Thursday, December 20, 2007

That Vargas Girl

Remember when I started this portrait commission? Me either. I am back in the studio and have actually put some paint to canvas. This piece had a holiday deadline but it was extended. Because I'm leaving this weekend, I think I may just wrap it up ASAP.

The Closing Reception of "2 from the Ark"

This was a lovely event. My favorite people were there to support me and I always appreciate that! For this event I made small prints of my work and was happy to see folks buy some. My goals for this spring involve selling prints of new work and old on the fair circuit. In the month that I have been absent from this here blog, I've been goofing off and brainstorming about what comes next. I have exciting plans for the spring.

Side work

I did a little side work last week. the company that built my apartment complex was in need of a back drop for it's holiday party. So, I painted a 23'x 8'wall -they supplied the design.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Showing the new work

Well, I have not written in a week because I've been preoccupied with hanging the new work and finishing up lose ends. Tomorrow is the opening reception for the show entitled "2 from the Ark" I'm sharing a fantastic gallery space with Lucy Liew, my fellow artist and task master. I am going to continue with the same Italian theme in coming weeks just to have a little more work. Like I said originally, I wanted ten new pieces to complete the series. One of the 8 that I did complete is no longer with the group so at least three more Italian pieces will be on the docket. I'm including my latest self portrait.
The details of the exhibit are on my site
1035 S. Sixth Street San Jose, CA 95112
Sunday, Nov. 11, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Blast off?

I have two images of a resting gondolier. It is so different than it's beginnings. Still needs work. It's the last piece besides my self portrait which I'll post next time

Thursday, October 25, 2007

T-minus Seven

Oh, the time does fly! I have been so busy that I've neglected to post each painting session. A note about the time line: I have set Nov. 1 as my deadline date but the exhibit for the new work gets hung on the 5th and opens on the 11th. I have a few extra days to work. I finished my gondola couple, began a self portrait and another gondolier based on the same reference for the gondolier that I began back in August. I did this because the original sold (yeah!) and may not show up for the exhibit. Another note: The goal was 10 new pieces. I have 7 pieces in my studio and one out in the world. I may start a ninth before the exhibit. As it stands, there will be 8 new completed paintings. Not bad.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

T-minus Fourteen?

So, I've put a little more work into my boat couple though it is not finished. Here it is.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

An affair of the boat

This painting has evolved into something that I really dig. The architecture in the background has been replaced with space. The implied narrative here is powerful for me.

T-minus 18!!??

Making progress. I'm excited about the pair of gondoli(?)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

More boats

I'm continuing the Venice theme. It's another opportunity to work on my water craft (that was for SJQ). This painting has some boat personification in it.
I started it on Sunday. I drew it in and put in the water. Today, I put in the background architecture. I started working on the boats and pillars in the same way as I did The Three Gondoliers, by painting only adjacent colors. I am working quickly on this one. So, we'll see if I can finish by Thursday.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

T-minus 24

I have moved my studio indefinitely to a common space where Lucy (the artist with whom I will be exhibiting) and I will be painting side by side. This past week was pretty productive. I think this is an even better working environment than I had before. Maybe it will show in my work. Here are the results so far...btw, the canal is officially complete.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Things take time

Still working on the canal. It is taking more time than I thought but I'm getting into the details. gladly, it will be finished soon.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Things take time

The more I panic about my deadline, the more my skills wane. So, I tell myself that things take time and a slow, deliberate pace is what I need now. This is the canal piece near it's finish.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Still 36 to go

Here are today's efforts.

