Monday, June 16, 2008

Daybreak Upper Bear Creek

Daybreak, Upper Bear Creek
Pastel, 24 x 18
Here is a new pastel inspired by the smaller one done several weeks ago. It started in a plein air class about two years ago when we were outside along Bear Creek during the summer. I never finished the smaller painting and had put it into storage while building my new art studio. When I took it out this spring, I decided that it needed a little something! So I changed it from full daylight into a sunset. It's fun to take out an old painting and feel free to experiment. After changing that painting into a low key, sunset painting, I thought it would be fun to try it again in a larger size. So the smaller painting inspired this larger painting! I changed my viewpoint so that I my horizon line moved up, and I changed my palette and key to sunrise instead of sunset. It was great fun to use the older painting as in inspiration and I think I will now take this painting as the inspiration for another version! I wonder how far I can take it?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Peonies on Red

Peonies on Red
Oil on Canvas
20 x 24
I haven't posted or painted in over a week! I've had company and have been getting ready for the Art Students League of Denver Summer Art Market which takes place next weekend (June 14th & 15th). I have a booth with two friends. This is the first painting I've had time to do in over a week. I tried to use the same techniques that I learned from the dvd by Robert Johnson (see my previous post). It was harder to do without the aid of the dvd, but I did try to use the same order of blocking in, painting in the dark background, establishing the darks and lights and using the fresh thick paint for my flowers. I'm pretty happy with the painting although it could use some refinement. There's a lot going on with all the flowers and leaves and the rug and I got a little overwhelmed at the end trying to finish it, so I think I better live with it for a while and then maybe I'll know what it needs. But it's been exciting to discover this wonderful painter and his book and dvds!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Dahlias in Silver

Dahlias in a silver pitcher on an oriental rug. I never finished painting the rug because I had to return the dvd... This is my second painting done with a dvd by Robert Johnson. This was pretty hard but I had a good time painting it and learned a lot from the dvd. He has a great process and I like the way he applies thick paint. I wanted to set up my own still life but my dahlias never opened up enough, so I painted along with the video which I don't recommend. It's much better to have your own still life to work with. I don't know if I can paint the same way without watching the video, but it will be good to try it on my own and see if I can duplicate his process and impasto!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pansies in a Teacup

Pansies in a Teacup
8x10 - Oil on Canvas Board
Here is a little painting of more pansies! I'm still in my "pansy period" I guess. Anyway, the teacup is supposed to have a floral design on it but I'm not sure I'm going to add it. Maybe that's too fussy? The teacup has violets painted on it. I may glaze them on...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pansies on Red Rug

Pansies on Red Rug
Oil on Canvas - 16 x 20

Here was my set up for the pansies on the red rug. I had rented a dvd called Painting Pansies by Robert Johnson and my friend Debbie and I decided to paint along with the dvd. I set up a similar still life to the one he does on the dvd. He makes it look so easy! But after a while I had too much paint - especially on my background - and it was turning into goo. So I thought I better scrape it off and let it set up a little. I came back to it yesterday and finished it and I like it but the technique I was trying for didn't quite come into fruition. BUT, with that said, the dvd was really good and I'm going to try it again. Watching him put in the pansies was great and I was doing pretty well with that, it was just laying in the background color that hosed me because it didn't stay light and airy as I had wanted.
I'm going out of town for a week so this will be my last post for a little while!

Pansy Study

Pansy Study - Pastel
12 x 16
Click to Buy
This was my first attempt at pansies - did it before the painting below but forgot to post it! This is a lot looser and sketchier than the still life painting. I'm having so much fun painting pansies that I even did one more in oil that I will post later today. Will go over to the studio and take a picture of it.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Pansies

Pansy Still Life
Pastel - 18 x 24
Boy am I ready for spring. Today is May 2nd and it was cold and windy and yesterday we had snow. But in my studio it's spring! Yippee!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cinnabar and Dragon

Cinnabar and Dragon
Pastel - 12 x 18
This is a fairly large vase from the Humphrey Museum, from about the 18th Century. It sits in the parlor on top of the piano at the museum. Next to it is a Japanese bowl decorated with a dragon. This was a study for a larger painting that is in progress. It may be in progress for a long time since I'm not all that crazy about it, but I'm very happy with this study.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

What a struggle!

Acoma Pot - In progress - Maybe will never be done!
This was a huge struggle. I couldn't work from life and my photo was dark, the image was distorted and I didn't know how to paint a pot with a lot of decoration, so I kep painting it out and trying to put it back in again. Then I realized the pot is too blue anyway. Since I took this pic it has changed again and may never be done because I just don't know how to do this. I think the next time I will paint a very plain pot. But, it was fun to try and I learned a lot - what NOT to do! The painting looks strained to me - I know how hard I worked on it and although it kind of nice, all I see is the struggle.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bright Pink Peony

Bright Pink Peony
Pastel - 12 x 12
Click to Buy
Just having some fun with soft pastel and flowers!

