by cheri sabraw
I returned to oil painting last year after a 50-year hiatus, setting up my studio in one of our guest bedrooms.
In order to acquaint myself with painting in general, I tried several subjects in acrylic paints.
And this one, again from my photography, taken on a lonely road trip down Highway 25 on the eastern side of King City, California.
I was ready to oil paint, asking my friend Linda how to clean my brushes!
The process has been stimulating to be sure. I’ve read many articles about oil painting, consulted some of my friends who paint, and studied the paintings of the 17th century by the Dutch Masters in order to learn glazing.
The results? Well. At this point, I can say I am satisfied with my progress but have so much to learn. As my friend Glenys reminded me…once a painting is done, varnished, and hung, the errors begin to make themselves known, like small fears bubbling from the unconscious.
I am a slow painter, adding layers of color gradually, trying to establish a depth and luminescence.
I think I achieved my goal with this 24X30 oil on canvas titled “At Rest.”
Again, using my own photography this time, I painted “The Tenant,” one of our barn owls from last winter.
The last painting I completed in 2017 is this one, a large oil (24×36) on canvas of a bison with an impasto set of curls approaching the photographer. It is titled “No Discouraging Words.”
I was feeling pretty good about my accomplishments in 2017 until I enrolled in a plein air painting class way out by the Salt River in the Tonto National Forest.
There, I learned just how difficult it is to mix every color of the rainbow out of 4 base colors plus white.
Trying to mix the oils and then draw and paint a well proportioned horse proved to be a challenging and (at times when the horse switched directions) frustrating experience.
And then there was Drago, the beautiful young and muscular quarter horse, who modeled for us at the Scottsdale Artists’ School.
Alas, my rendition, done in 1.5 hours as the light changed, makes healthy Drago look as if he is ready for the knacker.
I thank my newly-made friends from that class–Cindy Lou from Dallas, Shelley from La Jolla and Marla from Madison for their good cheer and instruction.