Saturday, June 30, 2007

Cooking Together/Stunt Doubles!

12"x9" oil on linen mounted on board (Raymar board)

whoa! it's always a little scary showing the thought process... so far here is the draw-in and the beginnings of laying in the darks. As I usually do, I lay in a fairly neutral to stain the canvas, then draw in with Ultramarine blue with a fairly small (size 1 or 2) stiff hog hair brush. Then I adjust, wipe out, draw-in again until I like what I see. Then I begin to lay in the darkest darks first.

This is all I got done today. My daughters decided when they got home from work, we should all go down to New Haven. They were filming the next "Indiana Jones" down at Yale. We really hoped to catch a glimpse of Harrison Ford. But we think we just got to see a stunt-double on a motorcycle several times (same scene done over many times). This campus is so beautiful....lots of old cars were parked on the street where they were filming. I am looking forward to this next movie...although we will sure miss Sean Connery in this one (he is enjoying retirement way too much to do another IJ, sigh). So an afternoon of yacking with daughters while "star-stalking" was a fun prelude to a light supper & long drive home.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Peach and Blue Check Linen - sold

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite

I just love setting up little still life scenes. Lighting the scene is interesting part, moving each piece (or THE piece) until it's at it's 'best side' - presenting the shapes most appealing to me. Now I have a peach that's been warmed by a hot light, I guess I'd better eat the thing!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Peony Blossom - sold

4"x4" oil on gessoed masonite

Painted using a palette knife only.

This was another fun little exercise, and probably the last peony I'll get to paint for this year! It's a very fun challenge to lay the paint on this way. No fussy stuff allowed!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pink Peonies in the Salt-Glazed Jug - sold

20"x16" oil on canvas

Yes, it's finished! That is a satisfying feeling. I love how the blossoms finally opened up fully. In fact they dried to a delicate ruffle like paper flowers. I am enjoying this burgundy light weight wool as a back-drop, too.

Hmm, there is some reflective glare in this photo - I'll re-shoot tomorrow, so the darks appear without the glare.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Essence of Play/Land & Water - sold

6"x6" oil on canvas gallery wrap 3/4", sides are painted (design continued out on edges)

Some people like to doodle on paper while on the phone, keeping a pad handy for just that purpose, "Well, it's for messages" they'll tell you, but they love the doodle factor. Grocery lists have designy-things scribbled in the margins. Well....yeah, I'll admit to having done these things. But there are times I have taken the notion of doodling in paint. I had been thinking about what I love about land & water, how the edges come together. How it never fails to "make ya look". I honestly think I could stare at some of these formations for hours. I love how treelines come right down to the water in some areas & tall grasses sway in marshy water in other areas. Even the mud flats in the shallows change colors with the light of day. I love how the light can hit the tops of the trees until the sky looks like a color that no one could ever imagine a sky to be. No lofty thoughts here, and I don't know why it never ceases to amaze me. And I continually try to analyze what it is that attracts me so to these areas?

I meet with a fellow group of artists/writers and illustrators once a month. We had been talking about the importance of "allowing ourselves to play" once in a while. So when the urge to doodle with the paint the same way I doodle with pen & paper (sorta like free-flowing thought) I did not squelch this urge - and I think these thoughts will be useful in a larger painting to come.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Shady Rest - sold

6"x8" oil on Belgian linen mounted on board (Raymar board)

Today after lunch, both my husband & I went back to the Botanical Gardens (notice a trend here?, hey, I know what I like). I found a great shady spot with a view, where I could paint & he could sit and read. Tomorrow I will be sitting in a car driving up the Jersey turnpike getting home to CT. As much as I love to travel, I love getting to come matter where that is!

Colonial Garden - sold

6"x8" oil on Belgian linen mounted on board (Raymar Board)

This was what I finished yesterday afternoon at the Botanical Garden in Norfolk. It's in the section called the Colonial Garden. It's a small garden that does remind me of all our trips to Williamsburg. Another painting session that I found totally delightful - and the weather was perfect, upper 70s, maybe it hit 80?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Under the Pergola

6"x8" oil on Belgian linen mounted on board

Today was an absolutely perfect day here in Virginia. I spent most of it the Norfolk Botanical Gardens again. This area is a path leading up to the pergola with pretty vines growing on top, that makes a bit of refreshing shade without blocking out all the light. There are benches on either side, looking out to the gardens & fountain beyond. It is such a beautiful, restorative place!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Guardian Over Passing Storm - sold

6"x8" oil on linen mounted on board, plein air painting done at Dam Neck beach, VA

Well, I have not sat at the beach to paint in a long while... now I remember why. Unless you have a bit of protection, it can get dicey if the wind picks up! All in all, it went pretty well. I missed the showers, had some interesting stormy skies/color of ocean to catch. It was so much cooler than yesterday when it hit the hundred mark in some areas here. Today it was low 70s (judging by what I heard on the radio this morning). When the sky gets that 'angry' look, all the colors you're 'used to' seeing at the beach change! And it the weather teaches you not to futz about, just lay down the color you see & get on with finishing up. A good challenge to take on every once in a while!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Norfolk Botanical Gardens -View to the Roses - sold

