Sunday, November 6, 2016

Small Studies and a Recent Renaissance School Demo!

I recently did a two hour demo for the Renaissance School of Art.  I used a photo of the scene and a small 6x8 study from the Old Port section of Portland, Maine, that I paint frequently on my summer trips to the Northeast.  The Demo is a 12x16 oil on linen, and below it is the study….6x8 oil on linen.
Two hour Demo, 12x16 oil on linen

6x8 oil study on linen panel
Here are some recent small studies for possible larger paintings.  I don’t always do studies for bigger paintings, but sometimes it is helpful to avoid investing time and realizing it was a mistake, or solving harmony issues, composition, etc.  The only negative for me is that sometimes I use up all of my creative juice on the sketch and the larger piece becomes redundant.  Thankfully that is not always the case.  These are small relatively quick 6 x 8 and one 5 x 7 studies in oil on linen.  I hope you enjoy!

5x7 oil study on linen panel
6x8 oil study on linen panel

6x8 oil study on linen panel

 6x8 oil study on lien panel

Thanks again for listening to my ramblings!
Hodges Soileau OPA

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Left Handed Study

A few weeks ago, I strained some ligaments in my right arm doing a home project!  It was painful and caused issues using my arm for certain movements….thankfully, it didn’t keep me from painting….but, it gave me pause… and I thought, “What if I couldn’t use my right hand to paint?”  “Could I do a painting with my left hand?”

 I have never tried doing anything that required any type of finesse with my left hand….so, I decided to do a little head study, using only my left hand.  I did a little master copy after the great John Singer Sargent.  It was a little awkward, but I was surprised that it was not as disappointing as I thought it might be. 

 What this tells me is that observation skills are really more important than being facile with a brush.  I think with some practice, I could paint images with my left hand that would be hard to distinguish from the right handed paintings.  The image below is 6x8, oil on linen panel.  I may never do another one….but it is comforting to know that if push comes to shove, and I had to….I could do a left hand painting!  The most difficult thing was signing the painting!

Thanks for listening to my ramblings!

Hodges Soileau OPA

Left Handed 6x8 oil on linen study after Sargent


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Reviving paintings from my purgatory pile!

     I know everyone has to one degree or another, a pile of paintings that didn’t quite make it to finish on the first pass.....but, just couldn’t paint over it thinking there might be hope.  In many cases there is something in the piece that just needs a fresh look later.  I have my share and more of these types of images that cross all subjects.  I call this my “Purgatory Pile”!  I recently reworked a couple of older paintings that needed something extra, or something less.  I painted over parts of them and freshened up some areas….and, simplified areas addressing tangents, etc. 

I have a hard time making myself do this at times with my temperament and impatience… always seems that starting anew should be the best solution.  Sometimes it is….but, in many cases a revisit to an old piece is a satisfying experience!  The paintings below are two examples of what I mean by bringing old paintings back to life.  They are no longer in purgatory and are framed and ready to go.
Until next time, thanks for listening to my ramblings!

Hodges Soileau

 "Tangled", 12x16, oil on linen

"Untitled", 14x11, oil on linen