Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Odd Couple

The Odd Couple
Oil on panel 8x10

I really like the similarities of the shapes, and the color contrast. The reflective imagery and light help move the eye around the piece. Again I am looking for the simple unique beauty that can be found all around us.
Enjoy, Jim

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Misty Creek, Great Smoky Mountains

Misty Creek, 36"x24"
Oil on canvas.

This studio piece was based on some small plein air sketches from a week long backpacking trip in the Cherokee National Forest.

Standing in this stream bed trying to capture the energy and feel of these deep woods was a great experience.
I hope I caught some of that emotion and overwhelming beauty in this untamed place.
This piece is available, to purchase click here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Two Bulbs

Two Bulbs
Oil on panel

I'm am always playing with lighting in the studio. Using different combinations, for shadows and balances. They are usually laying around so I figure I might as well paint them.
Again thanks for looking and all comments are welcomed.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pochade box paintings

Oil on panel, 5x7.

A couple of small landscapes from my oil sketch box painted on location. Eliminating the unnecessary details and just laying down the shapes of colors. Going for the statement.
As the artist Kevin MacPherson says it, "Analyze everything as particular color notes."

Certainly a good diversion from the studio pieces, and a chance to loosen up with the paint.

These works currently available, to purchase click here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rock and feather

Oil on panel, 8 x 10 inches, Rock and feather.
A studio painting from life. Using a gray box as a stage for the still life, I achieve some interesting shadows and reflection. The feathers were found in Illinois, the rock at the beach in Michigan. So maybe I should call this piece Midwest still life.

Enjoy, and thanks for looking. Jim Serrett

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Still life with Two Pears, finished work

Oil 24x30 Still life with Two Pears - finished work
Still life's are such a joy to paint, they can become very intimate moments in time. And remarkable abstract qualities seen within the play of light and shadow. It is those subtle and complex relationships within a painting that attracts me to a subject.
This piece was done in a very traditional or classical method of thin transparent color, "velaturas" applied over a gray " grisaille" monochrome under painting. Posted earlier in this blog.
The amount of light, depth and atmosphere you can achieve in this manner is almost magical. Multiple veils of transparent color contrasted by opaque light passages, produces a level of realism that I believe can not be matched with other approach. You literally carve out volume with this method.

Enjoy, thanks for looking.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Study for still life with Two Pears

Charcoal, 14x16 – Study for Two Pears

This study is for a studio painting to be done in the indirect method. A traditional method of painting in transparent layers of color over a monochrome under painting.
It is my most preferred painting technique because of the illusion of three dimensional form it produces. But before I dedicate too much time to a canvas I will produce a sketch, to work out composition and design. Looking for simple shapes and patterns. Considering design elements such as, focal point, variety, unity and balance. A successful painting has an underlying structure. But at this stage I am not as much concerned about draftsmanship as natural organizing principles and if the image inspires me to move further with it. So the preliminary sketch is kept fairly simple, to the broadest forms
and patterns of light and dark. I will start with a quick contour sketch in graphite. And mass in large tones with soft vine charcoal, lifting out the lights with a kneaded eraser.
Not too much time committed here, but enough for me to decide if I want to develop this idea into an oil painting.

Grisaille, 24x30 – Still life with Two Pears

The under painting is done in values of grey, mixed from white, burnt umber and ultramarine blue. The canvas was covered with a mid tone grey and modeled with lighter and darker tones of that mixture. Since I have already decided on the structure and composition of this piece, I can focus my attention to the value relationship and draftsmanship I will need to convey the illusion of depth. Keeping the forms round and edges soft, and slightly out of focus. At this stage you can work in a vigorous and subtractive method; adding and removing paint as you move shapes around modeling light and shade. Fine tuning the structure and values, of the under painting. In the indirect method I have broke down the complicated production of a painting into smaller more manageable stages. And laid down a foundation, for the building transparent layers of colors. That will give the painting a rich resonate depth. And a true illusion of dimension and atmosphere.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Leonardo study

Garment study for a seated figure.
Leonardo da Vinci.
Italian Renaissance, born 1452- 1519
Charcoal, pen and ink, between 1470 and 1484.
Musee du Louvre, Paris, France

After Leonardo.
This study I have always admired. Just an amazing play of light and shade across that material. The depth and dimension is wonderful.
Drapery has always found a way into my work. And after this study it has inspired me to included it more often as an element. I certainly have gained much from the effort.
12 x 14 inches, charcoal on paper.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 19, 2008


This site is currently under construction.
Please come back soon.