Upper Bear Creek Sunrise


Upper Bear Creek Sunrise
Pastel - 11 x 14
Click to Buy

Here is a painting I never was able to finish. I worked on it and brushed it off and then did that again and then finally washed it! Wallis paper is unbelieveable - it takes all kinds of abuse. Anyway, I finally am happy with it!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Humphrey Carriage House
Oil - 12 x 16
This is another image from the Humphrey Museum. It's the old carriage house. Really just a little place where you could tie up your horse. A little path leads to the front door of the ranch house.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mountain Chick


Mountain Chick
Oil on Canvas Board - 8 x 10
Not Available

Here's a tweet little guy! or girl? Don't really know. We mostly get Mountain Chickadees here where I live but every once in a while we get a Black Capped Chickadee at the suet feeder. I painted this one for my friend - from one mountain chick to another!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

In The Museum


In The Museum
Pastel - 18 x 24

Here is my new painting inside the Western Room of the Humphrey Memorial Park and Museum. It's a very crowded room with pretty much every square inch filled with collectibles that were acquired by 3 generations of Humphrey women. The items are fantasic and the musuem is a real gem of Colorado history. I tried to give a sense of what it is like to be in this very full room! To learn more about the museum, visit their web site at http://www.hmpm.org/.

Still Life with Copper Pot

Still Life with Copper Pot
Oil on Canvas Board - 12x16
Sold

This is a still life of another one of my yard sale acquisitions. I find the most interesting things at yard sales. It is sitting on a little wooden box that was another yard sale find. Actually, my last couple of posts are all yard sale treasures! Anyway, I first painted this as a small study but liked it so much and thought I could improve the appearance of my copper (that was hard to do) so I repainted it a little bigger. I put it in a show a couple weeks ago but didn't post it because I didn't have a good photo. It sold at the show but I borrowed it back to have it scanned. This was a breakthrough painting for me. I did it as a low-key painting with an analagous color scheme and I think it came out nice. Sort of hated to sell it! But it went to a nice couple who are building their new home in an arts and crafts style, so it was a great fit!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Short and Stout

Short and Stout
Pastel - 24 x 18
Remember that nursery rhyme about the teapot? Well, this little brass teapot made me think of that. Anyway, this is a companion piece to my blue and white pitcher that I did a few blogs ago. They have the same background treatment and similar subject matter. I'm trying to improve my elipses, fruit and reflections! Hope you like this one.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Blue and White and Orange

Blue and White and Orange
Oil on Canvas - 12 x 16
Click to Buy
I have finished my still life but I will have to replace this picture. It just didn't come out right. I need to adjust my exposure. I tried fixing it in my computer but it's just wierd. Anyway, I'm pretty happy with it but it is quite different than the pastel. The pastel has a scratchiness and texture that I really like - the oil is smoother and more refined. Both are good. I'll have to let this "ripen" a little - that way I'll start to see my mistakes!


At The Humphrey Museum

At The Humphrey Museum
Sketch - Pastel
This is a quick sketch with pastel on Canson paper. A local artist gave me a couple of pieces of the paper to try out. I can't say that I like the paper very much but I do like the sketch. I'll probably try this again some time in the future on my usual surface which is Wallis sanded paper. The subject is from the Humphrey Museum here in Evergreen. It was originally a one-room prove-up cabin that was started in the 1870s. The first owner had to live on the homestead for three months of each year and eventually the state of Colorado would grant ownership of the 350 acres of land. The Humphrey family purchased the land in 1920. The family had one three year old daugher named Hazel Lou who lived there until her death in 1995; she was 78 years old. Hazel Lou envisioned that her ranch and home would someday be a museum. She left a trust fund and a will that created what is now the Humphrey Memorial Park and Museum. I occasionally do volunteer work at the museum and my friend and I painted there a couple of times. This image is from part of the display. The museum has a large collection of native american jewelry, crafts and pottery. It's very cool - take a look: www.hmpm.org.


Big Red Gerbera


Big Red Gerbera
Acrylic on Canvas - 24 x 30
Click to Buy

Here is the update to the gerbera daisy from 2 days ago. The point of these acrylic paintings is to paint fast and loose to counteract how slow and detailed I can tend to get with my oil paintings. I much prefer the oil paints but find it somehow easier to experiment with the acrylics. Maybe I just attach some sort of importance to the oils that makes me feel like I have to be serious! I do learn a lot by experimenting in other mediums and I think it allows me to take chances and not be so timid. When I first started to paint I was so afraid that I'd ruin something that I wouldn't experiment. Now I know that the only way to get better is to make mistakes and learn what works and what doesn't. So, I make a LOT of mistakes - hopefully that means I'm learning a lot!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Big Red Gerbera (step 1)

Well here is new one that I'm doing in acrylic on canvas. Haven't gotten past step one just because I ran out of time and out of steam! Acrylic dries so fast that it's easy to do all at once, but this is kind of nice to see the stages. I blocked it in with watercolor - just to get my shapes on the canvas. Then started adding deeper color. I came back to it later and started to refine the petals because at this stage I think it looks like a feather duster! Anyway, I hope to get back to it tonight or tomorrow and will post the final image!

