Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I have had an interesting time with my latest restoration project. My friend Betsy had a lovely old painting which had fallen on something and was badly torn. She asked if I could fix it and So once I saw it and realized what a gorgeous painting I said I would do my best.

As you can see its a lovely painting of a hunting dog and his master getting ready to go hunting. J.M. Tracy, the artist who painted this work, was well known for his portrayals of hunting dogs and their masters. It was painted in the 1870's or 80's . Thank goodness the rip was not in the figures.

The canvas was extremely brittle so I had to use conditioner before relining it with a new canvas, patching then inpainting. It has taken quite a long time ,but it is such a lovely painting that it was a joy working on it.


This is how it looked partly finished. I am nearly finished now and just need to varnish it. One learns so much about painting when you have to restore really good paintings which hopefully will have an impact on my own painting.

It has occurred to me in the process of restoring some of the older paintings that the canvases used were perfect. The surface was so much smoother and without blemish than our modern ones are. Granted, they used white lead in their ground which is really better than our more modern substitutes albeit unhealthier. I would love to get my canvases at least closer to that quality than I have  up to this point.I guess I will be experimenting with my grounds to see if I can get it closer to theirs.
I have had an interesting time with my latest restoration project. My friend Betsy had a lovely old painting which had fallen on something and was badly torn. She asked if I could fix it and So once I saw it and realized what a gorgeous painting I said I would do my best.

As you can see its a lovely painting of a hunting dog and his master getting ready to go hunting. J.M. Tracy, the artist who painted this work, was well known for his portrayals of hunting dogs and their masters. It was painted in the 1870's or 80's . Thank goodness the rip was not in the figures.

The canvas was extremely brittle so I had to use conditioner before relining it with a new canvas, patching then inpainting. It has taken quite a long time ,but it is such a lovely painting that it was a joy working on it.


This is how it looked partly finished. I am nearly finished now and just need to varnish it. One learns so much about painting when you have to restore really good paintings which hopefully will have an impact on my own painting.

It has occurred to me in the process of restoring some of the older paintings that the canvases used were perfect. The surface was so much smoother and without blemish than our modern ones are. Granted, they used white lead in their ground which is really better than our more modern substitutes albeit unhealthier. I would love to get my canvases at least closer to that quality than I have  up to this point.I guess I will be experimenting with my grounds to see if I can get it closer to theirs.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Portraits and such



  While I have been working on a series of paintings from my French trip, I have also been teaching a portrait class for the last 5 weeks.
  Normally when I teach a portrait class, it has to do with proportion, observation of the skull and what bone points one sees in a face. We also pay attention to certain muscles of the face as well as understanding the planes of the face and how they change in value. I usually like to see my students end up with good drawings or paintings rather than a strict likeness. After they understand all that, then We usually concentrate on getting a likeness.

This time however, I decided to approach the portrait from an emotional or storytelling point of view.This was not a course for beginners but for students who had experience with drawing or painting portraits. I must say I think they had a good time.

I was able to do a couple of demos during the class. Here is a one from our recent model.
It's a pastel study. 

I usually like to do my demos with my students. That way they can come and look any time during the process and I don't take up too much of their paint time. It has worked pretty well for me and them.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Brittany- Land of My Heart



     Drizzle- Rain -with occasional bouts of sunshine, and wonderful things to see,  is how I would describe my trip to Brittany in France this past September. I had the opportunity to go, thanks in large part to my ex-husband who gave me a frequent flyer for the trip over. I have a lot of family there so I scrimped and saved so I could go.

 It was wonderful! - I was able to visit with Aunts and cousins I hadn't seen in fifteen years! I was also so inspired by the scenery. Its really lovely there with lovely terrain, really neat castles and picturesque villages as well as some wonderful churches, filled with incredible art both sculptural, architectural and painterly. Here are a couple of images:
                                                                                                       le Folgoet- interior
Locronan        

Is it a wonder then That I am so inspired!. I have been working on some pieces from my sketches and photographs and here is one I finished which shows a view of the port of L'Aber-Wrac"h, located in the finisterre ( lands end) of Brittany.

