Thursday, November 1, 2012


Here is what I've learned...if you paint a lot you'll improve! Here's what else I've learned...if you paint a lot you'll also wind up with stacks of bad paintings. I'm thinking the ratio might be something like 10 to 1. What's wrong with many paintings (especially those done on-site) is that they have middle values...middle values and more middle values. Ho-hum!  Look at your crap paintings and see if I'm not right! Something needs to dominate to make a good painting....and that's my public service announcement for the day.

More cat-sitting with little Maxine. She used to hide from me, but now I can tell she likes sitting with me while I do my daily sketch of her. My credo is that if there is no time for painting I'll do at least one sketch of something (anything) per day. Maxine is a good subject!

Yesterday was Halloween and the newest family top banana paid us a visit. We didn't have many trick or I ate 5 mini-snickers after dinner. (God help me!) was YOUR day?

(Top Photo) Paintings to be recycled/repurposed and thrown away to make room for new better paintings!
(Center) Maxine chillin while I sketch her pretty curves
(Bottom) Topher & Eloise

9 comments: said...

I had a grin on my face seeing the photo with all the canvases. Familiar territory!
I know the ratio must have improved along with your skill. Everything I see you do is wonderful.
Cute baby, cute cat.

Autumn Leaves said...

That Eloise is a beauty and I love her banana costume.

I think my ratio is more like 100:1. Sigh...

You made me laugh with the Snickers thing. So something that I would do. Except here it was Reese's peanut butter cups and Butterfingers (my two faves)...and so far, I stopped at two pb cups. But still.

Libby Fife said...

I have been eating candy all week!

Good PSA-some one thing in the painting must dominate!

Dean H. said...

"Something needs to dominate to make a good painting."
I totally agree, Celeste! It's what spotlights the focal point.

Caio Fern said...

tis is a really wonderful post. so true.


Completely agree about values and sketch, sketch, sketch.

Linda Roth said...

You are so brave Celeste. I'm afraid to go through them. But it's getting time to initiate some sort of filing/storage system. My problem with mid tones is, I don't see enough of them. I see the darks and the lights. It's my nearsightedness that trained me that way. Now that condition has been fixed; I am farsighted. So I need to squint a lot to determine the darkest darks and the lightest lights. I'm a bit concerned about -the-hill (after 69) so what the hell.

I love your cat drawings and the baby looks like a great future model from where I sit.

Dan Kent said...

Free advice! It's a good day. ;) I've known ths, but it is only now beginning to show in my work -the subconscious has had to catch up with the conscious. I want to do 1000's of pictures so it will all sink in. Values are more important than even color, I think.

Cute banana!

Diana Moses Botkin said...

We probably all have failed paintings.

Sometimes I can see the failures and other times have a blindness for whatever reason.

And then there are those pieces that seem ho-hum to me and someone buys it for whatever reason.

If we can learn from those little studies, sketches on location, and other practice pieces, it's all good. Improvement does come with practice. I'm hoping so, anyway!

Sometimes I see improvement and other times I know I still have a far way to go.