October 29, 2008

More on composition

After reading the Greg Albert book on composition I cringe at the paintings I post knowing that they could have been so much better with a little work on the composition. To help me plan paintings I keep a notebook where I do a number of thumbnails before coming up with a satifying image. It's at this stage that it becomes obvious how important it is to really know my subject. For instance if I'm working on a landscape I choose only scenes of places I visit often so I can imagine myself on site. This allows me to use photos just as inspirations and not depend on the photo for the arrangement of elements.

October 28, 2008


One of the teachers at the private studio where I teach brought apples from his tree to share with all of us. They were sweet and crisp and reminded me of my Grandma's place in Oregon. Even though her home was tucked in to the suburbs she had an acre of land where there were apple and cherry trees, black and raspberry bushes, and a beautiful vegetable garden. My brother and I would graze all summer long. If you have never picked an apple from the tree and bit into it warm and sweet you're missing a real experience!

October 27, 2008

This little still life was fun to do. Especially the lighting. I love gourds and squash because they last forever in a set up and I don't have to rush the painting. Working with flowers and foliage the strategy is to work on the objects that wilt the quickest. This can be problematic at times, but I'm getting better at it as I go.

October 17, 2008


I finished reading a book called something like "One Simple Rule for Composition". It was recommended to me by Liana Bennett. The basic idea is no two intervals the same. Although it reads as one simple rule, after reading the book I came up with a list of questions to ask. So the very next painting I'm planning will hopefully benefit from a better composition

October 10, 2008

Single pumpkin

My garden went crazy this year and I have tiny pumpkins all over my house.
I've been experimenting with backgrounds a lot lately. In the past they have been dense and flat, so the goal is to keep it dynamic and in the shadows more transparent. This is something that has been recommended to me by my instructors but until recently I didn't quite know what they meant, now i get it!
Fellow artists may have noticed this phenomenon; a concept has been taught in different formats with different instructors but until the student has refinforced the idea with lots of trial and error, it may never sink in.