T-Minus 36

Yesterday I finished (but will probably paint more on it later) the Three Gondoliers. I have yet to form an opinion on it. There must be something awry. The color is an issue maybe. The image I have posted is a little hotter than the original. Still, there is something going on that I don't get yet. Today, I will see about that canal piece. It's been neglected long enough. 5 weeks left. Oh, dear.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


New piece today. It's a mood thing. I did a watercolor of the window in the Hotel Paris in Florence. I'm working from the watercolor and a photo. I put too many layers of gesso on this canvas. There is nothing grabbing the paint off my brushes. I am really having to force the medium onto the canvas. I'll make sure my next canvas has more texture. The last piece had too much tooth and I found it sucking up my all the paint. So, the Hotel Paris painting is very glowy. And I want it to get glowier. I've done a few glazes instead of putting opaque paint down. Hopefully I can save the special glowy part and layer up the shadows for the effect I want. Tomorrow, I readdress the canal, the 3 gondoliers and the hotel window. Should be fun!

Friday, September 21, 2007

T- Minus 40

I continued to work on putting color down, then reacting to it, then placing the next color, etc. At some point the whole canvas surface became adjacent to the last color applied so I shifted my style to what I am going to refer to as The Plow. Now I have a piece on the brink of completion. So, I think I'll use these two systems on the next piece. I think it's about the starting point. The starting point will be the most complex, the most interesting and the most difficult part of the painting. And essentially, it's the fun stuff that I want to dive into anyway(faces, hands, feet, brilliant colors-whatever). After that, I can engage The Plow. I will return to this piece I'm sharing today with a low-impact approach so I can finish with a little finesse. We'll see. I might be making this all up.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

T-Minus 42

This painting is moving along but my goal of ten is looming large. This is only number four. Anyhow, the work continues...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Three Gondoliers Revisited

Today, I redrew the figures larger and off center. That seemed like the right thing to do. So, after I scummbled in some stuff and darkened the pants all around, I wanted to do something fun. So I put some color in the middle man's face. I am going to paint the rest of this painting in the following way: I'll put down paint adjacent to the color that I last applied for the rest of the canvas. It is going to be an exercise in color relationships on a neighborly scale. Everything will spiral out from my middle man's face- or maybe not spiral-but spread in any direction-just no skipping around.

The Three Gondoliers

Ok, I drew in the figures on this painting and let it sit for a few days because I knew it was wrong but could not make myself do anything about it.

Friday, September 14, 2007

T-minus 48

November 1 is my deadline for 10 new paintings. I essentially have 3. This makes me officially behind. I've been struggling with the canal piece and today will draw in a new composition-probably gondoliers. No more time to work on commissions until after my Nov. deadline is met.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pin Up?

Today I went back to that commission piece. They changed their minds about which reference they wanted me to use. My subject is a natural Vargas girl. It's hard to resist mimicking his style. I put way too much paint on the canvas way too fast. I''l let is sit for a little bit then address the drawing issues. I am officially behind on my November goal. It's still in reach though. Tomorrow's another day.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

An Exhibit

Over the weekend, my work was featured in an open house at the Stone Griffin Gallery in Campbell, CA. "La Bicicletta", "Gondolier" and the new canal piece all hung along with other, less recent work. The work was well received- "La Bicicletta" especially. I, personally, have a good feeling about the canal piece. Along with the event comes the exhaustion the day after. So, today is my day after. Tomorrow, I get back on the horse. This coming week and the weeks to follow, I'll be painting an extra day each week. That means more productivity! I still have my sights set on ten new pieces by November.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Eight weeks left

Here is the progress on the most recent piece. I'm working on it today so, I'll have more to say later. To get to Eileen Graham Fine Art, view my profile and then select my web page.

Monday, September 3, 2007

La Bicicletta

Yesterday, I endeavored to finish La Bicicletta. I didn't quite get there but the work left over is worth putting off to work on the new canal piece. I'm looking forward to Friday, when the new pieces will hang. I want to get the canal piece up to hang-ability. "Paintings are never finished, they only stop at interesting places." (~ someone good at rationalizing) I'll employ this philosophy this week because I'm not sure there is time left to put a perfectly polished finish on the canal piece.

