Art Adventures

Posts tagged ‘fruit’

We had just gone to Costco (love it/hate it) and bought one of those HUGE bags of limes for our weekend graduation party (No one can drink a Mexican beer without a slice of lime, right? It’s just not allowed), when I realized just what I really had in my hot little hands. That’s right. A painting opportunity! When we got home, the afternoon sun streamed through the juniper trees into my backyard and I realized that I just couldn’t pass up an chance to paint these beautiful orbs of green. My husband wondered what in the world I was doing as I carried out a wooden cutting board, my camera, a knife, Grandma’s bowl, and the bag of limes to the backyard. Though I think, by now, he pretty much gets that I have weird behavior. NEVER QUESTION AN ARTIST. Ok? We just have stuff going on and it may not make sense at the time, but maybe, eventually, it will become evident what we are doing. Well…I said MAYBE…

Anyway, I snapped off some photos of the limes:

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Photo reference for lime painting. Taken in my back yard.

Next, I drew it out on a piece of watercolor paper that I had gessoed. Blue painter’s tape held the paper securely to GatorBoard to keep it from moving around and keep the edges down while I painted. Once the paper has been gessoed, it does not shrink, bubble or curl up like regular watercolor paper, so there is no need to soak and stretch the paper as is traditionally done. Here’s the drawing:

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Drawing of Slice of Summer

As you might be able to see, I removed one of the limes from the background to keep visual confusion at a minimum. I also elevated the horizon line to the top third of the painting. This provided a contrast to the green of the lines and made the limes “pop”. Here is the finished painting:

Slice of Summer copyright

Finished. A Slice of Summer. 8×8 unframed on gessoed watercolor paper. $30 today only.

I love the background purples. By spraying water into semi-wet watercolor and dabbing it off, amazing texture can result, which is exactly what happened here. The limes are fresh and bursting with citrus-y color. Enjoy the Thirty-Dollar Thursday, everyone! Message me if you want the lime painting for $30 today. These sell for $50 in my online store. First come, first serve! They have been selling like Hot Cakes every Thursday, so if you want it, jump on it right away.

Visit and “Like” me on my FB page for more info and upcoming events. I’ll be having a studio sale this summer. Make sure you follow me and like me here (scroll down to the bottom of the page and “follow”, which means you get an email only when I post), and on FB to be “in the know”. LOTS of paintings will be on SUPER-SALE. I haven’t pinned the dates down yet, so stay connected and stay tuned! Thanks everyone for your support! Feed the Beast, people!

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If I had to do it all over again, I would have done it differently. What, you ask? No, not my first boyfriend, though that experience probably would benefit from some improvement if I could re-write it! Wait…do I even remember it correctly?!

I do digress…If I had to do it all over again, I would have thrown out the pear. The offending fruit squished and exploded slime all over when I reached for it. Now, to clarify, I LOVE pears. But exploding pears? Not so much. And my freshly mopped floor? Not so clean anymore. So this painting reminds me of my volcanic pear incident. As I’m painting it, though, I’m thinking smell and taste, and all this I love. But I wouldn’t have grabbed the super-ripe pear, had I known. This painting, however, has been a bit of a bear…er…pear problem. How to make fruit colorful when in a shadow? It’s tough. Here’s the process: My photo reference is from Portland Saturday Market (LOVE this place). It seemed out of season for the spring(?), but a few pears were there in all their glory. Sunlight sang through and spotlit a group in front of the rest. Detail, below, of their container:

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Detail area of pears in cardboard box

The painting has been a struggle. Mostly because of the shadow areas in the back. I want to spotlight the foremost pears by “killing” the back pears. A recessive wash seems to deaden the whole area. Also, in the handle area of the box, pears poke through visually. Maybe a little too much?

Pears mid-way through

Pears mid-way through

Kind of cool, this photo above. Galleries and exhibition foundations remind artists to crop and clean up our photos. This one is out on my patio and shows pavers, chairs, table, and hence, the scale of my painting. I’m keeping the crop out! BAN THE CROP. Just kidding. Only for now. Okay, after re-working, here is the final photo of my painting. I have a critique-group meeting this week, in which I’ll present the painting and probably result in a change…a bit…but for now, here’s the finished piece. 🙂

Pearz. 22x30. Watercolor on plexiglass.

Sunshine in a Box. 22×30. Watercolor on plexiglass.

