Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tall Drinks, Key West.

I am trying to be a good blogger. Christmas...need i say anymore. I am toying with doing an art show in February. I have been working on several paintings. They are all in the stage were nothing spectacular is happening to any of them. This one has a long way to go. Looks like I still need to push and pull at the sizes and the tops of the glasses. How can something so simple be so hard. The green in the upper right hand corner does not thrill me. That can change.

I am making cookies today, but if all goes well I will post and update on this painting by evening.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

November, a Dr. Sketchy's Session

Dr. Sketchy's is like a life drawing session, with the models wearing more clothing, Drawing starts with 1 minute poses, progressing to 15 minute poses. This is excellent practice for artists, because you are force to work very fast blocking out spaces and color.

The models are burlesque dancers. They are very good at developing the visual. Hair makeup and costuming is part of their focus. Sometimes the model/dancer is not very experienced at holding a pose. They will use a pose that is too ambitious for the time period. By the end of the pose she is struggling not to move, or must move and recover as best as possible. I have been working on a face to have the face turned away before the end of the pose. This can create more of a challenge, leaving me to work from memory or just make it up.

All these paintings are from 10 to 15 minute poses. I start with a quick pencil sketch, to make sure all the parts are in the right place. Then I start putting on paint, establishing color and value. Since there is no time for paint to dry I use colored pencil to help with detail, line and texture.

Sometimes, during the break I can go back and add details with paint. Watercolor painters like to work with wet paint that flows and mingles. The painter develops a sixth sense when to take more control as the paint dries. I always tell my students that water is your friend, but it can also be your enemy.

The night is fun with music, drinks and food. It is sort of a party atmosphere, but there are 50 plus artist there putting in some serious work.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

11"x 15"
not done but close
This on is getting close. I must develop the rock on the left. I want more light in the upper left corner, as an entrance to the painting. The yellow green is confusing in the upper right corner. Do I want to deepen the darks a bit? Can I?
I don't know why is seems hard for me to finish koi paintings. Maybe I just don't have a clear direction I want them to go. They are a result of several layers and moods as I work.
The next koi painting I start, I should vow to finish in a week. They sell fast enough. I do have to get creative with names too. I may have to keep a cheat sheet on which painting is which. It is nice to name paintings so I know which on is which in the database

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Never Done

Reflection Pool (D.C)
This painting has not quite been there. Recently I pull this out of the frame to work on. I have put it back in the frame and will probably pull it again. It does not go far enough.
There is a mood I am after. A private morning stroll, in front of the Lincoln Memorial, at sunrise, is the goal.
Laying on the couch, sick, I decided this painting is to mid-tonal. I want more light. I started scratching out light behind the trees and darkened the upper sky. Liking this, I photographed the painting with new changes and put it back in the frame. The light hitting it on the wall is poor, but I want my paintings to look good in the dark. I need more light in the painting. Perhaps light on the ground behind the front hill is essential. I am also toying with adding the hint of yellow to warm the light. Orange? Dangerous. Hmmmmm

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I know that I have not posted anything lately. Back to blogging. This painting has missed several deadlines. The main deadline is Watercolor USA. That date is sometime in March. I think that it will be ready by then.
Much of the painting is finished. Now to make the different parts work together. I still have a lot of honing to do on the lens to the right. I want more green in that lens also.

I just read Tom Lynch stating that you can always tighten up a loose painting, but you cannot move the other way around. Unfortunately that is exaction the way I operate. If a painting is too tight. I start subtracting paint and adding fresher passages. Often that is the last hour I work on a painting. I call the process, "Pulling it together."

Taking a break with this one until mid November. Tomorrow. I will post what is going on with the k0i painting.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Signs on Winslow Street
13 1/2" x 17"
I just posted this painting to Virtual Paint Out. If I crossed all my 't's and dotted all my 'i's. It will show up on the website soon.
About a week ago Carolyn Summer, facebook friend, recommended that I check this sight out. I commented that I probably will not be able to do a painting this month. I could not figure out how to use the sight and the month was almost over. She whined and shortly posted her painting. The challenge was on.
You go to the google earth sight from the web page. Then you end up walking the streets of the given city. Find something to paint. Save the picture or sight to your computer, print and paint.
I did get a painting done. The signs stretching across the street, is what attracted me. I was cursing myself for picking such a detailed view. But I did get into painting the signs. I began to recognize the repetition of some of the characters. In the end I had to really simplify the buildings, but that makes the signs all the more important in the composition. I did a quick wash of gold ochre over much of the painting to tie it together.
The real accomplishment for me is being able to use the sight. I was painting a scene from Hong Kong by going there via internet. How cool is that?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

This piece was a very quick study of a photo I took of my husband. We picked up a brush to doodle out how I was going to instruct my water class on painting portraits.

