Hope Cunningham Fine Art

To view more of my work, please visit www.hopecunningham.com

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Quickie with Jessica

Original Oil Sketch on Canvas Pane;
16" X 12"

Today I drove up to the Phoenix area to a three hour class hosted by the Portrait Artists of Arizona. I am a new member and this is the first painting event that I participated in. Portrait artist and teacher, Linda Tracey Brandon, talked to us about how to set up a model for portrait sketches. She then demonstrated s a variety of lighting options and discussed reasons for choosing one over another. It was a pleasure to watch her paint for about an hour as she discussed her transparent approach to the block in.

This sketch was completed in about two hours. While it doesn't have the finish of a portrait, this kind of quick sketch from life is one of my favorite things to do. There is no better way to improve your drawing and seeing skills than working from life with the clock ticking away the minutes; you just don't have time for anything more than a very direct and simple statement. I really enjoyed painting Jessica, so I feel certain you will be seeing her again!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Red Roof Over Copper Cactus Inn

11"X14" Original Oil on Canvas Panel

Here is another piece that I painted during the Tucson Gateway Business Alliance "Paint the Strip" plien-aire event. The subject is another of the old motor hotels along Tucson's own version of Route 66, which we now call the "Miracle Mile". This is the back of the hotel, but I found it much more interesting than the parking lot side. (Besides, you already know how I feel about painting cars!) It's about to go out the door to the same exhibition as "A Room at La Siesta" so I thought I'd post it. I am curious to know whether you can guess what time of day it was painted.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Room at La Siesta

Original Oil Painting on Canvas Panel
12" X 10"

Back in late April, I participated in the Tucson Gateway "Paint the Strip" plein-aire event. The idea was to paint the historic Miracle Mile motor hotels. It was unseasonably cold and windy. The light changed constantly. I started this painting and then proceeded to drop it face down in my palette!  Today I decided to see if I could resurrect it for an exhibition with the same theme. All I can say is that rendering the perspective of an automobile was a unique challenge for me. Of course, those were not the words I was using in the studio!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kurt's Peonies

Original oil painting on canvas panel
8" X 8"

Third post this week. Yay! I may have said it before and I know I'll say it again, flowers are the hardest thing on the planet to paint. I don't know anyone who paints peonies as well as Kurt Anderson. He had these set up on a table in the corner of his studio the last time I visited. I couldn't resist snapping a photo to give them a try. It was fun and frustrating. My first attempt got brushed together. I came back the next day and worked into my blurry start. Worked out pretty well, I think.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Portrait of Mrs. Sanger

Original Oil Painting
14" X 18"

This lovely lady is Carol Sanger. She came in to my studio about four months ago and admired my portraits.  Carol decided that she would like to have her portrait painted and sat for me a few weeks ago. We had a delightful time getting to know each other. She is one hard working woman, so it was a treat for her to just sit still and not have to do anything. We got a great start that day, but I had to leave town the next day to attend to a family emergency. It was a challenge to finish. I painted one complete canvas and then realized that I had elongated her face and idealized her mouth to suit my own personal tastes. So I started again. I like this canvas much better.

Roses in Her Hair, again

Roses in Her Hair
Original Oil Painting

Okay. I caught a ration of....shall we say, criticism, from my friend Brenda over the photographic quality (or lack thereof) of my last painting post. So, in the interest of professional development, I tried everything she suggested. I set the white balance for indirect natural light, hauled everything outside, used a tripod and bracketed my exposure. This one's for you Brenda; I hope its an improvement!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Roses in Her Hair

Flowers in Her Hair
12" X 16" Oil on Canvas Panel

So. It's been a while since I've posted. Truly, it's not because I haven't been painting. I have lots and lots of starts but not so many finishes because I have been doing a lot of alla prima figurative and plein air painting and no small still lifes. Now that the summer heat is upon us, I will be spending much more time in the studio finishing those starts and developing new paintings. I am officially renewing my commitment to blogging regularly, but adjusting my goal to a more realistic (for me) three times per week. If I can get up at 4:30am three times a week to run and left weights, I certainly ought to be able to post a new painting three times a week!
I would also like to invite input from everyone on how they use Facebook to promote their artwork and stay connected to other artists. All my art buddies are big fans of Facebook so I guess its time to get in the game! Let me know what you think.