Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Can't See My Feet
Day 23


© A.K.SIMON - Can't See My Feet - 6" x 6" oil on museum panel

My friends and family know that I have been struggling to lose weight and eat right for some time. So I thought, why not combine my current obsessions? Art being the first and a fierce determination to win this battle with my own body to rebound to a recognizable self (I know the me I remember is in here somewhere).

This painting is a result of combined, creative obsession. I found this red pepper at the store the other day and could totally relate. The poor thing looks like me my first day of yoga. Totally in the spotlight (real or imaginary) struggling to bend in ways that have not been attempted in years (or ever). And, there are those lovely yellow peppers in the line behind standing in their mountain poses with their hearts centered and bodies balanced. The poor red pepper in the front, sweat sparkling in the light, hoping nobody notices the muscles shaking!

Hubby asked me the other day what I learned in yoga and I said, "I think I just learned how to kiss my own butt!"

BTW - wonder if the produce guy thinks I'm weird for studying each pepper before picking this one! May never be allowed in Meijer again.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chrysanthemum
Day 22



© A.K.SIMON - Chrysanthemum - 8"x8" oil on cotton panel


Chrysanthemums are such resilient flowers. As cut flowers, I think they last longer than just about any other flower so you can take your time painting them. This is one of those wild ones that just seems like a party's going on at the end of a stick.  This piece was just fun and I used the compliment purple in the background as well as some of the deep shadow areas of the petals. I also used one of my new favorite colors, Gamblin's radiant turquoise. I love all the new radiants by Gamblin (well new a couple of years ago). 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Steady as She Grows - 5 x 7 oil on linen
Day 21



© A.K.SIMON - Steady as She Grows - 5 x 7 oil on linen



There is much tenacity in the stem of a tulip. Did you ever notice if you try to separate them from their bulbs too early in the spring they refuse to budge - they will separate when they are good and ready. These tulips were given to me by my husband for valentines day. My intention in this study was to paint it with as few strokes as possible and with as big a brush as possible in as little time as possible. So, this piece, though it is only 5x7 was done with a 1.5 inch brush for the entire piece. Believe me I turned that thing every which way possible. The other goal was to work on my midtones. The tulip leaf is not a cadmium kind of leaf so I premixed a gray green before I started. This plant was sitting on the island in my kitchen so that is where I set up shop. The light was coming from a window at the right. I achieved my goals in this painting so I consider it one of my most successful paintings ever. Hubby says no (but what does he know, right?). In fact, he says, "please don't ask me, I don't know what to say." (don't laugh, I know you've been there!)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Red on Red
Day 20

© A.K.SIMON - Red on Red - 6"x6" oil on linen panel

sold

This, a study of red, is most interesting to me because of the highlights and shadows in the vase. You don't know the place but the shadows in the vase speak of the long narrow room with the window off to the side. The tiny little highlights are the overhead lights that run the length of the room. I just like the mystery involved in the vase, who is there and what may be happening in the blurred reality. The bird was glass and had a gold wing. I struggled to make it less vivid so I toned the wing back to a lighter red. I hate to say it Connie, but this is one ugly glass bird. I just couldn't leave  the piece all red though - had to add that little bit of green.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Contained Cobalt
Day 19


© A.K.SIMON - Contained Cobalt 6" x 6" oil on linen panel
sold

I'm always excited when I see cobalt blue. It is such a vibrant color and commands attention whenever you use it in a painting. I combined cobalt and ultramarine violet to get the actual look of a cobalt glaze. At one point in college I used to mix glazes for pottery and always loved using cobalt in the mix. 

