Monday, February 3, 2020

A New Orientation

"Round and Round and Round", 36" x 48"
Oil on Canvas

Here is a piece I just finished for the Petter Gallery in Saugatuck, Michigan. I treated this painting as an abstract piece, playing with colorful fabrics and round objects until I found a composition that rang true.  I painted it with this vertical orientation, and I liked the result enough to hang it outside my studio door when it was finished.  

Here's a reason I love working in a space with lots of creative people:  Richard, an artist and new friend from across the hall, said, "Wait a minute, let's see what happens when we turn it on its side".  

Well, I'll be!  I think I might prefer it with this horizontal orientation.  Now I've got to figure out a way to sign this painting which will allow it to be hung either way! 

Do you have a preferred orientation for this piece? 

Friday, December 20, 2019

How To Start A Floral Painting In Oil

"Ranunculus (Because I Love Saying Ranunculus)"
Oil on Gessoboard, 14x11"
Please Contact Me For Purchase Information

Sometimes, it's interesting to "peek under the hood" to see how a new painting is developed.  Floral paintings especially can be full of complicated details that can force us to become overly tight and detail oriented when setting them up.  My goal is to allow my flowers to appear energetic, as if a breeze is coming through the painting.  To achieve this feeling, my layers underneath have to be loose and free flowing.

Here's my first wash, on the first day of painting.  Using Raw Umber mixed with Gamsol, I tone the board, then go in with a brush and more Raw Umber to put in the darker areas, and I use a cotton cloth to lift the lighter sections.  At this point, I can see if I like the overall composition and the flow of the painting to be.

Using my underpainting as my guide, I'm ready to go in with color.  You can see that I've tried to remain true to my underpainting, matching darker color in the dark areas and light color in the sunlit parts.

Day 3, I'm continuing to add detail and finish the background color.  

Day 4, it's time to add the vase, stems, and other small details to finish the painting.

It's fun for me to share my painting process with you- I hope you enjoyed seeing it!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Peonies, and a New Studio

"Early Spring, New Harmony", 9x12", Oil on Board
The J. Petter Galleries

I love to paint white things, especially flowers, and try to find all the hidden colors within. Many glazes of purple, green, and gold were used in this painting. In fact, I don't believe that there is a single passage in this one that is truly pure white, yet I think that the flowers read as white in the end.  

Beginning in December, I'll be moving to my new studio space in Prism Workspaces, here in Denver, and I couldn't be happier.  This group of buildings is filled with artists and creatives who will inspire and motivate me.  If you're in the Denver area this week, I hope you'll stop in to see the Open Studio Event this Friday.  All the studios will be open, and there will be art for viewing and for sale.  Here's the information:

Friday, November 1, 2019

Because We Still Need Notecards!

Thanks to the Internet, we stay in touch with friends and family with the click of a button.  Our thoughts disappear into the Cloud, or wherever these things go when we're done reading them.  I believe that we still need notecards, at least when we want to share something heartfelt and meaningful. Or when we want to give someone a gift they can't find just anywhere- a box of notecards can be the perfect thing.

So I've produced a new batch!  Each box of 10 cards has two of each of the paintings you see below.  Please send me an email if you'd like to purchase.  Here's the price: 1 box: $23.00 plus $7.00 shipping and handling.  2 or more boxes: $23.00 per box, $10.00 shipping and handling.

The cards just arrived from the printer, and they look great if I may say so! I hope you have many notecard-worthy moments this year!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Monet At The Denver Art Museum

The Boulevard des Capucines, 1873-74
Claude Monet

What a treat to visit the Denver Art Museum yesterday to see the Monet exhibit, "The Truth of Nature".  It is a wonderful show, with room upon room filled with his plein air paintings and landscapes.  The show begins with some caricatures he drew as a teenager, and continues all the way through to his abstracted water lily paintings from his garden in Giverney toward the end of his life.

The exhibition guides pointed out that Monet became more interested in describing atmosphere rather than reality as he progressed through life.  And it was interesting to note how frustrated he often became as he chased the light for his paintings.  

"Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment."

The exhibition will be here until February.  I hope that you'll have a chance to come and see it!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Plein Air Ain't Easy (Continued)

 Edge of Sarvis Creek, Steamboat (photo)

Plein Air paintings are a lot like pancakes: you have to throw out the first one or two before you can start to hit your stride.  I painted for hours trying to perfect my painting on my previous blog post, and I didn't love it in the end.  I put it aside and started adding color to my other outdoor sketches, and this time, I was happier in half the time!  In the future, I'll toss out the first "pancake" a lot sooner, and get to the good stuff.

