Saturday, May 4, 2013
This is a tiny thumbnail painting of a scene that we stumbled upon in Banff. I'm in the process of creating a much larger painting (20x16") now that I have most of the bugs worked out. It's so handy to have a smaller sketch to refer to, to keep from getting lost in the larger format.
For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Paradise.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
It is so good to get back to the studio and paint from life again. I took a deep breath and tried to channel what I learned with Jeff Watts last spring. I got out my small brushes and laid tiny color "tiles" next to each other. Then I forced myself to put down the brushes and walk away from the painting before I softened all the personality right out of it!
For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Gypsy.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
This painting made me think of sisters-- all living on the same branch, but evolving into unique personalities with different outlooks.
My challenge on this one was to use a palette knife on top of a transparent wash. I had to stop myself before I went in and developed it too far. I wanted it to say "roses" without overstating things.
Please click on Ann Feldman Sisters for purchase information. Thank you!
Monday, April 22, 2013
"After" CW Mundy
"Before" CW Mundy
If a picture is worth a thousand words, I hope that the two versions of my simply painted apples will describe the transformation that my painting style went through after meeting and studying with CW Mundy last week in New Harmony, Indiana. Our class of 20 students had just settled in to our seats on the first day when CW told us to get up, set up, and paint a piece of fruit quickly. My "before" version is above and it served as a benchmark for the changes I was to go through in the next few days in class.
I came in to CW's class with the intention of loosening up my painting style. Sounds easy enough, but it turned out to be one of the most difficult processes I've ever gone through. Surprisingly, after painting in "my" style for a few decades, it was not easy at all to break through to a new level of painting. The left side of my logical brain was so resistant to change, it was shocking to me. CW saw the frustration (also known as tears) in my eyes, and gave me space to wrestle with my demons.
I'm happy to say that the quiet complacent right side of my brain finally had a say in the matter. In the stillness of my studio, my intuition is beginning to emerge. This new style is not second nature to me yet, but in about 20 more paintings, I hope to have a sense of comfort with Impressionism.
I'll write more about the workshop in upcoming blogs. I hope you'll stay tuned!
The idyllic town of New Harmony, Indiana
Frank Serrano, Ken Backhaus, Carolyn Anderson, and CW Mundy
Friday, April 12, 2013
If you've ever visited Lake Louise in Canada, you know that I'm not making up that blue! This is a palette knife painting based on a photo I shot during our trip there. It's an unforgettable place.
And now I'm packing my bags for my trip to study with CW Mundy in New Harmony, Indiana. I hope to learn some new Impressionistic techniques from him-- and I'll keep you posted!
For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Tall Trees. Thank you!
Friday, March 29, 2013
The Boston area is just so photogenic. I always find lots of material to paint from when I go there to visit daughter Emily. This one was painted mostly with a palette knife and will be donated to raise funds for the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra next week (Emily is a violist).
Sunday, March 17, 2013
In my last Impressionism workshop session at Mainstreet on Friday, we tried our hands at fracturing a simple still life. You may remember that I've been experimenting with this technique since I was introduced to it by Julie Ford Oliver. I gave the students a quick demonstration (it was a simple pear that turned quickly into fruit cocktail so I won't share that one with you) and then I set them free. I suggested to them that if they would like to see Julie demonstrate her technique, they should download her tutorial on Daily Paintworks. It is excellent!
This technique requires quite a lot of brainpower. You could have heard a pin drop in the class. When they put down their brushes, we were all amazed at the different interpretations that came from the same reference. I've included some of their work below.
Gloria Zucaro (click to see her blog)
Mary Ann Pailey
Thanks for visiting!
Friday, March 8, 2013
I took a photo of my son Jordan crossing this bridge on his bike just a few weeks before he left for school in Colorado. I was on the brink of "empty nestdom", and felt it was symbolic. He's on his way.
I think I'll keep this one.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Well, a Conclave is a gathering of Cardinals, so I thought perhaps that would describe this one pretty well! These brilliant birds continue to flock to my branches and I feel compelled to capture them in paint.
For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Conclave. Thank you!
Sunday, March 3, 2013
This is a larger and more detailed version of a small painting I created earlier. This one was painted in anticipation of a gallery opening with Button Petter Gallery in Saugatuck, Michigan, taking place on July 20th. If you'll be in the area, I would be thrilled to see you there!
In other news, there is a write up of a painting demonstration that I put on for the Long Grove Artists' Guild in February in today's Daily Herald. If you'd like to see the article, please click here.
Friday, February 22, 2013
I will remember this season as the Year of the Cardinal-- every time I look out my window, my trees are filled with the most brilliant red imaginable. Why are they flocking to my backyard? Is it the safflower seed that I've filled the feeders with this time around? Is this happening everywhere? Time to pour a cup of tea and plant myself by the window for another show.
