December 19, 2016

Persimmons and Cranberries

Persimmons and Cranberries, 12 x 16", Oil on Canvasboard by Tracy Feldman
This piece is a continuation of my Vegetation on Oilcloth Series. I chose cranberries and persimmons to have together in this work because I like the way their shapes mimic each other, and the way the warm-colored fruit looks on the black and white oilcloth.   I played a lot with the composition to get it "just so."
I started doing this painting by using the underpainting technique I learned in Dreama Toll Perry's course this fall. But I didn't complete it using her using Dreama's ala prima painting style because getting the colors to work well together well involved a lot of experimentation.   I like the result in the end, and I hope you will too. 
I'm considering putting this series up in my gallery on the Fine Art America site because I believe they'd make great subjects for people who wanted to make cards or to get prints of the series for their kitchens, etc.. What do you think?  Should I do that?

December 8, 2016

A Better Way To Spend My Time

View From Elaine's Place, Inverin, Co Galway, IE
Persimmons and Cranberries on Oil Cloth - sketch by Tracy Feldman
I produced these three sketches yesterday during a long wait. Creating them was a fun challenge that kept me in the moment -- which really helped me not fret too much and also helped me be present.
Fall Light in Coole Park, Co. Galway

The first sketch is the view in from my friend Elaine's home in Inverin, Co. Galway. I am thinking about turning the second sketch into one of my vegetation on oil cloth portraits. And the third one is of late afternoon light as we walked along a forest path in Coole Park. 

I used sharpies, colored markers, a brush pen, and watercolor on sketch paper to do these pieces. All in all, a much better way to spend the four hours than sitting in a waiting room and watching the same news stories recycle dozens of times.

Vegetation Portraits on Oil Cloth?

Cyclamen on Oil Cloth - 16 x 12" Oil on canvasboard
 by Tracy Feldman
     This is another in the series that I am painting of objects on the wonderful oilcloth I bought for my kitchen table.  I had been calling the series, "Vegetable Portraits on Oil Cloth", but I think I'm going to need to change the name to "Vegetation on Oil Cloth" because as the growing season is coming to an end locally, I am going to need to look further afield for my portrait models.  What do you think?

     This one is of a lovely plant that a friend brought me and suggested would be a great subject for a portrait.  It's called a cyclamen.  Several varieties grow here in Ireland.  Some, like this one, are hardy enough to over-winter here (at least in mild winters).  Others go dormant over winter but return in very early spring (February) to brighten the forest floor.  Their vivid hues are very welcome during Ireland's particularly gray months.
 Cyclamen underpainting

      As you can see on the right, I used the under-painting technique I learned this fall from Dreama Toll Perry.  But because I could not finish the piece in one sitting, I used my painting medium when completing the painting.

           I chose to show the plant from over head because that point of view made the cyclamen appear to be growing out of the tablecloth  -- and that appeals to my "reality with a twist" sensibilities.  I also took several portraits of the plant from the side. I'm also going to paint one of those because I loved the way the perspective changed how the "leaves" look on the oil cloth.  So keep your eyes peeled for that, and for a persimmon and cranberry portrait that is also in the works!

December 4, 2016

Revisiting Paintings

Redone picture of geraniums.

Sometimes when I walk past a painting day after day, elements of it start to bother me. If  I get bothered enough, I'll just go in and change the painting to make it better for me. 

This is one of those pieces.

Original version.
 I didn't like that lack of vibrancy of the geraniums. I got more and more bothered by the thickness of the wood between the window panes. And, the very bottom of the painting bothered me too.

I more pleased town and I hope you are too.

November 18, 2016

Finding Autumn (Fall) color in this area of "rocky beauty" -- as it is called in the tourist literature -- what I loved about living in Galway during This Week

Last week, we went walking in some unusual woods with old trees in County Galway: The Barna Woods (in the Galway suburbs) and Coole Park -- the grounds of Lady Gregory's estate in southern County Galway.  Lady Gregory was WB Yeats' patron and confidant as well as a writer in her own right, and a founder of Dublin's Abbey Theatre.  It was wonderful seeing the color and smelling the scent of fallen leaves.  Enjoy -- we certainly did!

Coole Park Pictures:

Barna Woods Pictures


November 11, 2016

What I loved about Living in Galway during Halloween Week 2016

Macnas 2016 Parade - music, costumes, giant puppets,
folk on stilts, acting, dancing -- what Craic!
 Macnas's 30th Anniversary Parade for Halloween! 

They say in Galway that the Halloween celebrations started in Ireland.  It spread to the States with the people escaping from the potato famine.  Like so many things,  American Halloween celebrations -- through the influence of TV, films, and folk returning to Ireland --  have come back to influence how the event is celebrated in the 21st century.  For instance, we first lived in Ireland for the year in 1999/2000 , and tThen the majority of children who came to our place were dressed as ghosts and ghoulsThis Halloween, the costumes are closer to the ones we'd see back home:  more superheroes,   Disney characters, princesses, rock guys and gals, etc. than we saw in 1999.  Also, like at home, kids are much less likely now to trick or treat on their own, without a parental chaperone.  

