Saturday, April 12, 2014

Wide Wetlands (dyptich)

6"x24" x2" deep cradled panel -dyptich, 2 (6x12")
To purchase, or for more information, click here.

and here's a close up of the left side:
 (side 1),
and below is side 2, the right side:
I've been wanting to paint a wide panoramic view of what I see out at Barn Island. Usually I just choose one small area to paint. The place is so expansive! Actually I could go on with additional panels and continue the view as though I were standing in the midst of the place.  haha, but that's another project for yet another day!

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Fiery Flair Tulips

12"x12" oil on gessobord
For more information, or to purchase, click here. 

I am continuing to will it to be warmer weather up here lately (with these hot colors I've been painting with!).  I think it's working. I actually went outside without a jacket on and didn't freeze! I'm guessing it must have been in the upper 40s? Our own tulips are about 4 or 5 inches out of the ground so far! I'm hoping they'll come up in a beautiful display like they have the last several years! It's such an incredible sight to see! Don't you just love it when Spring really starts to show her face? It'll be time to start digging in the dirt once again! 

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Angel Trumpet Lilies oil sketch and One.Trivial.Little.Acorn

6"x8" oil on linen mounted on archival panel
For more information, or to purchase, click here. 

So, as I mentioned in yesterday's post, I would tell you what was on my answering machine the minute I came home from the airport.  It was a nurse, from Florida Hospital Altamonte; letting me know that my mom "had taken a tumble in the parking lot at the mall and had broken her hip".  Ugh!! No way....I spent the next 24 hours on the phone- with the hospital, the place she lives, her pastor at her church, security from the mall where her car was in the parking lot still, her surgeon, physical therapy, social worker for rehab....gee, the list goes on & on.  Finally, once I figured out what was going on I bought air fare to go back down there and make sure every thing was going to fall into place the way we hoped.   It took a lot of planning in a very short amount of time, but mom is doing quite well (for one who has gone through a MAJOR surgery! At this point she has been through weeks of physical therapy, and still has to use a walker for the time being. Luckily, she started out in good health. How did this happen? She stepped on an acorn in the parking lot when she got out of her car! One....trivial....little....acorn.

Friends reminded me to "take care of myself" and work some 'me' time into the equation so I wouldn't go crazy. So I did take one late afternoon and visit Leu Gardens, a beautiful botanical park close to where mom lives. Every season is lovely there, and I was determined to bring my little paint-box over there & get an oil sketch in during the last hour before they closed for the day.  These lovely lilies were in bloom, hanging down like bells! They used to grow in San Diego (where I used to live) and I had always hoped to be able to paint them one day. This was from a tiny little "thumb-box" pochade that I sometimes take on trips. I find it more difficult to work with, holding all that in one hand and using a brush or knife with the other. I really prefer using a box that I can attach to a tripod, so there's less stuff in my hands. It would have required more stuff to haul on the plane though, and I didn't really have time to plan for that.  

Well, the whole incident reminded me that we never know what is around the corner for us.  The week before we had gone to the beach, and really enjoyed such fun together.  I had brought my watercolor sketchbook to the beach, and had just enough time to get some really quick sketches in.  One page, just enjoying our surroundings and being amazed at the aqua color of the Gulf of Mexico, and the cleanest white sand at Clearwater Beach. 
The three of us (my mom, one of my daughters, and me) were enjoying the sunshine and warmth of a Florida February day. Sea gulls were stalking other beach goers that had brought a picnic lunch. 
 Little by little, other gulls joined in the lurking....and even though there were three people at this gathering, each had gotten up to do "something else", turning their backs on the gulls, and had stepped just far enough away ....ATTACK! The gulls made good on their opportunity.....another group of beach-goers ran over to try to rescue the lunch and scare off the gulls.  I felt immobile, with a lap full of book, paint, water and no place to lay it down to chase birds! My daughter was asleep on her beach towel, and mom was engrossed in a book with her back turned to the chaos.  Oh my, well at least the only beach drama of the day was due to sea gulls. And I did get a quick sketch of mom while she was reading.
  I think when she realized she was being sketched she wanted to get up and move yes, it was very hurriedly done.  I had just begun to sketch my daughter asleep on her towel, when the bird chaos that point we were all hungry for lunch.
So I ended up using the page for some notes and a place to put my airline luggage stickers.  I didn't think much of the little sketches, barely scribbles, just for fun, not really much put into the planning of the page, etc.  Then.....within days of that beach trip, they became a precious memory of a very sweet day of fun- 3 generations of women enjoying a winter day at the beach, and each others company.  
Now I realize.....those little "inconsequential sketches" ....just like that dinky little acorn....happen to be very significant.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Fuchsia and Fiery Tulips, Hot Colors Floral

