Tuesday, December 23, 2014

New Work

 Another Face I remember, m/m with aluminum leaf on canvas.
10x10". I don't know who this is. a composite of many faces
observed throughout these many years. I had just finished this
when I heard news of a friend's passing. Then, a lone seagull
glowing pink and orange in sunset light passed overhead.
blessed dreams Susan Mackey. 

Self Portrait, sort of an encounter with a personal
art history. 10x10" m/m on aluminum leaf on canvas.
This is an outgrowth of earlier 'tape' constructed drawings.

best to you with the Light of the Season
with blessings for a healthy and bright New Year's
to you and yours.


Friday, December 5, 2014

color or not

 the color and the gesture didn't get along. i've gone through work i've done during the past year and realize that the work i am happiest with has a limited palette and a strong gesture. i'll let up on myself know. the painting can use a bit more warmth. for the moment it has to dry.

detail of the center. there is magic here. the paint brush glides.

best and onward,

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ghosts of Versailles continues

Have been working on this steadily since October 18 or thereabouts. It has been scrubbed down many times to the initial drawing. The sizes kept getting away from me. sometimes i got artsy, and the paint got sloppy and dirty and the medium wasn't right for a while, the paint was curdling. so, that had to be scraped down. Sizes feel right. still working out the gestures and twists. the feet look clumsy here, the painting looks more solid. there are some color changes that aren't showing up in this. will clean the brushes and give it one more go.

I never expected this baby would take this long to deliver. every day i wondered if this will be the day that it all comes together. it's not something that can be foretold. 

best and onward,

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Another Ghost of Versailles

still working on the Ghosts of Versailles.  This is a 20x20"  oil on canvas that I banged out late yesterday afternoon.  now, back to the other painting.  It just isn't coming together in a way that feels right.  This other painting gave me some clues.  Will see how it goes today.  changed up the palette with addition of alizarin and phthalo green to give some punch to the values.

best, and onwards,

Sunday, November 9, 2014


i signed it today then crossed it out  there is a freshness to the drawing that appeals to me.  i will turn it to the wall and let it it dry for a few days.  there is a fresh canvas that is triple primed with a burnt sienna imprimatura ready to go.  will put it on the easel and move onto the next one of the ghosts of versailles.  i think this painting feels very french.  what do you think?

best and onwards, 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Ghosts of Versailles, continues

I've moved some stuff around, enlarged a few shapes.  got the big brush out yesterday.  today i am glazing with raw sienna.  oil on canvas 24x24"

So what have you been painting lately?  having any more luck than i am?

best and onwards,

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ghost of Versailles re-grouping

Added a new few new colors to the palette:  manganese blue ad citron yellow.  The manganese blue is not a true manganese, which darkens to green, it is a pthalo blue mixed to the hue of manganese.  good in tints.  the citron yellow is a chrome or zinc yellow, not sure.  used to brighten ochre. raw umber:  a very dark yellow, burnt umber is the darkest yellow.  burnt sienna, the darkest orange, grumbacher red, a true red, neither blue, nor orange in tint or mixture. titanium white. french ultramarine dark.  i can bust out a lot of color with these babies.

This morning the grid was returned to, re-sized the masses, eliminated some stuff, beefed up the whites. This is the oddest painting I have ever worked on.  Still trying to live up to my potential.  

best, and onwards,

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ghost of Versailles..and Benjamin Franklin's balloon.

Yesterday Nova featured the making of Ben Franklin's balloon at Versaille.  Part of the program was about the colors that the were used to create King Louis' gold on a blue background.  There were very strict recipes.  The blue was a cobalt base, the golds were shades of ochre.  Very good...it confirmed my instincts about painting that gold tone.

This morning I've started introducing the deepest ochres.

My right hand likes to go fast with the brush.  The canvas is only 24x24" and I don't want sloppy drippy stuff going on all over the place.  It is very challenging for me as the right hand has an innate knowledge, and I keep saying, not yet, we'll save the best for last.

Below are various details of the painting, any of which, could stand alone as a painting. Sometimes I fall in love small sections of a painting and decide to rework an entire painting around that one small section.  Instead of starting another painting, or derailing the work in progress, the prints of these details get re-worked into monotypes.

best, and onward

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ghosts of Versailles

This is a work in progress, an oil painting of my friend Paula and I in the Hall of Mirrors, on the left, and a bunch of tourists.  The work is progressing slowly, I'm holding back on a heavy handed brush with this one.

