Monday, September 24, 2007

Sunflower Study (version 2)

Oil on Canvas Panel
8 x 10
Here are my completed sunflowers. Now that I have a lot of art events behind me (September is a busy month for art around here) I intend to spend a lot more time painting small studies. This one was done pretty quickly - just wanted to experiment with the color palette. I like the colors and the looseness.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Yellow Umbrella

Yellow Umbrella
8 x 10
Oil on Masonite
I goofed a little - this painting was done yesterday and the sunflowers were done today (Sunday, September 23rd). Anyway, it doesn't really matter. Yesterday we were at a "Paint Out' which is part of our local plein air event. I decided to experiment with both my yellow purple palette and a masonite panel that I had prepared a while ago. I wanted to start painting on masonite because I thought I'd like the hard surface and thought they would be great for plein air painting. I had a lot of trouble with them at first. I think the problem was due to some cheap paints that were purchased in a pinch when I ran out of some colors. They just slid all over the masonite surface! Anyway, I decided to try again with my good paints. So, yesterday I sat in the shade and just goofed around making this painting. I couldn't see very well since I didn't have may glasses, but thought it might add to the impressionistic effect! Anyway, I sort of like the painting but I'm not all that crazy about the flat texture of the masonite. The brushstrokes look sort of messy to me and just lay there! I will probably continue to experiment with the masonite surface but for now I still prefer canvas.
Here is a surprise - I entered this into the plein air event and won my first blue ribbon. First Place/Oil!

Sunflower Study - Yellow/Purple Palette

Sunflower Study
8 x 10
Canvas Panel
Here is my yellow-purple palette again. I'm working on a study of some sunflowers. It's pretty cool to see how you can bring the greens into the background without making muddy colors! I may add a little more to this painting later on. Right now it's very wet!

Red Green Limited Palette

During the second day of the studio tour, I worked on my red/green limited palette. Again, the colors that this palette created were pretty interesting. I need to mix some of the darks with some white so they will "reveal" themselves. It will be interesting to use this palette. I'm going to start experimenting with this palette soon. At the moment, I'm still using my yellow/purple palette.

The Lovers

Here is a painting done with my yellow/purple palette. It is of a statue in front of Bear Creek at the Highland Haven Creekside Inn. It's one of the painting locations that is part of the plein air event being sponsored by our local art center. This was painted on a 6x8 panel. The colors are hard to differentiate in this photo, but there are a great number of subtle greens in this tiny painting.

Yellow Purple Palette

Last weekend, September 16 and 17, I was involved in our local artist studio tour. Since I didn't want to try to paint with lots of interruptions, I decided to work on complimentary color charts. I've been reading a book called the Yin Yang of Painting and the author teaches you to use compliments to create yin and yang paintings by using opposites - light/dark, warm/cool - and opposites on the color wheel. This is my yellow/purple palette. After I did this I painted a few paintings with this palette and it makes beautiful color harmonies and really nice greens! How surprising to discover that this palette mixes such beautiful greens, earth tones and grays.

Color Chart (in progress)

Here is the chart I'm doing for my class instructed by Jane Jones at the Denver Art Students League. It includes warm and cool versions of each primary and secondary color as well as some earth tones, white and black. It's not quite finished - I still need to add my earth tones. This chart has two inch squares that I've been mixing with a palette knife. Some of the colors are so dark that they only reveal themselves if you add white. I've discovered that some of my colors create mixes that I never would have imagined! It's tedious but fascinating. I will continue working on this chart until its done and then we will be working on value scales, intensity charts, etc. It's a slow process but I'm learning things that I would never know if I didn't just slow down and do this!

Playing Catch Up

Well it seems like I haven't been painting since I don't have many new paintings - but I've actually been painting a lot. Since I'm having a hard time getting anything done that I like, I decided to paint all around the process of painting. In other words, I'm experimenting. I've been creating lots of color charts. It started in my class at the Art Students League and that motivated me to do the same thing with the complimentary palettes. I've learned a lot about color mixing and have also learned about some of my tube colors - turns out some of them are mostly oil and filler - not much pigment! I usually use Grumbacher Pre-Tested Oils along with some Winsor and Newton, but when I run out, I've been supplementating with some other brands that aren't so great. I found out the hard way... Anway, I'm going to post my color charts and a few paintings.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Open Door Studios

