Sunday, July 30, 2006
Today I spent a short time sanding down a number of panels I had already gessoed a couple months ago. I usually buy different panels and stretch many sizes of canvas at a time and get them all ready for paint. I like to have a good stock of painting supports because you never know what ideas might come and if you don't have the right support or size the idea might fade or loose it's intensity.
As you can see, I don't think I'll be running out of supports anytime soon. This is a microwave cart I've turned into my canvas/panel storage unit. I have to keep everything organized.
Sizes that are too large go in between this unit and another microwave cart I use as my painting table. I love using microwave carts because they have the right height and width, they are sturdy and I love the fact that they have little wheels at the bottom.
Friday, July 28, 2006
I've been wanting to paint my mother's portrait for a while but could never get the chance. I took a photo of hers and decided to draw it hoping to turn it into a painting. I had intended to do a full body pose but in the end what matters the most for me is her face. I just want to show her as she is without any distractions. I'm hoping to start this small portrait soon, since I have already prepared the panel for it.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I must say there were times I doubted myself and this painting, and came very close to leaving it unfinished. But I decided to keep working on it and not let it beat me. Finally, after posting so many stages of the process I can say "this painting is done." A year and a half ago I had painted the very same image in a smaller scale. I was pleased with the result but not happy. At that moment I accepted the painting as it was since I had just started painting representationally for the first time after three years of abstraction. I felt it turned out cramped and decided to repaint it in a larger scale and give it more air. What I didn't realize, or admit to myself, was that the composition was not good. Everything was huddled up together and having a potato in back of the cabbage did not do anything flattering to the painting. I needed the viewer to read the painting from left to right and the size and placement of the potato was more of a block. In the end I painted over the potato thus eliminating it from the composition forever.
After making the decision to paint out the potato I was left with the dilemma of placing something else in its place. This is when things got scary and work stopped for a while. I'm not one to sketch out compositions before hand, I usually work out the problems as I paint. But this time I needed all the help I could get. Two days ago on my way to work I decided to use the free time in my train ride to do a few sketches in my Moleskine and try to work out the problem. I thought I had come to the answer by adding a table cloth diagonally and placing a halved tomato in front left of the cabbage. Plans changed when I sat down to paint. Instead, I went with my original idea of painting a head of garlic. When I embarked on this "Painting Process" series I did not imagine that it would take ten postings. But with painting you never know what's going to happen. Some pieces are completed quickly, they flow out naturally; and some others, like this one, take their time and sweat. I hope I didn't bore any of you with this series. If I did you will be happy to know, as I am, that this is finished.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
I decided some time ago that it was time for me to get reacquainted with watercolors. Have been trying to practice here in there for the past two or three months but no success. That is until last night when I picked up two limes and set to paint them. This time around I was not trying too hard to make art of it, I was just having fun and learning to deal with the looseness of the medium. The outcome of this session was very pleasing to me, maybe not a master piece or resolved composition but I like it.
It also seems to be a green month for me since not so long ago I made a little oil sketch of a lime. It feels good to have done both pieces back to back since I don't usually paint anything green. I love the color but I get afraid of it sometimes. Don't know why but I do.
Friday, July 14, 2006
OK, here it is; the second painting of the week completed in one session. I was not sure if to do one more of these tonight or to try to finish other work that needs completion. I'm having fun with these little painted sketches but I don't think I can keep producing them regularly. The main reason why I started these was to use them as quick exercises to learn how to be loose. Painting these little works requires a different mentality, it almost feels like I'm back in school and just learning how to paint. I commend all the artists out there doing a painting a day and posting them on their blogs. You are all an inspiration.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Monday, July 10, 2006
Friday, July 07, 2006
Sketch of two views of an onion
Sketch of an onion from above
Sketches from Bathesda Fountain in Central ParkSketch of Juan de Valdes Leal's Pieta at the Met Notes taken from the National Gallery Technical Bulleting vol.20 Moleskine heaven at Kremer Pigments NYC
Thursday, July 06, 2006
I was very happy to see this painting on my last visit to the Met. It was my first encounter with it and I was floored immediately. This is one of the many amazing works of art the Met keeps in storage because they don't have enough exhibition space, so the only works to be displayed are by the biggest names in art history. Juan de Valdes Leal is a name I've never heard of, but I didn't care because I was so into the work. Maybe its my Hispanic heritage that responds to Spanish paintings, with their wonderful use of rich earth tones. What I like the most about this painting is seeing that the artist was not being precious about what he was doing. When looking at the canvas up close you can witness quick brush strokes piled on top of each other. That's why I love old master paintings because they are usually very expressionistic, sometimes blobs of paint can be found throughout a composition. Velazquez and Rembrandt are a good example of thick quick paint applications. These guys new what they were doing and they knew just how to drop the brush on the canvas. Juan de Valdes Leal was no exception.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
The main stairs leading to the second floor from the main lobby.
The Tiepolo Gallery, here you see a recent purchase. The Penitent Magdalene by Corrado Giaquinto. When I walked into this gallery Guiaquinto's painting was the first thing I noticed because I knew I hadn't seen this painting hanging before. So many trips to this museum I already know which paintings always hang in what room and which might be knew or pulled out from storage.
Museum visitor standing in front of the Poussin wall.
17th century Italian painting gallery
17th century Italian painting gallery #2, what I call the Caravaggio room, with four works by this master.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Two Eggs and Potato, 2004, oil on canvas, 8 x 10 inches