small work, easels & some serendipity

I worked on this 20″ x 20″ today. ( both of the images slightly fuzzy)  Started off as gestural strokes and looks to me now that angels are forming. Wasn’t my intent but I like where it is going. I’ll let it rest for a day or two.  The other picture is of my studio. In the background is my beloved easel that has seen better days. I got it as an undergrad. (20 + years ago) I am having a hard time sliding it up and down. I tried “greasing” the wood with lemon oil and wax. It’s old. My son was able to get it up at that height with some effort. He told me to leave it there. I got out my little French easel I’ve had longer than the bigger one! It works fine for smaller work and since I have all these smaller square canvases.  I’ll be using it for awhile. oh and I’m still fiddling with watercolors but no joy so far.  Tempus fugit


watercolors and pastels

I’ve been experimenting with watercolors. My painting style is definitely not conducive for the media. But I thought I’d give it a try. Dark to light, layering one color over another with thin washes….. ah, no. I’m posting a picture of the watercolor being worked over with pastels. Thought I’d publish it before I go too far. I’ve done this in the past with drypoint prints  and even used acrylic paint thinned to shade some of them. But painting with H20 is different, it seems. No matter. I’ll see what happens with  pastels.

I’m also posting an angel that I reworked. It is  6 winged like the ones in St. Marks, Venice. The color may present as very orange but that is the result of the digital camera and lighting.

Lucifer Rising 3 sorta finished

I’ve reached the point where I can do no more on this painting for the time being. I am satisfied with the figure but the background is still not right. I like the thick layers of paint  and the colors for Lucifer.

I’ve included a close up of the figure. I’ve looked at my other angel pictures for help with the background but they don’t  work with this one.    I need to turn it to the wall and not look at it for a long while.

almost finished

I’m almost finished with Trying to Contain the Anger but there are a few areas that need refinement.  I am including a closeup of her face. I used some retouch varnish in the dark blue (ultramarine) as it appeared to be sinking. I don’t usually use varnish at all tho some of my earlier paintings do have a thin coat. It depends, mostly, on the thickness of the paint whether I use it or not. The picture seems a little out of focus to me. I think that is because I didn’t use a flash. I want to represent the colors of the painting as “true” as possible. Often, the flash bounces off of the paint and washes areas out. I’m going to let it rest for awhile and focus on Lucifer Rising. 

Right now Lucifer looks too ropey and the brushstrokes are too uniform. I am thinking of adding wings as the angels on the ceiling of St. Mark’s in Venice have 6. I’ll have to see how that shakes out. With the angel, I can be freer with my interpretation and concentrate on the process more so than using a figure. When I was in grad school, the profs told me to lose the figure. I did but then as soon as I got out of school I went back to it.


close up


Trying to Contain the Anger


Progress  on Lucifer Rising 3




progress #2

I’ve adjusted the figure to be a bit more central to the picture plane. Still in early stages and I hesitated to even post a picture since it will probably change dramatically with each new layer. I’ve found, tho, that looking at a picture of a painting sometimes helps me see things that I miss with my naked eye. So here it is with a detail of brushwork .


detail of face and hand


third layer

The angel painting is pretty much the same as in the previous post. I have a background and a figure and they don’t quite go together yet. The back ground has pale, pastel “morning” colors while the angel has bold, saturated colors and full of expressive brushstrokes.  I have to think less literal about the background. It’s not a sky but  an imaginary place.

I’m having neck and shoulder pain. I think starting painting again in earnest may have contributed to the problem. The weather changes here  haven’t helped either. ( hot, cold, hot, cold!) I am hoping with some P.T. and pain meds I can get myself back in shape.

Digital images taken without flash with a Nikon Coolpix camera. I’d love to get a DSLR but they are still pricey for me.


progress #1

I’m having to adjust the composition for the figure. She was too high up on the picture plane. I want her face to be more central . So I’ve painted part of her out and will see where that leaves me.

I am also painting an angel and have not posted any pics so here are 2. No surprises here. I’m painting over another painting. Turned the canvas so that its width is 4ft (122cm) and height is 3ft (91 cm) Both images were done without flash. The one on the left is the whole painting, in progress. On the right is a detail of that painting titled  Lucifer Rising 3. Somewhere there are 1 and 2. [see May 8, 2012 entry]





Lucifer Rising II reworked

Lucifer Rising II (reworked)

I’ve been reworking this painting over the last few weeks. I wanted to go slowly with it trying to maintain the basic figure but adding more variety of colors and more depth. I was never completely happy with the first version but hadn’t taken the time until now to fix it. Truth be told, it was stacked with other paintings and forgotten until I had to move them. I have another  painting Angel of Light that I will rework next. I’m going to leave both versions on the bluecanvas site.

There actually was a Lucifer Rising I but I’m pretty sure I’ve painted over it. I do still have images saved of it.

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