Thursday, March 27, 2014

Painting The Texture of Tea

Maybe it's the second cup of coffee, the time to myself, or that I truly love painting and I forgot how much I missed it! I just finished my first real painting since I closed up my gallery last year in April, and I'm truly giddy. I missed my lunch, I'm blogging, trying to use up every last second before I have to pick up my son at the sitter's. 

Tea Reflections, Oil on Canvas, 8" x 8", ©2014  Jennie Traill Schaeffer

I've been working on this off and on since last Wednesday; about three or four painting sessions, maybe a total of six hours. This piece was done with a sample set of oils by M. Graham, including only five colors: napthol red, azo yellow, ultramarine blue, phthalocyanine green and titanium white. I loved the consistency and color quality of these oils; buttery, dense, and bound with walnut oil something new I'm trying. I'll touch on this in a future post.

I began this piece with a quick colored pencil drawing, then started applying local color. I gradually built up more local color, thicker paint, and finally the brightest highlights and whites. The part I had the most trouble with was the tea bag. I began trying to replicate all of the highlights and text on the bag (it's a Stash tea bag), but it never seemed to work (my brushes are too thick) and the detail took away from the tea cup. I finally ended up destroying all of the detail on the bag by brushing over it with some of the creamy yellows from the mug. It felt good to make that very committed risk; the outcome is much better. 

Can't wait to share more future paintings with you. But, in the meantime, I'll be submitting this work to the Annual Faculty and Studio Assistant Exhibition in the Sally D. Francisco Gallery from May 31- August 3, 2014 at Peters Valley Craft Center. 

If you're interested in exploring painting tea and its paraphernalia, then consider joining me this summer for a three-day workshop, Painting The Texture of Tea, at Peters Valley in beautiful Sussex County, NJ. You can visit me and get a preview of the upcoming workshop during their annual Bevan's Day Open House on May 4th, where I will be painting throughout the afternoon. Hope to see you soon!

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