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Showing posts from September, 2016

If you have been wondering

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If you have been wondering where I have gone, I am still here, but someone must have speeded things up because the days are passing so fast! It was summer day before yesterday and suddenly it is autumn. I want to sit and savor but there is so much to do and... Well, that is most likely not news to any of you.
Here are my latest homework assignments. This photo is one I took earlier in the year when we were at Tybee Island,  where the Savannah River empties into the Atlantic. It is a simple scene, but try it on 5"x7" with a palette knife and acrylics and suddenly it was not quite so simple. I have decided to try working in oils - not so slippery. I may find out that it is not the slippery acrylic or the knife, but I won't know unless I try, will I?



When I get the oils and try this again (I will try this very one again for comparison) I will post it, however good or bad it is. I can't decide whether to go to Chattanooga and buy paint (quicker but will they have all the…

WHAT is THAT?!

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Tonight when Dean walked in to my studio, he looked on the easel and asked, "What is that!" I told him that it was a tea house in a garden. He said that he thought not because Japanese gardens are simple and neat. Humph!

Actually, I was looking at the yard across the street I have painted it before, from a photo I took. This
time there was no photo and I was working with different pigments than I usually use. I can't say that I love it, but It does have a sort of fairy garden appeal to me.

I also painted the plums in a cup again. You realize, I am sure, that there is no dark yellow. There is yellow and light yellow and reddish yellow and bright yellow and soft yellow and greenish yellow, but there is no dark yellow, yet the yellow on the inside of that cup was shadowed. I I added violet, as shadows sometimes are, the color turned brown (or as one friend said, "baby-poop brown "). If I  added blue, another shadow color, it turned green. I am going to try a littl…

Should I apologize...

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for even sending this out? I am learning to paint with a palette knife, as I have mentioned. Well, a large and straight- edged knife is hard to use to make a circle. At least that is my excuse and I am sticking to it!  The sad part is that I did this once before and wiped it off. Well, if I keep trying it might get good enough to look like what it is - that is a large cup turned on its side. I know it is not right, but working on it again will have to be a project for another day.  I think that I could do it with a brush, but I am determined to master the use of the knife. Meanwhile, All is well and all will be well, XOXOXO, Caroline

Getting behind!

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Yesterday was Dean's birthday so there was some baking to do. It was also the day that I received a new module for my online class. Somehow posting a painting didn't make it onto the schedule! I did, however, paint a little 6 x 6" painting. We have some plums that just demanded to be painted. Here is the first painting;. when I finish posting I am going to do another and then get onto my homework. Later in the day will be the exciting business of cutting Dean's toenails( since he has Diabetes that is an important thing to do) and cleaning the baseboards in the kitchen. My days are always full of something.

I rather like this - probably because of the purple, who knows. 
All is well and all will be well,  XOXOXO, Caroline

Busy week

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This has been an unusually busy week. There was the day I spent 7.5 hours in the ED with Dean, of course, there were some other meetings, our son-in-law and his mother stopped by and we went to dinner, I played catch-up with the laundry.  You know that kind of week - nothing outstanding, just busy.

I also found out that I can only have 10 people on the list for e-mailing the blog. I had no idea! Anyway, I finally have paintings done, photographed, loaded and ready to show you.

The idea was to make thumbnails - shapes and values - and then paint from them, not looking at the original photograph, to look at the composition. It was not something I have done before and it was, as is everything, a little challenge. So here they are. You might guess that some photos were made according to color and not value and no thought was taken about composition. On top of that, I have been mesmerized by close-ups for several years - no, many years- and my landscape library is less than extensive to sa…

A Little Chat

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I am having some trouble with updates and photos so I am going to share this with you. Dean had to have his leg up so he was lying on the bed. Bobo looks like he pulled up a chair for a little chat.


Tuesday I drew thumbnails, looking for the notan needed for a good composition. Today I drew some more and then painted them. I have known about thumbnails for quite a while but never have done them. Like a lot of things it felt awkward at first but I think that when I have done a few more I will find it helpful. I have photographed them and I will post them tomorrow (I hope).
All is well,  XOXOXO, Caroline











A crazy Day

No painting today and for a good reason. I spent the most part of the day (7.5hours) in the emergency department with Dean who scraped his leg Saturday and developed cellulitis. It was a busy day there and his injury was not life threatening (although it could become so if left untreated), so we did a lot of waiting. Everyone was very nice and he got IV antibiotics and a prescription and we were able to come home. Thank goodness. 
For class we are looking carefully at photographs to see how many good compositions can be derived from each one. We make thumbnails - 3-5 shapes, 5-7 values - and then paint the thumbnail in black, white and grey. I should have at least one of those done tomorrow although it promises to be another busy day. Hmmm. Maybe threatens is more accurate than promises!
All is well,  XOXOXO,  Caroline

A painting and a bonus

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This is just about the end of the zinnias, and I might even give the cup a break. The spoon is one that Dean's mother brought back from Norway for us and it has an slightly unusual shape, made even more so in this painting.  There is a little more of it but I managed to cut it off when I photographed it. My  bad.


