Saturday, January 03, 2009

Still Life with Two Objects I

Egg & Jug - Oil on panel 18 x 24 cm

Back in December I got very enthusiastic about joining Casey, rue Manuel bis in a challenge to make a series of six still life paintings (from life) using two objects. In each successive still life one of the objects changes. I was very slow to get started and thought I wasn't going to get there at all.

Before I decide if I'm going to abandon oil painting all together, I'm doing some very quick studies to see if I can speed up my learning curve with the media. Today, after seeing Casey post her second pastel painting in the series I decided to give it a go after all.

I got to a point where I thought if I put the above painting aside for a couple of days to dry. I can make a better painting. I'm having a lot of trouble keeping the colours apart. But fiddling around isn't the point of the exercise, so I'm going to post it and move on. Maybe I'll do the next ones on cardboard so I can be even more relaxed in my approach.

Today I posted Lindsay Olsen's Non-Linear-Arts gorgeous oil stick paintings which are the last entry in my book for the Flying Pictures Sketchbook Exchange. They also happen to be the final pictures in the entire exchange as my sketchbook was the last to complete it's adventure. You can enjoy Lindsay's pictures and all the sketchbooks on the Flying Pictures Blog.

It was Casey who invited me into the FP exchange so it seems appropriate that I following her in another challenge. I do hope I have the staying power to complete the whole six still lifes.


mARTa said...

Great start to the series and the new year!!! The hardest part for me with the oils is waiting for it to dry some before glazing. I'm ready to (hopefully) finish the 2nd one this morning.
I find keeping colors separate a bit challenging too. I lay out my colors on the perimeter of my palette and mix in the middle. I find I use about 5 mixing knives and about 6 brushes when I'm painting.
Well, hope that helps a bit.

Robyn said...

Marta - It is when I'm trying to glaze without waiting for the paint to dry that I have trouble keeping the colours separate. This is what I mean about having no idea what I'm doing with oils.;)

Jeanette said...

This looks quite clean and crisp to me Robyn, not like my messes :)

I guess the decision has to come down to quick alla prima or more lengthy paintings. I'm going for quick ones which push me to make decisions on the fly. Not always good, but always interesting.

Robyn said...

Alla prima is where I want to be too, Jeanette. It's just going to take me a while to sort it! Every time I look at this I think, I could just darken that... lighten that.... glaze that...... someone should hit me over the head!

And yours are not messes! Who do you think inspired me to paint a jug!

Anita said...

You're doing just great! This two object still life thing is a project on WC too - must check who started it.
I am loving alla prima work - if you have in your mind the idea that you need to be finished in one session it makes you much less fussy.

Anonymous said...

I think you have a running start Robyn. Perhaps what you need to do is break the shapes down into separate surfaces. Find the local color of that particular surfaces, mix and lay it down. As your confidence grows so will the number of surfaces and colors.

Toni said...

Wish I knew more about oil painting. It is looking good so far and you shouldn't be so hard on yourself. I notice with your watercolors you are loose and was thinking like you were saying earlier that you should try painting like the impressionists in oils. You might find it more freeing.
anyways what do I know. Just thinking out loud. you can ignore me.

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

This looks great robyn...I love the limited palette which gives it a quietness that I like. Great work with your oils!

Joan said...

Robyn - This looks like an intresting challenge to do. I like this one. I don't think I'd be good with oils. As long as they were wet I'd never stop playing around with the paint. lol

Robyn said...

Anita - it is your fault for making alla prima look easy ;)

Robin - Many thanks, I'll try that approach. Trouble is I leapt in without a plan.

Toni - I don't ignore you, Toni! I'm touched that you would really like to help.

Ronell - Thank you. You did find the one thing I was happy with - the calm mood of the limited palette. I think I will try to stay close to it for the whole series.

Joan - Trouble is if one keeps playing around with the paint on the canvas it eventually starts to lift off t and then I have a real mess.

Mary said...

Robyn, I think you are doing great with oils. I hear you about the colors because I am having the same problem and I also make mud easily which is very frustrating but I'm sure it will be easier each time.

caseytoussaint said...

I can't give any advice about oils, but I think this is looking pretty good. This is a tough challenge - and you're off to a wonderful start.

Liz P said...

Yikes, Robyn! I can't keep up, you are doing so much great stuff! Mad or not, you are a force to be reckoned with! Beautiful work, post after post.
Oh, and don't let that dog get you down, either. Everyone in show biz knows to never work with kids or dogs, 'cause they always steal the spotlight ;~)

Laureline said...

Oh, no! My long comment disappeared into the ether!!!!! Well, now what I'll say is that you are so clearly equal to ANY art task you set your mind to. You've got the talent, the brains, the time---you're on another right track, dear Robyn. It will take a while before you've found your comfort level. Happy New Year, if I haven't said this to you before!

Robyn said...

Mary - Thank you. I am many miles behind where you are up to with your oils.

Casey - Thank you for posting about this challenge, I think it is what I need. I really wanted to do one a day - and you can see how far behind I am already.

Liz - You are so wonderfully encouraging. Thank you. :)

Laura - Thank you kind and generous friend. I can't work out why oil painting is so frustrating when all the books say it's an easy medium for beginners. I'm missing something, somewhere. But I hate the thought of it beating me. So I stubbornly continue when my time would probably be much better spent in other areas.

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