Saturday, January 31, 2009

2 Minute Figures



This morning I went to the figure drawing session at Cottonwood Artist's School. This is an open session, no instruction, from 10 - 1:00. I paint landscapes and still lifes, I haven't done a lot of figure drawing; I took a 2 week workshop 35 years ago from Nelson Shanks (in charcoal), and a 3 day workshop 7 years ago from Kim English. I spent decades demo-ing to my classes, but they were often continuous contour line drawings, usually on the white board. But, what did I have to lose? Isn't painting looking for shapes and values?
The first 45 minutes were 2 minute sketches. I figured I would start these like I do daily painting still lifes: mark all the tops, sides, corners to get the proportion, connect it all with quick lines, change those quick lines from geometric to more organic. Well, by the time I got to the "change the line" part, the 2 minutes were over. I wiped out all (maybe 10 more) but these.
I've been reading "Art & Fear" by David Bayles & Ted Orland. They say " The point is that you learn how to make your work by making your work, and a great many of the pieces you make along the way will never stand out as finished art. The best you can do is make art you care about--and lots of it!" I made lots of it this morning. We went from 2 minute, to 5 minute, to 10 mintue to 20 minute sketches. Maybe I'll post some more tomorrow. It was a really fun session.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Year of the Buffalo

6" x 8" oil on masonite
$100.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

Just recently was the Chinese New Year and it's the Year of the Ox. We don't have ox(en) here (in Colorado); I guess the buffalo is the closest we have. So, I think if we named our years we would have named this one the Year of the Buffalo.
While I was posting this the phone rang, and I talked for about 5 minutes, the whole time staring at the painting on the computer screen. I analized every brushstroke, color, and shape. I kept thinking I should go back and repaint this little spot, that little shape. It made me wonder how we know when a painting is done. Are we ever completely satisfied?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Not As Curious

6" x 8" oil on masonite
$100.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

This guy just wasn't as interested in me as I was in him. Not sure why, must have been a really good clump of grass. The earth in the foreground is the gravel road. I'm right next to this one, and he still doesn't seem to care.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Curiosity

6" x 6" oil on canvas panel
$100. + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

It's funny how cows, most animals actually, turn and look when we approach. I guess they're as interested in us as we are in them. This guy sure was interested in me. There are 83,000 dairy cows and 2.6 million head of cattle in Colorado. No wonder I see them everywhere. Nearly half of Colorado, or about 31 million acres is farmed or ranched. The cattle industry is the no. 1 agricultural commodity in the state.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

18" x 24"
oil on canvas

Once again I started this piece with my plein-air group and finished it at home in my studio. On some of the pots there were glaze imperfections and the clay peeked through. I liked this effect, so I blocked the pots in in a close compliment and let those colors show through on all the pots. Initially I painted the background a true gravel gray, but changed it to make the pots stand out more.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pottery 2

12 x 16
oil on canvas

This is another of the pots I painted in the summer with my plein-air group. I love all the colors in the terra-cotta. The pots were stacked on gravel, but the gray tones didn't work with the clay tones. So, I made the gravel/background blue-violet or the complements of the main colors of the pots. I still have to decide which pots to submit next week.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pottery

18 x 24 oil on canvas
My summer plein-air group often paints at Hillside Gardens and Nursery. We also have our annual show on these spectacular grounds. Hillside is a combination nursery, garden shop, architectural salvage, and event center. They always have pottery, in dozens of colors, creatively displayed along the paths and walkways. I've painted there many times over the years and am always drawn to the colors and reflections of the pots. I usually start a painting there on location and finish it in the studio. I am entering one of my pottery paintings next week in the Cottonwood Artist's School member juried show.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

HoneyBells--The Finale!

6" x 6" oil on masonite
SOLD

This is the last of the HoneyBell series. I really liked painting these. And now I have something to submit to their "You Ought to be in Pictures..." bib wearing contest. At least I'll get put up on their "Wall of Fame." I don't know how many paintings are entered.

I took bib photos in the studio (too dark); with the still life set-up (too busy); on the deck (too much reflective light); in the front yard (just right). My husband was a good sport about all of this. Anyway, not sure if this is the one I'll submit. But....









Tuesday, January 20, 2009

HoneyBell 4

6" x 6" oil on canvas panel
$100.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested


You can really see the unique bell shape of the HoneyBells in this painting. They really do look like a bell. This fruit is only ripe for 4 weeks in January. We're down to our last six. I like getting out the juicer (ours is the kind you twist the fruit by hand) and having a puckery glass of juice.

