Saturday, September 26, 2020

 
 It seems like it is time for me to write another post on my blog. Although I try to be regular about it, it seems time simply flies by me. Therefore when My son Dave, who is a writer in Baltimore sends out his blog, I know its time for me to write mine. He is amazingly regular. he writes on tiny letter if you want to check him out.

Actually I have been working on a number of things: The first being a conservation of a painting for my sister.It's rather large 28 x 26 and it was supposed to be a tempera on canvas. However I discovered that it is actually an oil though it could have some tempera in there somewhere. There was a period before Van Eyck finally found the good oil paint formula when they combined the two. This painting though dirty was really full of fly feces which had to be removed by scraping gently with a scalpel-. here is an image of the painting


I also had to add a new piece of canvas to the edge and discovered the painting had been reduced so I added the piece back after consulting with my sister. I am still working on this painting so I will take another pic when it is done


My sister has a good friend Emily M who likes my work and she really liked a piece I had done several years ago and sold, so I told her I could re-do it in a different format so I did working on Uart paper rather than pastel mat ( my favorite paper) and adding some tops of buildings . I also handled the foreground darks slightly differently with a combination of purple, blue, dark brown and very dark green- no black at all.  I also wanted to get the detail of the electric wires and lights more precisely which  the Uart paper allows you to do.I liked the way it turned out

It is going to go to a friend of hers in California so I will be packing it myself before sending it off.

I also have been working on a color values workshop which happened last sunday. We worked in gouache because the mixing mimics oil painting but dries faster considering it is a water based paint. Although only a couple of students attended, i think it went well and hopefully it will impact their future paintings. here are a couple of examples of my studies for it


This is a house in Gettysburg. I did it using a limited palette of cad yellow ,orange, a carmine red, ultramarine blue, prussian blue and black. Very interesting the color mixtures one can make with just 3 of this colors. This one I used yellow orange and blue
Next time I will show you the window encased in stone and explain the mixtures I used in that one so until next time.




Tuesday, September 1, 2020

     

      It seems we all have settled into  a covidness with the wearing of masks and massive cleaning episodes. For me and my studio we are slowly getting to a 'new normal" . I have had time though to work on the illustrations of my children's book and to finally finish them. now we wait for the book to be published so the ball is out of my court

 With the Illustrations finally finished, however,I was somewhat at a loss at what to create next. I find when I have an involved project like a large portrait or a series of illustrations, it is all encompassing and very fulfilling so when it is finished there is a bit of a let down....

 I have started some smaller landscapes and am working on a very different art conservation project but I really needed the proverbial shot in the arm.  

Robert Liberace, an artist whose figure and portrait drawings I admire had a zoom demo which iIreally wanted to do, but did not try since I never seem able to attend his workshops- either I am too late or cannot afford it -so I did not attempt it . However he posted several reference photos of the model he used and I purchased them. She is lovely and was dressed in medieval attire so I chose one and did a drawing this morning. It needs more darks but so far I am pleased. I am planning on doing a painting but want to do several drawings first. Here is what I did this morning



I am pretty pleased with it though It needs stronger darks and work done on the hand. I will be doing some more drawings  of this subject.

In addition to this fun exercise, I have been doing some pastel landscapes of sunsets. One of these I tried on a surface of metal with a sound for pastels. It did not turn out too badly, although I personally think it is too stiff for my way of doing pastels. I have a commission for a friend of my sisters and I wanted to see how it would work but I think I will do it on Uart paper as the detail will be easier

I still need to put detail in the poles and the lines but at least you get the idea.

That is all for now. I will be discussing my conservation project in the next blog so till then


















Thursday, July 23, 2020

My projects during the weird covid Time





    What a really odd period of time all of us are going through; with quarantines and masks as well as social distancing. Many artists have navigated to zoom to teach but I have found it very impractical and I would need more technical equipment which I cannot afford right now and then there would be the learning curve....

