Welcome to M.E. BAILEY ART . . . .
As an art instructor, I don't wish to hide the fact that I crash and burn often. I will always be learning. So, it all gets shown here . . .good and bad. Every painting we do counts in the learning and experience process. The failures actually are much better teachers than successes. Every piece made is a teacher. That's the fun of it: the challenge to learn.
Join in and comment or email me, if you would like.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
This is the largest piece to date . . .and I itch to get really big . . . .at 36" x 24" I had to reach to get at it (okay, I'm a short guy!) . . .
Those studies I did over the weekend in the wind, and the photos I took set this piece in motion. I used the photos for a few minutes to get a general idea . . .then in the drawings, stretched the height of the big cliff to exaggerate the feeling of altitude.
Then I buried the photos. Yup! Totally hid them so I couldn't be tempted to get near them. This painting had to come from the heart. I propped up the studies (the three posted paintings from the last few days) . . .looked at what I liked and didn't like and set some small goals for this studio piece. I let the plein air pieces be my guide then improvised from there.
Now, of only Macpherson would say the same thing!! :-))
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
"Before the Wind"
I have terrible difficulty seeing the colors on the palette in bright sunlight. So, with the wind, I couldn't put up an umbrella in the wind. It was a struggle. Then, I got caught in the details . . .and I know better!!! So, an hour in the studio this morning, tweaking values and reducing the details helped immensely. Not that a night's sleep and rest from the wind had anything to do with it!!
This piece might be a little too illustrative, but what the heck! It's a workshop piece. One thing I did notice is that I hit the right values and colors early in painting then, stupid me, I painted right through it! Serves me right for not stopping soon enough.
I could stand on those cliffs and paint for weeks on end! In fact, I could make a career out of the 50 mile stretch of our coast line! What a place we live in!!!
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I live in an unbelievably scenic place. Deciding where to paint is a major decision. Being in the local plein air event here has been fun and completely compelling. Suddenly, I have shifted from making simple, daily practice pieces to paintings that have to be shown. Performance anxiety lurks about my heels and occasionally nips me. So, I am prone to take on more complex pieces . . .and thus occupy my thoughts until the paintings are completed properly. Sometimes these pieces require a little bit of studio manipulation for me to concede their public freedom.
This painting was done standing on the high rocks a mere 40 feetstraight down to the surf and jagged rocks. Being the compulsive, completely focused painter that I am, I sometimes find myself backing up from the easel in order to 'see' it better . . . . .not a good idea here!!! One must keep one's wits tuned when on the rocks.
I must apologize for the color balance in this photo. The lit surface of the mid ground rocks is not as orange as it appears here. My photoshop skills need development, for sure!
If you are ever painting in Santa Cruz, or standing on the rocks, remember this admonition . . .(it really is fair advice for living too): Don't Back up!! :-)
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Saturday, June 9, 2007
First, I made the underpainting with Cad Orange and Cad Red and made a mental note that this would be a blue green painting lots of tropcial colors.
The idea was to make a painting design built upon the pattern on the skin of the pineapple. Looking closely, there is almost a spiral upward of rows of small pentagons. Within them are protrusions, and spikes and dents and all sorts of repetitive tracks.
You can see immediately why it was so labor intensive.
Someone out there has a home in Hawaii or has a tropical decor and would like this painting in an honored place. Please contact me via email if you would like to consider acquiring this piece.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Thursday, June 7, 2007
I have been seeking thicker paint and a more buttery look to my pieces. So, I tried two things: coating the gessoed canvas with diluted acrylic mat medium to retard or stop the absorbance of the gesso and canvas. Secondly, using a big one inch flat brush with tons of paint . . .shovel loading the brush sometimes. As I attacked this painting, it was clear I could not opt for detail, so by creating internal shapes in the leaves, weaving deep darks through the composition and working with color contrasts, I put this one together. I used a photo, taken over two years ago, to get a general idea of the proportions and shapes of the leaves and persimmons. The photo was useless beyond that.
A little scraping had to be done here and there in order to keep clean color . . .and to make the darks come to life with warms and cools. The end result was a buttery painting with some eye grabbing color contrasts. In a frame it sings! Sealing the canvas seemed to be a big help. Testing the limits of the big brush (and my courage) made for some romping good fun!
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Okay. Here it is. I am sticking my neck out with this one. I have been painting realistic, traditional stuff till now. After 13 or 14 sketches on Saturday last, I came up with this composition. To place the attention on the shadows instead of the pinapple, I used intense colors and a little bit of texture. To repeat those colors, I put them into the light on the table top, slighty reducing intensity and creating shifts of cool / warm. Overall, the object and the shadows (which really did appear in double because of my studio lighting) form a single shape that connects three edges of the canvas. Also, there is a repetition of the triangle shapes in the negative spaces, which helps the unity.
I had fun with this piece. I must admit, though, while I don't mind stretching reality or abstraction, sometimes I am not anxious to put them out in public right away. So, I am going for it . . . .(yes, I signed it!) I'll be very interested in your comments.
Monday, June 4, 2007
Sometimes, I chuckle to myself when I am painting. Sudden realizations show up at the silliest times. While doing this painting, I found myself saying "Oh, my Gosh! What color is the meat of an apple?! I never thought about it before this moment!" It 's funny that I still, after years of painting, have to have a name in my mind for a color. That is the left side of my brain working overtime. Other times, I will look at something and see that there are several colors there and know precisely how to mix them . . . .without naming anything.
Names of things get in our way as painters. The moment we name something, then it MUST be that THING . . . .instead of a shape of this color in that value. When we stop naming 'things' is when the creative muscles start to act . . .and that is when our paintings become something unusual. Letting go of names gives the freedom to compose without being "wrong."
Am working on the pinapple in a larger format. (See Saturday's post). I had to set it aside to do today's painting. The naming business showed up to try to trip me up in that painting. You'll see in a day or two what came out of that.
P.S. Carol Marine has been painting a long series of apples. Her work is really alive. I left her a note that you can almost smell the apples, yet one can sense her expert hand in each painting. In my opinion, the artist's hand (as I call it) is what sets her work apart from 'reality' and makes the ordinary and mundane very exciting. Check her out!