"Everybody knows a work of art takes at least an hour!" Lucy to Linus, (Peanuts)

FineArtViews Painting Competition - Twice in the Fav 15%

http://canvoo.com/boldbrush/badge/13203 three times selected for FAV15%, Fine Art Views Bold Brush Painting Competition

Monday, January 3, 2011

"To Tell a Story"

The parrot's name is Chica which Samanda tells me means "To Tell a Story" in Filipino. Who is telling this story? Chica or Samanda? Or both? Holding her close is Samanda whispering to Chica about the story? Chica can talk but she is reticent in front of strangers. This might be a very appropriate name for the painting so that is the working title for now. I am making the decisions about placement and composition and wondering about how strong to make the background colours. Little by little it comes together. The canvas is selected and underpainted with a strong Cadmium Red Dark. Tomorrow it should be dry and ready for the preliminary drawing to be transferred to it. I enlarge my drawing on a copier and transfer it with Saral red transfer paper usually. It is a lot faster than gridding and fussing. I generally have to make corrections on the drawing after it is initially transferred to the canvas. I don't do any of this if I get to work from life. I just eye ball it and start working on the canvas directly. Vicky and Brian and I are thinking of hiring a model to pose for a few days, one pose, so that we can have this opportunity to paint from life beginning to end. Maybe in the spring when weather is better and getting together isn't such a problem...I don't live too close to anyone. I could set up carefully lit still life subjects, and I might do that again soon, but always I am taken by the human face and form and want to explore that subject more thoroughly. We are mysteries to ourselves no less than everything on the planet is a mystery. Somehow coming to some sort of understanding about the stories we tell each other may help to bring about the harmonious world we all wish for, but I am not naive enough to think this painting will have anything to do with it.


  1. Hi Karen,
    I love the theme of this painting. I think the name you suggest "To tell a story" is perfect for this painting. It is interesting to see your work from the beginning and to hear you talk the artist talk to yourself on which way to go with it. I'm taking a class in Renaissance painting starting tomorrow and hope to improve my faces. Maybe one day, I'll have a painting I can really be proud of. I love your work and blog.

  2. Both of these are so beautiful! Has Samantha seen the progress or anything? I bet she would be so flattered and pleased! I know I would be! :)

  3. Hey there "You"... So good to see and hear you motivated... and in gear again!Looks as if "You" are already well underway to a Happy New Year!

    Each of your preliminary studies really do demonstrate pondering... expression... intrigue... wonder... and "possibility"!

    "I" look forward very much to reading your last chapter!....Whenever!!!

    I clipped out a beautiful design from an unusal source (a Starbucks Christmas Pastry bag).... a "gift" from the Universe... in my belief system. "I" choose to share it on my own blog... but "I" think part of the reason I kept it might well fit your own project Karen:

    "Stories are Gifts! Share!"

    Me thinks... your paintings always are stories to share!Thank "You"... for sharing!

    Good Painting... and Story telling!
    Warmest regards,

  4. Thanks everyone! Bruce, are you going to post your "gift" design from Starbucks? Cheryl, I'm sure you're going to get a lot out of the class you're taking...I'll be watching to see how it goes for you. Samantha, yes, Samanda has seen the sketches. I think she is pleased, although she is quite shy and reticent.

  5. this painting is going to be beautiful! thanks for sharing your work and thought process! very interesting! can't wait to see more!

  6. It's looking fabulous and I can't wait to see it finished! Really it's going to be stunning. :) And I like the title too. I feel the same way about the face and still lifes. I keep thinking I should do a still ilfe, but I just don't really feel all that excited about it. I guess that's ok. But I sure see a lot of still life painters with a bunch of sales. I wonder why that is?

  7. Crystal, I think more still life paintings sell, as do florals and landscapes, because they are "neutral" subjects and most anyone can relate to them. Figurative and portrait type paintings are of specific people and often a buyer is not sure about having a painting on their wall of someone they don't know (unless it is an older painting, usually by a dead artist, and thus has passed through onto the stage of being a "subject" and not really a "person" any more - at least psychologically).