Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Eggs, Reflected"

Connie Kleinjans fine art8x8, oil on canvas board

I've been wanting to paint this silver egg for awhile. It's one of those eggs that, when you shake it, you hear chimes. But I never found quite the right thing to paint next to it. Then these brown eggs came along. I did learn something: Metallic colors reflect what's around them (duh), so it's hard to use them to gain value differences. Or is it? I see a lot of black at the top of the egg. Hmm. I might have to try this again on a lighter background. But dark as it is, it still isn't as rich as the original. Darn these cameras!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Did You Say Eggs?"

Connie Kleinjans fine art8x8, oil on gallery-wrapped canvas

Oh, you know. You see two items together and something makes you think you can connect them in some way. In this case it's egg and eggplant. It's lame, but they both have egg in their name. According to one online source, the eggplant got its name from the smaller whiter varieties that did, in fact, look like eggs.

But! Be that as it may, I like how this came out! Maybe it's the hot red background breaking through the green, or maybe it's the dimensionality of the eggs and eggplant. And, I swear, the eggplant's shadow did look like that! (Usually things don't throw shadows on both sides of themselves, but this did, probably because the light was close.) Also, this has a bit of a cartoon look, but this can be a complement. Whatever it is, I wish I could replicate it at will.

So today I pushed my comfort limit and did some sloppy abstracts. I tried to get out of my head and not judge, and go on instinct and impulse. It was interesting. We'll see if I post anything. I don't know. That will depend on instinct and impulse, too.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

"Choy to the World"

Connie Kleinjans fine art8 x 8 x 0.75, oil on gallery-wrapped canvas

What is it about bok choy that makes you want to crack puns with the name? (I'm referring to this and the prior piece.) Ah well, the title suits the season.

I'm finally starting to put some of my paintings up around the house. Granted, they're pretty small, but they provide a splash of color and liveliness. I find it interesting to see what I choose to hang, and also to listen to what others say about my work. What I choose points me towards what I want to do more of. Comparing notes with others reminds me how different people really are. A painting that I think of as merely OK, sparks a response in someone else. And that response isn't what you think it might be. For instance, someone might call a painting "cool" because it shows, say, glass that warps the shape of what's behind it (note the two stalks in this piece). When I get a reaction like that, I'm sometimes a bit put out at first; I kind of want people to be drawn to the composition, color, perspective, or other feature of the actual execution, rather than to something that's almost a parlor trick. Then again, it's an honest reaction, and might still indicate that I did something right.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

"I Want My Baby Bok, Baby Bok, Baby Bok"

Connie Kleinjans fine art6x6, oil on canvas board, NFS

You know, I saw some baby bok choy at the grocery store, and I had to paint one (well, two, since another will be showing up soon). I'd had it a couple of days before I started painting and it was starting to droop, hence the little dish it's in. I don't know if it helped revive it. But somewhere in there I started humming the music with different words. I think the original is for a steak house. (And for those of you who haven't heard it, the song is in 1950s doo-wop style, and it goes "I want my baby back, baby back, baby back... I want my baby back ribs!" OK, the joke is lame, but a few friends cracked up.

Also, I decided to try the outline technique. I remember art teachers telling classes over and over "Don't draw the outlines. Draw on the surface. Draw the volumes." But they sure made this painting pop, and I see it in other current painters. It kind of brings to mind Elizabeth Shippen Green, the great illustrator from early in the 20th century. She worked in charcoal, which gave her bold outlines, as you can see from this page. Ah well, enough history.

Friday, December 12, 2008

"Garlic Party"

Connie Kleinjans fine artAbout 14 x 17.5", oil on unstretched canvas

Like yesterday's blog entry, this one was painted with the idea of cropping it afterward. But I got a wonderful comment from Kim Vanderhoek about how yesetrday's looked the most powerful uncropped, and now I'm rethinking this one. Now, in an earlier piece, I really liked the splashy parts around the outside, and I pondered whether it would work to frame out the middle and paint the edges in a lower key to kind of attenuate their presence, but still keep them visible. So I experimented with this one using that theory. But it also occurred to me (too much caffeine, perhaps) that this might make two paintings. Take a look. I have no idea if this will make sense or not.

Connie Kleinjans fine artThe common element in both paintings would be the small garlic clove in the middle.

Anway, I'm not sure yet, but it's fun to play with.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Three Persimmons"

Connie Kleinjans fine art
Oil on unstretched canvas, about 14.5 x 18

Every once in a while I'll tape a piece of canvas to a board, paint on it, and crop it afterward. I did a batch of these in February of this year. What it does is allow me to crop after the painting is done, rather than choosing the size by painting on an existing board or stretched canvas. It's fun. This time I painted these three persimmons.

So, above is how the painting currently looks. Next I get to play with cropping. I use my computer, so I can try options and undo them. But I also have a couple of L-shaped pieces of foam core, and I can use those, too.

I haven't played with a lot of options yet, but I do like how the persimmons are lined up vertically, and I also like the incomplete shadow at the very bottom. This suggests a tall, narrow cropping. And one reason I paint this way is so I can show the paint strokes at the periphery. Mix those together and you come out with this composition. I like it. Or at least, I like it today.

Or maybe it's too purple...