Monday, April 30, 2012

BFs Forever

©A.K.SIMON - BFs Forever - 5"x7" oil on masonite - $45

I always buy the tomatoes that are on the vine because they just seem more like what we used to grow in our garden. I haven't planted them in the past two years but hope to get the plants in this year. These two gems, attached at the vine, were irresistible as I was looking around for something to plan for dinner before I left for the studio. Into my bag they went, I painted them, then we had them in a tasty basil, mozzarella, olive oil tomato salad for dinner. However, seeing these two attached by the vine I almost felt bad separating them to eat them. That is when the name "Best Friends Forever" came to me (a throw back from when my daughter lived at home and I used to see it written on all of her notebooks signed by her friends). Just so you know, they were yummy and their lives were not spent in vain. Their rich "lycopene-ness" will take us into our "golden" years!

This work was started on a pre-toned, cad orange masonite panel. I put color on then "turped" out highlights, I used my favorite Gamblin radiant blue to pop the orange. There is also some palette knife work on the table and I've found that the transparency of cobalt violet over burnt sienna makes a lovely bright brown. It's really hard to ignore this painting, even from across the room.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Dressed for the Party

© A.K. SIMON - Dressed for the Party - Oil on Masonite - $100 


Isn't this wine sleeve awesome? A few months ago a store named "Corner Smith's" opened across the street from the studio. Carmelita and Kendra Smith are self proclaimed "pickers" and they find the most amazing things through travel and word-of-mouth. Their store is filled with eclectic items and they change constantly, so you MUST visit often! They also sell the artwork of each of the artists in our  studio for which we are extremely grateful. We've kind of got this thing going on now in Canal Winchester where we are cross-promoting each other's businesses. Of course we have always done this but now we are being a little more aggressive. So, in trying to figure out how to make my art connect with my city I am collecting things from each business and incorporating the objects into paintings. I think it's about time to hit the cupcake store again - banana split flavor is calling! I also can't wait till the new crepe cafe opens. Painting powdered sugar sounds like a real challenge. And, in producing these paintings with the things I purchase our local businesses are patronized - win/win!

I'm really pleased with how this painting turned out and even debated whether I would sell it but then the reality of studio rent snapped me back.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

White Duo and Daffodils

© A.K.SIMON - White Duo and Daffodils - 8"x8" oil on Ampersand Panel - $200 framed


This work was started a while ago and I finished it on Monday. My original plan was to make it pretty much grayscale with just the daffodils yellow. I started it from life but didn't have the time to finish so I took a picture (it never feels the same to me). I really liked the colors I started with but did not write them down and couldn't remember but I am happy with the softness that came about by switching some things. An artist friend told me, remember when you use gray in your painting it will become your blue (if you aren't using blue). The gray really looked blue so I pushed it a little more to purplish by adding some cobalt violet to the torrit gray in areas (Gamblin's end of the year machine cleaning mix). I am happy with the quietness of this piece.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

CS Gallery Opening on Parsons Ave.,  Columbus, OH  2nd Anniversary Celebration

Just sharing some of the fun from Saturday evening:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Clearly Iris

©A.K.SIMON - Clearly Iris - 6"x6" Oil on Linen Panel $75

Done with the temporary job, art stroll banner is done, art opening is tomorrow and Leo (the lovable Lab) is reunited with his adoring family. So, Friday was the day to finish some work previously started. That can be really hard to do when you like painting alla prima, but I have found a product by Winsor and Newton called "Blending and Glazing" medium that seems to work best for me. I just brush it over the whole painting in a thin layer (make sure your whites are all dry or you will have a cloudy mess).  I have used the retouch varnish by Winsor but it seems so "sticky."

This work was started Tuesday with the "upstairs painters." It is another piece for my "spring flower" collection. These Iris are all in various stages of death. Well, so one already bit the dust, but I find something interesting and graceful about the way they were leaning on the edges of the vase. These are miniature Iris and they have really big "beards" but because of their demise they no longer showed. The good thing is that they did not lose their lives in vain - they are forever immortalized in this painting (or at least Raymar claims the panel will last a really long time).

