Thursday, March 28, 2013

Week 8

Hayao Miyazaki, acrylic on board, 8"x 10"

This week's post is dedicated to Miyazaki, the great filmmaker. 
This is a portrait of him as a young man. I imagine this is when he began to dream up his stories, 
I added the character Spirit over his left shoulder.

Royal Typewriter, acrylic on board, 12"x 12"

I put together all the portraits, objects and landscapes in this series so far and was two short in the object category. Then I remembered the typewriters are gone.
 I miss them so painted another. 
An old typewriter for writing deep stories.

Boat, China Camp, acrylic on board, 12"x 9"

A good landscape for a Miyazaki week—a boat drifting offshore.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Week 7

Hills at Sunset, acrylic on board, 14"x 11"

This was a from a photo taken from the train along the Columbia River. 

Offering, San Francisco Chinatown, acrylic on board, 8"x 10"

Tacked up to a door on a side street.

Frida, acrylic on board, 8"x 10"

Audacious? Yes, but this was really fun to paint. I used a younger photo of 
Frida Kahlo and then put up her hair as she wore it later in her life.
My best critic (my 14-year-old son) and I agree something is a little off on this one... After I paint a painting, I need to go away from it for a day or so and never know when I come back if I will like it more or less than when I was working on it. This one I liked more and decided to leave it alone rather than tinker and fix it. I could call it Woman from Mexico, and then there wouldn't be an issue with it not looking right. 

Sargent wrote you should never paint your friends, only models, so if it doesn't end up looking like them, you still remain friends.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Week 6

Building, Inverness, acrylic on board, 12"x 12"

Everyone knows this building because it has a huge sign on the side saying: Launch for Hire. 
If you google that phrase along with 'Inverness', all kinds of interesting things come up.
 I have been driving past this building my entire life, but couldn't have told you what the walkway or the windows looked like, but now I do, and I'll probably never forget. 
One of the great things about painting.

Scale, acrylic on board, 8"x 10"

I learned so much doing this painting, or really, had what I already knew reinforced. 
This is the second painting of a scale I did. The first one took a long time and did not turn out... I was going to put it up next to this one, but it was so bad, I just couldn't. 

I have been looking at a lot of John Singer Sargent's work recently, the master of portraiture. I came across some notes on his teaching and a few items stood out.... first he said if you do not get the painting in the first try, you must scrape it off and begin again, you will never be able to fix it. It will go much faster the second time, because of what you learned working on the first. There was a story recounted of a woman who sat for two hours while Sargent worked on painting her hands. In the end he gave up and told her to come back, when she did, he finished in a few moments. (Look at his hands the next time you see one of his paintings, they are amazing). The second item he mentioned that resonated was you have to use a lot of paint and overlap your brushstrokes. On reading that, I sheepishly headed to the studio, cleaned my palette, loaded it with paint and did this painting.

Break from the party, acrylic on board, 12"x 12"

This painting is from an old photograph from a personal album I bought in an antique store. It looks as if it is from the fifties. I love these ladies whoever they are, and hope they had a wonderful night.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Week 5

Marin Headlands, acrylic on board, 12" x 9"

Hillside School Sink, acrylic on board, 11"x 14"

My parents owned a house a few doors up from this school when I was born. 
My sister attended kindergarten here, perhaps she used this sink at one time.

Edward Ruscha, acrylic on paper, 14" x 11"

Second portrait this week and why this is one day late. First portrait was of my great grandfather taken from a small photo. I worked on it for a long time and parts of it I liked, but the overall consensus was it looked like a Herge cartoon and ultimately I just wasn't satisfied with it. This was from a photo in the NYTimes and just happened to be on the table when I came down from painting.