Friday, December 18, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I had a studio near the Old Village in Mt. Pleasant for a couple of years and I saw this great old water tower everyday. I've been wanting to paint it for awhile. One day as I was walking in the Old Village back toward my studio I looked up and saw this perfect composition. Boom! Like a hit on the head.
This painting isn't the typical "pretty" painting. What is attractive to me is the design. Underneath my paintings my goal is to have a good design, if it happens to be a beautiful thing, like a tree in bloom with a lovely bird feeder, that's icing on the cake.
Those types of paintings might not be the most "salable", but I have to paint something I believe in.
I entered this painting into the Oil Painters of America 2009 Eastern Regional Juried Exhibition Of Traditional Oils. I'll keep my finders crossed as this is a highly competitive exhibition.
Happy drawing & painting!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The day I made some sketch notes for this painting a thunderhead was moving in. Past plane trails were also etched across the blue sky. A Redtail Hawk lives up there so I felt the plane trails could symbolize that for me. What interests me about this is not only the very cool old watertower, but also the fun design possibilities. Stay tuned for the up load of the finished painting... should be next week. Happy drawing & painting!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I've enjoyed getting to know Garry. He is originally from Spartanburg, then moved to Greenville. After I finish the paintings, frame them and tie up loose ends I'll post some more about the show.
This is a Press Release about the show, written by Beverly Knight.
“Town & Country: Urban Scenes by Isabel Forbes & Beyond City Limits by Garry Turpin,” opens May 1 at the Artists’ Guild Gallery in Spartanburg’s Chapman Cultural Center.
Both artists work in oil and focus on subjects that they find to be compelling, attempting to capture a visual moment that the viewer can experience vicariously.
Forbes’ “Smith’s Drugs #1” pictures a nondescript storefront that people drive by every day as they hurry from one end of Spartanburg to another. The painting transforms it into a colorful scene, a red bicycle leaning casually against the front wall contrasting with the blue striped awning of the small building on Main Street.
Turpin’s “Mountain Folk” recreates a relaxed scene as well, but one filled with people—and in the forefront a young woman, red hair flowing and bare feet dangling from the edge of a front porch, smiling directly at the viewer.
“Goldenwater,” a painting of a mountain stream, white water rushing around boulders and toward the viewer, showcases one of the recurring images in Turpin’s work. The artist says his work captures water’s variable nature, “its beauty and power, its color and lack of color and its varying degrees of transparency, always providing an interesting ‘painter’s journey’.”
Forbes, since her recent return to Spartanburg, her hometown, after three decades away, has focused her art on urban scenes that “had a visual spark or surprise and revealed something new about the familiar.” For several of the paintings in the exhibit, she explored Spartanburg with a bicycle rented for three months for $15 from the Hub Cycle Spartanburg Community Bicycles program run by Partners for Active Living. With her sketchbook and watercolor pad, she rode around, drinking in the sights until an image attracted her attention.
“Typically I work quickly and directly from life for two to three hours on a painting or drawing until I get the feeling, light, and space of a location,” Forbes says of her oil paintings, referring to herself as an observational painter who works from subjects that are part of her everyday life.
“I will then work on the painting back in the studio, developing the forms and trying to resolve the design. I look for the extraordinary in the ordinary. Painting, for me, is a way of connecting and discovering.”
She chose paintings for the current exhibit from subjects that she had a personal response to, focusing on subjects with a “sense of familiarity not just because I recognize a particular place but because I also recognized a feeling or remembered an experience.”
Turpin, who received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Mars Hill College in 1971, has lived in the Spartanburg area, with his wife Bonnie for the past 38 years. After twenty-five years in the graphic design, illustration and photography business, a career that led to numerous awards and opportunities, he decided in 2000 to return to fine arts, more specifically oil painting. For the past nine years he has made painting his primary work.
“I invite the viewer to join in my interpretation of our world.” Turpin says of his paintings, many of which are portraiture or landscape. “I use the rich variable colors of oil paint to capture my feelings and the presence of my subject and hopefully pass it forward to trigger a memory or connection in viewers to what they see.”
