Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Today was a better day sold some work and someone actually showed up to work on my studio! Hooray!! So, being in a brighter mood, I painted something to reflect my mood. It's been awhile since I painted Orchids. These colors are always a bit touchy to do. I want them bright, but not glaring. Hope I accomplished this. Enjoy! To see how this painting was done, click here.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Yesterday was my wedding anniversary and my husband and I spent the day in Victoria, B.C. It was a sunny 45 degrees and it felt really good to get out in the weather as it's been so cold and snowy here the past two weeks. But I only got back late today and so I didn't get into the studio until almost 3:00 PM. A late start for me.
I'm always so dismayed by how easy it is to fall out of practice. If I paint flowers every day, then I seem to have little difficulty in rendering them. But if I skip a week and paint a different subject, I find that I have to struggle to get them right. I need to spend some time during the week just practicing my brush strokes on roses. These proved to be a challenge for me today.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
You probably think you've seen this one before. And you have - sort of. This is a large painting of the earlier small format figure study I did. I painted it in glazes and started with a full monochromatic under painting to make sure that the skin tones will glow more as the painting ages. I wish there were some way to really show this piece off. Photos just do not do it justice. As you turn the light up or down on a dimmer, the painting takes on a brighter luminescence that emanates from within the piece. There are some corrections that I can see still need to be made, but overall, I'm happy with it. Funny how things become apparent when you take a picture. No matter how much I look over my shoulder with a mirror, putting paintings on camera always reveals new things to my eye. I won't bore you with the changes by posting the painting again. But you can always check back to my website at www.susanspar.com in a few weeks to see if you can notice any subtle differences.
I'm not sure if I'll get the time to publish over the holiday, but just in case I don't, let me take this opportunity to wish all of my collectors and friends out there a very happy Chaunukah and a very merry Christmas. Above all I wish you health and prosperity in the coming new year. I'd also like to take this opportunity to say a heart felt "thank you" to my collectors and customers who have purchased from me over the past year. Your purchases are always a compliment and so very much appreciated.
I hope to be able to provide you all with lovely new and exciting pieces as the new year progresses.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Looks like it's going to be a white Christmas. We've had a bunch of snow up here. Not quite as much as Seattle, but still more than we're used to. Doesn't look like my studio is going to get much work done on it and I can't say I blame the construction guys. I wouldn't want to work out there either.
We braved the elements to go to the Dentist today so he could declare my tooth "not healed". Sigh. Back to the antibiotics. So...as a result of that mid-day foray, I had less time in the studio. I painted this little piece and threw in the red blanket to keep her warm.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
My husband and I spent a month cruising Europe. I returned with a memory chip full of shots, but my favorites were the ones I took in Venice. It snowed another three inches last night so I thought I'd try to capture a bit of the last days of summer in the studio. This is my first attempt at a canal scene of Venice. I started with a small one. I think I'll wait a bit to try a bigger one.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I'm still suffering from a tooth ache today. But I managed to tackle this little floral. Hope my pain didn't show in the work.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I had an old root canal redone on Monday. Today the thing got infected and my face swelled up like a football! Between the pain and the drugs, I didn't have the presence of mind to paint a large piece so I worked on this one. I like it but I'm still under the influence so who knows how I'll feel about it tomorrow.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
This is the fifth in a series of small format figure studies I'm doing. I really like the subtle colors and skin tones in this piece. I meet with my figure drawing group today and hope to complete something there as well. It's a lot harder in the group because I can't always get the spot I want and have to agree with eight or so other artists about the pose. I sure wish my studio were done so that I could have the models coming here more often. Things are just in too much disarray right now with the construction to have a model. You could hide a body in the old studio at this point.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Time for another floral today. I'm needing to build up a backlog as I intend to do the festival at Bellingham this summer and will need a score or two of these and others. I'm a bit out of practice with flowers so it's good to stretch my proverbial wings a bit. Enjoy.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Thought I would loosen up and shake out my hands for a floral today. Also, it is so dreary out this morning that I needed a little sunshine in the studio. This was a nice break from the large figure I'm working on right now.