They say they want to paint like me so I had to analyze how I would go about painting a face. One thing is to work slowly and start building with light washes. If a piece is over-w0rked in the beginning it is hard or impossible to get the highlights back.

This painting is done on the paper I use to do glicee prints. It is acid free but not watercolor paper. The sizing is replace with a coating to make the paper printable. This paper is softer and some paint can be removed with just an electric erasure. The paper tares instead of scratching when a knife is used. Paint does not move on the paper but it can be lifted with a light tough of a scrubber.

The hair is unique. I painted the color under the hair and scratched the actual hair into the paper. Although the paper was not cooperating I think the result is still believable.

Well this has also been a lesson on how this paper differs from watercolor paper or knowing what are the qualities of a good water color paper. I keep encouraging my students to us good paper. I give them pieces. They still resist, thinking that their work is not worthy of a piece of paper that may cost a few dollars. I even offer them a package price for a single sheet, because that is how I order my paper.

I started by just painting the lip an chin. I did not start with a drawing. I told my class to practice. Work on specific areas at a time. Expect failures, but experiment and don't be scared. I was proud of them. They ended up with finished works. One student was sculpting the angles and bones of a man's face, stating she could not draw. Another student painted a believable portrait of her mother from a black and white photo.

This painting will be matted and framed an put by my computer.:)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I arrived in Florida. Set up to paint. I always carry a blooming orchid with me. I do not want those blooms to fade when I am gone. Bought the orchid on the way to Key west in May. Drove it home with me. Now it is back.
This was easy to paint. Did a quick drawing. Washed in the pale yellow and then added more color where the pedals overlap. Finished this in three short sittings.
What really sets this flower off is the background. I dropped this in after the flower was painted.
Of course the flower I was painting wilted before I was done. I just started using and other flower for information.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I wish to start a painting in the morning. I will use a previous photo and memory. The sky was boiling in indigo maybe Payne's gray. The sea is lighter in soft greens. Maybe white will be needed to achieve these colors. Oops. I did not bring my suitcase of paint tubes. Must make due with what is on my pallate. The water is darker at the horizon. A strip of violet is a quarter of the way out in the water as the water gets deeper but then lightens again before it darkens at the horizon. The water is tanner with sand stirred up in the surf before or where the waves break. The foam from the waves are white. The sand is lightest where it is dry but is violet where the water has just wetted the sand. I guess this is a reflection of the sky. The pier is deep brown. Brown madder with a lot of ultramarine blue. The building half way out is deep rusty red. Three orange lights shine from the snack bar and cleaning station.

Here's hopping the vision will not fade by morning.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lighthouse Lens View
I am taking my time with this painting, but enjoying the steady pace. My plans have changed what to do with this piece. I hope to have it ready for the Hammon's hall show on July 24. Then it would fit in the Waverly house show this fall. I would love to submit it to Watercolor USA this coming year.
I am presently working on the second Lens on the right. I know that Rick's head needs to get wider to fit with Wendy's head. How the two lenses relate to each other is one of my main concerns right now. They are from two different photos. I have to put them together in a believable way.
Working on this painting seems a little like paint by number. (I admit it, I have never done a paint by number.) The visual effect of small areas of color visually working together to create an image. I think this will be one that I will miss when it is done. May be if it's price is high enough it can live above my mantel for awhile.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I am a little nervous. I am in a hotel room with the rest of the morning to myself and no paints! I did not bring paint. I vowed to work on photos in my down time. Watched on short clip on flesh tones, I want paint. Awwww.

Worked at the gallery on Wednesday and found out that my painting does not have to be done until July 1. This group is informal and a moving deadline is sort of...refreshing?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Well, working on another insane piece. I need to stop doing this to myself. This is an exercise in gray tones, which make the color look great. Believe it or not, this is not as bad as the kitchen drawer painting.

I have this afternoon to work on this then I have to take a 6 day break. This will not fit into my suitcase and I don't think I would have much time to work on this. If it is not storming this afternoon I will snap another photo of my progess to post.

I am slowing down a bit. This is supposed to go in a show the first of June. There is not way this will be ready. Maybe I can come up with something else for the show...Maybe it can be ready for the summer Hammons show.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I have been on vacation for several weeks. have had a hard time getting my feet on the ground again.

