Friday, April 16, 2010

Barn Cat - Early Oil Painting

Barn Cat, 9 x 12, Oil on Canvas
© 2004 Cindy Revell

This year has been one of much introspection with regards to my art and the hows and whys of life in general. Yesterday I was thinking of serendipity and how the smallest of events can have a huge impact on your life. In 1989 I took a job as a graphic designer/illustrator and stuck around for about 8 years after which I freelanced as an illustrator. Gina, the woman who hired me back then, and I become friends and kept in touch. One day she told me about her oil painting classes and I shared my own first less that stellar attempt at oils which were done to invigorate my illustration by trying a new medium. Gina suggested I try her oil painting class. I did so in May 2002 but I was very busy and stressed with the demands of illustration and a husband with cancer and didn't love the classes right away. They were simply a way for me to learn what was then a rather vexatious medium. I hung in and a year later I was completely hooked and knew that something very special had taken over my life.

So how does the Barn Cat fit in with all of this? When I was working as a designer/illustrator I was sent out on a field trip with some kids to take some pictures for an annual report. I spied this lovely Buddha like cat who was serenely lording it over the chicken coop, I snapped his picture thinking that I'd do a watercolor of him sometime. The photo hung in my office for years and I took it with me when I left, Gina loved that picture. As I was learning the oils it struck me that the time had come to finally paint that cat. At the time it was all I could do to manipulate the paint and the composition suffered from a too literal reliance on the photo. I changed a few things but missed a few critical ones which as an illustrator I should have spotted right off the bat. In spite of it's imperfections Gina fell in love with the painting and became one of my first collectors.

Art had always been a fairly major force in my life and while illustration is still a big part of my days my obsession with oil painting fills nearly every other available moment. How I oil paint has changed hugely but looking back I'm amazed at how it all started.

All because someone needed a graphic designer way back in 1989.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bean Pot with Pens and Brushes

Bean Pot with Pens and Brushes
6 x 8

With this little painting my goal was to paint as fast as I possibly could. My brush was flying and I found that soft edges came easily by painting fast and with thick paint. Strangely enough the colors and the 'feel' of the painting seemed truer in this speedy painting than some paintings in which I've carefully striven to capture the exact color of the light. Funny how painting fast can really shake things up, in a good way.