Friday, April 30, 2010

100 Garden & Floral Oil Paintings, Original Art Work from A Colorado Daily Painter, 5/100

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

We have a wild crab apple tree right next to our deck.  It's spectacular right now, covered with vibrant pink/magenta blossoms.  All around town the fruit trees are just blossoming this week.  It's a beautiful time of year.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

100 Garden Oil Paintings, Original Art Work from A Colorado Daily Painter, 4/100

8" x 8" oil on cradled panel
$185.00 + $10. s/h

Yesterday was a warm, beautiful Colorado spring day, the kind that make you want to get out and garden.  But, it's still too early to plant at this altitude.  Tonight is supposed to be only 28 degrees!  Anyway, I spent part of yesterday preparing the vegetable beds. While turning over the soil I noticed the colors and shadow of the shovel.  A garden painting!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Red Rock Canyon Open Space

6" x 8" oil on board

Yesterday my plein air group painted at Red Rock Canyon Open Space.  This area used to be a county dump and before that a quarry.  A small percent (I think 1%) of Colorado's lottery money goes to buy land for parks.  This park is a great result of that money!  Red Rock Canyon is a southern continuation of the rock formation found in the Garden of the Gods.

I plan to use this as a study for a larger piece.

This is the tip of Pikes Peak, still very snow covered.

These almost vertical formations used to be horizontal (millions of years ago) and were pushed up from ground by earth quakes and geologic movement.
You can see the Garden of the Gods in the middle of the background.

Monday, April 26, 2010

100 Garden Oil Paintings, Original Art Work from A Colorado Daily Painter, 3/100

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

Today about half the daffodils in our yard are opened and the rest are opening.  It happens pretty quickly.  Daffodils are a great flower for Colorado.  They're hardy in the cold and heat, although there's more cold than heat here in the spring.  They turn to face the sun, so it's as if they're looking around all day.  There are more than 1500 varieties! These must be a hybrid daffodil.  I got out my flower book and these are not yellow trumpets, the most popular; nor are they short or large cupped.  When we built our gardens and planted them years ago, it didn't occur to me to pay attention to what kind of daffodil they were.  Does anyone know?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

100 Garden Oil Paintings, Original Art Work from A Colorado Daily Painter, 2/100

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

Yesterday I took a class in Boulder from Micah Condon. During the class we discussed ways to use the internet as a marketing tool.  Besides all the great information he shared, one of the fun things about the class was having the opportunity to meet other Colorado blogger/artists:  Saundra Lane Galloway, Kim Conrad, Karla Nolan, and Carol Nelson.  Carol is about to complete her project, 100 portraits in 100 Days.  If you haven't seen her blog, go look at all the pieces.  Anyway, this got me thinking about all of the garden paintings I do,  and, I've decided to create my own 100 project.  I'm going to paint 100 garden related pieces during the next several months.  I'm not going to limit myself to 100 days, like other bloggers have done, but will continue the project through our short growing season.   This will allow me to continue to: work on larger pieces, one of my goals this past year;  travel and not post for several days at a time; and, not worry when one of our hail storms prevents me from getting out to do a plein air piece.

Colorado Springs sits at an elevation of 6,000 feet.  As a general rule our last frost date is usually Mother's Day, and our first fall frost can be any time after Labor Day.  So, right now in my yard, the daffodils are just blooming.  I took the photo below this morning.  Those of you who follow my blog know that in the summer I paint a lot of florals, many of flowers in my yard.  In the blog I'll talk about the perils of high altitude gardening and plein air painting.  But, I think it will develop though the season.

And, since I get to make up my own rules, I decided that the pansies from Wednesdays post will be # 1/100 since they're from my first time this year out w/ my plein air group, Garden Artists.  

Friday, April 23, 2010

Owochomo Bridge

18" x 24" oil on stretched canvas
Please contact me if interested

This is another piece from our trip to Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah.  Owachomo Bridge is the 3rd bridge while driving through the park (the road heads you in one direction.)  This was the easiest bridge to reach, just a short walk from the parking lot.  Owachomo means "rock mound" in Hopi.

As I've done for several of my recent large pieces, I started this w/ a value study in sketch and wash pencil.  

