Sunday, October 31, 2010

Morning Sun, Lavender Rows

6"x8" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival board

"Instead of looking at the subject and bringing it into ourselves (as beginning artists often do), we should learn to ask, What things within me can I bring out in this subject?"
- Dan McCaw

I'm finally back home after some extended travel, and it is so good to get back into my normal routine again! So my dilemma has been either no internet connection, or no time to share what's been going on! So- back to where I left off, almost three weeks ago now, during my trip to San Diego - I enjoyed a couple days of painting over at Keys Creek Lavender Farm - what a wonderful place- even in the off season. During my second day of painting there, I wanted to arrive early enough to paint the rows you see when you initially drive up. Even though they've been harvested, the rows themselves and the shadows they cast around the curve of the dirt road are really wonderful in the early morning sun!

I have one more painting from Keys Creek Lavender Farm that I'll post tomorrow...and in the coming blog-posts, news about a recent commission, my trip to Norfolk, VA for the big art event (my newest collector is Bank Of Hampton Roads!) as well as an award for another painting...finally ended by spending this past week helping my daughters in northern Virginia move from 2 apartments into one (that part of my travels felt like boot-camp). It's good to be back home.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lavender Labyrinth

6"x8" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival board

"Creating expressive art demands more than just rendering. It requires you to develop and give voice to your point of view."
- Dan McCaw

Gosh, I would hate for you to think I've been sitting around doing nothing- because it's been anything but that! I just got back from a week in San Diego, (hubby had work/meetings out there, so of course I went along to paint). I returned to Keys Creek Lavender Farm for part of my three days there- what a wonderful place- even in the off season. I really fell in love with the place back in June during my first visit (during peak bloom time). I found a new appreciation for the lavender I was growing back here at home and have since nurtured it to get a second bloom this summer.

I really wanted to be there and paint from life- as that is what truly enables one to paint 'with conviction' in the studio. I can look at these paintings done outdoors and feel the sun warming me, hear the birds, and the breeze, it just brings back the whole sensory experience.

So, some thoughts on this painting- "Lavender Labyrinth", a 6x8" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival board. I feel especially fortunate that 'life's journey' has taken me to live in (and make return visits to) my favorite regions of American impressionism- that of the northeast, as well as the southwest. My husband didn't have to ask twice if I'd like to go along with him to San Diego. So I packed up the painting gear & made it 'flight ready' for three days of painting. Even in the off-season, the farm is beautiful. As a painter (and gardener) it's still fascinating to me to see this place in all seasons. And as luck would have it, I found the lavender labyrinth still in bloom, not yet harvested! There is a big bouganvillea arch with fuchsia & gold & coral colored blossoms. On Tuesday morning there was still a distant fog out towards the coastline.

It really is a blissful place for me that truly connects to all the senses - not only color and fragrance, but texture, and sound as well (of bees humming over the lavender, humming birds zipping by to check out who is standing in their midst, songbirds in the nearby tree, a hawk screeching across the distant hillside, and the rustle of the breeze across the hills). If you've used lavender in cooking, you'll understand what a total sensory experience this flower is.

***As luck would have it, the farm will be open for visitors again on weekends in December for the Christmas holidays and they will be carrying some of my small unframed paintings of the farm! I'm also working on a few other surprises yet to be revealed!

They are already booking weddings and events for next year's bloom season (May & June). Small paintings make such a lovely, memorable wedding or anniversary gift - as I've learned from many commissions this summer and fall. It's a unique & wonderful way to commemorate your special event!

Now, I don't know if you remember me mentioning that I juried into two art events in Norfolk, VA - Well I'm headed down there today! Out and About Norfolk is a juried paint-out event and Saturday night is the big event! It is also combined with a juried show which is a fundraiser for the Ballet Virginia International. Four of my paintings were selected for this show by Jeff Harrison, Chief Curator, The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, Virginia. The big event will take place:

Saturday October 23rd 6-9pm
Ballet Virginia International (BVI)
700 West 21st Street, in Norfolk

If you are in the area - I'd love to see you there!

Contact me for more information on this painting:

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Turning Into Autumn

8"x10" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival board

"Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!
- Humbert Wolfe

Today I took the time to go over to Harkness Park and paint outdoors - on our first sunny day this week. The trees are turning, the wind was up a bit, but the air was so clear- you could see forever across the Long Island Sound. But I painted at the cove, the tidal flow making ripples across the water. The grasses are beginning to turn gold, and the trees have their yellows and reds, too! What a beautiful morning! I'm calling this 8"x10" painting "Turning Into Autumn".

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Thinking Out Loud - Cat on a Cup

4"x4" oil on canvas mounted on board

"As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat."
- Ellen Perry Berkeley

Today's little painting, a 4"x4" sketch, which I'm calling, "Thinking Out Loud" is actually like 'thinking out loud' in paint - sort of the next step beyond ink & paper sketchbooks for me. It's a small section of a larger commission and I'm trying a combination of brushwork & palette knife to see how I like it before I proceed on with the larger painting.

Yesterday, after I painted this on Monday, we lost power for several hours during a howling wind storm! Luckily I had cleaned up my paint brushes already. And luckily I had not started chopping up anything to cook yet for dinner (just had it all set out). So back it went, it's on the menu for dinner tonight!

But even with the stormy afternoon/evening, I got lots done in the morning, a load of paintings varnished, a new shipment of frames in to get ready for an up-coming show....and a delightful studio visit this morning (Tuesday, as I write this), thanks Jane & Wendy!

Welcome to my latest new subscribers! I do hope you enjoy the paintings, photos & stories! I always love hearing comments from my readers!!

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Summer Breeze

6"x36" oil on gallery-wrapped canvas, 1 1/2" deep, edges painted with design continued from front

"Live each season as it passes."
- Henry David Thoreau

Today's painting "Summer Breeze" is a different format than I've worked on before, a very long, 6"x36" oil on gallery-wrapped canvas that is 1 1/2 inches deep. The sides are painted with the design carrying around the edges, so there is no need to frame if you choose that contemporary look. I love being able to live close to water, everything about it- to hear the wind blow across, smell the salt air, and try and see as far as I can - especially in the varying weather. One of my favorite places to just 'be'.
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