Jim's Front Porch, oil on paper, 6 75 x 8.75
This is a view of our friend Jim's front porch. I accompanied my husband Dean this morning when he went to cut the grass at Jim's house.
The sun was shining just right on the front porch. Long thin slivers of light were dancing across the cool concrete.
I've been trying out a new type of surface. It's called Arches Oil Paint Paper. It's really cool. I watched a short you tube video on how to use this special oil paint paper and thought I would give it a try. No priming or gesso required. All I did was tear off a smaller piece from the large 20 x30 sheet and tape it to a board.
Pros on Arches Oil Paint Paper:
- fast set-up
- easy to block in larger shapes by using less pigment and more turpentine
- very difficult to layer lights over darks
Perhaps I wasn't using the best brush for layering but the lighter colors wouldn't sit on top and they would absorb quickly into the background. That's when I decided to pick up my palette knife and apply the paint like frosting! It was fun! If I didn't like an area I would just scrape it off and start again. By the time I was done the light had shifted but it felt good to be outside painting plein air again.
Yes, I agree, this is a much different style then what I've done in the past... but it looks like the winds of change are blowing! And I'm feeling much more courageous these days!
I would love your feedback on this new style... just leave a comment below.
with much gratitude,
Taste and See - Red Wine and Oranges, oil, 8 x 8, $100
Have you ever turned the corner with your eyes closed? Sure, I do all the time.... when I'm in my house and I know the floor plan like the back of my hand... I can turn the corner from room to hallway with my eyes closed or when it's pitch dark in the middle of the night... but what about when you're in unfamiliar places?
That's when faith kicks in. I guess under the right circumstances perhaps one would be willing to turn the corner with they're eyes closed. Maybe with someone you trust guiding your steps. Watching out for you... steers you in a different direction.
That's exactly how I'm feeling right now. This is the second painting I've done using the fracturing technique and I have to say... this doesn't look like my style at ALL!
but I'm kinda lik'n it! Am I turning a corner? ... stepping out in faith?... we will just have to see ....
" I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you." Psalm 32:8
click here to bid on this painting
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,
"Pink Skies", oil, 16 x 20
Finishing this up last night, I couldn't wait to show my friend Pam. A few weeks ago Pam invited, (or did we invite ourselves?... I don't remember now) me and Dean over to the farm in Cheshire, CT where she boards her two horses. Mia and Chester.
It was a lovely Sunday afternoon. The weeping cherry tree was blooming and the fresh new green grass was blanketing the pastures.
They had two new additions to the farm this spring. Two adorable billy goats. I'm planning to paint them soon.
This is Grandeur, a clydesdale horse. What amazing animals! Both Grandeur and Bella were grazing out in the pasture when we arrived.
We stayed for about an hour walking around and hanging out with the horses, donkey, chickens, baby billy goats and a rag-a-muffin, yet adorable kitty.
Below is a photo I took of the work in progress. Many times I'll paint the canvas either an orange, ochre yellow or salmon pink. The first time I did this I can remember how confused I was by the off color of the background. But in time, I trained my eyes to not focus on the background and only see the colors I was applying with my paint brush or palette knife. When the painting is finished I really love the look of that background poking through in small spots.
This painting doesn't have a home yet... If you are interested please contact me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Art Show Opening: Prelude to Summer at Maple and Main Gallery, Friday May 17, 2013 5-8pm ... all are welcome!
Sunday evening I dropped off 10 of my pieces to the Maple and Main Gallery for the Prelude to Summer Show!
And I just love the way this gallery is set up. It's a cooperative gallery which means that all the artists get involved.
So who really rules the roost? Well, I'm not really sure but what I can tell so far is that this group of highly energetic and enthusiastic artist find a great balance of producing exceptional work, contribute their time generously, laugh a lot and very friendly.
This painting will be in the show look for it near the Gallery Director, Erin's desk.
Here's a few photos after hanging the show on monday. The labels weren't up yet but the work is sooooo..... amazing!
Mark your Calendar Maple and Main Gallery Events:
Prelude to Summer Exhibit Dates: May 17, 2013 - July 12, 2013
Opening: Friday May 17th, 2013 5-8pm
Clothesline Sale: Unframed original artwork - Saturday May 25 to Sunday May 26
Last Saturday, I had a lovely time painting on porch of Maple and Main Gallery of Fine Art in Chester, CT.
