Wednesday, April 26, 2017

30 days of painting Day 22

Herring with Bottles
6" x 6"
Another painting with herring today. Not very often there is a whole real fish in my studio. :)
I like the curved line of the fish and how dark it is on the top. Adding white background really shows it well. There is a lot of white which is really gray when I start painting it. I tried to mix as many grays as possible to make it more interesting, Painting white really trains your eye to see the varieties of color.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

30 days of painting Day 21

8" x 10"
I was born in Russia. Now I live in a small town by the ocean in Oregon, and there are no Russian stores here. Bigger towns and cities usually have several stores for people missing their home. I adjusted well to my new home, so I don't cook borscht and piroshki very often and totally ok eating local food.

Yesterday my daughter and I happened to be near a European store I once went to. One thing I sometimes miss is herring. You can buy marinated one in a store here in town, but it is not the same. The real thing is just salted fish, the whole thing. When you come to a Russian store you have to ask if they have herring in a bucket. That's the one I'm talking about. So that store had only one left. Of course, I bought it. They also bake bread there. It still was warm. That's what my still life is about today.

FYI Selyodochka is herring in Russian :)

Monday, April 24, 2017

30 days of painting Day 20

Lilies on White
6" x 6"
I had an hour to finish this painting. Strokes were laid on fast and without hesitation. There is a timer in my studio, so when it goes off I am not supposed to touch the painting unless I sign it...

I added a cup and a cream holder (they are almost not noticeable) to the white background for more challenge. Painting white is not easy, because white is the lightest color available. So I usually start with a highlight and compare values to it. The rest of white is actually gray.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

30 days of painting Day 19

Blocks on Green
6" x 6"
I find block studies a great exercise to train my eye to see colors. I noticed how much the green background affected the shadow area on the top of the purple block. Or the shadow area of the pink block turned quite intense warm purple because of the purple block affecting it. Sometimes I paint intuitively and sometimes I want to know why some areas are a certain color..

Saturday, April 22, 2017

30 days of painting Day 18

Daffodils in a Pink Pitcher
6" x 6"
I will have a lot of daffodils in my final challenge collage. (I'm planning to make one with all 30 paintings by the end.) There is a simple explanation. First, daffodils are sill in bloom in my yard, second, it's been raining way too much. And intuitively I tend to be attracted to anything sunny-like.
I felt like color today. And not just yellow. So I added green and purple to make it more colorful.

Friday, April 21, 2017

30 days of painting Day 17

Daffodils in Orange Vase
6" x 6"
I used my new props today. I have never used them before. All purchased at my recent thrift shop visit. I remembered to get smaller items, such as this cute salt shaker, as sometimes all you need just is a tiny object. :)
I cannot get enough of my first daffodils. They are still blooming! And there are some lighter color flowers also...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

30 days of painting Day 16

Skull and Daffodil
10" x 8"
I usually paint alone in my studio, maybe an audiobook might accompany me sometimes. Today I had a guest, an artist, and my friend Andrew over. Two things I did today for the first time - painted in my studio with a friend and painted a skull. The skull belongs to him. He found it 23 years ago and wasn't sure what animal it was...
I did talk a lot I must say, which kept me from thinking about what I was doing. It was fun. I might keep inviting my fellow artists to paint with me.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

30 Days of Painting Day 15

Siletz Bay
8" x 8"
I have been enjoying looking at pictures of my friends and other interesting people on Instagram.

There are a couple of places around here I wanted to paint. When I drive my car I see some amazing views and think I should come paint plein air here sometimes. When that day comes, here I am with my car parked and painting supply, and for some reason that amazing view I saw the other day from my car is gone. It happens over and over. I couldn't get why.

Back to Instagram, my friend Gretchen posted that amazing view of the bay, the one that I had seen from my car but never could capture. I asked if I can use it as my reference and received her permission with a condition I would show the result. Again breaking the rules to never use somebody else's pictures. O well.

Later Gretchen told me that picture was taken on her 24-mile bike ride. I think Mother Nature opens up to those who slows down and becomes fully present...

Photo by Gretchen Ammerman

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

30 days of painting Day 14

Speck of Cascade Head
12" x 9"
I live near the ocean. Oregon Coast is famous for being quite rainy. It has been raining more than usual lately it seems like. And when you happen to be on the beach on a beautiful sunny day without your sketchbook, many things inspire you, such as agates, shells, interesting rocks with holes in them, totally different view of a familiar scenery, and you take pictures of them. Not ideal to paint from a photograph I've heard many times. All I wanted to so is to capture the feeling of that place.

Monday, April 17, 2017

30 days of painting Day 13

Daffodils with Tea Kettle
10" x 8" 
I went to a thrift store to find background fabric or posters and ended up with a dozen of new subjects for my still life. The tea kettle was a perfect size, not too large and reflective. Most likely you'll see it often in my future still lifes.
I wore a red shirt that day, can you spot me?

Sunday, April 16, 2017

30 days of painting Day 12

Daffodils and Apples
That's my first still life with daffodils, that my friend, who works at the transfer station, rescued and shared with me. I've been enjoying seeing them bloom. Flowers take a special place in my heart. No other flower has given me as much pleasure though as these first daffodils that I planted at my first house for the first time. Lots of firsts. I think the painting shows it :)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

30 days of painting Day11

Sunny Day
That was my first attempt to paint a figure in a landscape. I used a picture of my daughter. She is growing so fast and I kept thinking it would be nice to capture the moments of her life in oils. I like light and shadow interplay in this painting. Warm lights and cool shadows make it more real. I really want to work on more figure studies..

Friday, April 14, 2017

30 days of painting Day 10

I bought these daffodils hoping I will make a couple of daily paintings. I waited way too long and they started to droop. I barely had time before they were completely gone.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

30 days of painting Day 9

Pink and Red
6" x 6"
I love my friends. There are amazing interesting people. So one of them works for a garbage company. One day he gave me at least 4 bags full of flower bulbs and told they needed to be planted immediately... That's how I got started on my garden. I've been living in my house for a year and a half and was just thinking to do something with my yard. It's been neglected for a while. I did plant them. And this spring I got flowers! My first flowers! That made me so happy. Every day seeing them open up and close is amazing. I know small things in life make us happy :)

Just the other day another friend came to visit us with her two-year-old adorable boy. I was nice and sunny, so we all went outside and while my friend and I were sharing our parenting experiences/venting, the little boy decided to pick my two flowers. That made me very sad at first. What can you do? I took them and put in water. I liked the color combination and instantly thought they would make a great painting subject. It all works out at the end. Thanks, Gunnar, my little friend! :)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

30 days of painting Day 8

Three Pears
6" x 6"
Day 8. When I started the challenge, I thought "that'll be totally doable". I often overestimate my abilities and don't take some things into consideration like getting down with a cold, or my two-year-old staying home because she puked a day before, and the daycare sending us home because they have a 24-hour-policy (no, I didn't study the policy) after a child vomiting. What I'm trying to say, some days I just don't feel like painting and some days I feel like painting something very-very familiar, something that I know will turn out ok. Pears, thank you for providing the level of comfort that a single-mom/artist/housekeeper/accountant/gardener/landscaper/nonstophomestufffixer sometimes needs. I love you, pears!

P.S. I have to be honest with you, some days I paint more than one painting just in case I need a break :)