Monday, April 30, 2012

Strawberries and my 'kids'

Strawberries 4x4 
oil on board

Artists who teach always say that they learn so much from their students and it really is a two way street. These are my 'kids' (Carol Marine's expression and I'm proud to be one of hers) Beth and Linda who have both exceeded their expectations this winter. They've been coming to my home studio each Monday for 10 weeks now and although they are fairly new to oil painting they 'got it' right off the bat. They are diligent and paint outdoors and between classes. It came up today in a discussion about workshops that some artists are reluctant to share their"secrets" with their students so I generously shared my secret which is, that there is no secret. It's all hard work, learning to 'see' and painting miles of canvas.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Von Liebig Center for the Arts

Susan Romanot and Instructor Mary Sheehan Winn
at Von Liebig Center for the Arts in  Naples, Florida
I've so enjoyed teaching here in Naples this season and each group of students has surprised me with their ability to go from-dare I say- fear?.. trepidation?.. to a painting in which they achieved more than they dared think they might. 
They all 'got it' and that has been the Holy Grail of my experience with these fabulous artists who are hungry to express themselves through their brushes as I always have been. I feel their journey and actually get goosebumps when I see their AHA moment.
This was my final class of the season at the Von Liebig Center for the Arts here in Naples and Susan's joy in seeing what she could do with paint was so exciting.
Here is our Face Book 'moment', posted by Callie Spilane, Director of Education at the Von Liebig. I'll see you next season. Same time, same place.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Boston Gas Tank 6x6 oil on board
This is a copy of my previous painting of this Boston Landmark, which I redid for the Girls Just Wanna Paint show which is coming up in May at the Helen Bumpus Library in Duxbury.  Check the GJWP blog for details. 
I drove my Mama to the airport late this afternoon for her flight home to Providence, thus officially concluding the family Wedding festivities. It was a fabulous time!
Chrissie (and her new truck) and Nana 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Peachy Gerbera Daisy

Gerbera Daisy 6x6 oil on gesso board
This Gerbera was a tough one. Part of the flower is in the shadow and is very dark and part of the flower is brightly lit. The value pattern is one of the key elements in a painting and this was a bit of a struggle. Despite the brilliant colors in the flower the mixtures are mostly grays so as to set off the pops of color throughout the painting.
Also, in spite of some sprinkles I managed to get in my swim this morning.. Of course I was the only one in the pool :D
I can't tell you what a distraction sunny days are. I feel like I should be out doing something but today, I'm loving  the cool, cloudy, rainy day we're having. Perfect for being in the studio. 
My last class at Von Liebig is Thursday, April 26 from 9-12. Click on my Classes and Workshops page above to sign up on line. This class has been a lot of fun! Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Family Affairs

6x8 Demo at Lowdermilk Park 

This past weekend my dear nephew/son, Win, married his beautiful bride, Heather,  at a garden wedding attended by lots of family from 'home'. I hosted the little boys and their parents who left yesterday at 3:30 AM, and I am still catching up with myself . 
Haven't found the time to paint except on Monday morning when I met my students, Beth and Linda at Lowdermilk Park to paint plein aire. This is by no means a finished painting, as the lesson was more about eliminating elements of the scene to create a better composition and dealing with the constantly changing weather elements. Sun, clouds, wind. Values, of course. 
 Don't forget to sign up for my last class of the season at the Von Liebig.
See my pages at the head of my blog for information or email me.
Thanks for your visits and your comments. You keep me going.
Heather Davies Cottrell and Winthrop Sheehan Cottrell
April 14, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cherry Tomatoes

"Cherry Tomatoes"
6x6 oil on gesso board
When the time comes to give my paintings a title I often think of music. In this case I'm singing "Cherry, Cherry, who can I turn to",  by Tommy Tutone, while I'm painting thinking, I've got a great title. 
Except, it's "Jenny, Jenny, who can I turn to, 867-5309"  Why?  Don't ask ;) I can't explain the way my mind works.
I have five people signed up for my Painting a Day class at the VonLiebig Center tomorrow. Looking forward to it. Still room to sign up for my last class on Thursday, April 26th. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Peeping Out

"Peeping Out"
4x4 oil on Gesso Board
Happy Easter and Passover. May you all have peace and joy in your lives and when it just isn't there, may you have hope for the future. Special thoughts go out to some dear friends who are dealing with great loss, in one case and with a battle for restored health in the other. My two Lindas. Love you both.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Greats

"Iced In" 30x40 by Charles Movalli
I don't have a painting to post tonight but I've been thinking of sharing the work of some of my favorite painters instead. The list is long but I have to start somewhere and today I was browsing the work of Charles Movalli and  marveling at his mastery of his medium-he works in oils and acrylics-and his total understanding of composition and understated, but powerful color harmony. I love the way he includes a fearless foreground in many of his paintings. I mean that the foreground leads the eye into and around the work. It may be just shapes and colors that indicate a dock or harbor but each brushstroke is perfectly placed. There are many links on the web but mostly to Galleries who represent him so I'll include the link to Bayview Gallery in Camden, Maine where you'll also enjoy the roster of other high caliber artists. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Sunflower in a Jar

"Sunflower in a Jar" 
6x6 oil on board
I'm on a roll with the flowers but I will say that I scraped this entirely and began again. Scraped that one and began this one. Wasn't sure if it was a keeper or not but I posted it anyway. There's actually a point when you're too close to the forest to see the trees. I've learned that I am not the best judge of my paintings and no matter how I feel about them, one way or the other, I am not the viewer. 

Monday, April 02, 2012

Gardenia in Red

"Gardenia in Red"
4x4 oil on gesso board

This time I dressed this gardenia in red. I must cruise around the neighborhood and see if anyone has gardenia bushes I can clip a bloom off of. 
I will ASK first. Promise.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Gardenia in a Jar

6x6 oil on gesso board

Buy Now 
Moving right along, I turned my studio air conditioner to 66* and painted away. Despite the cool breezes, a bit of humidity has moved into Southwest Florida. 
JoAnn Sanborn gave me a Gardenia from her garden and I refrigerated  it so it would keep until I could paint it. This is a tiny 4x4 inch painting but I'm hoping it looks HUGE :D
Also, it has a beautiful scent and because it's a bit 'gone by', I put it atop the medicine cabinet where it's invisible but, not ;)
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