Surfacing

dream 2 copy

It’s been a long while, but I haven’t forgotten you!  I’m frankly more active now on Instagram due to the ease of use and few or no works expected, so posting is a snap. Join me there if you like to view images.  @elenacaravela, (paintings) @elena.pics (wildlife photos), and @caravelaelena (digital paintings).

WordPress is the platform for discussion.  Here, I’d like to talk about materials and techniques, so please chime in!  Useful tips and ideas are more than welcome.  I love that we can all learn from each other’s experiences.

Since my time away, I’ve been continuing with lots of experimenting.  New ideas and surfaces.  The piece above was a bit of a struggle for me due to its surface.  It’s painted on cradled gesso board with a very smooth finish. Each stroke is evident.  That worked well with the hair but transitioning color on her face tested my patience.  I finally worked with lots of mini glazes to provide the nuance. The vehicle for the glazes here is Solvent Free gel.  I can honestly say that the board is not my favorite surface, but at least now I am able to wrap my head around how and for what I would like to use it.

Next up, aluminum. Dick Blick is discontinuing this surface. It was on sale and intriguing, so I tried it.  Paradoxically, I very much like the way it defined each stroke because was perfect for this subject and this technique. This little alla prima painting was a lot of fun to paint! So much so that I wiped it and tried a new painting with more refined transitions between passages. I wanted to see how the smooth aluminum surface compared with the ultra smooth gesso board surface.

Ok, mixed reviews when painting refined passages, similar to the gesso board. And another problem.  Apparently the aluminum is covered with a plasticy surface over the aluminum. The gentle rubbing out of the previous image created a little hole in that very thin surface, allowing for some disconcerting  warping.  I get why Blick has discontinued this product.  I would however, like to try a sheet of aluminum sans the extra coating. Stay tuned.  I’ll let you know how it goes when I track some down and play with it.

 

 

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For Your Birthday, Dear Friend

During her second bout with cancer, Terry banished her first-time chemo wig and sported a variety of adorable hats.  Eventually she came to the conclusion that she didn’t care to hide her nearly bald head anymore.  At the gentle urging of her friends in art class, Terry removed her cap and as a great favor to me, allowed me to take photos of her.  Terry’s beautiful face never required the embellishment of hair.  While we talked, she graciously posed for my camera.  Her eyes shone, and her smile widened into her quintessential Terry glow, her features merging with the light around her.

Even in the throes of the devastating illness assaulting her body, Terry’s spirit still managed to radiate warmth and joy.  This phenomenon I think, was an outpouring of her capacity for fathomless love.   Love that she so generously shared with absolutely everyone and every living thing.  And this was almost always evident.  I am in awe of Terry, though until now, it was impossible for me to attempt to describe her extraordinary grace with my clumsy words.

Terry endowed us with a well full of incorporeal beauty.  A smidge lives, as a cinematic-like image of Terry in my mind’s eye.  She appears to be absolutely luminescent.  But the greater portion of her largess is free to anyone who cares to look for it.  You can feel it, in the light.

 

 

Alla Prima Process

Alla prima paintings are completed in one sitting.  When I paint a portrait this way, I draw with my brush, minding the spacial relationships between features.  Next, I lay in the darks using full color, to support the forms of the face.  The midtones, the lights and their transitions blend into the previous wet passages to complete a loosely painted portrait.  This one layer painting allows me to break from the confines of too much detail and preserves the energy captured at the very start of a painting.

12″ x 12″ Oil on Linen

A Portrait of Artistic Multimodality

“Julian” Oil on Canvas 30″ x  40″

It’s been quite a while since I’ve dabbled in the world of WordPress.  So, all week long I’ll be posting a backlog of paintings beginning with this one.  It’s a near to life sized portrait of my son, Julian; composer, arranger, singer/songwriter, musician, writer, teacher, and visual artist.  Below are links to a partial catalog of Julian’s work:

Julian’s twelve and counting, independently written, performed, produced albums: Band Camp Julian Cartwright  (album artwork included).

A performance and interview    Julian’s spoken word work on Sound Cloud.

And his visual art.

A shout out to all of my blogger friends.  I look forward to visiting you this week to see what you’ve been up to.

Study

loose
bgigi-copy

blog

No artist I know ever stops observing, never stops studying.  I’ve been away from this blog for a while, but I’ve been constantly working, studying.  The dissatisfaction with at least one element in every finished piece always drives the next piece.  Above are a few studies I’ve been working on, trying to “fix” something that didn’t gel in a previous effort.

