Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cheers, Dahling!

6"x8" oil on linen mounted on archival panel (Raymar)

"The reason we make a long story short is so that we can tell another."
- Sharon Shoemaker

Today our members of DailyPainters.com are posting something "Out of the Box". This is actually from my tiny 6"x8" pochade box...and small figures with small brushes is something I rarely paint! I have been using larger brushes and palette knives on larger surfaces, so going back to "very small" is a challenge! But I have to admit it was quite fun painting the smiles of friends and remembering a fun evening's get together.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Wild and Rugged Dun Aengus - Diptych

20"x40" (2 - 20x20" gallery wrap canvases, 1.5" deep)sides are painted with design; not necessary to frame but you can if you like.

"Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights."
- Pauline R. Kezer

This coastline is the most intimidating thing I've ever seen. Massive slabs of limestone, pitted & cracked by the sea, sheer cliffs of 100 meters. Looking out over Galway bay, sky and ocean meet.

To purchase this painting, contact me: roxannesteed@gmail.com

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hammered Bronze Watering Pitcher

6"x8" oil on linen mounted on panel (Utrecht)

"Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it."
- author unknown

This is another item that sits on the table in front of my studio window! I love the shape of this little watering can that I keep for my violets! Anything to do with gardening makes me think of spring right now!!

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Price: $125 USD plus $10 USD s/h
Or, send me an email

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Painting at the Ruins, Ballycarberry Castle

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

This one I'm re-posting as I spent time beginning a commission piece today. I've enjoyed living with it as it brings back wonderful memories of a previous painting trip with friends! But I'm making it available for sale - "first dibs" here and on my Daily Painters Gallery as well.

Buy this painting on PayPal
Price: $125 USD plus $10 USD s/h
Or, send me an email

I got a question from another artist today who is taking her first trip over to Ireland this May and is wondering if it is too windy & wild to paint outside over there? I have lots of thoughts on this to share with fellow painters!

I have totally enjoyed my time visiting this place. I always come home with a sense of calm (and a desire to keep painting!). I usually go in summer, June or July. My friend who lives there part time stays in May as well and loves it then, too...and yes paints outside in May, too. When I'm there in summer I paint everyday, rain or shine. I would highly recommend a set-up that has one of those paint-boxes that goes on a tri-pod base for stability (and a good heavy, strong tripod). That wide leg base will keep your paint-box sturdy if and WHEN the wind kicks up a bit. Dress in layers and be prepared to wear it all at some points in the day, ....short-sleeved t-shirt, jeans (I never wore shorts there, don't need them). I bring a light-weight polar-fleece jacket and then top with a water-resistant hooded windbreaker. I have a canvas sun-hat that has a string-thing to tighten up & hold it on your head. When it gets warm, you can tie the extra around your waist or stuff them in your bag. But have it handy, you may want it before too long. Yes, you can count on wind at some point. Sun-screen is a must!

***You will probably have a bit of every kind of weather at various times during the day. Usually the rain is a gentle mist, but it can get heavier, too. I have found if you are painting on oil-primed canvas/linen (look up Raymar's panels) you can paint in the rain just fine!! HOWEVER - another friend who brought acrylic primed canvases had a miserable time...the canvas soaked up the rain and worked like Batik- resisting his oil paint! It wouldn't adhere to the canvas- it was awful! So order some oil-primed linen panels- and be happy! I did go in early March last year and it is wayyyy too windy to paint then. That's when they have severe winter gales- you can barely stand up in the stuff! But you certainly get some interesting photos. It's a different kind of beauty.

Are you going with a group, or on your own? Remember, sometimes when you're outside painting in a new environment, there are times when you'll paint something you totally hate & just want to fling....but put in safely in your box, look at it with fresh eyes later. It may not work as a 'finished' painting, but instead a great exercise in 'note-taking' for a later studio painting. OR if you have time on the spot, scrape it off and repaint, gathering enough information from the scene as you can. And the efforts made in painting outdoors, locks all that vision & sensory experience into your whole being....ready to draw from at a later point when you go back to your source material. Those are things that you never get from just taking photos of a place. If you come up with any other questions before your trip, just send me an email roxannesteed@gmail.com - perhaps I can answer them for you!

