I’m still trying to get used to blogging, and I find myself thinking about it while I’m in class or out running errands, but as soon as I get on the computer I completely forget about it. Thus, no posts.

Anyway, Philip has been asking me to put some of his favorite artworks on here, so here are a few. I did a painting series for my Painting Fundamentals class last semester. We could choose our own still-life to paint, and I chose an adorable purple glass pitcher that my Mom bought for me in Williamsburg (I think). Each of the paintings had specific criteria. The first painting was an Alla Prima, interpreted to mean “At the first.” This means that you sit down for your three hours of class and pump out a painting. After your three hours, your done. This helps you learn to make decisions quickly, learn to work with wet paint, and just learn to paint quickly. Here is my alla prima:

I had never painted glass before, it was a lot harder than I expected. I figured that if you thinned out the paint to make it transparent, it would look like glass! Right? Wrong. Well, it took me a while to learn that wasn’t the case, but I finally sort of figured it out. I justified a poorly done painting by saying I only had 3 hours to do it.
The next painting was of the same still-life, but this time we had to do multiple layers. We started out by doing an underpainting, just blocking out the colors and shapes and figuring out shadows, etc. Then later, after it’s dry, we come and do another layer and do more details. Then we let it dry and come back to do the final touches. Now I had no excuses if it looked bad, because I spent a lot of time on this one. And actually I feel like this one turned out quite a bit better.

The last painting of the series had to be influenced by a contemporary painter, so my teacher went through a list of painters we could choose from. She showed us their works and then we could choose whichever one we wanted. I chose to copy the style of Stephen Conroy. Several things interested me about his work. He does a lot of figures, but he is well known for black borders around his canvases. Also, although his figures are always very realistic, he does loose and chunky shadows behind them. These are the two elements that I copied. Here’s mine, and his.


  1. Emily says:

    That’s really cool, Merrick! You are quite talented. Thanks for sharing the paintings. I enjoyed your explanation of the assignment. I have no skills in the visual arts department (as far as drawing or painting goes) so I’m completely in awe. 🙂

  2. Landen says:

    How fun that you are posting your stuff! Even I, who sees you all the time, don’t always see your stuff!

  3. Rayzzle says:

    I’m not even delurking because I just found your blog tonight (through the blog of a blog of a blog of a blog…or something like that.). I was amazed at your work–I thought these were photographs! And the leaves? Wow. Some are artists and some are appreciators. I fall into the latter category and so I look forward to seeing more.
    My blog is inconstant and mostly for my own entertainment but sharing it wasn’t much of a choice with this comment. Do with it what you will.
    And please, keep up the good (awesome) work.

  4. Noelle says:

    Very nice work! I am excited to see what shows up through the rest of the semester. 🙂

  5. I too would have thought thinning out the paint would help with transparency – hummmmm. I find your descriptions of your work so interesting, I’ll get my art education through you!

  6. Sami says:

    yes! that’s the same guy! he’s a rather darling old man, don’t you think?
    I hope you’re enjoying the visual arts program. i graduated from it a few years ago 🙂

  7. Sami says:

    The best teacher I had at the Y wasn’t actually a real teacher: Brian Kershisnik. As you can guess, it was a HUGE opportunity to take a figure painting class from him. A total dream- that class was.
    The art scene? Well I kinda don’t know what I’m doing myself. lol. Grad school helped me get going and “into the scene” I think. I just started my Etsy shop last weekend and the gallery opportunities, believe it or not, just kinda happened. Sorry- that’s prob. not much help.
    But I think we should be art friends, k? Ask me questions anytime or just feel free to say hi!

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