Thursday, January 03, 2008

Third Oil Painting and Art Goals 2008

Old & New Oil on canvas 30x40cms

Some of you may recognise this picture from the value sketch I did earlier this year. It's from my own photo of part of our village where old architecture meets new. I've been working on the painting at my Wednesday afternoon painting group for weeks. Everyone laughs because I am so slow with oils. To date, I've pretty much been on my own learning the medium. This is only my third painting. I've now started my fourth - Flora, a detail from Botticelli's Primavera (Spring) which is in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. By copying a master I'm hoping I will get greater benefit from of the experience of our Italian teacher.


This is the first time I've attempted to set art goals and is due to the good influence of some of my favourite art bloggers such as Katherine, Laura, Ronell , Shirley and all the others I haven't managed to get to yet.

Mine is a rough list but better than no list.

1. Learn to make more use of the wonderful tools I have in Photoshop CS and Illustrator. Does anyone else have trouble learning and remembering how to use these programs?

2. Study Italian EVERY day. I know it's not art but it is necessary if I'm going to get all that is on offer here both personally and artistically.

3. Sell a painting (and I don't mean to a friend!)

4. Come to grips with oil painting by become faster and more confident.

5. Paint more watercolours and make more pen & ink sketches en plein air.

6. Share more of our life in Tuscany through my blog.

7. Achieve a quick sketch each day (even if I have to learn to trash a few). Shirley of Paper and Threads inspired me by revealing in her goals that she's 'not willing to take big risks and be really playful on the pages' of her daily sketchbook because it has become a precious visual journal. Shirley is going to overcome this problem by continuing to keep her illustrated journal but to also carry loose paper for risky and playful sketches. Which inspires my last goal......

8. Be more risky and playful.


Becky Cheung said...

Nice art work. ;)

Dermott said...

9. Tickle my tummy on demand.

Anonymous said...

I'm at work (Ssshhhhhh!) and wouldn't have seen this wonderful oil painting if you hadn't told me about today's blog in your email! It is gorgeous! You probably know that I prefer architecture to landscapes, to live among, see, and sketch. I LOVE this piece! Congratulations on your goals and please keep sharing.

Stacy said...

Robyn, what a lovely oil painting! It seems to me that you are learning quickly, even if it doesn't feel that way to you. I've had to learn to accept that I am a slow painter. Fast doesn't necessarily mean good. Work in the way that lets you be your best.

I like your goals too. I am a goal setter and will be posting mine as soon as my head cold has cleared and I can think properly.

While you are studying Italian, I will be trying to learn German for a family vacation this summer. Years ago I knew enough to get by, but most of what I knew is long gone!

Anonymous said...

Love your oil Robyn, it has beautiful clarity and light! One thing I want to do as well, is getting back to oils this year. I have done almost none last year and I do love it, so this is a journey I'd like to tag along on!
You make me feel so good by naiming me under "good influence"...I need that tonight, thank you!
Good luck with these goals of yours and keep on believing...there is always a parking spot waiting, I know, I do the same thing.

Making A Mark said...

This is so GOOD!!!! And your commitments for 2008 are rather good too...... :)

You'll achieve your goal of selling a painting with this one - no doubt about that - it's stunning. If you can bear to part with it. I think learning paintings come into a very special category of 'keepers'.

I like that one of Shirley's. I often take two sketchbooks out with me.

And I'd love to hear more about Tuscany. Maybe Dermott ought to lead us all on a series of introductions to all the local felines? ;)

Robyn Sinclair said...

Shirley, thank you! I love the image of you checking blogs at work. But we will keep your guilty secret ;)

Stacy - Thank you. Maybe we could start the Slow Painting movement to go along with the Slow Food crowd.

Ronell - I'd love you to start painting oil again, for the company and also so I can pick your brain about technique. Thank you for your encouragement too ;)

Katherine - I love it when you like something I've done. :)
I can't wait for Dermott to spot your comment about him conducting a series of introductions to local cats!!!!

Dermott said...

Yeah yeah, like something along the lines of: "This is little Miffy and this is how you prepare cat crostini".

Lin said...

LOVELY LOVELY LOVELY, Robyn!!!! I like this very much -- as well as your art goals!! And yes, I do INDEED do NOT remember anything I do in Photoshop -- ever!! SIGH! HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Joan said...

