Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Art Gets a Fresh Start: Happy 2013!

"Discovery Chains" oil on canvas in progress 36x36
Happy New Year everyone!  I’m excited (and proud) to announce that today also happens to be my 250th blog post! In honor of that landmark I thought I’d leap into the year by posting my first “painting in progress” video. I look forward to creating more of these paintings in action videos (and fine tuning them) in the future.

Thank you to all my blog followers, art friends, and international visitors. It’s truly an honor to share my art each with all of you each week. For my first painting of the new year, I chose a large square (36 x36) oil abstract roughly inspired by the limited “Zorn” palette.  Anders Zorn (1860 to 1920) was a Swedish painter whose beautiful brushwork is often compared to Sorolla and Sargent. 

Zorn’s limited oil paint primary palette was: Black, White, Yellow Ochre and a warm red such as Vermillion or Cadmium Red.  There’s some doubt that he used these 4 pigments exclusively but in many cases his paintings (particularly his figures and portraits like the one above) appear to be “limited” to this range.

Example of Zorn Palette--from Westerberg Fine Art
I say “limited” because if you chart these colors out you’ll find these four pigments mix to create a lovely muted secondary color range. You'll also achieve a full value range obviously given the white and black as you can see from the above chart (Aaron Westerberg fyi is one of my favorite oil painting discoveries this year be sure to check out his stunning work.)  For this particular painting I wanted brighter cleaner violets so I chose ultramarine blue instead of ivory black though I definitely want to try another abstract using the black. 

For the red I used Grumbacher Red--napthol pigment is a nice substitute if you don’t want to use cadmiums.
I’ll be working on this painting more today so stay tuned for the finished painting. Speaking of color, last year I posted an abstract painting inspired by the Pantone Color of the Year (Tangerine Tango in 2012).  For 2013 the color of the year is Emerald (my birthstone) so that’s next on my abstract “to do” list. In the meantime I want to wish everyone a productive and creative year filled with color and painting joy!

P.S. For more info about my painting classes in 2013 please write to me or visit my painting class page. Thanks!

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