Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bartlett Pear

oil on linen on panel / 7x5"/ unframed / sold

How this painting will look framed:

Bartlett Pear is an example of Chiaroscuro-light and shadow. There is a thin transparent shadow and a thick impasto for the lights in this painting. Everything in the painting except the light is background for the painting including the shadow in the pear. Squint your eyes. Everything except the light is the same value (degree of lightness or darkness) or close to the same value. This serves as a foil for the light falling on the nooks and crannies of the pear. This same concept would apply if I were painting a portrait. Try super-imposing a face onto the pear. Get the picture?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Japanese Eggplant

oil on linen on panel / 5x7" / unframed / sold

How this painting will look framed:

Japanese Eggplant is a departure from my paintings with darker backgrounds. This lighter background offsets this Japanese eggplant beautifully. I couldn't resist painting this perfectly shaped, fresh (notice the light green stem) eggplant. I won't tell you how long I stood in front of the eggplant display in the fruit and vegetable department of my local Chinese grocery store looking for this perfect eggplant!

The challenge was to paint the eggplant light enough using reflections and a highlight. Otherwise this lovely eggplant would be one solid purple mass! Notice the reflected light is part of the shadow. Since the reflected light is part of the shadow, it should be darker than any part of the light of the eggplant and lighter than any part of the shadow of the eggplant. Squint your eyes while looking at the eggplant. The purple of the eggplant near the highlight is lighter than the reflected light at the bottom of the eggplant closest to the wood.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bosc Pear

oil on linen on panel / 7x5"/ unframed /sold

How this painting will look framed:

In setting up my still life paintings, I often look for objects that are distinctive. The contrast of brilliant greens and the shimmer of pale red-orange in the brown attracted my eyes. I must have stood in front of the Bosc pear display for about a half hour before I found the right pear (I was wondering what the the other shoppers around me were thinking!). When I found it, I held it like it was a chunk of gold! Whatever I select to paint, must inspire me to want to paint it and to continue to inspire me to want paint it for days when it is a large painting. The colors of this Bosc pear served as such an inspiration.

The challenge was to maintain the same value (degree of lightness/darkness) in the lights while changing the color. Squint your eyes and look at the light (the left side) on the pear-some green and some pale red-orange. The colors are different, but the degree of lightness is still the same. 

In addition, notice the shadow (the right side) of the pear. It maintains its shape to make the pear look three-dimensional. This shape also helps me to see and gauge the size of the light shape on the left. I compare the size of the light/dark shapes as I paint. All this talk sounds very left brain, but looking at the shapes is a right brain function. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Two Apples

oil on linen on panel, 6x6" / unframed / sold

How this painting will look framed:

Two Apples was very enjoyable to paint. I loved capturing the vibrant colors of these fresh apples. I imagined myself biting into one and hearing the crispy crunch and tasting the sweetness of its flowing juices.

To maintain the solid look of the apples in this painting, I tried to maintain the shadow in each apple. It is the shadow that makes an object look three dimensional. The shape of the shadow also helped me gauge
the shape and size of the light areas on the apples.

May I suggest you enhance your viewing pleasure of this painting by pairing it with my recipe, Hot Apple Cobbler-a delicious, healthy, grain-free dessert.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Peaches and Cream

oil on linen panel, 7x5" / unframed /sold

I enjoyed painting Peaches and Cream. The biggest and most pleasant challenge was to maintain the balance of fuzz and brilliant color on the peaches. I first painted the yellow, orange, and red. While these colors were still wet, I painted a diluted mixture of white and alizarin over the brilliant colors-I glazed the brilliant colors with a very light touch. I then removed some of the glaze with a clean brush to allow some of the brilliant colors to show.

On the left you'll notice a clump of cherries. They were painted in one mass. With some warmed alizarin and a few strategic highlights, I  made some of the cherries pop. Not every cherry was been painted to allow you, the viewer to use your imagination! My intention was also to keep the cherries a mass to call as little attention to them as possible-keeping them as part of the background so that your eyes stayed focused on the peaches.

The pitcher and yellow peach are very close in value (degree of lightness or darkness). To make the pitcher recede, I cooled the white. I warmed the yellow peach with a bit of orange added to the yellow to make it come forward. To further hold your eyes on the peach and not the pitcher, I added a highlight on the peach. Test this out by closing your eyes, and then opening them. Where did your eyes look?

To enhance your viewing pleasure of Peaches and Cream, may I suggest pairing it with my recipe, Peach Cobbler featured in my for and wellness blog.

