Bright Days

TM9206 Bright Days 36×60 oil on panel

The last days of summer deserve a walk on the beach, and Bright Days is my way of taking that walk. A little fog lifting in the distance, a fresh breeze, rollers making their way to shore – all serve to memorialize a perfect day. Enjoy. Details below.

TM9206 Brieght Days – detail from left side

TM9206 Bright Days – detail

 

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Here Comes Autumn

TM9205 Here Comes Autumn 30×36 oil on panel

The disarray of late summer at the garden’s edge – a great excuse to let loose with some expressionistic brush and roller work. These coneflowers¬† (and a few Queen Ann’s Lace) provided the inspiration. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9205 Here Comes Autumn – detail from lower left of center

TM9205 Here Comes Autumn – detail from upper right showing use of narrow roller to describe leaves

Technical painting notes: I used a number of soft rubber rollers to apply the paint – 4 inch and 2 inch Speedballs, and a Takech extra narrow.

Coreopsis

TM9203 Coreopsis 20×30 oil on panel

For years I’ve enjoyed tall stands of bright yellow flowers¬† in the Fenway Victory Gardens. They’re lush, a little scrappy, and toss in the wind. They also tie in with two goals I set for myself this year – understanding how to paint with yellow, and revisiting the garden theme I embraced when I was transitioning from printmaker to painter. So….coreopsis it is. This first painting of them is a get-acquainted piece. I experimented with mixing many yellows, tried supporting muted greens and reds, and figured out ways to manipulate brush and roller to describe both their form and the feel of movement that surrounds them. Oh happy day…it worked! Details below. Enjoy.

TM9203 Coreopsis – detail from left side

TM9203 TM9203 Coreopsis – detail from upper right

Technical painting notes: Working with yellow is difficult because it doesn’t provide a range of values. Being a high value in itself, it can only go slightly higher with the addition of white, and lowering the value means adulterating the hue. I used raw sienna, yellow ochre, Indian yellow, and Naples yellow for the warmer notes, sometimes adding burnt sienna. For the lighter, cooler tones I used zinc yellow. A touch of violet helped to create shadows on the petals. To integrate blossoms and leaves, I glazed in shadows with blue violet transparencies and warmed other areas with glazes of Indian yellow. Layering rolled patches with brushwork kept the painting from feeling too controlled, although I believe I need to work that angle more in the next painting.

Full Blossom

TM9202 Full Blossom 24×30 oil on panel

Camellias blossoms are so fragrant and delicate, yet their shrubby growth is certainly sturdy. I tried to portray both qualities in this painting. When I first started the painting and was delineating some of the leaves, I was reminded of working on woodcuts. The vigorous yet simple shapes and necessary attention to the “space between” the leaves felt like I was cutting a reduction wood block. Only after I started re-rolling areas and layering in more leaves and branches did the image begin to achieve some fullness. The lush blossoms are the focus of the painting, but the stems and branches support the composition, as well as adding a note of contrasting color. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9202 Full Blossom – close-up

TM9202 Full Blossom – detail from upper right

 

Rose of Sharon

TM9201 Rose of Sharon 24×30 oil on panel

These shrubs are so showy and hardy, I have to admire them – and do them the honor of a casual portrait. Waving in the breeze they remind me of a flock of delicate birds, all upward momentum. Detail below. Enjoy.

TM9201 Rose of Sharon – detail from upper right

TM9201 Rose of Sharon – detail from below center with opening buds

Lilium

TM9200 Lilium – 20×30 oil on panel

The lilies are in bloom, and this particular stand of lilies filled the entire neighborhood with their fragrance. My close-cropped view emphasizes the thrust of the lilies in all directions, and perhaps implies the way their scent spreads. The small pink flowers nestled close-by offer a contrast of scale and color, but they also symbolize, for me, the way we all have our roles to play, and every role is equally important for a well-balanced and successful outcome. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9200 Lilium – detail from center top

TM9200 Lilium – detail shwing use of roller, brush, and scraper

Technical painting notes: I used a soft rubber roller extensively, building the image with sweeps of the roller – sometimes using the end, sometimes dabbing, often rolling. Liquin Impasto medium added to the oil paint works well for achieving a good viscosity, controlling transparency, and speeding the dry time. I used a brush as sparingly as possible – the marks from the roller seemed to suggest movement and air, which are key to capturing the feeling of a subject outdoors.