In my list of links to the right, visit Valentia Island Artists Retreat. This is a wonderful opportunity to have take a workshop/retreat and experience some of the most incredible scenery.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dun Aengus, Inishmor, Ireland

5"x7" oil on gessoed masonite

"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."
- Lao Tzu

This is one of the most amazing prehistoric sites I've ever seen. Dun Aengus (Dun Aonghasa) is located on Inishmor (one of the Aran Islands). There is a semicircular fort of three concentric enclosures, right up against the edge of hundred-meter sea cliffs. I found it quite terrifying to stand at certain parts! Looking across Galway Bay it seems that sea and sky meet and continue in one expanse of blue-gray. The land appears to be made of slabs upon slabs of limestone, interupted by long cracks interspersed with grasses.

I've been wanting to paint a large, dramatic view of this area. This is a small color study - once I complete this in preparation for a larger work....I'm so excited I can't wait to begin!!

For purchase information, email me: roxannesteed@gmail.com

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Evening Warmth

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite panel

"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair."
- Kahlil Gibran

Can you tell I'm having a touch of 'homesickness'? I'm thinking about last week back home with mom in Florida. I came back to a bit of spring-time warmth in CT, but today was chilly! Oh fickle spring!

The days are getting longer, the daffodils are about 2 inches out of the ground. Each bit of new growth is exciting to see!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Trip To The Cottage -Ireland Series (commission)

11"x14" oil on Belgian linen mounted on professional artboard (Raymar)

"Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn."
- Lewis Grizzard

I saw my first bluebird of spring this afternoon! He looked pretty happy (and I was surprised at how happy that made me!). I finished up a commission of "Thatched Roof Cottage" but was thinking of some tunes we've played and "Trip To The Cottage" came to mind. When there are Irish dancers & musicians in the family, you have these tunes running through your head all the time!

This was so much fun to go back & re-visit this cottage with another painting. The actual cottage is on Valentia Island (Ireland). I'm going back this summer, my tickets are bought, and I'm so excited! Last summer they were re-thatching the roof of this cottage. I'm curious to see how well it held up over the winter. It's such a lovely place with wildflowers, roses, and a huge hydrangea bush in the front, as well as a curious pile of peat bricks stacked haphazardly on the very end.

If you have missed out on a favorite painting...and it is already sold, you can commission one in a size just right for that perfect place in your home. Contact me
roxannesteed@gmail.com for details of prices per size.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dreamy Violets

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush."
- Doug Larson

Garden centers are full of wonderful things that are tiny- little handmade clay pots, small copper saucers, and of course a pretty African violet! I love painting flowers that are back-lit by the window in my studio. I set up a little chest-of-drawers in front of the window just for this purpose. Things get moved around quite a bit on this little stage, sometimes draping fabric to make (fake) draperies for some larger arrangements! This was just a little warm-up to get me going again after being gone for a week with no paints!

It was a productive day, got one painting mailed out today, a trip to the bank, another painting varnished, and a commission started, too! Perhaps this trip was indeed just the thing I needed! (Especially the 85 degree days!!). Welcome to spring- it is finally (officially) here! And it actually rained today, but I still felt "sunny" and full of hope -it hit 50 degrees here in southeastern CT!

Buy this painting on PayPal
Price: $100 USD plus $10 USD s/h
Or, send me an email

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wonderful Fragrance ...ndp

"Most certainly there is a fragrance of orange blossoms in heaven..."
- Roxanne Steed

Just a photograph to share called "Wonderful Fragrance" (not for Daily Painters). I'm just glad to be back home from my travels and get back to the easel tomorrow! This is one of my favorite memories of childhood- the fragrance of orange groves. As a pre-Disney child of central Florida, before it was quite so built up as it is now- the place was covered with grove land. When these trees were blooming it was incredible. Even a change in the wind seemed to bring in a slight variation of a 'far-off' grove (not that they were very far away at all back then). While back home visiting my mom, I took her to one of my favorite destinations, Leu Gardens. And yes, I couldn't wait to get my head in one of these trees and breathe in the wonderful fragrance...and bring back those memories of growing up in Florida!

I had a great visit with mom, and most certainly enjoyed the weather (went barefoot as often as possible)... But I'm looking forward to getting back to the easel and yeah, the smell of oil paints!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

'Tis Himself, Sir Strut, Inishmor Rooster - sold

8"x10" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel (Raymar)

"Happiness walks on busy feet."
- Kitte Turmell

This was a fun opportunity to re-visit the roosters I painted earlier this year. I go back to my reference photos, sketches & notes of my travels to get my brain back in that place where I first enjoyed seeing these roosters when visiting Inishmor, off the coast of Ireland last summer.

This painting is already claimed, but if there is one that you see that you just love, email me - roxannesteed@gmail.com - and I'll mail you a list of prices per size. We can come up with something just right for your particular space in your home- just right for you!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Norma!!