This has been the weekend of the Open Door Studio Tour here in Evergreen. Since my studio is under construction, I was the guest artist at the office of our sponsor Fuller Towne & Country Real Estate. It was a busy weekend and I sold a lot of paintings. With so many people coming and going, I didn't paint a painting, but instead worked on complementary color palettes. It was a real learning experience mixing colors I would never have dreamed of mixing! And the visitors on the tour were very interested too - especially since so many people on the tour are artists themselves! So, it was a very productive weekend. Tomorrow I will post the two palettes I completed - the purple/yellow and the red/green. Also tomorrow I will get back to painting again. This weekend event was quite time consuming but worth it in the end. It always feels good to sell paintings!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Paint and Scrape

Well I have no new paintings to post. I've been painting daily, but at the end of the session I scrape what I've done. It's very frustrating. I think I'm in a transition time. Too many things going on. I've over-extended myself yet again. This weekend I will be in our local studio tour where once a year a bunch of local artists open up their studios for people to take a tour. However, I won't be in my own studio since it is under construction. So I'm a guest artist at the offices of one of the sponsors of the tour. I have to drag all my stuff to their office, set up for Saturday and Sunday and then bring it all home. What was I thinking???? On top of that I'm supposed to be painting plein air for the "Paint, Sculpt, Shoot" event that is taking place at the some time. And I'm in the middle of our construction project. So, I paint... then I scrape. Too much stress. I'll try again tomorrow and the next day, and the next day...

Friday, August 31, 2007

Don's Sunflowers

Don's Sunflowers
12 x 16
Oil on Gallery Wrapped Canvas
This is my second painting project for today. While I was waiting for "Night Visitor" to dry, I decided to start another painting. This was a canvas that I had scraped and then painted very dark. I never start with a very dark canvas - usually it's white or lightly toned. But I decided to experiment. It was hard to get my lights to glow, so I used a palette knife for a lot of the painting. I took this photo the other day when I was viewing a demo by Don Sahli, a well-known painter who was giving a workshop. He has a wonderful garden just full of things to paint.

Night Visitor

Night Visitor (In Progress)
8 x 10
Oil on Masonite
Well here is the follow-up painting to "Midnight Snack". I was working both paintings at the same time trying to understand how to work on masonite but my night visitor had other plans. When I came downstairs the next day to work on this painting, I discovered that someone had nibbled on my plums! Anyway, I decided to make this painting the "after" version of the midnight snack. But, it is still incomplete. I find it very difficult to work on this masonite and have to let everything dry before I can come back and add the flowers and the highlights. Hopefully I will be able to complete this tomorrow.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Midnight Snack

Midnight Snack
6 x 8
Oil on Canvas

Yesterday I was trying to figure out how to work with my new masonite panels. So, I decided to paint this scene twice with one painting on masonite and one on a canvas that I had prepared with the same gesso. I wanted to see how they would feel under my brush. So I got pretty far with both paintings but it was getting late so I put them side by side on my table and quit for the night figuring I'd finish them both in the morning. I left my still life set up in my workspace out in my garage. This morning when I came downstairs, things just didn't look right! My plums had been disturbed by a night visitor - and that little night visitor had been snacking on them too! Well that was pretty funny but what made it even better is when I turned to look at my paintings. That little mouse must have liked what he saw because there in the wet paint were tiny little mouse handprints! He looked at both paintings, decided those plums weren't what he had in mind and headed on over to the real thing! So, I decided that I would finish the smaller painting today and post it. But, my second painting will require a little modification! Check back tomorrow for the update...

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Garage Sale Treasures

Garage Sale Treasures
9 x 12
Oil on 3/4 inch Gallery Wrapped Canvas
Well it has been a few days since I have posted anything. But that doesn't mean that I haven't been painting! I painted lots and lots of masonite panels with gesso. I thought I was so brilliant to prepare all these small panels and then I discovered that I couldn't really paint on them as expected. So, I've spent the last few days painting and then scraping away what I painted. But I will keep on trying until I get used to this new surface. Thanks to Kim Roberti for her advice on how to use them.
Today I worked on a still life and used my usual gallery wrapped canvas. I just wanted to paint something and not scrape it away! I happen to be a garage sale junkie and every weekend my friend Debbie and I go to all the local garage sales and find all sorts of treasures. Some we put on ebay and some we keep and some make very interesting objects to paint! This silver pitcher came from a recent yard sale and I thought it would be fun to try painting it with some juicy fruit and flowers reflecting off the surface. I'm pretty happy with the outcome. The photo seems to be a little bit off and I will try to get a better shot when it is dry.
Thanks for looking. Thanks Alex for all your great advice! You are my painting hero.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sister, Sister