Monochrome Study, Creek's Edge, oil on gesso board

I painted in monochrome the entire time I was outside in Steamboat.  There's a ton of color out there, so I wanted to keep things simple and focus on value (lightness and darkness).

"Creek's Edge", Oil on Gessoboard, 10 x 8"

When I got back to the studio, I added color to my sketch, trying to stay true to my value areas, so if you converted this to black and white, it would look pretty much the same as my original monochrome. You can see that I played around with the color, too.  I don't like a whole lot of green in my paintings.

Monochrome Study, "The Stand", oil on gesso board 

"The Stand", Oil on Gesso Board, 10 x 8"

Another monochrome study, and a version with color.  I may actually start to enjoy this process!  Time to pack up and head out again!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Plein Air Ain't Easy

Photo of Sarvis Creek, Steamboat Springs

Artists in Colorado paint outside.  It's an unspoken rule.  And nothing is more beautiful than Steamboat Springs in the fall, with the Aspens in full glory and the misty mountains in the background.  I packed up my equipment and headed out.  But first, I thought I'd take a workshop with Dave Santillanes, one of the best landscape painters working today.  

My time with Dave in Steamboat was well spent.  He showed us how he creates atmosphere with value and color, which was a huge revelation for an indoor painter like me.  Then we went out into the field to watch him paint his "sketches" which he then brings into his studio to create larger, more finished pieces.  It was a complete eye-opener for me.

I decided to keep my outdoor sketches monochrome, working only with value to create atmosphere.  To a newbie like me, adding color this early in the game could result in disaster.

Monochrome Study, Sarvis Creek, oil on panel

It was a dry, windy day, and the cowboys were transporting horses on the road at my back.  They apologized every time they passed by, but I was happy to see them.  There's about a pound of sand and grit mixed into the paint on this one.

Color Study, Sarvis Creek, oil on panel

I took the study back to the studio and added color on top of it.  Dave encouraged us to change color and composition however we want in order to tell a story.  With this one, I emphasized the warm color in the background to suggest an early morning scene.

Well, it's a start.  If I want to do plain air well, I will have to paint many many more.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

The Move Is Complete

Denver Squall At Sunset

Dear Friends, we have finally landed for good in Denver, and our move is complete!  One of my first orders of business here was to find a good place to paint, and I'm happy to report that I have found one.  It's such a fantastic concept, I have to share it with you.  It's called the Art Gym, and no, we don't have to do pushups as we paint (thank goodness), it's a membership in a wonderful shared studio space.  Why aren't there more of these in the world?  It's about 20 minutes from home, which is a huge commute compared to the walk upstairs that I used to do.  But when you live in a two bedroom city apartment, you have to make some changes!

Monochrome, New Harmony, 9x12"

My first project in my new space is to take a monochrome sketch that I painted on site in New Harmony in the spring and make it into a finished painting.  I'll use this sketch as a reference as I'm painting the new one.  This was done quickly using Burnt Umber on a gesso board.

On a new gesso board, I started the new painting.  This one is rougher; I'm just finding the shapes and values that I established in the sketch.  No use putting in details now, because I'll just paint over them later.

New Painting Start

I added the color right on top of my monochrome painting.  All my values were figured out for me, so I had fun playing with the color notes. I'll continue to develop this painting and I'll share the steps with you along the way, so please stay tuned!

Thanks so much for staying with me during this long moving phase.  I appreciate your support more than you know!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Almost Show Time

"It's Show Time", 10x8" Oil on Panel

It's almost time for the "Bouquet" Show at the Petter Gallery in Saugatuck, Michigan on July 13th.  I'll be bringing along some brand new work, including this little panel.  I've been challenging myself to find hidden color in white flowers these past few months.  I hope you like the result!

There will be wine to sample and other artists to meet at the exhibition. I would love to see you there!  Please drop me a return email if you're planning to go so I can keep an eye out for you.

Monday, May 20, 2019

"Abundance", 11x14"

Abundance,  14x11"

Moving is stressful!  Selling a house, planning a new house, and leasing an apartment in a city high-rise (Denver) is uprooting- literally.  It's interesting to me that during this time of general upheaval, my painting has become more controlled and meditative.  I'm drawn to flowers right now, particularly white ones.  They force me to slow way down and really examine them.  Form, light and shadow, and undiscovered colors are pulling me in.

