August 29, 2008


I went to my critique group meeting last night. I always come home feeling inspired to paint! It would be so easy to spend 8 hours a day in the studio, but my house would fall to ruin and the kids would be eating out of cans, so I'll have to do with 4 hours.

August 28, 2008

I had a discussion with a fellow teacher and artist recently about some artists' need for solitude in order to create. This is certainly true for me. The trick is finding a healthy balance of time spent alone and time with family and friends. Both are absolutely necessary!

August 20, 2008

Photo reference

I'm in the process of studying my photographs, choosing which are good reference for paintings and which aren't. There are a number of questions that need to be asked in order to make that decision.
Such as:
Is there a center of interest, main subject or "star" of the composition?
What do I want to say with this image, what is the main idea or message?
Is the lighting interesting or is there a full range of values?
What is the palette?
Do I have a good understanding of the space and forms?
If the answers are mostly yes then I will take the time to do thumbnails and color studies to further work out the composition, colors and values.

I find this exercise a good gage of how far I have come in my ability to communicate visually. One very good indicator is how dependent am I on the photo to develop the image. Essentially it's necessary for me to truly understand the subject matter so that I am not a slave to the photograph. Without that understanding the photo becomes a crutch and the resulting painting is often quite mediocre.