Edges are a constant concern.  Softening, firming or losing them in a back round.  It’s something I’m always pondering.  Transitioning of values from one passage to another, is another thing I’m constantly thinking about. Dramatic lighting changes up the way I think about edges and transitions. And color often runs away with my intentions.

I’ll be posting more soon.  These will be finished works that will no doubt drive the next bunch of studies:)

One piece that I was pretty happy with (“Tommy”) when I finished it, was awarded sixth place in the Portrait Society of America’s  Members show in the Non-Commissioned category.   I’m thrilled, humbled and very excited! Click on the “Portrait Society” link and enjoy all of the excellent work!

Portrait of T

 

btommy

Portrait of T. Oil on Linen 20″x 29″

My favorite post of the week.  I’ll be back when I finish several WsIP.  Till then, thanks for your “likes” and comments.  They add fuel to my productive fire:)

bdetailoft

 

Detail, Portrait of T

Gingers

Eileen copy

Oil on Linen 11″ x 14″

This week I will be posting work realized during my long blogging hiatus.  This is the first of several portraits of red heads.  I love colors found in the skin tones and hair highlights of red heads.

 

D in Dots

bDianneindots copy

 

Oil on Linen 24″x 34″

A new portrait.

Sorry, all.  I’ve been spending more time painting, and less time blogging.  I’ve been and will be, following you and enjoying your blogs in bursts.  I’m slow, but I’ll get there:) I’m also posting my nature photography on Instagram, so click the sidebar photo if you’re interested.  As always, I very much appreciate your “likes” and thoughtful comments. Thank you!

Diminutives

bsisterstugofwar

“Sisters Tug of War”  8″x 10″ Oil on Linen                                                                                                                                                                           “The Red Scarf” 10″x 10″ Oil on Linen

bredscarf copy

A Passive Upbraiding

 

thebraidlg copy

Oil on Linen with Gold Leaf 16″ x 20″

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Beginning 1 & 2

Hair: meaningful in so many traditions and cultures.  The way that we wear it may be a statement, a passive rebellion, an identifier, an obsession, a tabu or even a code.  It’s a point of pride and a worry, and it’s oh so personal.  It’s meaningful to me and so much fun to paint.  That’s why I wish I had kept this piece simpler, as in the early stages (directly above).  I may go back and make a drawing or an alla prima of this composition in the near future.

Fledglings

bsparrows copy                                                                                                             Oil on Linen 24″ x 24″

A portrait of M. and  a house sparrow.

The Haunting

Bcloaked copy

 

One of several paintings haunting me.  I’m holding myself to higher standards lately, hanging onto nearly finished pieces, putting them aside for weeks, seeing them anew and correcting.  Only after many improvements, am I letting them go.

There are a couple more waiting to be released…soon…maybe..;)

Precarious Cloaks

 

bCloakedclose copy

Oil on Linen 11″ x 14″bcloaked4 copy

Oil on Canvas 8″ x 10″

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Oil on Linen 6″ x 8″

bcloaked7

Oil on Canvas 12″ x 12″

New additions to  the “Cloaked” series.

Lots to say, this post…

These paintings are intriguing and confounding me.  Many attempts live under layers of grounding gray, waiting for a new painting to appear on the surface. The layered images are indeed cloaked;)  I’m not even certain that all of the images above will survive.  I’m giving them some time…  I’m after a particular trepidatious quality in a painting that actually “works”.

For a while now, I’ve been experiencing a pinched nerve in my back, so sitting at the easel and at the computer is uncomfortable. The easel is priority one, so blogging has been and will be spotty at best.  The upshot is that I’m not able to visit your blogs as often as I’d like, and I’m sorry about that.

Also, I’d like to provide a link to Six and Crows.  Some of my paintings have been paired with fine poetry and a really terrific blog.

One last thing. I’m terribly excited that one of my “Cloaked”, “Persistence of Vision” to be specific, is being shown at the Crane Arts Gallery 105 in Philadelphia as part of the “Old Enough to Know Better” exhibit!  The show is presented by Woman’s Caucus for Art, Philadelphia Chapter.

bhood2 copy

 

 

Angles

bjangles

Oil on linen 24″x 30″

I haven’t posted for quite a while, but I’ve been working on the “Cloaked” series and larger figure paintings.

Though I employ friends and family to pose just as models, these paintings most often turn into portraits, like the one above.

 

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