A Covid Kind of Christmas

Our model for last night’s Zoom figure group came in holiday colors and a mask, perfect for a COVID kind of Christmas.

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I began with a few of my favorite Holbein colors, quinacridone violet, jaune brillant, and ultramarine blue, and then added smaller marks with color pencils.

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What’s That You Say?

In the last 48 hours, California has recorded more than 100,000 positive cases of Covid. Our hospitals are full and it makes me resolved to continue to stay at home, as we have been ordered to do. All this makes me glad that I have my online art class and homework to do.

I started this piece by beginning with random marks and a few preselected colors, all the while attending to the elements and principles of design. Then I noticed a face and some little figures scattered throughout the page. They evoked a feeling for me of the distracting thoughts and sounds that come from multitasking while listening to the news. Anyway, those little figures got my attention and I forgot all about my class and had just fun. It is a good thing I have a few more days to get my homework finished.

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I have been Zoom sketching on Tuesday evenings with my cousin’s group in Fresno since the spring. They are accomplished and supportive, so a great group to draw with each week.

They have a steady group of interesting models. Every few months the models return for a repeat session and tonight Gary came back, this time with a rancher hat. I loved his pose, it made me think of all the hardworking men in my life, resting after a day’s work in the sun.

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An OwlCat with a Rose

Continuing along with my class, I am amused at the images that can emerge from putting down random marks and paint. In this case, after I finished the first steps of putting down some lines and color, an OwlCat was waiting to be pulled out of the page by drawing in some lines and blocking out other lines.

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Violet and Yellow

Since I am pretty much a plein air painter, but painting outside in Southern California is not OK for a few weeks, I am taking a class from an abstract artist, Kathleen Scoggin. The focus is on the elements and principles of design.

When I am out painting, I usually look for a composition with shape and contrast. I start with the dominant part and build the painting around it, while doing my best to be true to the scene.

In this class we are thinking about visual concepts and building up a painting with these in mind. We start without an image, make some random marks, and then think about how all the parts interact with each other. This is a very different approach and pretty hard for me. This is my sixth abstract piece this week and the first that I actually like.

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A Stay- Home Order, Again

Our California Hospitals are at capacity and so our state has had to order us to stay home again. I am glad our governor is taking action but am sad that I will not be going out painting for some time.

As I did a warm up sketch of our model for today’s Tuesday night Zoom group, I thought he looked like he could be thinking about the stay-home order as well. So, for my second sketch, I drew over a discarded landscape of mine, thinking I could make it seem like he was looking out the window. My goal was to show the feeling of being separated from the world beyond our homes.

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