Monday, April 26, 2010

Fish on Sticks, 36 x 48, oil on canvas

This is my last week at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. The kids have been a lot of fun. I probably learned more from them – especially the young ones. I painted this while I was there. It was inspired by the small study I did a few weeks ago. The building in the middle was added a few years ago and was designed to echo a night light. The architect wanted to create a form that glowed in the dark. I chose to do this painting in late evening light to show the clear separation of warm light and shadow. The fish are in shadow along with the left planes of the buildings while the sky and right planes of the structures are bathed with light. The fish are positioned higher in the sky than they actually are. I liked the whimsical idea of fish swimming through the sky. The kids all knew it right away as the fish parking lot.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Paint Bag, 9 x 12, oil on Panel

This is my paint bag, yesterday. It is one of those things I use everyday but don't think much about–until its gone. That's what happened a couple years ago when my old paint bag was stolen from the back of my truck. I never did a painting of that one. It was a part of my daily routine for 15 years. Yesterday as the afternoon light raked across the brushes and wrinkled tubes of paint I decided to do this oil sketch. Everyday objects when painted become more important to us. In this case my common tool bag became a subject for a still life painting, which makes it not so common now.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Big Fish

This large mouth bass is one of three huge fish outside the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. They are mounted on ball bearings so that the 400 pounders can move freely with the breeze. I'm the F.I.N.E. Artist in Residence for the month of April. As part of my first day I did this painting in the parking lot and then finished it inside. The kids really enjoyed seeing it because it is so familiar to them. I'm giving the kids lessons on seeing nature as shapes. I'm using cut-out cardboard shapes that are painted with solid colors to show the importance of seeing the silhouette. A common mistake for lots of artists is to render detail before painting the large simple masses. The kids got it right away. They just grabbed the biggest brush they could find and went for it.

This fish above is named "Al" for the Allegheny River. It is 9" x 12", oil on panel.