Sunday, April 13, 2014

"Expectant Spring II" 11x14"

In an attempt to keep the lessons I learned in Carolyn Anderson's class fresh in my mind, I painted another pastoral scene today.  This time, I "bounced" a bit of red into my greens to be sure that my color was harmonized throughout.  

And here is another scene from New Harmony Indiana that I thought you might enjoy.  Painters were descending on the town in preparation for the "First Brush of Spring" plein air paintout, and so many people were happy to chat with them and see their latest works.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

"Expectant Spring" 11x14", And some thoughts on Carolyn Anderson's Workshop

I'm just back from another whirlwind week in New Harmony, Indiana, where I attended a workshop with Carolyn Anderson.  What an eye-opening experience! Here are some highlights of what I learned from Carolyn:

Try not to paint "things".  Instead, focus on line, value, color, and shape.

When painting from a photo, try not to go too dark.  As we know, photos lie, and darks can get darker, lights get lighter.  We have to adjust for this.

Pay close attention to color harmony and temperature.  In the painting above, I didn't have a good temperature balance. Carolyn showed me how to "bounce" a cool blueish/green color throughout the painting to make it seem more cohesive.

I'll have some more thoughts on my time with Carolyn in future posts.  In the meantime, here are a couple of photos from the idyllic town of New Harmony!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"Aspen Season" 5x7" And thoughts on palette knife painting

This tiny painting was created using only a palette knife.  It can be pretty intimidating to try to paint with a knife and lots of thick, uncontrollable paint, but I've found that if you keep a few things in mind as you paint, the process can be simplified and made a lot less scary.

First, start with a really good "map" underneath your painting.  The drawing below is what I had underneath my painting.  Each area is labeled with an L (for light), M (for middle), or D (for dark).  These are reminders for my values (light vs dark) as I paint.  The sky, yellow trees, and the foreground are labeled "L" because they are the lightest areas of the painting.  Background trees are "D" because they are dark, and the hillside is labeled "M" because it falls in the middle value range.

Once I have my map ready, I start to lay in my paint with my knife.  Another rule that I live by is to paint the areas farthest away and work up to the closest areas.  In this case, the sky is where I started, then I moved to the background trees, then the hill, then the foreground.  The yellow trees and the trunks were the last things to be touched. When I do this, I lay paint on top of paint, and I don't have  to paint around anything.  It also keeps my paint areas fresh and clean.

I hope that you try to paint with a palette knife-- it is a guaranteed way to loosen up your paintings!

For purchase information, please click on "Ann Feldman Aspen Season".

Saturday, March 15, 2014

"Abstracted Flowers", 9x12"

I was in the mood this morning to throw some paint around, so I took out my palette knife and went to town.  Is this too much?  Did I go too far?  I confess that this was the most I've enjoyed a painting session in quite some time.  Sometimes a pleasant morning should be the only goal, so I guess in that, I've succeeded.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

"Just A Thought" 9x12", And a Lesson in Painting the Eye

Terry stopped in to pose for our Open Studio session last night.  Since I had been painting all that day, I was warmed up and ready to go.  I put down thick paint with a bare minimum of detail.  I decided to stop painting as soon as I had a good gesture.  If I noodled it with it any more, I think I would have killed the spontaneity.

In my Monday Evening Portrait class, we have been working on painting features.  Here is my method for painting an eye ( I used a #2 filbert brush for the entire process):

 We will use a photo of Christy for our model.

 After putting down a base of light skin tone, I find the entire shadow area of the eye socket.  I put this in with a middle value of purple warmed with a bit of cadmium red.

 On the top of the shadow form, I paint in the brow with a dark mixture of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna.

 Once the brow is in, I can see where the iris belongs.  Using the same mixture as the brow, I loosely paint in the iris.

I add the lash line with the same dark mixture.

 I add the "white" of the eye, which in reality is a very light gray.  I find the lid crease and darken it.

