Thursday, February 23, 2012

Color play

What to do on another gray winter day? Play with color! Remembering a Fall day on Sauvie Island, I painted over a landscape of sunflowers done en plein air that was just too dull to capture how I wanted it to be. Then, imagined Spring flowers bursting with color, providing needed brightness and warmth.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


After a few days in Las Vegas, inspired by Cirque du Soleil, I revisited the portrait of Gabrielle, who seemed blue and lonely. I added pink clothing and more color in the background. Is she an acrobat or dancer at rest?

At PNCA last Sunday, there was the usual format of one and two minute sketches, then a long pose for several hours. My first painting had something wrong with the proportions that I could not fix, so I completed a second painting from the same view point. Back in my studio, I tried to obliterate the figure in the first painting with broad strokes, but she refused to disappear. I decided I like the look of the loose strokes suggesting movement and a more three dimensional approach. Both are in Valentine colors, cool and warm.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Good Earth

I've been working on this painting of Smith Rock in Terrebonne ("good earth") since a brief but wonderful visit last October. The river and paths lead me back to explore the fantastic fortress-like rocks. At first the high desert geography seemed too dry and brown to my eyes, but the warmth of sunlight contrasts with cool shadows and the clear air reveals strong forms.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Figure drawing & painting

There are several places to draw and paint from figures in Portland, and on Sunday I went to PNCA (Portland Northwest College of Art). The model, Gabrielle, is an opera singer and performance artist and that showed in the drama of her poses. I sketched in ink on paper for the one and two minute poses, then switched to acrylic on a 14" x 18" canvas for the long pose, about two hours. She wore a hat, tall boots and knit fingerless gloves. This is not a romantic nude, but that's the way I saw her!