Saturday, February 12, 2011

A new vase!

Metz Vase with Carnations
14 x 11
oil on Pintura Supremo

block in and thumbnails to try out compositional ideas

variations in firing temperatures results in zinc crystals forming

I am committed to still life while I learn more about how to handle oil paint (this is my 40th oil painting since I started with oils in October 2010). Especially since both Thomas Kitts and Eric Jacobsen insisted that I paint from life and not photos as I learn this medium. Thanks a lot guys! Plein air is tough when it's raining and cold.

You can see the process I used for this painting. Following Eric Jacobsen's instruction, I sketched four thumbnails to try out various designs for my composition. Next, following Thomas Kitts' instruction, I blocked in the big shapes and toned the canvas with paint thinned with Gamsol. The final painting is rough and unfinished, which is a perfect expression of my feelings today.

To spice up my paintings and to keep myself from getting bored, I decided to indulge in the purchase of a new vase. Michael Metz has his beautiful ceramic work in many galleries, but I fell in love with one I saw at Aurora Gallery in Vancouver. As I understand it, Metz varies the temperatures during the firing time and zinc crystals form in amazing patterns on the surfaces of his pieces. I think they look like ginko biloba leaves!

Whenever I listen to "Sing, Sing, Sing" I hear the primitive beat of the drums and feel my heart shift its rhythm to match.


Nancy Van Blaricom said...

I love your new vase... what a show stopper.

Also, I'm crazy for thumb-nails Loved your last post talking about them (love contour drawing too).

I like that you showed your block in. I had a hard time understanding this, I think I'm understanding this better as time goes by.

Congratulations on your 40th oil painting! You're doing great.

William Cook said...

Sing sing sing has always been a favorite of mine. When it comes on I feel like, "All Rise, Sing Sing Sing is in the building". Rhythm of all kinds (especially Latin)seems to go with painting as does just about all forms of music, at least to me. I've been sharing them too. That vase piece is strong. The background really adds power. Is it finished? Thanks for sharing the process. Wm

Celeste Bergin said...

You've done a really good job of this...I like the strong darks. Exceptional shapes...Bravo!

SamArtDog said...

What a great post! I'm glad you indulged and bought this vase. And then painted it. Btw, you're building an admirable stash of oils.

My parents were huge fans of Benny Goodman, so the music flows in my veins. My dad used to laugh at Gene Krupa's insanity. "He did drugs, ya know" he'd say. When you think about it, he was definitely the Ginger Baker of his day.

Carrie H. said...

Hi Katherine,
I think this is very successful work. You must be tickled pink (carnation) only yours are white!

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Thanks, Nancy. I'm glad my block in helped you. I look forward to seeing more of your oil posts!

William: I enjoy your comments! I feel the same way about "Sing, Sing, Sing." When it's right, it's alive! I'm leaving the vase piece as is, so I'd say it's as finished as I will make it.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Celeste! Thanks! Shapes and value are my new favorite words. Trying to avoid mud.

Sam: while my kids played jazz through high school, my life was filled with the sounds of their practicing plus rehearsals with small groups here at our place. We got to hear lots of bands play at festivals and life was filled with music. It's different with them gone, but music touches me to my core. Glad you LOVE it, too!

Thanks, Carrie! I am pleased with this piece. More miles to put on the brush, of course, but it's encouraging. Thanks for your comment!