Almost daily updates are updated on facebook.  I'm debbie.clarke.5011,
My daughter Elizabeth has asked me to start posting less on facebook and to
start blogging, so here I am. 

best, and onward

Friday, August 1, 2014

Perch with a View!

This morning I realized that there is an endless supply of figures
to reference, right outside my window!  The sidewalk 
widens directly across the street to the view of the Cripple Cove, all the
way to Magnolia.  Folk frequently stop to gawk, gab, admire, meditate.

This morning there was a woman that never stopped moving.

I kept trying to draw the landscape.  duh.  figures are more dyamic.

best and onward,

Monday, July 28, 2014

Ghost of Versailles.

it was hot, last summer.  the gardens, dusty, the winds out of Africa.  You have to see the Hall of Mirrors, You have to see the Hall of Mirrors.  We did. It was crowded.  It glittered.  We took pictures.  A document.  We were hot.  We were thirsty.  We sat at a dainty table.  ordered some polite afternoon refreshment.  Versailles closed.  I was within 30 feet of that brown giant of Napoleon taking the crown from the Pope. just 30 feet.  and I really wanted to see it.  to glean something.  Josephine, I had seen.  maybe that's all I needed to see.  I cried to Paula, I get it.  please, no more brown paintings.  Rubens had turned into a pasty bore.  My potato nosed lover was not a consolation.  Do not remember the Vermeer, other than to say 'it is very small.' and the walls were red.  or not.  too much, too much.

the photos haunt me.  how to turn this delicate drawing into a 'something' is on my mind.  

a tornado hit Revere this morning.  just a spit across the water.  

i was supposed to be drawing.  it is I.  and Paula.  and a bunch of ghosts...err..tourists.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Scent of Paint.

 my studio is in my kitchen.  the oil paint gets messy.  i have nearby
sheets of blotting paper to cover this up when i am done working for
the day.  i don't need inspiration to work.  i just work.  right now i'm
still working on the 22" square with the standing figure.  it's leaning 
against a gold verre eglomise of keys.  it's not finished.

this morning the scent of the paint was a bit heavy in the kitchen.
i took the paper off the palette.  got out the easel and started to work.
decided to take the figure off the center of the canvas.  re drawing,
trying to relate some color notes.  not too picky.  just trying to 
stay out of the center.

2 hours this morning brings me to this.  i will leave the set up for a bit.
go for a short walk.  have some lunch.  and start again.  i have six hours
to paint.  or stretch another canvas.  maybe both.

best, and onward.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Cezanne Phase

It was '98 or '99 when Fred Kepler studied with me.  We both painted when he came for his lessons. My paintings were used as 'training' paintings that i used to demonstrate various techniques, color mixing, approaches to composition, etc. as the painting developed. The Cezanne phase painting above is the result of Fred's visits to the studio over an 8 week period.  

The still life above is 26x32" .  We  set the still life up in the center of the floor under studio lights which were staggered warm/cool/warm/cool in overhead tracts.  Cezanne was the compositional reference.  I did not use Cezanne color theory in my work; I needed to learn how to use black and white gray.   That was my lesson.  Fred's lesson was composition with warm/cool color theory and drawing thrown in.  

Today Fred visits the world's great paintings with his dear Lenore.  I have seen some terrific paintings that he has done of Lenore, of other people standing in front of the masterpieces.  He has learned to teach himself by copying the best paintings, while sharing his love of art with his wife and having a great time.  He has even come to know the joy of selling some of his work!  

So glad I did not throw this painting away.  I was tempted to over the years, but some of those creases are just too awesome to not be admired.  oh, the braided rug is one of the Willis family treasures.  I sure hope I didn't get too much paint on that beauty.

best and onward,

i'm getting over a nasty head cold with the double whammy of seasonal allergies.  i've taken care of business today, and looked at my garden.  i'll have more energy tomorrow.  then, back to the paint.