This is going to become a painting, using three different photos. It is my job to blend these into a cohesive composition. I was playing around in Corral Draw and decided to mirror or flip one of the photos. This is going to be a challenge, but not much different than my past undertakings.

Finley River is having a competition with abstract or contemporary as the theme. I play with abstract reality. My take is to us real images that look abstract. What is this? It is photos of light house lenses taking at Key West, FL.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Have been on vacation. I am in the condo, in Florida preparing to drive home tomorrow. I have taken many many photos. I can see this one being painted large-large, like over my fireplace large.
I have not picked up a brush the last three week. The one morning that I thought of painting, in Nancy's Secret Garden, I was close to heat exhaustion.
In Key West with my daughter, she normally works night shift, so we often did not head out until noon. Not a good plan in Key West.
The few times I could have painted at the condo, someone was in the guest room asleep. Maybe I need to move that art table out into the living room. I will be back here in July and I plan to paint.
'Fins of a Different Color' has sold out of the Gallery in Naples Florida. I will post that painting when I get home to my databases.
That is the second painting sold this year without any effort in marketing on my part. Maybe sales will be really good this year. I am pleased with how much I have been working, minus this vacation. Work has to be done before any thing else makes sense.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I have been such a good little blogger this week. I am taking a lot of photos and putting paintings into frames. Some of the works are new, some are reworked.

New York Cotton Candy
13"x 17"

This painting was started several years ago. I used three different reference photos that were shot in New York City, just before 9/11. This was a street fair in the summer just up from Radio City. I fell in love with photo of the Grandpa and little girl. Then I really liked the cotton candy tree. I had never seen it carried that way.

This painting was worked on off and all through years. It is quite detailed and lent itself not to be finished. Finally I decided to finish it and submit it to this Springs Waverly House show, 'The Flavors of the Season.'

I did not think this painting was coming together. There was a lot of different disconnected colors. Pulling this totally together would happen after most of the painting was done. A little trick I often use is general light wash of a color. In this case yellow ochre. It tones most of the whites and pulls the painting together. Care must be taken not to go over area more than once. The wash brush must be cleaned often after going over dark areas. A light tough is important.

I also used a little creative cropping, to make the composition stronger. Watercolor artists have an advantage in being able to do this. This is one reason my paintings are often not standard sizes.
This painting did get into the show and has drawn a lot of comment. I like how your eye is drawn on down the street, but the cotton candy pulls you back.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Yaaahoo! My frame order just arrived. I am doing a show in Charleston, MO, at the end of the week. It will be good to get more work into frames. I have been struggling with a change in cameras. I will survive, and maybe even develop a few new brain cells. I have not had the guts to start up the giclee printer yet. That will probably happen this evening.

Too Pretty to Eat
14"x 16"

I took this photo at a farmer's market. This is another case of a really good photo leading to a good painting. I changed the configuration of the poles and the and the sign to make a better composition. After painting a few very tedious paintings, this one was a good change. There is a lot of wet-into-wet work here. I also use the technique of painting toward the wet. This makes nice fading of color when getting to a highlight.

A colored pencil was used to carve out lines in the paint. I really don't think color came from the pencil on the wet paper, but adding pressure on paper with a sharp object will leave dark lines. The drawing action, that comes with a pencil, in hand felt easy. Hmmm, I wonder if that could be a way of signing your name.
I entered this into the Spring show at the Waverly house. The show will open the first weekend in May.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I am producing a lot of work and I am happy. The last couple of days have been spent, visiting with and old friend and my son. Inside the artist was grumbling. Minimal work got done. It was great to take a break for good purposes. Honestly my hair was been stretched from my pulling on it. I was Working too much. Pleasing the artist is elusive.
I cannot stand it. I have started changes to 'Night Balloons.' Even if it is accepted into the show I will not be happy without the changes. I think changes will be minor enough that they will not be noticed.
Old Engine
22"x 15"
This painting was painted for the Finley River Train Show. I took the photo outside a train museum in California. The lighting and the view here makes a good composition. There is tedious detail, but not too much. I did have to grid with the drawing to make sure everything was where it belonged the first time. Got into a little trouble with the grid lines in the sky but I think I over came it. Must remember to keep lines like that light, but there is also a fight to see them.
I plan to repaint this much larger and then submit it to Watercolor USA next year. The plan is to work slowly, working out all the issues as I go. It would be novel to finish something earlier than 5 minutes before it is due.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Where Is It?
This a the other painting that I submitted to watercolor USA. I think that I am through playing with this one. Yes it does happen. It was originally painted for 'The Beauty of Everyday Life' show, at the The Waverly House. The painting won the theme award. This was fun, a challenge, and hair pulling. I had to keep my finger on the item that I was painting, or I would slip and start working on the wrong thing.

