Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My painting process by Aida Garrity

Some people have asked me how do I start my painting process. I could talk for weeks on everything that should be consider but I will try to summarize it as follows:

1. I do not quickly set up and start a painting. I normally walk around the area or the model to see how I can find something that is really interesting to me. For example: a better view of the subject, a color contrast, etc. By taking my time during this step, I establish my statement in the painting and this means "finding a meaning and a reason for painting the scene or specific angle of the model."
Thumbnails of different compositions

2. My second step is the composition. In order to select the best composition, I create a series of thumbnail studies. These are very small free hand sketches that can vary in size from 1 1/2" x 1" to 5 1/2" x 4". I use the small thumbnail sizes when I am working on Plein air paintings. Large thumbnails are reserved for studio paintings. I also use thumbnails to evaluate the color scheme that I plan to use in the paintings. As an example, I evaluate different background colors.

These two steps for me are crucial because I need to have a definite idea of where I am going with a painting. It is very simple, in order to get somewhere...you need to know the directions or you may get lost and get nowhere.

In my next blog I will continue to describe the remaining steps of my process. In the meantime, take a look at the examples that I added to this post related to the thumbnails.

Till then! Have  a happy painting!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Books as a means of motivation and inspiration

A few weeks ago there was a post on Facebook related to artist's favorite books. The post immediately triggered my curiosity. It was interesting to see that all the books that were recommended I already own and read!.

During the development of my art career, books have become a companion and a source of motivation, inspiration and learning. For those of you who enjoy reading books too, here is a list of reasons and books that I recommend based on my own needs and experience:

a) Art books are a good source to learn about the path that master artists has gone through to grow as an artist. At this time, I am reading "Cecilia Beaux - American Figure Painter" by Sylvia Yount. I absolutely love it! I also recommend "John Sargent" by Evan Charteris.

b) I also use books as a source for helping me resolve problems that I encounter in my painting process. If I find an obstacle while I am working on a painting, I immediately look for ways on how other artists tackled it in their own paintings. Some of the books that I consult the most are: Alla Prima I and Alla Prima II" by Richard Schmid, "Oil Painting Secrets from a Master" By Linda Cateura, "An Artist Teaches - Reflections on the Art of Painting" by David Leffel, "The Language of Drawing - From an Artist Viewpoint" by Sherrie McGraw, "Not Far from Home" by Daniel Gerhartz and "Vision & Voyages" by Susan Lyon among others.

c) Books that lift our artistic souls to a greater level. This is difficult to explain but here are some books that I highly recommend that are related to this subject: "The Art Spirit" by Robert Henri, "The Painter in Oil" by Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst and "The Eye of the Painter" by Andrew Loomis.

I have some more books that I recently received and I am really looking forward to read them. In future blogs I will provide more information about these new books.
Happy painting and Happy reading!!!