Monday, May 16, 2016

Colour angst

This week I'm still painting--but with a stain brush outside. I'm trying to select a solid stain colour for the fences in the back deck and yard. As usual it's a stressful decision.  I know that for some people this choice doesn't loom that large. They go for a brown or a grey or a taupe and that's that. But I know that I can't live with a colour that doesn't work. Once I repainted my bedroom three times to get the right tone of grey.

So now my kitchen is littered with paint chips and there are four different cans of sample stain that have been tried on different areas of the fence. I'm looking for something that has the same feeling as weathered wood and trying to determine which tonal direction to take?

The challenge is to find a tone that sets off the plants, goes well with the siding of the house and relates to the deck colour and the bricks. 

I'm think that I've now found a colour that works. It's a brownish-greenish grey called Sparrow. Thanks to the help from the amazing staff at the Benjamin Moore paint store. They really know their stuff. The girl told me to choose a colour a lot darker than I first thought and helped me find the undertones and determine which ones would work.  

Whew! Now we can get on with prepping and painting the fences. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Simplifying to create spaciousness in the paintings

I've gone in a somewhat different direction with my painting recently and I've had a very nice time working on some canvases for a commission for a friend.  She suggested some colours and approved my working in the new less geometric direction. The commission was for two paintings for the bedroom, one on each side of the bed.

The first efforts were quite contrasty with a darkish blue dominating. Although they were exciting, they were too intense for a bedroom and not really restful.  This is one of them.

Toning them down required opening up the composition to create more space in the painting as well as using more neutral colours and less contrast in value.  

Here you can see the intermediate stage where I've eliminated the darker stripe on the left and added more grey and taupe and white, plus softened the blues.

Here's the finished painting.

And this is the companion piece for the other side of the bed.  The same process took place here. I took some advice from  Nicholas Wilton, a California artist and teacher whose blog I've been following. He suggests many ways to make paintings stronger and I'm really finding his posts helpful. 

I think both paintings benefited from the simplifying process.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Summer's early

It's only just the beginning of May and everything is blooming early. The lilacs are finished and the dandelions are already going to seed.  Saturday evening it was not just warm but hot on the back deck. I'm loving it ... because so often the weather in spring and early summer is cool and cloudy. But at the same time I'm trying not to think about global warming.