So glad it's Friday - my favorite day of the week - always was - always will be

Have a great relaxing weekend! I'll be seeing my sisters for a "YA YA" get together - that's always good for plenty of laughs, food and shopping. Oh well, girls will be girls! (and I use the term girls loosely) 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Painting in a Painting
Day 18


© A.K.Simon - Painting in a Painting - 6"x6" oil on linen panel


Though I've painted many metals before this was my first for silver. The still life was set up by Donna Noice and this is the part of the whole scene that I decided to paint. I thought it was a neat idea to put a painting in a painting. I did end up toning down the reflections in the silver though because I thought it just looked a little too much like Flavor Flav's teeth when he smiles. Although I'm pretty sure his are gold and not silver.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Flavor of Fall
Day 17









This painting is quiet like Fall. The day is done, you've finished raking and it's time for a snack - "enough said"! I like the flow and harmony of this piece.
Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust - 5" x 7"
Day 16



© A.K.SIMON - Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust - 5"x7" oil on linen


Today is Ash Wednesday so I am in a somber reflective mood (or is it a food coma from pigging out on pork and sauerkraut on shrove Tuesday). This is the time of year I charge ahead with making commitments to do things in a more disciplined fashion (like painting everyday). Sometimes I actually do succeed. This year I will restrain from eating sugar through lent and would very much like to maintain this discipline for the rest of my life. Those who know me well know this will be no easy feat. I am a full-blown, non-recovering "sugarholic"! Going cold turkey "ain't gonna be easy."

Anyway, back to the painting - this Bible was a gift to my mother from Republic Steel upon the passing of my father nearly 48 years ago. Many of his coworkers came to our home and presented this Bible along with cash they had collected amongst themselves for our family. The sad fact is that he was only 40 and my mother was left to raise six children between the ages of 5 and 16 (I was 8). I don't really remember how this Bible ended up in my possession, but it did, and today I guess I know why.

It came in this lovely wooden case and the bible has a beautiful cross zipper pull. How fitting a subject  to ponder ones mortality. I recall my sister consoling me on that dreadful day of my father's passing by saying, "just realize that nothing in your life will be more difficult than this day." I have to say, I shed a few tears while painting this one - to ashes we shall return.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunshine in a Vase - 6 x 6
Day 15



©A.K.SIMON - Sunshine in a Vase - 6"x6" oil on linen

This piece is a practice in complimentary color use. I used some analagous color in the background but  the foreground is totally a combination of the compliments, including the gray on the table top and lip. My favorite part of this painting is the sunlight on the lace - too bad it's part of the background.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Anthurium in Pink Wrapper - 6 x 6
Day 14



sold

Walking through Meijer (an Ohio & Michigan department store) the other day this fabulously beautiful plant caught my eye. The flowers (if that's what they are called) stand up like male birds trying to attract a mate (can you tell I've been watching the Planet Earth DVDs). They stand high above the other leaves and refuse to be ignored. And, not only is the plant attractive, it is wrapped in this two-toned pink and red wrapper. The powers that be are going to make sure we consumers don't miss this one.

I have two voices, an inside and outside. This painting is definitely done in my outside voice. This really is a quick study painting and I do have some other compositions planned for this same plant.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"X" Marks the Spot  - 8 x 10
Day 13 (just seems like 48)



click to buy

Welcome to my dark side. Face it, we all have one. This piece is in strong contrast to my lighter side which is demonstrated in "Three Amigos" (2/6/2012). This is my attempt at nearly monochromatic. When this still life was set up I just kept being attracted to the spot where the light on the pear and the ribbon connected. I know about tangents and trying to avoid them but I don't really care. Sometimes I just want to do what is wrong just because someone told me I shouldn't. So, what is my favorite part of this painting - the place where the "X" is formed - oh well, sometimes being wrong just feels right.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Blue Glass Festival


© A.K.SIMON - Blue Glass Festival - Oil - 6" x 6"

sold 

Sorry to post this one again but I took a better picture and wanted to use it for the online auction.
Have a good weekend!
Amaryllis Basking in the Sun - 8" x 8"



© A.K.SIMON - Amaryllis Basking in the Sun - 8" x 8" - $75


Check out this youtube video and you'll see why this flower is so inspiring. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imer-Sa5x8Y&feature=share_email


I really love the amaryllis because it is often given as a gift at Christmas and will bloom in your home when the days are dreary (if you live in Ohio). One day there's nothing, then suddenly there is 6 inches of growth in one or two days. This one belongs to a friend and we painted it together on a Tuesday morning in class. These flowers grow from a bulb and I don't think I have ever seen an amaryllis growing outside.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Glorious Morning Pitcher



©A.K.SIMON - Glorious Morning Pitcher - 6"x6" oil on linen $50


Morning Glories are such a beautiful color and shape. I remember when my mother would plant them on a trellis by our back door. So when I was painting these my thoughts were of her and how strong images of our past never die. Especially how the little vine spirals hang in the air reaching for someplace to grow.