6"x8" oil on linen mounted on board (Raymar)

Today I spent some time at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. Luckily I set up & finished before it got too incredibly hot. I've forgotten how wicked mid-90s can feel! But I found this nice shady space to set up with a view across several garden spaces to the rose gardens far beyond. Painting at this place is so much fun - there a so many views....with great focal points! Beautiful tree masses with a great variety of color & all makes for a very satisfying painting session!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pink Peonies in the Salt-Glazed Jug

20"x16" oil on canvas

It's almost done.....I'm waiting for the peony on the right to open just a bit more. I'd like to see some ruffles on it. But I am pleased with the jug and the fabric shadows, etc. Hopefully this flower will cooperate - and soon!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Riot of Ruffles - sold

12"x12" oil on canvas

These peonies opened up so fast I had to paint them first! I was working on the pale pink peonies yesterday & today & the one on the right would NOT open up. So, stage left, costume change, set change. Off go the deep red fabric drapes, salt-glazed jug, & pale pink flowers to get their act together! Then I set up these dark fuscia peonies in my favorite dragonfly teapot I got in San Diego years ago. They continued to open as I painted them. They began as a ball half the size of my fist and in a few hours they reached the span of my fingers spread open wide. As they continued to open they made an absolute Riot of Ruffles! What incredible flowers!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

block-in more, Pink Peonies in the Salt Glazed Jug

20"x16" oil on canvas

I've continued by blocking in the color on the jug & the shadow side of the flower heads. Squint to see where the shadow shapes are. I drove back to the nursery in Old Lyme to get more cut peonies. Today they just had the very light pink, and some dark fuscia red ones. I wanted these light ones to place in this particular jug. I think the grey tones of the jug & pale pink of the flowers will look quite dramatic against the dark reds of this beautiful wool fabric. As I continue to block in the color, I'll indicate darks & lights on the leaves, as well as the lights of the flowers. As I progress, I'll pay more attention to edges. More tomorrow!

block-in of Pink Peonies in the Salt Glazed Jug

20"x16" oil on canvas

Next I go for the darkest darks and block those in, then follow with some midtones. I tend to work from back to front (of the items that I'm viewing).

draw-in of Pink Peonies in the Salt Glazed Jug

20"x16" oil on canvas

Here you'll get to see another step-by-step, from idea, to set up to beginnings, all the way through to the end. I like to work on an oil primed canvas. Lately I've worked a couple up on acrylic gesso primed canvas and it just doesn't have the feel that I like. There's just that certain way that paint comes off your brush one way vs. the other. I suppose they were talking about painting when the phrase "Different strokes for different folks" came about!
Here I've toned the canvas in a warm earthy color. I like to draw in my image roughly with ultramarine blue paint. I find it easy to cover if I keep it fairly thin & ink-like (but not so juicy that it's running all over the place). I also like drawing in with paint rather than pencil or charcoal - I can move it much easier with the wipe of a rag if need be, until I'm happy with the drawing. I try not to get too detailed with the draw-in at this point. I just want to indicate where the major players are going to stand!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Yellow Rose - sold

7"x5" oil on gessoed masonite

This blossom rescued from the rath of hungry deer! I got it before they did! Last year I didn't get a single bloom off of this bush - so I didn't even know what color the blooms would turn out to be! Nice surprise! Hope I get more blooms!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Pink Peony on Green Stripes - sold

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite

This peony had opened up all the way & was like a bunch of frilly pink ruffles! They are such wonderful flowers in all their stages. Which again, makes them a delight to paint. It's in one of my favorite cream pitchers (which somehow never, ever gets used for cream because it's so complimentary to flowers, it's usually got flowers in it!) The stripes were fun to represent as they folded in and out of shade and light.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Chinese Mums - sold

12"x12" oil on canvas, 3/4" gallery wrap, edges painted, you can frame or hang 'as is'.

Oh this was fun to paint! I had three huge Chinese mums that just begged to be painted. I did enjoy setting them up with my favorite little blue & white ginger jar, and the same piece of viyella wool that I used the other day worked as a great backdrop. Once the pieces are together, the "staging" is the fun part, moving the light until it hits the objects in an interesting way. This is one of those paintings that's fun to look at close up AND from across the room!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Clementine and Cup

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite

This was a fun little exercise. I enjoy the blue vs. orange complementary colors with each other...and these little oranges are as fun to paint as they are to eat!

This painting is available at auction from my eBay Store. To visit and bid, click here.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

draw-in of Clementine and Cup

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite

I always enjoy seeing the beginnings, middles, and endings of other artists work. It helps me understand their process.....and for today, this is as far as I got - just the draw-in. I like to draw in oils mixed with a good bit of turps rather than draw in with charcoal or pencil. I do like the 'movability' of the fluid inky lines, that I can change with one wipe, draw, re-draw until I like what I see. It's nice to have at least overnight to reflect and see any drawing errors that glare out at you before you progress. And this is probably way more details than I need at this stage of the game any way! Oils paints are so malleable, carvable, forgiving, and an absolute delight to work with. Well, more fun tomorrow after a good hard look at what's here now.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Peony Trio- sold

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite

Can you tell I'm trying to make the most of my purchase of peonies? I chose one dark rosy fuschia color, 2 medium pink ones- they're really fluffy and have opened first; and one in a pale pink color with little dark pink edges on some of the petals. They are such nice full, round flowers. This morning the lightest one and the darkest one started opening a bit. I hope they last a while longer - they are a joy to really look at.

