Saturday, February 28, 2009

Green Bowl

Green Bowl with White Pitcher and Apples, oils on canvas board, 11" x 14"

I notice that as we progress through each class, our set-ups become a little more complex. We have more elements to deal with, more colors to harmonize. This one could have used a little more work, but as usual I ran out of time. It's starting to come together for me, though. Each time I see more color, more subtle gradations; so difficult to achieve, yet that's what makes the painting come alive. I understand better how every change in form must be a change in color and vise-verse to build up the forms convincingly.

Friday, February 20, 2009

More Still Life

This was last week's still life: a robin's-egg blue pitcher with tangerines. It was a joy to paint these colors, though I don't think I got them 100% true, the painting somehow seemed to flow naturally during the class.

This week's still life set-up seemed a lot more challenging to me, and it was quite a struggle to find the right colors for this white bowl with the green apples. The apple shapes were also harder to model, even with Lee's instructions. But overall, I think the paintings are improving--my colors are more varied and exciting.

I get to feeling restless on these late winter days, just waiting for the weather to become sufficiently temperate to allow outdoor painting. Come on spring, hurry up!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine First Year Anniversary

Today marks the first year anniversary of Maza Studio Blog. My very first post was on Valentines' Day of 2008 (Dreaming of Spring), and little did I dream then where this venture into the blogosphere would take me. I've sold a number of paintings through this blog and received comments and Email from so many parts of the US as well as a few countries abroad... It's fascinating to see how information still travels at the human level through cyberspace. Eighty-four posts later, some of which became mini-essays and/or evocative vignettes, I've started to blossom as a writer in other sites too, doing op-ed essays for Cubanology Biweekly.

A word of thanks to my subscribers and followers--it's your thoughtful feedback that keeps me going when the going gets tough.

Today I mailed back my Moleskine sketchbook to Art House Co-op in Atlanta after filling it with funky, true-to-life ball-point pen and prismacolor pencil sketches. The image above was my last entry in the sketchbook. The theme for Sketchbook #3 project was "Everyone I Know" and we had about one month to fill the notebooks and mail them back. The sketchbooks are supposed to be exhibited in numerous venues all around the country. In the DC area they will be at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Georgetown on March 3. I'm hoping mine will be among those selected for DC. It's filled with very amusing drawings of people I see in my peregrinations, with telling scenes documenting these past few weeks--some lucky buyer will have a chuckle with it.

To top things off, I had my first sale of the year today--the painting of the Dorsey House Garden was acquired by a lady from Burtonsville who claims the Dorseys among her ancestors. She told me she had done a Google search on Dorsey House and found my painting on this blog, which she liked enough to contact me.

Not bad for Maza Studio Blog's first year. Here's looking forward to the next year: Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Little Mid-Winter Color

These are some of my recent works produced in the still life class (they're both oils on 9" x 12" canvas board). It's really fun to plop down these bright reds and oranges here and there as appropriate. The colors and shapes are challenging, trying to balance one against the other and make the forms "read" with just color. In nature it's much harder to find these colors. We're using bright tungsten floods to light the still life--the amazing thing is to see the actual colors of the objects, what is called "local color" and then see them in the dramatic light of our set-up. It's the difference between night and day!

If you are interested in buying either of these, just send me an E-mail and I will be happy to sign them & sell them at a great price for you. I need to keep funding my art education and this is a fun way to do it.