Tag Archives: study

Sunday, 4/25/10: Virginia Church

Thanks to guest writer Sera Stanton for today’s post.

Virginia Church takes the beauty she finds in reality and makes it more vibrant. Her palette today was soft but colorful and diffused light across the canvas. Usually a painter of landscapes, Virginia has an interesting process. Her focus is to communicate the mood of the place she paints.

Virginia first takes a photo that she likes and alters its colors in Photoshop to match what she wants her palette to be. She then makes either a charcoal, or in today’s case, pastel drawing of what she plans to paint. Today she was working from a photo she took while orienteering in a park. Her pastel drawing helped her judge the values she needed in her piece. After a careful study, she laid the paint down on canvas in layers, starting with a warm background. From there, she added more layers of paint until she was satisfied. Oils are her favorite medium to use, but she says she prefers working on panels to canvas. Virginia likes to paint wet-on-wet because it’s fun to solve the problem of colors mixing.

A Portlander since 1961, Virginia finds the Northwest inspiring. She worked in a bike shop before she retired to paint full-time. Before that, she made illustrations for Portland’s Urban Naturalist Quarterly. The love of outdoors that all of Portland has is apparent in her paintings, watercolors and drawings.

Sunday, April 12: Colleen Birch

Colleen’s painting in acrylic is one she’s been planning to make as the first in a series based on the traditional rhyme:
“Wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, Mend on Wednesday, Churn on Thursday, Clean on Friday, Bake on Saturday, Rest on Sunday.”
She had already created a small study for “Wash on Monday” that was the basis for the larger painting she created today.  Creating a work after already doing a study can make a painting go a lot more smoothly, since ideas for the subject and composition have already been worked out, and the processes of mixing colors and applying paints is already familiar for the specific image.
All the components of Colleen’s painting took shape quite quickly as she worked  from larger, broader areas toward smaller, finer details.  Although she had planned a lot in advance, she was still able to capture a freshness and spontaneity in her painting today, making changes in color and composition from her original study.  By the end of the afternoon, Colleen’s work was almost complete, except for a few final details which she’ll add before bringing her piece back to hang in the exhibit.

UPDATE, 4/15/09:  Colleen brought in her painting this morning with some finishing touches of smaller details and more shading and contrast.  The finished work is the last picture below.