This is just a little sideline still life that was set up at a workshop I was at a while ago. I started it there then finished it from a photograph, which I would rather not do. Oh well, some days there are just not enough hours!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sunshine on the "Pair"






I love backlighting, it just creates such a romantic ambiance which is perfect for a valentine's day painting. What you don't see, and the reason for the paintings name, are the two flowers hidden outside the frame. What are they doing up there? They make the perfect "pair." Now, time to go spend time with my special valentine! Hope you enjoyed the day thinking about love, relationships and peace - not politics . . . on and on ad nauseum.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fragile as a Feather


sold 
 
When I painted this little Asian vase I was thinking about the Japan earthquakes and how fragile  we are at any given moment. The vase stands alone in the center of the painting, graceful and poised while all eyes are focused on it - yet still so fragile.  The feather lies beside it symbolic, dashed to the ground, severed from what once was.  Sometimes there is far more to a painting than just a pretty picture (assuming you think this is a pretty picture). 
Hotter Than a Habanero

©A.K.SIMON - Hotter than a Habanero - 6"x6" oil on linen $40


First, let me just say I did it! I made it through the whole week blogging and posting paintings every day. It really has not been that easy and I have a renewed, great respect for those of you who have been doing it for years. Whew, how do you do it? I do know that I have learned a little about myself in the process so that can't be all bad.


Also, my sincerest thanks to all of you who have been sending such nice comments about the work and to those of you who are now subscribed to the blog or following my auctions on http://www.dailypaintworks.com/Artists/a.k.-simon-2572. Your support of my efforts means so much to me. Painting has always been my dream and I am so fortunate to have loving family and friends who tolerate my addiction (and enable me).


Now, about this painting: these three guys were sitting on the studio table at the base of the easel opposite of where I was struggling with another still life. My eye caught the strong light and in one fell swoop with my ever-ready bounty paper towel, I wiped off what was there and this became its replacement. I often find it better when I'm struggling to just wipe it off and start over with something new. Sometimes the painting is better because of that nice underpainting. You'll never catch me eating one of these though!



Saturday, February 11, 2012

Onion Vase

©A.K.SIMON - Onion Vase - 6"x6" oil on linen $40

Again with the drama - Red against white is so appealing to me. Everything else in the painting takes a back seat. Someone recently asked me about these last few paintings and why are they so "up close." I explained that I paint these all from life. These works are from a larger still life setup done by Donna Noice at our loft painting sessions on Tuesdays.  I hone in on a small section of it and try to make a good, closeup composition in a limited time frame.  A "mouse over" view I call them. I must be judicious with my time because these works are done alla prima (wet on wet) in whatever timeframe I have and need to be completed that day. After all, aren't all paintings "mouse over" views? You never really get the whole picture no matter how much of the scene is painted.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Coming from a Place of Need



© A.K.SIMON - Coming from a Place of Need - 6 x 6 oil - $75






I found these shoes in Robert Warren's studio one day when I wasn't too moved with the still life that was set up so I made my own. They just had such character and sense of history that I was intrigued past. I imagined them belonging to a male child who lived through the depression years. I added the ball and only one jack so I could tie the painting to my concept. Who can play jacks with only one? This child was not only lacking in physical needs but more importantly lacking in a sense of youthful play and spirit which can be and were far more damaging. Many depression era children grew up only knowing how to shoulder responsibility. How sad is it to hunger for a sense of security and not knowing where to turn for help? Many children around Appalachia still wear these shoes. What is our responsibility to them?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sunlit Copper Teapot



I love copper. In addition to painting, I also make jewelry that is very "earthy" so I use copper when I can. I like the colors I can get when heating or combining other chemicals with it to force a reaction. This painting says "nostalgia" to me. Again, red and green just work! Shout out to Robert Warren for the loan of the copper teapot.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Apples in Leaning Brass Pot


























sold

This piece is all about the drama. The lighting was so strong and everything so shiny that it reminds me of those "glitz" pageants on "toddlers and tiaras" (yikes, some of those kids scare me). This pot has a little lean which I almost corrected until I decided that imperfection can be charming - what harm is a little side swagger. I did this piece in the fall so there is a plethora of fall color - including the little baby pumpkin on the left trying for its 10 min. of fame in the spotlight. 


