This Friday, November 22nd, 5-9, is the Opening of the Annual G44 Gallery Holiday Show. If you live in the Springs, I hope that you'll stop by for the Opening or any time until Christmas. There are 70 artists and artisans participating in the exhibit this year!
G44 Gallery 1785 S. 8th Street, Colorado Springs, 80905
Over the last 2 years I've had the fun of being the artist behind MegaFood Wellness Gummies.
I get excited when I'm in Sprouts and see my "paintings" on the shelves!
The young Vitamin manager recognizes me...he is helpful, knowledgeable, and very friendly.
Anyway, I received a random email asking me if I'd like to paint vitamin labels. Strange emails do go around, so I was a little skeptical. However, I googled the design company, and looked at all of the labels that they've created. They were/are definitely a real company! They told me that they'd seen some Impressionistic style blueberry paintings online that I'd done awhile back. They were looking for Impressionistic style fruit. One never knows what happens to things posted online.
Every 6 months or so they've contacted me again. I'm thrilled that the gummies are doing so well!
My husband and I take the men's, women's and melatonin.
I think that I've done 11 different "fruits". There are 9 completed and 4 more on the way.
The first step is an email asking me to sketch some "whatever" the fruit at that point is.
I email photos of my sketches back to them and wait to hear which ones work for the labels.
Then, I paint the one, two or three that MegaFood likes on canvas painted the color that
the label will become.
Once the paintings are approved I Fedex them off to the design company.
I then wait for the labels to appear! Usually I see them first on Instagram!
I consider myself a painter, not an illustrator. But, once the design company explained what and how they wanted these done, I've really had fun painting something a little bit different.
By Friday afternoon the wind was bad! We looked for a location with a wind block and settled on the wall of an antique store. I chose this old baby carriage. During the afternoon, as the sun kept getting lower behind the building, I moved the carriage further and further away so I would still have the strong shadow to paint.
As the wind kept up, my palette had leaves in it, the sun disappeared, and I was gritty and dusty. However, I loved the painting. I thought of the many babies that had been pushed in this buggy; how their mothers had held and loved them just as I had pushed, held and loved my babies.
I think that love shows in a painting (even one with dirt and dust in it.) Yeah! I won Best of Show!
Day 3 of the Paint The Town Plein Air Event in Florence, CO had a rule: paint within 6 blocks of the center of town. Day 3 for me was Friday of last week, the 5th day of the event. Even early, the day was overcast and windy. I drove around the designated area for about 45 minutes looking for something that jumped out and called "paint me, paint me!" Finally, my friend Dottie Lirette and I parked by the old Depot and decided we would paint something right there. Sometimes, that's easier.
I had painted a series of alley doors in a plein air event in Walsenburg, CO in May, so knew that I could make this door work. I set up across a small, dried out creek and painted away. After just a short time I had to create a wind block. I turned my car around, opened the back hood, and used that as a wind break. Even still, I often had to hold on to my easel. It was really windy!
I moved some of the architectural features around to include them in the painting. Artistic license is great. When setting up a still life, you move the objects around until you create what you want. The same can be done in a plein air piece. You take what's in front of you and make it work compositonally.
On day 2 afternoon of the Paint The Town Plein Air Event in Florence, CO I painted the hay bales that I'd found on day 1 but couldn't paint due to the wind. I hoped that the bales hadn't yet been loaded and hauled away. I was in luck! And hoped that the wind wouldn't pick up again! More luck!
The ground was too dry and hard to push my shade umbrella in so I tied it around a conveniently located sign post. One has to make due!
I left the sky until last and then decided to leave it yellow (the color I had toned the canvas.) I like that it's just a bit unexpected and how it pulls out the colors of the golden fields.
Last week I painted in the "Paint The Town" Plein Air Event in Florence, CO. Florence is about 35 miles south of Colorado Springs. It is most known for its' antique stores and multiple prisons: both state and federal (Super Max serial killers live their lives out here.)
Anyway, in my life it is also where I paint in the annual event. The week was very windy and made painting challenging. My painting from Day 1 was my least favorite of the 5 I painted in my 3 days down there. Artists submit 4 framed pieces at the end of the week. Day 1 barn didn't make the cut, and I have since wiped it out. Day 1 afternoon was too windy to paint.
Day 2 I was drawn to the light and angles of the Perlite Factory (the small, white granules found in gardening soil). I set up on the edge of the parking lot and painted away. You can see that by the time I finished the painting there were no longer any window shadows on the building walls. I do a sketch before I start painting and stick to the darks and lights of the sketch.
I was pretty pleased with how the windows turned out. I lightened the shadows on the window panes on the right just a bit to show the rusted metal and called it done!
Glen Eyrie is the former home of William Palmer, one of the founders of Colorado Springs. Like many big, old, beautiful homes around the country, it is now no longer a home. In this case it is a retreat center. My plein air group paints there almost every year. This building was a carriage house, now it's a book store and location of a group meeting room.
I was drawn to the strong shadows and fun reflection in the window. As well as the fact that there was shade to stand in while I painted! Always a plus!
The 3rd day of the South Park Plein Air Arts Celebration is a "free" day, ie: you can paint any where in Park County. I wanted to paint the South Platte River from an over look. But, I had to peak through the trees. This kept me moving back and forth in front of my easel. The painting sold during the opening Friday evening.
Day 2 of the South Park Plein Air Arts Celebration was another great day! We painted at DM Ranch. Here is information from their site:
"The DM Ranch contains three miles of the South Fork of the South Platte River and associated riparian corridor, a globally rare plant community, and large meadows that support livestock and hay crops. A historic survey revealed that 17 structures on the property qualify for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The ranch is now available for public fly-fishing, by reservation only, atSouth Park Fly Fishers (DM Ranch).
