Paint Lab – Week 7 – Up Close

This week’s lab was all about zooming in and getting big.  We were encouraged to take a very small object and paint it much larger than life.  The inspiration for this work was none other the the great Georgia O’Keeffe who is known for her intense close up images of flowers.

O’Keeffe, Georgia, “Pink Tulip”, 1926, oil on canvas, 36” x 30” The Baltimore Museum of Art, Bequest of Mabel Garrison Siemonn, in memory of her husband George Siemonn. Retrieved from

For my painting, I selected water color as my medium on 18 x 24 paper.  My subject was a small, purplish mussel shell that we found on an local beach.  I was pretty happy with the painting, until I added the shadow.  I have never been very good with adding shadows, and ended up being a bit too heavy handed.  The lesson learned with water colors is that once you go dark, you can’t go light again.  If it were acrylics, I could have just painted right over it and started the shadow again.  So, the shadow stays.

Rebecca Stockdill, Rhode Island Mussel, gouache on paper, 2016

Rebecca Stockdill, Rhode Island Mussel Shelll, gouache on paper, 2016

Kim kept with the Georgia O’Keeffe vibe and created an extreme close up of a red and black flower with a yellow center.  After finishing the project, she confessed that it was very challenging try to change the size and scale of a small object.  I love the bold intensity of the colors in this one.

Kim Sammartino, Essence of a Blossom, acrylic on canvas, 2016

Kim Sammartino, Essence of a Blossom, acrylic on canvas, 2016


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