Friday, July 22, 2016

Backyard Hollyhocks

Backyard Hollyhocks
plein air oil  16" x 8"
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$395.00 + $10. s/h

This is another floral done plein air in our backyard.  I love going out (to the mountains or elsewhere in town) to paint, but oh, it's so easy when you can just walk out the back door and paint!  My only problem with it is that I'll look down and see weeds in the garden or things growing in the grass that aren't grass and start weeding.  Soon, I've been weeding away for 10-15 minutes and many weeds are gone, but my painting is waiting!  Oh well, if that's my biggest problem in life I have a good life!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ranch Meadow

Ranch Meadow
plein air oil  10" x 8"
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$195.00 + $10. s/h

This piece was done recently at Rock Ledge Ranch here in Colorado Springs.  A friend and fellow artist had "Julie's 3rd Annual Paint Out" to celebrate her birthday.  It's open to all area artists and has grown each year.  It was a really fun morning with artists from different plein air groups who might not normally paint together.  I was thrilled to have won the "Most Paint On Her Apron Award"!

I've painted at this ranch many times over the years, last month I painted some laundry.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Rose Garden

Rose Garden
Oil  10" x 8"
SOLD
$195.00 + $10. s/h

Recently my plein air group painted in a garden in an older home near downtown Colorado Springs.  I painted there last year as well (click here for that piece).  It is immediately obvious that this couple loves gardening and has spent years cultivating this love.  This house belonged to the woman's grand parents (she grew up in the house next door) and has been in her family for generations.  Somehow, knowing stories like that make painting in a location a bit more fun.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Curving Waters

Curving Waters
Oil  10" x 8"
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$195.00 + $10. s/h

I painted most of this piece (I added a few highlights later in the studio) on a recent morning in Tarryall, about an hour or so west of Colorado Springs in the mountains.  I don't think that you can ever stand before a river and not feel a bit in awe.  Rivers are like old souls or older loved ones, they seem calm and comforting but underneath they are strong and powerful.  Rivers are both terrifying and beautiful;  just look at Mother Nature in a river.

I have painted many river pieces.  They are challenging, as the subject in front of you doesn't pose well.  But their light and dancing sparkles and vast, contrasting colors draw me in.  Many artists paint rivers, as do poets write about them and singers compose and sing of them.  For many, rivers are a bit religious, and not just for baptisms.  As Bob Dylan said: rivers are "Just like God, the river is deep and mystifying, cleansing and strong, ceaseless and never-ending. It makes you wonder why anyone who lives within 20 miles of a river goes to church to pray."



Thursday, July 14, 2016

On The Deck

On The Deck
plein air oil  20" x 20"
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$695.00 + $20. s/h

Our geraniums this summer are spectacular right now...so I set up on the deck to paint them.  I've got this one finished and am ready to start a second.  In a few days I'll have to clip back the blooms and then for about a week or so we'll be in between great blooms.

I thought that this would be a fun, colorful painting if I toned the canvas bright red, like the subject matter.  I like the way the red sparkles through the shadow and back ground.

Here's a snap shot of the corner of our deck.  Normally the top geranium doesn't sit up on the deck ledge, but on the top of the little green garden shelf.  But, for the painting I moved it up and set it on a piece of cardboard so the shadow would show.  These plants were purchased in April at Costco.  I had to bring them in every night in April, because our nights here in Colorado Springs in the spring still get below freezing.  But, it was worth it!  Now I have beautiful color right out the kitchen door!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Optimistic Hue

Optimistic Hue
plein air oil  6 x 6"
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$100.00 + $10. s/h

This is the 4th of the 4 recent yellow rose paintings.  Maybe I'll paint some more in their next blooming.  For those of you with roses in your yard, remember to cut them back after they bloom and you should have another series of blooms later in the summer.

Here is some more info on yellow roses that I Googled:
"Yellow roses in their unassuming charm and sweet simplicity send out an equally alluring message. Colors range from light yellow to golden. Yellow roses express joy, gladness, and friendship. They are given to new mothers, newlyweds, and graduates. They're also used as a reminder to a loved one to show that you care. 

Friendship and "I care" are the foremost meanings of a yellow rose. Unrestrained and uninhibited as the breeze, free from attachments, the yellow rose definitely says that the sender is keen on friendship alone. 

