A typical day at our house begins by being woken up by a very frisky dog anxious to go outside. She's only out for a minute at the most and back inside waiting patiently for her 1st meal of the day. I make myself a cup of coffee and curl up on the couch with my journal. I love to write. I write whatever pops in my head but usually starts with writing everything I'm thankful for. I first read about "morning pages" from a book called "Finding Water" a sequel to the well-known book "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron.
Dean on the other hand is busy in the kitchen making breakfast. Sometimes he gets really creative with fancy omelets include lots of veggies, cheese and a breakfast meat of some sort. But the typical breakfast is what you see here. Dean's been learning a lot of great cooking tips in his culinary art classes. Check out his post on Breakfast Bacon to making your morning go a little smoother.
Leslie Saeta's Blog where you can see all the other artists participating in the 30 in 30 Challenge
Our new cooking blog Full Plate Colorful Palette
"Saturated in Stillness", oil, 16" x 20", 2013
"In our stillness, we acknowledge God's greatness and we are in peace in our life. Stillness saturates us in the presence of God."
- quote by E'yen Gardner author of The Wilderness Experience.
This painting is a larger version of the plein air painting I did on sunday morning. It was so peaceful at this lily pond in Bauer Park. Occasionally I could hear the slightest "plunk" from the water's edge.. it must have been a small frog. Other than that the silence and stillness of studying this scene from a painter's view has a way of opening up an awareness of God's presence and just how huge God is compared to this very small view of the world that I see before me.
It takes me a good 15 to 20 minutes to really settle down, to clear my mind of the busyness and that's the time when the "awareness" dial cranks up and my senses are heightened.
The smell of freshly cut grass.
The monarch butterfly flutters from one bloom to the next.
The green lily pads morph into a loosely crocheted blanket of pale yellows, apricot, dusty rose and mint green. Reminding me of the blanket my grandmother so lovingly made for my daughter Victoria when she was first born.
How wonderful it is to not only be able to capture a moment in time but to weave in cherished memories.
To witness life as a colorful tapestry that only our Creator can carefully and lovingly orchestrate.
"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1
with much gratitude,
"Morning Stillness", oil, 9 x 12, available on Dailypaintworks.com auction starting bid $200
Early Sunday morning I met up with my painting buddy Patty at Bauer Park in Madison, CT. After scouting out the location on Wednesday morning, I knew I had to return soon. With two lily ponds, a cover bridge, sunflowers blooming in the garden, barns, and a white farm house ... you get the picture... beautiful scenes everywhere you turn.
The grass was still wet with morning dew and the only other folks we bumped into was a couple and their two dogs.
One was an older chocolate lab but the other was a funny breed I had never seen before.. a Plott Hound mixed with blood hound. The tiger-stripped fur, face of a lab yet short legs and long body just threw me for a loop. The dog's name is "Bo" and I found out very quickly that he and his brother were rescued from a Florida highway. A very happy, friendly dog was right at home sniffing the sent of my dog on my shoes and wagging his talk. He must have know we were talking about him.
So, back to this morning's painting. I knew I didn't have much time, I was racing the clock because the spot I chose at 8am was cool and comfortable behind the big tree on the right but by 9:30 it was shining right on me and warming me up. I finished up by 10:15 packed up, headed home, showered and made it to church by... well, a few minutes after 11. :)
This painting will be up for auction on Dailypaintworks.com. If you'd like to bid on it please click here
Red Wine and Grapes, oil 8 x 8, 2013 $100
Let me tell you a little story...
So, last night, well afternoon, 4pm - 10:30 I worked on a landscape painting, 16 x 20 in size, but after six hours ( took a little break around 8:30pm) I stepped back from my easel and... ugh... it was just a huge flop!
I could hear my inner voice saying "it's not that bad" and "it's not your best work".
Over time that voice has softened. I can remember just a few years back I would get so frustrated and discouraged. But now, hopefully just a little bit wiser, "flops" are just part of the process.
So what happens after 6 hours spent on a painting that you don't even want to show the dog? Drink lots of wine? No, just kidding.
I have learned that the next step isn't to try to paint the same painting over again. In fact, I'm more likely to make the identical mistakes. Instead, I seek advice, inspiration and/or more knowledge. This time I did all three.
One of my all time favorite websites is Dailypaintworks.com for inspiration. I love to peruse the "what's new" listings. This time I went to the Art Bytes Store (very clever name by the way) Short in length but packed with information the Art Byte store offer tutorials on so many topics for artists.
Today I downloaded for free the tutorial on "Collective Insights on Blocks' - eight pages of different artists talking about the dreaded "Artist Block" and what to do about it. It was great! One "take away" was to do something fun... just for yourself. So I went downstairs pulled out my "grown-up coloring book" and started coloring with markers. What's that you ask? They are books printed with line drawings of graphic elements, like mandalas, to color in.
Here's the link to Art Byte store.
Then I downloaded a Tutorial called "Fracturing and how to do it" by Julie Ford Oliver. Each time I see Julie's work I would say to myself "I love how she paints but I couldn't but my finger on the technique". It's called Fracturing.. I just love learning something new! So I watched the videos (4 all together) all the way through and then went back and tried the technique myself. I would play a section. Hit the pause button. Run downstairs paint a little. Run back upstairs for the next set of directions ( Yes, you are right, I should have brought my computer downstairs... but I couldn't waste the time... I was too excited to try something new!)
