Category Archives: musings

Ghost pumpkin with pears

© Bev Byrnes--Ghost pumpkin with pears

Bev Byrnes — Ghost Pumpkin with Pears, oil on linen, 2015

© Bev Byrnes--ghost pumpkin detail

Bev Byrnes — detail, Ghost Pumpkin with Pears, oil on panel, 2015

Finished. Oil on panel, 12 x 24 inches. It seems my paintings swing a pendulum between smooth and flat, and increasingly textured. This one sits in the latter category. Below is a detail image which hopefully shows some of what I’m referring to. A very satisfying painting to work on.



finito… finalmente!

© Bev Byrnes--Blouse

Bev Byrnes — Blouse, oil on panel, 25 x 36″, 2015

Finished… finally. Oil on panel, 24 by 36 inches. I truly enjoyed this one. A very meditative piece to work on (unlike the last, which was full of struggle and frustration). Turned the corner on this from ‘stabbing in the dark’ to ‘I’m getting the hang of this’ in terms of paint handling.


non-conceptual painting

still some work to do..

work in progress (oil on linen) — Bev Byrnes

Some time away from the studio which has delayed progress a bit, but the end is nearing now. I decided to finish this piece with glazing so have been working the grisaille to bring it to a high degree of finish. Should be ready for color by next week. Just entering my favorite stage of a painting where I can begin to tweak for subtlety and nuance.

A few who’ve seen this work in progress have called it a trompe l’oeil painting, but that hasn’t been the goal. It’s brought to mind the matter of intention while painting. Though it looks like a blouse, the idea or intention of painting a blouse is nowhere in mind while working. In the past I’ve sometimes been asked to teach drawing classes. I always title these classes ‘Learning to See’ rather than ‘Learning to Draw.’ Doing work of this kind essentially requires the abandonment of conceptual thinking to as great a degree as possible, and an opening to recognizing — seeing — what is simply there, what is seen as purely visual information. Instead of painting lace or a sleeve, the focus is on simple visual information like light and dark (value relationships), hard and soft (edge or line quality). Stepping back to a broader view the smaller details of light and dark merge into larger patterns revealing unities of flow (whether flow of light or line). The more subtle the information your vision is able to pick up, the more nuance you can add to the drawing or painting (if you choose.. there’s also much to be said for editing the information). The matter of learning how to use the materials is a far distant second to the matter of learning how to see.

© Bev Byrnes--WIP

work in progress (oil on linen) – Bev Byrnes


Blouse painting, WIP

© Bev Byrnes--WIP

work in progress, oil on panel — Bev Byrnes

New painting in the works. Just about finished with the closed grisaille layer. Looking forward to putting some color on. A much larger panel than what I’ve worked on previously, but with each new painting I’m getting faster. This is about 25 hours of work so far. The last painting of the mostly-monochrome 3 bottles will hopefully have been good preparation for this, another mostly-monochrome piece.