I brought this painting home and tightened up a little. When the Waverly House show came about, my mom had become really sick. I was spending a lot of time in doctor's offices and the hospital. I had works so hard on this painting and was determined to finish it, I stayed up all night to finish this one. It was finished really fast.

It was good, but now it is better. I am not listing the price of this one because I did not have it in my records. I will list it after I know it it is accepted.

Friday, April 9, 2010

I'm back. I am doing well. It did take me a few weeks to recover from my mother's death. Then I started painting. Producing work is one of the first steps.

I've discovered a new way to progess with my work. If I paint on several paintings at once. I don't get into hating the painting in front of me. If there are issues, or things are not progressing well, it don't stress. I just flip to the next painting. I let go, and move on to dealing with the next piece. Ideas on what to do next, or solving a problem with a painting has to percolate with me. I keep flipping to a different painting. With a different painting on the table, the mental work has already been done and I am ready to move ahead with the work. I also clean up my work area each time I switch to a different painting. It is a cleansing process.

Night Balloons.
14"X 17"

I have submitted this to Watercolor USA. I will know if it is accepted by the April 17. I am waiting. It is not accepted, I am ready to change this one. I want more warm color in part of the the back ground. I may want to tweak the actual shape of a couple of the balloons. I think this piece is out of balance. This was not apparent until it was done. I think if I lighten the area above the small balloon and add a little warmth it will solve the problem. Until I know if it is accepted in the Watercolor USA, I am hesitant to make changes.

The painting sits, in the studio and I continue to mentally work on it. This seems to be something I cannot rush.

Thank you for your kind works of support and care after the my mother passed. I was silent for awhile, but I was feeling your care and it helped.

I am seem to be up and painting more than I have been able to the last couple of years. I have entered three competitions and finished five paintings in the past two weeks. Deadlines do help. I have several other painting getting close to go in the frames. You should be seeing frequent posts now.

With brushes flying everywhere,
Jane Huggins:)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I forgot that I pick "Balloons in the Night" as a title for this one. Once this one is totally painted I will have to push and pull between dulled color, it is night, and the brightness of the light.
I am excited, this one should be a stunner.
This next week I need to step up the work on two train paintings due at the end of the month, but I will continue to work on the balloon and coffee cup paintings as a pair.
Working on two paintings seems to do well for me. Keeps me from hating the work that I continually stare at.
Working on more that two at at time can be hard for focus, but a good time to work on the ones that sit on the boards undone. I like to start paintings. I don't like to finish them.
This painting was started this last spring. It will probably be finished some time this week. I collect coffee cups. My favorites eventally get broken, but that is only an opportunity to add to my collection. At first it seemed like this painting would paint itself, but I got hung up with making all the elipes right. The darkened room in the background is being up before sunrise. The light source is directly above the cups.
My mother died on February 4, 2010. I usually do not paint under such stress. I have been painting but not finishing anything. I am pleased with my work. There is a whole in my heart, but I think painting with my mother watching over my shoulder will lead to productivity.

My father says he talks to her. I do too. I have a tendency to talk to myself a lot when I paint. I can only imagine the reaction to others I am painting with when my mother is added to the conversation.

I love you Mommy. I know where you are, this will be a good year

Saturday, January 9, 2010

O.K., I am back. My mother has gotten a lot worse lately. I agreed to put her hospice the other day. I am working through the emotional side of this pretty well. After the holidays I feel that I have more mental and physical time.
I am getting much better at playing the piano. Piano playing is a great stress reliever for me. Painting is another thing.
Although, I am making myself pick up the brush I do not focus well and getting little real work done is not happening. I am cutting myself some slack here. Things will flow when it is time.
This painting is one that I wanted to start years ago. Every November when the Christmas lights are put in the Ozark Rive Park, The Miracle Children's Fund sponsors this night. Hot air balloons are erected in the Night and stay on the ground. It is awesome to see this huge creations all together in the arena. You only see them when the fire is put on to keep them inflated. At times you see one or two and once in awhile several are firing up at once.
The two spectators are my husband and Nate, my little brother.
I am pretty pleased with the progress of this on so far. I wish some of the colors where clearer, but it is a night scene.