Hope Cunningham Fine Art

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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Morning Light, The Breakers

Morning Light, The Breakers Original 9"X12" Oil on Canvas Panel

Since last Monday, I have been painting in Newport, Rhode Island with one of my good friends from Tucson. Her husband's family is from here, so she knows lots of wonderful people and just where the best spots to paint are. Newport is famous for it's elegant mansions, many of them perched right on the headlands. My friend's Mother-in-law lives right next door to this beautiful estate, which belonged to her own in-laws once upon a time. Most of these houses have interesting names and long histories; its a very colorful place. I tried painting this house in the afternoon from the beach. We were doing pretty well until the incoming tide chased us away. All of our gear got very sandy, wet and covered with seaweed, but we came away with a great plien-aire story of our own.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Elegant Blossom

Original 24" X 18" Oil Painting on Canvas

Put your on your Art Critic hats folks, I need your opinion. The image above is how this painting looks after working on it today, the photo below was taken yesterday. As you can see, I darkened the background and warmed the color up a bit. Now that I look at the photos, I'm on the fence about whether that was a wise move. I'm thinking that perhaps the cooler, lighter background is more effective. What do you think? By the way, you might be surprised to know that there is no "blue" pigment in this painting. I used ivory black. It tends to dry pretty flat, but I will varnish it to refresh the darks.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bough and Bowl

Original 9" X 12" Oil Painting on Canvas Panel

Well, here it is as promised, the second attempt at painting the apple bough. I have to say that I have a newfound respect for apple painters like Carol Marine. These apples were a very intense red. I found it difficult to make them look "lit up" against the blue background without sacrificing the intensity of the local color. I was hoping that by adding the white bowl to the mix I might have an easier time judging my value relationships, but only succeeded in adding the additional challenge of painting ellipses.  Perhaps I need to try a different ground next time. It was one of those days where the greatest reward was knowing I showed up and put in my time. Sometimes it seems like the successful paintings tend to be sandwiched between a few frustrating ones.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Apple Bough on Blue

Original 9" X 12" Oil Painting

Yesterday my painting buddy, Brenda Semanick, came to my studio and we set up this little still life.  We have both been very busy, so it was great to have time to spend together painting. I was frustrated by the blue background, I never seemed to hit on the right value. We both found the set up challenging, so we decided to try it again next week.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Colonel Sanger

Original Oil Painting
22" X 28"

Okay, so this is not a small painting, but I wanted to share it anyway. These days I am finding that I am getting the most enjoyment out of painting portraits. This gentleman was not so keen on the idea of sitting for a portrait. His wife convinced him it wasn't so bad after I painted her portrait a couple of months ago. We spent the day together and had a great time. He was full of wonderful stories and good advice about travel destinations. Sitting for a portrait is a treat for the sitter and the painter. How often does someone give you their undivided attention for hours at a time? It is a treat for me because I get this intimate peek into another person's life and my own is that much richer for it.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Que Bella

original oil painting
16" X 14"

Remember the alla prima sketch "Roses in Her Hair" that I posted a couple of weeks ago? Well I took a profile photograph of the model that day. I have been working on this one for a couple of days and thought I would post it so that you could compare the difference between a quick study and a more deliberate painting. I don't think this one is done yet; I'm going to set it aside for a while and think about what it needs. Meanwhile, I didn't want you guys to think I had disappeared into a black hole, just going back and forth between the quick studies and longer paintings. I think both approaches have merit, but I am a Gemini and pretty hard to pin down!