Instead I have been teaching small classes- no more than 5 or 6 and I have been able to finish my illustration project. I have been illustrating a book whose author is a speech pathologist and he is telling his own story about a horse with whom he was very close and their adventures in jumping competition complicated by the fact that the horse loved butterflies and would veer off during any jump or run to race after them. I feel i can show you a couple because now both the author and the publisher has seen them so i will give you a sneak peak

This is the first one and it is a combination of pen and ink colored pencil and gouache


Here is another a little farther along in the book. I like to mix color with black ink and use color portions as the main focus. Although I did not do that in every illustration. I am nearly finished with illustrations unless they want a small one here and there


I also have been working on greens in very light circumstances. There is an artist on Instagram whose work I admire, especially how he handles the greens .His name is Timoshenko - at least that is his instagram name.You should look him up and see how he handles his greens. They are muted so lots of pinks and oranges in the mix but they give a wonderful effect of brilliant light.

Here is one piece where I have been trying to get his effect in the bright greens. This little 8 x 10 is done in gouache on a new surface. I like using gouache in the field since it has similar properties to oil painting but is easier done small and has a similar effect. if I like the piece I can re do it in larger format in either pastel or oil if I think the effect would be better. This was done at Price Park not far from where I live.



Thursday, May 14, 2020

Coronavirus creativity



What a lovely day today ! Several of my adult students and I have removed ourselves from the studio to the great outdoors. Today we went to Bur-mil park where a couple of us did ink drawing, a couple did oil paintings and one did a really nice pastel. I must say I got my exercise going up and down the hill since two were up the hill and two were down. We have also been to Price park and next week we plan on going to the Greensboro Arboretum. My sister anI went walking there and there some really nice things to paint along the riverbed there.
 Since then we have also gone to Fisher park which has some wonderful stone bridges as well as wonderful trees to do. here is one of my ink was efforts

This coronavirus quarantine has made me get a little creative when it comes to teaching and when I panic because there isn't enough money to pay bills I fill out my form for Arts Greensboro. What a wonderful organization that is. They are helping artists: fine arts, Music, theatre etc weather this financial storm a lot of us are going through so If you are a good wage earner and you can afford it, give to them. They have really helped me out this week!!!! And they were able to help 68 others as well solely on donations.

that is my news for now. I will write soon


Monday, March 16, 2020



  It seems everyone is in panic mode due to the coronavirus. It"s a shame really as I believe people are really overreacting. Unfortunately for me it has had a very big impact on my small school. No-one is coming even though our studio is squeaky clean at this point and since fewer students are coming there would be lots of space between students. Not that I don't think the virus is serious- I do but not to the point where you feel you must hoard food and toilet paper- what is that about anyway.

On the plus side, I have plenty of time to thoroughly clean shelves and finish my illustration commission which I worked on today. I cannot show it to you yet since the person who wrote the story hasn't really seen them yet.  I, however have been working on a big pastel landscape and here is the study in gouache that I did for it
It is on illustration board which is one of my favorite surfaces for gouache. I have combined a photo that a former student left with images from Ouessant  where I have been. The rocks are incredible there. it is a very windswept island off the coast of Brittany in France.

I also finished my restoration of the De Heem still-life which turned out well and was a real pleasure to work on. Those artists of the Baroque period could really paint. It was in incredible shape given its age.

Here is a detail of it cleaned . I really enjoyed working on this painting and am a little sad that it is finished.

I will be posting more often probably during this corona virus period since I will have more time -so till next time.

Monday, February 3, 2020



      Happy warm day in february! Can you believe it!. I however chose to spend my day working on this incredible painting that I am conserving for a client. It is a still-life of fruit by De Heem, a Dutch painter of the 17th century- one of a family of De Heem's. The more famous one did flowers but you will find this one, his son I believe in museums well.
Here it is after I had just started. As you can see it is still very dark except for the fruit where I had just started surface cleaning. It had been restored before and relined so I took the old lining off and scraped as much of the old glue so that the new lining would adhere well. Then I stretched it on a board with tacks while i fixed the old stretcher and frame. Actually it"s one of my students who did it and its fabulous because we were able to keep the integrity of the support. Very important to keep as much of the original as possible.

Actually this painting is incredible considering how old it is. Hardly any loss of paint and not much in the way of craquelure- you know those little cracks that paintings get with age. Well this one doesn't"t have it.

Here is a close up of it father along in the cleaning process. Amazing isn't it. I love working on really good paintings, One learns so much! This is a Vanitas painting which shows the passage of time with bites and rot beginning in some of the fruit and a number of flies and moths here and there. 


I will post the whole painting when I have finished and you will be able to see all the little rot and deteriorating places.

That is all for now