Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Painting with a Palette Knife

Outbuildings, 9 x 12, oil on canvas, copyright Pat Aube Gray 2008

I had a great time these past three days in a palette knife oil workshop I held in the teaching studio at Carriage House Art Center in Blairsville (www.carriagehouseartcenter.com). Had a great group, including several returning students whom I have not seen in a while, so it was a little like old home week. Everyone did a great job on their paintings, some jumping right in with the knife and others, perhaps at first, a little intimidated by the lack of control over a knife versus a brush. But by the second day, the paintings just emerged beautifully under the more confident hands of these good painters. As for me, I painted the small demo seen above, entirely with palette knives, as a demonstration during the workshop. Everyone worked from my photographs and most were summer scenes. As with the painting above, dealing with so much green in hte summer can be a challenge. There are actually many other colors besides green in the grass and foliage than perhaps can be seen here. I did get a decent start on a second larger painting and hope to finish it this week.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Recent Works

I have been spending the last several weeks working on new websites for myself (www.pat-aube-gray.com) and also for our gallery (www.carriagehouseartcenter.com), so I have not had much time to post here. We have hired a former employee, Sarah, to work in the gallery/frame shop and that has relieved me a great deal. So within the next couple of days, I will be painting most of the time and teaching part of the time! With three commissions to complete and a show at Chateau Elan coming up in September, this is a must!

The only paintings I have been able to do recently have been plein air pieces, when I have gone out with my student groups or the Plein Air Painters of the Southern Appalachians (PAPOSA). The two paintings (above and below) at Butternut Creek in Meeks Park in Blairsville are pastels on paper. One was painted in the morning and the other in mid-afternoon. It is amazing how different the same basic subject matter looks at different times of the day and those differences are readily apparent in my two paintings.

The third piece, an oil, was painted at Crane Creek Vineyard on a rainy, cloudy day. Again the effect of weather and a different quality of light is apparent in the painting. Sometimes I will "doctor" a plein air piece up a little back in the studio, as I did with the pastels because my painting time on location was short (one in the morning, one in the afternoon.) But I worked on the same painting all day at Crane Creek under a cloudy sky, so the light did not change very much. Even though I would like to beef this one up a little with more color variation and a few dark accents and light highlights, I decided to leave it as I completed it that day. I think it is truer to the scene and the weather than if I tweak it. All three of these paintings are available at Carriage House Art Center.