This morning I watched the Inauguration. It is wonderful how hopeful and united the population has become. Then, (since this is my painting journal) I painted a wall in our living room. It looks good. Fresh paint is great. Then, I went for a walk, it's 60 degrees out today! And in an hour I'm off to painting class. It's been a good day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

HoneyBell 3

6" x 6" oil on canvas panel
$100.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

Because I pre-mix piles of paint, I often have enough paint left over to do a second, third, sometimes even a fourth painting in a series. And, because I love these HoneyBells (and I hope to get a gift certificate) I keep painting them. Even though there's only one orange here, I must have spent 10 minutes moving it around to get the right composition. You'd think it would be so easy: an orange on a white paper towel.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

HoneyBell 2

6" x 6" oil on masonite
$100.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

"HoneyBells are not oranges at all. They're an extraordinary hybrid of a tangerine and a grapefruit, both seeded fruit. But, mysteriously, are seedless." (I read the brochure that came in the box.) They are juicy and delicious and fun to paint.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

HoneyBell 1

6" x 8" oil on masonite
$100.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested


My sister and brother-in-law sent us a box of HoneyBells for Christmas. They are so juicy that the box comes with 4 plastic bibs and instructions on how to eat a HoneyBell. Also is a little note telling the consumer to send them a picture of you wearing your HoneyBell bib and if they use your photo in their catalogue, you"ll recieve a coupon for $100. toward a purchase. Well, always one to jump at the chance to win something, I decided to paint the HoneyBells in my bib, and send in photos of my paintings. This was really fun, and good to eat.

Friday, January 16, 2009

You Gotta Love Her

6" x 6" oil on canvas on foam board
$100.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

This cow was just standing there looking right at me. I kept wondering if I walked a little closer and tried to pet her what she would do. I think she was as interested in me as I was in her.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Home on the Range

6" x 8" oil on masonite
$100.00 + $10. s/h
SOLD


These cattle are on an open range on the way to Antero Reservoir. There is a fence, and a cattle guard on this county road, out by the highway, but no fence on the range. So, the cattle are pretty close; sometimes right on the dirt road. They turn and walk away when you get too near. It seems all they do is eat.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Where the Buffalo Roam

6" x 8" oil on masonite
$100.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

There are several herds of buffalo near our mountain property. Even though this guy looks pretty close, there is a double fence between us. The trees in the background are miles away. There's not much growing where the buffalo graze, they really trample the earth. It's a wonder they find enough to eat. I love it when we drive by and they're grazing by the road. Of course, sometimes they're on the far side of the field and are just a dark blur.

Monday, January 12, 2009

South Platte River 2

6" x 8" oil on masonite
$100.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested



No matter how many times I hike in the same valley or paint the same view, it is always completely different: a different time of day, different colors and values, different season. I used Naples yellow again in this piece, also using it to warm up the cloud reflection in the river. That's about the only thing warm in the South Platte. The water is really cold. The elevation here is about 8,000 feet and the river water is rain and snow run off from even higher mountains. When our kids were small they could only wade and play in the water for a short time.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Billy Boy

6" x 6" oil on canvas on foam board
$100. 00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

When I'm painting, songs and poems about the subject matter often flow through my mind. While painting these cherries, I was thinking about Billy Boy. I'm not sure who wrote the song, who Billy Boy was, or even if he could bake a pie. I have made a cherry pie. It is really time consuming; you have to pit every cherry. Maybe I need to turn up my music so my mind doesn't wander quite so much.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Patriotic Cherries

6" x 6" oil on canvas on foam board
$100.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interrested
This painting looks very American to me with the red, white and blue. Maybe that's where "it's as American as cherry pie" came from: a patriotic painting!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Naples Yellow Clouds

6" x 8" oil on masonite
$100.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

Our daughter, Coley, and I just went to the Ernest L. Blumenschein exhibit at the
Denver Art Museum. Blumenschein was a founding member of the Taos Society of Artists and a renowned painter of 19th and 20th century western art. The exhibit was amazing. I couldn't stop looking at Blumenschein's clouds. Especially since I've recently been painting a cloud series. Coley commented that his clouds were so creamy. My clouds are bold, strong, bright, warm, cool, yellow ochre, but not creamy. Artist Martha Mans and I were discussing how he got his creamy clouds. She suggested Naples Yellow; it's a traditional yellow and probably part of his palette. So, I have a tube from a past workshop and painted these clouds with Naples Yellow.

Friday, January 2, 2009

South Platte River

9" x 12" oil on masonite
$100.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

I think reflections add a lot of interest to a painting. Usually, light values reflect just a bit darker, so I painted the reflection in the river using the darker value of the cloud. (And, dark values usually reflect just a bit lighter.) The water color also affects the value of the reflection.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Sunset Over Buffalo Peak

6 x 8 oil on masonite
$100.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

Once again we have an incredible sunset from our ridge. This one is looking just a little more north. With this painting I again used artistic license and left out several tall trees in the front; they were hiding too much of the view of South Park and the sky. I also scraped out and repainted the front ridge several times. The right side went up and repeated the left side almost exactly, and compositionally it didn't work. On the first repaint I just painted out the right ridge, but then the viewer's eye just went off the bottom edge of the piece. Not good. So I added the second small softer blue ridge. That way, your eye goes back and forth, staying in the scene: from ridge to ridge to open space to mountain to mountain to sky to clouds to clouds and back again. A soft, easy back and forth movement. I guess I'm trying to make the viewer's eyes dance with each painting.