Here's a little bit of news I thought I'd share with you. One of my dreams has been to have my very own mentor. A teacher that I could learn from for an extended period. I've wanted to study at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle for a long time but distance, availability of classes, etc. have just made it impossible. Tenaya Sims, an alumni and teacher at Gage has started teaching small (8 students, on going, atelier style classes from his studio once a week and I was lucky enough to get in! It will mean having to travel into Seattle for two days a week (a three and a half hour drive for me). I'll stay with a relative for one night, travel to the class in the morning and after a long day, head home - with a car load of homework. I'm not sure if I can keep the pace up but I'll sure give it my best shot. I think the hardest part will be keeping sales and teaching going at the other end. Something I need to do with the economy being what it is. But, hey...when times get tough, the tough get going. Or feint. One or the other. Wish me luck!
Monday, December 08, 2008
I started my larger figure painting today and along with all my desk work, I just had time to do a little piece. I like the ambiance of this piece and what it says about prenancy. My cousin is expecting any moment now. I haven't seen her for months, but she was filled with twice the love and light she usually emits so I know she's a walking candle now.
I know some of you are waiting for another floral or still life, but my studio is a bit of a mess with all the construction going on. My windows are blocked by the new studio which does not yet have it's windows's cut out and so I have no North Light. So things in that department are on hold for awhile. But as soon as I can clear a space, I promise to paint one.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Here's a larger study than the one I did yesterday. Although it doesn't show here, in the larger piece I'm working on, I've rearranaged the models legs. Although this little study came out well, I'm beginning to get excited over the larger piece I'm preparing. Tomorrow, I'll do another piece about this size with the new leg composition. I spent half the day preparing a panel for the new piece which will measure 20" x 30".
Saturday, December 06, 2008
This one was great fun! In fact, I liked it so much I've done another larger one. I'm planning to do this image in 24" x 36" or similar size format and I'm trying to work out color and lighting. This study and the one I'll post tomorrow are in warm light, but I'm also planning to try a couple in cool light. The model is Angela who posed for this piece about a year ago so I can't claim that this one is from life, though I've painted Angela enough times to feel like I have a sense of her skin tones and postures.
I've decided to post most of my paintings for sale direct through this blog and http://www.dailypainters.com/ for awhile. Things are slow on eBay and since most of my collectors come to me through DP anyway, it makes good sense to avoid the eBay fees. Except for an occasional test piece, no more bidding for awhile. If you're interested in having a larger version of this or any of my small format pieces, just e-mail me.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
This is the second nude figure study I've done in a small format. I'm really enjoying the challenge of these. But I especially like the opportunity that working in a small format provides for making changes and experimentation. Don't like the color - change it. Don't like the shape, change it. Viola! Great way to do studies for larger pieces. I've done this before, don't know why I stopped. But I'm going to paste a big reminder to myself on my wall to do several before starting a large painting. Now I just have to remember to read the darn thing.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Willie is a local figure here in Port Angeles. He has a few period costumes from the 1800's and during history week and other special holidays, he dresses up in costume and takes folks out on tours or gives talks on the history of Port Angeles. On his off days, he models for our group. He took his shirt off here and posed with a whiskey bottle. As I already has some paint out from earlier in the day, I put him down on a small board. If you're interested you can e-mail me.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Sorry for the early post today. I'm on the fly today and had a bunch of stuff to do before heading to my drawing group. I decided to try a small format to get something quick done. Fun, fun, fun! I loved doing this! I learned so much from the brief exercise, I'll be doing a bunch more just for the kick. OK...I'm off to my group.
Monday, December 01, 2008
I've been spending more time on figure sketching these days. Sales have been a little slower than usual and this has reduced some of the pressure on me so I'm taking advantage of the opportunity to explore and improve in other areas. I'd really like to work on my figures more and hope to do some more oil and pastel sketches during the winter. Here's one I particularly liked. The model was quite relaxed during this pose and consequently I was able to relax as well. It shows, I think.