Sister, Sister
Oil, 12 x 12 Gallery Wrapped Canvas

A couple of years ago I took a class at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. They had a really wonderful donkey there named Jackson. Every day on our way to class he would greet us and wait to be fed. We all loved him but felt bad because every day he was all alone. Then one day, a truck pulled up and delivered two new donkeys to keep him company! At first he was a little leery of them, be by the end of the week they were all becoming friends. These two donkeys, as I remember, were sisters and were very close.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Old Blue

Old Blue
12 x 12
Oil on Gallery Wrapped 3/4 inch Canvas

On our way back from Missouri where we had gone for my brother-in-law's 60th birthday, we passed this lot full of old cars and trucks. We stopped and took a lot of pictures and talked to the folks who lived there in an old house. The place was just surrounded by old vehicles! His wife was pretty good natured about the whole thing considering this was her daily view! It was a cool place and they were a nice couple. I had fun painting this one.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Moonrise Over The Boundary Waters

This is soft, tonal painting which was inspired by my photos from the Boundary Waters. It's based on a smaller painting I did for my husband a few months ago. We had taken our canoe out early in the morning and the mists were rising over the water and lit by the rising sun. It was a fun painting to create so I thought I'd do something similar only make it a moonrise! I painted this one last week but since I'm behind on posting my paintings I thought I'd try to catch up and post them slightly out of order.

Moonrise Over The Boundary Waters
12 x 24 - Oil on Canvas
Gallery Wrapped, Painted Edges

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Color Study - Bear Creek

Here is a little study of Bear Creek done in blues and oranges. I was experimenting with color. I pushed the trees into blues and purples. The water is pretty golden/orange anyway, but I pushed it a little more.

I also worked on a rocky mountain autumn painting. Our aspens haven't started turning yet, but I have lots of photos from last year so I used a combination of images.

Most of my paintings are about 11x14 or 12x16 and I don't always get them done in one day. Sometimes I have to walk away for a day or so and them come back and see it with fresh eyes! This helps sometimes and other times I wind up scraping it!

Bear Creek In Sunlight
Oil on Canvas
11 x 14

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Plein Air Painting on Bear Creek

Today I went painting with my friend Susie. We met on Upper Bear Creek Road and took a short walk to the other side of the creek to paint. It was a nice shady spot, but I didn't really see anything I wanted to paint and I wanted to experiment a little, so I decided to do an abstract of the water. I just zoomed in on an area where the water was flowing over the rocks and creating a little backsplash. I pushed the colors in the sunlight and in the shade. The water was sort of orange/brown but the rocks underneath created areas of red. The water reflected some of the trees and bushes above too. I didn't finish it on the spot since the light was changing so I may go back and finish it tomorrow. This one as about the shapes and the colors.

Reflections on Upper Bear Creek
12 x 12
Oil on Canvas

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My first blog, Wednesday, August 15th

Today I worked on a new painting - it's a slight departure from what I normally paint, but I'm experimenting. I normally paint the landscape - either plein air or from my own photos. I live in Colorado and almost can't help painting what's just outside my front door! After all, it's pretty spectacular.

I've been taking classes for the last three years and painting with a group of friends, but what I'm finding is we all paint the same thing and all have sort of a similar style! I guess that's bound to happen though. We can't help but learn from each other. About a year ago one of my friends (who does not paint the landscape) said to me "too bad you girls all paint the same thing." She didn't mean it in a mean way - just a statement of fact. But, I've been thinking about that for months now and I've decided it's time for me to hide away in my studio (ha ha, my garage) for a while and do some experiments. So, my last three or four paintings have been a little different than my usual fare. Not too sure if they are good or bad, they are just different. Well, maybe not that different - they're still landscapes! I guess the technique is a little different than usual. They are colorful, and softer...

Maybe I'll post a couple of them when I can take some pics and when I can figure out how to use this template.