Friday, February 26, 2010

Fading Mountains

8" x 10" oil on gessoed masonite

Once again, this piece is from our recent trip to Texas.  This is from a hike in Big Bend National Park.

We decided to hike up to the overlook at the top of this trail.  It took us 3 1/2 hours.  But it was well worth it!

About half way up the clouds started rolling in.  You can barely see the peaks off in the distance.

Here I am at the top.  Downhill was quicker and easier, although cooler and cloudier.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Window

5" x 7" oil on canvas on board
$100.00 + $10. s/h
please contact me if interested

After leaving San Antonio, we headed east to Big Bend National Park.  It seemed like it took all day to get there.  Texas is a huge state!  And, once you think you're there, you still have almost 100 miles from the main road to get to the park entrance.  Big Bend is a beautiful National Park.  It covers more than 800,000 acres from an elevation of 2,000 feet on the Rio Grande River to about 8,000 feet in the Chisos Mountains.  We stayed for several days at the Chisos Basin Lodge.  Our guide books said to book way in advance, but we called the day before and got a room. I think that's the advantage of traveling in the off season.  Our 2nd morning we did a long, scenic 3 1/2 hour hike.  The weather got cooler and cloudier as the day wore on.  The painting above is of "The Window".  We had planned on hiking down to the canyon between the two peaks the next morning, but there was absolutely no view, severe winds, and heavy rain.
This is where I was set-up to paint.  The light has changed a little from when I started painting, this happens often!  But, it shows the view and weather and a little of the mountains off in the background.

I just received a great surprise in the mail.  I had passed on the Sunshine Award to Lee Brown of
"A Day Not Wasted."  He sent me A Day Not Wasted painting apron.  How great is that!  He lives in Monument, Colorado about 20 minutes from here.  Hopefully we'll meet some day.  Check out his great blog!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

32 Degrees and Holding

8" x 10" oil on gessoed masonite
$195.00 + $10. s/h
please contact me if interested

In my continuing series "Paining My Way Through Texas"....after 4 nights in Austin we headed south to San Antonio.  Our plan was to stay there several days as there is so much to see.  We visited the Alamo and meandered along the River Walk late in the afternoon (both of these are listed in our book "501 Must See Places").  We thought it would be fun to take a boat ride on the river, so arrived the next morning at 9:30, but were told that due to the freezing temperatures it wouldn't open until 10:00.  We went back at 10:00 and were told that it was still too cold for the boat operators and that they might start running around 11:00.  We decided that it was just too cold to stay in San Antonio so left.  These are the joys of a road trip with an unplanned itinerary.

This live oak was just a little ways outside of town.  It was an overcast,  gray, 32 degree day.  I'm not sure I got the sky quite gray enough.  I used a very limited palette for this piece.  The sky was the leftover pile of nuetral violet from the last painting (I had scraped it all into the corner) mixed with cad yellow deep and white.  For the rest I only needed ultramarine blue, cad yellow deep, a little alizaron and white to get all the grayed values.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Even Further Still

5" x 7" oil on gessoed masonite
$100. + $10. s/h

This is the last glow of the sunset near Austin.  It was an unbelievably beautiful 20 minutes.

I am honored to have recently received the Sunshine Award from Julie Davis and Ann Reyes.  The Sunshine Award is for creativity and positivity in blogging. Many people are passing on this award lately, so many of the artists I've chosen have been chosen by others, as well.  That says a lot about them.

In order to accept the award, you:

Link to the person from whom you received this award
Put the logo on your blog or within your post
Pass the award on to 12 bloggers
Link the nominees within your post
Let the nominees know they received this award

The following are my nominees, in no particular order:

Debbi Smith Rourke
Kelley Macdonald
Nancy Hartley
Amy Hillenbrand
Karen Phipps
Cathyann Burgess
Tom Christopher
Celeste Vaught

A Day Not Wasted
Celeste Bergin
Gio Argentati

Jill Berry

Please look at all these great blogs.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Little Further Down the Road

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

This is the same sky as the last post, just a little further down the road, and a little more of the sunset.  I realize that the brightest yellow is not in the exact right spot for the correct focal point area, but I decided to leave it where it was when I saw it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Afternoon Sky

5" x 7" oil on gessoed masonite

Happy Valentine's Day!