A Finished Painting

On Saturday, I finished the Gondolier. I'm sure I'll see things that I'd like to tweak but it has to hang this week. So, we'll call it a complete painting. It took one month, give or take. That is a longer process than I'd like but it is a realistic time frame-and typical of my pace.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Three on Deck

I am now juggling three paintings. All are due before the 7th. The bicycle girl was my main focus today and she is progressing nicely. Lucy, my neighbor and paint pal, suggested that I shrink the umbrella (yet again) in the background and I was happy to do it because Lucy has a good composing eye. Mine is developing because of her influence.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Nine weeks left

Today I spent an hour on each of the other paintings (Bicycle Girl and Gondolier). But I'm posting the new canal piece because I spent the most of my day on it. Right away, I decided to get rid of a railing that was in the forground to make it a very straitforward composition. I'll have to pay close attention to the perspective. I would hate to have a pretty painting with awkward angles.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I had a strange weekend. In my restlessness, I worked on a portrait commission and started another canal-type painting. Both are at awkward stages - a reflection of my mood, no doubt.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

T- Minus 74

Wow! I cannot believe that this gondolier's hands are so hard to render! So the same two paintings are still in rotation and it's time to wrap them up. Probably over the weekend for mister pole-pusher and next week for the cyclist. As for the cyclist, the ground in that painting will be less detailed. I need to tone down the cobble in the cobblestones. I was thinking... a painting on the brink of completion is like a child on the brink of adulthood. They are awkward. The mistakes that a mother makes rearing the child become painfully obvious and the mother has to look at herself and see her own failings. And there is struggle. One last final battle of wills molds both parties. And then, the parent has to let go because her task is done. That's another hard part-knowing when the creation is done.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

T-Minus 75

I have been switching out these two paintings this week. The Gondolier is painfully close to being done. Later today, we'll see the final results. The bicycle piece has been going through compositional changes. Challenging! Also, I started a commissioned portrait yesterday. When I put color on the canvas, I'll post that too.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

T- Minus 79

Here is yesterday's progress. I reluctantly admit that I see an autobiographic narrative emerging in this piece. The literal bicycle reference combined with the figure's placement just outside of the piazza is so EFG. Enough of that. The challenge here is the transition from foreground to background and also, the color. I'm wondering how selective to get with the intense colors.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

T-Minus 81

After being away for a long weekend, I was anxious to start this new piece. It is another Italian image. It's a little smaller than I had originally planned for the next painting in the series (24" x 30"). I am pleased with today's progress and I'm looking forward to how it evolves because I don't have a concrete plan.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

T-Minus 89

Today was very productive for my gondolier. I am going to put him away to start a new painting next week. After I've had some time away from him, I'll know what I need to do.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Day 4 (0r T-Minus 90)

Today I noticed that even though this painting is representational, it has room for abstaction-especially in the water. I also noticed that this is a work of patterns. I felt a little funny rendering the black and white stripes with the most basic application of very-nearly black and very-nearly white paint. I think Manet would have had no problem with this. All that implies the volume is the shape of the flat, thick stroke of paint.
I put off rendering my slumbering figure until I had all the major shapes on the page. What a delight it was to dote on his face! But that is enough of that for the time being.
BTW this is an oil on canvas 30" x 40".

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Day Three

It's more appropriate to say that it's day "minus" 92 because in three months I will exhibit the work that I have started this week.
Today I finished a small (14" X 18") oil on canvas. I also worked a little on the water in the "Gondolier" painting.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Day Two

I have a deadline coming up so I put a piece on the easel that is almost finished. I spent just a few hours painting. This piece needs 4 more hours at best. I readdressed the water in the foreground and have basically been tweaking spots around the whole canvas.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Day One, Piece Talks

I have just begun to paint after several months of slacking. A friend suggested that I post WIPs and blog along. So I will do just that. Today was my first full painting day since returning from Italy a week ago. I started a piece with a gondolier. I couldn't help myself. I like looking at the painting. A new painting has lots of hope and no regret. I feel good.