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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

American Tragedy


Here's the painting reworked and with less cropping than before to tell more of the story.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

American Tragedy


Here's a painting I have been working on for a while, based on the opera "American Tragedy", the story of a man who murders his pregnant girlfriend and goes to the electric chair. Based on true events, it's a fascinating story of lust, deception and cowardice.
It's time to put the painting away and pull it out in a week or so. I see a few areas that will need some reworking and defining.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Oma's Portrait


I think it's time to declare "Oma's Portrait" finished. Oma is my 86-year-old mother in law. She is a gentle soul, quiet and introverted. I think the painting captures that characteristic of her.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Habets Studio update

Three paintings in the works right now, but none to show. I tried to photograph one of them to upload, but it is a mulit-layered painting and the surface is too shiny. Oh, I'll just have to keep you in suspense until I have it photographed.

Trying to balance family and studio is tricky this month. Lots of family obligations, extra projects and deadlines, and just too little time. Not complaining, just explaining my impending melt-down in advance!

The image below is from the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society's postcard of their upcoming Waterworks exhibition at the Gallery in the Square in Shadyside, Pa. My painting is the portrait in the upper right corner. If you're in Shadyside, stop by the gallery and check out the show.



Monday, April 9, 2007

More from the Workshop

This painting is a study in intensity. This concept was a little confusing to me at first. I'm used to playing lights against darks (value changes) to show dimension or a focal point. In this painting, I used a similar value throughout, not worrying about going from light to dark. I made the area near his forehead and down near his shoulder more intense to guide your eye around the painting. I liked this exercise because, first of all, it was difficult for me. That's a good thing, you always need a little challenge in your painting. Second of all, it gives me another tool for expression in my painting. I don't always need to show an object is dimensional, nor do I need to contrast light next to dark to get someone's attention.

The Impressionists sometimes disgarded value and instead used a similar intensity throughout their paintings (think of Monet's Waterlilies.) When they wanted to draw your attention to something in the painting they changed the intensity.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Skip Lawrence workshop

As promised, this week I'm posting work from the week-long workshop I attended. Not all of it is what you'd consider "museum quality". Okay, some of it is just bad. But that's what a workshop is all about. You never grow as an artist if you stay in the safe zone. I think that's true of most things in life. You have to take risks.

The images below are from the first day of the workshop. The idea was to take the same image and paint it in as many variations as you can. As you can see, the different uses of color, value and line completely changed the mood of the paintings. The idea wasn't to paint realistically. It was to experiment...and have fun! This my dog, Malcolm, one of my favorite painting subjects.



Monday, April 2, 2007

Portrait demo, Spike-finished!


Back to Spike--I put the painting away for a few days (actually a week) and took another peek at it. I decided that all it needed was a little softening in the dark areas. Other than that, Spike is finished.
This coming week I'm planning on posting paintings done from the Skip Lawrence workshop. It was an exciting week. There was a lot of experimentation and new approaches in painting were encouraged.