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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mission Contemplation, Mission San Juan Capistrano oil painting

"Mission Contemplation" Oil on Belgian Linen, 16"W x 12"H X .75"D. There is an air of antiquity all over the grounds of the Mission San Juan Capistrano. One of spirituality that is also heavy in the air. The gardens are abundant and gorgeous too. You can not help but want to sit on a bench and soak in the beauty of the scene. It is a peaceful place when there are not bus loads of elementary school children on a field trip there. The focal point of this painting is the lady on the bench looking as though she was just thinking about her life. I kept the focal area tight and purposely loosened up the flowers, trees and shrubs. The brickwork on the mission and the stucco was painted to look rustic and aged like it really is. I had to include the cross on top of the bell tower to add more spirit to the imagery. I truly enjoy coming to the Mission SJC, it is a place of contemplation. I treated this as a work of art and not as a realistic recording of a place. There are plenty of marks of my brushwork in rich dimension in this work. Price is $385 unframed or $425.00 framed in a dark wood, wide edge plein air frame.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Laguna Beach Oil Painting by Esther J. Williams and I got a new Canon Camera, Rebel T1i EOS 500D

"Laguna Waves - Heisler Park" 16"W X 12"H, oil on linen over board, 1/4"D. I painted on location with my Socalpapa group of plein air artists on 08/28/09 in Heisler Park, Laguna Beach. Any artist can set up their easel along the rail on the bluff there and you are bound to find unlimited seascapes to paint. I love this place to paint. I actually started this one last year on a similar day and only captured the general mass shapes, so it acted as an under painting. I blended my oil colors on the palette before I applied them again. I wanted to first match the colors already laid down. The beauty of this painting is that the grain of the linen is not as visible as in my other plein air paintings using a medium grain linen. That's because I layered more oil on top of the dried oil. Also, the multitude of colors is high since I added color upon color, although they were the natural colors I could mix to match with the scenery. I used a technique taught by Kevin Macpherson to re-wet the areas of a previously dried painting with colors blended on the palette to match and then you innovate to add that spontaneous creativity that erupts. I have read both of his books. I spent more hours on this than a usual plein air painting on a clean surface though. I wanted to record new things I saw and change things from last year that I no longer felt were needed. I felt a shift in awareness and evolvement from being in this same spot last year. Growth is frustrating. In the end I felt better. I took an image of this on location when I thought I was done. My camera then broke down, it was my old Olympus E-20N SLR. I downloaded the image, so it was saved. Then I was faced with buying a new camera or fixing this Olympus. I decided it was time to upgrade to a better technology and higher mega pixels. I ordered a new SLR online. I had to go 4 days without taking any pictures, it was traumatic to me! I just got the Canon EOS, Digital Rebel T1i 500D this week. What a lot of camera in a lightweight housing, it is jam packed with features and has 15.1 mega pixels. The above image is the Canon's and to compare image & pixel quality, the Olympus 5 mega pixel E-20n is the image below that I took at the coast before the shutter froze. I used that camera for 6 years and it served me well. But it was more fuzzy with less mega pixels and the colors never matched my artwork's natural colors. I would spend hours in Photoshop adjusting levels, colors, profiles and exposure. Now, I feel exhilarated in owning a Canon SLR! I will be able to show my artworks off much more clear, colorful and brighter. With the Canon, you can see the intricate brush strokes and crisp edges. I can even use these large megabyte images to make giclees from selected works or enter sharp images into juried exhibitions. I am psyched! I am in love with this camera, it's odd how an artist can get depressed when her camera breaks down. It is like my life blood to have a great camera and now I feel whole again!