Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Royal Donut Company

Sometimes I wonder when painting will get easy or when I will know how to get it right the first time. Oh, I guess many things are easier now.  And, I do get a lot of things right the first time.  A challenge is a good thing.  It keeps me groaning growing as a artist.
My friend Cathy asked me to paint her husband's shop so that she could surprise him at Christmas.  I'd do my best to do anything for Cathy.  She's one of the people who takes care of our school, our office, and all of us teachers.  Everything from the copier, to substitutes, to messages, to attendance to pretty much knowing how to take care of every little thing that needs to be taken care of on any day.

I immediately said yes... then the challenges began...
I honestly was not sure at all if I could pull this one off, but I was determined to get each little tiny (ok... for me... huge obstacles) but important request.

Challenge #1
Getting a reference photo when there weren't so many cars that the shop was covered, but not at time when the parking lot was empty either.  Also finding a time early enough in the morning that the lights were on but not so dark things didn't show up.  Never mind the standing in the traffic to get a quick shot!

Challenge #2
It was important to have the red truck and the silver Volkswagon in the picture.  They belong to two guys who she said are customers 365 days a year.  
But... hmmm... Here was my best reference photo.  I loved the lighting.  I loved the wet pavement and the reflections of the lights.  I loved the early morning sky and placement of the cars.  I loved that it looked alive and busy.

Challenge #3
She sent me a photo that included a good image of the sliver bug, but nothing else was right.  I sent my friend, Mona (who happens to be the other person who keeps our school running smoothly) out to snap a photo of her husband's red truck.  After a few texts to get the right angle, we got it. 
 Now what... 

Challenge #4
I'm not good with Photoshop, but I started playing with Publisher and a little cut and paste.
I cropped my photo down to the truck and first car and pasted to cover the third car. 

Then I cropped her photo down to the silver bug and pasted it to cover the last car.

I decided not to paste the truck since there was already a gray truck there.  I'd just change the color and tail lights.

At this point, I began to realize that I just might be able to pull this off.

Challenge #5
If you're very observant, you'll see that by moving the truck and car down, that also changed the pattern of windows and lights on the building.  That I saw right away and dealt with all along the way.
If you're very, very observant, you'll notice that the silver bug is bigger than the car and truck. I was not that observant... sigh... I only realized it after I painted it... Boooo!! A giant VW in the middle of the painting!!! Noooo!!!  Ugh... get over it and fix it.

I think it's all there.

***Revisited / Edited

It's looks great hanging on the wall in the shop.  
And, the girls working there seemed proud of it.

Original Oil Painting on 16" x 20" Wrapped Canvas, Framed

Friday, November 6, 2015

Basket of Strawberries

I set up this still life that reminds me of my favorite painting at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  There are hundreds of beautiful works of art there, but my favorite, favorite, favorite painting is "Basket of Peaches". I have to go stand in front of it for a few minutes every time we go. 
And, yes, I did paint my own version of "Basket of Peaches". One might be worth a million dollars more than the other, but I love them both.
Basket of Peaches
Joseph Decker - 1885
In Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Basket of Peaches
Helen Eaton - 2013
in my sister-in-law, Karen's kitchen

I'm pretty sure this will be the end of my strawberry series.
I'm not saying I'll never paint another strawberry, but it will be a while. 
Strawberry Ice Cream
Strawberry Girl
Strawberries & Blackberries
A Great Big Strawberry

Bowl of Strawberries

Original Oil Painting on 11" x 14" Wrapped Canvas