My latest sunflower landscape painting (the start of which I posted here) has actually been finished for a while. But once again I have been delinquent in posting. To make up for that fact, I offer you a slideshow of this painting, start-to-finish:
Off to Greenville for the show opening. Y'all come! For those who can't make it, here's a slideshow recap of work I've delivered for the show:
Where: City Art Gallery, 511 Red Banks Rd., Greenville, NC 27858 When: Opening August 6, 6-8 PM. Show continues throught the month of August. What: All Things French! Paintings from France travels by Jennifer Young and Hilarie Lambert
I have one more work to share today from the group I'll be taking to North Carolina for the "All Things French" show next week. This was done alla prima. More fun with light and shadow, and lots of paint! Ah, it's been such fun revisiting these lovely places through the act of painting them.
"Coleurs dus Sud" Oil on linen, 20x24"
For this painting and the last one I posted, I experimented with an interesting double primary palette- Titanium white, Cad Yellow Pale, Golden Ochre (Rembrandt) , Organic Vermillion (Daniel Smith), Quinacridone Rose, Ultramarine Blue, and Manganese Blue (Old Holland). I must say it was a lot of fun playing with these different colors. The gold ochre is dangerously lovely, and the organic vermillion was nice change up from cad. red light. In fact, it's similar, but the tinting strength isn't quite as strong so in some ways it was easier to use.
I went with this palette for a couple of reasons, but the key word is "economy". First it's an economy of time. The increasing pain in my arms was making it difficult to spend an inordinate amount of time mixing certain colors, even though I've learned enough about color mixing to know how to acheive most of what I need. I almost never use any color directly from the tube any way, but it helped to have a premixed earth, for the buildings for instance, and when such warmth in the scene predominates.
Second, it's an economy of money. I mentioned before that I have a lot of art supplies that kind of fell by the wayside once I discovered some preferred methods and materials, but now I'm starting to revisit those supplies to try and economize where I can. All of the paints and substrates are archival, quality materials, but I do have some far-out tubes of colors--some dating back to before I started painting landscapes!
The paint department at the Lowe's hardware store near our house has something they call the "oops bin". These are mixed paints of specialty colors that presumably didn't come out as expected. I guess you could say that I have my own "oops bins". After limiting myself to nothing much larger than a double primary palette for years (without much variation), I think it's time to mine some of these strange old friends. Maybe the "oops" will even lead to some ah-ha's along the way!
p.s. I think I'm narrowing down what the problem in my arms might be. Unfortunately it's not limited to just my arms and hands, but radiates from my neck and shoulders all the way down both sides. It's taken a couple of days to write this post, so suffice it to say that my blogging will slow down a bit for a while. (I know I said that before but I really mean it this time!) Sadly, I will probably have to take a brief rest from painting too. And gardening. I'm typically not too good at "resting" so let's hope I don't go nuts in the interim!
Back home this week to face the music (which in this case is my studio move.)Â As I'm going through the painfully boring task of packing up my studio, I'm coming across a few unfinished paintings. I'm ususally pretty disciplined, but I think betweenÂ the overseas travel in the spring, working endlessly on plans for a new studio, and doing as much plein air painting as I can this summer, I've gotten distracted enough to leave partially-finished works lying in my wake. Here's one of them, now complete, of a sweet little vista of sunflowers and the Italian countryside :
"Tuscan Fields*" Oil on Canvas, 11x14"
It was fun finishing up this little piece, and I'm not sure why I shelved it for so long, especially since it's relatively small. ButÂ if I had to guess, I'd say that I find starting paintings more fun than finishing them. That fact coupled with the general craziness of my schedule has meant that lately some paintings have fallen through the cracks.
Overall my track record has been pretty good though, and I do finish quite a few. But it's time to show some reslove and either finish up some of these "W.I.P.'s" or throw them out. Ah, who am I kidding? It's not as much "resolve" as it is chore avoidance. Whether it's starting or finishing, painting is still a wholeÂ a lot more fun than packing!
*p.s. When I went to title this piece my mind drew a complete blank. I'm sure there's a better title than "Tuscan Fields" but it was the best I could come up with. Any ideas? If so, feel free to leave them in the comment area!