20"x16" oil on canvas mounted on archival board
To purchase or for more information, click here.
Fuchsia and fiery...bring on the hot wild colors of summer....we've waited long enough for Spring, and Mother Nature has sure been refusing to cooperate! Lots been going on since I last blogged. I've still been painting, but time has been tight. It all started with a mid-winter vacation ...a visit to see my mom in Florida (where she lives) in mid-February. One of my daughters joined me, and we took mom to the beach, and to the opening day of Spring Training...a baseball game with the Atlanta Braves! We filled the week with fun things to do...I even got in some nice little memorable sketches at the beach! I returned home on a Friday, (Feb. 28th to be exact). You won't believe what was on my answering machine the minute I came home from the air port?! Yes, you'll have to read tomorrow's post to find out!

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spring Sky Awakening - Coastal Landscape by Roxanne Steed

40"x30" oil on gallery wrapped deep canvas 
For more information, or to purchase, click here.

Skies seem brighter, days are a bit longer, the snow is melting's "mud-season". The tips of the tree tops get a bit of 'red' tinge to them...they are waking up, too. 
Spring is always filled with hope and more than a bit of excitement for me. The dried winter grasses out in the marsh still rustle their blond tops. Birds migrate through. All the earth is awakening!

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Where Do Your Creative Ideas Come From?

Yesterday I was reading a blog post from Jason Horejs' Red Dot Blog about  'productivity' being the best thing you can do for your 'creativity'.  It's absolutely true, if you are in any sort of creative career, you must simply 'do the work' and  show up at the canvas, paper, laptop...or what ever medium you work in. It is indeed when the work begins that the ideas begin to sprout and grow. 
That being said, live every day with a fun sense of curiosity.  Consider the "what ifs" in your approach to problem solving or just daily life.  The large painting above has stemmed from a 'what if'....I take some of the small plein air scenes I've painted from Barn Island and create much larger paintings based on them?  "Spring Skies" is an example of that, the small plein air is only 8"x6" but was such a beautiful day in April last year:
This past Monday morning at 8:00am, I was out at this same location for a bit of morning exercise in the frigid air.  It's too cold for me to paint at 11 degrees F., in fact I can hardly take my gloves off long enough to take a photo;  but if I keep moving I can at least go for a bit of cross country skiing.  We have had plenty of snow this year to make the going quite nice! But it looks completely different out here at Barn Island when it's covered in snow! 
So what does this have to do with creating? It's living your every day life. Getting your exercise, trading stories with your friends, getting outside for a bit of fresh air, running errands, and yeah, even shoveling snow!  So the same morning I was chatting with my friend about how my hubby had made 'snow ice cream' for me Sunday night, to coax me out of the studio! 
 Even though she had grown up here in CT and my hubby in Atlanta (where snow is rare but can be disastrous or delightful).....she had not ever tasted this of course- she went right home to give it a try! Several different flavors later (including maple and chocolate among others), she was sharing the bounty with co-workers; leading to even greater she is an excellent writer! And here is the story in our local paper today: (click here for link and for recipes!).  
So there you have it! Tuesday, when the next storm howled through, I was in my studio (pictured above) trying to warm things up with a large version of "Spring Skies"!  There are some parts of winter that I really do enjoy, like cross-country skiing in the sunshine, and eating snow ice cream, but I will truly welcome Spring and all its warmth....after all, I think I'm starting to grow antlers!

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunflower Memories

20"x16" oil on gallery wrapped, stretched canvas
For more information, or to purchase, click here. 

This piece has some of my favorite still life items in it, an antique plate from my brother, and a "lettuce" cream pitcher from my mother.  Have you considered the possibility of commission a painting with some of your favorite items in it?  Are there special mementos from family and loved ones that you'd like to commemorate in a painting?  These can be especially lovely with these items displayed in front of the painting!  And a painting, will last for generations!  Contact me for a collaboration on that unique painting just for you!

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