Saturday, December 31, 2011

Paint Faster - I Am Freezing Here

Standing on the coast painting is wonderful... even when it is freezing. It just motivates you to paint faster.
Here are three. Yes, three oil paintings I painted this afternoon with my oil brushes and mp3 player.
This work will be in the Crescent Harbor Gallery in Crescent City, California.

6x6 Oil On Canvas  simplified without surrounding brush
5x7 Oil On Canvas with simplified brush work
9x12 Oil On Board with minimal value change

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Art of Juggling

So, I was a volunteer whale watcher  for the organization this week in California talking to people about the grey whale migration. I swung by the Tuesday Painters in Oregon to pickup some art supplies for a friend when I was offered a juggling demonstration by a local artist, Mary Jo. Rob Decker, well known pastel artist and drawing instructor,  turned the tunes to an upbeat Japanese cowboy singer and Mary Jo's hips started swaying as she started to juggle.   Her juggling balls actually light up which makes it not only fun to watch but easy to find if she drops one.
Whale watching, Japanese cowboy music and  juggling artist all in one day. What are the odds of that happening? 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Alive and Well - Celebrating My Son's Graduation from College

Devin, The College Graduate
Me and My Husband

My Brother, Brady and My Sister-in-Law, Patricia

Uncle Brady and Devin
I am alive and well after swearing I would not get the local cold virus going around. Well, never say never. I was down for two weeks which meant no painting nor drawing... just slept and whined.  The cold could not stop me from celebrating my son graduating from college so here are the pictures from the Casablanca Moroccan Cafe. Still had fun between sniffles and coughs.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Still Life Drill

I met with fellow painters Tuesday to study, talk and work on our art. I did a still life drill of persimmons. I made the same mistakes that I have done in the past. I continue to not push the dark or push a bright and I forget about proportions.  I have a tendency to make objects larger as they recede. Where is  this logic coming from?  I need a good old fashion paradigm shift to push me past this.
How?  Practice, practice and more practice.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Side By Side

I decided I would push myself in open studio today by painting two side by side paintings of the model. I found I worked on one more than the other. Then the last 15 minutes, I had to make a decision as to what  strokes I needed to finish. It was a fun challenge.
One canvas sheet is larger than the other.  The model's  head was slightly tilted and sure enough... I straightened her face out. Darn.  And she has Kewpie doll lips and I just couldn't capture them. But, hey, I was painting today and that is a good thing.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Blonde's Are More Fun - To Paint

This was a fun portrait. The model was blonde with very pale skin and large blue eyes.  I didn't want to paint her skin too pale because it would look chalky. So, the instructor suggested I kept the under painting on the light side. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fresh Air with Plein Air

8x10 Oil on Gessoboard
Here is a plein air study from Lone Ranch just outside of Brookings, Oregon. I had a wonderful day painting with friends on the coast. We attracted quite a group of people interested in what we were painting outdoors as they watched us create these quick studies. It was nice to be outside in the fresh air.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Howdy Cupcake - SOLD 12/2011

SOLD at Manely Art Center
I painted with Kathy Huxley and the Tuesday painters today and it was bring your favorite dessert day... not planned but just happened. We were all inspired by Randy Blasquez's cake painting.
We are, also,  loving this idea because when we are done, we get to eat the yummy desserts.
Here is my "Howdy Cupcake" painting on a 6"x 6" canvas, oil with palette knife.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Think I Need A Bigger Brush

First of all, I am trying to type this on my laptop on my lap and the cat insists she wants to be on my lap, too. So, she is trying to hurry this blog post along. Cats have priority in our house.
I have been in my studio painting a large 3 foot by 4 foot painting of the Yosemite studies I did last month. I found out a few days ago that  I needed to paint it in a landscape format rather than the portrait format I did. That is kind of important to know when painting a large scale painting. I thought I had worked out all the bugs with this portrait studies and was confident I could do this.  But, if this is my biggest problem, shame on me for complaining.
Plein Air Painting on the Coast
So, here is my progress so far. It is going into a financial planner's office. He has been very patient waiting for this.
3'x4' Oil in Progress
Oh and in between this large painting, I run out to paint with Rob Decker and Kathy Huxley at the beach.  By the way, Rob Decker is now considered a national artist. He is working with the National Parks.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Abstract Thinkers