Erin, the Gallery Director joined Dan Nichols another member artist and I out on the porch between visitors.
Helen Burke was arranging a beautiful bouquet of flowers when I walked in and later in the day I met Barbara Rossitto and Linda Lillings.
I'm so looking forward to meeting all the other member artists of the Maple and Main Gallery.
The current show "Spring Awakening" has so many beautiful works and each time I visit, there's new work on the walls! Here are just a few of my favorites:
Clockwise: Mt. Sunapee on Dock by Barbara Rossitto, Foral Parade by Barbara Hageman, untitled by Carolyn Emerson, Two Bluebirds by Claudia Van Nes
NEXT OPENING: Prelude to Summer Show - Opening Night May 17th, 5-8pm ... hope to see you there!
Country Road, Simsbury, CT, oil, 16 x 20, available at Maple and Main Gallery
Here's a painting I did last summer and never had the chance to write about it on Art Blog.
I painted this from a photo that I took on a hot Saturday morning in July. I travelled up to Simsbury to paint with a group of plein air painters at a local farm. Perhaps I got the dates mixed up or the plans were changed at the last minute but I couldn't find the group so I continued on the route hoping to find a location that would inspire me to paint.
As I'm traveling along this windy country road in Simsbury, I came across the most amazing steel -beamed bridge. Now used just as a walking path that crosses over the Farmington River. The bridge is covered on both sides with dozens of hanging baskets! What a glorious sight!
This painting will be on exhibit and for sale at the Prelude to Summer Show at Maple and Main Gallery of Fine Art, Chester, CT .... Opening Reception is Friday May 17th, 5-8pm.... all are welcome!
"In My Shadow" , oil on canvas, 12 x 12, available at Maple and Main Gallery
Ok, so I sheepishly announced on my website in small print where perhaps no one will spot it and hold me accountable to this statement ... my goal for this new series "On the Farm" is 30 paintings of farm animals, barns, and local farm scenes.
I didn't set a time frame of 30 days like the one I did in January. I'm hoping to take my time and mix it up a bit too. Paint on both big and small canvases. Perhaps a few watercolors, oils and maybe even pencil sketches or ink drawings.
I love the way this little baby lamb is willing to stick her neck out just enough from behind her mama's shadow to allow the sunlight to warm her sweet face. It reminds me so much of youngest daughter, who's 14 years old and she's really coming into her "own light". Each time she shares with me moments of her day, I just marvel at how she responds and handles certain situations. How she is willing to stand up,in a polite and respectful way for her beliefs. Not an easy thing for a teenager to do these days!
This reminds me of a sweet verse " and those in darkness 'come into the light.' They will be my sheep, grazing in green pastures and on hills that were previously bare."
This painting will be on exhibit and for sale at the "Prelude to Summer" Show at Maple and Main Gallery of Fine Art in Chester, CT. If you live in the area I would love to see you at the opening Friday, May 17th from 5-8pm.
with much gratitude,
"Brave Chicken", oil, 12 x 12, available at Maple and Main Gallery
"On the Farm" Series - painting #2
Can someone actually be both? A brave chicken? Isn't that a contradiction? Well, that's sort of how I describe myself at times. Courageous yet timid. Weak yet bold. Scattered yet driven.
Some days I wake up so early... even before my dog, which is before 5:30am, filled with energy and ready to go! I roll up my bathrobe sleeves, grab a cup of coffee and head down to my studio... ready to paint with gusto!
Looking back I love those moments because... believe me that doesn't happen every day.... but when it does the wheels of production, the dance of the brush all seem to be in sync and the time just flies! But then... out of the blue... good old doubt comes knocking, "Shouldn't you be?... or "are you sure?"... that can really stop me dead in my tracks. The production wheels screeches to a halt.... and if I get caught off guard, I can actually get caught up with this internal chatter... it may sound silly but I bet I'm not alone.
That's when a small voice inside speaks to me and gently reminds me "for God did not give you a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline."
So when I'm in the Brave Chicken mode... feeling a little bit of both... these words help me redirect my focus... to keep the production wheels mov'n!
This painting will be on exhibit and for sale at the "Prelude to Summer" Show at the Maple and Main Gallery of Fine Art in Chester, CT. Opening night is Friday May 17th from 5-8pm hope you can join us! The show will run until July 12, 2013.
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