Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pair of Pears

                         Pair of Pears
                         oil on canvas
                             8" x 8"

I admit that I have no clue what I am doing! This is my first ever oil painting on canvas. A while ago, I tried oil on a birch panel, and now on canvas... and it is all experimental. Because this is still tacky, I took a photo of it instead of scanning, so it is not "the best" representation of the painting,  but pretty close. :-)

 I will say that I learned a lot from the process. One thing about oil - you need a TON of patience. If you go too far in one sitting, you can end up with all your paint just mushing together and becoming like mud. If you wait too long, you can't change something that you want to tweak. It is all about process - knowing when to go back in, how to mix colors, how to work from darks to lights, which is counterintuitive for one who has worked with watercolor painting for a number of years. I also find that having a good knowledge of color theory is an asset when working in oils. They don't mix in the same way that acrylic or watercolor do.

BUT, I LOVE how brilliant the colors are. I LOVE how you can blend so gradually from one color to the next (well, you can if you can!). And I LOVE how I can still get the smooth creamy look that I so like in watercolor. Many oil artists prefer to show lots of brushstrokes in their paintings, but I prefer the realism which is the style of artists like Jelaine Faunce,  Marcia Molnar, M. Collier, Neil Hollingsworth, or Karen Hollingsworth. When I visit these artists' websites and blogs, I am inspired and long to be able to produce vibrant beautiful images such as theirs. When you look at their work, you may think it is easy, but believe me, these people are highly gifted artists. What may look simple - a tea cup, some cherries on a cloth, a glass of iced tea - are really very intricate and complex paintings which have fantastic understanding of the oil medium, composition and technique. Oh, to learn from today's masters! But as far as I know, none of them give workshops, nor has any of these people written an instruction book.

In fact, I have yet to discover a teaching technique book on oils which describes how to achieve the very realistic painting style which I want to pursue in oils. If any of you have seen one which teaches this smooth, life-like technique, I would be grateful for the title and author!

For those of you who are saying, "WHAT??? She's painting in OILS????", don't worry... I am not about to give up my watercolors (yet). Anything that I learn in oils will only help me become a better artist, whether in watercolor, acrylic or oils.

If you are interested in purchasing my 1st oil on canvas, contact me at
My prices are very reasonable - you might be surprised! :-)


Kathy said...

A delicious painting! The luminosity of the pears is striking.

Joanne said...

Hi Kathy!
I am absolutely so honored that you have visited my blog and left a comment. It was not until I went to your new blog that I discovered YOU are the artist that inspired my painting of the broken eggshells (Beauty in Brokenness - posted in May). I have long admired your gifted talent, and now I see that you also paint in OILS!!! AND that you give workshops in wonderful parts of the USA. I would have a hard time choosing which location to attend as there are 3 for sure I would love to be at! Guess I should start saving my money! It is wonderful to "meet" you. I look forward to visiting your blog often - it is now in my favorite of favorites folder. :-)

Lee Ann said...

Wow, Joanne, I love the clarity of this painting. So many still life oils with dark backgrounds have such muddy colors. These pears look like they are lit from within!

Anonymous said...

Hey Joanne,

This piece almost glows. You did good. I have a video that you can gladly have if you're interested - you can google it online - The Carder Method.

4 the Contemplative Artist said...

Joanne!! WOW good for you!
I love this. No fair looking like a pro on your first try at oils :)
You have a way of making your paintings glow.........just beautiful. Thanks for your advice, I am going to take it to heart. I'll be accountable to you :)
Love ya! Anni

Joanne said...

Hi Lee Ann,
Thank you for that encouragement! I am so excited to have discovered your other blog... you are quite the busy lady! I admire your work ethic - it takes a TON of time and effort to be the gardener that you are as well as the artist that you are! Thank you, too, for the exposure on your art blog and #artfollow on Twitter. You are kind beyond words. :-)

Joanne said...

Hi Veronica,
Long time no see, friend! Thanks for the offer of the dvd - I actually purchased it last summer. I will need to go back and look at it again to see what I can glean from it. I appreciate your generosity, though. Take care.

Joanne said...

You make me smile and laugh out loud!
We can be accountable to one another. That would be a very good thing! I can hardly wait to see your blowfish completed. TTYL- hugs!

Anonymous said...

Your first ever? Really? It looks awesome! I love the colors.


Joanne said...

Thanks Paz! Yup - I am experimenting in a very new medium... I have another oil painting which will come up in Friday's post - a landscape this time. :-)