Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. It's a journal of sorts. It gives me a place to show my work-in-progress for my painting and photography. Comments are welcome --- add one at the end of an entry or email me at BarbBlumer@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, December 31, 2012

"Shells" Oil Painting - Revisited

approx.  14 x 17"  Oil on Panel
One of the benefits of having a studio on Market Street is the amount of wall space I have.  I can put my work up and look at it at various stages. 

This painting was getting on my nerves after I saw it in the light of my new studio.  I could see lots of imperfections in the surface and the colors looked dull. 

The board I used to paint on wasn't masonite.  It was some other board I had cut at the Building Company to fit this non-standard frame.  Seemed like a fine idea at the time, but in retrospect, it was too crude.  The surface wasn't smooth enough; plus, it absorbed too much gesso and sucked up my paint. 

So, I decided to sand off all of the blemishes and repaint everything except the shells.  I just boosted their highlights a little. The biggest change I made was to add interest to the background, using purples and teals, to make it more atmospheric. I think it looks better now.  There are still some bumps in the surface but the colors are more vibrant and the contrast is better. 


Sunday, December 30, 2012

"Snowbound" Painting

16 x 20 Painting
I am very happy that " Snowbound" has found a new home.  It was the first painting I made with eye make-up so it is special to me.  Both warm and cool grays give it depth, and a sepia look.  I used water and brushes to apply the pigment on watercolor paper.  It was then matted and framed.  Completed size is 16 x 20. 
The other make-up painting I made also sold, so I now I am without any make-up paintings in my studio.  I am hoping to try my hand at it again after the new year.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Value Comparison

I was closer than I expected on this one

Thought I'd try a new way of looking at my work-in-progress:  compare the painting to my reference in black and white. 

Still have some drawing problems to solve
I can see better where I have drawing issues, and as well as opportunities to deviate from my reference.

Don't know why I am procrastinating doing this one
I am going to push myself to finish all of these by the 15th.  Sometimes it helps to set a deadline. 
This one is fun.  I am looking forward to finishing it.
The first part of the basket I painted looks pretty good, so I am just going to go for it. 
Looks like a bad hair day, but I think I can make it work.
I was going to scrap this one, but now that I see it in black and white I think there are some elements which are working so I think I will try to salvage it.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Apple Stack Painting in Progress

Apple Stack Painting in Progress
10 x 8 Oil on Pa
I took a series of photographs of apples as potential still lifes, and chose this stack of three to paint first.  I really struggle with painting apples.  I am not sure why.  But I will keep painting them until I figure them out.  In particular, I find painting red apples the hardest. 

Here's the charcoal sketch.   And the green apple.  I am breaking a personal rule  -- I never paint "the" subject first.  Usually I paint everything together so that the values and colors relate to one another.  But, I wanted to see what would happen if I really zoned in on the focal point first, and then worked backwards. 


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Heather Basket Painting in Progress

Heather Basket Painting in Progress
10 x 8 Oil on Panel
For this painting, I made a detailed drawing in charcoal then fixed it.  It is a more complicated subject than fruits so I drew the whole shebang*.  It might have been overkill but I knew the basket was going to be challenging to paint so I decided to go ahead and figure it all out.  I think it will make painting more relaxing. We'll see. I've never painted a basket before.  There are many changes in direction of light which means the values will change frequently.  So, I have been thinking about how I am going to approach it.


* This is an American phrase from the 1920's meaning the whole thing, or all of it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

"The Bartletts" Oil Painting

"The Barletts"
10 x 8 Oil on Panel
I think I am done with this painting, which I am calling "The Barletts."  It is the first painting I have ever done where I used charcoal to draw a sketch first. (I usually draw with paint.)  Well, I learned the hard way that you must fix the charcoal and let it dry completely before painting.  I didn't and the charcoal mixed in with my paint and the charcoal drawing still shows through in places, if you look closely.  Nonetheless, I found it more relaxing and fun to paint this way because I had already done the drawing underneath. 
Lesson learned:  fix your charcoal drawing and let it dry completely. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Anemones Paintings in Progress

Anemones Painting in Progress
10 x 8 Oil on Panel

Before we had our first frost, I picked anemones from the garden and set up arrangements to photograph for paintings.  This is the first one I have started.  To my chagrin, I started with a taupe background and then realized that I wasn't going to be able to get a true white.  I think I can make it work if I build up successive layers of white paint.

Sketch for Anemones
So, for the the next painting of anemones, I started on a white background and drew a sketch in charcoal then fixed it.  I hope to begin work on this painting this week.  It's larger.  Anemones are actually quite tall. 


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Painting in Progress: Three Fruits

In Progress --- Still Wet Still Life of Three Fruits
Thought I'd start to post some of the things I have been working on this fall.  I am working on still lifes, and I decided to do underpaintings.   This means that I do a drawing first to work out the composition and solve some of the drawing problems. 

