Thursday, February 28, 2008

"Stem War," 8x6", oil on canvas board

Connie Kleinjans painting: Stem WarSo, the name is a take-off on "stemware." I also experimented with a palette containing yellows mixed into all the colors, which works to unify the image. Finally, because shadows are usually to the side and down, I chose to set this one up with the shadow going to the side and up. I like how it's slightly unsettling.

Monday, February 11, 2008

"Cleanse Your Palette," oil on canvas, not yet stretched

Update. This is SOLD. A friend loved the perceptual games this one plays, so I cropped it and mounted it on masonite for final delivery.


In this one, I can really see the underlying red layer. It does interesting things to my sense of perception.

You know, I'm also really enjoying how the wine glass is finished, but the water crackers and the plate aren't. I think I'm really having fun with this series. Probably not everyone's cup of tea, though.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

"Sweet!," oil on canvas, not yet stretched

I'm strangely fond of this one. The perspective didn't come out realistically, but it still works. And it looks kind of rich. I think this will be best square.

Friday, February 8, 2008

"Outsider," a finishing experiment

I'm having way fun with this series. I'm enjoying the freedom of cropping an image after painting it, and I'm especially enjoying the rough edges. And on this one I think I got the glow of the oranges. Here's the latest:

I'm looking into ways to present these: adhered to masonite or stretched. We got a table saw, so I'm on my way. Cropping this one is hard, since I really like parts of the rough edges. But leaving it uncropped gives the fried egg look: A big round thing in the middle. So here's the horizontal crop:

And here's the vertical crop. Note that I rotated it 90 degrees, and that it looks weird that way. Well, weird can be good, right? Maybe sometimes:

I now have a handful (well, four) of these paintings on unstretched canvas. Time to finalize them! Soon! Really!

Monday, February 4, 2008

"Reaching," another cropping experiment

Here's my next painting on a sheet of canvas. I had to work pretty hard to get the glow in the tulip. And it kept changing! So, just for grins, I'll show it cropped in portrait mode first:

And here it's cropped square. I think I like portrait better, but the more I look at this, the more I like it:

And here's the source image:

I'm especially fond of how the vase, with only a few brush strokes, says all it needs to. Maybe we need to fool ourselves into painting loosely, as with my experiments on cardboard early this year. If we're not as vested, because of cost or it's not the main part of the piece, maybe we paint looser.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Tomato Wedges, cropping experiment

Launching off of prior experiments with borders and painting methods, I decided to do a painting whose final dimensions I did not know. I also decided to put down a hot color that existed in the main objects in the painting, and leave messy brushstrokes around the edges. So I taped a piece of gessoed canvas to a board and, for my subject, set up some tomato wedges on a little square plate (love those plates), and painted it. Here's how it came out, taped to its support:

So, how to present it? Well, the image is pretty close to the bottom border of the canvas, so I think I'll adhere it to a masonite board. I found recommendations for using lots of compounds to do this: gel medium, hide glue, Miracle Muck, PVA glue (Elmer's), or ModgePodge. I'll probably try the gel medium and trim it at the edge rather than wrapping it around the board. That's how the RayMar panels I like are made, and it's easier to find frames for flatter panels.

The next interesting question is this: How do I crop it? The choices seem to be these: as is, square, horizontally, or vertically. Through the miracle of computer software, I tried the last two. Here is the landscape orientation:

And the portrait:

I think I like the landscape. The red in the background seems more integrated into the piece. I'll play with it some more, though.

OK, now, how to get the size of masonite I want? Well, I bought some larger pieces from a local art store, and today we went out and bought a table saw. So next I'll get to learn how to use a table saw. Tay stuned.

Finally, what do I think of the process? Well, it was strange to start my painting by drawing things near the middle (normally I orient what I paint against the borders of my canvas). But it was also rather liberating not to be bound by that. I mean, if I wanted to, I could assemble a large painting and break it down into multiple small ones. I could paint the main subject of the painting, then, if I felt like it, add another object (another tomato wedge?) way out in the boonies. This feels more open to me, although there's also more overhead. But worth adding to my repertoire. It's nice when something feels right.

Friday, February 1, 2008

"It Holds Treasure," 6x8 and 3x4 but not ready for sale

Early last month I posted some studies I did on gessoed cardboard (not corrugated) taped to cardboard sheets (corrugated). I was aiming at doing quick, loose work, and didn't want fear of wasting material to enter into the formula. But the interesting thing was, when I photographed the studies, I kind of liked the way they looked, taped to the cardboard. I did a 3x4 inch and a 4.5x6 inch before doing the final one.

I wondered what that would look like if it was official; i.e., eventually on canvas. So I taped a large piece of canvas to a board and drew two rectangles with enough room around them so I can stretch them later if I like. Again I did a small painting (3x4") and a larger one (6x8"). Showing the entire board isn't that useful, since there's a lot of bare canvas, but I did take pictures of each showing it with the border. Here's the 6x8":

And here's the 3x4":

I'm not sure these have that nice raw sense of the earlier paintings, but it was an interesting experiment. Now I just have to get some stretchers and see how much white I want around the edge. Do I want to try painting a picture of a square of canvas, picture in process, taped to a piece of cardboard? I don't know. Maybe.

By the way, the book is The Life of the Bee by Maurice Maeterlinck, illustrated by Edward Detmold, an amazing artist who specialized in nature. More here.