In Randy's class today, we became abstract thinking artists. It was  a fun lesson. Here is my incomplete study. I will finish it in the morning before my next class. Great instruction, Randy. Thank you.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Is It The Easel Or Me? One Of Us Is A Little Off

Here is my finished study of five objects. That little bowl gave me grief but the rest of it wasn't too bad... as far I can remember.
I had to straighten the bottles a bit. I was telling the instructor that the reason why I end up with crooked bottles is my crooked easel.  I just need a better, expensive easel. Well,  she laughed and said you think it is the easel?  Between me and the easel, I am hoping the easel is a little off.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Slight Adjustment

I made a slight adjustment to this last portrait study. It was too pale. Here is the results.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

One More Session...

One more session and this study is done. I do love this stage.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Girl Talk

It was a good time in portrait class.  It was a  small group of women. We were all  painting, learning and chatting. Nice. Here is my study.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Statue Study

I wanted to paint a study of a statue of Jesus that I photographed.  I am working out the color with this.
Here is my first attempt at it. I painted on an 11X14 canvas sheet.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Art Is Hard So You Need To Study

I started another color study. Studying is necessary with any subject and art is no exception. Except, I am thinking art might the most difficult subject I have encountered.  No... I am not whining just stating a fact.  Oh and I am loving the challenge.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Before and After Under Brush Study

Here is a before and after  under painting study to compare the first stage and the last stage of this process. I need to practice more to keep the wonderful under painting showing through but I am intrigued by the effect.
First Stage - Under Painting Only
Last Stage - Dry Brush Work

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Brush, Under Painting and Yosemite Study

I did two studies in class the other day with different under paintings. This is one where I used local color for the under painting.  It is a small 8X8 . I painted the sky with a blue under painting,  Half Dome was grey blue, the  pine trees in the light were orange and the dark were purple and green.  I painted the land mass in the sun transparent ocher and the shadow magenta with a touch of ocher.
I found the sky too dull so I used a palette knife with very light lemon yellow and then cerulean blue with a lot of white and knifed over it  without blending. I then added just a touch of very light pink.
I continued the painting using only a brush.   I lost the under painting to the tree because I changed the value and over painted.  I did manage to keep the beautiful under painting. on the land mass.  In shadow land mass, I put a few strokes of paint to dull down the bright magenta.

I think the pine trees and Half Dome are not different enough in value. I will need to lighten Half Dome without making it as light as the sky.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More Under Paintings

I attended class today and the instructor, Randy Blasquez, showed us how to create a beautiful under painting in oils. The class was all loving it .
Here is my start.  It looks like a beginning watercolor. I can't wait to try it out on a painting of my cat.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Free Workshop and Kindred Spirits

My husband and I traveled to Yosemite for a free workshop with John Hewitt, a watercolorist, and to paint with fellow kindred spirits .  plein air artists.  It was breathtakingly beautiful. 
We stood in the valley and asked ourselves " How do I paint a place like this that and give it justice?"   The answer it is lots of practice and lots of trips back to Yosemite.
Here is my painting of Half Dome. The trees were starting to turn and the grass was yellowing.  It is an oil with palette knife on 9X12 gesso board.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Another Do Over

I worked on a second do over. I  see I need to work on trees. Oh - and not to paint when I am tired.