Here, you will not find the heat of passion, only the warmth of a genuine and sincere smile. The sender of yellow roses delicately indicates that while his affection is straight from the heart, there are no hidden depths. 

Unbridled joy is another meaning of a yellow rose. Therefore, yellow roses are often congratulatory in tone. Yellow roses are given to celebrate new beginnings. These delicate flowers proudly laud an accomplishment, a consummation or a fulfillment. You simply cannot do without yellow roses when you send flowers to express joy and pride in another's achievement.

The color yellow was interpreted as a "pale" color during the early Victorian period. They had shades of negative meanings ranging from lukewarm affection to jealousy. They indicated a frame of mind that was on the one hand lacking in fervor, while on the other mutinous and envious in tone. But, the yellow rose has overcome these negative intonations and now mean "warm and sunny" affection, joy and pleasure. "

Again, this is how I find some of my painting titles.  I Google the subject, read what's online and find a title.  I came up with 10 easy titles after reading the above yellow rose info!  How do you find your titles?

Monday, July 11, 2016

Wish For Well Being

Wish For Well Being
plein air oil  6" x 6"
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$100.00 + $10. /sh

Here is the 3rd of 4 yellow roses from our side yard.  It continues to amaze me how the petals and leaves change from warm to cool depending on the time of day, the weather and clouds, who knows maybe even the mood of the rose, maybe my eye sight.  I certainly couldn't have mixed together paint and used just those mixes for all four yellow rose paintings.  Ever wonder why the Impressionists all had such beautiful colors in their paintings...maybe, like me, their eyes were getting older!

And, the title for this was chosen because yellow roses symbolize "a wish for well being."

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Message Of Friendship

Message Of Friendship
plein air oil  6" x 6"
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$100. + $10. s/h

This is the second of the four roses.  I liked the way that there was just a soft shadow on the back of the rose.  You'd think the all of the petals would be either a warm yellow (leaning orange) or a cool yellow (leaning green).  But, no, this rose had warm and cool yellow petals making it so much more interesting!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Good Cheer

Good Cheer
plein air oil  6" x 6"
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$100.00 + $10. s/h

I recently finished painting a series (4) of yellow roses that are growing in our side yard on a trellis.  This is the first in the series, the next 3 soon to follow!
 
As I often do to find names for my paintings I went to Google to search "yellow roses", found four good titles, and learned:

"Long associated with the sun and its life-giving warmth, yellow is the age-old spokes-color for warm feelings of friendship and optimism. In many Eastern cultures, the color represents joy, wisdom and power. But while any yellow flower will send a lighthearted message, the history of the yellow rose in particular has an optimistic, serendipitous character that really makes it the complete package.
By the 18th century the worldwide love of roses was in full swing, but they were only cultivated in shades of pink and white. At last, the elusive yellow rose was discovered growing wild in the Middle East, and the European love affair with yellow roses was born. The early yellow rose lacked the sweet scent for which the rose is famous, however, which was not to be tolerated. So, as cultivation methods were developed and refined, the beloved sweet-and-spicy rose scent was soon introduced and the yellow rose achieved all its optimistic and aromatic glory."


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Back Yard Iris

Back Yard Iris
Oil  16" x 20"
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$595.00 + $20. s/h

This was part of our back yard last month.  Most of this painting was done in the back yard, but a few touch ups were added a bit later in my studio.  I generally hang the "almost" done, or "I think" this is done pieces on one studio wall where I can look at them for awhile until I decide if they're finished.  This one took quite a bit of looking and heading back outside to really re-look at the leaves.  


Here's the start of my piece w/ most of the block in finished.



Monday, June 27, 2016

Laundry Day

Laundry Day
plein air oil  8" x 10"
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$195.00 + $10. s/h

This plein air piece is from a recent painting morning at Rock Ledge Ranch here in Colorado Springs.  I've painted many times at the Ranch.  It's a historical, "educational, non-profit living history farm and museum that depicts life in the Pikes Peak region in four time periods:  American Indian area in 1775;  1860's Galloway Homestead;  1880's Chambers Home and Ranch;  1907 Edwardian Country Estate."  Every thing on the ranch is done "in period"...so, the laundry behind the country home was washed in a wringer washing machine and hung out on the line to dry.

