Swope Art Museum Juried Exhibition 2020

This was exciting! My painting ‘All In It Together’ was selected to be part of this year’s juried Exhibition at the Swope Art Museum in Terre Haute, www.swope.org.

The show is open to artists in Indiana and the surrounding states of Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky and Ohio. Out of over 400 entries 76 were selected for display. I was delighted to be included!

We went along to view the Exhibition today. It was great to see all the paintings and sculptures in reality. It was inspiring!

Peppers

Next I worked on peppers in traditional oils, 6 x 8 inches on canvas paper. The green pepper is from a Patreon lesson by PaintCoach, Chris Fornataro, and the red one is from a still life that I set up myself.

Pears-practice in oil

These are exercises in oil; first, pears in monochrome, raw umber at the top and ivory black on the lower one. I was beginning to feel how the traditional oil paints and medium went on to the canvas.Then I tried a study in color, (left) following along with Paint Coach, Chris Fornataro. The last pear (right) was painted from life-my own still life set-up.

I love the rich and luscious colors, the depth and form, and the brushing, blending and layering possibilities of the oil paint.

Fleeting Youth

Acrylic, 12 x 16 ins

I painted this using the acrylic glazing method-many very thin layers so that the color gradually builds up. The background and much of the hair was painted with thicker, opaque layers.

She is moving fast, enjoying the bright sunshine and outdoor activity. Just like her movement, her youth will seem to have flown by so fast. One flash and she’ll be grown up!

Practicing oil painting

Although I’ve enjoyed the acrylic glazing process, I decided I wanted to return to something with more ‘solidity’ and depth, and a method that is more direct. I have not been able to find mediums I like for the water-mixable oils, so with some encouragement and instruction from Kari Rajkumar, I’m working with traditional oils now.

I bought a small selection of Gamblin 1980 oils locally, and have been working on exercises from Paint Coach (on YouTube and Patreon). Paint Coach (Chris Fornataro) is very good at simplifying and de-mystifying the materials and process, with excellent tutorials on all aspects of oil painting. And he’s often entertaining!

Here are my first apple studies from his video on Patreon. A very similar study can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if6Z4BaqDSU

Both apples were painted with a triad (Hansa Yellow Medium, Cadmium Red Medium and Ultramarine Blue, plus Titanium white. I used Gamsol thinner and Oleogel medium. I enjoyed seeing the improvement of the second (lower one) over the first.
Apple studies, 6 x 8 ins, oil on canvas paper

A Boy in the Hat

12 x 16 inches, acrylic on canvas panel

The layers of color are so much fun! I’m really enjoying this process. It is very calm, slow, and meditative. Each layer is only just visible as it goes on and so makes a small difference, thus making it easy to change direction as the painting develops.

Acrylic Portrait Painting Challenge

During the corona virus ‘shelter-at-home time’, March-May, I followed along with artist Matt Philleo in the challenge he was offering as free online lessons every few days. I liked the idea of doing a special project during this strange time, and I liked the encouragement to use a 16 x 20 size, which I have never done before.

I had tried glazing with acrylics a few years ago, but probably was doing it too thickly and impatiently. It didn’t go very well. This time, with his instruction to use 95% matte medium to 5% paint, and paint so lightly that you can hardly see the difference, it went a lot better and I like the result!

‘Going Out Again’, 16 x 20 inches, acrylic on canvas panel

Selfie

Oil, 12 x16 in

This is my first attempt at a self portrait, something of which I have felt scared up until now. I thought perhaps the going might be easier if I included another special person. In the end, I enjoyed it more than I expected. Redesigning yourself is liberating!

There is a problem with setting up self portraits-if you use a mirror to see yourself, that is the view you are used to seeing, but not what other people see when they look at you and so they will think it looks quite wrong.

If you use a photo of yourself taken by someone else, again the image looks backwards to you, the subject, but correct to everyone else. If you take a selfie, the set-up is a mirror image (looking correct to the self), but the photo, once taken, flips and looks backwards to the subject!

I’ve seen one artist who addressed this by painting a profile self-portrait using two mirrors.

The source for this painting was a selfie photo, so my face looks a bit odd to me (not what I’m used to seeing), but I hope it looks correct to everyone else!