Monday, November 15, 2010

The Weekend

The Indian Hill Art Show on Friday and Saturday went pretty well. The show was not only a bit more selective, with fewer artists, they laid it out in a more open and comfortable arrangement. It was fairly well attended, but very crowded on Friday night. I had a great time getting to know some of the artists. I want to thank everyone that came out to visit stop by my booth. It also helped that I sold a few pieces and made some nice connections.

Yesterday my family had an early Thanksgiving get together. My wife (in the above photo) and I drove to my parents house extra early so we could paint before the feeding frenzy. My mother and father live in a very picturesque farm community about 1 1/2 hours north east of Cincinnati. It is an open area surrounded by rolling fields with distant tree lines. There are various out buildings, barns and farm equipment around with which to compose a picture. I found dozens of possible pictures as I strolled around the farm looking for a spot to paint. I first settled upon and started a painting of barn full of tobacco hanging to dry (also shown in the photo above). The light effect changed immediately and became less interesting. Making a fast decision, I threw in the towel immediately- well, after about 30 minutes of getting in the big shapes.  I scrapped it down, wiped it out, and moved to a new spot to start anew. Facing the opposite direction, everything was being pounded with sunlight. This time the painting came together quickly and it was an absolute joy to paint- except for the wind- which blew my easel over as I stepped away to get some more paper towels. The easel went upside down, brushes and paint tubes went everywhere. The painting and palette fell face down in the grass. This is generally frowned upon in plein air work. It all cleaned up pretty well. I had to scrap dirt and grass out of the sky area and clean up a smear or two. Not too bad really. The only disaster was that all my turpentine spilled out on the ground. Laura was nice enough to give me some of hers.
An Early Thanksgiving, 12 x 16, oil on panel, 2010
After a little less than 3 hours I ended up with this. A cloudy morning had cleared way for clear blue skies. The light was incredible. With the dry summer I was not sure what the fall would look like, but the leaves this year are lovely hot reds and oranges. Everything seems to be glowing. I just hope the trees survive the continued drought.
I also got to try out some big, flat bristle brushes that I just purchased. They were very useful for carving out the big planes and chiseling out the form. Today I spent some time in the studio tweaking the drawing, cleaning up  sloppy edges and strengthening effects. I am pretty happy with this one. Probably one of my better one shot landscapes.

I love painting coffee cups almost as much as I love drinking tremendous amounts of coffee. Coffee cups have a romance to them and often have a graceful shape that is a challenge to draw. I enjoy using just a few simple objects to create little abstractions that will be pleasing not just as a recognizable objects. They become little arrangements in color and value. I recently bought a lovely Jadeite coffee cup in an antique store that I knew would be fun to paint. After trying a few things, I chose a pink table cloth  and a gray background which produced a very pleasant color scheme.The goal was to paint something fairly quickly for the show- usually a bad idea to have that as a goal. As is often the case I ended up working on it a bit longer than I anticipated. After spending the weekend with it hanging in the Indian Hill show I knew it needed more work. It was a bit lack luster and needed more color vibration so I went back in today. I may go back in on the steam. It looks a bit fake at the moment.
 Study in Gray, Green, Pink and Decaf, 7x5, oil on linen, 2010


Marcus Adams said...

Congrats on selling some pieces. I'm curious which ones sold.

I'm also interested in learning more about what it means to "strengthen effects".

Richard J. Luschek II said...

I sold the little nut and bolt painting, and the broken light bulb. I also got some interest in the Mr Clean painting as well.

Painting is all about effects. Basically it is the effects of light on objects and how they appear to our eye.
The painting of the green cup, which I ended up working on again after this post was just boring and lacking in the effects of light on a glass object. The colors were dead, and the sparkle of life was not there. So, I had to go back in, get the vibration of color and make sure my values were in order, meaning that I had a definite light side and shadow side. This will aid in rendering form. The painting was a bit flat for lack of this. I think it is better now. Hope that helps explain.