Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Painting Dads House

I often use old photo's as reference for a painting. So much history and richness.
This is the house my Dad grew up in in Concord Massachusetts.

Here is my interpretation.

I wish I could show him....
I just found out from my fathers brother that this house cost $8000 in 1939 when
my Dad was 7. It's the only house they ever owned. There was a porch on the front side
at one point.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sketchbook Tips, How to Choose What to Paint

This week I was asked how do I come up with subject matter everyday?
It is by far the most difficult part of the project bar none.
In 2013 I did a month of only food.

It was great and got me interested in a daily painting habit. This would be a good
way to structure yourself. Choose a theme every month and stick to it, you could even
map out the month before hand so when you are ready to go you aren't struggling with that.
Personally I enjoy the randomness of it. I like to do what feels important to me each day.

For instance, this was last summer. The nasturtiums are from the farmers market and since we
were on vacation I was inspired by people on the beach. This way the sketchbook becomes a visual
diary. I can look at these paintings and remember my days on Cape Cod.

Here it was Frida Kahlo's Birthday and it felt right to paint her that day.

This spread was a cold rainy spring weekend in April. Some of them turn out to be messes.
I don't always like what I create but it's a notation of a day in my life. It just doesn't matter
if they all aren't perfect, I learn something about painting, color, design every day, even if it
turns out to be something I don't ever want to do again. Failures are learning opportunities.

A good  solution if you are feeling tired or busy is to just not deal with color.
I often just paint the paper black and draw some flowers  or some words stating my frustration.
It's meditative and helps me move on.

It's great to have a staple list of things you know you love to paint or draw. Like
flowers, people, self portraits, animals, lettering, anything. You can always fall back
on that list. But there still will be days when you just sit  there completely flummoxed..
Just put some lines down. Pick 2 colors and just go, the next day might work out better.
And have fun!!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I've been drawing buildings lately which I kept putting off because it felt intimidating
but I decided to just plunge in and go for it. My goal is to make a map of Manhattan,
this one will be from about 14-91st street. I've been painting the individual icons
separately and assembling the whole thing in photoshop. I plan to be finished next week.
Still to come, a bit of the highline, a barge in the river, the intrepid space museum maybe,
and various other little bits like street carts, a taxi, a pigeon. etc. Will post it soon!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Daily Painting Tips: on Motivation

Last week I was asked how I stay motivated to paint everyday in my sketchbook.
Before I started daily painting in January 2014 I had never filled up a sketchbook.
I also had trouble finishing all the self generated projects I thought up and got
excited about.. I've been thinking about what the difference is between now and then.

1. I set a fairly strict rule for myself. It's 30 minutes painting time a day. That is doable, when I'm done I'm done. It takes away the need to fuss with it. I try to do it in the morning before other work starts taking over my day.
2. The first year I used a sketchbook that was very inexpensive and had paper that wasn't even meant
for paint. It took away the preciousness of it and it just became fun. I'm not doing it for any higher purpose than to paint. I'm willing to say a painting didn't work out, learn from it and just move on...
3. I use gouache primarily. For me this is my happy medium. I know it very well, I'm not intimidated by it. Not to say I always know what will happen or I'm happy with the outcome, it just makes me happy to paint with it. Someone else might love to draw with pencil or charcoal or marker. I would start any project from a place of happiness.
4. The first few months I "made" myself do it.. it's truly become a habit now, they say it takes 21 days to form a habit. I think it took me longer but it did work. I don't think motivation is there every day. It is something you do because its important to you.
5. Sharing on social media is a motivator because the feedback is so wonderful. Most of us sit alone in a studio all day. It brings us out into the world a bit.

I don't always do the same type of subject matter. I mix it up to keep me engaged.
Please ask me any questions in the comments, I'll be happy to answer!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pattern of The Week

This is a pretty traditional flower that I did for a project that had another fun element
along with it. We ended up using a something different for that job so I have this
pattern now. I need to come up with a new way to update it......soon.