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Universal

buniversal copy

Oil, cold wax on canvas 32″x48″

Newest in the  “Blood and Vapor” Series:Who lingers within you?   Have you ever felt an ancestral presence?  The inescapable tie of family:hundreds of individuals, yesterday and today, here and gone.  A powerful resonance or inconspicuous vapor?

All of us; humbled and glorious, simply human.

Breathing Easier

blooking up copy

Portrait of R         12″x12″ Oil on Canvas

For those of you working in traditional oil paint and solvents, this experiment might be of interest to you.  For this painting I used the least toxic solvent and medium  I know of: Weber’s Turpenoid Natural and Liquiglaze Natural. They work!  The upside is breathing a lot easier. The downside is a gloppy and heavier feel to the paint.  My brushstrokes are visible, which for this painting, is just fine. The Liquiglaze does speed drying time and does respond as other glaze mediums but, not quite as well (in my opinion), if one is interested in a smoother and multi layered glaze.  I have not mixed these “natural’ products with their more toxic cousins.  And I probably won’t take my experimenting that far. Right now, I am reserving the “naturals” for projects that seem simpatico with their effects and what I’m trying to achieve.  Perhaps with more practice I will be able to do myself and the planet a favor and use the “naturals” exclusively.  BTW, Turpenoid Natural is fantastic for cleaning and conditioning brushes!

Other projects however, do demand Gamsol or Turpenoid and galkyd glaze mediums.  I have however, just purchased a tube of Gamblin’s solvent-free gel.  I’ll let you know how that works for me  when I give it a go.

Does anyone  have any experience or opinions on the efficacy of the “natural” less toxic products?

A New Home

bribbonstudy

Ribbon Study         Oil on Canvas 16″x20″    A study, for another ribbon themed piece.

  And, a new website.   www.elenacaravela.net  

From Above

bhaircurl copy

 

11″x14″ Oil on canvas

I’ve been fussing with this painting for weeks.  Lots of thin layers, lots of glazing.  I’m still not quite sure if it’s done.  Time will tell me…

Waking

bwakey copy

12″x12″ oil on canvas

I’ve been weighing thicker and looser oil painting technique against thinner and more exacting.  The former seems to push my color intensity to match the density of the paint. Despite the thick paint, I’ve glazed in places, joining a technique I’ve used only with thin layers, with a near impasto. A wake-up for my senses, or at least a new passage and practice.

 

Falling and Dancing

bfall1

That’s what I’ve been doing-falling and dancing, dancing and falling.   I’m painting with a fervent urgency.  In the past month, I have worked through eight oil paintings.  Four I’ve discarded, four are still in play.  I’ll share with you what remains viable when I finish.

The transition of seasons reflects my process, lately.  I’m hoping that pruning work that fails to stretch me this fall will result in stronger work come spring. Hope the new season inspires your creativity as well.

Dark And Light

bme3 copy

A quick self portrait.  It’s not particularly flattering but it is indeed, me.

Lots of Layers

 

b8-27laughing copy

This one is more tightly wound than I would like.  I was so enchanted with the light on the hair and face, that I got carried away.  I should have gone alla prima with this. Instead I blocked it in (thinly under painted hues and values), and kept refining to achieve more detail, in order to work all those little hairs.  If I were to paint this again, I’d let go of the detail, keeping the painting looser, in order to capture the feeling of joy and abandon. Instead, the expression took a back seat to all of those tiny little hair highlights.

Alla Prima

ballprima1 copy

I’ve been oil painting almost exclusively lately, weighing different techniques against one another. I tend to paint tight more detailed work only when it feels right to me, depending on what I’m trying to achieve. But, I must say that working alla prima-direct to surface, wet into wet in one session, like the painting above, is loads of fun.

Young V

byoungV                                                                                         Oil on Canvas 11″x14″

 

A fabulous slide show of the Women Painting Women Fifth Anniversary exhibit at the Principle Gallery, South Carolina, USA.  The show runs from September 5-30th.    I won’t be able to make it to the opening, so it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to view the work of each especially terrific participating artist.  Principle Gallery has also published a gorgeous catalog.  Kudos to each and every artist and also to the gallery, who has been nothing but supportive of the Women Painting Women movement!

Young IV

YOungIV copy 2

Oil on Canvas 11″x14″

After Class

bafterclass copy Sketch of  an after class discussion or complaint…

Women Painting Women

Divide1

12″x 12″ Oil on Canvas

I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that my painting, Divide1 will be part of the Women Painting Women show at the Principle Gallery Charleston.  I’ve had a look at some of the excellent work in the show, created by some wildly talented women artists, and I’m honored to be a part of this inspiring exhibition! Have a look:

‪#‎PaintLikeAGirl‬ ‪#‎WomenPaintingWomen‬ ‪#‎PrincipleCharleston‬

Young III

 

bJonathanyoung copy

The “Young Series”                                                                         Oil on Canvas 12″x12″

Summer Days

bbeachchair1

 

The Descent Series

Wary

 

bholding copybholding1

Another Descent Series piece.

 

For those who may be interested, I start with a drippy big brush sketch, then refine just enough to try and hit the sweet spot.

Young II

bbetsy copy                                   Second in the “Young Series”                                                                              oil 11″x14″

Young

 

bjim copy

A new series.  I’m not sure how many pieces I want to make or how far I want to take it, but this series is pretty straight forward.  It’s about being very young-on the brink of adulthood. It’s not about nostalgia, but instead an unflinching look at the close to the surface intensity of older teens and very early twenty somethings. I’m only painting cropped heads, and facial features, asserting the unfiltered expressions of these hauntingly beautifully fresh faces.

Drawing from Life

bobservation copy

 

A sketch drawn from nature’s bits and pieces, strewn about my yard, while I delighted in the breeze.

Resigned

bfragille-copy

The Descent Series

 

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