Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oh My Gourd

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

After yesterday's posting, I really started wondering about gourd warts. Obviously, I lead a stress free life, when this is all I worry about! I even googled gourds and gourd warts. The warts are a bacterial growth. I learned that in the US, there are three main types of gourds: ornamental, hard-shell, and vegetable sponge gourds, according to the American Gourd Society. Additionally, I learned that bitter gourd soaked in the liquid of Chinese cabbage and taken orally for 2 weeks may remove human flat warts. Gourds in America can be traced back 10,000 years when prehistoric people brought them from Asia. Research shows that the bottle gourd, used as a container and not a food crop, is the earliest known domesticated plant grown here.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Warts and All

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

Warts are strange things; on gourds and on people. Some of our gourds have dozens of warts. I'm sure Mother Nature has some reason for this, but I don't know what it is. I've found that when painting series I really look at the light and color. I know that the background color, lights, time of day, etc., all affect this. I've found myself comparing the color from the previous days paintings. Another reason that daily painting is so helpful.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Blog Blessing

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

It's the day before Thanksgiving, a holiday to celebrate things for which we are grateful. I thought it appropriate to share my "blog blessings":
-I am grateful that I figured out how to blog; I found it frustrating at first.
-I am grateful to those of you who helped me figure it out.
-Thanks to those of you who have subscribed and who comment.
-I am thankful to blogging in general; when I publish my post to the big screen I really think about shape, value, color and edges.
Thanksgiving is my family's favorite holiday. The whole point of it is to be thankful for all we have, to be w/ family and friends, and to enjoy a meal together.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Plethora of Gourds

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

My friend Kelly gave me a big bag of gourds from her garden. She said that she didn't plant them, that they must have mistakenly been put into the wrong seed pack at the factory. She had so many that it took 45 minutes just to pick them. They look great in the center of our table.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

For the Skirt

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

I wanted to try the bluberries one more time, but on a warm background. The label says that these berries are the best in the world. Yes, my pancakes were great, but the best? I'm not sure. They were flown in from another continent, how fresh are they?
And, in case you were wondering, in Blueberries for Sal, the mom picks all the berries while wearing a skirt. I guess that's what mom's did back then. I have never picked berries in a skirt!

Friday, November 21, 2008

For Little Bear

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

I found that I had to mix a lot of blue to get it a little grayed. So, there was enough to do another painting. I see another series here. And, yes, Little Bear was out there looking for blueberries at the same time as Sal.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Blueberries for Sal

6 x 6 oil on canvas on foam board
$100.00 + $10. s/h

I love blueberries. I always have. After strawberries, they're my favorite fruit. I'm not sure if it's because I remember my mom reading Blueberries For Sal by Robert McCloskey, or if I just love the taste and color, but when I saw them 2 for 1 this week, I had to buy them. When our kids were little I made them pancakes with blueberry faces. My sister used to bring fresh blueberries from New Jersey in her carry-on (I wonder if security would let that through today.) My husband and I had the best pancakes this morning.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Paint Mines

16 x 20 oil on canvas

This is another piece for the upcoming Bear Creek Park Show and fundraiser. The Paint Mines are about 45 minutes east of Colorado Springs. These "mines" were used by the Native Americans for clay and paint. This area was shut off to the public for many years. About 5 years ago the land was purchased by TOPS (trails and open park space) from Colorado lottery money. Land has been purchased all over the state this way. It's been great.

My plein aire group, Garden Artists, painted there early one summer morning. I was really trying to work with the values in this piece. In the early morning, values are usually cool, but the sun on the rocks was warm. It was a fun challenge.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Bluffs

6 x 8 oil on masonite
$100.00 + $10.00 s/h
This is another view of the bluffs and fields behind my old school. I love the colors and values I saw that morning. I think I'm getting the fall warms! Do 3 paintings make a series? Maybe.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A 2nd look

6 x 8 oil on canvas panel
$100.00 + $10.00 s/h
contact me if interested

I wanted to try the warm fall colors again to really make sure I was mixing the right light and color. I chose another view from the bluffs behind my former school.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Holmes Middle School

20 x 24 oil commission

I was asked by the school where I taught art for the last 13 years (before my recent retirement) to do a painting for the front office. So, I decided to do a painting of the school (you can see the red rectangle near the horizon line.) Like many schools built in the late 60's it hasn't won awards for architectural creativity, although it often wins for academics, but it's location can't be beat. Colorado Springs is located in one of the most beautiful places in the country: right at the foot of Pikes Peak. Not only does Holmes Middle School look out at the Peak, but it's also right by the Garden of the Gods. Who could ask for a more beautiful place to work! My classroom was in the back building and I looked out at these bluffs. One beautiful fall morning, I hiked behind the school, through the bluffs, to the highest overlook and took photos.

I was really pleased with the foreground and background, but struggled with the colors of the center fall foliage. I felt they were too intense. I took the painting to my Tuesday class with Martha Mans for a critique. She immediately told me my colors were "spring" not "fall". That made so much sense. I'd been mixing cools, cad yellow lemon and alizaron. I scraped the trees and bushes off, pre-mixed warm/fall colors and repainted the area with much better results. I should have realized that. It's like painting the sky: a morning sky is cool, like the atmosphere; an evening sky is warm, like the atmosphere. Spring foliage is cool, like the season; fall foliage is warm, like the season. I now realize that was what I was thinking about the willows in the painting the other day. They're cool/purple/spring and could have been warm/orange/fall. I'm going to chalk this up to my not painting much in the fall when I was teaching, and not to my inability to see light and color!! More joys of retirement.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Colorado fall

9 x 12
oil on canvas panel

I have been accepted into a show to benefit Bear Creek Park, a county park near our home. I'm thrilled that our county is using artists as a means of fund raising. The theme is Colorado landscapes and nature. I've been working on several pieces (I can submit up to 8) over the last couple of weeks. I was concerned that the red in the willows in the front was a little too violet, and should have been a little more orange; but, it still seems to complement the green of the grass.

Monday, November 10, 2008

6 x 6 oil on masonite

I couldn't get over the fall colors this year. Maybe it's because I've retired, or maybe because the weather was so great and we spent a lot of time up in the mountains. I don't think I'd ever been in the mountains in late September-early October during the week! I've always been teaching. Retirement is great. It's allowing me to take short trips, explore Colorado, and paint!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

gracious gift

The last day of Carol Marine's workshop in Santa Fe, Nancy's (one of the other students) husband gave each of us a rose. Since I was driving back to Colorado Springs, I put mine in a bottle of water and propped it between several boxes in the back of the car. This rose lasted for more than one week. It was incredible. Must have been a combintion of rose genetics, bottled water, kind thoughts and a great ending to a great workshop. Harlteys: this one's for you!