I'm developing a series of floral paintings that I'll be showing at the Petter Gallery this summer, in a show called "Bouquet".  It'll be all about the bouquet of flowers and wine.  I hope you'll be able to come.  The date is July 13, in Saugatuck, Michigan.  Sounds like a great time for a mini-getaway!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


"Contemplation", 10x8", oil on panel
Mary Williams Fine Art

In my last post, I talked about how I will change my technique to "fit" different subjects.  A lively, colorful subject (like the peaches in my last post) will likely get a very impressionistic approach with lots of thick paint and color, perhaps with a bit of palette knife application while I'm there.  I'll also change my approach to fit my mood.  With these white roses, I decided to slow way down and really see my subject.  The color shifts and the edges were full of subtlety, so I needed to be patient and build the painting gradually.

Today's art market encourages artists to find a certain style and stick to it, making that technique their recognizable trademark.  Try as I might, I can't stick with the same approach to all of my paintings.  For me, art is an exploration and I'm constantly seeking new subjects and new ways to approach them.  

Thank you Sherri Burritt, fellow artist and green thumb extraordinaire for sharing these home grown beauties with me!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

That's Just Peachy

"That's Just Peachy", oil on panel, 14x11"
Mary Williams Fine Art

I enjoy experimenting with different painting styles.  Sometimes I feel that the subject calls for control and quiet colors, and sometimes I like to go a little crazy, as I did with this latest piece.  I started with a bright green underpainting, and I tried to let it peek through in the final version.  I think that these little hits of bright color give the painting a bit of excitement.  Using as few brush strokes as possible, I laid on the paint thickly and quickly.  You can probably tell that the peaches in the back were built up and destroyed a few times.  This softened their edges and pushed them into the back, and yet they still have a feeling of energy.

This painting is in the Mary Williams Fine Art Gallery in Boulder, Colorado.  I'm so happy to have a relationship with Mary and her beautiful gallery.  

Monday, August 20, 2018

New Work at the Petter Gallery

"Three Bowls", oil on panel, 12x16"

Sometimes I like to take a normal still life setup and paint it from an unusual vantage point.  Looking down on this group of bowls and fruit gives the painting a contemporary feel which I like.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

New Work at the Hildt Gallery

"Waiters Waiting"
Oil on Board, 12x9"

I captured this moment at the Cafe du Monde in New Orleans one hot steamy morning.  The guy on the far left is looking at his cell phone; isn't that a new classic pose?  Everyone else in the scene could have been lifted from just about any time period in history.  Chatting or leaning back to catch a few winks.  This piece was painted with a palette knife, and I used a brush to touch up the smaller details. The paint is very thick, and took about a month to dry.

Oil on Board,  14x11"

One sunny morning in Greece, I glimpsed this family group out for breakfast next to the sea.  Once again, I was struck by their classic poses. The girl with her back to us could be on a cell phone (naturally), or she could be buttering her scone, who knows?  Grandmother holds the baby to give his mother a moment of peace, while Grandfather is in full vacation mode, relaxing with his coffee.  I decided to take out their surroundings almost completely, to allow the family dynamic to take the stage.  I hope you get the feeling of sunshine and relaxation even so.

If you're interested in either of these paintings, please give my friend Jeremy Hildt a call at his gallery  in the Drake Hotel, Chicago.  (312) 255-0005.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Early Morning, Key Largo

"Early Morning, Key Largo", 9x12" Oil on Panel

If you find yourself in Michigan this summer, you should plan a trip to Traverse City and stop into the Crooked Tree Art Gallery there.  The Oil Painters of America is exhibiting their 2018 Juried Salon Show there this summer.  Beautiful paintings from across the country are in the show, and well worth the trip.  My painting "Early Morning, Key Largo" is in there with them. Contact the gallery if you are interested in purchasing this little painting.  Here's the link to their website: Crooked Tree Gallery.

Recent Sales:

Here are a few paintings that have found new homes this summer. Please check my website Ann Feldman Artist for the whereabouts of my latest paintings.  You can also sign up on this website to receive an email every time a new painting is added to this site.