This is a pastel and was done from my sketches mainly with the aid of a photo for stone details.
Painting this helped me relive the day which was fun and was a time when it wasn't raining.
 
I have a couple more paintings in process which I will discuss next time so look for it. i am hoping eventually to have enough pieces for a show focussed on this trip.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015



            This past weekend was the Southport Plein air Paintout and what a wonderful weekend it was!
Though I go painting outside fairly often, I had never participated in a weekend  paint out, so it was a real learning experience as it turned out.
 Southport, if you are not familiar with it, is a lovely little port on the North Carolina coast about 45 minutes from Wilmington and really very close to Oak Island. My son Will first took me there when he was living in that area and I thought it looked like one of those coastal towns in New England. Therefore,  when I was sent the invitation to participate in a paint out, I decided to do it.
 The nice thing about this event is there is no jurying process and no fees taken from sales and very little competition which is fine with me since I really dislike all the emphasis on awards and competition. One should be painting for different reasons than awards. Personally I would rather have someone buy my piece rather than garnering an award that is subjective anyway.

  I was lucky in that I have a student who let me use her vacation house on Oak Island and my friend Diane came with me which was fortunate since I have a lousy sense of direction and probably would have gotten lost several times without her navigation skills.
  In any case we arrived on thursday in the mid -afternoon and though other artists started painting then, I decided to check out  the town to see what i would paint on the morrow. Great idea, you say which is what I thought, but in retrospect I should have started painting then because only friday was a  lovely day. I painted a view of the pilot house which had lovely light on it.

morning light

I was happy with the way this one turned out, and actually someone bought it at the wet paint sale on saturday.

later I painted this wonderful old pin oak with a view of a lovely white house with neat gables. I really liked the juxtaposition of the tree and the gables. It took me a while to do this one as it was pretty complicated as you will see when I show you the result.

Juxtaposition

I learned a lot from this event and painted out of my comfort zone- I;ll show you the last painting I did in a future blog.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Pastel painting Demonstation

       
           The Pastel Society of North Carolina have regular meetings on the 3rd saturday of the month. During those meetings, there is nearly always a speaker or demonstrator. In January I was the demonstrator. I was asked to do a snow scene. I decided to show how to do a pastel painting with an underpainting of gouache to create a certain mood or light.

Since we have had no snow this year, I used a photo of a place in that had feeling for me since it was in Maryland. I did a small oil painting on watercolor paper to work out what I wanted to include and what to leave out. Here is the oil:


Next to it is the smaller study . Now I felt I was ready for the demonstration. One must be ready so as  not to be distracted by questions or comments. The best way I have found is to be very prepared.
One must be an entertainer as well as one who imparts his or her knowledge of a subject



Finally- here is the demo- It is not quite completed since I have some little detail elements to do yet but the lighting is what I wanted and so is the feeling

Monday, December 8, 2014

Fun at Joseph McGurl's workshop


 Time seems to have slipped away.... and I realized it had been a long time since I had posted so let me tell you about one of the neatest one-day workshops I have ever attended. It was with Joseph Mc Gurl. if you are not familiar with his work definitely look him up. His work though classical has a lot of atmosphere and feeling which is what attracts me to the landscape in the first place.

Since he does not work from photographs, he asked us to bring a plein air piece to redesign and repaint on a 9 x 12 canvas so I brought a piece i had done at lake Higgins this summer. Parts of this painting bothered me. I didn't like the way it was composed for one thing, and my canoe paddler looks as though he is paddling up rather than in the lake.

Here is my first painting.
This second painting is better, I did warm up the light and unfortunately for photography you can't notice all the subtle clouds I put in the sky. My paddler finally looks like he is paddling in the water so I am happier with it

It was a very interesting exercise to do this so I have begun to redesign some of my other pieces and I will write another post very soon on a piece I am doing for a demonstration coming up in january