my online resources. Of course if money was no object I would find a mentor online and pay for their expertise…but…that's not quite where I'm at right now. I did have someone I refer to as my mentor, but that was before I was this serious about my art. While in college, I worked for a wonderful landscape artist who painted large pastel landscapes. He taught me a lot about the art world, but I wasn't taking notes! I wish I could go back and pick his brain. I actually just heard from him the other day and it's been years! Is that a sign?
I guess I should tell you about my art education. I've taken just about every class that my community college, in Torrance, had to offer; three semesters of art history,(although I would really like to take a whole course on the impressionists)drawing, lettering, design, painting, and sculpting(one of my favorite classes). I also had two amazing semester of life drawing from an amazing professor. El Camino College had the best instructors, at least for art. My sculpture class was taught by a professor from Long Beach State which has a very competitive art department. So even though I don't have a BFA, I got the most from what was available to me at the time. Since then, I've been teaching myself through books and more recently, videos. The videos are great for me, as I'm a visual learner.
But someday, I hope to be able to take a workshop in person and even better yet, teach my own!
I'm not used to painting this large and it taking so much time. I tried to rush it posting my progress everyday, which I will continue to do. However, I need to take a step back, give it a few days before I post it for sale. I ended up making a few changes to make the diagonal lines less prominent by adding some curves. Sometimes when I'm not sure of what to change, I go to my favorite workshop site, Richard Robinson's The Complete Artist. The people on there are always helpful and sometimes, if I'm lucky, I get input from Richard, himself! Michael Severin, is so knowledgeable about painting and design, I always learn something from his help!
Here's what's on my easel this week! It's an oil on 24x36 canvas; large for me! I've been posting my progress on my Facebook page and hopefully will finish it up this weekend!
This is the view from Torrance/Redondo Beach sidewalk. It's where I grew up. Thirty years of my life were spent there, actually thirty one if you count the year I moved back. I miss it…a lot. It's hard when you grow up in such a beautiful place being able to roller skate to the beach, spending the whole day there 'til the sunsets. I have the best memories from this place! It's my home, and always will be. I'm displaced right now, in the mountains, so far from the ocean. How can you miss a place so much it hurts? I feel the same way about Hawaii though and I didn't grow up there. Must be the ocean, it gives me life!
Anyway, as you can see, this painting has a very deep meaning to me. I could almost paint it from memory. I'm mostly using a brush for this one, with some areas needing a palette knife for a nice edge. The flowers in the foreground are from blooming ice-plant (which brings back memories of writing on the sidewalk with it. Did you ever done that?)
The blooms are a beautiful magenta and bright yellow (which I haven't added yet). Ice-plant is not the most aesthetic of plants but I'm trying to achieve an impressionistic feel to it so that it's more appealing.
The sand in the above stage was to saturated in color so I toned it down adding some ultra marine blue and more white, to the mix. This set it back further and made the hill come forward. I feel the hill is too dark though so I'l lightened it up with some a little lighter but saturated color mixed with areas of greys.
This was stage one. I toned the canvas with orange since it would be a predominantly blue piece, this would give the painting some warmth and unity. I sketched in the scene very roughly with a brush.
I usually use a darker color but this one worked.
The lines aren't visible in the end so it didn't matter.
This stage was done with acrylics.
So, this is what I'll be doing this weekend! What are you up to?