 And now for the fun part-- the details!  I highlighted the lid and the brow bone.  I darkened the shadow underneath the eye to give it more dimension.  Then I added a hint of red in the tear duct and placed a tiny highlight on the eye between the pupil and the colored area of the eye.  I lightened the eye color on the bottom half of the iris.  Voila!

Friday, February 28, 2014

A Portrait in Progress

I thought it might be interesting to show the process behind painting this portrait from life.  The painting on the left shows the stage where I am thinking about putting down lots of color and finding the planes of the face and features.  In the painting on the right, I've taken my trusty Langenickel soft brush and softened everything I did in the first stage, then added a few details like nostrils and highlights to bring it all together.

Here are the colors that I used in the light areas of her face.  I begin by mixing Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Scarlet, and Titanium White for a basic warm skin tone.  Then I added a drop of green, then Cerulean Blue, then Quinacridone Rose, then more Cadmium Yellow to change the color of the skin ever so slightly.

For the shadows on her face and neck, I started with a mixture of Ultramarine Blue with Quinacridone Rose and Titanium White.  To this mixture, I added Cadmium Scarlet, then a medium value green, then Cerulean Blue, and lastly I mixed Yellow Ochre to my basic purple color.  This gave me a nice range of shadow colors to play with.

When I softened her face, I tried to let the colors stay separated just a bit.  I have a tendency to over blend and lose the color excitement.  When I find a good balance, I put my brush down and walk away quickly!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

"Her Favorite Scarf", 9x12"

Last night, we gathered at Mainstreet Studio to paint Brittany.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to forge out into the Polar Vortex to paint into the night?  I am so glad that there are other hardy souls who are determined to paint from life on a regular basis, no matter what Mother Nature throws at us.  Not to mention our intrepid model, who could have been at home watching "Idol" or something!

I decided to try to keep this one pretty loose, and didn't worry too much about getting a perfect likeness.  I was more interested in pushing the color and putting down some really thick paint.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Grapefruit, Orange, Lime 12x9"

This week's Daily Paintworks Challenge is to paint some citrus fruits.  So I painted some.  Then I destroyed my painting with a dry paintbrush and repainted it.  Then I did it again.  Each time, I tried to leave some edges soft, and I tried to vary the color with each brush stroke. This "destroy and rebuild" technique is pretty fun-- you never really know how things will turn out!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Gerber Jar Daisies, 6x6"

I painted this little piece for the Daily Paintworks Challenge this week.  The challenge was to change your color with every brush stroke, using very large flat brushes.  Keeps one from becoming too fussy!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Woodstock Courthouse Show

Have you considered owning a larger piece of original art but balked at the mind-boggling prices?  I've got some pieces in the Woodstock Courthouse Art Gallery for a show through February with prices that are a fraction of my usual gallery prices.  They are all framed in black or dark bronze frames, ready for hanging. The sizes listed below are for the pieces without frames.

Contact Vicky at the Woodstock Courthouse Art Center for details and shipping.  I'll give you details about the upcoming reception on February 15th, too.  I'd love to see you there!

 "DeLawn", Oil Painted OnThick Gesso On Canvas, 22x24", $425

 "Red Scarf", Oil on Canvas, 12x16",  (SOLD)

 "San Diego Morning", Oil on Gesso Board, 14x11", $225

 "La SeƱora", Oil on Canvas, 12x9", $185

"The Visitor", 16x12", $325 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January Sunset, 8x8"

Here in Illinois, there isn't a whole lot to look at other than snow these days.  Sometimes the sunlight makes wonderful patterns that are quite dazzling.  This is the scene outside my back window today.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Daisy Glow, 10x8"

Here in the Midwest, we are starved for sunshine.  As we prepare for the next arctic blast, I thought I'd prop some sunny daisies next to the window and simulate a little springtime!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Annie on the Veranda, 12x9"

I caught my sister-in-law Annie during a rare moment of tranquility in Jamaica.  I knew I had to paint this scene-- the sunlight streaking across the floor was irresistible!