So here’s to you, you pears! Ban the squishy pears (which these weren’t) and ban the crop(ha!). It’s been fun. I love the cut-open pear and the brightness of all the pears in the sunshine(hence the title). In person, those front pears SING in the painting. And, of course, I love the container. I’m a big container-person. This one, this cardboard container with fake wood painting is wonderful. As for the reason I’d do it over? Never grab an over-ripe pears with freshly-mopped floors.

Follow me on Facebook for FANTASTIC OFFERS! 🙂 And check out my store for prices and print sales. Take care, everyone, and have a wonderful week!

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Someone asked me this week if I would ever consider painting lemons.  Why, yes! As a matter of fact, I would! After a quick trip to Safeway to recruit my lemon models (I had them sign a contract), they were ready for their photo session.  I played Madonna’s Vogue to get them in the mood.  A big sheet of white foam core, grandma’s old wooden bowl, and an Iphone provided all the necessary tools.  In my back yard, the afternoon sun came in at the perfect angle to create gorgeous lemon light through the lemon slices. After a bunch of photos from different angles and set-ups, this photo worked best because of the connections in the lemon shadows.  Since I had planned on doing a small 8×8 Thirty-dollar post, I chose just the three lemons, without the bowl in the background.  I’ll come back to this photo for a large painting later.

Reference photo for Lemons in Summer painting

Reference photo for Lemons in Summer painting

By the way, here is my favorite lemon bars recipe. Sinful, but delicious. Or, you could skip the dessert and go for the Lemon Drop Martini!

Lemons in Summer. 8x8 gessoed watercolor paper.

Lemons in Summer. 8×8 gessoed watercolor paper. Matted with white mat to fit into a 12×12 frame.

Here it is!  Your Thirty-Dollar Thursday painting! Own it for just $30 (not including shipping). Message me to let me know you want it.  First come, first serve.

My fellow blogger from Geek Gardens purchased a thirty-dollar painting a couple of weeks ago.  Here’s what he had to say:

“As the proud new owner of the Orange Chair (which came beautifully shipped and matted today!) I can honestly say that the pictures do not do the paintings justice. Beautiful color and amazing texture and on top of it all, it is frame ready! At this price I may have to break my art rule “the frame should not be more expensive than the art!” A great problem to have.”  Check out his great blog about succulents!

Follow me on Facebook to get more announcements about upcoming events and sales. Also, I now have a store! Order paintings or prints at sbhansenart.artspan.com. Please share, follow, comment and/or like, to give me a boost and help keep this beast of mine fed.  Feed the beast!  Now…back to the martini 😉

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Mmmmm….strawberries.  Tangy, sweet, tender and warm-from-the-garden burst of freshness on your tongue. There’s nothing like them. It’s Strawberries from the Market today for Thirty-Dollar Thursday!

I took this photo when I went to Portland Saturday Market in March this year.  They were an early batch, for sure.  They called my name.  Yoo-hoo!  Yeah, you with the camera. Over here!

I had to snap a couple of photos in all their red deliciousness.  Here’s the one I used for my painting:

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Strawberries at Portland Saturday Market

After a quick sketch of the yummy orbs (okay, okay, it’s not chocolate, but hey…it’s STRAWBERRIES!), I did a first wash:

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First wash of strawberries and their neato turquoise containers

I had hooked up my video camera to do a video of the process, but alas, no battery.  I think my video-making is jinxed!  Next wash:

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Adding more depth and color into the strawberries and their container

The strawberries…I can smell them!  I had fun with the final wash, because after I completely saturated the berries with Quinacridone Red, I covered the containers with plastic wrap and sprayed the berries with water. Then, I lightly dabbed the water off and lifted it back to white. When the berries were dry, I dotted them individually with flecks of red to make them appear to have seeds.  Cool, huh?

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Strawberries at Portland Saturday Market. 8×8 on gessoed watercolor paper.

So here it is!  What you have all been waiting for!  My weekly Facebook Thirty-Dollar Thursday offering for you all lucky folks out there!  Buy it today, as it won’t be thirty dollars(plus shipping) again! 🙂 Follow me for more offers:  SBHansenART on Facebook.  Love to you all and enjoy your Thursday.  Maybe have a strawberry or two.  I know I will.

 

 

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Hoo-boy.  This painting refused to cooperate.  Fighting through a “boring” comment, wrestling with too-dull-red oranges, and a square composition, I forced my painting to sing. I think.

