Thursday, February 28, 2013

Day 219

Mugshot: Cameron, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Next up in the Hilton Head Gang lineup, we have Cameron and her beautiful eyes. I rarely use straight black for any areas that look black - they're made with mixtures of blues, purples, and burnt sienna, with a touch of ivory black if needed. I find these darks to be richer, deeper, and more interesting than straight black. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day 218

Torso Study 2, 5 x 7 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

This was painted from life in 40 minutes at the figure drawing group. I'm quite happy with the colors in this, and the reflected light.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Day 217

Mugshot: Sue, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

This Hilton Head Gang mug is the very talented Sue ChurchGrant. I really love the green reflected light on her neck bouncing up from her shirt. I don't think the painting would be the same without it. The bright spots of color in the background were laid in with the knife. This may be my new favorite mug, at least, until I start another one - it seems my favorite is whatever I'm working on at the time...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Day 216

Buster, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

This gorgeous kitty was a commission. Buster looks like quite a character, and his people love him very much. I started with a light blue underpainting so that little bits of it would show through and compliment those beautiful blue eyes. Palette knife for the whiskers. Very happy with this piece.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Day 215

Vintage Mugshot #3, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Here is the side view of the girl I painted yesterday. If you haven't seen that post, check it out to see the front view. I had so much fun painting her hat and trying to capture the mesh veil. Her earring, lips, and that curl peaking out from under her hat were very enjoyable to paint, too. Once again, making up colors from a black and white photo was intensely freeing. Here again is the original mugshot from the 20s or 30s. I adore old photos, and hers is so haunting to me.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Day 214

Vintage Mugshot #2, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel.
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

You know there had to have been a man involved in this story - "You want me to drive the get-away car?? Oh Honey, you know I'll do anything for you!" There's no date on the photo, but I'm thinking the curls and hat look Prohibition era, so maybe the arrest had something to do with that. Regardless, I hope she didn't get into too much trouble, and went on to have a good life. Her photo is rather haunting to me (see below.) And yes, I'm going to paint the sideways view next. Love those curls!! 

I'm actually a little blown away at this painting. It seemed to paint itself, like I watched it appear at the end of the brush. I know it's a cumulation of all the work and focus I've put in over the last year. (Remember, I've never painted people until this project.) It's so exciting for me to see a style developing, and see how far I've come with skin tones in such a short time. This painting seems like a quantum leap, and I'm wondering if it has to do with making up the colors... if that switched on something in my brain? Regardless of how it got there, I'm thrilled and humbled that it did. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Day 213

Vintage Mugshot #1, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

I wanted to challenge myself with what I've been learning about skin tones over the last year by painting from a black and white photo. I found some really great vintage mugshots online, and am excited about painting a series. This one is from 1943. As you can see, she was arrested three times. I love the wild hair and defiant look of this gal. I wonder what her story is? 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day 212

Mugshot: Paul, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

This mug is my dear friend Paul Koch - a kindred creative spirit, potter extraordinaire and husband to Carol Jean. Here are Paul and Carol Jean's mugs sitting together on my Paint On Easel, signed by Karin Jurick herself. I had so much fun painting that beard, I can envision a whole series of portraits of men with great beards. What a show that would be...  

Monday, February 18, 2013

Day 211

Mugshot: Jeanne, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel.
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

After Friday's post about some of the stress I was feeling (which generated some wonderful, thought provoking, and supportive comments. Thank you!) I decided the best cure was to paint what interests me the most right now, and what is just pure joy and fun for me - mugshots! Skin tones and features, coupled with interesting backgrounds in a small format really float my boat right now... partly because painting or drawing faces (animal or human) has always been my favorite, but mainly because I learn so darn much from each one of these little paintings. This is Jeanne, from the Hilton Head Gang. Those colorful glasses and were so much fun, not to mention the earring and all that pink background!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Day 210

Eye Study 2 (yes, it's my eye), 4 x 4 inch oil on panel.
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

**Warning! Angst-y artist post ahead!

I had a lovely comment yesterday on day 209 from Allison (thank you!) saying, "I'd love to read more about how you feel about your experience in your painting a day. How you've grown, how you've dealt with challenges, how its made a difference in your life and your art." 

I plan to do a more detailed post about that when the year-long challenge is over, which is only 50! paintings away (the end of April.) Today was a tough day however, and I feel the need to talk about that a little, so I will say today that it definitely hasn't been ALL rainbows and unicorns. Today is almost over and here I am finally posting, because I found any excuse I could to put off painting today, because I just didn't feel like it. Actually, I've had a few days where I just want to curl up and cry (and have once or twice) at the thought of having to paint something. Not very often, but after almost a year of this, they do happen occasionally. I love what this project has done for my work, and it's been totally worth it, but some days I just want a break. (Remember, I'm often working on commissioned paintings at the same time as these daily paintings.) 