Turpin describes his art as “my memory, the many paths I take, the people I encounter and the balance and rhythm that are created by man and nature,” those things that not only express the artist’s experiences but also revive memories in the viewer’s mind of things he too has experienced. Turpin loves the challenges that are presented in portraiture. “Rendering a physical likeness and projecting that person’s personality make portrait painting a unique offering to both the person being painted and to the artist,” Turpin says.
An artists’ reception for the exhibit is scheduled for May 2, 6 - 8:00 p.m., and is free and open to the public. The exhibit continues through May 28.
Gallery hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Admission to the Guild Gallery is free of charge.
For information, contact Laura Pinkley, 864-764-9568.
Happy drawing & painting!
Monday, April 6, 2009
Once I arrived in Germanton, NC I found this great farm just accross the street from the home I stayed at for 3 nights. (More on my gracious hosts in another post.) The farm, Buffalo Creek Farm, was a fun place to paint and one of the owners, Robin, shared alot of interesting farm stuff I didn't know. I painted this on a foggy/rainy day. Luckily, I found a great shelter and painted the back of the barn/house. This farm had llamas, guinea fowl, goats, rabbits, turkeys, Great Pyrenees dogs. Some animals had special duties on th farm. The guinea fowl are said to be good for controlling the Lyme Disease-bearing deer tick. The Great Pyrenees dogs protect the livestock and are rarely out of sight or hearing of his flock. It is a calm animal that moves slowly to avoid disturbing the livestock and possesses a better than average sense of hearing, sight and smell. Llamas bonds with its herd of livestock, it takes over as a protector. Friday, I "forged" their Buffalo Creek to paint their restored log cabin and one of their llamas kept his eye on me as I crossed the pasture.
This is were I painted on Friday. If you look closely you can see my easel setup to the right. They had two outhouses which I did use. Hint: overalls are not the attire to wear when using outhouses...
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I am painting "day trips" into NC Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday I travel to Germanton, NC to paint through Sunday. Rain or shine this should be a good time! Monday's painting - March 30, 2009. This sign is on Hwy 176 on the way to Saluda, NC. The painting, 12" x 9" oil on panel, "Valley Courts Sign", was painted on a cool and breezy day. I needed a bungee cord to keep the panel from blowing into my pile of paints.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I am painting for a May show at the Chapman Cultural Center in the Spartanburg Artist Guild gallery with Garry Turpin. The theme is 'Town & Country". I am painting urban scenes and Garry is painting "beyond the city limits scenes". This sketch was used to get my creative juices going for the 18"x24" oil on canvas painting.
The top sketch was painted on location (plein-air painting) downtown Spartanburg using a portable watercolor palette and a Moleskine sketchbook. I love this sketchbook. The paper is made for watercolor and the whole feel of the book inspires me. There are many kinds of Moleskine notebooks but for watercolor sketching I use the Moleskine Large Watercolor Notebook: Size: 5.25 x 8.25",Pages: 72 pages of acid-free paper.
If you love sketching try of one the Moleskines out. You'll love it! Happy drawing!
Monday, March 23, 2009
As I painted this I kept those thoughts and feelings in the front of my mind. These feelings are what kept me excited about painting this. The Nu-Way does also happen to be a Spartanburg, SC landmark were many a drink was poured and story shared. Not the most beautiful of places to paint, but then again beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
The Nu-Way, oil on panel, 16' x 20" painted 2007 "adopted" by Nan Coghill
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Recently, while looking at old sketchbooks, I noticed how important drawing thumbnails before I tackle a painting is to my creative process.
The thumbnail drawing allows me to look at shapes and values so I can (hopefully!) create a strong composition. I play around with several thumbnail design possibilities and once I hit on a thumbnail that seems to work I feel excited about starting the painting.
The thumbnail drawings above is about 5"h x 4"w. The oil painting is 16"h x 11"w.
I thought over the next few posts I'd share some of my thumbnails.