Vibrant Contrasts

bbricity-copy

16″ x 20″Acrylic on Canvas

Brianna has painted a city scene full of contrasts.  It displays the human energy of a city and yet the scene is uninhabited. There are straight lines and curves, arrows and open spaces, black and white, abstract and figurative elements.    This piece creates whimsy and mystery.

Often in a painting the more contrast represented, the more interesting the painting.  It certainly captures my imagination.  Does it capture yours as well?

Abstraction

bmaggieabstract

 

Acrylic on Canvas  16″ x 20″

Maggie began her first abstract painting with gusto.  According to Maggie “it was great to experience new materials, layering and mixing color”.

Some of the new tools and materials;

palette knives, metallic acrylic paint, old, worn out bristle brushes, a comb and a brush recycled from a home hair color kit

 

Still Lives?

bdeer copy

24″x 24″ “Toy Box” Acrylic on Canvas by Claudia

Last post, Betsy’s work illuminated the benefits of painting still life to isolate a challenging skill, by practicing with still life objects.  Betsy’s work is exceptional, but her intent was simple.

Today, Claudia’s piece takes still life out of the realm of fruit and bottles and brings a conceptual intention to still life painting.  In other words, this painting is about conveying more than the fruits of technical achievement.

What do you think the artist had in mind?

Boring Old Still Life?

bBetsy still copy

12″x12″ Acrylic on Canvas by Betsy

Why make the effort to paint still life?   To learn.

What might I learn?   To work from life.  To mix color.  To create a composition. To handle reflections. To understand color and mix color intensity.  To vary edges.  To understand values…

 

In this piece, Betsy concentrated on value work.

Betsy innately understands line.  Her line work is fluid and expressive.  The rendering of lights, darks and midtones does not come as easily to her.  Painting still live offered Betsy the opportunity to isolate the value work. To squint her eyes and understand each shade of value and the shapes they made in the bowl, bottle and carrot.  It allowed her practice with the values within each object. In turn, the values help to create an illusion of three-dimensional form.

I think that Betsy’s vibrant color and expression transcends the three common objects she used for this exercise.  What she learned here will carry over to her next piece, whatever she chooses to make.

Understanding how to paint a boring old still life can help you create magic in all of your work.  It can allow you to concentrate on a particular skill while employing those that you have already integrated into your artistic bag of tricks.

OR you can set out to arrange a still life that is anything but expected.  Check back next time…

Color on the Wall

“Color on the Wall”  by Claudia                                                                                        Acrylic on canvas with thread and embroidery floss.

About the work:

“I was daunted by the prospect of making abstract art, so much so that I was urged to try.   I found an idea, that sparked the use of new elements.  It was exciting, and I  learned to use different materials to create a unique piece of art.”

detail 1 & 2