Friday, July 30, 2010
Looking around in the studio today, my eyes fell upon this beautiful handmade glazed blue bowl with candy inside. I debated about removing the candy and painting only the bowl...because it is so lovely, but couldn't resist the challenge of painting the candy too. When finished, I realized the bowl by itself would have made a better composition. Today's lesson: Don't paint just what you see...paint what you see that is beautiful and artistic!
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Thursday, July 29, 2010
The light coming through the red curtains in the music room caught my eye today as I was looking for something special to paint for today's blog. Of course, the light continued to change as the clouds passed by. It is a cozy spot in our house, especially because of our favorite piano and the red red curtains.
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It has been too humid and hot this week. I've been working on some paintings for the blog...but haven't completed them as yet. So, today I am posting an older large painting I'd like to share. It is of the Ice Pond on Monhegan Island. Another visit to Monhegan Island would be just the thing to escape this heat!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I made my first attempt at a Live Model Portrait today. The model got tired and lay down to sleep before I finished. It was more challenging to try and finish it from memory. This was initially a very loose painting, but I had to "fiddle with it more than I intended" and now it looks not quite as fresh with broad strokes as I had planned. Many good lessons today! Perhaps I should pay my model to stay awake! Perhaps I should put the brushes down when the model falls asleep? Perhaps I should find more models that are not so sleepy? I look forward to finding more opportunities to paint people. I love the challenge! I like painting living models more than painting photos of people. It is much easier and I think the results are more life-like.
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Monday, July 26, 2010
Yet another day for the air conditioner....this is quite a heat wave for the East Coast. The garden loves the sunshine and heat and is producing our dinner daily. While waiting to be cooked, the broccoli was relaxing in this white flower pot when the yellow squash urged me to paint them together. My on-going challenge is cropping a still life set-up with my view-finder so that the composition is interesting, if not unique. I hope to make progress on this skill during the year ahead. Watch and see and tell me how I'm doing.
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Sunday, July 25, 2010
I painted this seascape last year and though it is very small, it portrays the motion of the water and the light on the shore very well.
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I finished yesterday's painting this morning. Sorry for the delay. This still life was far more challenging than others. I'm not sure if it is the subject or my feeling under the weather (really really humid and hot), but it shows the hard work and educational opportunity that painting every day can be.
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Friday, July 23, 2010
Today's Post was painted yesterday en plein air. The painting I am working on today isn't finished yet. The light on the birch trees against the dark dense woods pleased me and I tried to capture the mood of the woods in a quick painting.
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Thursday, July 22, 2010
I painted outside (plein air) today with a group of friends called the Newburyport 10. We had exquisite weather, low humidity, lots of sunshine and wind to keep the bugs at bay. Our location was a lovely park along the Merrimac River in Newburyport. Today's posting is one of two small paintings I completed in the sunshine. It was a perfect New England summer day and I enjoyed it so much I look forward to getting outside more often with my paints. The morning concluded with a group lunch at a Chinese restaurant with lots of friendly conversation and laughter. I am so lucky to be an artist!
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010
These peaches were too pretty to eat without painting them first. After a long hiatus I returned to my studio today to paint. I had a wonderful time there visiting with artist friends who share studio space in our old mill building. Belonging to a community of artists is vital to me and many other artists, as well. The support, encouragement and critical feedback from other artists sustains my passion for painting. We share ideas and resources, inspirations and experiences, personal lives and triumphs. Sometimes, we provide "talk therapy" and "art therapy" for each other. Other times, we share vegetables from our gardens! Today I shared these peaches with Sandy for lunch.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010
This is a painting I did a month or so ago. It is from a photo taken on an overcast day. When the light is gray the colors of flowers are more vibrant. This is a special addition to July 20th posting.
Doesn't it look inviting?
