Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spring in the Adirondacks, 7x5

Spring in the Adirondacks, pastel on board by Adriana Meiss

     This little pastel basically painted itself after a short break from the dust.  Paintings that "happen" this way always have a special spot in my heart. I get back to my pastels expecting a struggle and instead everything is smooth sailing.   The reference photo was from three years ago and it's been on top of my studio table, moving from one spot to another. Finally it was time to paint it. 

But was it really how it happened?  I've been reading Incognito a book about how the brain works by David Eagleman, and basically he says that most of our actions are processed in the brain way before we put them into action.  Is looking at a photograph for quite some time --for  weeks or months, a good way to start a painting?  Has my brain been painting this scene without my being aware of it?  Eagleman's book seems to infer that.  Maybe that's why most of the paintings in the "bad pile" are those started on impulse...  I hope this is food for thought, in the meantime, I'm going to tape some reference photos on the studio walls so that my brain can start the process...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sailboat at Sunset, 10x8"

Sailboat at Sunset, pastel on board by Adriana Meiss

In August we took a dinner boat trip with some friends on Skaneateles Lake, and of course I came back with lots of reference photos to paint from. This is one of them, and hope to post new ones soon. I'm taking this painting and another one to Gallery 54 next week.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Moody Day, 11x14"

A Moody Day, pastel on board by Adriana Meiss

Another painting in the exhibit at the Edgewood Gallery, which will run for two more weeks.

This painting is based on two different references. The background with the barn was from some friends' adjacent property that for a long time I've been wanting to paint it. The only problem was that I didn't want a manicured lawn in the foreground and I didn't know what to do instead. Then, I saw another reference with the blooming tree and immediately I knew the two would go well together.

I had almost everything worked out, but spend several weeks figuring out what else to do in the foreground.  At the end the opening of the trees in the middle ground suggested a path and I was satisfied with the way it turned out.  There is something about fog that I find very appealing, and one of my goals is to do a series of paintings on this subject.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fading Light, 9x12"

Fading Light, 9x12" pastel on Ampersand Pastelbord, by A. Meiss
    It's been very busy around here but not because I'm painting. It seems that preparing for the show took so much energy away from me that I have not touched a dusty pastel since. I've started to feel the need to paint on a regular basis once again and to encourage myself a little bit, I went to get some beautiful flowers to start a few small sketches.... at least that's the plan for today...

   On opening night at the Edgewood, four paintings were sold, yeah! For the one above, which is in the exhibit,  I played with the original reference photo for  while, and ended up flipping it because it offered a better composition. I know it is very simple but I found it very challenging to paint, mostly because I wanted subdued colors in general, and had to fight the tendency to use brighter ones where they were not really needed. The scene is from the Otisco valley.