Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Snack Tower

Now that I see it in print I think I might go back and add a few touch-ups, but here is the cheese and cold cuts painting as it stands. The background is a little flat, I think. And I could try to pretend that I meant for the bottom plate to run off the edge of the canvas, but really it was just that I sketched it in a little too loosely before I started. I couldn't bring myself to scrape off a whole plate of food just to move it up an inch. Next time, a more accurate drawing to begin with, and maybe an hour or so of ellipse penance.

Snack Tower, oil on canvas panel, 8x10 inches.
©2011 Amy Tennant

Friday, June 24, 2011


I think I may do a few more of these hedge paintings even though I can only submit three of them to the Virtual Paintout, but in the meantime I'm working on a new painting of cheese and cold cuts. In the process of browsing around online for other cheese paintings, I came across Philadelphia artist Mike Geno. He paints cheese, meat and other foods, and also sock monkeys. Here is a sampling of his cheese series. Having an affinity for the single-subject series myself, and for good foodstuffs, I can't help liking his work, especially when it is executed in such a luscious, painterly manner.

Monolith, oil on canvas panel, 6x6 inches.
©2011 Amy Tennant

Friday, June 17, 2011


Yesterday I attempted a plein-air painting (working outside, directly from observation) and had frustrating results, so instead of posting that painting I am posting my next hedge painting for the New Zealand paintout. In the meantime, I am giving myself a refresher course on the elements of color theory: hue, value, intensity, and temperature. It's sort of like learning choreography - you have to go through the steps slowly and consciously at first in order to get them lodged into your muscle memory, so that when you actually do the dance you no longer have to "think" about it. According to the somewhat chalky landscape I came out with yesterday, I would say that alla prima color choreography is not quite planted in my muscle memory yet.

Looming, oil on canvas panel, 6x6 inches.
©2011 Amy Tennant

Friday, June 10, 2011


There is an abundance of spectacular landscape in New Zealand...unfortunately it has not all been visited by Google. I had a few places in mind when I started searching the map - Milford Sound, for one - but the little yellow Google man didn't have anywhere to walk down there. Another place I couldn't quite get to was the Vimutti Buddhist Monastery outside of Bombay on the South Island. I would never have known it existed except for the fact that Tim's step-brother is the spiritual director of the monastery. He happens to be visiting California this week and showed us pictures of some of the projects under way at the monastery, one of which is a new stupa. When Tim traveled there about five years ago he helped build this covered meditation path in the woods, adding another inviting element to this peaceful stretch of land.

But because this painting project is restricted to street views, I moved on from fjords and forest retreats to hedges along the roadside. :-) I found an area of countryside outside of Te Puke on the North Island that has miles of cypress walls, and I found them to be quite striking in their own right.

Turnaround, oil on canvas panel, 6x6 inches.
©2011 Amy Tennant

Monday, June 6, 2011

French Window Dressings

My favorite images of the French Riviera turned out to be from a small inland village rather than from the famous coastline (in terms of what was available through Google Street View, that is). I've always liked the irregularity and coziness of old towns with narrow streets, and the contrast of monochromatic buildings with bright colorful shutters.

This month, the Virtual Paintout goes to New Zealand.

Old Town Shutters, oil on canvas panel, 8x10 inches.
©2011 Amy Tennant

Sunbreak, oil on canvas panel, 6x6 inches.
©2011 Amy Tennant