For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Cardinals. Thank you.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
My eyes have been opened to a new approach to Impressionist painting. If you are not familiar with the paintings of Julie Ford Oliver, I hope that you will check out her blog and her ArtByte tutorial on Fracturing. I downloaded her tutorial this morning, and the resulting painting is above. Be kind-- it is my first attempt at this technique, but I got very excited about the prospect of breaking through the forms of my painting to achieve a very unique mood!
My usual painting style is shown below. I've always felt comfortable breaking up my color into various tones in my painting, but I never disturbed the forms themselves before. I hope that I will be able to make this technique part of my style in the future.
I'd love to know your thoughts on my attempt to fracture my painting!
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
I have a demo coming up next week, so if you are in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, I hope you'll stop by! The topic will be "Loosening Up Your Painting Style", and it will be put on by the Long Grove Art Guild on Wednesday, February 13 at 6:30pm in the Long Grove Village Hall. Email Barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your space.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
I painted this one using a palette knife and a softening brush. I took a little movie of my progress to show you how this painting developed. I hope you enjoy it!
For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Glad. Thank you!
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
My favorite time of the day is the moment the lights come up while there is still a glow in the sky.
If you are interested in purchasing this painting, please click on Ann Feldman Twilight. Thank you.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Happy New Year! Such a long time since I've painted. I decided to lay the brushes down and enjoy my gathered family over the holidays. I'm a firm believer in "down time" because I think that it allows us to receive beauty and reflect on it in new ways.
A wonderful customer was interested in a larger version of "La Playa", so I have done it again in the 11x9" format. It's such a pleasure to bring out the bright colors when there is nothing but gray outside my window.
And now the new year starts! Time to play the studio music loud, squeeze out some paint, and see what happens.
Friday, November 30, 2012
Monday, November 26, 2012
This small painting was created with the help of an App on my phone! Sharon, a friend at Mainstreet introduced me to "ValueViewer", which allows artists to view their work in grayscale to check on value massing. My painting started as it was below left. It didn't have much punch or excitement, so I downloaded it into the App and looked at it in grayscale (below right). I could see that I needed to separate my darks and lights a bit more for drama. I deepened the darks and lightened the lights, and I'm much happier with the result.
If you would be interested in purchasing this painting, please click on Ann Feldman Memories.
Friday, November 16, 2012
Sunday, November 11, 2012
"Children At the Beach", Joaquin Sorolla
Every now and then, I stumble upon a wonderful blog that I think you might like to know about. Have you heard about The Art Room? It's written by Taryn Day, a fantastic artist and friend of mine through Daily Paintworks. Every month, Taryn chooses a theme and then posts work by artists both living and from the past who have noteworthy work in that area.
This month, Taryn is exploring the art of the nude, and I sent her a few of my favorite Joaquin Sorolla paintings of children playing on the beach. I've learned about so many new artists from her site, I thought you might like to drop in and see what's new also. Taryn also conducts very lengthy interviews with contemporary artists about their work and motivation. It's just fascinating! I hope you enjoy your visit there.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
"Autumn on the Lake", 10x8", Oil on Canvas mounted on Hardboard, Palette Knife
I will be donating the sale price of this palette knife painting to the American Red Cross as part of the Daily Paintworks Hurricane Sandy Relief Challenge.
Saturday, November 3, 2012
This painting was created as a demo for my Impressionism workshop at Mainstreet Art Centre. It was painted with a palette knife and loads of oil paint. Everyone tried their hand at the scene, and the results were spectacular.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Portrait of Christie, Oil on Gessoed Hardboard, 16x20" Ann Feldman
On the next day in the Kevin Bielfuss workshop, I attempted a looser, more painterly portrait. I'm not happy yet, but I'm getting happier! This portrait was painted on a hardboard (masonite) that was coated very thickly with gesso applied with a palette knife. I love this surface because it forces an impressionistic feel from the very beginning, since there are so many cracks and crevasses in the gesso, and the oil paint sinks into them so beautifully.
Below are a few portrait "starts" by Kevin. Notice that he starts very loosely (he doesn't measure), and he switches from raw sienna to pink as he moves ahead. I think it's really helpful to see how an artist starts his paintings to understand the process underneath it all.
Here are a few notes that I found in my notebook after the class:
1. If a painting isn't going well, try doing the opposite of what you see going on. Is it too soft? Add impact. Is it tight? Loosen it up. Dull? Try a shot of color.
2. Paintings can be thought of as cakes-- you need the "cake" or the structure before you can add the "icing", or the flourishes at the end.
3. He thinks of his paintings as drawings; his work is very linear. In the end stages, he brings his lines together and softens areas that need it.