I then did a value study in oil using transparent oxide red w/ a little ultramarine blue for the darkest shadows.  I used these 2 studies, and several photos, for the final painting.  The hardest part of the final piece was the foreground.  In my studies, I just roughed this area in very loosely.  I should have paid a little more attention, as the foreground area is about 9" x 18", bigger than many of my whole paintings.
This is the start of the trail.  It may look like it goes off the edge, but it's really a gentle, short walk.

My painting is from the bottom, far-side of this bridge.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spring Pansies

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

Pansies are one flower that thrives in Colorado in the spring.  They survive the freezing nights, the unwanted snow,  and look happy and cheerful no matter the weather.  Another great thing about spring is that my plein air group, Garden Artists, starts up again.  Yesterday we painted at Summerland Gardens. It was a beautiful, sunny April morning.  These pansies, in their little plastic containers, caught my eye.  I loved how the shadows on the gravel complemented the flowers.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Piedra River

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

This is the third plein air piece I did on the same Durango morning.  I moved to a spot on the Piedra River where I had little bits of occasional sun, but mostly cool and cloudy.  When the light changes, the decision has to be made to make the piece a little sunnier, or a little cloudier.  It's easy to put in both, but the light won't read correctly. This painting was done from about 9 - 10 am.  By 10:15 we had loaded up the car, were headed out, and it started to snow.  That's April weather for you!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Barn Study

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

This is the second plein air piece I did while my husband and son were off looking for wild turkeys.  I see now that the perspective on the roof is a bit off, I think I'll go back and fix that.  What I realize is that wild turkeys have better eye sight than I do.  According to the internet,  a wild turkey can see 300 yards, or the length of 3 football fields.  I know that I was not able to see all the barn details from across the field. I guess I don't have turkey eyes!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Yellow Jacket Barn

6" x 6" oil on panel

We just got back from a trip to Durango, Co. to visit our son.  Every time we've driven down there, I've looked at this barn and thought it would make a great painting.  This trip I had the opportunity!

My husband and son decided they were going to learn about wild turkeys.  So, after studying wild turkeys on the internet, they decided to go looking for them.  Turkeys come out at sunrise, so we were up before the crack of dawn and driving away!  Little did I know that the "spot" was right by this barn, near the town of Yellow Jacket.  So, while they were off in the woods, I set up across a field from this barn.  Yellow Jacket is not really a town, it's one empty building, but, there is a town sign by the side of the road.  I hope to do a large piece from this study.

While much of the rest of the country is having a warm spring, it was a very cool morning.  I was out here about 7 and it was barely 40.  I was painting in my winter jacket and hat.

To get to Durango, you have to drive over Wolf Creek Pass.  Thought I'd include pictures of the pass this week!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Canyonland Values

16" x 20" oil on stretched canvas
Please contact me if interested

This is another piece from Canyonlands National Park, Utah.  I would say that we've gotten our money's worth out of our annual National Park Pass.  My husband has used it 11 times; I've been to 7 parks this year.

I've really been working to be aware of values.   It's so easy to just darken the darks, and lighten the lights.  I used to tell my students that painting was like doing the laundry (darks and lights.)  But, then I realized that most middle school students didn't do their own laundry, so that didn't mean much to them.  Anyway, w/in the darks, there are lots of different colors in the same value range.  The same is true of the lights.  In this piece, I wanted the center of interest and focal point to be the canyon on the right, but I worked the most on the shadow values in the front.

The southwest is filled with pictographs and petroglyphs.  This wall of petroglyphs is Newspaper Rock, on the south side of the Park.

If you click on this picture you can read about the ancient rocks.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Kachina Bridge

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

This is another painting from Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah.

It was  about a 2 mile trail down to the bottom of the canyon.  Part of it was down these stairs built into the side of the cliff.  I was unable to make it down the Sipapu Bridge Trail.  It was not much longer, but much more challenging.  I made it along the trail that was precariously on the side of the cliff w/ no guard rails; I made it down the metallic stair case that was bolted into the side of the cliff; but, when it came to climbing down a two story ladder made of tree trunks, my fear of heights took over.  Yes, it was bolted into the cliff, but I couldn't get down it.  I've climbed up a 2 story ladder at Mesa Verde; but there was something about stepping over and down that held me back.  So, we hiked the other 2 trails instead.

To give some perspective to the size of these bridges, here I am!  Looking back at this photo I see I made the foreground a little more red/orange.  Maybe I'll warm it up a bit.