Sunday, November 18, 2012

After the Open Studio Tour

Couldn't post during the tour, no WIFI. Had a great time painting and talking to the tour patrons and the fellow artists sharing the lobby of the Shenandoah University Theater.

"Arts Council Sour Grapes", Steven J Parrish, 12" x 9", Oil on Linen, SOLD

I started this painting Saturday morning and battled sunlight coming in the windows all day. I moved the lemon slice 3 times and finally got a group decision that this was the best composition.Near the end of the day as the sun set and my spotlight finally gave me the highlights I expected I got some great suggestions from tour goers about the reflections in the Ball jar. I wiped off the middle lemon and called it a day. Sunday morning I managed to block the sunlight enough to finish the painting at about 11:30 AM. I remembered to bring some Cadmium Yellow to re-paint the lemon. Amazingly enough you can't paint a lemon with just Cadmium Lemon. My fellow artists and visitors declared victory and told me I was finished. I agreed, I really like the loose brush work and the exposed canvas, this is one of those paintings you can ruin by over working. The title of this painting was also a group decision and is really about the colors and in no way represented our mood or opinion of the tour. We had a real blast talking art and life for the two days. Just need to sign, mount, frame and deliver. As always I am truly humbled when someone appreciates one my paintings enough to add it to their collection.

Me hard at work in front of some of my other paintings.

"Cookie"s Boxes", Steven J Parrish, 10' x 8", Oil on Linen, UNFINISHED

I started this painting on Sunday at about 12:30 PM and managed to get it this far along when the tour ended at 5 PM. The two lavender colored boxes I borrowed from Cookie Robb the stained glass artist setup next to me. The color of these two boxes really went well with the background and the lemon. I hope to finish this painting in the next week or two.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Shenandoah Art Council open studio tour

The Shenandoah Arts Council's open studio tour is this weekend November 10-11 2012. I will be painting at the Shenandoah University Theater lobby both days. Come out and watch me paint.

I will try to post some photos of this years painting at the end of each day.

Here is the painting I did at last years tour.

"Holiday Pressure", Steven J Parrish, 20 x 16, Oil on Linen

This is the painting I did two years ago.

"Odd Lot", Steven J Parrish, 20 x 16, Oil on Linen

Hope to see you this weekend.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

The completed paintings + 1

Day 1 painting; I didn't actually do anymore work on this one. I just put a coat of Resin Gel to bring back the color.
"V", Steven J Parrish, Oil on Linen, 8 x 10, Complete

 Day 2; I didn't actually do anymore work on this one. I just put a coat of Resin Gel to bring back the color.
"Art Deco Pipe Wrench", Steven J Parrish, Oil on Linen, 8 x 10,  Complete

Day 3; I worked on the lemon slice, re-shaped the bottom of the pitcher, added the burn out between the lemon and the cup. Sorry about the glare photo taken with iPad. 

"Lemon Aided", Steven J Parrish, Oil on Linen, 8 x 10, Complete
 Day 4; I re-painted the top cup completely.

"C Cups", Steven J Parrish, Oil on Linen, 10 x 8, Complete
Bonus painting (The +1); I painted this in Bethlehem, PA last year with Linda Volrath and Sandra Corpora. I have always wanted to finish it and today was the day. This is part of the construction being done at the Steel Stacks renovation at the old Bethlehem Steel Mill. All three of us painted this view that day, the construction workers thought we were crazy painting their equipment. I don't think we ever convinced them how beautiful it was. I do think they appreciated our interest in what they do. Follow the this link to Linda's painting Sandra didn't put her version on her website.

"Steel Stacks Construction", Steven J Parrish, Oil on Linen, 10 x 8

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Painting Challenge Day 4 or 5


This was my setup for day 4 or 5. Depending on how you keep score, this was my fourth challenge setup, but I was just too worn out to paint the fourth day. So this painting was painted after a one day break. For all you artists out there that can create art for 12 hours a day, every day, I tip my plein air painting hat to you.

This setup interested me for several reasons, the rust, shine, color, and the construction. You can see the clip I had to use to keep the setup from toppling over. I asked my family on Facebook to guess the title of this painting the day I painted it. "Three cups balanced on a 2x4 in a rusty clamp" made me laugh but was incorrect. The title is in the caption of the end of the day image below.

Early afternoon break

I worked for many hours before I took my first break on this painting. I don't have a photo from early in the process but it was pretty dark and I had some drawing issues that were fixed by the time I took this photo. The canvas is covered and the drawing looks about right, the top cup is too large and needs to be corrected.

"C cups", Steven J Parrish, Oil on Linen, 10x8

Finished late in the evening, this is the least finished of the paintings in the challenge. The turquoise cup just had too much paint to finish. I couldn't lay the highlights on or get the reflections in. Will get another days work for sure. Other than that I like the way it is here. I really like the duct tape on the C clamp and the red cup. I believe this is my first painting of a scrap piece of a 2x4. They're kind of boring, but just what I needed to add some interest to the setup.