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Origami Orchid 6" x 6" oil 

©A.K.SIMON - Origami Orchid 6" x 6" oil on 3/4" Ampersand Panel $100

On Saturday's we have open studio for the public so I spent the time today doing this piece. Foot traffic was really light today because it was gloomy, cool and raining in Ohio.

This was an orchid too big for the opening of the small vase so it was kind of squeezed in there. It almost appears like a flower puzzle with the pieces needing assembled or parts folded together. So, it's not really origami, just looked like it to me. I'm working on a series of single vessels with vibrant blossoms so this is the first companion piece to "Clearly Pansies" posted on March 27. The interesting thing is that I did not use any black in this piece. It really is difficult to render something as beautiful as "mother nature" creates!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Golden Spoon 6"x6" oil on linen panel
Day 43

©A.K.SIMON - The Golden Spoon 6"x6" oil on linen panel


Nothing worse than disappointing yourself. My best laid plans to post a painting everyday have been really disrupted. Someone once told me, "life is what happens while you are busy making plans." A few things happened - a trip, a small art opening, poster work for a community art stroll and a temporary full-time job which will be over the end of next week. Oh, and add dog-sitting for my son which I am thoroughly enjoying. I am enjoying Leo's unconditional love (non-stop, he is a Lab)! And, I forgot Easter, zumba, yoga, Tuesday painting class and Wed. evening anatomy and human figure drawing class.

Since I did make it to "Tuesday's Upstairs Painters" and finished this piece, I am putting it into the auction. At the beginning of class Donna made mention of her lovely golden spoon so I named the painting after something seemingly unimportant to the picture but not to Donna. The lilacs smelled heavenly and were just off to the left in a very detailed basket, which I knew would be too labor intensive for the time I had. Connie finished a beautiful painting of the whole scene because she paints at "warp" speed. I'm going to have to start making quicker decisions (better ones too)!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Not Forget Me Nots
Day 42

© A.K.SIMON Art - Not Forget Me Nots - oil on linen panel 6" x 6"


Just got back from Vegas so I'm jet-lagged and behind on my painting. What a fabulous fun trip and I enjoyed meeting many of my husband's colleagues for the first time. What a fun-loving group of people! I got to see the Monet exhibit at the Bellagio and some early work that I had never seen before really captured me.

How ironic that I forgot the name of these little purple flowers. They are not Forget Me Nots. I remember they start with a "B" but it is late at night and the name is just not coming to me. I do know they are often mistaken for Forget Me Nots. Again, there were other elements in the scene but I know now approximately how much I can accomplish in our "upstairs painters" sessions so I purposely choose objects to accommodate my limitations. One of the primary goals was to get the feeling of a stoneware glazed pot. The odd shape on the pot is a brownish glaze that ran down the side (I hope it reads that way). This work was started on an asphaltum primed (allowed to dry over several days) canvas. I really like asphaltum because of the transparency it lends - hope you've heard of it because almost nobody ever uses it in the classes I've taken.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Organic Orchid
Day 41

©A.K.SIMON - Organic Orchid - 5"x7" oil on double-side primed masonite

Could a flower be any more elegant than this? I have nothing but respect for this flower. They grow at the end of those long stems then bow their heads in reverence to their creator. At least that is how I see it. Since they appear elegant and mysterious I kept the background ambiguous. My goal on this piece was to make the flower flow through the space in the same arc as it was growing. There was a cloth behind it that had a light edge so I was able to lose the flower on that side to make it a little more interesting (I hope). I will revisit this subject (probably many times).

As an aside, I read a little about orchids. There are between 10,000 and 35,000 species according to whichever site you search, so it is really hard to pin down the varieties.  I had always assumed they were parasites because they always grow along something. But, that is just what they are doing, growing along with something and taking none of the nutrients from the host plant. They just peacefully co-exist in nature wherever their seeds may land. As common as they are, it seems they have just become readily available through our department stores in the last several years.
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