June 22, 2016

287 Field of Poppies

287 Field of Poppies287 Field of Poppies

20 x 16 inches :: original oil painting on stretched canvas

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Not sure if I've shared with you that I usually work from my home studio. It's just easier that way because of all my creature comforts that are near by. Like my fridge (for easy snacking), my washing machine and dryer (to do a loads of laundry in between strokes of paint), and my red couch (where I sometimes crash and burn and indulge in delicious, syrupy midday naps). And of course my pups, Toby and Scout. Today, however, I worked in Studio Crescendoh, my  studio which is about 2 miles from my home. Whenever I push myself to work in Studio Crescendoh, part of me misses my creature comforts. But I also know that part of me receives new observations and ideas and visuals that inspire me and my future work in unexpected ways. It's a good thing.

Poppies continued to be my subject matter today. I love them so much. Minimal, clean, and sophisticated flowers they are. I used a photo reference for this work and while working, dreamed of one day finding myself in a real field of poppies (like Dorothy, the Lion, Scarecrow and Tin man did) and working all day to use real poppies from the field as my reference ... with such focus and fervor that I would eventually crash and burn to take a nap, not in the poppy field, but back at home, on my comfortable red couch.

June 21, 2016

286 White Rose

286 White Rose286 White Rose

12 x 12 inches :: original oil painting on stretched canvas

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I took a photo of a white rose right outside my gym and used that as reference for this work. You may have noticed that I've been painting more on stretched canvas for my oil paintings rather than my usual gessobord. It's different but I really like it quite a bit. It takes up a lot more paint to paint on canvas but I feel like I'm letting the actual paint do more of the work, than the brush.



June 20, 2016

285 Dried Peonies

FullSizeRender-73285 Dried Peonies

8x10 inches :: original oil (on top of acrylic) painting on stretched canvas

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I started this work by first painting the canvas with acrylic paints. On top of that I painted my still life composition, playing around and allowing bits of the acrylic under layer to be seen. I used three peonies that I dried recently as my subject, along with my little glass vase. In case you're wondering ... you can paint oil on top of acrylic but you cannot paint acrylic on top of oil. Well, I guess you CAN do whatever you want but the latter is not recommended because it would be like wrapping oil with a layer of plastic, eventually causing the plastic to fall off. 

June 18, 2016

284 Becoming

284 Becoming284 Becoming

8x10 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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Boy, the warm weather has arrived here in Santa Ana, California. With a power outage on our street and everything. Thankfully, the power is back on ... just in time for me to list this work ... a continued exploration of flowers, values, layering shapes without blending, and a limited palette.

June 17, 2016

283 Unencumbered Peonies

Peonies283 Unencumbered Peonies

10x8 inches :: original oil on stretched canvas

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I modified my zorn palette by bringing in ultramarine blue for this work. Also instead of ivory black (because I ran out of it) I used lamp black. Aside from that, I stayed true to mixing everything else with just 4 colors. A challenge that is becoming less challenging and really a marvelous way to work for me. I just love it. Not sure if you can notice but with this work and the last two or so, I've also refrained from what I have been known to do toward the end of the process, which is to employ a large brush to swish sections together. I feel that when I study the great master painters (like Sargent) the work is non-blended, non-swished clusters of strokes that are placed accurately in terms of value and shape. So when we look at the work not with a microscope but from a distance, it all works in a most masterful way. I don't want to ban swishing from my tools ... just not encumbered or defined by it. (I used a photo reference of flowers in a vase that I found on the Internet for this work.)

June 15, 2016

282 Limited Melodrama

IMG_1767282 Limited Melodrama

8x8 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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Today was another day using the limited color palette of titanium white, yellow ochre, cad red, and ivory black to mix all my colors for this work. I actually didn't use raw umber (the color said I can't paint without ... haha) and instead brought in a pre-mixed teal, which try as I might, I couldn't mix with the four I tried to stick with. I had a moment of thinking something like "You're not such a good color mixer or a painter after all." And then thankfully and rather quickly, a moment of thinking something like "Stop being so melodramatic. It's boring as hell. The world won't collapse because you can't mix it at this very moment. Go ahead and squeeze it out of the tube and enjoy your short life."

I used my trusty teal mug, a lemon from my tree (that has kind of a sweet peachy aesthetic) and some bing cherries I bought from the store last night for this composition.

June 14, 2016

281 Honey Pot and Plum

HoneyJar281 Honey Pot and Plum

10x8 inches :: original oil painting on stretched canvas

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Rather than using my usual palette, I took a different approach today and used a modified zorn palette -- which is one where a range of colors is mixed using only four colors of paint: titanium white, yellow ochre, cad red, and ivory black. The modification I took was to add raw umber to the mix, which is basically something I use in every painting. Raw umber is like air to me. I can't paint without it. :-)

I also painted on canvas rather than gessobord. I had done that a few days ago when I painted a larger oil work on a stretched canvas. I also started by painting four values and then working within each value rather than working on all values at the same time. Strangely, all of these newly imposed "limitations" I put on myself for this work made me feel quite liberated and as though I were inhaling a breath of fresh air.

June 13, 2016

280 Harp Seal Pup

280 Baby Seal280 Harp Seal Pup

6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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I used a photo by @DavidDoubilet as presented by @natgeo as reference for this work. I learned from reading @natgeo's post that upon birth, the harp seal pup nurses for a couple of weeks and then the mother leaves the pup. The pup waits for a mother that does not return and then eventually learns on his/her own how to no longer be a pup, but just a harp seal. My heart broke and then mended in learning about this creature's resilient life pattern.

June 12, 2016

279 The Kiss

The Kiss279 The Kiss

8x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord


This work is dedicated to the victims and the family and friends of the victims of the horrific shooting in Orlando, Florida — specifically the LGBT community.

June 11, 2016

278 Caballo Blanco

White horse278 Caballo Blanco

6x8 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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I took a hike into the mountains with my paint set and sat in front of a beautiful scene when a white horse came by and so I painted him. Ultimate plein air experience. Haha. Just kidding. I hope to one day go into the wild with my paints but for now, my outdoor scenes are done strictly by using photo references. I learn plenty from this way of doing landscapes. It's a tidy way to plein air. :-)

One of the photographers I follow on Instagram is @mesutayaman. I used one of her beautiful photos to use as reference for this work. One of the painters I follow and study on Instagram is @jeremyduncan whose minimalist works me. Given that my applications of paint is usually very thin, I tried with this work to go thicker, like Jeremy. Not that I feel that thick is better or thin is better. I just want to diversify my experiences with paint.



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