My past Rock Ledge Ranch paintings have included sheep, barn, path, shadows, roof area of the country home, and poppies.  But in all of my time there over the years, I've never seen the laundry hanging to dry.  As I walked down the path and looked into the back yard I immediately knew that I'd found what I was going to paint!


My view of the garden from the path...I just knew that this was my painting!  I set up on the other side of the laundry in the shade.  When the "period dressed" woman of the house came out to take down the wash, I asked her to leave it up for a bit longer.




Monday, June 20, 2016

Rose Garden

Rose Garden
plein air oil  6" x 8"
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$100.00 + $10. s/h

Almost as much as the roses, I loved the shadows on the fence behind these roses.  Often it's the shadows that draw me to paint something.  I sometimes find myself walking around looking for something to paint when at a plein air location.  When the shadows create a great contrast against the subject, there's a painting!  Additionally, when painting it's good to notice that it's usually "warm light, cool shadows".  On a hot autumn afternoon, the shadows might lean towards warm.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Garden Of The Gods

Garden Of The Gods
plein air oil  12" x 9"
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$295.00 + $10. s/h

This is a recent painting from the Garden Of The Gods, one of the most visited parks in the state of Colorado.  You could paint there everyday and never run out of rocks to paint.  The red rock formations were created during a geological upheaval along a natural fault line millions of years ago.

For those of you not familiar with this area here's a little history:  When the Garden of the Gods was being surveyed in 1859 one of the surveyors suggested that it would be a great place for a "beer garden".  The other surveyer was awestruck by all of the rock formations and couldn't imagine a beer garden in such a majestic place.  He said that it was a place for gods to assemble and named it:  Garden Of The Gods.  It is owned by the city of Colorado Springs and is visited by thousands of people every day.



Friday, June 17, 2016

Power Plant

Power Plant
plein air oil  6" x 8"
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$100.00 + $10. s/h

My plein air group recently painted in downtown Colorado Springs.  I had planned on painting one of the older warehouse style buildings, but was intrigued by the morning light on the Power Plant.   This is really a study in shapes.  It was a fun challenge and I hope to paint this again.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Cafe Umbrellas

Cafe Umbrellas
plein air oil  12" x 12"
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$395.00 + $10. s/h

This is another from the recent Littleton, CO paint-out.  It was a very hot afternoon, I had a short time to finish up before the paintings had to be framed and turned in.  I saw this cafe across the street from a downtown city park which had trees and shade.  Lunch was almost over and I knew the umbrellas would be pulled down and my painting would disappear.  Those issues made me work well, paying attention to what was in front of me.

Red can be a bit challenging, especially when it is right in the sun.  If you lighten it with white, it becomes too pink.  Too much orange and it becomes the wrong shade of red.  I like the square format of this piece.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hidden Barn

Hidden Barn
plein air oil  9" x 12"
click here for Paypal
$295.00 + $10. s/h

This is another of the paintings from the recent Littleton, CO. Paint-Out.  The afternoon was very hot and I was looking for a cool spot along the river.  This barn was hidden a bit behind a hill, but visible from a parking lot.  And, luckily for me there was a tree that provided enough shade for me and it was right next to the parking lot.  How easy was that for a hot day!

I have to admit that I changed the barn colors from a dreary, faded tannish to a much brighter, nicer color.  I find cool spring greens, which you see here, a bit harder to mix and paint than beautiful, warm fall greens.  They're a bit bolder, brighter and sometimes seem too bright.  But, they've been dormant all winter and want to get out and express themselves!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Front Porch Light

Porch Light
plein air oil  8" x 10"
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$195.00 + $10. s/h

This is another painting from the recent Littleton, CO Paint-Out.  I had thought I'd paint at a local park that I'd seen marked on the maps we were given.  When I went to turn into the park, I saw the morning light shining on the front porch of this house just across the street from the park.  I knew that I'd found my morning painting!


The light on the porch is already different from my painting.  When I know that the light will change quickly and dramatically on the focal point, I paint that first and don't change it.  I love it when I can park right near where I'm painting!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Porch Trellis

Porch Trellis
plein air oil  10" x 8"
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$195.00 + $10. s/h

Earlier in June I participated in the 2nd Annual Littleton Paint-Out in Littleton, CO.  I wasn't very familiar with Littleton so the exploring for plein air locations added excitement to the event.  The paint out was sponsored and organized by The Depot Art Gallery.  They did such a great job!  There were 4 pages of different maps and a list of town locations, making it easier for those of us from out of town.  Littleton is about 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours (depending on traffic) from Colorado Springs.