I’m still not sure if it turned out okay, if I have to be honest.  It was a struggle from the get-go.  Over the week, I read an article that refreshed my somewhat muddled brain about color theory.  I LOVE color theory, but I had forgotten about some of the finer points, having not painted for three years.  So I set about designing a painting based on the complementary theme of Blue Green vs. Red Orange, Orange, and Red.  I also challenged myself to a square canvas.  I had a berry photo that I thought would work well here, playing off the grids of the background and containers with the circular form of the fruit.  Here’s the start:

Starting with a square canvas of plexiglass, I drew in the berries.

Starting with a square canvas of plexiglass, I drew in the berries.

You can see the grids of collaged paper in the background in my messy (but come on, it’s creative, so it’s messy) studio.

Next step, flinging paint:

Laying in the red orange colors

Laying in the red orange colors

This is the fun part, laying in super-charged colors next to each other and letting them run. Looking back on this, though, I chose to paint with Daniel Smith’s Napthol Red, which, though it is a nice color when wet, becomes a little dead when dry and is very staining.  I wish I had gone with my usual, the friendly, the colorful, the happy Quinacridone Red from Daniel Smith.

Mixing Napthol Red and Cerulean Blue

Mixing Napthol Red and Cerulean Blue. The complementary colors are placed right next to each other while they are wet.  You can see them beginning to bleed into one another and create not only a blurred line, but interesting colors and texture.

I love mixing the super-charged colors next to each other and watching the action.

The first wash:

First Looks:  Blocking in the colors

First Looks: Blocking in the colors

Okay, okay, this is a horrible photo, but you get the idea.  You can see where I’ve blocked in the colors and let them bleed together.  I began to get a feel for the composition here, though  I wish I had done my usual thumbnail sketch with this piece to get a better idea with value placement and composition.  Hmmm…it’s not singing and I’m not so sure about it, but I’m trudging on.  Like I always say, every painting has it’s teenage phase.  Sorry kids…

Mid-way through the painting.  I've created some detail in the fruit forms.

Mid-way through the painting. I’ve created some detail in the fruit forms.

This painting still didn’t sing.  I wasn’t if it was the colors or the layout or what.  So I did the smart thing (?), I presented it to my teenage son.

“Well, Mom.  You know?” (tap, tap, tap on the ITouch).  “What?  What do I know?”  “You know…(long pause)”  No, I really didn’t know.  That’s why I was asking him.  A bit difficult when his eyes were so trained on his little screen thing.  “Earth to son…what do you think of the painting?”  “Yeeeaahhhh…it’s a little boring, Mom”.  Sheesh.  Like pulling teeth.  But it gave me an idea.  Which was the whole point.  Remove the oranges.

Releasing the oranges from their somewhat "boring" location on the painting.  Covering the oranges with gesso.

Releasing the oranges from the painting, with their somewhat “boring” location, their dead color, and their too-straight horizon line. I covered the oranges with gesso, thus sending them to orange heaven.

Go away, oranges!  You are too boring and add nothing to the painting.  Too much orange and blue fought one another.  When using complementary color schemes, one color needs to dominate.  The oranges and blues were too equal in amount and intensity.  Also, the orange line on the horizon was too straight.

Post orange removal. You can see that I also took away the area in the foreground.

Post orange removal. You can see that I also took away the fruit in the foreground. Does it look better?

What do you think?  I looked at this for a day.  Took it back to the son, who was involved in an ITouch game with his brother. Both were engrossed in the game, both were semi-involved with the conversation, both thought the painting was still boring.  What is it with this boring thing?  I’ll tell ya what’s boring.  How about playing on the ITouch for hours? How about that being boring?  Huh? Huh? Deaf ears.  Anyway, my solution:

Rectangles added to the background and foreground.

Rectangles added to the background and foreground.

When I’m in Pike’s Place Market, there are many windows, signs and square containers.  I always like the window/rectangle grid in my work, and added them there, reminding me of the windows and adding a counter to the round fruit. The grids, hopefully, also removed the “boring” word from the painting’s now-established identification.

Alas, I had to noodle some more:

Finished for now.

Finished for now.

I removed the rectangles from the foreground, so I had a sense that the containers were on a surface.  I also darkened the area in the lower LH corner.  I haven’t come up with a name for the painting yet, but darned if I WON’T call it “Boring”.  What do you all think?  Was this painting a success?  Have any ideas for a name?

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