 The underpainting
For this painting, I used a bright pink 8x10 panel leftover from The Grid project. I used Van Dyck brown oil paint to make the sketch.

As a reference, I used a black and white photo from a roll of film I took in Beijing back in 2002.  I like to use black and white images because I get to make up the colors. 

In general, using photos (versus setting up a real still life) can be problematic.  And in this case, there were distracting elements in the background and foreground which I had to eliminate. 

Testing it in a frame
As a result, the plate isn't as grounded as it should be.  It looks like it is levitating.  But, instead of trying to fix it, I think I am going to just name it "Flying Saucer" as suggested by my painting buddy, Lin.

Once it dries, I will tweak a few things, including the apple, but I am pretty happy with the progress I am making on it. 


Friday, August 10, 2012

Tour of My New Studio at 11 West Market Street

"360" View of Interior of My New Studio and Gallery
at 11 West Market Street in Corning New York
(Click on Photo to see full, larger view)

Took some photos today to show you what my new studio looks like.  I used an app on my iPhone to take some panoramic views so you can get a feel for the space.

"360" View from outside 11 West Market Street
(Click on Photo to see full, larger view)

This is what it looks like from the outside.  The movie theater is to the west, and Centerway Square to the east.  There is a door in the center, and my photography gallery is on the left, and my painting studio is on the right.

And here's a short video of a family visiting my space.  It's 18 seconds long.  (fyi - it might not work on an iPad so better to view on a computer.)

Ernie G. of the Gaffer District designed my front window on the left side of the entry, the "gallery" side.  Believe it or not, it is done with foam core.  I am using the electronic picture frame that Steve and Colleen gave us to show a slideshow of all of my photography.  It's on the pedestal to the left.

I recently picked up my work from the Arnot Art Museum, including this banner which had hung outside the museum, so I put it up in my studio.  And rehung all of the photography on the "gallery" side of the space.

And I recently added my name to the back wall (to match the front window.)  JHDesigns in Elmira made the vinyl letters from my signature.

There is a small back room which I have included as gallery space.  It flows surprisingly well.

There are quite a few columns which gives me additional space to show work.  I have mixed in a few iPaintings along with my photography and oil paintings.

This is a photo I took earlier in the summer.  I am using my late mother's harvest table with new aluminum chairs in the center of the room to meet with guests.  And her kitchen table with stools for my painting table.  And our old kitchen rug to protect the nice wood floors in the space.

Here is my easel.  I recently started a painting of a billowing cloud.  It isn't done, but I put it in a frame to see what it might look like when it is finished.  Then, I will take the painting out of the frame and work on it some more.  This was just the results of the first day and an hour or so of painting.

I put the frames and paintings in progress on the wall.  And stack up other frames and panels on the floor.  I am going to get a storage credenza eventually.

Here are my brushes, paints and tools.  I bought a new ceramic jug during Glassfest the weekend I opened (Memorial Day).  I need it for doing my eye make-up paintings.  The ceramist was a very interesting woman.  Her blue vessel has a story written in drawings around the outside of it.
"360" View of "Studio" Side from Outside
(Click on photo for a full, larger view)

From the outside, this is what it looks like on the "studio" side, to the right of the entry.  People stand here and watch me paint.  It doesn't bother me.  Little kids are the most enthusiastic viewers.  I also have a few paintings on display. There is a sign that says my paintings are for sale across the street at West End Gallery.  And today I added signs for where to eat in Corning.  I get asked that question a lot.  So, I made a map and a list.  You can see it on my food blog.  Here's the link:  www.FeastEveryday.blogspot.com

I have also put my BHB books on display and set up an iPod so there is music for guests (and for me as I paint) but  I need a better way to display my books and business cards.  I have my eye on a concrete console which would look very cool, I think.

There were some very strange vibes in my space.  People (including me) avoided some spots. And frames fell off the wall there. Turns out my space used to be an antique store and there was some negative energy in it.  My friend, Jo, came and cleared it for me, and guests immediately started going to those spots.  Now there are only happy vibes at 11 West Market Street.

I hope you will stop in to see me when I am there and let me know what you think.  Photos never quite convey how it looks in person.

This summer I am there usually on Wednesday or Thursday afternoons.  In the fall I plan to be there painting on a regular basis.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A "Bonus" Oil Painting

approx. 8.5 x 16 Oil on Panel

I dropped off  "Horizon" at West End Gallery for the current show and it is now hung upstairs.  Please check it out if you get a chance and let me know what you think. 

This painting started out as part of the sky from "Turtle Cloud", i.e., my husband helped me cut this section off the painting.  Heresy, I know!  But, in the end, all is good.  I ended up with two, more successful paintings than if I had left it as one.  There is yet another "sky panel" to be painted---a small square---so maybe I will end up with three paintings from the original one.