The downtown area of Littleton is small, but charming.  I found this front porch while driving around the older residential area.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Lime Green

Lime Green
oil  6" x 8"
$100. + $10. s/h

When we were in Mexico this winter we saw, and had served to us, so many limes!  We couldn't believe it!  We saw trucks filled with limes up to the very top.  Plates of lime slices were on almost every table for every meal.  

One of our favorite meals in Mexico was pork tacos (tacos de puerco.)  I think that we ate these at least twice each week, sometimes three times each week.  Every taco stand and little restaurant had their own version, but every one came with limes.  And, at about 16 pesos to the dollar when a taco was 10 pesos we were eating for under $3.00.  Upon our return we googled Mexican pork tacos and made them three times before we came up with a version that we liked.  And, of course, we had to have limes.  The lime juice really adds great flavor to the tacos.  Since we've had so many limes around the house lately, I just had to paint them!

Since the 1950s Mexico has been the world's largest producer and exporter of limes.  There are two popular varieties of limes grown in Mexico, key limes and Persian limes (which is what we here in the States call "limes".)

Most of the limes are grown in the warmer southwest, which is where we spent most of this past winter.  No wonder we saw and ate so many limes!





Sunday, May 22, 2016

Shades Of Blue


Shades Of Blue
oil  11" x 14"
$395.00 + $10. s/h
click here for Paypal

This painting was done partly plein air and partly in the studio.  With plein air paintings you have to paint quickly and not chase the light and shadows.  But, with all of these elipses the drawing part of the piece took quite a long time.  Consequently, the light and shadows (which I had blocked in) had changed so much after several hours that I knew I needed to stop.  I had taken a picture when I started, so I had my choice of being like Monet and going back to the same spot another day soon after, or heading home and finishing in my studio.  I chose the later.  Being like Monet will have to be another time.

Friday, May 20, 2016

In The Greenhouse


In The Greenhouse
plein air oil  9" x 12"
$295.00 + $10. s/h


Last week my plein air group, Garden Artists, was scheduled to paint at Summerland Gardens.  It was a windy morning, so painting in the out door nursery/garden area would have been challenging.  But, the weather in the greenhouse was perfect!  What a great place to paint!  And, for those of you who live in the Colorado Springs area, be sure to stop in the Upstairs Gallery!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Old Yeller

Old Yeller
plein air oil  6" x 8"
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$100.00 + $10. s/h

This is a plein air piece done one April morning in Old Colorado City, an older neighborhood filled with charming homes and stores, here in Colorado Springs.  I loved the bright morning light shining on the east side of the house.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Spring Blossoms

Spring Blossoms
plein air oil  9" x 12"
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$195.00 + $10. s/h

I'm lucky to live in such a beautiful place!  Every where you look is another painting.  Our house sits next to Bear Creek Park, an almost 700 acre county park.  If you looked about 50 yards to the right of this tree you'd see our house.  So, one nice morning a few weeks ago I went practically right outside our door for this painting.

As artists do, I left out what was not necessary (I guess that's what's called artistic license).  In this case a straight cement sidewalk.  At first I changed it to a meandering crushed stone path.  But, that too got removed.  It wasn't need and was distracting.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Just Before Planting

Just Before Planting
8" x 8"  oil on cradled panel
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$195.00 + $10. s/h

I had some pansies, these and a few others, all ready to plant.  I had to stall the planting until I did a painting of this one still in the black plastic store container.  I love pansies.  They're hardy enough to with stand Colorado's spring weather.  One spring day can be beautiful, sunny and 65 degrees.  The next day can be snowing with freezing weather at night.  But, the pansies survive no matter what we get!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Puerta Numero Dos

Puerta Numero Dos
Oil  8" x 6"
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$100. + $10. s/h
Paintings From Mexico

This is another of the colorful, fun doors from San Miguel de Allende.  I could paint a big series of these!

And, a few more door photos!




Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Puerta Numero Uno

Puerta Numero Uno
oil  8" x 6"
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$100.00 + $10. s/h
Paintings From Mexico

We spent almost two weeks in San Miguel de Allende this past January.  Friends of ours have moved there permanently and we house sat for them while they went to the beach.  San Miguel, in the state of Guanajuato, is a colonial era city in Mexico's central highlands at an altitude of just over 6,000 feet.  It's known for its baroque Spanish architecture, its thriving art scene, and its population of North American ex-pats.  In the city's historic cobblestoned center is the neo-gothic church Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel.  Its dramatic pink towers rise above the main plaza, El Jardin (the Garden.)  For me the most interesting part of the city's architecture were the old doors of all of the homes.  I loved the colors of the doors and walls, but I really loved peaking into the homes when the doors were opened.  One never knew what amazing home & court yard garden was hidden away.

Here are some of the colorful doors & walls of San Miguel:








Monday, May 2, 2016

Shady Palm & Sea Turtle Rescue


Shady Palm
plein air oil  8" x 6"
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$100.00 + $10. s/h
Paintings From Mexico

This is another palm tree from the garden of our hotel in Barra de Potosi, Mexico.  It provided just a little bit of shade where I was able to stand and paint.

Down the beach and road from Barra was the area called Playa Blanca.  Late one afternoon/early evening we went to the Ayoticalli Turtle Rescue Center.  It's run by volunteers who comb the 6 mile stretch of beach at night looking for turtle eggs.  They protect the eggs until they hatch.  Almost every day from 5 - 6 they give a lecture on the preservation of turtles, the plight of the baby turtles and why conservation is important.  Then, everyone at the lecture participates in the release of that day's baby turtles who have recently hatched and are ready for their journey into the ocean.  Of 2,500 babies released, maybe 5 will live to come back to lay eggs on this same beach where they were born.  On average, 1 in 1,000 of the babies that make it to the water survive.

Here are some of the photos we took of our release:


Eggs are carefully collected by volunteers at night preventing them from being eaten by birds and crabs.  They are then buried in this protected, fenced environment until they hatch.  A female turtle lays about 80 - 100 eggs which she buries in the sand before returning to the sea.  Turtles have an incubation period of about 2 months.


New born babies are carefully removed from under the inverted and cut plastic bottles (seen in the sand in the first picture) where they were buried.  That days' new borns are put into a bucket, then each visitor is given one baby which we carried to the shore in a tiny plastic bowl.




Once at the shore, we released all of the babies and watched as they made their way to the ocean.  Sea turtles are born with the instinct to move toward the brightest direction.  On a natural beach, this direction is the light of the open horizon.  Sea turtles (those few who survive) can live 40 - 60 years.




Thursday, April 28, 2016

Pink Carnations

Pink Carnations
oil  20" x 16"
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$595.00 + $10. s/h

I've been posting paintings that are from our winter in Mexico.  But, am taking a break to post some done this month since we've been back.  We had the most wonderful house sitter!  This bouquet was sitting on the counter when we came home.  There was another one on the mantel.  It gives you great peace of mind to know you have a well cared for home when you're away.  It's wonderful to come back to a welcoming house.  Not only were there flowers, but there was a basket of Mexican food waiting to be made into a dinner.  And, there was fresh bread, eggs, butter and milk so that we had breakfast the next morning.  That saved a late night trip to the store!  I can't thank our sitter enough!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Gardens & More Art Show


Last summer artists from my plein air group "Garden Artists" were invited to paint in gardens in the annual Fox Garden Tour.  It was a great painting opportunity, as well as a chance to see some beautiful gardens.  Additionally, I met many new people and, as seems to happen everywhere, ran into  friends who I hadn't seen in years.

We thought it would be fun to have a show using this event as a jumping off point.  "Gardens & More"  show cases art work from some of the artists who painted that weekend.  Paintings of any thing garden related, not just from those gardens, are hanging in the gallery.  Hope those of you who live in the Colorado Springs area can stop by Summerland Gardens Upstairs Gallery for the Opening, Friday, April 29th 4 - 7 pm.  Or, visit the gallery any time during the month of May.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Just A Light Breeze


Just A Light Breeze
plein air oil  8" x 6"
$100.00 + $10. s/h
Paintings from Mexico

This piece was done in the garden of our hotel in Barra de Potosi, Mexico.  I was very close to the palm so it created a wonderful view looking up.  Palm trees have so many colors in the fronds:  many shades of green, yellow, and oranges as they start to fade away.  

The picture below is actually from a different hotel, but I thought the palms looked like they were also blowing just a bit in the ocean breeze.