All about the inspiration behind the art. Acrylic Paintings, Impressionism, Art, Southern, Modern, Contemporary, Coastal, Flowers, Famous Places, New Orleans, Florida, Gulf Coast, Food, Expressionism, Fauve, Cityscapes, Architecture, Decor, Painting, Beach, Tropical, Seascape, Landscape, Still Life Mona Vivar Fine Art: May 2014

Friday, May 30, 2014

Back At It and Down to the Sea

I took a brief respite last week from my blog during the Memorial Day weekend and came back energized.  Even artists, perhaps especially artists, need to step away from the daily creative process to see things from a new angle.
One thing I noticed in reviewing my paintings is that I am doing a lot of seascape paintings.  This has crept up on me unawares as I have continued to produce a high number of paintings with a variety of subjects.  No matter what I paint, the sea haunts me.  When I think about it I realize that I have always been pulled towards coastlines.  The only time in my life when I didn't live within a few miles of a shore was while I attended law school in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  I felt stranded in unfamiliar territory.  Once I finished school I promptly fled to the west coast of California as a Navy lawyer.  Later, I lived aboard an aircraft carrier for two weeks at a time floating around in the Gulf.  When I left the Navy I settled right back near the Gulf where I have remained ever since.
So here are more seascapes.  Grayton Beach calls.

Copyright Mona Vivar, Down to the Beach, 12 inches by 9 inches, acrylic on canvas
Now on Ebay at Mona Vivar Fine Art

Copyright Mona Vivar, Smooth Sailing, 12 inches by 9 inches, acrylic on canvas
Now on Ebay at Mona Vivar Fine Art

Friday, May 16, 2014

Finishing the Triptych

For the past two weeks I have been painting a large acrylic triptych featuring Denali National Park.  Today's post is the final installment of my mountain climb...

I am well into the middle stage of the painting commission, but have a fairly clear idea of what the final image will look like as I fill in the foreground leaves and flowers.  I begin to add snow on the mountains.  I fill in the lake and add some cloud reflections.

I decide that some of the flowers in the foreground need to be changed from deep red to purple.  I leave some of the red pink flowers on one canvas.

                                             I add more cloud reflections on the water.

I then add more snow and begin shaping the mountain reflections.

More of the same.  I decide that the yellow hill on the right is attracting too much attention, so I paint in green grasses to make it recede visually.

Here is the final version.  The mountain is fully reflected in the lake.  Clouds pass over the mountains.  Snow is partially melted because it is summer in Alaska.  The landscape of Denali Dream rolls on forever.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Middle Stage of the Triptych

It has been my experience that the middle stages of creating a painting are scary, or at the very least, messy.  I have wanted to stop everything and simply quit a painting sometimes when the going got rough in the middle, but I found that if I soldiered on, the painting would resolve itself as it neared completion.
Here is the middle stage of the Denali triptych.  Colors appear random.  Shapes are indefinite.   The mountain range looks more like the gentle hills of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the eastern United States than jagged Alaskan peaks.  The paint is applied thinly with a brush.  I will not be deterred.  I am laying in the basic shapes and working all over the three canvases.  Lingering too long over one area or one canvas will result in an over worked piece.  Yep, this is the messy middle stage.

I keep things handy.  The red step-stool lets me work on upper parts of canvases without having to readjust easels

I always like my palette better than what's on the canvas!  I keep brushes soaking in water tray so the acrylic paint won't dry on the bristles.

Another shot of what is going on.

Distant fields and trees have sprouted!
As I continue to work I will be adding thicker paint and definite, dramatic definition to various sections.  Flowers will bloom, water will sparkle, shadows will create the illusion of light and mountains will grow ridges.  I'm looking forward to that. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Painting a Large Triptych

Before I tackle the subject of painting a large scene across three canvases, I want to show you how the chicken planter painting turned out that I was painting last week.  Here is the completed painting.

Copyright Mona Vivar, Marigold Chicken, 12 inches by 16 inches, acrylic on canvas
Private Collection
This week I am working on a large commissioned scene of Denali, Alaska.  I am excited about this job because the mountain landscape will extend across three canvases measuring 36 inches by 24 inches each.  I am using several photographs provided by my client and my own impression of this beautiful place.
First, I had to make my work space efficient.  I put all three of my easels close together, placed studio lighting from both the right and left sides and placed two trash cans within easy reach.  My easel is to the far right and is not shown in the photo.  I toned all three canvases with yellow ochre acrylic paint.  These will be acrylic paintings.
I then sketched basic horizon lines with a mix of ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson.  I placed mountains, hills, lake and forefront on the canvases making sure that the lines flow across all three.  I even drew myself an arrow in the left upper corner of the painting indicating which direction the light in the painting would be coming from.
I then start applying paint at the top in order to establish the sky.  I used a palette knife for the start.  I will be using the palette knife throughout the creation of this piece along with brushwork as needed.
There will be many adjustments as I climb this mountain range, so be sure to check back to see my progress.