Monday, May 19, 2014

It Starts with the Paint

this 22" Square has been drying for a few days.
the surface is now dry.  will start with turquoise.  haven't been able 
to mix it, maybe a pthaloblue base will work?  this has been in the
back of my mind for days.

this morning i rummaged through my art supply stash looking for damar
varnish.  came up empty on the varnish; found a giant tube of Winsor & Newton 
"Turquoise" which is Pthalocyanine Blue, a pigment derived from copper.  
I mixed a turquoise note for the center of the figure, then through the addition of white, 
grumbacher red or cad yellow light i arrived at violet. the result follows.

the color changes the figure a bit.  i have a sense it needs
to be shorter.  the palette knife and rag serve as drawing
tools.  holding off on the brush.  the color spots will be left
as reference points.  the drawing needs some work.

best, and onward.

ps:  Elizabeth I'm thinking about Michener and starting with the paint.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

new ground 22x22"

 a beginning.  another standing figure?

 that chair looks pretty inviting.

so i sat down with the sharpie in hand.  hahahahah! 
i stopped .  this reminds me of an art teacher from when
i was young.  am trying to remember who.  can smell the paint,
dust and oils.  i recognize his pose.  am wondering if it is Ken Gore.
Ken usually stood when he taught.  maybe he sat down when
he drew me.

the drawing is in the priming layer.  i can go back in with gesso or leave it.

stretch another.  onward with best,

Monday, May 12, 2014

The progression of Julian Dines

 this is where i left off, last wednesday.
 and then i redrew with pastel

 and i kept drawing with pastel, oil, knife and rag.

 and then i complicated the shapes, space and color
 but, i got too picky so i got outthe big brush.

and then refined the drawing again. i'm creeping up on a turquoise.

best, and onward,

Saturday, May 10, 2014

I'm a grandmother.

My Elizabeth and her Fiona Belle. 
 mom and baby and daddy are doing well.

feeling blessed.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Schnabel Dines. :)

here we go again

a wee bit serious and a horse's head.

 and this is where i left it yesterday.  will try to stay away from the Michelangelo feet.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Gray Canvas 22x22"

decided to try another standing self portrait

yesterday's efforts before

i scrubbed it down.  today i will begin again.

some reference material. and a cloud formation i saw out there last night.  it's that blue drawing.

if i were interested in the out there, there is a lot to choose from.  too many choices for me.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

and I Begin Again

new palette:  titanium white, cobalt blue, burnt sienna, yellow ocher.  a photo reference.

canvas started earlier this winter, time to give another go.

hello Paula, hello Debbie.
there's enough information here to either leave as a sketchy drawing;
or develop further.
i'm going to leave it for now and move on.

best and onward,

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hakim's is continued, and done.

here's the palette.  will add some red to the shadows today.  refine the edges of some shapes.  and paint.  i'll update this post throughout the day.  at the end of the day i will post the progress report to ArtStack.

well, "Hakim's or this is what it was like when i worked in the bazaar..." may be finished.  i've run out of paint medium.  i'm setting this aside.  will look at it somewhere down the road.  phew.  feeling and intense electric energetic that i have not felt for a while.  it only happens when i'm working on a canvas with oiils.  maybe i should do it again.  later.

well, i had a bit more to say.  it may be done now.  unless i decide it has to have a face.

the media jar is dry.  and the surface is turning to soup.  i have covered it with a dust cloth and will take a look in another day or so.  oh, soup...it's on the stove and needs my attention.  the scent is not pleasant with the paint fumes as a back drop.  opening all windows.  welcoming the wind.  then i will make soup.  and no, Helen Van Wyck i'm not teaching how to make soup today.

best and onward,

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Studio closed for maintenance today

i did not paint.  today was a looking day, a doing day: some laundry, some kitchen pick up, other general pick up, personal maintenance, some more looking.   the air is soggy, yesterday's paint film is gummy.  i need some damar, and the good smelling air turp in the green can, this acid that i'm working with really gets in the way  today was a gray bright day, for lazy reading, light napping, light tapping of the keys.  today was a day to make some broth, to do fill in shopping and smiling at new folk at the market.  

oh, and i felt these steps to the low tide today.  maybe one day i will paint it.  i don't know.  it is difficult.  the boat/harbor thing must be a calling that i don't respond to.  so why do i stay here, doing this contrary art?  it's my hometown.  there are very few figure painters here.  maybe i should focus on that.  maybe not.  oh, here are the steps to the black mud:

the bottom is 30 or 40 feet below my perch.  it is a really deep thought...er..mucky place. so boxy.

tomorrow, onward, paint.