Friday, August 31, 2012

Day 98

Shadow Walk 4, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

Still obsessing with Cloud's shadow. I love that it looks like it's materializing from the shadow of the telephone pole, and the way the telephone pole shadow makes the color of his back legs so much cooler and darker. I also like that you can see the metal harness ring and leash snap in his shadow. These kinds of things interest and amuse me. I'm a pretty cheap date. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Day 97

Reclining Male, 5 x 7 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

Another 40 minute pose at the figure drawing group. There were some interesting shadows, and I really liked the backlighting along the bottom of the raised leg. This piece feels more like a sketch than some of the other figure paintings I've done.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day 96

Shadow Walk 3, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

One of the things I really love about this series is trying to capture the action of Cloud's gait, and giving him a sense of being firmly on the ground. Little touches can make a big difference - the way his tail is slightly pointed towards his raised leg helps add to the feeling of movement.  

I think his shadow looks a little like a doberman in this one. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Day 95

Shadow Walk 2, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

This is the second in a series of ongoing paintings of my dog Cloud and his shadow. Not sure how long the series will last, because I see infinite possibilities - long shadows, short shadows, all different directions of shadows. Shadows on grass, cement, asphalt, dirt. You get the picture. 

I'm loving this series for several reasons - it lends itself so well to the looser, alla prima painting style that I'm developing, I'm obsessed with shadows, and it's Cloud. My muse and best little friend. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Day 94

Yellow and Green, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy
275.00, framed.

I tried to keep this painting as loose and simple as possible, which is never easy for my detail-oriented brain, but I'm getting the hang of it. The dog was one of those Chewbacca types (a walking carpet), with so much hair that it was hard to see the body structure. Simplifying it down to light and shadow helped me find the form of the body, rather than concentrating on all that fur.

I love the bright yellow and green bag, and also the way the man's shoes match the color of his dog.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Day 93

International Harvester Pickup
6 x 6 inch, oil on panel. © 2012 Kathleen Coy

This fantastic old truck was parked in a barn where my plein air group met to paint this week. I felt a little like I was on the show American Pickers when I saw some of the cool stuff tucked away in that barn. There's something about being inside of an old barn like this that I just love to experience - the interior is mostly dark, with beams of light coming from gaps in the walls and ceiling. Quiet. Dusty. Broken here and there, but still holding steady after 100 years. You wish the walls could tell stories about everything they'd seen and heard through the generations. My friend Michael Wilson talks about the barn as a chapel, and I understand.

There wasn't any dramatic light on this truck, but I feel like the little bits of blue paint make up for it.  Speaking of drama, I started this painting on location, just long enough to get the drawing and colors right, then finished it in my nice air-conditioned studio. It was so hot that day, I thought I might burst into flames. (Plein air diva, remember?) ;-)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Day 92

Reclining Nude, 5 x 7 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

Another 40 minute pose at my weekly figure drawing group. Really happy with the skin tones and their variations in the light and shadow in this piece. As always, part of me wishes I would have had about 15 more minutes to refine things further - the 40 minutes go by so fast. On the other hand, I like how the short time limit forces you to think quickly and capture the essence of the pose - like sketching with paint.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day 91

We Three Figs, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

My first figs. I found them loitering around the produce section at Whole Foods and brought them home to paint. Figured they might as well make themselves useful. Now I've found out why people like to paint them - figs are just plain fun. The more I looked at them, the more subtle colors I could see - blues, turquoise, and browns. Very enjoyable to paint.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Day 90

Shadow Walk, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

What a milestone this painting is! Not only is it day 90 of my yearlong challenge (only 170 more to go!), I think this little painting is also one of the best I've done yet of any size. A new favorite for sure. I see this view nearly every day when I walk Cloud, and I always get a kick out of his shadow. I brought my camera along a few days ago and snapped quite a few photos of him walking. I had so much fun painting this one that I plan at least several more 'Cloud and his shadow' paintings, although I can see infinite possibilities here. 

This painting represents another milestone: many people have been disappointed that I've never been able to bring myself to sell a painting of Cloud. This painting (and the future shadow walk series) doesn't feel as personal to me, and feels like it wants to go out into the world. I suppose it's because there's no face-to-face connection. Anyway, it's a win-win - I get to paint my favorite subject, and it's available to collectors. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 89

That's no Moon, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

Still life with star wars legos. I tried to elevate the death star a few inches by hanging it with a piece of string through the top loop, but there was a 'mobile effect,' and it wouldn't stop spinning. 

I like the plastic-y look of the death star. I'm finding man-made objects to be pretty fun to try to capture with paint.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Day 88

Green Glow, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

This is my view across the street every evening. The neighbors have this green light on their garage that washes their driveway in an eerie green glow. It triggers nostalgia in me for some reason, even though I don't really remember seeing a house with a light like this before. Maybe it's just the old fashioned charm of it.

This is what I mean when I say I'll never run out of things to paint - I see paintings everywhere!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Day 87

Back Study with Blue Hat, 5 x 7 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

Another 40 minute pose at the figure drawing group I meet with. I saved a little time by pre-mixing some skin tones at home before I left, and it worked out well. Saved me at least 5 to 10 minutes, and every second counts when the clock is ticking. I'm extremely happy with this piece, I think it's my best from the figure group so far. 

