"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, April 23, 2012

One finished and one to begin.

       Final strokes went on the painting yesterday. Lots of time spent with three haired brush on fringe details saturday. I find subjects with lots of finicky detail stuff and think it is fascinating until the first hour of nitpicking has gone by and I realize that there are many more ahead. Before finishing up, however, I had sold the painting without even trying. Received a message from a collector of mine back in Ontario on friday. They asked for a price, I gave it, and they accepted! Wish all sales happened that easily:-) Once this is dry to touch it will be boxed and shipped - probably about two weeks from now. 

       The Sooke show entry deadline is still one month away so maybe I have time to do something else for it. I am planning to enter "To Tell a Story" and "Girl in a Garden" but am allowed three entries and wanted a new piece for it. I have several very good shots of Kim wearing this shawl from that photoshoot day so am seriously thinking about doing one like this from one of her other poses. Why not? A series can be a good thing!  I selected four poses and printed them up and now negotiating with myself over which one to do and what changes would be required in each one.  I have one more 16x40 canvas and toned it with Indian Red yesterday. I'll give this a shot and see what happens. Maybe I'm on a bit of roll. I actually could hardly wait to get to the studio this morning and whisked through changing bed linens and dusting the bedroom (Bob ended up helping...actually the dogs all came in the room too to help...in their own in-the-way doggie fashion:-). I knew I had to get this done before coming out here...I can only let housework slide for so long and then I begin to experience distress symptoms, which are a big hindrance to any creative endeavors. Bedroom is cleaned, (even the ceiling fan), dishes done, laundry halfway done, and I'm so glad I already cleaned out my car and washed all the dog blankets on friday. I can be out here in the studio with a clear conscience.

     One of the things these photos illustrate is how I approach the use of photos for my work. I never slavishly copy a photo; I take elements from them that are suitable for the composition and mood I'm after. I draw comps and sketches and then a final drawing which I enlarge by photo-copy machine. To do this on our little home printer/copier I have to make up the enlargement from several sheets of paper and tape them together. I have used the grid method in the past to enlarge drawings but that is very time consuming and the result is the same so why not use the technical tools of our age? Many of the Old Masters used the tools of their time, including Camera Obscura, a device that goes back to 470 BCE, first mentioned by Chinese philosopher Mo-Ti, the founder of Mohism,  and used by European artists in the 15th century as a drawing aid. When painting from life I start right in on the canvas, drawing what I see in front of me and making corrections as I go. There is no such thing as a "right" way or a "wrong" way and I tire of hearing about this. I do, however, believe the work will be stronger if the artist is not tied to whatever the reference is, but utilizes it as a framework to go by and then makes changes that meet the needs of the work. I also encourage my students to learn to make their own judgements about set ups and models, and not to copy photos that others have taken. Even in taking photos to copy for a painting, one has to consider lighting, angle, composition, etc., and each choice says something about the artist. 

       I'm seriously considering not allowing the dogs back in my car for at least a week, but they'll probably break me down before then.


  1. Hello Karen!This work is so beautiful that I'm not surprised that it is already sold!I like what you write about your creative process.Thanks for sharing your experiences as an artist,Rita

  2. Congratulations on your sale, Karen. I must confess that I do like to use the photos of others for paintings sometimes; it adds to my repertoire of ideas, I suppose, and allows me to see places and things I might not otherwise see. I love the Paint My Photo website for this purpose. That said, I also work from my own photos, which I am doing right now. Getting away from meticulous copying only happens on my part due to lack of skill rather than choice. LOL I try my darndest to copy it to death. Sigh...And this is why I am not a good artist, I suspect. Even my daughter tells me I pay too much attention to details.

    Can't wait to see what you come up with next in this series. The photos really are beautiful.

  3. This is breathtaking,Karen. I think the last time I checked, you were in distress over having lost the muse. So glad to see you got your mojo back!

  4. Congrats on the sale Karen! I'm with you about wishing all sales were that easy! And I'm with you on the detail thing too! I love it when I start it and then I'm wishing I hadn't when I see how much further I have to go. :)) I'm loving this painting Karen, it is so classically beautiful. Can't wait to see the next ones.

  5. I have been admiring this graceful painting in progress and the finish is spectacular. I love the velvety texture of her skin. The painting is so beautifully feminine. Congratulations on the sale and thank you from the bottom of my heart for adding the part about how getting to far behind on housework is stressful. I am with you there!