Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Quiet Time

6" x 6" oil on canvas panel
$75.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

My plein-aire group, Garden Artists, painted this week at Hillside Gardens and Nursery. In addition to flowers, Hillside specializes in architectural salvage . This chair was off by itself, having some quiet time; something we all need now and then.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Daffodils

6" x 6" oil on clayboard
$75.00 + $10. s/h
SOLD

We have daffodils blooming in our backyard. I know many places in the rest of the country saw them long ago, but for us, it means spring.
A friend gave me a package of 4 clayboard panels. I'm not used to painting on such a smooth surface. The brush glides, there's no grip. I'll use them all and probably go back to canvas.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Crab Apple Blossoms 4

5" x 7 " oil on masonite
$75.00 + $10. s/h
SOLD

It's amazing how quickly the trees blossom once they start. In 3 days almost every blossom has bloomed on our crab apple. Up and down the street are deep pink trees. I love spring colors. I recommend painting the same thing several times. It really gets you to look, and in the case of these blossoms, I've notided so much color change in the green of the leaves and the pinks of the blossoms.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Apple Farm

6" x 8" oil on canvas panel
$75.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

This morning my plein-aire group, Garden Artists, painted at the Happy Apple Farm in Penrose, Colorado, about 50 minutes south of town. The blossoms there are just a little bit ahead of those here in the Springs. Interestingly, different rows of the trees in the orchard are different kinds of apples. So, some of the rows are really blossoming and some are just starting to bloom. I'd never thought about that before, but it makes sense that all apple trees wouldn't blossom at the same time, if they were a different kind of apple. The owner explained to us which rows were which. I chose the rows with the most blossoms. It was a beautiful morning for plein-aire painting.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Crab Apples #3

5" x 7" oil on masonite
$100.00 + $10. s/h
SOLD


This is the third in my crab apple series. The blossoms are just opening. And so quickly. It's amazing when you really watch. One day the tree just had a pinkish tint. And now, we have a few blossoms. It still is so interesting to me that the closed little blossom is so red, but so pink when opened. I would have thought it would have been dark pink when closed. Mother Nature never ceases to amaze.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Great Afternoon

8" x 10" oil on clayboard
$75.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

Colorado has vast, open skies and mile after mile of spectacular scenery. One has only to turn around and there's another painting.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Afternoon Glow

8" x 10" oil on clayboard
$75.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

Sometimes in the late afternoon, even though the clouds are building up, the weather is great for my husband's fishing, and my painting.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cloudy Afternoon

6" x 8" oil on masonite
$75.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

It's usually a lot safer, and more reliable, to fish in the morning in Colorado. We often have afternoon storms in the mountains and great fishing (and other afternoon activities and plans, like painting) may have to be changed quickly.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Crab Apple Blossoms 2

5" x 7" oil on masonite
$75.00 + $10. s/h
SOLD

I posted the first of what I decided would be a series of the growth of the crab apple tree from our backyard on April 4th. The leaves are now a little greener, and the blossoms are just starting to grow, but haven't yet begun to bud. Outside, the tree appears to have a dark pinkish tone. But the tiny little blossom buds appear red up close.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Class Exercise

This is an exercise from my Tuesday painting class. It's taken from Kevin Macpherson's "Landscape Painting-Inside & Out" and is a study in color value.

Step 1 is to find a picture you wish to paint. I chose this picture from our trip to Lagos, Portugal (the most southwestern tip of Portugal.)







Step 2: Blow the picture up to 8 x 10. Using a marker, outline all the different color value shapes; this requires lots of squinting. It's a little hard to see all of my marker lines..sorry. Macpherson says: "Choose your shapes...Nature may suggest shapes, but you must select the best shapes for your painting."





Step 3: Cut out the value shapes and trace them onto a canvas. This step explains Macpherson's philosophy of simplifying shapes for a good start. "Seeing the world as a mosaic of interlocking shapes helps you build your paintings simply and strongly from the start. Learn to simplify."



Step 4: Paint each shape matching the value of the cut out pieces--no details. Again, squinting lots. I started by pre-mixing all the blues, to me they were the first color note. Then I mixed the greens; and, lastly the warms. I really like this study. This color value study is an example of the ones Macpherson said to do "100 starts".




12 x 16 oil on stretched canvas
contact me if interested

Step 5: Using the same color values, paint a finished picture. This is a really good color value lesson. It's a good example of Macpherson's emphasis on color studies and doing lots of practice starts. Too often we just jump right in and start painting.





Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cool and Overcast

6" x 8" oil on canvas panel
$75.00 + $10. s/h
SOLD

This morning my plein-aire group, Garden Artists, painted at the Garden of the Gods. It was a cool (we all had on jackets) and gray, overcast day. We had several inches of snow on Sunday. I thought the light would stay the same, but even though it was flat, the values changed; although not nearly as much as on a beautuiful sunny day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Lily

6" x 6" oil on canvas panel
$75.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

We have a beautiful bouquet of lilies on the front hall table. There is still not one flower out in the yard. At 6,000 feet altitude, we're a little bit away from spring blossoms. I usually do not use this color for backgrounds. Normally I would have used a dark blue. But, I felt like moving away from my comfort zone.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Canadian Goose

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

Earlier this week I spent the day in Denver with our daughter who is a senior at the University of Denver. I went to a downtown salon for a haircut, we went out to lunch, then went to Wash(ington) Park for a warm, sunny walk. Wash Park is the kind of park that should be in the center of every city. There are walking trails, bike trails, ponds, tennis courts, playing fields, a rec center, gorgeous flower beds, and always lots of people. The ponds were filled with Canadian Geese as well as ducks and gulls. I think the birds were enjoying the weather as much as all the people. It was a great day. I have loved having her sort of nearby for college. I could occasionally visit her. She'll be moving to San Francisco in August to start her career. I won't be seeing her as much, nor will I be going for walks in Wash Park.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Moodest

6" x 6" oil on canvas panel
SOLD

Cows really are cute. How can you not love them? They let you get pretty close before they walk away. And, I'm not sure if they walk away because of human presence or they're just looking for a little bit better bite to eat. This one really seems "moodest". She doesn't look vain, she seems humble. She's held back by a sense of what is fit and proper. She is not calling attention to her body. So, yes, she is moodest.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Moonet

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

As I'm looking at this painting titled "Moonet", I'm wondering, is it a portrait, (maybe) a figure, (maybe) a still life, (definately not) a landscape (part of one). I guess animals fall into their own category, but what chapter in my painting books do I look in when looking for cow painting tips? I guess I'll just keep reading them all.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Rest of the Story

6"x6" oil on canvas panel
$100.00 + $10. s/h
SOLD

I always enjoyed listening to Paul Harvey on the radio and looked forward to hearing "The Rest of the Story." He took little vignettes from the present and past and turned them into a commentary that entertained and informed. As artists, we often do the same. I took asparagus and turned it into a little bit of visual entertainment.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A New Beauty

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

Asparagus are one of my favorite vegetables (is the plural asparagi, or asparaguses, or neither?) I love them steamed with melted butter. And, if no one's eating with me, I just pick them up with my fingers.

I've been re-reading "Hensche on Painting" by John W. Robichaux, a birthday gift from my sister. The book is filled with Robichaux's notes from Hensche's classes, as well as transcriptions from tapes. "Give your viewers something more than decoration. Give them something that will raise their level of vision. Let them see a new beauty through your eyes." In this piece, I'm letting the viewers see the asparagus from the bottom up.

Friday, April 3, 2009

First Sign of Spring

5" x 7" oil on masonite
$100.00 + $10. s/h
SOLD


We have a large crab apple tree next to our deck. For two weeks every April (unless we have a late, heavy snow) we have gorgeous blossoms. The tree is just starting to bud and leaf (this is the first sign of any flower at all in our yard.) I've done several blossom paintings in past years that I really like, and this year thought I'd chronicle the growth and development of the blossoms in my daily paintings; maybe every other day. In the fall the tree has lots of small crab apples and beautiful colored leaves. The trunk of the tree is in our yard, but many of the branches hang over the fence and, when the apples fall, attract animals. We have come home at night to a bear sitting next to the garage eating the apples and refusing to move. Of course, we waited for him to leave before we got out of the car.


The apple blossoms will be pink, so I toned my canvas in pink, which I don't think I've ever used before. For landscapes I usually tone with cad yellow deep, yellow ochre, or red. For still lifes I usually choose a complementary color. I like the way the pink shows through on this. This piece is so small, and the leaves and buds almost abstract, I really had to just look at the color, put the color note down. As Monet said "When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you...merely think here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Patzcuaro Strutters

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


The colors of this rooster caught my eye. Although the reds appear redder in this photo and are more orange in my painting. Off and on my camera, (or computer, not sure which) changes the reds. I have no idea how many varieties of roosters and chickens exist; must be dozens. But, once again, this couple was strutting around near the outdoor restaurant where we were enjoying lunch. The chicken must be named Tammy, for she stood by her man.

The ground around these two was all the same value, no strong shadows, so squinting helped with the actual colors for the earth. I don't always use lots of pthalo blue, it's so strong. When I want a really dark blue, or almost black, I mix ultramarine, sap green, and alizaron. But this rooster shouted pthalo blue; so I used it to mix. I'd forgotten how strong it was, and when softening my edges, the ground was constantly becoming bluer. I'll remember next time!