So, when I decided to show red paintings as a precursor to the upcoming valentine holiday I thought it would be difficult. A teacher once told me that a painting isn't finished until you add the red. Apparently I took that to heart because I'm having no trouble finding works with red - the power color. This piece made it as a meritorious entry in the 2011 Small Works exhibit presented by Jack Richeson Art Supply/School. I forgot to mention the other day that the painting, "My Favorite Things" made it in as a meritorious entry this year. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Metryoshka & Melon



©A.K.SIMON - Metryoshka & Melon - 10"x8" oil on cotton $125

For those who are not familiar with a Metryoshka, it is a set of wooden nesting dolls of decreasing size placed one inside the other. The figures may be either gender but the outer shell is usually female and they typically follow a theme. There tend to be five figures and each one may be of any gender with the smallest one usually being a baby. 


This doll ended up in my painting because my friend, Becky visited Russia and brought this doll back to our teacher Donna as a gift. And if you know Donna, you have to know that all of the gifts you give her end up in a still life someday! (moral: choose your gifts wisely) As for the melon, doesn't everyone eat melon while admiring their Metryoshka?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Three Amigos







Today starts a new chapter in my art career. Yesterday I joined an online gallery called DPW (Daily Paintworks). With this online ability I can not only get my work out faster, I have the ability to auction the work. This week's focus for me is on Red to celebrate Valentine's day. The first work that went to auction just this morning is my post from 2/1. You can get a glimpse of the work in the sidebar under the DPW widget. For those of you who love art, it really is a pleasure to peruse all of the beautiful art pieces that are posted daily. Warning, it can be addicting. I know firsthand!


Three Amigos is another of my favorite pieces. First, because I love red, and second because of the perspective. This plate was such an odd shape that I decided to become "one with it" and run the edges of the plate along the edge of the canvas. So, the shape here is the actual shape of the plate. Three Amigos will start in auction at DPW tomorrow but there are other works that can be purchased directly from my gallery there (it redirects to my website).

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Favorite Things



©A.K.SIMON - My Favorite Things - 8"x10" oil on linen $150





If I really have a favorite color it would be green. But, green has so many variations how could  I possibly choose? This painting has clear red glass which is so striking juxtaposed to a fragile white tea cup. They constantly fight for your attention, sort of like husbands and children! But I digress. This painting speaks of "femaleness" to me. The teacup fragile and small but willing to take the lead, the bold red saying, "I may be in back but I will be noticed," and who could forget the ever-present "pepto-bismol" pink that has become associated with breast cancer awareness. "Frooffy" female painting, I think not! Fragile but fierce is a better expletive.


Please support better healthcare research for all female illness and disease

Thursday, February 2, 2012

All My Money in One Pot
© A.K.SIMON - All My Money in One Pot - oil on linen - $150



How interesting for most of us that in these economic times all of our money would probably fit in a vessel this small! I've read that the plant is called the money plant simply because of the coin-shaped leaves. I also read that if you plant a money tree near your home it wll bring you prosperity. Maybe we should plant a forest on the Whitehouse Lawn (lol). 

This still life set up by my friend Donna has some interesting surfaces. I do like the kind of "watercolorish" feel of the painting and my favorite part is the blue-green jar. Did you notice the little dragonfly on top of the jar? 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

1 Euonymous, 2 Euonymous, 3 Euonymous, 4




SOLD

I never knew that there was a variety of euonymous that produced a berry (I can hear Sheila saying, "I can't believe you don't know that"). So, when our Tuesday morning friends got together to paint, and I saw these little red berries, I was inspired. Turns out you shouldn't get too cozy with them either because they are poisonous - isn't it always the red ones that get you! I've heard it is often confused with bittersweet.

I love this painting. I consider it one of my most successful pieces. I knew it would be a challenge to paint the red on red but the little beige "berry hats" help to frame them. I liked this one so much I used it for our Christmas Card - "Have a Berry Merry Christmas" - what can I say - the red and green work.

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