Marinating, then celebrating!

I completed this painting (or so I thought) a short time before we left for our annual summer trek to the beach. I really liked it, for the most part. And having considered it finished, I stuck it up on my studio wall before our trip. After our return though, I started looking at it with fresh eyes. Some things that tugged on me before were now really starting to become more bothersome. But I decided to let it marinate a while longer as I was distracted with other projects. 

surfside1_jenniferyoung

Finally, I decided that while I liked the overall mood in this piece, I did not like the little closed umbrella to the left of my grouping of sunbathers. It kept pulling my eye away from where I wanted to go, and it was sort of an ambiguous object sitting there. Still I wanted something near that spot that would perhaps pull the painting together a little better. So I began flipping through my trip photos for some ideas and inspiration, and came across a snap of a little boy digging intently in the sand. I sketched it out quickly in a nearby notebook and set to work. 

boy_surfside_sketch.jpg

There wasn't a lot of built up texture where the umbrella was, so I only had to scrape it down just a little bit with a razor. Then I proceeded with a little "oiling out"  (in this case with just a little gambol and solvent free fluid) to help the new paint layer adhere to the older but still very fresh under layer. Here is the revised painting with the little boy. I also brightened the sky a bit more as it was feeling a bit intense and heavy.  

"Surfside", Oil on linen, 20x24" ©Jennifer E Young

"Surfside", Oil on linen, 20x24" ©Jennifer E Young

Here's a detail of the figures: 

"Surfside" (Detail) ©Jennifer E Young

"Surfside" (Detail) ©Jennifer E Young

I don't know about you, but I like this much better, and I find it finally worthy of celebrating with a frame and a signature.  :)

Make it Last

I thought I would again attempt another little slideshow progression of my most recent painting, to show you my process (in brief) from start to finish. I am definitely a novice at this kind of thing, so I hope you will bear with me. But they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so these  six would make it about 6000 for you, without having to endure my usual long-winded banter. ;-) 

"Make it Last", Oil on linen, 20x24" ©Jennifer Young

I wanted to think of a title that would evoke the feeling I had witnessing this moment in time, one beautiful evening on Ocracoke Island. I happily got to relive those feelings as I was painting this piece in my studio on a series of cold February days. Click on the slideshow for additional info. *Note: If you are viewing this in email you will need to visit my blog in a browser to see the progression in a slideshow. 

Winter Walk

Though I've been working on this painting for the past week, today seemed a good day to post about it. Outside it is a cold, slushy mess here in Ashland VA. It's a good day to sit by the fire sipping tea and reading art books--unless, of course,  you happen to live with a five year old. Then it's all snow angels, snow men, and snowball fights, until finally thawing out with hot cocoa. But there is something pretty magical about seeing the snowfall through the eyes of a child, and even a mere dusting must be thoroughly explored and exploited.

This painting was inspired by our very first snowfall in Ashland. My niece happened to be here visiting and she and my little daughter created some nice interest for the wintry setting I'm featuring here, which is located in the park that sits just behind our house.

I had a beast of a time photographing this painting for accurate color, and I didn't bother to do any color correction on the sequence of progress shots above. The colors are pretty accurate in the final shot of the painting below, however. It was a really fun and different painting for me, and I enjoyed all of the soft edges and the subtle color palette employed to create the mood.

"Winter Walk", Oil on linen, 20x24",  ©Jennifer E Young

"Winter Walk", Oil on linen, 20x24",  ©Jennifer E Young

Little Mermaids

Sometimes a study acts as a jumping off point for a larger painting. And sometimes, as in this new piece, it's the other way around. If this painting looks familiar to you it is because it was inspired by another painting I posted a few weeks ago. I had such enjoyment in painting those two little girls basking in the sun and waves, that I knew I would want to revisit the subject again.

"Little Mermaids", Oil on linen, 12x9" ©Jennifer Young

"Little Mermaids", Oil on linen, 12x9" ©Jennifer Young

To me they epitomize what childhood is all about--frolicking, free, but fully focused on the present moment at the same time. 

The little artist

Still working on the Tuscany landscape, and I have more to report on that shortly. Meanwhile, I thought I'd share another project I've been working on. I've annexed a part of my studio to make a mini studio for my Munchkin (now already 2 years old!) Here's a shot of her creative space:

And here is the artist at work:

Of course I have no illusions that I will be able to do much work of my own right now while she's in there, (she finishes her "masterpieces" at a much faster clip!) but it is fun to invite her into my world.