This late afternoon Texas sky was seen on the road between Llano and Austin.  Our entire two week trip through Texas was on back roads, except while in Colorado and northern New Mexico.  When we're not  in a hurry, it's more fun to drive on less major roads.  It may take a little bit longer, but the scenery, towns, animals, people are so much more interesting.

I should call these pieces my "Painting My Way Through Texas" series.

For some reason, the followers of my blog haven't been getting my posts for quite awhile.  I tried to solve this, I contacted google, asked fellow bloggers, etc.  Finally, yesterday I went to the Geek Squad at Best Buy.  In 15 minutes they solved my problem.    And, I guess all the unsent posts were sent at once!  Oh well, at least the situation is taken care of.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Almost There

8" x 10" oil on gessoed masonite
$195.00 + $10. s/h
please contact me if interested

Again, the Live Oaks in Texas are incredible.  We could never have a tree like this in Colorado.  The snow would break off all the branches, especially on the low horizontal ones.  This tree is wider than it is tall!
Debbi Smith Rourke commented yesterday that I was on the edge of Hill Country.  I thought that the low rolling hills were "the hills".  I was almost there!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Live Oak

8" x 10" oil on gessoed masonite
$195.00 + $10. s/h
please contact me if interested

Until my recent trip to Texas, I didn't know what a "live oak" was.  I follow the blogs of several artists from Austin and often see these gorgeous trees in their paintings.  What I didn't realize was that these gorgeous trees always have leaves, thus the name "live" oak.  In Colorado we have scrub oaks, short, thin, "scrubby" looking trees which lose their leaves in the fall (creating great fall colors, but not great winter paintings.)  A live oak drops leaves individually as new leaves push their way out, this was explained to me by Laurel Daniel's husband.

Anyway, for this piece I combined what I learned in Laurel's workshop with how I paint.  I think that's one of the benefits of workshops, combining what you learn w/ what already works for you.  So, I started this piece with a value understudy in the tree and land area, but not under the sky.  Then, I used my normal palette, not the limited palette from the workshop.  And, I went back to cleaning my brushes regularly, not using lots of brushes.  I'm happy with the results, and have several more live oak paintings to post!

And, if you are like me and not from Texas so you didn't know what "hill country" was....look at that hill on the left side of the land!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Another Austin Workshop Piece

12" x 16" oil on stretched canvas
$395.00 + $10. s/h
please contact me if interested

This is another piece from Laurel Daniel's workshop.  This piece started with a line and mass block-in.  Laurel gave us a great hand-out which explained this time honored, classic approach.

For the block-in you are to spread the pigments thinly, scumble and scrub in.  In the top practice, I had my pigment too thick, and mixed it w/ too much linseed oil, so I tried again.  In the bottom practice I started to get it.  Laurel uses a neutral mix of alizaron, french ultramarine and raw umber.  She uses this for her starts, as well as for a mixture throughout the painting.  Todays mix appears blacker than the one I showed you on my last post.  This just shows the lines, not masses, blocked in.
Here's Laurel demonstrating.  She was so prepared.  She had several samples (on the left wall) to show us step by step how to do different starts.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Austin Workshop

12" x 12" oil on stretched canvas
$295.00 + $10. s/h
please contact me if interested

My husband and I just got back from a two week road trip to Texas.  The main purpose of the trip was a workshop reunion in Austin.  In September 2008 I took a workshop in Santa Fe from Carol Marine.  Since then many of us have blogged, emailed, visited, and stayed in touch.  Several of the group organized a workshop/reunion taught by Laurel Daniel.  What a great 3 days we had.  

Laurel uses a limited palette: cad lemon, cad yellow deep, cad red light, alizarin, pthalo blue, french ultramarine, raw umber and titanium white.  This lesson was a full color shape block in starting w/ a  value block in, then laying in the colors on top of the values.  Above are my value block in and finished still life. 

We all had dinner one night at Debbi Smith Rourke's house.  Top photo:  Karen, Amy Hillenbrand, Kelley Macdonald, Carol Marine, Judith, Debbi, Laurel.  Bottom photo:  Jane, Diane White, Lois, Robin, Nancy Hartley.  (I put the last names and links for fellow bloggers.)

More about the workshop and our trip to be posted soon.