Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shadow and Light

6" x 8" oil on panel

During the Weekend with the Masters workshop, one of Kevin Macpherson's class exercises was to create a small piece which had 3/4 shadow and 1/4 light. During one of Skip Whitcomb's talks and demos he said that you should not have equal detail in the light and shadow. He also said that painting in the field is a place for fun and experimentation. So, this past weekend painting in the mountains, I tried to put all of this together in one exercise. I worked for 3/4 shadow w/ more detail, and 1/4 light w/ less detail. I think I've got about 1/3 2/3s, but a fun experiment.

A great benefit of blogging and the web world is meeting new people. I have met so many people through my blog. Today I got to meet a blogger friend in person! I spent a good part of the day w/ Cathyann Burgess from Richmond, Va. She and her husband are spending a month in Denver, Colorado visiting their son and his family. She drove down to the Springs, we met at the Garden of the Gods, had a great tour (I'm a pretty good guide!), went to lunch and visited galleries. What a world we live in! Visit her blog if you're not familiar w/ her work!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Spinney Mist

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

We spent the last several days up in the mountains. The weather was beautiful this weekend; last weeks cold and snow disappeared. Once again we were at Spinney Reservoir. While my husband was out fishing, I was painting. Because of the mist over the peaks, this was a fun piece to paint. Like often happens when plein-aire painting, the late afternoon light changed so quickly.

This photo was taken when I was finished painting. At this point the light had changed dramatically. The reservoir was much lighter, the mist had increased and the mountains in the background had completely disappeared. The challenge is always sticking with the light as it was at the start, or changing the values in the piece. I think I do both, depending on my mood at the time and how the color and value look to me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Zinnia Bouquet 2

16" x 20" oil on stretched canvas
$195.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

Due to this weeks cold and snow, we have several zinnia bouquets in our house right now. So, I decided to do one more zinnia painting. My study for this was a bit different. I spent quite a lot of time with the still life set-up, making sure the flowers were arranged in a good composition, choosing and arranging the fabric on the table, getting a great shadow which included some of the flower shapes for interest. But, the painting seemed to have a mind of it's own. The flowers wanted to be life-sized, which left out the bottom of the vase and most of the shadow and lower fabric edge. I scraped it off and re-started twice, but each time the flowers came out life sized. So, I guess it was meant to be.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Black-eyed Susan

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

We still have so many flowers in our yard, but fall is upon us, and at this altitude that means freezing nights. So, since last night was 34 degrees, and we have snow on Pikes Peak, I figured I should get in a last few flower paintings before all the flowers freeze.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Spinney Wind

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

My husband and I have been up in the mountains for the last few days. I painted this yesterday on the banks of Spinney reservoir while he was out fishing. As often happens in the mountains, (Spinney is at about 8,000 feet)the weather was strange and quickly changing. The clouds were blowing in over the mountains, making them very gray. The clouds hadn't gotten to Spinney yet, so I was standing in the sun. But, the wind was blowing, making the water greener than normal and covered w/ small whitecaps. All part of why I like plein-aire painting. It makes me think quickly.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Backyard Zinnias

12" x 16" oil on stretched canvas
$195.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

The zinnias in our backyard will only last a little longer and I wanted to try to get in a few more paintings of them. We planted zinnias in two gardens, (one, next to the vegetables, and the other tucked between the deck and the fence partly under a tree.) You may be able to tell that these are the ones tucked away, so they are really reaching and bending for the sun. This painting took much longer than the last post as I went out two consecutive days in order to get the same light. The still life was much easier light-wise, and I could just paint for several hours and not worry about the changing sun. This is so often the challenge when painting plein-aire, whether in my backyard or out in the field somewhere. It is also part of why I like plein-aire, the fun, the challenge, the fresh-aire.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend with the Masters 3

16" x 20" oil on stretched canvas
$195.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

Our yard has been filled with zinnias the last few weeks. I wanted to try a bouquet of flowers instead of a daily painting focusing on one flower.

During yesterday's Weekend with the Artist workshop sponsored by the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and American Artist Magazine, I attended a demo by well known Colorado artist Skip Whitcomb. Part way through the demo it started raining. Luckily we were on the Lake Terrace at the Broadmoor, so we pulled lots of big patio umbrellas over to our spot, and Skip continued to paint, and we were all out of the rain. It was great to see a demo of an overcast day. Since Colorado is known for it's sunny weather, 300 sunny days/year, I tend to avoid going out to paint when the weather's bad. As we say here, "Just wait an hour, and the weather will change." This might change my way of thinking.

