This is a really big adventure painting for me. I have decided to devote all my energies into figurative work for the time being as it has been a focus ever since I started my formal studies with an Illustrator when I was just 14. I used to see figures as exacting portraits but now that I have been at it for a very long time and fell under the spell of studying the work in museums and national exhibits, I see the figure as landscape and abstraction. When a painting becomes that, the artist, in this case me, becomes an exercise in composition, line, form, and color. I am no longer copying the perfect photograph hoping that all the details are accurate.
So here’s what happens: I go to the beach, wait for people to assemble, move around, and then bring out my sketch book and iPhone camera. The ideas are laid out, the color notes are described along with my feelings about the day. Was it overcast? Bright and sunny? Did my subjects seem to know each other? (I love to make up stories about that one!)
So then I head back the studio and think about what the theme might be. Sometimes I get stuck on that until one morning, over a good cup of coffee, it all comes together. I write it down as those moments can be fleeting. Then the work starts. I begin with line only then move to form and color. I have been known to change this many times but I am showing you the points I have landed on this week.
I am in the waiting area recently. I can’t take my eyes off the woman sitting across from me. She is wearing a black and white striped dress, has a black and white purse and is holding a cell phone in a black and white striped case.
After the intrigue of the moment turns into a serious study, I get up my nerve to politely ask “Excuse me, would you mind if I took a photo of you?
I am an artist, and I think your look would make an interesting painting. I won’t show your face.” She agrees, and I show her the photo, quipping that I’m surprised that she didn’t finish the look with black and white shoes. She says ( in all seriousness), “I’m having a pedicure today, so I couldn’t wear them.”
Sometimes your inspiration can be right in front of you! Working on this painting now:
Heather Kelley is a member artist at Fifth Avenue Art Gallery. View her bio and a partial portfolio, HERE
Many artists paint from photographs, their computer monitor, and an assortment of other reference materials. Myself as well. However, painting outdoors on occasion, has helped me immeasurably when using photos as reference while working in my studio. The experience gained has helped me to better interpret what the camera distorts and misrepresents. A good example is shadows. The shadows and darks in a landscape most often reproduce as dark masses, lifeless in color. Your outdoor experience teaches you to understand the subtle value and color variations that you can now incorporate into your work.
Get out there, paint from life. You don’t have to invest, in all the paraphernalia related to plein air painting (French for “in the open air”). Just take a minute to look around your own back yard. Paint a tree, your fence, set up a still life in a sunny spot. You can make a painting from almost anything.
Have fun with this, don’t expect a masterpiece. Consider this an exercise to enhance your results in the studio. Do this, and it will change the way you look at photographs!
My finished painting will be on display at the Fifth Avenue Art Gallery for the month of February. I welcome your comments and thoughts, If you decide to give this a try, send me your image for my feedback. Email to Fifthavenueartgallery@gmail.com, attn: Bill
Go to: Bill’s page for more about his background and to view a sampling of his artwork.
Hello, my name is Kaye Shannon and I am one of the artist members of the Fifth Avenue Art Gallery. I am mostly a watercolorist but I love doing most anything to create something.. I paint at home and generally have a “supervisor” to watch (or sleep) over me as I go about my “creating”. These have been my cats. I have had several supervisors throughout my many years of painting. The first picture is of my first supervisor. I would like to introduce you to Booeenie. Here is a picture of her supervising her portrait and I have included her portrait after it was finished. She seemed to have liked it very much. She is now in cat heaven and I miss her very much.
I now have two new supervisors. Baxter and Izzy. I have a couple of baskets in my studio that they love to crawl in. We listen to good music as I paint and they generally curl up and sleep. Occasionally they like to creep over to where I am working and do a toe test on my wet work. Also another area they love to manage for me is the laundry. I have included a picture of their work there.
This August at Fifth Avenue Art Gallery we are celebrating “man’s best friend”, and you can join us! You are invited to create an original dog artwork for “BEST IN SHOW, a dog art exhibition”. A portion of the art sales from the exhibit will be donated to the Central Brevard Humane Society. The show opens on Friday, August 4th in conjunction with the EGAD First Friday Art walk (Dog Days of Summer).We will be awarding some fun ribbons for our dog art winners, shooting doggie portraits on the front porch and dog quick sketches in the gallery! Love dogs… love to make dog art… please join us.
Space is limited… so don’t delay! Get all the info: here
Damien’s love and passion for marine life and the lifestyle of a true surfer are all revealed on canvas. He paints to inspire us and to communicate all that is beautiful both physical and spiritual in sea and life.
He works exclusively in acrylics, which gives the work a bold look and every piece ties him to water, be it ocean or the Lagoon. Please join us for this exciting exhibition… come meet Damien Share and enjoy his unique view of Brevard County.