I like to step back from time to time from creating my own paintings and learn something new from the exercise of copying another artist’s style. My paintings these days are very labor intensive with all the paper cutting and piecing I am doing. I’m looking for a method to help me speed things up by using larger, bold marks in my work. I recently came across the colorful paintings of Erin Fitzhugh Gregory and thought I would see what could be learned from painting in her loose, juicy style. Though I usually paint with acrylics, I switched to oil paints for these still lifes . It was fun trying to emulate her bold brushwork using thick, colorful paint. I struggled to capture Erin’s free, lively style where she represents a flower with just a handful of brushstrokes. Still, I did learn to focus on each brush stroke, getting it right the first time and then leaving it alone in its simplicity.
Of course these exercises aren’t for sale seeing as they are copies of another artist’s work. If you like them, you can buy your own Erin Fitzhugh Gregory original or canvas print at www.efgart.com.
A special thank you to Erin Fitzhugh Gregory for permission to post this blog topic.
The last couple of days, I have shown you a painting in progress. Today is the last steps where you see how I pull all the “randomness” together into a cohesive work. I retraced my original vine sketch to scale (24″ x 24″) to fit the dimensions of the painting panel and transferred it to the surface of my paper collage surface. Then I painting multiple layers of white acrylic paint around the outline to reveal the main subject material. Voila! Colorful vines and flowers appear as if out of the mist. The surrounding white really makes the colors pop. The last touch was to add some red-painted outlines of branches of berries. Some of my favorite parts are actually in the white areas with their detailed but subtle textured surfaces. See the two companion paintings are below.
In my last post, I started a new “vine” painting and showed you the first two steps. Today, we move to step 3. To complete the “under-painting”, I added lots of pieces of colored paper to the panel. I kept the colors bright and bold, weaving and overlapping them to create a surface of bold color and heavy texture. I added several more layers of paper over these initial paper layers shown below. All of the paper was coated with acrylic medium on both sides to glue it to the surface and protect the surface. It looks like a hot mess now, doesn’t it?! Step 4 will be posted tomorrow, and you’ll see how I resolve all of this random color into a coherent design.
Back on April 6, 2014, I posted some small paintings I did of the New School building in New York City. I can’t seem to get enough of this building. So here I go again with another larger, abstract version of it. I’m just living with the painting for now, waiting for it to tell me if it’s finished or not. Let me know what you think. Stop or keep going? Suggestions? Thank you in advance for your input.
“New School Refractions”, Acrylic on Panel, 24″ x 30″.
I’m guessing many of you are pretty tired of winter by now. With the Winter Olympics are over, all this snow doesn’t seem interesting anymore without Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin skiing through the stuff. My painting of sun dabbled Florida palm trees is to remind you of warmer days to come. Now all we need is a lounge chair, a Mai Tai (umbrella optional) and we’ll be all set. =)