Monday, August 31, 2015

Pat with fringe

"Pat in a fringe sweater" conte on paper, 24" x 36"

We started Sunday night figure drawing sessions at the Art Establishment now, for those who can't make it on Friday mornings due to work, etc.  I enjoy these sessions so much, it's a time to really just relax and get back to basics.

This drawing is one of Pat wearing a fringe sweater.  It is a 10 minute study, a relatively fast study, but yet, 10 minute studies are the most awkward for me.  There not a super short study like a gesture, but not long enough to really develop the drawing, so I feel like it's really a middle ground, and I hate the middle ground, both in life, and even in a drawing/painting hahaha.  It's too uncertain and vague.  The foreground or front, and background, are always easy to manage, but it's that slippery middle ground and the relations to the front and back that make or break things.  And with a "middle of the road" drawing, not a gesture, and not a complete study, well, things get awkward for me...I usually get caught (proverbially) "with my pants down" as I start developing the drawing and am cut off in an awkward phase of development lololol.  This one is terms of proportions, her leaning stance, etc., but I really would have liked to further develop some value relations, and guess what, I just don't think that fast on my feet....I do usually, as I am getting used to just "laying it in" and then going back and picking it out, refining it, etc., which is good method when painting in oils, but sometimes, in conte, while drawing, not so much :-D :-D   So in all, it's always a learning curve, no matter where you are "in the game."  That's why I love it so much!  

Friday, August 14, 2015

Study of Pat

"Pat in her shift" conte on bristol, 18" x 24"

On the fly today.  Did a few hours of figure drawing at the Art Establishment in Bethlehem, with out ever patient and gracious model Pat.  I got some good clothed studies, but my eyes and feet were hurting still from last night, so it kind of cast a little pall over my drawing...grrrr....

On a more upbeat, we will be meeting more than once now for the upcoming weeks, and I very much look forward to that.  I will also start teaching drawing at the Art Establishment in September, not sure of the nights yet, but when I know, I'll let you all know, in case you want to come and learn how to draw--from me, the Master Drill Sergeant!  LOL--only kidding.  This is a beginner's class, and no experience is necessary, just a desire to learn.

So, now off to deal with the work flow....but, I'm grateful for every day.  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Red barn and clouds

Commission of little red Barn and clouds at sunset 18" x 24" oil on canvas, 2015

Here is a commission I just finished.  It was a replica of an earlier painting I had done, with a little red barn added into it. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Growing pains

These were some quick 2 minute gesture poses/sketches that I did on Friday morning at the Art Establishment.  I have lots and lots, but that is a good thing.  Figure drawing sessions are hard to come by in this area, and having the sessions at Lafayette and the Art Establishment really are invaluable.

I am sitting here, sipping my coffee, listening to the rain.  My brain has been on fire lately, but that is both good and bad.  When I reach a fever pitch like this, it usually means I'm ready to start in on a new project, and that's good.  The bad part is it literally makes me crazy...I can't sleep, my mind races, and I'm all over the map...that's the bad part.  The last few nights, my mind has germinated a new set of paintings I'm going to begin today, after taking all of the material I was mulling around in my head from India.  There was India and the hot stillness, with the rhythmic sound of the women washing their clothes in the backwaters, and cool quiet dreams of Russia and Romania flitting around in my mind, and then Paris has been whispering softly in my ear, and then I had a crazy dream of Barcelona only all of the people were from Bulgaria...I saw La Sagrada Familia, but I was spinning around over the city, in a little paper airplane...

So, I mulled these things over.  The dizzying and terrifying, and haunting, and nostalgic, and hopeful, and distilled it all down into an idea that could encompass the mayhem and make it coherent.  I feel it is what I was looking to hit upon, after the ideas I had for India were not to be, and then there was a larger idea to grasp on to.  And with this maelstrom purged, my thoughts turn forward into the mist of the always unknown future..  Maybe Africa or South America.  Definitely Israel.  And of course, back to Europe.  I don't know if I can ever stop circling in the little paper airplane.  As much as I swear that this is it, I'll not do it again after the last trip, the discomfort goes away and the madness creep up again. The wanderlust I can't quell. The longing for something new, new sights, new faces, new tastes, new experiences, new cultures, new visions.  I just can't seem to stay put, but that is OK I suppose.  It's just part of who I am, and I am OK with that.  

So, for now, I am mulling Istanbul, or Bolivia for next summer's residency.  Still in the thinking process, so it may be something else all together...

Sunday, August 2, 2015


"Bottles and plants, Stonehedge" oil on canvas board, 12" x 16", 2015

Yesterday's work at Stonehedge.  I found a quiet little nook with all these great houseplants growing, in different shades of purple, and it was just was I was looking for.  No landscapes yesterday, I just couldn't do the set up and hide under the umbrella.

I really enjoyed my time there, it was so nice and peaceful and serene.  


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Figure studies

More studies done at the Art Establishment.  This conte drawing was a half an hour study.  We have a nice little group going, and I forgot how much I love to draw the had been a while, and it is something you never tire least I don't!

I was planning on some plein air painting today, and the weather is just lovely, but it is also dangerous weather, in terms of sunburn, and having gotten 2 decent burns this summer already, I have opted to wait until after 2 pm to head out, just as a precautionary measure.  My back is still itching and peeling from the sneaky burn I got this past week at the shore, so no thanks.  I'll wait a little bit just to be sure.  I always seem to get burned in the areas I miss with the sunblock, and it gets frustrating!  So, how to make sure I don't get burned?  Abstinence from the sun lol.  The only sure preventative.

So, that's it for now :-)

Stormy Times

“Stormy day in the fields - Tennessee” oil on wooden panel, 18” x 18” by Hilary J. England I painted an original study when I was in Tenness...