Some of Skip's main points were:
-"abstract" means we're looking for shapes, values, colors that we can arrange in our world, our canvas
-simpliciy is power--the more you put in, the weaker the statement becomes
-he keeps a sketchbook and always does thumbnails first(before a painting)
-use the golden mean for you center of interest
-he uses veridean only to mix grays, not for greens

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Laurel Daniel saying she was coming to Colorado Springs to attend the Weekend with the Masters workshop. We saw each other off and on over the 4 days and last night she came over for dinner. We spent several great hours sharing and visiting. We found we have many things in common, including: we met our husbands in the 7th grade, we both studied for one year in Sweden. Who would have known! I had a fun evening w/ a new friend all made possible because of blogging and the internet.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Weekend With The Masters 2

This morning I attended a demo by David Leffel as part of the Weedend With The Masters, sponsored by American Artist Magazine, at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. David has so much knowledge and so many years experience of painting and sharing that it's amazing. I have read the book "Oil Painting Secrets From A Master" by Linda Cateura but listening to him speak and watching him do even a short demo was wonderful. As the workshop title says, he truly is a master.

Some of his points were:
-everyone paints the way they do because of the way they think. if you want to get better, change the way you think.
-"essentially, I paint light and shadow"
-a painting always has movement, irregardless of the subject matter
-it is better to be definately wrong, than tentatively right
-Edges: an open edge continues, a hard edge stops. Alternate your edges: hard, soft, hard, soft.
Of course, there was so much more.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Weekend with the Masters

12" x 16" oil
I spent the Labor Day weekend, and a few additional days, in San Francisco helping our daughter move into an apartment. She graduated from college in June and has her first job in SF. What a great city. She took this painting with her!
While in SF I had lunch w/ fellow blogger Nancy Hartley.

I am spending parts of this weekend attending some of the events at the Weekend With the Masters at the Colorado Springs Fines Arts Center. This is sponsored by American Artist Magazine and has so many great artists giving demos, lectures, and workshops. Yesterday I attended Quang Ho's lecture: Nuts & Bolts: Everything I Wish I Knew Before I Started Painting. Originally from Vietnam refugee who moved to the US in '75, Quang lives in Denver. Some oif this main points were:
-no shape, color, size in a painting should ever be the same
-strive for maximum randomness
-soften your edges
-flow--everything should be visually connected to everything else
-shape is the secret to painting (although he has other secrets)
-when you make a decision it's never wrong. it's wrong if you don't make a decision.

I took several pages of notes. Those are just a few hightlights. He also has a video w/ lots more information that I would love to see for review.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Jersey Girls

8" x 10" oil on canvas on board
$145.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

Once again, this painting is from my trip to Ocean City, at the Jersey shore. I'm not really sure what makes a girl a "Jersey girl", or if these women even qualify as "girls" anymore. Or, if they grew up in New Jersey and used to be Jersey girls. But, to me, Jersey girls hang out together and talk about important things. And, these two definately fit that bill! So, here's to all the Jersey girls!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ocean City

8" x 10" oil on canvas on board

When I was back east in July, visiting my sister in New Jersey and taking a color study workshop in Philadelphia, I was lucky enough to get to spend 1 day at the Jersey shore. I was mesmerized by all the colors at the beach: water, sand, umbrellas, toys, chairs, bathing suits, towels, skin-tones. It was non-stop visual stimulus. I felt like I was looking at, and walking through, a real live color study class (of course, I'd just spent a week in a color study class.) Anyway, I took lots of photos and now have painted several pieces.

These ladies seemed so content just sitting by the water, enjoying the day. Everyone was enjoying that day. It was so entertaining to me how people sat right by the water. I guess you can see your kids better, or keep cooler. Being from Colorado, we don't have many beaches. A few here and there by a lake or reservoir. One time when our son was 3, he came home from spending the afternoon at our small local man-made lake and beach and excitedly told us that he'd had a great day at the ocean!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hartsel Herd

11" x 14" oil on stretched canvas
$195.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

I did the previous buffalo as a study for this larger piece. I loved the way all the calves were following and staying so close to their mothers. Now I'm wondering about even a larger painting with dozens of animals. After all, the animals in the far background are just color notes. Well, all of them are really. We'll see.

Yesterday afternoon I saw a great show on tv, on PBS or NBS, called Passport and Palette. It's produced by Wanda Macpherson, Kevin's wife. It showed Kevin painting in the Loire Valley, he was giving a demo and talk. Apparently, each week different artists are shown painting around the world. It was really interesting.

Speaking of Kevin Macpherson, he is going to be part of the Weekend with the Masters that is here in Colorado Springs next week. I've heard from a couple of people in the blogging community who will be here, just wondering if anyone else is coming. If so, let me know. Should be a great weekend.