Tower Grove Park En Plein Air

Missouri has a very short spring, and it is mostly wet and rainy.  I’ve heard many people here say we go right from winter to summer, and that’s mostly true.  Yesterday was one of those idyllic spring days where it is sunny and 75 degrees, everything is colorful and luminous, and it just takes your breath away.  I was very blessed (thank you Jesus) to be able to paint, even though my mother was in the hospital because she fell twice.  (I went to see her last night).

 

Tower Grove Park is a Victorian era park that was built by Henry Shaw.  It was originally planned to be a private estate.  It has charming old bridges and pavilions in it.  I couldn’t help but admire this little foot bridge with the beautiful pink and white dogwoods in bloom nearby.

 

Tropical Reprieve

My sister and her family went to Thailand, and both of my nephews (her kids) have had jobs teaching English there.  They took many wonderful photographs of it.  I used one of IMG_0009the photos to do a painting.  I was very charmed by this colorful little house with the bougainvillea growing in front of the dirt path.  Notice there is a primary triad color scheme blue, yellow, red (pink).  This painting is done in acrylic.  I used a warm and cool of each of the primary colors yellow, red, and blue, titanium white, and burnt umber, to make an optical black.  The pigments I used were azo yellow, cadmium yellow medium, cadmium red medium, quinacridone red, ultramarine blue, and phthalocyanine blue.

It was hard to get the correct shade of blue on the roof.  I’m new to acrylics, and am still learning how to account for the color shift.  They turn darker as they dry.  I was happy with the way the sky, distant mountains, and banana tree all came out.  I think the bamboo structure for the bougainvillea is neat as well.

Breakfast at Shaw Coffee Company

I had a marvelous breakfast of quiche Lorraine at the Shaw Coffee Company yesterday with my husband and younger son.  After I finished the quiche, I really liked the way the colorful fruit looked against the whites and grays of the plate, napkins, and table top.  I took a picture of it.  I painted it yesterday and today in acrylics.  I’m very happy, because in the past, I had trouble getting the right values.  Acrylics darken as they dry, so I compensated by adding a little more white to the paint mixtures.

The palette I used was titanium white, cadmium yellow dark, cadmium red medium, quinacridone magenta, dioxazine purple, prussian blue, burnt umber, and phthalo green.  I used Golden acrylics.  I mixed optical darks and grays with the blue and burnt umber.  I got a nice cold bluish gray.  I mixed a speck of yellow into the white to warm it up.

My goal in this painting is not to copy nature, or copy the photo.  I am going into a semi abstract mode here.  I like how the bright colors of the fruit contrast with the achromatic surroundings and background.  The plate, napkins, and table make for a nice abstract pattern of whites, grays, and darknesses.  I’m trying to simplify and eliminate detail.

By the way the fruit was exceptionally good.  The cara cara orange slices have a touch of pink mixed into the orange color, and were so sweet.

Here is a link to the listing in my etsy store.

BreakfastShawCoffee
Breakfast at Shaw Coffee Company, acrylic on canvas panel, 24″ x 18″

Prehistoric

This is an acrylic painting I did several years ago.  The impetus for this was a class I took on abstract painting.  As I am on the autistic spectrum, it is natural for me to be literal and detailed, and to paint almost photorealism.  In one way this is fine, but I would like to go beyond just a technical, literal rendering.  So, I’m going down the abstract path for a while.  I find it very freeing.  I don’t have to worry about making something look realistic.

In this piece, I went very organic.  I used natural earth colors, including a lot of burnt sienna.  I first applied acrylic modeling paste to a canvas panel, and let this dry.  Then I painted it.  After it dried, I sanded down the tops of the ribs, and exposed the white underneath.  The idea here is a an ancient natural artifact or fossil that has been exposed by erosion.

Here is a link to the etsy store listing.

prehistoricabstract
Prehistoric, acrylic on canvas panel, 20 x 16