Thursday, June 29, 2006
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
I kept my promise of visiting Central Park this summer. Yesterday I had planned to visit the Metropolitan Museum and sketch in the galleries. When I walked up the steps and to the main door a guard was telling people that the museum was closed for the day. I was very disappointed since I was ready to draw, and on top of that it was an uncomfortable walk there since the day was very humid. I didn't feel like going back home since I was uptown. I decided to take a stroll through central park instead. I'm very happy I did. It was the most relaxing day I've had since moving into the city. The vast amounts of grass and trees and birds was too much to handle. Central Park is very big, with little winding roads and paths that lead to different little areas, and at times one may feel lost it doesn't matter since it's such a great park.
I sat at the ledge of this fountain and drew for about an hour. I completed two little sketches of two of the little cherubs located at the center of the fountain. It was a great time drawing in the open air with the sound of the water running in the background. It was an ideal New York moment.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
I picked a perfect day for this adventure. During the week the temperature was very hot and humid, but on this Saturday the sun was out and a cool breeze swept throghout Union Square. The breeze kept me fresh as I walked around trying to capture the event with my camera. The Farmers Market is a long tradition in NYC. I'm not sure when, how or why it got started but every one knows about it. Farmers from the outskirts of the city come in three times a week to sell the fruit of their land. It was a very refreshing thing to see nature in the middle of the city. This market reminded me of the markets you dind in Peru. Unfortunately I was not prepared that day for purchasing, but I will be back very soon with money in hand to take some of this stuff home!
As always, tomatoes radiating.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
I walked through the first room, full of people trying to get a close look at the work on the walls. I passed through and saw a beautiful watercolor by Pamela Fenwick. I thought it was a great composition and the green she used made my jaw drop. This was a piece with simple strokes of color making up a complex image. Walking to the next room I was overtaken by a group of sculptures by Eun Nye Yang. This artist knew what she was doing. The pieces were all about the motion of the human figure. All of them were full of life and intensity. Even at standing poses the sculptures looked heroic. The sample above was the best of them all. This figure is dynamic.
Finally I walked to the last room, the biggest one in the show. Paintings all over the place and although they were good nothing stuck out. Most of the work hanging looked like what I had seen at my school and in other art schools' catalogs. Looking at painting after painting I started to get impatient because nothing hit me over the head and made me say wow! That is until I was ready to leave and as I got close to the door I saw this large portrait by Benat Iglesias Lopez. At that point I wanted to drop on my knees and say "I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy!" The guy knows how to paint. This canvas was full of painterly awesomeness. Strokes going in every direction with interruptions of texture left by the brush. There were thick applications of paint in some areas, scratches, and in some others pure softness. I was amazed at this painting and at the talent of this artist. It turns out that I had seen two other pieces by him in the room and had loved them as well without knowing they were by the same hand. But it was his Self Portrait that took the prize that night!
Skyline of the West Side from Central Park Reservoir
It was time to go home shortly after, but not until I got a look at the reservoir in Central Park. I love this park, even though I don't spend much time in it. I have made a promise to myself that this summer I will try to get there as much as I can. It was not a bad start. The sun was coming down and the light reflecting on the water was out of a romantic movie. It was a great view. After walking some more I came across the Met. This is my favorite place in the whole world. At least for now since I haven't had the chance to visit the Louvre. I have been to the Met. so many times I'm quite familiar with which paintings hang in which room. What can I say, it's one amazing place full of the most breath taking art in the world. It was a hot humid night, but I didn't mind my little stroll on 5th Ave that night. I got to see the Met. in its evening glory!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art at 82nd St. and 5th Ave.
Site seeing wasn't over yet. Right before getting into the 6 subway station this gorgeous church greeted me and bid me good night!
Church at Lexington Ave. and 76 St.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Up until this point work on this painting was going on the right direction. I started to loosen up and try to be more painterly, something that at times is hard for me but at the same time very exiting. I added two garlic cloves to the composition because the bottom left area was empty. Too much dead space there. I'm not sure if I'm going to keep the garlic as it is or change it some more, maybe play around with different positions.
This is the last image I took of the painting before it got to it's scary point. I decided to listen to a friend. She said that I should put some bright color in the background and make it more contemporary. I decided to do a greenish color but it ended up being a loud, supper scary turquoise. I tried toning it down but it still looks horrible. Thanks Carol! One of the many learning experiences of painting. I'm hopping to finish this soon because it is driving me nut not being able to just get it right. We'll see what happens next!
Monday, June 19, 2006
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Have been working on the Cabbage painting for the past week and some small changes are happening. The ground color changed from light green to off white. I have been using unbleached Titanium Pale by Williamsburg Oil Paint a lot since last year in many of my paintings. I used it once and fell in love with it. It gives me that contemporary look I'm looking to bring into traditional still life painting. The use of this color happened coincidentally as I started to discover Vermeer. I saw Girl with a Pearl Earring and it was the begging of my admiration of his work. What I love about Vermeer is that he included the white walls of his studio in most of his work. A great choice for depicting glowing light. I'm trying to bring this glow into my work. So far it hasn't worked as I want because I'm not glazing with an important color I should be. Indian Yellow is the transparent color Vermeer would use on his paintings, and this color did the trick of glowing light. For some reason I don't like to glaze. It makes me feel uncomfortable, that's why Indian Yellow hasn't appeared much in my work. I think I'm going to try it on this painting and see how it goes.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Painting has begun and from here on the whole process becomes some what scary for me. So far I've manage to do about two layers of paint and I know there's about ten more to come. For some reason I tend to do layer upon layer upon layer on the background until I get what I want. Some times I'm not sure what I want reason why I go through so many different background colors. What I've learned is that the background is what makes or breaks the painting. Too many people leave this until the end and apply some random color not realizing the importance of what they're doing. My teacher, Stephen Brown didn't even like the term "background" because it sounded like a minor part of a painting. He liked to refer to it as the ground color.
At this point of the painting everything becomes messy and uncertain. But clarity will come sooner or later. I'll post more if the mood of the painting changes. Wish me luck!
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Here's when the fun begins. Once I've decided what image I will be painting I start to get ready for it by covering the surface of the canvas with a light coat of Burnt Sienna. The canvas above has a coat of Red Ochre, a new color I bought not so long ago. This is to warm me up before painting and to get the canvas dirty right away. I hate painting on a pristine canvas because it makes me become tight and precious about what I'm painting. I also use this coat of color as part of the under painting. It was common practice for artists to paint on colored primed canvas during the 16th and 17th centuries. Peter Paul Rubes and Anthony Van Dyck used to prime their canvas with an earth tone and then with a grey mixture. The Spanish painters, like Diego Velazquez and Goya used to use Red Ochre. Many times the ground color, as it is called, was left alone in areas of the painting to form part of the color scheme of the work.
An under painting is usually a rough to well finished sketch of what the final product might be. Some painters work with glazing and an under painting is a good structure to glaze over. Glazing is the application of transparent layers of color which will build up the painting and make it more luminous. The reason why paintings done in glazes are more luminous is because light travels through all the layers of paint and bounces back out illuminating each layer.
I don't glaze. My method of painting is more direct at times. The reason why I use the under painting is to get me familiar with what I'm painting, it lets me know if the composition will work in the space I've chosen.