Abraham Darby, take 2.

Abraham Darby, take 2.

In natural light from the window, plus lamp light. Just trying to get better at flowers and brushwork, gosh darn it.

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Abraham Darby – first try

I guess painting roses from my garden is pretty near the perfect combination of hobbies!  I am in awe of great flower painters….and so I’m not terribly happy with my own results, but I figure it’s early days yet and there’s no way to get where I want to go unless I start somewhere.  2013-05-31-abe-darby


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Garden Roses


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May 4 – Iris

May 4 - Iris

Well, I have tortured this poor painting long enough. I really really struggled with the purple. Hopefully next time I’ll be able to zero in on it more quickly.

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Teapot and White Flower

Teapot and White Flower

Finished in painting class.

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Coventry Patmore again (after Sargent)

This guy again!  This is my third try with this fellow.  I just adore his face.  This is a lot more like the original by John Singer Sargent than the version a couple posts down, which was my first try.  Painting sure is fun.  And hard.


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Chinese and wine?

Chinese and wine?

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New Man in my Life


This was an assignment from my painting teacher Jennifer Fairbanks – to copy this portrait by John Singer Sargent. It was a great exercise. I’m just happy it turned out to be recognizably human! I am planning to try it over again to pound the lessons I learned a little further into my brain.

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I usually paint with a setup in a box with a controlled light source, and for this I just set it up next to a window, so as the sun went behind clouds the shadows changed.  Aargh!  Oh well.  I will do more of these quick paintings in natural light and hopefully will get better at it!

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Onion for Lesa, version 2.0

Onion for Lesa, version 2.0

I painted the whole setup a second time.

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Onion and Garlic for Lesa


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Grandmother’s Pitcher and Grapes


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Corks and Grapes

I am so happy with this one!  Grapes are really fun to paint, and I love the allusion to wine that the corks bring in.


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The Reason for Art

“To me…the reason for art is to give people another camera to cut to in the film that is their experience of being alive.”

Said by my son recently.  I like that!

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More bell peppers

I just love the bright contrasting colors and fun shapes!  Here are bell peppers, round two and three.

These peppers aren’t as fresh as the original group; you can tell they are starting to settle in.

Third (and probably final, for now) group of peppers:

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Grapes and Glass

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Bell peppers…inspired by Jennifer’s beautiful pepper paintings!

I am happy with how these turned out, but if you want to really see how it’s done, go down to Gallery 109 in Murray and look in the window.  Jennifer’s pepper paintings are so luminous and beautiful…


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Finished this in painting class.

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A study inspired by…

I fell in love with the wine bottle still life paintings of Erling Steen.  So clean, so balanced, so boiled down to the essence.  I decided to use one of his simple setups and see if I could copy it.  The answer is, haha, no way!  The magic evaded me–and I quickly found that I could not duplicate his lighting setup.  Looks like natural light to me, but how can it be so strong?  So I had to use a lamp, which changed things, and I moved awkwardly in between painting what I saw in the actual setup and painting how I saw it in his painting.  Still I have no doubt it was a good exercise.  In fact, I loved the balance of the setup so much that I did two separate underpaintings, so tomorrow I can take another whack at the color layer and see if I learned anything from the first time around.

Oh no!  I gave the above painting to my son’s significant other as a gift, and then worked up this one from the same set up.  I like it with the warm background so much better!  I asked her if I could have the painting back to change the background and she said yes.

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Egg and Espresso Cup

This got rather belabored and I don’t think I can fix that but I learned a lot and have plans to repeat it.  I will know more about it next time.  And next time I will paint it on a colorful cloth.  All that gray got kind of muddy and depressing.

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