Hope this finds you well. As for me -

I had a fight with an apple. Although no blood or juice was spilt, it was rather tense at times. You can see the stages of the conflict below.

Painting is an oddly unpredictable activity. Sometimes it flows and is absolute bliss. Other times...

Here is my model,
in all its naked glory.
I had an 8 x 8 canvas with
a previous blue/green pour on top ready.
The initial rough in 
with a palette knife.
I liked nothing about it
 - way  too stripy.
I put much more
generous amounts of oil
onto the palette knife edge to
start to lose the stripy feeling.
I struggled to build more
solid shapes, and took the artistic  license 
to add some green.
Began to play in the
background, which is
the first moment that I enjoyed
something in this painting.
Decided to really get bold
with the green. Green being
the complimentary colour to
red gives it real zing here.
At this point any changes to
the apple are done with extremely thick oil put on with just the right pressure so that
it did not pull up the layers of wet paint beneath. Painstakingly careful work.
Notice the big step forward
at this stage?  The previous stage was an  almost 50/50 split between  warm and cool colours. Adding the yellow ochre to the background ensured a strong
warm dominance.

Having fixed the temperature dominance in the painting, I finally began to enjoy the process and the rest of the changes came more easily. There needed to be a few days for the paint to start to solidify before final touches. Oil this thick takes weeks to really dry. However, it gets to a stage that I call bubble-gum hard, and you can work on it, carefully, without pulling up the previous layers.

Coming back to finish up, I briefly wondered where my model was, and then recalled that I had eaten it. Oh well. End stages are often done without further referring to the model, but instead responding to what has happened on the canvas so far. Plus I do have the photo if I want to refer to it.

And here is the finished painting... lots more little touches including smoothing out the background in order to give a restful place for the eye in contrast to the busy chunky paint in the apple. 

Most painters will have the sensation of fighting with their painting from time to time. In a lot of cases, it's a matter of analyzing  and persevering in order to bring things to a happy resolution.

Oil Painting - Cheryl O

Saucy Apple - by Cheryl O
Oil - 8" x 8"
$140. + HST

Going forward into this special 3 months of painting time, I do have goals. We will see which ones actually happen!

I hope to make some dynamic portraits involving unusual colour, in a variety of paint types. This goal should be achievable  because I have done a lot of previous portraiture.

Another goal is still life paintings in oil with blurred and active edges - leaving things in focus only at the focal point. This is a tougher goal for me, taking me out of my comfort zone. I am not sure I can make this one in just 3 months, but will enjoy trying.

I am also very eager to do some flower paintings in watercolour and/or fluid acrylic that have a lot of transparency and flow.

And I must say, it's just lovely to share this time with you!

Oil Painting by Cheryl O

Rediscovered - by Cheryl O
Oil on Canvas Pad 13" x 9"
Comes with archival matte and backing 16" x 20"
$250. + HST

In a recent archaeological dig (i.e. clean up) of the room that I keep my canvases in, I unearthed several gems. This was one. It was not complete, but I liked the bones (basic composition) and knew it was worth finishing. With most of the hard work done already, including some previous palette knife work in the flowers and vase, I had a blast finishing this up. I like the almost old masters feeling here. 

It's sort of funny - I don't remember what kind of flowers these were, but somehow that didn't seem to matter.

There are other worthwhile paintings that came to the surface that day. You will no doubt see them in later newsletters.

Happy Painting till then!
Cheryl O

by Cheryl O

Today's Quote:

"I am always doing
what I cannot yet do
in order to learn how to do it." 

Vincent van Gogh

Painting "Rose"
Private Collection