One thing that makes Galway, Galway, is how much Galwegians enjoy "the Craic" -- pronounced "the crack".  It refers to fun-loving people  getting together to have a good time with friends, perhaps at a special event.  That is why a wonderful, community-based puppet/parade company has thrived here for the last 30 years. This Galway-based, non-profit street theater group puts on huge, elaborate parades that incorporate music, drumming, dance, and giant, human-powered puppets. Its parades are so wonderful that the group (Macnas)  has been invited to perform in many places in the world.  The Halloween-themed Macnas parade celebrating its 30th anniversary was a truly wonderful spectacle.  But the spectacle did not stop with the Macnas performers.   Many of the individuals and families who packed the streets to watch the parade also dressed in wonderful, elaborate costumes of their own.  Craic indeed.  And even though we were only visitors (and not dressed for the occasion), we loved  it.

        We got a lot of fantastic images of the event, and I might paint something this year based on what we saw.  Periodically check on this blog or my website for the work I produce this year.

November 9, 2016

Second in my "Vegetables on Oilcloth" Series

Can't Beet Them - 16 x 12" oil on Canvas.
 This is the second in a series of vegetable portraits that I've started since arriving in the Galway (Ireland) areaThe series was inspired by a wonderful oilcloth I bought here, and Ireland’s beautiful vegetables.

I adore the oilcloth's graphic quality contrasted against the natural shapes and intense hues of the beets.   Galway has a thriving farmer's market, and a number of Fruit and Vegetable shops in the area at which I can buy beautiful, fresh veg (as they say here) that still have their greens attached to them.  Including them reminds me that they come from the earth - which I love.

Hope you enjoy!  I haven't figured out how to sell these pieces on-line yet -- because I don't know how to handle the shipping, etc. from here.  But, I'm working on trying to put together a show here, and if I still have them when I return home, I'm going to ship them home in a bike box. Then,  I'll make them available for sale. 

Note: to return my home page.

March 1, 2016

Grateful for Beauty -- Wherever I Find It

Gift Bag in Oil, 10 x 8", Oil on Canvas, by Tracy Feldman
       Beauty sometimes comes in unexpected placed.  For instance, we had friends over for Valentines Day, and friends brought us some kit to use for dipping bread in olive oil.  It came in a beautiful bag. And while it probably was not intended to be a work of art, it was so lovely that I knew I'd wanted to paint it as soon as I saw it.  
       As you can see from this post, I did just that TWICE: first in watercolors and then in oils.  I  like the feel of the oil painting better than the sketch, but I've included it so you can compare them.
Gift Bag in W/C, Watercolor on Paper
      Notice that I changed the setting and the cloth on which I placed that bag, and I think I think those choices also make it more interesting than the sketch.  I ever paint it again, I'll center it a little more. But even so, I had a great time painting it and like how it turned out.  I hope you do too.

      As is usual with the small oils I paint (this one is 10 X 8"), it available for auction in my gallery on  Check it out if it interests you.

February 23, 2016

Watercolor Sketching and Oil Painting

Arny Relaxing With A Good E-Book, watercolor on paper by Tracy Feldman
 As part of my effort to keep growing as an artist, a while ago I joined a daily sketching group.  I am not as faithful as some people are about doing and posting work each day.  But, seeing other's work inspires me to do more and stretch in ways that I might not otherwise.  For instance, lots of people often work al la prima, while I am more used to working from photo references.

The sketch to the left was inspired by those brave souls. I call it, "Arny Relaxing With a Good E-Book.  I did it yesterday from life. Arny is my husband, and he was such a good sport posing for me. Like any good model, he had to stop in the middle when his feet fell asleep. I painted it because he looked so relaxed (and cute) while nestled in all those pillows. 

His response was, "I look so much like my dad", and, basically, he is right. True ... he is taller, has somewhat more hair, and has a mellower personality, but otherwise, he's the spitting image of his dad.
Unless someone specifically asks me, I won't put this piece up for sale.

 The other piece I'm featuring today is a piece I am making available on auction in my gallery.  The painting is called, Snowy Day at F&M 1.

    It is of a clock on the campus of Franklin and Marshall College during the huge snow storm we had a A couple of weeks ago. Arny was on the campus for part of it because he is a mathematics professor there, and he used his iPhone to take a number of beautiful photos of the campus in the falling snow. 

I particularly loved this one, so I painted small (10 x 8") version of in oils.  I am putting the painting up for auction in my Daily Paintworks Gallery. I call it "Snowy Day at F&M 1" because I might paint some other of the images he captured that day. Check it out there if you want. 

February 17, 2016

Guest Room on a Snow Day

Guest Room on a Snowy Day, 8 x 10",  Oil on Canvas, by Tracy Feldman
Watercolor sketch for this oil painting.

