Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Carousel Summer"
18x26 Oil On Stretched Linen

One of my favorite summer memories with my children are taking them to the Como Zoo Carousel. I remember how excited I was the first time taking my daughter when she was only one year old and sitting with her on the horse, she loved it! So, we'd get off, get another ticket and get back in line until she had enough. Not quite sure who was having more fun, her or me. . . Then my son came along and I'd take them both, as the years went by they graduated to me standing between both their horses holding onto the backs of their shirts, to "Mom, we can do it all by ourselves!" and me standing on the outskirts of the carousel taking pictures as they would come around. My daughter was always totally in to 'riding the horse' like a real cowgirl and my son was always looking off.
Needless to say, this painting is a special piece for me, I've had the idea (concept) in my mind for a long time now and it wasn't until recently that I've put that concept onto canvas. I think I knew what I wanted to paint but maybe wasn't quite ready to actually paint it. I know that a good concept is just not enough to make a painting, it takes all the elements and planning to carry through to a complete and solid piece.
So, I started getting ideas down with pencil. Very rough but that was all I needed, was the design and division of space. Throughout the creation of this painting, I never forgot what it was that I wanted to capture in this piece. I LOVE the movement of a carousel, it feels like whimsical magic to me and THAT was what I wanted, that memory and that feeling! I did several quick sketches and this was the design that I felt captured my memories with my children.
I had an old strip of linen mounted on gator board, so scaled it out to make 2 sketches, plus the color scheme I wanted.

This is an average of the color harmony that I wanted to carry through my painting.

Using my pencil sketch, I came up with this value study to capture and translate the light as I remember it. I'm really drawn to this lighting and the solid shapes of the darks here.

After working on concept, design and value, I decided to put them down on canvas in little larger study, this is an 9 1/2 x14. It's very raw but I could see where I needed to go from here.
Wasn't quite satisfied with the larger color study and thought I'd better simplify the masses a bit. This is a tiny sketch, something like 4x6 ish?
And the final painting is above!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pear And Flowers Demo

"Flowers And A Pear"
14x11 Oil On Linen
I really enjoy painting flowers and water. I think that with my still life pieces I get absorbed in the painting and lose myself a bit. I'm finding myself 'using' the still life that is in front of me as inspiration rather than copying the exact colors shapes and values that I see. I care a lot about the gesture and growth of the flowers and their color relationships.

In this piece I was really drawn to the green in the pear and the stems and how they harmonize with each other. THAT to me was the reason I painted this piece.

I start my pieces be looking at the large, simple, almost abstract shapes and angles. I used a wash of magenta at this point.

Typically I like to get my largest masses in first. The reason I find this helpful is that color is only relative to what surrounds it so it's important to start getting your color in. Then I start getting in my darks that provide a structure or foundation for you color. Also drawing in lines that separate between light and dark.

Once I get some darks in I start massing in some lit areas to get the color harmony going.

The comment I hear from more people is that 'water is difficult' to paint. I don't agree, in fact I love painting water of any kind. I think the first thing to realize is that it's just color and value. Don't think of it as 'clear water' but rather shapes of color. When painting this clear vase, I broke down the larger simple shapes within the mass (vase) and asked myself if it was light/darker and cooler/warmer than it's neighbor color (in this case the background) it really makes it simple to paint when you think of it like this. Also, your paint needs to go on clean! I try and load my brush when painting in the stems and get them down with one stroke. Oh, and only put in what you see when you squint!

Whenever I paint, I'm always asking myself 'is it in light or dark?" Keep lights in light and darks in dark.

Flowers have character to them and each type of flower has their own uniqueness. When I'm painting flowers I really zone out and paint how they 'feel' not necessarily every little pedal.

Highlights on the vase and almost finished. . . .There's a little glare on this photo, I'll take a better one tomorrow so you can see the subtlety.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

January Car Painting

One of my favorite times to paint outside is January. I find great harmony in winter painting and working directly from life is so much easier than working in the studio, with of coarse the exception of enduring the elements. It's COLD! So, car painting is a great option for those of us living in this part of the country. Not to say that I never stand outside in winter and paint, there are just some places you can't get to from a vehicle, but a quiet county road provides a great place to pull over and do a painting from the comfort of a car.
This past week I went painting with Marc. We thought it would be interesting to show two different interpretations of the same place, same time, same light. When we paint together, we intentionally do not look at what the other is painting until we are finished with our work. This day in particular was very interesting working in two different mediums. Our color is quite similar, which seems to often be the case. It's fun to see the different compositions.
" January Light"
Oil On Linen 8x10 Kami Polzin
Me car painting. I am using my Easy L Classic on my lap, it's perfect for painting in the car. I love that box! I'm painting with a fairly limited palette. A jacket in the window makes a good sun shade. :)

Marc's gouache. 5x7 A little jem!

Marc Hanson "gouach'ing" :) His stearing wheel and a heavy duty clamp serves as a great easel!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

January 2 Day Workshop!

14x11 Oil On Linen Panel
"Red Still Life"
I will be teaching a 2 day still life workshop at my studio in Stillwater January 16 and 17, 2010! For more information on this workshop please visit my web site!
I wish everyone in the year ahead and beyond, much Love, Happiness, Peace, and Health!
Happy New Year!