This scene is one I've been "stalking" for a few days in the Bellevue neighborhood where I live. I've written before about my North Richmond 'hood, and how many avid gardners live around here. On another one of our evening walks, we passed this adorable yard with a sunny garden of sunflowers and zinnias, and I knew I wanted to come back by and paint it. I especially liked this scene when the sunflowers were set against the neighboring house, at around 9 - 10 a.m., when the bungalow was mostly in shadow:
"Summer Garden" (painted en plein air) Oil on Board, 8x10"
I've been taking some time off to deal with matters at home these last few, but I still have a few paintings to share from my France trip. If you've spent any time on my website, you might have noticed that this little plein air is a subject that is a familiar to me--poppies!Â In they south of France they are seen profusely in springtime. But, as with sunflowers and lavender, there is no precise way of knowing just when they will be in bloom. Sometimes the sunflowers come "early", or the lavender "late". Or sometimes any one of these flowers can be plowed over (in the case of poppies) or harvested by some farmer. (The nerve!)Â
Our group got lucky. It had been an unusually cold, wet spring up until just before we had arrived, and there were few to no poppy fields in sight. I was pretty okay with it, having painted them quite often (not to mention that we had no shortage of beautiful scenes to paint!) But most of the group seemed to have their heart set on it, and I was a little worried that they might be disappointed.
But we were lucky, not only because nature, at last, decided to cooperate, but also because the folks at Le Vieux Couvent remained on the lookout for our perfect field of poppies. And boy, did they find it--complete with two charming little cabins (cabineaux) set against a mountain backdrop. It may have been one of the prettiest poppy fields I've seen to date....or maybe the thrill of the others was just very catching.Â Here's my little plein air from that afternoon, painted around 5 PM or so.
"Dusk in the Lot Valley" Oil on Multimedia ArtBoard, 6x12" Click here for more info.
And a couple of gratuitous shots of us in the poppy fields:
Today I have a new offering up for auctionÂ to benefit the Central Virginia Foodbank. This is another watercolor/pen and ink painting of the golden sunflowers of Tuscany:
"Golden Days" Watercolor/Pen & Ink on Arches Paper 7x10" (Image size 5x7") This painting has sold, but you can see the current auctionÂ by clicking here.
New for today is another original watercolor vignette. This one is of Tuscan sunflowers so abundant in the summertime in the countryside south of Siena. This painting is matted in an 8x10" mat with all acid free materials, and comes in a clear protective sleeve.
"Summer In Tuscany" Watercolor/Pen & Ink
Here is today's newly completed painting:
Southern Tuscany has the most beautiful sloping and undulating hills.Â They areÂ made even more striking, I think,Â by the winding roads (referred to as the "white roads") and cypresses that punctuate the landscape.Â As you can see by the field of sunflowers, this is a scene at the height of summer. This oil painting measures 20x24". For more information, please contact me.
I thought I'd post some photos of the new gallery space, which officialy opened last Friday night. We were swamped the entire night so I did not get ONE picture of the actual event! It turned out well--hectic but fun. We're both still recovering from total exhaustion, but at least we made it through "phase one". Phase two is still to come--moving my art studio part into the building. We hope to have that accomplished by mid January at the latest. Front room:
This is the wall to the right as you walk in the front door. The flowers on the table are from our new landlord!
This is the left wall of the same room--A great spot for the paintings in my mini collection:
This is a view of the right hand wall as you continue on into the middle room.
Here's a shot of the same wall looking back into the front room:
Here is the opposite wall in the second room. The picture to the far left is an original oil painting of Tuscany. The pictures to the right are canvas prints on the walls, and paper prints in the rack. People were amazed at the quality of the canvas prints, which looked so much like paintings that I had to tell them they were prints and not originals.
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Heading out from the 2nd room and into the third room. This is where the band played opening night:
Rounding the corner into this third room, here is my wall of Key West paintings:
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Â Â Â I had these paintings framed differently from the usual gold because I felt like the solid gold was too formal for this subject matter. I like the linen liner and the platinum colored frame with the bamboo motif for these sunny Key West pieces.
Â Â Â This last room will undergo some changes. The front two rooms with the hardwood floors will remain gallery space, but we'll use this area more for work space (to be determined), though we'll still hang some art here. Down that hallway is a fourth small room and a bathroom with a utility sink.
Â Â Â Jennifer Young Studio & Gallery is located at 16 E. Main Street, Richmond, VA, 23219. Currently we are open from 6 to 9 p.m. during the First Fridays Art walks, and other times by appointment. Please call 804-254-1008 (1-877-DIAL-ART toll free) to visit the gallery or to inquire about the paintings you see on the website.