I am the first to admit I am not a daily painter and my intention with this challenge was to force me to paint still lifes the way I paint plein air landscapes. A sense of urgency and limited time. I used the approach I use for outdoor painting, quick thin lay in, cover canvas early, mix accurate colors, and paint as fast as you can under control. I really enjoyed it, can't wait to see what happens when I start my next large still life.

Thank you for following along, I hope everyone found it interesting, I know I did.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Painting Challenge Day 3

Day 3 setup

This was my setup for day 3, it burned out in the photo but that is a lemon slice hanging over the teacup. You can see a piece of scotch tape between the cup and the lemon, that was to keep the lemon from spinning. The silver carafe is from the The Willard Hotel, Washington, DC. It's not dated but has some years on it. There are great reflections in both the carafe and the cup and that was the focus of the painting.

Morning break

I took an early break in the morning when the canvas was covered. I like the abstract feel of this block in. You can see that the drawing of the carafe and the cup are not symmetrical here. The handles are off as well, that's enough saying what's wrong.

Midday break

Starting to get some of the great reflections in here. You can start to see how the colors of the table and background are showing up in the colors of the silver and blue. The lemon slice is thickly painted here because the background red and purple kept bleeding through. I should have wiped off the area before painting the lemon. Thick paint can be laid on dark wet paint and work but it makes things more difficult.

Late afternoon break

Great fun painting the silver carafe, correcting the drawing issues, some of the highlights are placed but not finished. More reflected light has been worked into the teacup. The lemon slice has even more paint at this point, should have scraped it off so I could bring it to conclusion with the rest of the painting.

End of day 3
"Lemon Aided", Steven J Parrish, Oil on Linen, 8"x10"

Worked over the entire painting to pull it together. Warmed up the colors and refined all the drawing. Worked on the background and shadows. The yarn and lemon were the last things finished since they moved in and out of the volume of space surrounding the other objects. This was a fun day of painting, I wanted to use very expressive brushwork and let the painting pull together from about 5 feet away. Of course all my fellow painters will enjoy the painting from 2" away as well. Will have to evaluate the lemon slice at some point to see if it can be improved. Once again, clean up, critique, wine and prepare for the next day.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Painting Challenge Day 2

Day 2 Setup

The morning of day two and this was my setup. I have really been inspired by all the rusty old tools handed down from my Stepfather in law Jack. I always start looking at the still life items we have in our studios and somehow seem to end up in garage picking through the rusty pile. Some of the construction elements are visible here, the thread keeping the bottle from falling and the Masonite shim under the pipe wrench handle. What you can't see in this photo is the large counterweight at the bottom keeping the whole thing from falling over. 

Even though I am posting a week apart, I did indeed start a new painting every morning.

Day 2 Early afternoon break
I worked many hours on this painting before I took this picture. The drawing and block in took a while to get correct. My values were way off and it wasn't looking good then Linda came in and pointed out the error of my ways. One of the perks of living with an amazing artist.

Day 2 End of day (Night)
"Art Deco Pipe Wrench", Steven J Parrish, Oil on Linen, 8"x10"

Warmed up the colors quite a bit from the earlier stage. Needed the warmth to contrast the cool of the dark blue glass. I'm happy with the way this turned out, I think the background could use some work if I work on it again. Finished later the second day than the first, cleaned up, critiqued and setup a new group of objects for day 3. Painted standing up for day 1 and 2, day 3's setup was lowered so I could work sitting down. Legs and feet really tired.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Painting challenge day 1

Day 1 Setup

As a still life artist the time to complete a painting is very flexible. Unless you're painting fish, cut fruit or cut flowers you can paint a setup over weeks. When I started going out plein air landscape painting I had a real challenge. How do I compose, set up equipment and paint a landscape in the few hours of ever changing light? My wife Linda Volrath and a good artist friend Sandra Corpora would organize plein air marathons and invite me along. Our marathons consist of two landscape painting sessions per day for 3, 4 or 5 days straight. At the end of every day we would line up the paintings and critique. By the end there were 20 to 30 paintings lined up. Quite an accomplishment. I decided to see if I could duplicate this with still life painting. I prepared and set aside a five day stretch to see what would happen. Of course the daily painting groups have been doing this for years, but I had never finished a still life in one day. My plan was to do simple setups and attempt a morning painting and an afternoon painting. I assembled the setup here for day one and realized it was not simple so one painting per day became the new goal.

First Break

After several hours of placing and blocking in, this is my progress at the mid-morning break.

Second break

Second break progress late afternoon. Things are roughly where they belong and refining color and drawing.

End of day 1
"V",  Steven J Parrish, Oil on Linen, 8" x 10"

End of day 1, exhausted. Stopped at around 9:30 pm. Adjusted color temperature, shadows, background and drawing.

When the painting dries I will determine if it needs any touch up to call it complete, but all in all it's at least 90% finished. Clean palette, brushes, drink a glass of wine and figure out a setup for day 2!