Sunday, June 24, 2007

"Post Apocalyptic Radish," 5x7, oil on gesso board

This is a watermelon daikon. We get organic produce, and sometimes I get something just because it might be interesting to paint. The colors in the daikon led me to the funny brown-grey-yellow palette. It didn't look post-apocalyptic until I saw it with fresh eyes the next day. I guess it's that yellow sky.

"Orange and Apothecary Bowl" (update), 6x8, oil on canvas board

Connie Kleinjans, original oil painting, Orange and Apothecary Bowl, 6x8The background in the original still didn't feel right. Back to a rich, neutral brown with related colors emerging.

"Spooning" (update), 4x4, oil on gesso board

Connie Kleinjans, original oil painting, Spooning, 4x4The purplish background was just too intense on this (see the original). It's now an interesting taupe color, with the purple showing through (hard to see on a screen).

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"Spooning," 4x4, oil on gesso board

See the update (the next post, above this).

The funny thing about doing art is that the whole world becomes source material. When I design and paint theatrical sets, I see items or color combinations that fit the design I'm working on. In doing these small paintings, I'm always looking for something to paint that's interesting. In this case, I saw these two bananas and it looked like two people spooning. Cute. So I set it up to emphasize that and painted it in complementary colors.

Friday, June 15, 2007

"Red Glass Vase," 5x7, oil on canvas board

Connie Kleinjans: Original oil painting, Red Glass Vase, 5x7This was fun. I started it last night and it wasn't rolling, but today I started mucking around with the shadow. I use water-soluble oils, and I was almost using watercolor techniques, which was really interesting. Once I dug in on the body of the vase, I found I got the glow I wanted by scrubbing out areas with a paper towel rolled into a point.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

"Orange and Apothecary Bowl," pre-update, 6x8, oil on canvas board

UPDATE: I lived with this for awhile, then worked on the background. See the new version.
I wanted to do a really dark background, so I chose a subject that would provide a bright foreground. I like loud. :) Initially the background was a neutral brownish, then green. Then I got tired of the neutrals and decided to go with some discord colors. This is a concept from Mike Svob, who offsets gorgeous colors against each other. The idea is that you don't choose exact complements; rather, you choose not-quite-complements. Not orange and blue, but orange and purplish (toward red), or orange and blue-green (toward yellow). I chose purple. Sometimes you really do need more neutrals, but this was fun. Except for the part where it took a face plant into my palette. Grrrr....

Sunday, June 10, 2007

"Study in White Fuzz," 8x11, oil on gesso board

Connie Kleinjans, original oil painting, Study in White Fuzz, 8x11It's dandelion time, and I decided to try painting one. To get the fuzz, I experimented with scratching through the paint to the foundation, but that didn't get me enough white. So I went in with a fan brush. Why isn't it finished at the top? Because I'm reading Richard Schmid's fine book Alla Prima, and I love how the figures in his paintings emerge from a raw background. Schmid writes that he scribbles in some paint to get rid of the pristine white, then develops the point of interest. I think it's more 3-D than it would be if the background were solid.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

"Square Food," Square Plate" (update), 6x8, oil on canvas board

Connie Kleinjans: Original oil painting, Square Food, Square Plate, 6x8I worked on the earlier lasagna piece. It looked too monochromatic. It needed the opposite temperature in the background.

"Square Food," Square Plate," 6x8, oil on canvas board

Connie Kleinjans: Original oil painting, Square Food, Square Plate, 6x8
This had two special challenges: First, the plate is square, but it curves up at the corners, and second, lasagna is just hard to paint. First I painted it as it looked, but it was so melty that it was just a pile of unidentifiable food. Eventually, in a short frenzy, I squared it off and added structure. That helped but wasn't enough. Then I added the curly-edged pasta. That worked; apparently curly-edged pasta is what defines lasagna. Heehee.

"Tiny Pitcher," 5x7, oil on canvas board

Connie Kleinjans: Original oil painting, Tiny Pitcher, 5x7This little guy is only two inches high. I love small pitchers.

"Folded Pitcher," 8x10, oil on canvas board

Connie Kleinjans: Original oil painting, Folded Pitcher, 8x10This is a small pitcher. I love how it's constructed: the artist threw a clay pot on a wheel, and after it was done, folded the tops together, leaving two holes. As far as the painting itself goes, I also like the impressionistic look. I don't know if I can sell this one. There's something about how the pitcher is modeled, and all the colors in the background that appeal to me.

"Sake Set," 6x8, oil on canvas board

Connie Kleinjans: Original oil painting, Sake Set, 6x8I love sake sets. The pitcher and cups are so exquisite. I decided to try something funky with long shadows.

"Concave/Convex," 6x8, oil on canvas board


So the title isn't sexy, but the fun thing about this work was getting the avocado pit to come forward, and it's matching hole in the other half to go backwards. You have to establish a clear light source, and even then the directions can pop; i.e., suddenly it looks like the light source is on the other side, and the thing that sticks out now goes in (and vice versa). I remember drawing exercise using the same principle with ping pong balls in high school. That was tough.

"Three-Legged Pig," 5x7, oil on canvas board


This is a cheap, charming little doodad I got on a trip to wine country the day before I painted it. I was told he brings good luck. On evenings before I go to my day job I have less time, so it's better to paint a fairly simple subject like this, or else I'm up until 2 am. But this little guy was tougher than he looks. Those curves and the ears are deceptive. I still don't think I got the terra cotta color right. But I had lots of fun doing the background. (OK, I changed it on impulse the next morning.)

"Corsican Goblet," 5x7, stretched canvas

Connie Kleinjans: Original oil painting, Corsican Goblet, 5x7We got this and its mate on a wonderful trip around Corsica in 1999. I'm sure they'll show up in a painting again. This one is curiously pleasing. Without intending to, I seem to have taken the palette from the goblet, and it's a very Mediterranean collection of colors.

"Edible Still Life: The Banana," 5x7, oil on canvas board

Bananas are wonderful. They're kind of faceted, if that makes sense, and as they curve different facets become visible. In this painting we first we see the facet on the outer surface of the curve, then the facet on the inner surface.

"Glowing Hillside," 5x7, oil on canvas wrapped board

Connie Kleinjans: Original oil, Glowing HillsideI get to hike in this area, a lot. I painted this from a picture I took. I was intrigued by how red the glowing hillside was. A combination of rich sunset tones on the golden hillside, I guess. I also love the top-to-bottom layers in the composition. I'm not sure a small work has the intimacy, so I might have to try something like this someday on a larger surface.

"Plastic Eggplant," 5x7, oil on canvas board

Update: Changed the background. It's way better.
Original post: This is my second painting. I think I'd like to change the background. However, I really like the white streakiness in the eggplant skin. I'm noticing that the texture of the background can add fire to a piece. Useful.

"From Kathy," 5.5x8.5, acrylic (on gessoed cardboard)


This was a pitcher that a friend gave Mom, and that eventually came back to me. It's from Tokyo and has lovely earth tones.