Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Morning Search

Morning Search, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2018

I titled this painting "Morning Search" for two reasons.... 1) as a nod to those hungry sea birds, who were clearly on a hunt for their breakfast, and 2) as a reference to MY OWN pursuit of the perfect place to set up and paint. My search ended at a narrow beach access, which opened up onto this breezy, ocean scene. I have said this before I know, but the serendipity of discovering hidden, new places is one of my favorite things about plein air painting. I rarely know exactly where I'll end up when I leave the house in the morning. It's like a fabulous treasure hunt!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Garden Pond Reflections

Garden Pond Reflections, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2018

I am always grateful when people open their personal spaces to me to paint in; and my week painting on St. Simons Island was chock-full of kind generosity in that way. This lovely garden pond is situated at a Bed and Breakfast on the island, and thanks to Debi, I was able to spend a morning there. It was quiet, shady, and offered shimmering reflections that were delightfully irresistible!! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Cabin Shadows

Cabin Shadows, 8 x 10, Oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2018

I have been spying this little cabin for years and never managed to get to it when the light was right. Actually, I really didn't believe that the light EVER touched it, due to all the surrounding trees. Well, an unexpected, late afternoon painting opportunity revealed otherwise. As it turns out, the sunlight hits this darling front door right around 3:15, and plays quite dramatically on it's face for several hours. It was a delightful surprise and a good lesson that "timing is everything". 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Beachview Garden

Beach View Garden, 8 x 10, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2018

While I was on the Georgia coast teaching, I had some free time to roam about and do some plein air work of my own. It felt good to be outside painting after so many months inside. I loved these little cottages when I came upon them... brilliant, colorful gardens in front, with the big, beautiful ocean in back. What a day!!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Judy's Hydrangeas - workshop demo with process shots

Judy's Hydrangeas, 8 x 10, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2018
Workshop Demo - Sold

I just finished teaching a workshop in St. Simons Island, GA. It was an plein air class, and we had pretty much perfect weather. I love it when that happens! We focused on "garden vignettes" and tried to capture a sense of place, as we considered the basics of painting outside. Each day we met in a different, private (and very beautiful) garden. This is my demo of one little corner at Judy's house from the first day... Thank you, Judy!

Compose/Block-in large Shapes and Values          

Mass-in Upright Planes – Shadow Family 

Mass-in Upright Planes – Light Family

Mass-in ground plane and details.

Break up background mass to add light. Add spectral highlights.

Workshopping in Georgia with a great group of students!
Many thanks to all!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Giant Commission DETAIL - with process shots of detail area

Roses in Hermann Park (DETAIL)
This is an approximately 24" x 18" section of 
the 10 foot painting seen below.

Roses in Hermann Park, 5 foot x 10 foot commission
Detail is of bottom left corner.

If you have not been following my recent blog posts, I painted this 10 foot painting for Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. It's the first of three, and all will hang in the lobby of the hospital's new North Tower. One frustrating thing for me is showing this work in such a drastically reduced, postage stamp size. While the internet is great, and without it I couldn't share at all, the painting is meant to be experienced in person. I wish, I wish...

So... these detail shots will bring you closer in, where you can see a little more evidence of my brushwork and color nuances that just can't be captured in the photo of the whole painting. The camera has to be set up too far away to get those details.

Below are process shots of the flowers on lower left side... I thought it might be interesting to document the roses as they emerged. (You will also notice that the figures changed at the very end!) 

Working so much larger requires a more deliberate and controlled approach than when working small, simply because of the scale. I wanted this area to have loose, expressive marks to indicate the flowers. Without getting too detailed, I treated them as a mass, with simple lights and darks. I stained the flower spots pink as place holders, to remember where I wanted to put them.

I built up the color with simple shapes, and loose lights and darks.

Developing a passage that would "read" and still feel expressive is tricky. In a small painting, a "pop of light" can be indicated by a single stroke. Not so, at this scale. That same pop of light requires many more marks to say the same thing.

An artist friend and I were discussing this challenge (sometimes frustration?) of adapting our mark-making for working in such a large format. We concluded that it's best to simply accept it as a completely different animal in that way. AND... these big paintings? They really do want to be seen up close and personal! ;)