It is really fun, and challenging, to tease a painting out of the abstract colors I built up from the original sky.  In this case, I placed the horizon line first, then began to bring out the cloud bank, and then the focal point of the orange rays.  I was imagining that I was some place in the Florida keys when I was working on the painting, but it can be anywhere the viewer wishes to be.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Re-visiting "Rays" Landscape Oil Painting

Yesterday I asked my husband if he wanted to see the pond that is in this painting. We were on our way back from Ithaca, so I showed him where to turn off.

Wow, in person, the pond is so different from the photo I had taken and used as a reference. My memory had played tricks on me.

In reality, the pond is quite close-up versus far away. It felt like it was brimming with activity. Perhaps I will paint that feeling someday.

In retrospect, I am glad I choose to focus on the sky and the rays. The sky was just as memorable yesterday as it was the first day I discovered this spot.

This oil painting, "Rays," is currently on display at West End Gallery in Corning.


From www.barbarahallblumer.blogspot.com, thanks for your interest in my work!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thousand Islands Studies - Ongoing

Thousand Islands Study No. 31
We visited Thousand Islands Park a few weeks ago, and I was able to take a walk around the block late in the day with my camera, as I like to do. 

You can see the previous studies by clicking here, or the tab on the home page, entitled Thousand Islands.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Good Luck Comes in Threes

11 West Market Street Studio

A few weeks ago a visitor from the New York City area saw my paintings in the window of my new studio, and decided to inquire about them.  Thanks to West End Gallery, who coordinated the sale, the new collector ended up buying not one, or two, but three!  

Valley View
8 x 10 Oil on Panel

Nocturne No. 1
10 x 8 Oil on Panel

8 x 10 Oil on Panel

I am very excited to have a new collector, and happy to see the new studio working out so well.   I have really been enjoying the new space.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bye - Bye to "The Grid"

Bye-Bye to "The Grid"

Now that I have a studio space at 11 West Market Street, it is time to give up "The Grid."  That was the project where I painted 8 x 10's to go in "the grid"* at the lake, then gave them away to guests who visited.  It worked really well.  It kept me motivated to paint, and importantly, to finish what I started.   The recipients seemed to enjoy picking out their painting-in-progress and then receiving it when completed.

*The grid is a window grille insert turned sideways and hung on the wall in the guest room at our lake house.

Some of our family and friends will be sad to see it end, but I am ready to paint some of my larger panels --- some are 36 inches wide x 28 inches high --- now that I have the space.  It will be exciting to paint BIG.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Two New Oil Paintings

"Out to Dry"
8 x 10 Oil on Panel
"In the Park"
6 x 10 Oil on Panel

Today I will be dropping off these two oil paintings at West End Gallery for their upcoming show, which opens next Friday, June 8.  I hope they find new homes!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"Rays" Oil Painting

8 x10 " Oil on Panel

Will be dropping off this painting later today at West End Gallery for the opening they are having this Friday, May 4, from 5-7:30 p.m.

It gave me a chance to practice on clouds and creating distance in a landscape.  I still have a lot to learn about clouds, but I think I made progress.

"The Grid"
It was one of my paintings I had started for "the Grid" from a photo I took of a farm pond on the way home from Ithaca to the lake late one summer afternoon.

Here's how it looked "before." 

Here is how it looks now.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

News: The Observer Extended to June 15

Extended to June 15 at the Arnot Art Museum

Hot off the press:  The Observer was supposed to end this coming Friday, but the Arnot Art Museum has asked to extend it another 6 weeks until June 15.


Friday, April 27, 2012

"New Mother" iPainting

"New Mother" iPainting

This is the only iPainting I have done this year, since finishing the 75 iPaintings project last year.  She's not in the book, and she's not the bird below, but I thought I'd show her anyway, since we are at the height of nestmaking here.

Killdeer Bird with Nest -- Look closely under her body and you will see the eggs
As an example, there is a bird who built a nest, with four eggs, in the middle of the driveway outside our storage unit where we've been going to get the furniture for the new studio space.  A Good Samaritan constructed a mini-Stonehenge around the nest to keep cars from running over it.


I completed a Blurb book of my iPainting, called 75 iPaintings, which tells the story of my adventure making them.  You can preview it by clicking above.

And yesterday I ordered Moo.com cards to match.

I will be using my new studio space at 11 West Market Street to have a conversation about them.  What do people think about digital art?

I can explore what's the best way to view them ---digitally on an iPad or big screen?  in book format?  small framed prints?  iPad sized prints?  poster size enlargements?  or none of the above.

One suggestion I have already received is to make a iPad painting version one of my traditional oil paintings,  then print it out the same size as the oil painting and see what people think.  Then, the only variable is technique.  And it would prove how realistic you can paint on an iPad.  Food for thought.