Sunday, April 5, 2009

Paintings, Passions, and Presents...


Delicious Apples, watercolor, 7" x 14"

This is an older painting that took a while to come together. I'm posting it to share how I developed it. When I painted this, I was a member of a group that worked from a new still-life every week and I often painted an aerial view of the setups. I used a Polaroid camera so I could record the setup for later reference and also start work from it immediately. The images were pretty crummy, but I liked that because it forced me to improvise. I'd cut a rudimentary mask for the image and mark it with grid marks to aid in transferring a drawing to my watercolor paper. Here's the working image, just a little over 2 inches wide in real life.


In this case, I wasn't thrilled with the cutting board nor with the straight piece of striped fabric, so I concentrated on painting the pitcher and vegetables. I worked on them on and off for months, all the while wondering what I could do with the background. Then one day when the painting was sitting on an easel in another workshop, the instructor took one look at it, pulled up a chair underneath the easel, sat down facing us and mimed juggling the fruits and veggies that appeared above his head. His impulsive act triggered my idea to create an ambiguous background -- so the objects might seem to be on a table or perhaps tumbling through the air.



I love the visual excitement of striped fabrics, so I pulled a piece out of my stash, arranged it with the still-life in mind, and took a Polaroid shot from approximately the same distance as I had the original still-life. Then I carefully sketched it in behind the completed objects on my painting and began the task of making it appear "real." Along the way, I added several items to the still-life as needed for the composition. The end result was exactly what I had hoped for.

Blog Award:


I am honored to receive this blog award for the second time in a couple of weeks, this time bestowed by Deb Ward. Deb is part of the group centered around Cincinnati, and from what I can tell, that seems to be an area brimming with talented people who are all passionate about painting!! In addition to working in watercolor and acrylic, Deb is one of the few people I know of who works in casein, and she also teaches classes in the Cincinnati area. Please check out her blog.

And now I really have to follow up with passing this award along!! I've chosen several artists I already know, and a few that I've been following silently. So in no particular order, I am tagging: Connie Williams, Jeanette Jobson, Susan Beauchemin, Andy Smith, Steven Walker, Fábio Cembranelli, and Terry Rafferty. Visits to their blogs will definitely be worth your time.

And finally:
I promised that I would announce the winner of the first bloggiversary painting this weekend. At my husband's suggestion, I set up a "raffle" based on the number of comments I received from everyone in the past year and he drew a ticket from the bowl. Rhonda Carpenter -- I need your mailing address!!!

23 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting the blog info - but that means I've got even more blogs to check out and more great art to view - and even less painting time!!! Seriously, thanks - it's great to find even more beautiful art to view - it all helps the creative process. And I know Rhonda will be thrilled with your painting - maybe she will let me view it first hand some time!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congratulations, Chris. Well-deserved. Your work is amazing! Liz

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Deb! I know what you mean -- it's great to find so much wonderful art but it definitely takes time to keep up with everyone. As for the little bloggiversary painting -- I wish I could have cloned it and sent one to everyone who stopped to visit last year!

    ReplyDelete
  4. OMG!!! I NEVER win anything!!! I feel so lucky about this, Chris! Thank you thank you thank you :)
    Deb, I'll let you look at this sometime, definitely :)
    Sending you my mailing address, Chris. WOW!!!! Jumping up and down - maybe I should go out and buy a lottery ticket today?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks, Liz! Glad you like my work.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I always find it fascinating to see how other artists work - it amazes me that you were able to put the striped fabric in After getting the initial still life started. It looks planned from the start. And in watercolor no less!
    Thanks for the heads up on new blogs to check out - and many thanks for including me in the list!

    ReplyDelete
  7. You never know, Rhonda -- Maybe that lottery ticket would pay off bigtime today!! ;-D The little duck will be on his way tomorrow. I know he'll have a happy home!

    Terry, I'm glad you're back in the blogging biz after your move. Congratulations on your award at Masterworks of New Mexico!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a delight to be given a blog award by you!!!! I believe this is the first time I've been tagged since 3rd grade recess....and that was a long, LONG time ago. Thank you, thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Well, Connie, they say art keeps you young!! ;-D Keep up your great work!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for the explanation of planning and execution of this fine piece. The striped cloth really holds it together.
    The results are so dynamic!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks, R. I love peeking inside other artists' heads, so figure I should return the favor once in a while!

    ReplyDelete
  12. what a great piece , I really enjoyed reading your process on this one. The final stage is fabulous
    Congratulation on the award.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks, Dominique! Glad you like the painting.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Chris your work is so wonderful! Congrats on the award- much deserved! AND thnx for introducing me to some more fantastic artists to drool over!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks, Jen! Always nice to hear from you and glad you've enjoyed your visits to some of the other artists you've found here.

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a wonderful painting from a still life. LOVE the way you moved forward so creatively from the set up to make improve it drastically. GREAT!

    And lucky Rhonda, but it couldn't happen to a better woman. You're so generous, Chris, to share your talents, your paintings, your time.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I really like the painting and it's interesting to see the way you changed the background. Thanks for sharing your work progress

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks, Sandy! I'm always glad to get your reactions to my work!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks, K.!! I enjoy sharing this kind of information. Glad you liked it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wonderful painting - Love to hear about your process. It never would have occurred to me that you put the fabric in last.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Well, Diahn, in this case, it was a matter of necessity, but I don't recommend it!! ;-D Way too stressful as a general working approach! Glad you like the painting.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hmmm.....

    The colors are slightly muted in this still life compared to your past works which use super-bright colors.

    Was this intentional, Chris, or is the photo not capturing the colors correctly here?

    In any case, such an adventurous still life to undertake! A lot of interesting fruits and bowls to paint.

    I like the unique size too (a long, skinny rectangle shape).

    Thanks for sharing!

    -Dean

    ReplyDelete
  23. Well, as I mentioned in the post, this is an older work and the subject matter isn't exactly day-glo to start with. The image is as color-correct as humanly possible.

    ReplyDelete

Stop in and say hello!!
(But please note -- I do not publish comments that include links to other blogs or websites.)