Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Painting Process - Stage One


Laguna Sunset II - Stage One

Many people have asked me about my painting process, so I thought write a blog entry about it. I hope this doesn't bore you to tears!

The first stage in creating a new painting is to transfer the image onto the canvas. I always work from either my own photographs or friends' photographs -- with permission, of course. I use a projector to transfer the image on to the canvas. This is to save time. Sometimes, I will draw the image by hand, or add various elements to the entire scene by drawing them directly onto the canvas.

I use the Old Master's Technique of underpainting the image first. This stage captures the values, shapes and many of the details of the painting. I use a single color, generally Mars Violet. You'll notice that my brush strokes can be rough. Usually, I just want to capture a dark enough base in order to give depth to the color when the painting is finished.

In fact, this is the secret of my technique!

Have you ever looked at a painting and felt the colors looked flat or fake? This is because they have only one -- maybe two layers -- of color. In every one of my paintings, you will see at least 3 layers of color: the underpainting plus two colors minimum.

This is the same technique that has been used since the Renaissance Period. Next time you seen an original painting from this period, notice how rich the colors are.

Check back next week to hear about the next stage in my process...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Festival of the Whales

Dana Point Harbor, California

I haven't had a booth in the Dana Point Art Walk since last year's Festival of the Whales. So, it was very nice to be back this year. We had wonderful weather too! I especially enjoyed seeing some familiar faces, and hearing about how my art has enriched your homes.

I hope you had a chance to see the Laguna Beach Series on display for the first time. If you missed it, you are more than welcome to give me a call for a studio visit.

The wonderful thing about the Dana Point Art Walk is the quality of the artists who participate. Many of the artists have won awards, exhibit in local galleries, and participate in the prominent Festival of Arts and Art-A-Fair summer exhibits in Laguna Beach. Howard O'Donnell shows his work at the Festival of Arts. George McGee and Leo Simone show their work at Art-A-Fair.

If you happen to be in town for Mother's Day or Memorial Day Weekend, you won't want to miss the Art Walk along the boardwalk in Dana Point Harbor. Feel free to contact me for more details at mlarae@cox.net.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Laguna Beach Art Walk

Laguna Beach Art Walk

I had the opportunity to go on the Laguna Beach Art Walk last Thursday. I feel very fortunate to live 15 minutes away from some of the top galleries in the world. So, I thought I'd share some of the highlights with you.

We decided to start with the galleries in "Gallery Row" north of the main beach. Unfortunately, because of time, that was all we were able to see. Here are the highlights:

Gallery McCollum

Gallery McCollum displayed a beautiful collection of work by Caroline Zimmermann. I was mesmerized by her use of color and broad brush strokes.

http://www.gallerymccollum.com/

Studio 7 Gallery

I love to visit this gallery on the Art Walk. You will always get the opportunity to see the artists painting in the studio.

Lynn Wiederman was working on a spectacular piece where the sun is setting behind some trees. The colors used in the sunset were brilliant oranges and reds. I am really looking forward to seeing this piece completed.

http://www.studio7gallery.com/

Lu Martin Galleries

Lu Martin Galleries featured paintings by Stephen Charles Shortridge. He has some striking pieces showing a piano set in a music room. The sunlight streams in through the window giving him the opportunity to use some brilliant yellows. Of course the yellows balance perfectly with the black piano. A must see if you're in Laguna!