For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Veranda.  Thank you!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"Claire, Freedom 58 Project" 11x14"

I was contacted by Bob Swenson, former NFL player for the Denver Broncos to help with a project that he and his wife have started, titled "Freedom 58 Project".  They are asking artists to paint portraits of freed slaves which will be on display to raise awareness of the huge problem of slavery and human trafficking worldwide.  I was more than happy to lend a hand, and I chose to paint Claire.  Her strong, optimistic spirit spoke to me, and she was a joy to paint.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Laura, 12x16"

Laura is a very special student of mine.  She started in my teen class when she was in middle school, and now here we are, several years later, and she's become a wonderful artist and a lovely young lady on the brink of adulthood.  I look at "my kids" sometimes and wonder how it's possible that they've grown before my very eyes and I don't feel a moment older.  But I also feel very lucky for having known each of them.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Jose, 12x16"

First, let me say that Jose is a very very nice man. He provides many of our frames at the studio, and was gracious enough to sit for us for a couple of hours yesterday.  He looks slightly menacing because I decided to paint him that way.  The direct stare and lowered lids can give the viewer an uneasy feeling. As a contrast, I painted the background in "friendly" pastel shades to try to lighten the mood!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"Still Water", 7x5"

Don't worry folks, the snow hasn't hit Illinois already.  I painted this one from a photo that one of my students brought in to class.  Thanks, Dixie!  Once again, I painted on top of thick gesso applied to a hardboard which gave wonderful rough textures.  Another painting with a mind of its own!

For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Still Water.

Friday, November 1, 2013

"Red Scarf", 12x16"

The last session of my portrait class at Mainstreet was last Monday.  We spent six weeks together, going over the fundamentals of portrait drawing and painting.  We started out drawing portraits in charcoal, and then progressed to painting with a limited palette of colors.  The painting above was painted with Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Red Medium, and Cadmium Yellow Pale--  that was it!  So interesting to see how many colors can be made using just the three "primaries".

We ended the session with a live model sitting.  Nerves gave way to intense concentration, and some wonderful paintings were produced!  I was so proud of my class!!!

For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Red Scarf.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Frozen Creekbed, 7x5"

This one was fun to do. As a demo in my Impressionism II class, I took a hardboard and spread super thick gesso on top of it.  After it had dried, there were all kinds of cracks and crevasses to paint on top of.  It was impossible to be too exact with this one, since the thick gesso dictated the direction of much of the paint.

I think everyone enjoyed stepping outside of their comfort zone on this one.  I know I did!

For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Creekbed.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Aspens in the Snow, 6x8"

I love it when the snow falls and the Aspens still have their fall colors in Colorado. It's a magical time that is irresistible to paint!

For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Aspens.  Thank you!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bridges Over the Neva, 10x8"

Even though I've been teaching like crazy these last few weeks, I haven't been able to get St Petersburg out of my mind, and I return to my easel to paint my memories of this unforgettable place whenever I get a moment.

For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Bridges.  Thank you!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"Don't Fence Me In", 10x8"

This painting was done from a photograph on a wonderful website called Lee A Brown Photography.  Lee Brown is a professional photographer who shares his work with us and invites us to paint using his references.  This piece is from Telluride, and is this month's painting challenge.  You should check this website out!

I painted this landscape upside down.  No, I wasn't upside down, but I flipped the reference over and painted the entire thing without looking at it right side up.  This is the result.  I challenged my Impressionism students to try their hands at it, and we were all amazed at how quickly and loosely they covered their canvases.

I may never paint a landscape right side up again!  I may have a small problem when I paint outdoors.  Time to sign up for yoga!

For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Fences.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"Life's a Bowl with Cherries", 6x8"

Well hello there!  It's been quite awhile since I've posted a painting.  My teaching schedule really heated up in September and October, so I've had little time to paint on my own.  I must admit that I love delving into teaching and working with so many talented artists at the studio.

