Beach Walk (watercolor 5 x 7) SOLD
This another painting of the beach at Brookings.
I just had to do one of the dogs. Dogs and beaches go together. So much to see. So much to smell. So many, many other dogs.
This older dog wasn’t tugging too hard, but he was strongly encouraging his person to walk faster. I want to see. I want to run. I want to go. I want to do.
I used my typical beach palette: burnt sienna, raw sienna, phthalo blue, cobalt blue. I masked the waves before painting to preserve the whites. Painted last Wednesday at Art in the Valley, Corvallas, Oregon.
Cass Up Close (8 x 7) $75.00
This pretty young lady is a friend of my daughters. I took the photo almost to years ago for drawing practice. Browsing through my photo files yesterday, I decided to crop it close and paint it. After painting landscapes and not much else at shows, I really wanted to do a portrait again.
The palate was simple, cadmium red, and cadmium yellow, burnt sienna, and cobalt blue. I added some burnt umber for her hair and lashes.
I am not Ruth Armitage. Ruth Armitage also lives here in the upper Willamette Valley. And she also paints watercolors. She is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society and a past president of the Watercolor Society of Oregon. Her work hangs in my favorite gallery in Salem. And yes, like me, she likes to paint figures. And in my opinion, she does fabulous work.
I knew these facts, and yet I was still not prepared for connection, when I displayed a large number of my watercolors at the Oregon State Fair. Apart from, “these are lovely,” and “are you the artist,” the most common comment was, “are you Ruth Armitage?” The second most common comment was, “are you related to Ruth?” Given Ruth’s stature in the Northwest art community, those were flattering questions.
But the woman who asked, “then why do you use her name” floored me. Jenny Armitage is my name. I place a prominent “J” before Armitage in my signature. And while I like her work, my paintings have not been influenced by Ruth’s. Nor, much as I admire her, do I want to be Ruth Armitage. I want my work recognized as my work.
[This week, most common search phrase used to find this blog was, "are jenny and ruth armitage related." The answer is no. Neither are our husbands. ---added 3-1-10.]
Pub Talk (10 x 14) $125
I love to paint people and I love the interior light of dark restaurants with the sun streaming in through the side windows. Unfortunately if I sketch or photograph people in bars or restaurants they stop acting naturally. I have developed a sneaky system for photographing them. If I use the LED screen as a view finder and turn off the flash, people think I am reviewing previously taken photos rather than taking new ones. I took the photos for this scene in just that way.
I tried pouring this scene first. The result had lovely color and value, but it was rougher than I liked. I loved the light, but didn’t think I could pour it with greater clarity.
Poured Version of Pub Talk
So I did a little sketching and then painted directly with the same colors I used for the pour: phthalo blue, burnt sienna, raw sienna, dioxazine purple, and cobalt blue.
Pub Talk Sketch
I still like the beautiful poured background in my first attempt, and I may do this one again tomorrow using directly painted figures and a poured background.
Pondering (11 x 12) SOLD
This is my eldest daughter again, curled up in an armchair pondering her options. It is an isn’t and portrait since I painted her as the young woman she will be in a few years and not as the pre-teen girl she is.
Georgia is hard to paint, because her features are perfectly regular. Her lips are unbelievably red, her eye lashes unbelievably dark, and her eye brows very dark for a blond. Painting her is a matter of toning her down enough to make her real.
I solved this problem by painting her almost entirely in earth tones. Ochre yellow, burnt siena, cobalt blue, and burn umber predominate. The sunlit side of her face was washed with cadmium yellow and red rose madder quinacrone. I used some alizarine crimson on the shadowed side of her face, but mostly yellow ochre and burnt sienna. Her shirt is burnt sienna and yellow ochre. I mixed these with raw umber for her browns and lashes. The background is layered washes of burnt sienna, cobalt blue, yellow ochre, and rose madder. Her hair is yellow ochre, cobalt blue and burnt sienna.
This painting has sold, but you may purchase a print at Fine Art America.com.
Hat and Shoulders (9 x 12) $100
For this watercolor I worked from a candid snapshot of my niece taken a couple summers ago. She wore the hat everywhere we went. I don’t have many pictures of her in it though, because that was the summer she was camera shy.
I had fits getting this painting right. I tried it and failed twice on Tuesday.
Two problems. First, I love the effect of the strong light on her hat and shoulder, but the light on her face is very low contrast and the color temperature varies enormously. Getting the subtle value changes and temperature changes in her face was difficult. Second she doesn’t have much pink in her face under neutral light, but her blouse bounced purple pink light up into her face.
Both of my Tuesday paintings contained too much pink and exaggerated the temperature and value changes in an unflattering way—she looked like Rudolph of Red Nosed Reindeer. All of my favorite skin reds for light complexions reds (alizarin crimson, rose madder, and quinacirdone) stain so her red nose was there to stay.
I took Wednesday off to think and painted something else instead. I began again Wednesday after dinner, resolving to keep my palette limited and to introduce value and temperature changes slowly. I began with a unifying wash of cadmium yellow and cadmium red. Then I laid in the pinker skin with cadmium yellow and alizarin crimson wet into wet. I added the blue tones to the ailizarin mixture rather under-laying it. I used the alizarin crimson with cobalt blue for her blouse to unify the reds. The result was still a little too much, so I washed burnt sienna over her skin. That helped tone it down a little more.
I think she’s much improved although still not as pretty as the real girl.
Or Purchase a quality reproduction of this painting here.