How this painting will look framed:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bowl Of Cherries

oil on linen panel, 7x5"/ unframed / sold

How this painting will look framed: 

This painting was a challenge and pleasure to paint. I enjoyed working on the reflections on the bottle. I've been learning a great deal about reflections. As in painting reflected light, reflections should be the same value (lightness/darkness of a color) as the value of the bottle (object) and not lighter than the lightest light on the bottle (object). To check to see if I've accomplished this, I squinted my eyes. The reflection should blend in with the rest of the bottle (object) or close to blending in with the bottle (object). When painted just right, the reflections appear to be floating on the surface of the object. They add life to the object. In alla prima painting, the proper value is painted without repainting over the first layer. In classical painting, the reflection is actually floated onto the surface of the object with thinned opaque paint after the original layer has dried. This is called scumbling. 

To enhance your viewing pleasure of Bowl of Cherries, may I suggest pairing it with my recipe, Raw Cherry Pie featured in my food and wellness blog.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Reflections: Still Life with Orange and Bottle

oil on linen panel, 7x5"/ unframed / sold

How this painting will look framed:

The challenge in painting Reflections: Still Life with Orange and Bottle were the reflections on the bottle. I wanted to use the highlights and the orange's reflection on the bottle to create dimension as well as give the painting life and light; yet, keep the reflections from over-powering the bottle. To accomplish this, I had to make the orange reflection on the bottle as close in value (the lightness or darkness of a color) as possible with the rest of the dark bottle. To see if I accomplished this, squint your eyes and look at the orange's reflection and the rest of the bottle. They should be very close in value, almost the same darkness. What do you think? Are the bottle and the orange's reflection almost the same darkness when you squint?

To enhance your viewing pleasure of Reflections: Still Life with Orange and Bottle, may I suggest pairing this painting with my recipe,  Chocolate-Dipped Candied Orange Peel.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

White Onion

oil on linen panel, 6x6" / sold

How this painting will look framed:

White is often very difficult to paint, because white is not really white. There are many kinds of white.To make this white onion look three dimensional, I changed the temperature of the white. Look carefully. Notice where I warmed the white by adding some orange (cadmium orange) to make parts of the onion come forward. Look carefully again. Notice where I cooled the white to make parts of the onion recede.

I've been noticing that the main focus of my paintings have been food-fruits/vegetables. I realize fruits and vegetables have traditionally been the main focus of still life paintings, but I have an additional passion for food-I love to cook and bake. I find it extremely enjoyable to create new recipes and sometimes re-create something I've eaten at a restaurant.

So, to make the viewing of this painting even more enjoyable, may I suggest it be paired with some gazpacho soup!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Packham Pear

oil on linen panel/ 7x5" / unframed / sold

How this painting looks framed:

Quick, close your eyes! Now open them. What part of the pear do your eyes look at first after you open your eyes?

This painting is a good example of chiaroscuro and the use of edges to create a three dimensional-looking object on a two dimensional surface, a true abstraction. The pear's shadow and the background are kept in a close value range. If you squint your eyes, you'll see that the shadow of the pear and the dark background form one shape. Against this dark, is the light on the pear to which your eyes are drawn. 

The harder edge on the left side attracts your eyes to the light side. The highlight holds your eyes on the light and away from the left edge even though it's sharper than the right edge. The softer edge on the right, the shadow side helps the pear turn into the background. The right edge is found and then lost to create dimension. Also notice the shadow of the pear is very simply stated. The shadow is plain and transparent. There are no added layers of paint. This simple shadow helps the pear look three dimensional and to hold viewer's eye on the lit side of the pear, which has thicker paint.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Red Onion

oil on linen panel/ 6x6"/ unframed / sold

detail views:

How this painting looks framed:
I enjoyed painting this red onion as much as I like to use red onions in my cooking. Red onions add a natural sweetness to any recipe that calls for an onion. Its vibrant red-purple also adds a touch of color to salads.

The challenge was to make the red-purple vibrant and distinctively separate from the shadow. I wanted to keep your eyes on the light (the lit) part of the onion. To accomplish these two goals, I mixed alizarin crimson (a purple red) with cadmium orange light (an orange) to paint the lit part of the onion. To add dimension and to hold your eye, I then added the white highlight with a touch of ultramarine blue (to help it look extra white against the warm red-purple.

I hope you enjoy viewing this red onion as much as I enjoyed painting it. Now maybe I'll add some red onion to my curry chicken salad.