And here is the bonus! Part hound, part couch potato, here is Ezra Beauregard Berk!
He likes to lie there so if anyone comes down the street he can bark at them like a big, mean dog and let them know that he is watching their every move. This goes double for squirrels, cats, birds and leaves. 
All is well, and all will be well,  XOXOXO, Caroline


Shells! Stems!

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I hope that by now I have learned not to include a shell as a little accent in a painting. They are very complicated in structure and surface. Nature is beautiful, but hard to copy in many cases,

The same goes for cute little glasses with twirly stems. Cute on the shelf and the colors of the top are so interesting when they pick up the colors from around the set-up, but unless you are making a large study of the glass, definitely not easy to paint.

I finished this last night and couldn't get the pics to load onto the computer - I think that it was because they were not good! (Actually an update had changed my settings). It turned out for the best as I made a little change this morning which, although it didn't make things suddenly right, improved them a little.

I will be taking two online courses, both taught by women who paint all prima. Neither's work resembles the other's, but I think that I can learn a lot from each of them and do my own work - again, different fro…
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I spent quite a bit of time today looking at photos that I might be able to use to paint. I cropped, and looked at the darks and lights as well as the colors. I finally decided on a beach scene taken at St Simon's Island in GA. Having decided, I had to gather myself for the attempt. I checked the colors carefully and mixed three greys, as well as two yellows and a coral. The grey are mixes of red, yellow and blue with a little white and then a little more. Earlier in the day I had mixed an underfloor which looked so caramel-ish that it made my mouth water. Playing with paints is not only instructive, it is fun!


The grass stems are too thick.  I couldn't find a tiny brush to make them but you get the idea. New brush on the horizon!
All will be well,  XOXOXO,  Caroline

It's Complicated

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Have you made any changes to the way you look at things or think about things or do things? I decided to make this painting change and I am finding out that it is complicated. It isn't as easy as just picking up the same old stuff and making a slightly different mark, although that is part of it. Preparations are different and mind-set is different and the same materials are used in different ways and... it's complicated. It is also, however, invigorating and challenging and interesting and all those good things.

That said, here is the latest. This was painted with a painting knife--something you might also call a palette knife. It wasn't as easy as painting an abstract with one, especially since the abstract was 30"x30" and this is 6"x6" so there was not a lot of room to maneuver. This is a view of my neighbor's side yard as seen from my front porch. You will most likely see it again. : )


That is not a bite out of the side. I don't know what t…

Catching up

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You might have noticed that I missed a few days of posting. Well, I painted several little still life pieces during the last few days, using a new substrate/support and they were/are not as good as I wanted them to be.  I went back into most of them and made them slightly better, but only slightly.
The new surface is primed smooth  slick and the paint just slides around on it unless you have under-painted it. Who knew that there would be such a steep learning curve in my future! Ha!. I always think that I have read enough to be ready to go. Haha! So I am going to show you the pieces but I hope that the next ones will be better. Hang on; there are several.






You can see how much the brush marks show without the texture of the canvas I was using. I don't mind the brush marks but if you stroke over already applied paint it is likely that more paint will come up than go down!
I have several more things to try in the next couple of months as I work toward developing my own style and tech…

Studio Improvements

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I finally got my still-life stage up to eye level. In a perfect world it would also be adjustable but my world is not perfect, so this is just fine - at least for the next few hundred paintings!
and here it is set up. Do you like the fancy light stand? Two scrap blocks of wood. 
Here is the easel just to the right of the stage. The dark board is a device to hold the small pieces steady. It adjusts to hold 4"x4" up to 6"x6".Very handy. Dean copied it from one made by David Marine, a painter's husband. 


To the right of the easel are my flat files and I use the top as my palette. That big book is a zip code directory that I bought at a library sale and use to wipe excess paint off my brushes. It works well and there are lots of pages. 

The painting of the day. I might have to paint out the fountain pen in order to get the base of the big cup right. It is pretty sad looking anyway. Now that I look, I realize that when I did the blue on the foreground I painted out …