It's interesting for me to see how the skin tones in my work have become more life-like throughout the months, considering I had no experience with painting humans before this painting-a-day project. Now I'm fascinated with training my eye to see the many subtle (and not so subtle) colors within the range of human skin tones that I never really noticed before - greens, blues, purples, and more. What marvelous creatures we are! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Day 86

Doorstep Guardian, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

This is my pet gargoyle, George. He's pretty easy to take care of. He doesn't need exercise and doesn't eat much. (Just small children from time to time.) George sits on the step by our back door, keeping an eye on things for us. After the blistering heat that seemed like it would never end, we've had some beautiful weather lately, and I wanted to be outside. I painted most of this while sitting in my backyard, and finished it in the studio when the light changed too much. Backyard plein air painting has its advantages, bathrooms and kitchens topping the list. I like how my signature looks like it was written in the cement. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Day 85

My Bathtub Drain Switch Looks Like a Penguin
6 x 6 inch, oil on panel. © 2012 Kathleen Coy

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you what could quite possibly be the most important painting since the Mona Lisa. Ok, maybe not, heehee. But I really get a kick out of this painting. In fact, I haven't decided if I want to part with it. 

This painting plays on one of my favorite things - finding faces in inanimate objects. What can I say, I'm easily amused. (There's one in my washing machine that cracks me up every time.) It was a little nerve-wracking taking my camera into the bath to get this shot, and painting my feet was harder than I thought it would be - the distortion from the water was tricky. It really was a case of "paint what you see, not what you know." But after all that, I'm very happy with this little painting. One of my favorites for sure.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Day 84

Seedless Watermelon's Last Hurrah, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

The last of the watermelon from Day 80. I like the way all of these colors work together, and the looseness of the brushwork. My husband made the plate. I always enjoy using his pottery in my still life's.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Day 83

Shannon with Scarf II, 5 x 7 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

The figure drawing group I meet with has been on hiatus for about two months. We started up again this week, and I felt a little rusty at first. It's always a challenge trying to capture a pose in oils within the 40 minute time limit, so I decided to concentrate on the shadows and form of the body, rather than the details of her face. I added the background when I got home. Shannon is one of my favorite models in the group. The first Shannon with Scarf is on day 29.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Day 82

Early Morning Oreos, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

I took the reference photo for this painting during a visit to Oklahoma last November. It was fun trying to capture with paint the morning sunlight on the landscape and the cows. They are Belted Galloway cattle, affectionately known as "oreos." I've seen a couple herds of them in Oklahoma, but only once in Iowa, and wouldn't you know it, I didn't have my camera that day! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Day 81

Truckin', 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

I'm discovering how delightful chickens are to paint! This is another hen from my reference photos at the goat farm. It's so much fun to watch chickens go about their business - every movement has a sense of purpose. I don't know where this gal was going, but she was "truckin'" like she had a very important date with someone or something. I like the light in this painting - I was trying to capture the feeling of the hot sunny day. It was near 100 degrees, maybe she was headed for some shade.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Day 80

The Seedless Kind, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

My husband picked out this watermelon last weekend, and I thought the pattern on it was pretty. I tried different colors as I was setting up the still life, but liked the way it looked against a dark background the best. I'm working on a pretty detailed commission right now, and had to keep reminding myself to paint this watermelon loosely. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Day 79

Trevor, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

I painted this from life in a little over two hours. Although I've painted a few people at my figure drawing group, I consider this to be my first alla prima portrait. I was concentrating mainly on the skin tones, and seeing as many different colors in the skin as I could. I like how you can see the strokes of color, yet the human eye blends them together as you look at it. 

I really like the loose brushwork that just suggests the hair and the shirt. I was going to get more detailed with the hair, but stopped when I realized how well it worked just as it was. This tall drink of water is my son, by the way. My only child. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed the experience of painting him, and I think doing more work like this something I need to explore. 

Look at the difference between today's and my first "people painting" from my drawing group on day 23. While that one has it's charm (and was painted in only 40 minutes), you can see quite an advancement in the brushwork and skin tones of todays painting. It's actually a little mind-blowing to me to view them side by side.  

Friday, August 3, 2012

Day 78

Black Hen, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

This lovely black hen is part of the flock at the dairy goat farm I visited the other day. This is the first chicken I've ever painted, and I think I'm hooked. I need to paint more chickens! This is one of my personal favorites to date. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day 77

Hills of Iowa, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

I painted this on location yesterday. Another 100 degree day, but the morning was quite pleasant in the shade. Add to that, the company of friends and a view like this. Western Iowa is an incredibly beautiful part of the state. It's normally a little more green in August, but the grass (and everything else) is really drying out in this heat.

As a huge bonus, we were painting right next to the dairy goat farm Doe's and Diva's, and I had a lovely visit with the owner and got lots wonderful reference photos of goats, chickens, and the very sweet Great Pyrenees dog who was their protector. Look for these in upcoming paintings.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day 76

Free Range, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy
160.00, framed.

This is a painting I've been wanting to do for awhile now, and decided this was the day. I'm noticing as the weeks go by, my work is getting brighter and bolder. Compare this Fisher Price boy with the one on day 31. I do like day 31, but the brushwork in todays painting is a lot more confident, and the values are stronger, too. I see a pretty big difference - it feels like there's more life in this one. It's fun for me to look back and see how my alla prima painting style is evolving.