Here is the oil painting I said that I'd create the earlier watercolor sketch I did of my guest room. 
I like both, but I prefer the texture and value range I was able to capture using oils. I also love the way the snowy day view outside the window came. Notice that I added some of the brick colors in the bedspread. Doing that helped visually tie the piece together and using a warmer hue in the foreground also helped draw the side of the bed closer to you. It was that image that initially captured me and inspired me to create a painting. 
I wanted to paint this piece because of how that beautiful snowy view contrasted against the still, formality of the bedroom.  The composition brought to mind Van Gogh's "Bedroom in Arles", and I thought it would be fun to capture the feel of that piece. He used oils, so maybe that is another reason I prefer my oil of the same scene.

What is funny to me is when I went on-line to see Van Gough's work, I realized that while both have a bed, paintings, and a window, they are very different.  But, even so, they still give me a similar feeling. 

Today I am posting this little oil on auction in my gallery.  So, if it appeals to you, check it out.  For the first three weeks, it will be listed on auction -- starting at $25.  After that, I'll list it for sale at its normal, higher, on-going price. 

February 9, 2016

The Best Laid Plans

Guest Room on a Snowy Day, watercolor on drawing paper, 8 x 10."
by Tracy Feldman
It's funny how things work out sometimes.  Today I opened the door to our guest room and saw such a beautiful snowy scene out the window that I had to paint it right then. 

 Unfortunately, I started with the bed area first and part way through realized that almost none of the view out the window would fit on the page. 
The view that inspired today's work.

 I still like the piece, but I took a photo of what inspired me, so you don't totally miss out on what inspire me.  
I am thinking about painting a small oil of my guest room and putting it up for sale in my gallery.  I think the texture would add another dimension to the work, and  I don't like how the whites of the sheets turned out.  

February 8, 2016

Mea-Culpa Me

Mea-Culpa Me,  Watercolor on Paper by Tracy Feldman
Didn't get enough sleep last, but I still wanted to complete a sketch/painting. So, I checked out my photos and up came this image of me that I took to illustrate my next newsletter. I wanted to communicate the feeling I was saying "Mea-culpa" for the month's delaying to my newsletter for a long time. I thought doing a sketch might be fun. The techniques and materials I used included starting with a pencil sketch done on my Strathmore Drawing Pad, then adding watercolor, and finishing with Sharpies and white gel pens.

I don't know if I'll use the piece to illustrate my next newsletter, but I had a great time doing it. Hope you enjoy it too.

February 7, 2016

Cranberry Cordial 1

Cranberry Cordial 1, Oil on Canvas, 10 x 8",
by Tracy Feldman
This little painting is largely about memories. The tablecloth used is one we got on our first trip to Europe 30 years ago. 

We were visiting Burano, Italy and loved the lace/cut work table cloths they made. The glasses are antique "thistle"-style cordial glasses that an old family friend got to help commemorate our having spent a year in England.

 I added the cranberries because the color and the shape of the berries seemed like they would complete the composition.  I'll probably paint another version of this tomorrow because I think zooming out would add something to the work.

I am putting this on up for auction in my Daily Paintworks gallery.  Check it out if you are interested in it.

February 4, 2016

Nested Pear

Nested Pear, 10 x 8", Oil on Canvas by Tracy Feldman
This painting is the second in my series of pear paintings.  I realized that I wanted to do a piece where I featured just one piece of fruit.

Because I worried that it would look odd just sitting there on its own, I wrapped it in a nest of white tissue paper to create the impression it was a gift that had just removed from a carefully-packed fruit box.  It was fun playing been with the rounded shape of the pear and sharper angles created by the crinkled up tissue paper.

As usual, I'm selling this small piece at auction in my on-line gallery on  Check it out!
Cranberry Cordial


Go to my Facebook Page to see the watercolor sketch I also completed today.  It is called Cranberry Cordial.

February 3, 2016

Winter Pears on Silvered Platter

Winter Pears on Silvered Platter,  10 x 8", Oil on Canvas
 by Tracy Feldman
I have been experiencing a block when it comes to doing what I need for my art.  So to inspire me, I am reading Carol Marine's book "Daily Painting".   She advocates that people paint small and often to grow as artists.  She also encourages her readers to blog and sell their work on-line.

Watercolor sketch
of the same topic
I have not finished the book yet, but I can tell it is starting to help get me moving again with my art because I created two small paintings today.  I am calling each "Winter Pears on Silvered Platter" because they are of the same topic.  The pieces aren't identical, however.  One is a watercolor and ink sketch on paper.  The other one is an 10 x 8" oil on canvas.  If you look closely, you'll notice I changed the composition in the oil painting and added directional lighting to add dimension and interest to the piece.

         It felt good to feel more productive again. That doesn't mean it is not scary to do the second type of activity Marine recommends: blogging about, and posting the work for sale on-line.  Wish me luck as I post the oil on and offer it for sale at auction.  Eek!

       If this piece interests you, check out my auction in my gallery!