3"x4" oil on Belgian linen mounted on panel

"Happy Birthday to you...."

Today's painting is "Happy Birthday Norma!!" . Norma is my painting friend in Virginia who told me about DailyPainters.com way back when. At one point we shared a studio space in Virginia Beach. Today's painting came about after thoughts of...."now why didn't I get a card in the mail any sooner than today????" hmm. So I thought I'd have fun with the makings of a birthday cake in paint...in the sunshine, with one of those tall, skinny, sparkly candles....on one of my blue & white plates of course! It's the smallest panel I've ever painted with a palette knife (3"x4").

This little painting is not for sale, but please contact me by email if you'd like to "send a cake" to your birthday buddy. For $20 I'll paint your favorite cake on your favorite color of plate & table cloth AND deliver it to your birthday friend!

Special Requests!

I frequently get requests to 're-create' a particular favorite painting of one of my works that is already sold. Yes, I will do this. Now, being that it is an original and not a 'print' it is not exactly the same, but pretty close/similar to the 'first edition'.

For those interested in commissioning your favorite view, contact me at:
roxannesteed@gmail.com - I'll send you a list of prices & shipping per size.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Madonna of the Greenhouse- sold!

11"x14" oil on Belgian linen mounted on panel (Raymar)

"Grab a chance and you won't be sorry for a might have been."
- Arthur Mitchell Ransome

What a fun day!! This morning (Thursday as I write this) I got to go back to the greenhouse with this same friend who invited several of us for an impromptu picnic lunch there! With deep snow on the ground outside, we walked into an oasis of warmth! What a tropical delight! Walking barefoot on the warm brick pavers, we all pared down to short sleeved T-shirts & pulled on big-brimmed sun-hats! It must have been a heavenly 85 degrees! Just the thought of it brings a smile! And of course- I brought my camera, there may be a great painting opportunity out of these shots! The warm air & bright sunshine invigorated every last one of us! I was excited to finish this painting today.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Madonna of the Greenhouse- work in progress

11"x14" oil on Belgian linen mounted on panel (Raymar)

"Anyone who doesn't change his mind doesn't have one."
- Bob Burridge

Today's painting is just the beginnings of "Madonna of the Greenhouse". It seems after an 'emergency' trip away from home, I am slowly getting back into my routines and catching up with tasks needing to be done. But I did get a start on this painting today - and what fun it was! Tomorrow I should be able to bring it to a finish if I start early in the day. Hopefully the paint will stay wet enough to soften edges where I want to...I am getting excited thinking about finishing this one- I hope the image matches up with what's in my brain! You can see where I've started with a warm wash on the canvas to tone it, then I mark in roughly the placement of the figure & surrounding items. More of this tomorrow!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Madonna of the Greenhouse- sketch

"High expectations are the key to everything."
- Sam Walton

Today's sketch is currently called "Madonna of the Greenhouse"....as I was putting together sketches for my next set of 3 paintings, I found the fan-vent directly placed behind my friend's head...sort of like one of those renaissance religious paintings, hmm. The connection certainly made me smile. She is the nurturing sort that can bring plants back to life, even when it's questionable. One might think miracles are involved....But anyways, she volunteers at a local greenhouse for a state park- and I came with her one day while she tended plants and I photographed her at work. These small greenhouses are indeed a tropical oasis in the middle of a New England winter! With all the snow we've had this winter, I've been thinking about this visit for a while...and the paintings that would come from it!

We spent some time shoveling a foot deep worth of snow Monday- I think I've had about enough of this to last the rest of my life....or at least until next year.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Iris Bud

7"x5" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"It is always in season for old men to learn."
- Aeschylus

Today's painting is "Iris Bud", painted last spring, I've got it hanging on my wall now. The darks are so deep and transparent, the lighter tones are heavier, opaque paint that catch & hold the light, giving body to this blossom.

We are finally back from Atlanta, my mother-in-law survived her emergency surgery! whew, (a triple bypass). She's back home recuperating... and so are we from the shock of it all. Spring is starting to show it's face around parts of the south. It was such a thrill to see daffodils, and flowering trees along the highways and backroads while on our travels. It was indeed the high point in a stressful week. Back in New England, we are expecting of a whopper nor'easter Monday. I'll be staying in to paint! I'm looking forward to sharing more quotes & some new paintings!

Buy this painting on PayPal
Price: $85 USD plus $10 USD s/h
Or, send me an email

The above price is for an unframed work. Please inquire if you're interested in purchasing this piece framed. I have a lovely custom made gold-leaf finished wood frame with a linen liner that compliments this painting beautifully!