Larger figure, work in progress

This is the first layer of paint for the larger Trying to contain the Anger close up. I start with a light drawing of the figure and the adjustments I usually do in pencil but with this, I took a brush with thinned burnt umber and adjusted some of the face and then I put in the shadows. This is the layer after that. I wanted a dark background for this. Usually, I don’t think about it until I do 2 or 3 layers. So slightly different approach. Now, I fiddle more with the face and shadows and getting the arms to look like arms and…..on and on. I’ll post the progress here 30″ x 30″ or  app. 76 cm x 76 cm



purple background




Small Format Suite #5

This is the fifth in the suite thus far. I started with just ultramarine blue and white but added yellow ochre light and a bit of cobalt blue. My camera has started putting dates on images. I must have clicked something on it.  I’m including another picture showing some of the suite pictures together in my studio. I have the larger canvas that I want to use and a couple of other smaller square canvases. I plan on painting over the paintings I have on  the 2 more.


suite #5 in blue

#5 suite in studio

#5 on easel

Small format Trying to Contain the Anger #4

In this version I isolated the face and upper body of the figure. The colors I used were mostly warm. I wanted the position of the hands and the face to convey emotion, not the vigorous brushstrokes or saturated colors I  usually use. I am really happy with this figure but I am not sure there is a sense of strong emotion here.

I have done 5 of these smaller paintings. I started out with the idea of a suite but they seem to have developed more as studies. I like them however they are labeled. I have 1 more small canvas that I’m thinking of something different. And then I have the larger canvas 30″x 30″ that I’ll probably do one last figure on it.

small anger brown

Trying to Contain the Anger #5

Small format, green

Another in the suite of smaller format pictures. I wasn’t sure how the green would work . There is actually more yellow in the hair but doesn’t show up well.  I wanted to try  colors I don’t normally use for figures.  I think the face and arms could use more green but I am satisfied with these results. I may try one with a spectrum of colors or maybe just shades of grey. [sounds like I have my next 2 paintings!]  The figure is a close up, focusing on her face and left arm. I plan to do another  close up. I have 2 smaller square canvases and a larger one left. [30″ x 30” or app. 76cm x 76 cm.]

green small figure compressed

Trying to Contain the Anger, Blue

Finished. These smaller canvases are 20″ x 20″ or app. 51 cm x 51 cm

trying to Contain the Anger, blue


painting again

Good Grief! I didn’t realize its been over 2 months since I’ve painted! Shame on me. I could say life got in the way but that is no excuse.

Anyway, here is another small canvas Trying to Contain the Anger.  This is the first layer. Generally pleased with it. Have some anatomical adjustments  to do but that is the beauty of oil. Mess it up and one can just paint over it, wet into wet for me.

I feel good when I paint. If something is bothering me, if I am obsessing over things, I can paint. And I calm down. No, the problems are the same but I am seeing them differently. My mind is engaged with painting problems, with seeing, with feeling. And what I was obsessing about just isn’t that important anymore.

blue anger first layer

Blue Anger. First layer. French ultramarine, alizarin crimson, and titanium white. 2ft x 2ft or app. 61.5 cm x 61.5 cm.

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

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