Robyn, These sound like good goals to me! You're doing really well with the oils. You may be slow, but what does that matter? You've got nice texture in this village scene. Keep up the good work. Ciao!

df said...

would love to hear more about life in Tuscany. I'm planning a working trip to Italy in autumn.
And yes, learning photoshop is easy, it's just a "use it or lose it" program for everyone. Unfortunately, you need to use it everyday. Tough to do that and also get work done in a sketchbook. I'm trying to learn Corel Painter on top of everything else. Good luck on your goals. They sound great.

Kerstin Klein said...

at the first glance, it looks like a photo. wow!

mARTa said...

I've been using photoshop for years but I know I haven't even begun to explore what it can do. I now have illustrator as well and haven't a clue.
I love this painting. I, like Shirley, prefer buildings to trees *grin* You've done a great job here. Keep plodding along, your oils are beautiful.
I think you should keep saving your pennies and make a trip so cal.....I'm on the way to Australia aren't I?

Judybec said...

Great painting! I thought it was a photo at first also.

Lin said...

BTW, Congratulations on your winning the 2 Baci in a Pinon Tree contest!!! Way to GO!

Quilt knit said...

Photoshop is tremendous! Work with it everyday. I started on the PowerMac. The first photoshop available for the minions and illustrator, QuarkXpress, Etc. Love and miss them daily.
I am looking forward to the iMac computer. Because of some "things" Our Goal of the New computer has been a little harder to accomplish, but almost there.
Dermott I am sure will give us a great tour of Tuscany.
I am sure you sell a painting.
I just want you to be able to tell me how to ship a wet oil painting? Like the one a day oil painters.
Yes, I have asked. No responses. I did oils and one painting took I know over a year to dry with the darks and reds. How can you varnish and ship a wet painting. Yes, I have heard about using the spray varnishes while the painting are wet.
I also, know a famous local artist that spent the last years of His life repainting His paintings because of the "Do you expect it to last a 100yrs?, Who is going to notice anyway? Well, someone noticed His."

(((circle of painting Hugs)))

Yummy Painting.


Anonymous said...

Hi Robyn,
I remember your sketches from Wet Canvas -- last year? the year before? You're doing great with your sketches and paintings! This piece looks confident and bright. One of the hardest things to do with oils is keep the contrast and not let over-mixing turn everything into a mid-tone. You're doing it. Keep painting!

juj said...

Robyn - that painting is STUNNING, and I personally don't think it matters how long it took to get there because look where you ended up!!

Happy New Year Robyn - I hope you accomplish everything you set your heart to, and a few nice surprises find you along the way.

Robyn Sinclair said...

Laraine - I'm trying to remember which forum on WC we met. I can't trace you from here.

Casey Klahn said...


Karen Cole said...


I love your painting. I feel like I am about to walk up the walkway and enter that sunny tuscan piazza. Your colors are lovely.

I would love to invent a USB cable I could hook up to my brain and download everything there is to know about photoshop. I have no patience.

Your list is wonderful. I may borrow some of your ideas.

Happy and healthy 2008!

Laura Frankstone said...

Excellent!! You never cease to amaze me, Robyn! Btw, I'm hopeless with Photoshop, too. And I've had a couple of workshops---I don't practice afterwards the way I should.
I really applaud your number 7---do lots of sketches! And I know you're going to kill me, but I'd definitely stay away from that Italian watercolor teacher of yours---his style puts a damper on yours. So, yes---then you can really do number 8, which is something you were born to do. (*ducks* before being deleted ;D>)

quirkyartist said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I once lived in Italy (Rome) too. I learnt Photoshop online from and also (the art part) from Janee Aronoff on They teach you to know it very well, and I have only met one teacher in my time at art school who knew it as well as me. And it is very reasonable in price. Please have a granita di caffe for me(perhaps when summer comes)!

Robyn Sinclair said...

Laura - No need to duck, particularly not after such a lovely comment about my work. Thank you. I'm not always going to paint in my teacher's style. His passion for and knowledge of his homeland is inspiring. He has taught me a great deal, particularly how to actually see what is all around me. I'm looking forward to painting expeditions with him in the spring.

Wendy - They are terrific photoshop links. Many thanks. What a coincidence you having also lived in Italy. I tracked down some of your Italian pictures on your site. Lovely.

Judi, Casey and everyone, sorry I've been slow to respond to your wonderful comments. I have been enjoying visiting all your blogs though.

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