Peony and Ginger Jar - sold

12"x12" oil on .75" gallery wrap canvas

It's finished. Blue & white china pieces are some of my favorite things to paint, but the peony is new to me. I bought some yesterday and am finding these shapes a really fun challenge. At some point in my life I want to grow these in my yard. I think I would like to have these around to paint for years to come!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Peony - unfinished

12"x12" oil on canvas

Today after I dropped off yesterday's painting to the 'Wet Paint' sale in Lyme, I passed by a plant nursery in Old Lyme that had a sign out for 'cut peonies'. Wow, I've been wanting to paint some...but I don't grow any, and don't know any one nearby that does. So I bought a handful, set this one up right away in my little ginger jar (thanks Joanne!) . I have some interesting maroon viyella wool that I thought might make an interesting backdrop. Here's the first pass, color blocked in & some details added. I'll have a look again tomorrow and see what else I want to do.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Gold Rush at Tiffany's - sold

9"x12" oil on linen mounted on board (Raymar)

California may claim to have happy cows (I know so, I used to live there!) but honestly these cows today at Jack Tiffany's farm in Lyme, CT where in heavenly bliss! HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY! The morning showers cleared up & blew over, the buttercups are swaying in the lush, green grass, birds are singing...and the "ladies in waiting" are mooing right along! Could it get any better than this day?

A large group of painters from the greater Lyme/Old Lyme area have been painting here on location for a fundraiser show & sale this weekend at Lyme Public Hall. For over a century artists have freely set up their easels on Rt. 156 in Lyme to paint the cows, fields, and barns of Tiffany Farms. Now we are hoping to help this working dairy farm through a rough financial patch by being part of this Plein Air Paint Out and Wet Paint Sale.

If you are in the area, please come to Lyme Public Hall on Friday June 8th - Sunday June 10th. Opening Reception is Friday 5-8pm and Saturday & Sunday hours are 11am to 4pm. Own a part of this areas' rich artistic & agricultural heritage and help to maintain it for the future. Hope to see you at the show!

This piece is framed in a carved mission/plein air style gold frame & is available for $495 at Lyme Public Hall, or contact me directly at ( Fifty percent of sale price goes directly to Jack Tiffany/Tiffany Farms.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

"and then you win" - sold

16"x20" oil on canvas

This is an older painting (I had forgotten I still had this in my stash of work). A school teacher friend had sent me this quote from Gandhi, "First they laugh at you, then they ignore you, then they fight you, then you win." It seemed to go with this model's expression.

hmm, a day full of interruptions, I'm grateful to get a pile of brushes cleaned!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Rainy Day Respite- sold

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite

Oh what an inviting space on a rainy day! The light seems so grey and pearly inside, but one lamp warms things up so nicely. It made it quite inviting for a nap, but my daughter beat me to it. Oh wishful thinking!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Day on the Water - sold

8"x8" oil on gallery wrap canvas,1 1/2" deep

Back to the hike in Bluff Point Park. This pair was heading toward a group of kayaks on the marsh side of the cove. The little boy looked so happy to be out with his dad!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Kentford Farm Study - sold

4"x4" oil on gessoed masonite

yeah, I know, it seems I'm jumping from one subject to another. So, here is my train of thought (from yesterday's subject). This tour/fundraiser has been on my calendar for over a month. Kentford Farm is one of Connecticut's premier Perennial Gardens. They hosted a plant sale & garden tour for Alliance for Living (a group that I support by donations of art for the Art for Living fundraiser in the early spring). I knew this would be not only another chance to support this group, but a great day for a photo shoot in the most fabulous gardens I've seen in a long time. There was a surprise around every corner. and I'm so glad I went. This little painting is a quick study for a larger format painting. These small studies help me mull the idea over in my head.....for a larger project.

Afterwards, I made the hour-plus trip up to New Britain to Jerry's Art-a-rama for more paints, canvas, and Galkyd Lite (to proceed on the painting you saw in yesterday's blog entry).

Friday, June 1, 2007

Sunny Morning View (start)

20"x24" oil on canvas

This is one I started a while ago, from life. The flowers have since died of course, & the window-sill re-arranged numerous times. But I want to come back & finish it, I really like what I've got laid out so far. Since the paint is too dry to work wet into wet, I've taken Kevin Macpherson's advice & will sand off any lumps/textural passages (this one's fairly smooth so far). Then I take rub on a really thin film of Galkyd Lite medium over the canvas. Then I paint into this layer, which will act as an adhesive to the lower layer. Now, where did I put that little bitty nautilus shell? Hopefully, you'll see some interesting changes take place on this one the next few days.