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With little time to paint today I attempted to do a "loose" style painting of some of my brushes. Not entirely happy with this painting, but honestly putting my results on the blog each day, I am posting it anyway. I don't feel it is always very wise to hurry when painting. However, when painting alla prima and especially in plein air it is often necessary to rush to finish something before the moment passes, the light changes or the rain comes. I wasn't facing any rain in the house today, but I did have an appointment to keep. Lesson learned....start the painting earlier in the day!
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Monday, July 19, 2010
This loaf of Italian bread, colby cheese and grapes became the focus of our afternoon snack and then, at my daughter's request, the subject of today's painting. It is true that anything can be painted. But, I am also learning that some subjects make more interesting paintings than others. So far, on this venture to paint something everyday, I like my Peaches and Cream painting the best. Perhaps I will paint more pewter with fruit in the weeks ahead.
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Sunday, July 18, 2010
The coast of Maine is renowned for the explosion of Lupines in June. Another too hot day today so I chose to paint indoors from a photo. I hope to visit Maine again this summer and paint some of the incredible views of the villages, the ponds,the rivers and the sea. Summer light and sea breezes make Maine a favorite location for many artists.
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Saturday, July 17, 2010
An ice cream dish filled with Cherries for a hot and humid Saturday afternoon. Yum. But, first I had to paint them.
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Friday, July 16, 2010
At my niece's request I painted an ocean scene today. Being one of the hottest days of the year here in New England, it was pleasant painting the cool blue of the sea. The beach and lagoon are inviting, but you need to walk down the cliff to get there. (I painted this one from my photograph in an air-conditioned room.)
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Thursday, July 15, 2010
The garlic appears to be protected by its vegetable friends. Which should I cook for dinner? Now that they are captured on canvas, maybe all three will find themselves in the pot tonight! I am finding that painting vegetables and fruits is helping me better understand color, reflections and shadows. I hope these exercises will enhance my larger landscape and portraits paintings. I am really enjoying these 6 x 6 inch paintings. It is possible to complete a painting in a day. In the past, when I would spend days on a painting, albeit much larger paintings, I would have trouble re-mixing colors and trouble remembering the inspirational concept that I had when I began the painting. The emotional intent and ambition to paint something can be a fleeting feeling. Yet, without inspiration, a painting itself can lack feeling or expression. I am excited to paint these little compositions and hope that my excitement shows in my paintings.
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Peaches need to be picked and painted in July. Many summers of my youth were spent picking delicious fruits in California. I never ever imagined I would someday be painting fruit! I learned to paint late in life. I learned that if you want to do something new, just begin and with practice you will improve enough to really enjoy your efforts. Because of the dark and wet skies today, I was unable to photograph my painting outside and the colors appear more blue than they are. The small pewter pitcher looks more like dark pewter in the actual painting.
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Tuesday, July 13, 2010
This morning I painted outside with some friends from the Band of Brushes. It was very hot, muggy and at times cloudy. Changing weather and light patterns over the course of a couple of hours can make painting outside very challenging. Choosing what to paint in Heather's large and beautiful garden took nearly longer than the actual painting took to complete. Heather has graciously invited me to come back and paint again this summer. I can't wait! Today's painting is of her Koi pond with water lilly leaves (no flowers present today).
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Monday, July 12, 2010
My inspiration for today's painting came from the combination of our Black-eyed Susans and a very blue glass. The lemon and lime just wanted to join the fun. Each day I survey the house, looking for interesting shapes and colors to gather into a meaningful, and sometimes simple, composition. I'm always looking for a new and different challenge as well. Over the course of the year ahead I will probably return to some favorite subjects and I'll be including landscapes, interiors and portraits too. It is nice to have you, my followers, along for this educational journey.
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Sunday, July 11, 2010
My busy schedule today prevented me from doing a new painting. However, having painted something new everyday for 10 days, I feel ok about missing one day. I was gallery sitting today in Newburyport at our Band of Brushes show. So many nice comments from visitors are always very encouraging. Today's photo is of a large painting I did last summer that has received much attention in several shows. It is of the Sonoma, California, coastline. It brings back many happy memories of trips to the coast as a child and with our own children when they were young. I hope you enjoy it.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
After two weeks of very hot weather, the thunder storm came today. I rescued these daylillies from the rain in time to paint them in a very dark house. The vivid colors were my focus today. I promise I'll get out of the kitchen and paint some landscapes very soon (weather permitting).