"The Scholars"
Hildt Gallery, Chicago

The Petter Gallery, Saugatuck

"Orange Reflections"
The Petter Gallery

I hope you're enjoying your summer!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Reworking A Portrait (And a Bit of News)

First, For A Bit Of News:

After a few decades of listening to husband John talk about the virtues of Colorado and missing our sons who live there, I have finally given in.  We have bought some property in Boulder, and will be in the process of selling our Barrington home, knocking down the house on the new property, and building a new one.  I'm girding myself for the roller coaster that is to become my new life. 

This is truly a bittersweet move.  I will miss the life we have built here, and the wonderful friends that we've made.  My consolation is that we will stay in touch and visits will be made.  But first we have to build that house!

I hope that you'll stay with me and my blog.  I'll let you know how the move is going, and how I find my footing as an artist in a new community.  If I haven't said it lately, your support has meant the world to me.  Just knowing that people are reading what I have to say has been wonderful.  Thank you, and let's go on a new journey together!

And Now For Our Regular Program:

Cassidy, 9x12"

When I paint a portrait from life, I have limited time with the model.  In two to three hours, I try to capture the essence of the person, and having a set amount of time forces me to focus quickly on the story I want to tell.  More times than not, I'll never touch these studies again because I want the painting to remain a study.  And let's face it, I usually overwork things if I go back in with lots of time on my side.

This little painting is an exception.  The version above is the reworked version.  Here is the original after about 3 hours with the model.  See if you can tell what I reworked, and I'll explain what I did below.

The first thing that bothered me with my study was that she appeared to be scowling!  Nobody wants an angry painting.  I gave her a slight brow lift and turned up the corners of her mouth ever so slightly.  I zapped up the color on her mouth and gave her a fuller lower lip.  Better already.

Then I looked at color temperature.  The shadow under her chin was actually very warm, sort of a dark reddish brown.  If the shadow is that warm, the light areas of her face will be cooler, and I had painted them quite warm initially.  I glazed a layer of light blue over the warm yellowish areas to cool them down, and added light blue highlights.  

I looked at the transition between the shadowy area on her cheek and the light area and decided to add a flush of light red to the transition area.  Cheek color made her come alive.

And then I put my brushes down!  If I kept working, all the spontaneity would be lost.  I think this painting says what I wanted it to, and I'll call it quits now.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

An Endless Fascination

 "Jeannette", 9x11", oil on Raymar Linen

Last night, I painted with my regular portrait group at Bill's house.  Jeannette tucked a red rose behind her ear, which gave our paintings just the right pop of color.  My painting is unfinished and has lots of little drawing errors that I would love to attack, but for now, I'm enjoying the spontaneous feel of it.  I may even leave it like it is.

Here we are in Bill's studio.  Jeannette was wearing a fabulous turquoise blouse that I didn't have time to get to. Bill chose this color combination because the red and blue were positively vibrating against one another.

The other day,  I was going through some old paintings stacked in my studio, and I came upon this one.  It is my very first portrait painted in oil, oh so many years ago!  Miles of canvas later, I'm still enjoying painting people from life.  In fact, nothing gives me more joy than capturing someone in art.  I have no idea why I'm constantly driven to do so, but I'm still loving the journey and the endless challenge.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

New Work at the J. Petter Gallery

"Fractured Sunflowers", 28x22", oil on canvas

Yesterday was an eventful day at the J. Petter Gallery in Saugatuck.  I was joined by five other Petter Gallery artists, Eddie Mitchell, Nina Weiss, Carla Sutton, Gert Olsen, and Lisa Vanderhill for the Second Saturday event.  We were on hand for the afternoon to paint, chat with visitors, and show our latest work.  

"Fractured Sunflowers"  was debuted at the show, along with two other large pieces.  Images of all my paintings at the Petter Gallery can be seen by clicking on Ann Feldman Petter Gallery.  

Here are a couple of photos I snapped during a brief lull in the activity:

One of the highlights of my day was talking with the other artists, trading stories about our history with the gallery.  Nina Weiss has been exhibiting there for 25 years!  Once again, I pinch myself to make sure I'm awake.  Sometimes I can't believe my good fortune to be exhibited there.

And a big shout out of thanks to my dear friend Jayne, who traveled with me and helped me with the schlepping of all those paintings and demo setup.  What would I do without you Jayne???

I hope you all will have a chance to visit this wonderful gallery.  Tell them Ann sent you!