I had coffee with a friend recently and she told me about a day-long women's retreat she went on, where the group leader told them, "today, you don't have to produce anything..." and the relief of that statement hit home for me how much stress this project has been. Wonderful and exciting and I've loved it for the most part, but stressful, too. I suppose I could give myself a break on days like that by slapping down a coat of paint and give a line of bs like "today I'm exploring this shade of red," or drip some paint around for 5 minutes and call it a tribute to Jackson Pollack, but that's just not me or what this project is about. However, there are days when I wonder if I'm abusing myself in my perfectionism and this stubborn need to hold myself accountable when I said I was going to do a painting every weekday for a year. Or is this just part of the struggle for anyone devoting themselves to a daily discipline and I shouldn't think so much about it? Thankfully, I was nice enough to give myself a few holidays off and smart enough to foresee I wouldn't last a year without weekends off (even though when you factor in commissioned paintings, I pretty much paint every day).

I love to paint, and I SO very much appreciate the growth I've experienced with this daily painting challenge - both artistically and in developing the discipline required. It's been truly amazing to live this experience unfolding in front of my eyes. But there are days when the "have to" part sucks. Everyone has days where they don't want to go to work, right? It usually goes away once I get started, or at least, when I put down an interesting brush stroke or mix a color just right - then the joy comes back. I try not to stress too much when days like this happen, because I've had my biggest breakthroughs after having a bad day (or week), so I just try to work through them, and know they will pass. 

When the year is over in April, I still plan to paint most every day because I really do love it, but I love the thought of the pressure being off me of HAVING to complete a painting in a day if I don't feel like it. I also like the thought of a vacation when it's over. But after finishing 210 daily paintings, 50 more really doesn't seem like that many... I got this. Sorry for the "angst-y artist" post. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading, and thanks for being a part of my journey. I actually feel better now just from writing this. (Blog therapy?) Here's hoping for some rainbows and unicorns next week. I feel good about where I'm at. I'm excited to see what comes.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Day 209

Lip Study, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

I thought this would be a fun companion piece to day 207's eye painting. Once again, this is the same size as the "mugshot" paintings, and painting a facial feature three times larger than what I'm used to was interesting. I also thought it would be a fun one to post on Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Day 208

Girl with the Tree Tattoo, 5 x 7 inch oil on panel.
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

It's always fun when the model has tattoos. This was the 40 minute pose at the figure drawing group last night. Here are my 25 minute charcoal drawings of her:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Day 207

Eye Study, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

It's funny that this painting is the same size as the mugshot paintings. It felt good to paint a three inch eye and really get into the details, rather than a half inch tiny eyeball. This was all painted with a flat brush, focusing on skin tones and reflected light, and took about an hour. And no, this is not my eye, but now I totally want to do one of my eye.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Day 206

White Feet, 8 x 8 inches, oil on panel.
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Another one from my dogs at the farmer's market series. This pretty little brindle bully really caught my eye. Brindle coats are fun, but also a challenge to paint. About 70% of this was painted with a palette knife.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Day 205

Autumn Marsh, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel.
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

After the detailed paintings of this week, I wanted to relax with some loose palette knife work. I also wanted to play around with some brighter colors, so this phthalo turquoise seemed just the ticket. Something different, just for fun.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Day 204

Mugshot: Carol Jean, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel.
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

This is my dear friend Carol Jean, one of the kindest people you'll ever meet. The soft colors of the background match her soft and gentle nature. This painting is on the list of my personal favorites.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Day 203

Seated Pose, 5 x 7 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Painted from life in 40 minutes at the figure drawing group. I liked the way his face and chest were in shadow, and the way the light hit the ear and upper back. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Day 202

Mugshot: Lydia, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen coy

Next up in the Hilton Head Gang mugshots is the talented Lydia Jechorek. I used a palette knife for her earrings, hair texture, and the decoration on her shirt, as well as the background. Love the effect! These mugshots usually take me around 6 hours. I just keep messing with the paint until it looks right to me.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Day 201

Yorkie at High Noon, 5 x 5 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

I met this little Yorkie at a plein air paint day last October. I like the abstract design and soft edges of this painting.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Day 200

Heart Dog, 8 x 8 inch oil on panel.
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

In honor of todays milestone of my 200th daily painting, I could think of nothing I'd rather paint than my rat terrier Cloud, the dog of my heart. My muse. My joy. My best little friend. I can't even convey in words how much he means to me, and how beautiful I think he is. I hope you can see and feel in this painting just how much I adore this little dog.