Saturday, August 27, 2016

Grasslands Inspiration IV Show


I was thrilled and honored to receive this award last night at the Opening of the 
Grasslands Inspiration IV Show at Mari Michener Gallery
University Of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO.

It was a wonderful show full of great photos, watercolors, oils, acrylics and dry media 
influenced by the grasslands of north-eastern Colorado.  Thank you UNC (my alma mater) 
and the Northern Colorado Heritage League.

The show hangs until September 23.  Stop by and see it if you're in the Greeley area!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Grassland Inspiration IV


Grassland Inspiration IV:  Looking East Prairie Appreciation Show
UNC (University of Northern Colorado) Michener Library Greeley, CO  
August 22 - September 23, 2016

These are two of the three paintings that I will have in the Grasslands Show at UNC in Greeley.  Because I had participated in the Littleton, CO paint-out in early June, I received an email a short time later inviting me to participate in the Grasslands Show.  I had never heard of this show, but am an alumni of UNC and thought that it would be fun to participate.  There were well laid out eligibility and requirement "bullets" in the brochure.  The most important was that the paintings had to be of the 7 "grassland counties" i.e.:  the seven counties in northeastern Colorado.  It had been years since I'd been up there, Greeley is about 2 1/2 hours from Colorado Springs.  So, my husband, always supportive of any thing related to painting that I do, and I spent two days driving around the back roads in that area and taking 100s of photos and getting so inspired by the grasslands.  It was really fun!  

Upon returning home I spent hours editing my photos and looking further for inspiration.  Then I sketched dozens of pictures of my favorite locations.   Dozens because once I started looking I was so inspired by all of the different colors of the grass.  Then, I started painting.  My idea had been to do three pretty large paintings, but it was already the third week of July and the paintings were due in Greeley on August 17th!  That didn't leave me much time, but I work well under pressure.  Because I wasn't sure which of my sketch/ideas would become the largest painting, I decided to do several 12" x 12" "practice" pieces first.  Well, those "several" pieces became 7!  I loved painting those 12" x 12" pieces.  While deciding which of those would become a larger piece, I started on a large square painting of an old school house sitting in the middle of nowhere.  Then I also started on a large square of a windmill.  

Then, we went on a week long trip, so I wasn't able to finish the windmill, or start on the larger one of the grasses.  But, I chose the two of the 12x12s that I liked the most (above), framed them and submitted those two and the school house.  I think that it's important that we always know what we can do and just do it.  I realized that I wanted to enter this event, I didn't have lots of time, but I could do it.  And, I'm really happy with all of my paintings!  I'll post them soon.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Hanging On The Line

Hanging On The Line
Oil  16" x 20"
click here for Paypal
$595.00 + $20. s/h

Last month I did a smaller plein air painting of this laundry.  (click here to view that piece)  This is a larger studio piece, from a different view, but the same laundry "hanging on the line."  This laundry is  from Rock Ledge Ranch here in Colorado Springs.  I loved all of the different whites and the movement created by the breeze.

I also think that I loved painting these laundry pieces because they remind me of my childhood.  when I was a little girl my mom hung the sheets out on the line to dry.  I remember them blowing in the breeze and remember running through them.  As artists, we paint what we see, but we also paint what's in our hearts.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Corn On The Cob

Corn On The Cob
Oil  8" x 6"
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$100.00 + $10. s/h

This is the same ear as yesterday's post, but shucked.  Decided to get 2 done before dinner!


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn
Oil  8" x 6"
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$100.00 + $10. s/h

Corn on the cob is one of my favorite vegetables, right up there with asparagus.  Right now the stores and farm stands are selling lots of corn.  The best corn in Colorado is from Olathe on the western slope.  I think that it's the cool nights and sunny days that make the corn so delicious.  It's so sweet that people talk about "the Olathe sweet corn being ready!"

Sometimes you have to paint right before dinner!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Downtown Art Walk -- First Friday


Downtown Art Walk -- First Friday

As in many towns across the country, here in Colorado Springs First Friday evening is a great chance to head downtown and visit galleries and enjoy art.  This past Friday I painted during the Art Walk at Cacao Chemistry, 109 N. Tejon, Colorado Springs.  Cacao Chemistry is not a gallery, but a chocolate store, and soon to be dessert bar, that uses its' walls as a gallery.  I love when venues support the local arts!  I set up my easel in the front and had a great time meeting people as I painted.  

Additionally, Friday was the opening of the Olympic Games.  Colorado Springs is "the Olympic City" with many of the sports teams main offices here, as well as the head quarters of the US Olympic Committee and the Olympic Training Center.  Several blocks downtown were closed off to traffic and a there was a huge Olympic Celebration.  It included athletes still in training, former Cirque de Soleil acrobats performing on a 2 story portable contraption, Brazilian dancers in spectacular costumes, and the largest display screen that I've ever seen showing the event direct from Rio.  Thousands of people came downtown to enjoy the celebration.  Many of those spectators came into Cacao Chemistry for chocolate, and to see what I was doing!  Thank you Cacao Chemistry!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Summer Blooms

Summer Blooms
plein air oil  10" x 8:
SOLD

I recently participated in a plein air event hosted by the FOX Garden Group.  FOX is the "Friends Of eXtension", which is a part of the Colorado State University Extension Group.  This group deals state wide with "serving current and future needs of Coloradans by providing educational information and programs that safeguard health, increase livelihood, and enhance well being."  There are Extension offices in many towns in the state.  In Colorado Springs they have volunteers who who can call to ask questions about gardening, plants, etc.

The local FOX group has an annual garden tour.  Last year, my plein air group, Garden Artists, was invited to paint during the 2 day annual event.  That was a big success and this year we were invited once again.  I spent 2 days painting in 4 gardens.  This painting was done in the Saturday afternoon garden.  Not only was the event wonderful for gardeners to see gardens new to them, but for me, being a gardener and artist it was amazing!  (Also, it was in a neighborhood very near to mine and so convenient!)  The FOX group is very organized;  there were several volunteers in each garden to answer questions about flowers & gardening.

It can be challenging plein air painting under any circumstance, but with 100s of people touring the gardens I had to be very focused.  Many of the visitors had never seen a plein air painter and came to talk to me.  It was a great marketing event and overall a win, win situation.  I'm already looking forward to next years' tour!


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Pink Hollyhocks

Pink Hollyhocks
Oil  16" x 8"
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$395.00 + $20. s/h

I loved painting all of these hollyhocks.  And, I love having them in our backyard.  These long stretched canvases are perfect for hollyhock paintings!

Hollyhocks are easy to grow from seed.  While they are a perennial, many only bloom bi-annually.  It's a good idea to plant seeds 2 years in a row.  That way you'll have them growing in your garden every year.  Once they start growing it's easy to sow some of the plants' seeds in the fall.  Also it's easy to save seeds over the winter and sow more in the spring.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Hollyhock Spires

Hollyhock Spires
Oil on canvas  16" x 8"
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$395. + $20. s/h

This is the 2nd white hollyhock in this size.  (See my last post.)  There's one more to post, but in a another color.

We have hollyhocks growing in our backyard in several different locations.  Many hollyhocks are bi-ennial (blossoming every other year.)  Luckily we have enough that there are some blooming every year.  Many times I save the seeds over the winter and throw them back into the ground in the spring. Some new sprouts regularly appear.

I photoed this over and over with 2 different cameras.  There is just a bit more yellow in the flower than appears here.  Will keep trying.

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"
click here for Paypal
$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"
click here for Paypal
$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"
click here for Paypal
$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"
click here for Paypal
$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!