So out of the darkness of that dreaded Artist's block came something new, something different and to my surprise something quite interesting.
Please tell me what you think?
And.... if you're interested in bidding on this painting it will be up for auction on 6/2/13... click here to bid.
with much gratitude,
"Pre-Tweeters", oil, 6 x6, $85
Today is Day 11 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge that I signed on to be apart of with Leslie Saeta and over 260 other artists.
My theme is: Connecticut Treasures.
This painting was inspired by a reference photo I found on the internet. Note about colors: I have found that shooting the paintings in daylight doesn't distort the colors or create a color cast that's hard to correct in Photoshop. But it's night now and I didn't want to wait until the morning to shoot it because I'm trying to catch-up with the rest of the group. :)
When the Robin's Family Came Knock'n
First, I chose to paint the robin's eggs because I love the color and Robins are the Connecticut State Bird. Which seems funny to me because they aren't here all year round and migrate to warmer weather in the winter. (Just like my snow-bird parents!)
Second, I'd love to share the story when my kids were (9, 7 and 6) and we lived on Bell St... and a few guests showed up at the front door. In the fall (2005) I put a twig wreath with decorative fruits and flowers on the front door and by the following spring a robin made a nest in the wreath. There were two tiny windows near the top of the door and my kids would push the kitchen table over blocking the door and all three would stand on it to peak through the windows at the bird's nest. They would check each morning before the bus arrived and Ray insisted that we only use the back door until the eggs hatched. Sure enough they did a few days later and we could hear all the little cheeps and peeps bright and early and each morning, once again they would push the table over to peak through the window at all the baby robins in the nest. I could only image what these little critters must be thinking when they saw 3 sets of eyes starring back at them only inches away with just a piece of glass between them. Another wonderful memory... thanks for letting me share it with you.
Join in the Journey
Hope you join me on this 30 day painting challenge... you can sign-up for these blog posts to be delivered right in your inbox... just look for the email sign-up box in the right column. Feel free to comment below and share either your favorite places and/or things to do in CT or... have you ever been to any of the 5 Connecticut Audubon Society Locations? I've taken my kids to the one in Glastonbury a few times and they enjoyed it tremendously.
Joy Ornament, 6 x 6, oil
I've always admired the beautiful blue and white ornaments my friends, Joy and Scott's would hang on their tree each year ever since we lived in the same apartment complex ... wow... 22 years ago!
It wasn't until last year that we reconnected after 16 years of separation.... and I can't tell you how thankful I am to have both Joy and Scott back in my life again.
We both have daughters name Veronica and they are only a year apart... something we didn't plan.
Joy lent me her lovely blue and white dutch ornaments to paint. I can't wait to show you more.
This season I want to reflect on the wonderful friendships I have in my life. ....
the other treasures of joy in my life... my children!
Pictured below are two of my three kids. Today,
Veronica just received an award for outstanding player this season on the Varsity Field Hockey team at her school.... while her big brother Ray and I cheered her on during the assembly.
Piled High for the 4th of July, oil on canvas 8 x 10 available
Happy 4th of July!
Well if you couldn't tell I love to paint strawberries!
When they're under the spot light of my art lamp I can really smell that strawberry scent.... I think it's so hot that they might be cooking!
One of my favorite memories with my kids is to go strawberry picking every year. When we lived together in Glastonbury there were several berry picking farms but our favorite was Rose's Berry Farm. It was so picturesque tucked in a little valley very... Connecticut... very New England. We'd drive down a long driveway and hop on the big farm truck that drove us through the winding road back to the strawberry patch... or blueberry or raspberry. We would spend an hour or so filling up our long flat tray up to the very top... the kids would pick one...eat one.. pick one... eat one... and we would all go back with pink fingers, lips and teeth and a very full belly! What fabulous memories... I hope my kids remember those days too...
finishing up Dean's present!
Red Apple and Plant, oil on gessoboard, 6 x 6
So now that all the fresh cut flowers have wilted and the only thing left in my house that’s green and living besides the mystery meal in the tupperware container in the back of my refrigerator... you know the one everyone in the family just pushes around hoping that someone else will be brave enough to open, make a discussing face and then throw out...
was this Pothos plant I picked up 2 weeks ago at the grocery store. I’m quite surprised that its still alive consider, one, I don’t really have a green thumb and two, our cat, Jac, just loves to nibble on any green leafy plant he can get his paws on.
So why haven’t I been in my studio for almost five days, you ask?
A couple of reasons. First, I’ve been studying, going to workshops, watching video tutorials and attending webinars on art marketing. There’s so much wonderful information on the web and many different organizations are seeing the need to help artists develop and grow their business and sell more art... so they can paint more.
One of my latest addictions is listening to a blog talk radio show called, "Artists Helping Artists".( Links listed below.) Leslie Saeta and her co-host Dreama Tolle Perry, two very talented artists and savvy business women. They are the number one Artist Blog Talk Radio Show and offer innovative, up-to-date information on how to grow your art business. They also interview well-known artists. If you're an artist and want to grow your business... this is one of the best... BY FAR.... places to help you do just that.
Carnations, Daises and Limes, oil on gessoboard, 6 x 6
On my way into the grocery store on saturday to purchase just coffee, I glanced over at the flower shop and there was a cart in the middle of floor that said “manager’s special”... so of course I had to look.... and what a surprise... these beautiful bouquets for just $3.00! Well, I just had to pick up two... how often do you find such a great bargain!
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