Thursday, July 31, 2008

"The Square Vase"

Connie Kleinjans fine art
6x8, oil on canvas board

This is another of those setups where your mind fools your eye. The vase actually has a lot more foreshortening, so it tapers more towards the bottom. But when I painted it that way, it looked wrong. And, frankly, ultimately art must trump reality.

Also, it was a bit of a stretch to paint something that orange. I wanted to set the purpley-pink flowers against it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Glowing Vase"

Connie Kleinjans fine art
6x8, oil on canvas board

I haven't been painting much recently because I've been doing too many shows. I'm still searching for that balance. I did this one a few weeks ago, though. I got several of these little vases in southern France, outside Avignon, at the glassery de la pape (I don't remember how to spell it). It was a magical trip, in a beautiful area of the country, and I'd love to go back. Anyway, I really liked the way the light shone through this one, but I couldn't get it to look like it until I added yellow. And those highlights in the foot of the vase really did look that bright. Sometimes it's hard to believe your eyes.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Connie Kleinjans fine art6x8, oil on canvas board

It's getting towards the end of the month and I have a few more paintings to post. I've been taking time off from painting, partly because I'm in my third show of the year and it's intense, but also party because I had required myself to paint daily, and it was becoming less fun. I'm looking for that balance in myself where painting is fun, and perhaps a discipline, but not forced. Nor do I want to wait for inspiration; that sometimes comes after you start. So I'm working on the balance: how do I balance my non-painting time among family, friends, dog, hobbies, home maintenance, exercise, reading, recharging? How about painting time if that includes setting up and managing a web site and sales channel? That's a lot, even without a pesky day job. I'm appreciating artists more and more. Imagine leading a painting studio and managing apprentices!

Now, this painting was supposed to be about the color of the flowers and of the apricots. They were identical, and it spoke to me. Then it turned into being about the shadows of the flowers on the apricots. Elsewhere in this blog, I've quoted David Leffel, who says that each painting needs to be about something. Maybe it's the emotion, if that's how you paint. But it can also be about looseness, or the color, or the light. Or the fabric texture or the perspective. Anything. I like the composition on this, and the shadows and the highlights in the glass. But I see a few things to work on.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Connie Kleinjans fine art6x8. Oil on canvas panel. Sold.

I love the way that the wildflowers have this leggy quality. Their stems are slender to the point of being thread-like, but they can still lift the flower way up. I'm also really enjoying some simple glass containers I bought recently. I bought a batch last year when I was enamored of the idea of painting pictures of cut glass. Now, not so much. The reflections and patterns are complicated enough to me without facets.

This palette is also a little different for me. The colors are kind of pastel, which I don't normally do, and there's a lot of green, which I also don't always do. Interesting. But the composition and shadows are things I love. Here's the in-process picture:

It's kind of cool that you can see the shadows and stems, and some of the flowers, but not the vase. I keep finding things I like about my paintings before they're done. I'm not sure what to do with this yet, but I should figure out what that's about.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"Dappled Light"

Connie Kleinjans fine art8x10, oil on canvas board

I mentioned a few posts ago that I joined a local plein air painting group. I did this a few weeks ago (I've been busy!) and kind of like the serenity of it. I was going for the contrast of the sun through the wooden fence, and the shadows of the cross bars. But I rather like the patch of sunlight on the wheat grass (OK, the weeds) on the left.

And now that I've done this, when I go hiking (as I often do), I look at the trail and shadows with a funny little sense of recognition. Yeah, I know those colors and patterns. When our world becomes source material, we look at it differently. I've designed and painted some sets, and the same thing happened: I was always looking around to understand how to represent something. Ivy, urns, rock walls. I became visually aware of them.