In the meantime, I worked a little bit on my oil still life and hope to finish it by the weekend. It's close to being done now. I need to add the stems to my pears and grapes, and a few highlights. My friend Bev came over today and gave me a few pointers on where to soften edges and mute some colors. To see some beautiful stuff - go see her web site at www.beverlyendsley.com.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Blue and White Pitcher (Oil painting In progress)

Blue & White Pitcher - Pastel Painting


Blue and White Pitcher - Oil painting (in progress)
I've been painting this same subject in both pastel and oil. The top one is the pastel and below is the oil which is not quite finished. It's been interesting to try the same scene in two different mediums. Not sure which I prefer, but I've enjoyed doing both. The pastel is more "painterly" at the moment because I spray between layers and it creates some rough, gritty passages that really add some dimension. The oil is nice because I can glaze it to get the depth of color that I want. Anyway, not sure what all this means but it's all good. I hope to finish the oil painting in the next day or so and will post the finished product.

Monday, March 31, 2008

My new studio


I don't have a new painting to post today. I had to work all day and only got to spend about an hour working on a painting that I started a couple of days ago. As an experiment, I am painting the same still life in pastel and in oil. Just want to see the difference. So, when the oil is done I will post it next to the pastel. I'm liking both so far and there are nice things about both mediums. So many options! So little time!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Reach For The Sky

Reach For The Sky
Acrylic on Canvas - 30 x 40

OK, so I decided to post one more painting before going to bed. I really am behind on my postings so I figure I better go with it while I'm in the mood!

Here I am looking up through the aspen trees! How many times have you done that? I've wanted to paint this for a long time, but just didn't know how. I finally just went for it - it was painted quickly with acrylics. I had a lot of fun with this one and will probably do a few more. Living in Colorado, you can't help but love those aspens with all their "elk scars".

Blushing Pears With Grapes

Blushing Pears with Grapes
Oil on Panel, 16 x 12
Click to Buy
I thought I'd post one more painting before calling it a night. This is a still life that I finished a couple of days ago. I had to finish it using my photo. I took so long on it that my pears started to turn so I finally ate them! I'm glad I had most of the painting done before that because it's much better to have the real thing in front of you. I hadn't added the stems yet, so when I ate the pears, I saved one of the stems!

Sunlit Path

Sunlit Path
Pastel - 20 x 26


This painting was another one that I submitted to the art show at my church. I was going to submit an oil painting but I just couldn't get it done in time. I wanted to add another layer of glaze and I was running out of time. So I decided to submit a second pastel painting. This was one that I had finished but was never quite happy with. It just didn't glow enough. So I took it out of the frame and reworked it. I made the colors glow more, simplified my shapes, and added some sunbeams filtering through the trees. I think it looks "inspirational" and thought it would be a good submission for our church.

Autumn Blaze

Autumn Blaze
Pastel - 22 x 28

This is a pastel that I started a few years ago but never finished. It just wasn't working for me. At that time my art teacher was always pushing us to work on the "dark shape". Eventually the painting just became dark and sort of foreboding. Not the feeling I wanted to create. I really wanted to show the blaze of autumn colors in Rocky Mountain National Park in the fall. I know I may have pushed things a little bit in this reincarnation, but maybe I just had to go a little in the opposite direction! It's colorful and makes me feel the brilliance of sunlight hitting the aspens in the fall.

El Santuario de Chimayo

El Santuario de Chimayo
Pastel - 16 x 12


This is a painting of El Santuario de Chimayo which is a beautiful sanctuary in New Mexico, between Taos and Santa Fe. I went there about 11 or 12 years ago with my friend Dot. Back then I didn't paint but I was an active photographer. I photographed this church using black and white infrared film and then printed it myself. For years the photo has been in a box. About 2 weeks ago I started going through some things that I had stored and I found the photo. At the same time, our local church announced an art show that would open the same day that our new sanctuary was going to open. Our church has grown so much that they had to build a larger sanctuary. So, when I found my photo it seemed like perfect synchonicity. I did the painting in pastel on Wallis sanded paper. I only had a couple of days to submit it for the art show, so I did my own framing (not something I usually do for pastel). I don't know if the painting will be accepted or not, but it doesn't matter because the creation of this painting from the photo taken so long ago was a real treat.

Back to the Blog

Still Life with Blue and White Pitcher
Pastel - 24 x 18
Well it has been months since I've updated my blog. But that does not mean that I haven't been painting. In fact, I'm painting more than ever. Everyday I try to get through whatever tasks are before me so I can go out to my studio and paint.





Last year was an exciting and exasperating time. We spent months and months building a new garage with an art studio above. It was finally completed (mostly) in December and the landscaper was fighting to get some stone steps and retaining walls completed before the snow started to fall. It was a close call. In fact, the final work was done in a snowstorm. Now that spring has arrived, some of his tools are slowly showing up as the snow melts!





Anyway, I have been painting pretty much every day. I don't always complete a painting in one day since I'm starting to paint bigger, but I'm having a great time and find that I can work on multiple projects at once. What a huge luxury.





So, now I'll start posting what I've been doing. This is my latest work. It's a pastel. The blue pitcher came from a yard sale. I had not worked in pastel for about 2 years, but recently took out some paintings that I had never finished and thought that maybe now I could. That sort of got me on a roll.