Conservation easements held by Colorado Open Lands encompass 612 acres of open space comprised of montane grasslands, willow shrubs, and mixed forest that support a rich diversity of wildlife, including big game and migratory water birds.
Funding for the conservation easement was provided by Great Outdoors Colorado, NAWCA, the Colorado Wetlands Initiative Program, and the Park County Land and Water Trust Fund."
My first painting was along the South Platte River. I loved the bends and curves of the blue against the willows.
(I might have to re-photo this one..the colors are just a bit too light.)
Earlier this month I participated in the annual South Park Plein Air Arts Celebration in Fairplay, CO. I love this celebration and go every year. It's a 4 day event where artists paint at ranches and different locations that the committee arranges throughout Park County. Or, you can paint anywhere nearby. We have mountain property in South Park. So, for me, I love seeing local ranches and close by locations that I don't know about.
The first day of the event we painting at Bristlecone View Ranch. We painted there several years ago, so I knew that I wanted to paint one of the old bristlecone pines.
There are three closely related species of bristlecone pines one of which is the:
All three species are long-lived and highly resilient to harsh weather and bad soils, (which definitely describes South Park!) The oldest bristlecone is more than 5,000 years old making it the oldest known individual of any species.
(more from wikipedia:) "Bristlecone pines grow in isolated groves just below the tree line, between 5,600 and 11,200 ft (Fairplay elevation is 9,000 feet) elevation on dolomitic soils. The trees grow in soils that are shallow lithosols, usually derived from dolomite and sometimes limestone, and occasionally sandstone or quartzite soils. Dolomitic soils are alkaline, high in calcium and magnesium, and low in phosphorus. Those factors tend to exclude other plant species, allowing bristlecones to thrive. Because of cold temperatures, dry soils, high winds, and short growing seasons,(again, great description of Fairplay) the trees grow very slowly. Even the tree's needles, which grow in bunches of five, can remain on the tree for forty years, which gives the tree's terminal branches the unique appearance of a long bottle brush."
I love Costco. I really do. But, sometimes we end up with way too many fruits and vegetables. We try to eat them all and consequently feel pretty healthy. But, sometimes it's hard to eat all of them. It's only just the two of us. So, when you have too many lemons, you usually make lemonade. Or, in my case, you paint lemons!
I painted lemons for several days. for this piece I used cool, purple (the complement of yellow) for the shadows. In a plein air painting you usually have warm light/cool shadows. With a still life, it depends on what light bulbs you use when setting up your still life. Or what kind of natural light you have coming in from your windows.
It's wonderful to be outside in the summer. I love the warmth, the light, the smells. We have lots of flowers in our backyard so the smells are fragrant. One of our flowers is the hollyhock. We have both white and pink. I think many people love hollyhocks because we are reminded of our youth, our parents and grandparents gardens. For the gardener hollyhocks add a lot to a garden as they can grow up to 9 feet. This adds a great vertical element to a yard.
However, hollyhocks are a short lived perennial. They only live 2 or 3 seasons. But, because they reseed themselves usually you will have hollyhocks every year. The south side of our yard didn't get many hollyhocks this year. I'm not sure why they didn't reseed. Next spring, just after our last frost I'll throw out some seeds from this years plants, and maybe add some fresh top soil.
I love fresh, ripe, juicy pineapples. Cutting them up is rather messy, but so worth it!
All families have "stories", tales and legends, exaggerations that have become truth over the generations. One of my family ancestors is (was) Steven Dole. Not the one who headed to Hawaii and raised pineapples, but the cousin/brother who stayed behind. Oh well, I still like pineapples; even Dole pineapples from Hawaii!!
I have to admit that these geraniums are from Costco. The last few years they really have had wonderful geraniums. We have several pots of them on the corner of our deck. Our deck is a great place to paint all afternoon as it's covered. I don't need to worry about the sun, the wind, ants, and all of the other fun plein air situations!
Oil 12" x 9"
On Hold, Please contact me if interested
This door also was in a Walsenburg, CO alley. I loved how you could see decades of wall layers. The cracking, falling apart surface gives you a glimpse of what the building looked like to several different owners of the past. And, perhaps a future owner will add their layer.
Oil 12" x 9"
On Hold, Please contact me if interested
This painting was juried into the recent Sunny Vista Living Center Annual Show here in Colorado Springs. It was another fun one from a spring trip to Walsenburg, CO where I painted in and photoed the Main Street alleys. Alleys seem to be a bit of the old and new, the lost and found, the here and now.
This painting was done a few weeks ago when the last of the lilacs were still blooming. Our first home had a long row of lilacs across the entire length of the backyard. Lilacs are such a welcoming bush. They seem to say "spring is here at last!!" At least here in Colorado our winters, while very sunny, are a bit long. Coloradoans love spring!
While the color of the lilacs in the painting in the photo below is off a bit, it shows the painting before the highlights have been added.
My plein air groups (I am in 2) recently painted at a peony farm in Pueblo, about an hour south of the Springs. La Resolana Farm is 100 years old. The peonies were originally planted to be used on the graves of WWI soldiers. The farm is now acres of peonies and wild iris. It is so beautiful when all are in bloom.
This is the bouquet that I brought home from the farm. And the set up in my studio the day after I finished painting (the bud had started to open.) Flowers have a mind of their own! You have to
12" x 9"
On Hold, Please contact me if interested
This is another alley painting from my recent day painting in Walsenburg, CO. I wondered if at one time this building was a beauty parlor. The colors seem like that would be a good old fashioned beauty parlor! I could see all of the women sitting under hair dryers!