Thursday, March 20, 2014

Well, here I go, painting again! It's been some time since I've picked up a brush and tried to "imitate life" with oil paints. Happily, I still have all my old equipment so I'm not starting completely over. But it seems I'm going to have to regain whatever skills I had before I can even hope to improve as a painter. Then again, it's learning. And that's the fun of it!

Got the easel dusted off and set up:

And my brushes, paints and various other tools of the trade:

And decided that I'd procrastinated sufficiently.  Time to actually do something!
So I started with something "simple." An apple:

It's painted on a 9 in. X 12 in. canvas panel. Kind of an odd size, I thought, but I found several of these packed away and they are just fine for what I'm doing.

And what I am doing is just getting the feel of manipulating the paint. I'm not thinking very much about the shape or color, just marginally paying attention to the values and chroma, mostly getting used to sliding paint around, trying to make it "behave."

Since doing that first painting, first in a very long while, I find that I've gotten over the fear of an empty white canvas and that's always been the hard part for me. So, the next day (today,) I've done another one. And this one is another apple, but I kind of think it looks a little more like a beach ball than I was hoping for. . .

This one (same size,) was still quite wet when I took the picture, so there is quite a bit of glare showing up. Again, this wasn't meant to be a "serious" painting, but an exercise. Something to let me re-learn how to manipulate or move the paint. After another 6 or 8 of these, I'll start to working on something more "serious."

By that, I mean creating  a credible visual recording of what I see. Not a photographic image, my camera can do that. But a way of showing others what has caught my attention, my fascination, and passing along this Imitation of Life, to others.

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL


  1. I have never tried painting. Fear of white canvas may be the first problem for me. Fear of failure - that's my ultimate problem. I admire you and hope someday you can get me over my fears. Happy painting!

    1. If we can overcome our work schedule conflicts, I'm sure we can get you started painting. In the mean time, see if you can DVR search for "Welcome to My Studio." Record and watch. This is Helen Van Wyk's instructional show on PBS. I added a link to her video and book web site. Don't buy anything right now, I have some of her materials you can take a look at.