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Friday, July 9, 2010
Summer fruits are abundant and inviting to paint. The heaviness of the lemon against the softer edged green grapes makes an interesting contrast.
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Thursday, July 8, 2010
A Cucumber, Green Onions and Green Beans are lovely garden companions. They also make a wonderful study in greens. I especially enjoyed the compositional challenge. Painting a still life involves the decision-making task of arranging a composition. Landscapes, on the other hand, present themselves with certainty. With experimentation and resolve, I face this challenge daily.
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Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Having run out of 6 x 6 panels (they are on order), I created this colorful painting on a more traditional 9" x 12" Linen canvas board. It was challenging to complete it in an afternoon in time to take an outdoor photo of it for the blog and ebay. Having succeeded, I can now make these tasty vegetables into a nice chilli for supper. Hope you enjoy them as well.
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Today's painting was inspired by the scrumptious color of red apples. I would have done a plein air painting for my blog today, but the 100 degree heat kept me indoors all day. Thank goodness for little air conditioners and fans! I've only recently begun to paint fruits and vegetables. I find them to be fun and cooperative, they don't leave the scene like boats in a river or seascape. And, in the end, they make a tasty meal.
The Band of Brushes show at the Newburport Art Association will be up until July 23rd for those of you who would like to visit our collection of landscape paintings.
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Monday, July 5, 2010
Would you ever serve tea with Limes? I would if I didn't have any lemons to paint. The small cream pitcher often graces our table and deserving recognition for it's service, I included it in today's painting. White objects and shadows are challenging and if I continue to practice I may someday achieve their subtlety and color harmony.
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Sunday, July 4, 2010
Happy Fourth of July! I was inspired by the memory of family gatherings to paint an empty bowl, plate and spoon awaiting second servings. An empty bowl also brings to mind the many hungry families in this country and worldwide. Because all Images, photographs or paintings, lend themselves to very personal interpretation by individual viewers, I find it difficult to make a title for my paintings. Just as painters puts themselves into every painting, the viewers bring themselves to their experience of any painting.
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Saturday, July 3, 2010
These vegetables boldly jumped from my kitchen counter to my canvas. I am enjoying the process of deciding what will be my subject for painting each day. I've discovered that I don't need to travel far, worry about the weather, or fret about having just the right view before I can paint.
In response to a comment about how I choose what color to use in my paintings, I would like to explain that I choose to paint those natural scenes or objects that appeal to me, in their color and composition. Using my paints, I seek to capture the light and color, the mood and expression of my subject. Replicating the colors I perceive in a landscape or still life, animal or person, as closely as I can is my challenge and my joy.
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Friday, July 2, 2010
Today's painting was inspired by the beautiful multicolored daylillies in our garden. I tried to capture the vibrancy of these hybrids on a 6 x 8 inch canvas. It being summer, I may be painting more flowers in the weeks ahead. I often paint plein air (outside, alla prima) with a group called the Band of Brushes. In the weeks ahead I will post some of those paintings too. We are exhibiting our collected works at the Newburyport Art Association this month.
Thank you to all who have encouraged me to take on this challenge of painting every day!
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Thursday, July 1, 2010
Hello! My name is Sunny West (yes, that is my real name) and I am a landscape, portrait and still-life painter embarking on a new adventure to produce a painting every day for a year and post that painting on this blog. I love to paint and would love to share my work with a wider circle of friends and fine art enthusiasts. Some days I may even post two paintings...perhaps include an older, larger painting of mine for your enjoyment. I welcome comments and encouragement for my efforts. To begin my blog, I am posting a photo of a small painting which I completed in a workshop with the fabulous teacher and wonderful painter, Carol Marine. She has inspired me to join the Painting a Day community of artists who display and sell their work online.
And to begin.....
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And to begin.....
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