Monday, August 26, 2013

And the Winner Is....PLUMERIA

After I missed the Las Vegas Painting Convention, something that was more than shattering to me at the time, I was encouraged to apply to teach classes for the 2014 Session. Personally drained from my severe back pains and the fact I missed out teaching my first two classes I was scheduled to teach, I submitted six paintings that I felt were both teachable and were very different from what I had seen in years past. Here they are with a little history of each one. I also wanted to submit crafts but have been unable to secure a steady source for some of the birdhouses I wanted to use.

Five Persimmons
While each of these paintings are a different size, some smaller and some larger, you get a better chance to see the actual work when everything is the same scale.

Here, FIVE PERSIMMONS, a work I talked about last year, was the second in an attempt to create a colorful, peaceful yet vibrant still life. The color palette is limited and it was completed (the second time around) in a bit over two hours. This, I thought, would be the best possible painting for a beginner to Intermediate artist. Sadly, it was not chosen and there is nothing like it in the 2014 catalog.
Flowering Cactus

Making Guacamole

Exotic Fruit
 Southwest themes are very popular today, and in some areas of the country always are. While walking my dog I became more and more aware of the cactus plants on our path and then one day they all started to flower. I snapped a photo of this scene with my brand new iPhone 5 and was stunned at how much the camera in the phone had improved.

I loved this scene and had to paint it. It was one of my first serious all acrylic paintings and there were many missteps along the way. However, when I continued the series of four I learned more and more on how to handle this subject. It would have been a 6 - 8 hour class for Intermediate and above. It is a lovely piece and as good as just about anything else out there.

When you see the actual piece you realize there are many layers. One of the beauties of acrylic is that it is easy to do as it dries so quickly. I think this could have been a real challenge but one an artist could complete and be proud of.

Still lifes are always popular and what better scene could their be than the ones you see quite often in your kitchen. If you have an avocado tree and tomatoes in your garden along with lemons that seem to be growing everywhere, home made guacamole is a natural, at least here in Southern California. Watching my wife whip some up one day I realized that my subject was right at hand!

Another submission that failed to make the cut.

EXOTIC FRUITS was another attempt to paint still life's and it still remains one of my favorites. My wife's students bring her fruit as gifts and so one day looking at the persimmons and a Fire Dragon Fruit I couldn't get over the contrast between the vermilion of the persimmons and the magenta of the Dragon Fruit. It was just too great to pass up. Adding the various greens and placed on a neutral but vibrant and complementary background, it was for me at the time a triumph. AND, the best part it didn't take all that long to do either. 

This was so unusual that I felt that it would be a winner but alas, it was not. Possibly it was too bright, the colors more than most people would be willing to place in their home. However, it is in a wonderful wide and simple gold frame and is simply stunning. It hangs in my office.

It would have been, if nothing else, a challenging course on color.

YellowDaisy was another submission that didn't make the cut. To be fair and honest, there have been similar flowers and color ways. However, it is cheerful and colorful and would easily find a spot in more artists homes. Add a bit of color if you will.

The winner? Plumeria, shown below.

It was a last minute choice after I discovered that I had, for some reason done a very good job of documenting what I did. I did a complete underpainting in DecoArts Americana Peaches 'N Cream. Then started adding the greens, again from dark to light. It really doesn't make as much

difference with acrylics but it saves time along the way. By keeping the darkest colors in the back, it was easier to add lighter and brighter colors as well as highlights over the dark background.

This was actually a shot from my back yard of a plant that I have been nursing for years. My yellow blooms like mad but this plant needed more time and patience.

Oddly, it almost never got finished. I found that I liked the peach and green palate and it was very striking.

What do you think? Do you have a favorite? Why not let me know. And by the way, if you are planning on going to the 2014 Las Vegas Painting Convention, there is plenty of room in my class, #170, PLUMERIA. All paints, instructions and canvas will be provided. All you have to do is bring your brushes! It will be taught on Thursday, Feb. 27th from 9 a.m. till 4 p.m. Its a six hour class but we will have a lot of fun! Hope to see you there.

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