4. His goal is to suggest rather than render his subject, because he finds this technique more interesting to look at.
There was so much to learn in this workshop! I recommend Kevin's workshops to anyone interested in learning to paint the figure more abstractly, or anyone interested in taking their figure painting to the next level!
Monday, October 22, 2012
Oil Sketch of Christie, Ann Feldman 9x11"
How lucky am I? A workshop with Jeff Watts in August, and now Kevin Bielfuss here at Mainstreet in Illinois! These last few months have been a time of study, practice, and hopefully of growth for me.
If you've seen Kevin's work before, you may have been struck by the the beautiful abstract quality of his paintings which are also based solidly on reality. My goal in studying with Kevin was to learn how to make my paintings more interesting by "abstracting" my compositions. In other words, I wanted to learn how to design my paintings with geometric forms, rather than just the subject of my painting. The sketch I attempted above was done on the first day of the workshop, and I'm inching closer to my goal. I tried to break up the space behind the model into interesting abstracted shapes.
Kevin painted a demo for us on the first day (below). He starts his paintings very loosely, using a paper drawing stump dipped in mineral spirits and raw sienna. This gives him the ability to compose without going too dark too quickly. He then switches to a tiny brush with raw sienna to nail down his drawing. He then dips his brush into different colors (pink and blue) to give him a road map of his most recent strokes.
He spent a good deal of his time working on the head of the model in the painting. Using a thicker flat brush, he moved quickly around the painting to fill in and connect the forms around the model.
I'll share more with you from the workshop in the next few days. Thanks so much for visiting!
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
You guessed it-- Dad's name is Charlie! This is one of those projects I was sorry to see end. I will miss their smiling faces in my studio. The painting is home now in New York City.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Portrait season is back again at Mainstreet! During the fall and winter months, we meet every two weeks to paint with models. Last night, fellow artist Paula donned a scarf and sat for us. I tried to stay mindful of not over blending my color and leaving the painting quite loose overall. I didn't want all those hours spent with Jeff Watts to go down the drain.
Monday, October 8, 2012
Dear Friends, I'm happy to announce that "Sky" has a new home-- the Button Petter Gallery in Saugatuk, Michigan. They have chosen me to be their newest exhibiting artist, and I couldn't be more excited. During their open house yesterday, I was treated like the newest member of a very happy family, and I met several artists there whom I have long admired. I have to pinch myself regularly to make myself believe that I will have paintings hanging alongside theirs. It's a dream come true.
And now I have to get to work! They are expecting more work, and I have to deliver. If I go "radio silent" on my blog for awhile, it means I'm up in the studio, slapping on the paint. I promise to try to get some sun now and then. And some coffee. I think I'm going to need it.
Thank you so much for your continuing support. I appreciate it much more than you know.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Copy of Dan Gerhartz Portrait
I'm jumping ahead to the last day of the Jeff Watts workshop to spare you my growing pains and frustrations with myself. I always tell myself that if a workshop seems easy and I produce really good work with each project, I'm probably not pushing myself enough. Suffice to say that all my work during my week with Jeff was not beautiful. But I did have many "Aha" moments. Here are a few of them:
SLOW DOWN. Loose painterly paintings just look as if they were created quickly. In fact, it takes a lot of time and thought to interpret a painting rather than just copy what's in front of you.
THINK ABOUT WHAT'S BENEATH THE SURFACE. In figurative and portrait work, understanding the anatomy under the skin solves many problems.
USE MORE PAINT. Skimpy paint makes wimpy paintings (OK, that's my quote, but I learned it with Jeff). Illumination happens with generous thick paint.
PAINT ABSTRACTIONS. Look for abstract shapes everywhere and paint them. The end result is a painting that is interesting to look at.
USE SMALLER BRUSHES. Loose paintings can look as if they were created with large swaths of paint applied with large brushes. Often, they are not. Paint small abstractions and meld them together in the last phase of painting. This will give you a controlled approach which will be more successful.
I hope that you enjoyed my workshop notes with Jeff Watts. He certainly inspired me to push myself and my painting in new directions. I would certainly recommend his workshops to you!
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Monochrome Gesture Portrait
On the third day of the Jeff Watts workshop, we created quick gesture portraits of a model who sat all day for us. I decided to concentrate on my lights/darks and edges (and besides, my knees were knocking from nervousness) so I stuck with the monochrome portrait. I learned how to pick out abstract shapes in the face to make it more interesting to look at. I also learned to make edges disappear so that the viewer has to fill in some information.
Gesture Portrait, Jeff Watts
And here is Jeff's fantastic full color portrait, painted in a single sitting. He starts with transparent washes of color over most of the canvas, then goes in with smaller brushes to pick out the abstract shapes that he sees. He constantly moves all around the canvas, laying in new color, then going back to paint shapes next to every brush stroke. A very difficult technique to attempt, but I learned so much just watching him paint!