This little painting is a demonstration that I did for a workshop on palette knife painting yesterday. I really love painting with a knife-- it forces me to not sweat the details, let accidents happen, and enjoy the ride!  I also love the way the palette knife adds energy to an otherwise quiet and "still" still life!

This piece was painted on canvas and is mounted on 3/4 inch cradled hardboard.  If you would be interested in purchasing it, please click on Ann Feldman Cherries.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Monday Morning, St. Petersburg, 8x10"

St Petersburg has rush hour in the morning, just like any large city today.  The biggest difference for me was the sight of those arresting domes hovering over the skyline.  The architecture there is unlike any I have seen before-- it made me feel so very far from home.

To bid on this painting, please click on Ann Feldman St Petersburg.

I wanted to share a mosaic I photographed in St Isaac's Cathedral with you.  At first glance, this piece looked like a stunning oil painting, but on closer inspection, it turned out to be a mosaic of thousands of tiny ceramic squares, each perfectly colored to show form and light.  I stood in front of this masterpiece with my jaw dropped and my eyes wide open for what must have been a very long time.  Long enough for my mother to finish her shopping in the cathedral gift shop, and then we were off again!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Morning, Neva River, 10x8"

The dome of St. Isaac's Cathedral is visible almost everywhere in St. Petersburg.  Luckily, our hotel was just across the street from this landmark, so we knew which way to point ourselves at the end of the day.  My favorite time to photograph the city was in the morning when the light hit the sides of the yellow and white buildings along the river.

To bid on this painting, please click on Ann Feldman Neva River.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Early Morning, St. Petersburg, Russia, 10x8"

We are back from our unforgettable trip to Russia.  A week in St Petersburg was barely enough to scratch the surface of all the city had to offer.  Naturally, the highlight of the trip for me was a day spent in the Hermitage--I made a bee line for the Impressionist wing, then I wandered about aimlessly for the rest of the day, getting lost and surprised at every turn.  I'm told that if a person took one minute to look at each object in the Hermitage, it would take seven years to see it all.

This painting represents my impression of early morning on the Neva River which runs throughout the city.  Wandering around the city is an adventure in itself, considering that all signs are unintelligible to American eyes, and the language-- forget about it!  I felt like I was truly in another world.

To bid on this painting, please click on Ann Feldman St Petersburg.

Monday, August 19, 2013

"Floral Fantasy in Pink and Green", 16x12"

Well, I guess this is "Das Vee Danya!"  I leave in just under a week to travel to Russia with my mother for a celebratory birthday.  We will be in St Petersburg, where we hope to soak up as much art and culture as we possibly can while we are there.  I have attempted to learn a bit of the language-- to practically no avail.  Mostly what I can say in Russian amounts to:  I don't speak any Russian.  I am American.  Which will come as no surprise whatsoever to anyone who speaks to me!

But I am loading up my cameras, expecting to take tons of photos which I hope will become the basis for  future paintings.  Or I may freeze altogether in the presence of such grandeur.  We will see.  Either way, it will be an unforgettable experience, and I can hardly wait.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

"Well Hi There!", 6x6"

Please click here to bid on this painting

This painting was created through the use of SCIENCE!

I attended a lecture last week at the Art Institute of Chicago (let me take a moment to feel lucky) entitled "The Science of Impressionism".  Turns out the Impressionists were very scientific in their approach to color.  Specifically, they employed the use of color complements whenever possible to make their color appear more vivid and to make their paintings seem lively and full of movement.

A complementary color is located directly opposite from a color on the color wheel.  Typical color complements are yellow/purple, blue/orange, and red/green.

In my painting, I surrounded the yellowish umbrella with a purple-ish background to make it stand out. The bright orange umbrella is countered by the bright blue shirt on the man.  The red flowers are standing against green leaves.

During the lecture, we were able to get up close to many famous paintings to see how color complements were used.

Do you see the complements used in this Van Gogh painting?  Red and green are quite obvious, and look how he put a stroke of lavender right under her chin to play off the yellow cast of her skin.  Orange and blue dance about in the background.  Think this was an accident?  I think not!