Loving the spring “palette knife +” painting group

It’s amazing what a wonderful stimulus group painting is to one’s artwork.  The “+” in our group’s title is an indication that we work in various media, not just palette knife.  Several artists work in pastel, several with brushes, and some of us use the palette knife, but often in acrylic as well as oil.  I stick to my favorite medium, oil, because I love the colors and the ability to work into a painting for several days, but I get many, many ideas from the work of my compatriots.  What I like best about palette knife is that it forces me to work in light and shadow and blocks of color.  With palette knife one cannot get bogged down in trying to render things in photographic detail; if one wants photographic detail that’s easy to achieve with a photograph.  But a painting, I think, should be so much more than a photograph, an enhanced impression of that place or scene that provides an even better understanding of it. That’s my goal, anyway!!

My goal this spring has been a painting a week and here are my paintings from the first three weeks:

Sunset at South Cape Beach

“Sunset at South Cape Beach” 12×16 oil on board

West Falmouth Boathouse palette knife

“Boathouse in Winter” 16×20 oil on board

House in the Dunes

“House in the Dunes” 12×16 oil on board


Speaking of photography, it is very possible to be creative with photography, too; the ability to vary light and color, focus and other parameters make it possible to enhance the image so that it, like a painting, brings much greater understanding to a place or person.  It’s different from painting, but very much an artistic endeavor.  I explored this when I created an image for the spring juried abstract show.  Below is an altered image created from a photograph of a much loved spot here on Cape Cod.




Spring is finally here!

It’s been two months of cold and dreary weather; I’ve had little motivation to knit, spin, paint and do other crafts.  But finally the dreadful weather is starting to break and I’m starting to feel as if it’s important to get involved again.

I put two paintings into the spring show at the art center: the name of the show, “The Color Purple” inspired me to paint last July’s fourth of July celebration here in Falmouth and to dig out another fall painting with a definite purple theme of the Waquoit  “Big House”.  I’m back to painting with the ‘Palette Knife +’ group at the art center; it’s a friendly supportive group of painters and I love painting with them.  I’m aiming for a painting a week of scenes of the Falmouth area.  I’ve been asked to exhibit some paintings at the Quarterdeck Restaurant again this May, so I’m sorting though my best of the local themed paintings to hang there for the month.

Falmouth Fourth of July

“Falmouth Fourth of July”  Oil on Board 12×16

"Waquoit Big House" Oil on Board 16x20

“Waquoit Big House” Oil on Board 16×20

The Conservatory String Ensemble has been practicing since the beginning of February for our mid April concert.  What with bad weather and vacations to warmer places, we’ve been practicing with only part of the group for most of this time, and even our conductor has missed several of the practices (Luckily a fantastic substitute has kept our noses to the grindstone!).  Last Monday we had the full complement of the orchestra there, and things sounded much, much better.  The concert is a week from tomorrow, so we all have to focus and practice to be ready so soon!  We’re playing Washburn, Bach, Handel, Strauss, Haydn and finishing with Souza’s “Stars and Stripes”.  Should be a fun recital.  Our two cello/piano trio will open the concert with Handel’s sonata for two cellos and piano and Ralph Vaughn Williams “Winters Willow” arranged for the group.  We’re looking forward to playing together.

The Bass Section

The Bass Section

The Upper Cape Camera Club has a digital competition tomorrow night; I entered a photo of a young fox in the animal portrait category and a winter West Falmouth scene in the Winter Landscape category.  What I love about the competitions is hearing the different judges talk about what makes this photograph or that photograph a good one.  You learn so much from the process.

"Shy Visitor"

“Shy Visitor”

Here’s to spring and warmer weather.  We will appreciate the warmth and spring growth after such a cold, snowy, dreary stretch of winter weather!