A great way to improve your painting skill is to look at a painter that you respect and copy them. Not just copy their work, although that can be helpful, use their work to dive into how they paint. Learn to improve our painting choices by understanding theirs. I set up a still life with produce from our garden and a pear from a friend’s. I chose Van Gogh to learn from because of his honesty, color, and I have always been drawn to his art. What do I mean by his honesty? He painted not only what he saw but what he felt about what he saw, something I could be better at. I learned a little about improving my brushstrokes and enjoyed diving into color that I normally wouldn’t try. I looked a lot at Van Gogh’s May 1888 still life “Bottle, Lemons and Oranges” while painting my little “Dinner with Vincent.” Acrylic on pressed paper board, 8 by 10 inches.
It is always exciting to explore a subject and see it differently. I had previously completed a little painting of crawfish but focusing on one individual was infatuating. This clawed monster can’t fit in the image space and feels larger than life. Acrylic on pressed paper board, 8 by 10 inches.
Some good friends gave me some crawfish from a boil that they had, so I’ve done what anyone would do. I’ve drawn and painted them. Such fascinating creatures, are they really just mini-lobsters? When they are cooked their color is so fantastic! This painting was a little bit of a struggle. I learned something. I started on it once and hated it and stopped. I took sandpaper to it, removed some of the original painting, and tried again. It reminded me that the battle and the process are more valuable and important than the result. Acrylic on pressed paper board, 8 by 10 inches.
A couple of years ago, Jackie and I went to Boston. Some of the highlights were the Old North Church, the Freedom Trail, a Red Sox game and a fantastic trip in the harbor. The sun sparkled across the water and you could feel the cool air taming the summer. I used a limited palette of phthalo blue, burnt umber, yellow orange azo, acra magenta and titanium white. Acrylic on pressed paper board, 8 by 10 inches.