Do Over

I decided to repaint one of the studies from this weekend workshop. I wanted a "do over" to practice what I learned and to try not to over blend. I need to upgrade my paint, also. I am using student paints. They are pretty sticky.
Here is the new study.  It is a 9X12 on gesso board.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Weekend of Landscapes

I spent the weekend in Susan Sarback's landscape class. It was beautiful both days, I met some wonderful painters and practiced more landscape painting.  What a great way to spend the weekend.
Here is one of my studies.  I learned that I am overworking and losing the under painting. I need to recognized and correct my tendency to over blend.
I learned trails are cooler in the distance. Larger strokes for closer objects.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Art Complex

Another completion, today, is my current paint study. It is a complex, art, color study with several objects with ellipses and glass. This could be one of my favorite pieces. Why? I like the composition. The painting process itself took a lot of analyzing. In addition, I was reminded to compare the highlights with the table top light. I practiced turning the forms. I knew
how to adjust a value up one or down one in either direction. I was reminded that the block needed more white on the light side. I , also, liked  painting the blue bottle and pushing the values. Great study. Great instruction.

Lassen At Last

Have you ever had an incomplete painting that just kept beckoning you to finish it? You stick it in another room or put it in the back of the closet and yet, it still cries "Finish me". I could ignore it no more. So, here is my painting of Summit Lake in Lassen National Park. Complete.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Under Painting

Today in class, we learned how to use transparent under paintings mixed with an additional medium. It creates a watercolor effect. Very interesting. Then we painted a still life and a seascape with this technique. I can't wait to practice this. In the meantime, here are the today's painting. The still life is not complete.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Almost Done

So, I need one more session to complete this piece.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Overworked but Not Tired

I overworked this piece today in open studio. I jumped into painting rather than thinking about the strokes. I am pleased that I was able to paint her eyes closed. I think the values are all too close.
I will ask for a critique next class to see how I can improve my work. Overall - good paint day.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Healthy Addiciton

I am ready for stage 3 and I am liking this painting. It is a great problem solver because of the greens and the greys. I need to remember to add white to flat planes when needed. There are more objects to compare the values each time you make a change.
What a great healthy addiction.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Go Figure

I started my figure drawing class and it turned out to be a lot of fun. We did quite a few two minute poses to learn gesture drawing.
Here are the steps.
1) Create a stick or wire drawing
2) Men's bodies are pickle shaped and women are peanut shapes. So.. draw the correct shape inside the wire figure's body.
3) Find the mid line the body.
4) Draw in the flesh.
I think you need to be there to understand.
I kept repeating it over and over, again, as I drew. Wire, pickle, mid line and flesh. It was fun because of the model knew how to contort his body making it difficult to draw the wire drawings. Great stuff.
Here are the last two of my drawing. They were 5 minute gestures.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Let's Try Something More Complex

I am working on more complex studies to advance my skills in oil painting. Here is the still life and here is the first stage. (I love the way they look at the first stage).
I find that I am mixing the color too much and need to stop. Also, since I use the palette knife, I find I need to be more painterly when adding color. I have tendency to just slap it down. I noticed it today and will make a more consistent effort of how I apply the color.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Abstract Stage

I have learned in oil that after you draw your subject, you choose the darkest dark, value to compare it all your other values as you paint.
This is the first stage and I love it. It is a beautiful abstract.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Open Studio Painting

I attend open studio with a live model at least once a week. In this case, the model poses for 6 hours but I had to leave after 3 hours. I should have spent another hour, at least, to finish but I am happy with the results. Open studio is without instruction and allows you to practice what you have learned during the week. It is a great opportunity for any artist to continue to enhance their skills.
This piece on a 16X20 canvas sheet.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bad Paint Day But Reinforced A Need For Good Habits

I had a bad paint day yesterday. I was whining - if you can imagine me whining. I was working on a portrait and the forehead kept getting bigger, the drawing was off with the lips and I just couldn't see what I needed to do.
I wasn't close enough to the model but I think it was more that I was seeing the model. I spent the time looking at the painting. I was painting the learned process and not the actual model.
Here is yesterday's portrait study. I used a canvas sheet that had a crease in it and it is visible.
I need to remember. Plan - don't rush. Look at the model. Measure and correct the drawing. See the shadows and be sure to darken the eye sockets. Get that nose on the page correctly. Highlight the brow. Remember, we all have a tendency to want to straighten out the mouth and align the eyes. If they are not straight, DO NOT paint it straight. See and do not rush.