Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wine and Cheese

The Set-up

The zillion or so wine and cheese receptions for artists that I have attended over the years are my inspiration. (I think I went to five or six this past November!)

In keeping with the theme, I added the crystal wine glasses, a cheese tray, a dish of grapes, a corkscrew, a vase of flowers, and the requisite painting on the wall.

For design purposes, I have substituted yukky plastic grapes, fake flowers, and a bar of soap for the cheese. This painting will take quite a while so I'll replace these items with the real things when I get to them. I also have to decide what painting to put on the wall. For now I have hung one of my own small paintings.

The Burnt Umber Under Painting

This 18 x 24 linen canvas is prepared with 3 coats of rabbit skin glue and 3 coats of acrylic gesso, then toned with burnt sienna. After many hours of drawing and redrawing with soft charcoal, I finally settled on the exact placement of the items, which I carefully drew in paint, using burnt umber and Maroger medium. Before each application of the paint, I wiped out the soft charcoal with a rag so it wouldn't contaminate the paint.

Hopefully, this planning stage, which took several days, will allow me to lay in the painting and not change anything later on. A well-known artist said that failure to plan was planning to fail. So many of us get inspired and excited that we omit this critical stage. This is not to say that I wouldn't tweak it a bit as I go along, but I will try to stay with the drawing as it is. There are still many decisions to make.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Time flies when you're having fun

It's hard to believe that three months have elapsed since I last posted my blog. September, October and November whizzed by while I painted frantically for my still life show that opened at American Painting in New York City last month. Despite the financial problems, I consider it a successful show.

Meanwhile, my computer's motherboard got terminally ill. I have been wrestling with computer problems since the day after I returned from the reception in New York. This has not been a fun time. I have not kept up with my blog, updated my website nor written my newsletter. Learning Vista and new programs has consumed most of my time.

Coming up in my life is the opening of the still life show opening at American Painting in DC on January 24. I have painted a small still life (see above) and will be starting a larger painting that I will demonstrate with step-by-step images on the blog.