09 February 2009


6x11 oil on canvas, sold

I have been painting for one year. It may seem as if I'm just dabbling, but I really do want to learn learn learn and to work work work. I get frustrated sometimes waiting for my skills to catch up to my aspirations. I paint cautiously, often agonizing over minutiae. I hope I get over that soon. I occasionally have moments which are more dance than dirge. That's what I look forward to. For now, I'm learning to see what's in front of me. When that comes more easily, well, I don't exactly know what comes next.

Today's exercise was a study of color. I ignored composition and brushwork to focus completely on color. After working with this sunflower last week, I wanted to more accurately convey its school bus hue. I wanted to see how much red appears in a tangerine. I wanted to be honest about the indescribable color of this grapefruit. Of course, as I painted, I started to think about edges and texture. Citrus fruit can look like a well painted ball if I don't think about texture.

I want to put my still lifes in more thoughtful settings, but I also don't want to fuss over it too much right now. I gladly accept any advice about that issue.

I can't bear to watch the Grammys, but I'm pleased that some talented folks were honored.
Robert Plant/Alison Krauss
Kings of Leon
Bruce Springsteen


Marian Fortunati said...

I can't believe you've only been painting for a year! The good news is... you've come a long wayyyy baby... I am totally jealous!
The bad news ... at least for me... I remember they used to tell me during my first year as principal when I was just DYING... that it would get easier as the years went by... I mean SOME things got easier... but the more I learned the more I realized I didn't know.
But the ride is always fun isn't it?
I'm loving your work!

Dar Presto said...

Thank you Marian!
I might have given up already if I didn't have such great company along for the ride!

Marian Fortunati said...

By the way, Dar... I just noticed the title of this piece... VERY CLEVER!! ;o)

Titles are so important. I've been told that sometimes people who are on the edge of buying will step over just because of the title!

Dar Presto said...

I believe it. But sometimes thinking of a title is harder than painting!

Jala Pfaff said...

Very nice. You accomplished all that you set out to do in this one, and more.

I don't know if "learning to see" ever stops...it's a forever process, I believe.

Dar Presto said...

Hi Jala, thank you.
I'm sure you are right about that process.

Diana Moses Botkin said...

You've only been painting a year?! You are doing well! I can see your impressive progress. You go Girl!

Titles are a challenge, indeed! After naming hundreds of paintings I often go blank trying to think up something good.

http://www.onpainting.wordpress.com said...

Very natural looking color. Nice study. It is impressive.

Dar Presto said...

Hi Diana, thank you for the vote of confidence. I can always use a little of that.

Hi Bill, thanks.
You realize, right, that when I've been painting it means the little Bill on my shoulder (angel? devil?) has been workin' his mojo?

Gail Murray said...

Your paintings have been magical from day one.

As far as still life settings, I am partial to patterned cloths and a slightly overhead view... a la Matisse.

Dar Presto said...

You are a sweetheart, Gail!
I was looking at some paintings online that included oriental rugs. Wow that looked tricky, but beautiful. I better keep practicing.