Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pansies And The Maiden - "Drinking In The Muse" & Thoughts As You Progress Through A Painting

11"x14" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel

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Price: $425 USD

"Nobody lives happily ever after. We live happily when we live with a sense of purpose and when we are unafraid of living in a world in which things are seldom settled, few things are permanently improved, and where love does not take care of itself."
-Eugene Kennedy

Painting our favorite things is certainly a wonderful indulgence that any artist can partake in. I shipped this little statue home from my mom's house last year when she moved to a much smaller place and didn't have a place to put her. This bust stood on a pedestal next to the piano in the living room through the greater part of my childhood. I always admired this piece. I don't know why I've waited so long to paint her, but there you have it. The pansies I had bought during our warm weather frenzy last weekend, only to have a freeze come through on Monday. No worry, I decided they could stay and pose in my studio for a couple days before I put them back out on the front porch. "There's pansies, that's for thoughts" and I had a few thoughts to share in the 'building' of a painting:

- give yourself a map. No details necessary, but get the placement and proportion of your main elements. I tend to draw in paint, as I think it moves easier if I want to change something. You can also draw over what you've just laid down until you find that shape. If it gets too heavy, scrape it off, or use less paint. I don't use turps or thinners when I paint. I want the luscious thickness of oil paints on their own. You'll be laying paint on top of these anyway- they are NOT to "color in", but as a general guideline.

- think big SHAPES (not details) - SQUINT down with your eyes- that quickly removes any sense of detail and gives you the view of light vs. dark areas.

- pay attention to the EDGES - where do you want to make the viewer look? Crisp, hard edges at your focal point, softer edges that recede from view (you know the childhood saying, "Made ya look, made ya look!").

- if you don't like it, scrape it off! But you don't have to throw away the paint! Sometimes these make nice grays to tone down some very loud passages.

Once I get mid-way into a painting, I find that it's hard to stop and photograph! Something just takes over and I keep going. Yes, this does have both palette knife and brush in this painting. After years of using strictly one or the other, I am experimenting with employing both in the painting.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Pink & Red - Cyclamen In The Sunshine- SOLD!

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite archival panel

Last Friday when I painted this it was so much warmer! Today (Monday), it was windy and cold, a harsh reminder that it really IS New England after all. We're due for a hard frost tonight. I just hope all these tender buds out there make it through! I've got some hydrangeas that are way ahead of schedule! Mother Nature always seems to get the last word in after all!

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lily Of The Valley Spring Floral - SOLD!

8"x8" oil on gessoed masonite archival panel, sold unframed

This one is already sold, but please contact me here if you'd like a painting of some of your favorite flowers!

"She walks among the loveliness she made,
Between the apple-blossom and the water-
She walks among the patterned pied brocade,
Each flower her son, and every tree her daughter."
-Vita Sackville-West (from the poem, The Island)

I'm hoping this fabulous weather stays around for a while. I am really enjoying being back outside in the sunshine to paint. Hope your Spring time is off to a great start, too!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sunny Brunch of Apricots; Cyclamen, Spring Comes Early to New England

12"x12" oil on gessoed masonite archival panel, price is framed & includes FREE shipping/insurance to continental USA. Please email for unframed price.

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Price: $550 USD

Oh how the first really warm days of Spring make your skin feel electric- and the warmth finally reaches every part of you. This in some sense it how it feels to be truly alive again after winter. Even if your winter wasn't too rough of a winter weather-wise. So even though there's just the beginnings of signs of life in my garden - a bit of green sprouting here and there, it didn't keep me from setting up a still life in my garden. The light has been so strong and brilliant this week! And if the weather keeps it up- I'll keep up this series for a while!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lavender Fields - Uncommon Escape! - SOLD! & Working In A Series

12"x36"x2"deep cradled wood panel

"The fragrance of sandalwood, the scent of rose and jasmine, travel only as far as the wind. But the fragrance of goodness travels through all the worlds, like the garlands woven from a heap of flowers, fashion your life as a garland of beautiful deeds." ~ Buddha

As an artist, if you haven't tried working in a series, I highly recommend it. For the most part, this is how I usually work, (with a variation throw in here and there if I'm working on a commission, or perhaps exploring for the 'next series'. Several years ago, I was painting landscapes of Ireland following several plein air trips I had made over there. When I came hoe I had loads of photos, and journal notes about the places I had seen, painted, and spent time with. I painted more of these landscapes in the studio.

Monet spent many years in his own garden, I've found great inspiration in my own garden as well. Other series I've had explored are local parks and gardens, floral still lifes (both indoor and outside- painted from life).

As you complete each painting, you think of things you'd like to try in the 'next' one. Perhaps something similar but push the color a different way, or try a change of perspective, a view from higher up, or from a lower vantage point, or closer in, or farther away. Keeping a series going day after day is helpful,too. The closer these ideas are to each other the better, allowing you to really absorb and use the things you are taking in.

You may find a preference to paint under certain weather conditions, or bloom seasons, or availability to travel. When considering your 'next' series - be open to all possibilities, even if that turns out not to be one that you follow for now. I don't consider myself a 'winter painter' or have any great love of snow scenes, but each winter I do give it a try to see if that 'spark of interest' ignites within me. One of these years - it's bound to light!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lavender Varieties

5"x7" oil on gessoed masonite archival panel

"Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems." ~Rainer Maria Rilke

One thing that is a wonderful sight to behold is a farm field where you can stand back and see "the big picture"...curving rows, following a hillside, or a bend in the road...and in this case certain varieties of lavender that are dark purple, alternating with a variety that's lighter in color! One more visual thrill that I love about this place- Keys Creek Lavender Farm, in Valley Center, CA.

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Price: $150 USD

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Sketchbook Journal - Kelp, Mussels, and Claws

Okay, the last of the sketchbook pages for a while. I'm really missing my oil paints. (I'll post that one tomorrow!). This page was done mostly with permanent ink markers (Pigma Micron very fine tips) and watercolor. It was fun taking some of the elements of the pod-like seaweed and making a 'designy' element out of it. So all in all, a little exploration was a good thing. I find I really enjoy that to get the creative thought moving again.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sketchbook Journal - Lotions & Potions

A little more effort with the Tombow (watersoluble)pen. The sketchbook I've been working in is a "Holbein Drawing Book F3" for watercolor and multi-media, 205g/m. It's a nice weight, and stands up to washes, and 'most' inks don't bleed through. In this drawing I used a permanent marker in addition to the water-soluble one. I knew there would be certain places where I wanted the inks to run and other areas where I didn't. So far, I'm finding this fun.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sketchbook Journal- Beachcomber's Finds

And now for something completely different. I've been working with my sketch book a lot this past week - and thought I'd share some of the pages inside with you! On this page I was using a water soluble Tombow pen and a bit of watercolor for these finds from the beach.

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