Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I'm packing for vacation!

I really thought I'd get to paint today, but I am doing running around trying to get packed.  My husband and I are leaving for two weeks vacation in the morning.  We'll be visiting Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone Park, among other places.  I won't be painting, but I'm taking a sketchbook.

Our temperature hit 110 degrees this week.  The weather in Yellowstone show highs around 60 and lows below freezing at night.  I'll be doing some serious layering!

I'm taking my I-Pad,  so I may get a little time to visit your blogs.  Keep painting!  See you in two weeks!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Vase and Pears

8 inch X 8 inch oil on canvas panel

This little vase was given to me one year for Christmas by one of my daughters.  Somewhere along the way the lid got broken, but I've saved the vase for sentimental reasons.

I experimented today with my arrangement.   I moved my palette to the end of my desk so that I had to stand about six feet from the easel while mixing paint.  It really forced me to stand back and look at the painting from a distance as I was working on it.  I can't say it made the painting any better, but it was good for me to move away after every few strokes.  I really concentrated less on small details and more on the overall painting.

My husband and I went last weekend to an Art Fair in a small town nearby, and I had a really fun time talking to the artists who were exhibiting.  There were three whose works I really admired, and I later learned that all three of them at one time were students of my current instructor!   Is that cool, or what?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Stacked Mugs II

8 inch X 8 inch oil on canvas panel

Sometime I have the hardest time getting started.  So I toned some new panels with burnt sienna.  Then I looked at some of my old painting efforts.  I decided that I would work on an anemic little painting that I did here.   I moved the horizon line and added a vertical panel.  I also added some color.  I think this is a better composition.

I read lots of other people's blogs.  Yesterday I read an art hint that really intrigued me.  I'd love to give an attribution, but I can't remember where I read it or on whose blog!  If I find it again, I'll let you know.

Anyway, she said that too many people don't stand back from the painting and look at it from a distance.  She said she puts her palette about six feet away from her easel, which forces her to step back constantly and look at the painting from a distance.  Tomorrow I'm going to try that.  I'll let you know what I think after I've tried it.

Today my husband and I are going to Helotes TX  to an Art Fair.  Thank goodness it's supposed to be indoors.  I hope it's air conditioned.   Our temperatures are going to over 100 again today.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sliced limes and cocktail

I am still on a quest to alter my painting style.  I'm trying to use more colors.  By that I don't mean more colors on my palette, but trying to see more colors in the objects I am painting.  I used a lot of alizarin crimson in this painting for the darks and shadows.  In the past I would have used ultramarine blue and burnt umber to make a dark.  I like the tint of red that the alizarin gives to the darks.

(This is a fake cocktail.  It's colored water.  But that doesn't sound as good in a title!)  Anyway, there's a chilled bottle of Riesling wine in the fridge, and my hubby just called that he's on his way home.  Have a good weekend!

8 inch by 8 inch oil on canvas panel

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Feel Better Now

I gave up that big brush and went back to my favorite filbert.  I also tried to suggest rather than be so literal..  Some of the artists whose work I really admire paint in that style.

Kathryn Townsend paints beautiful paintings that I just love.   See an example of her lovely flowers on her blog here.   I would love to  be able to produce those gorgeous subtle colors.

Sally Rosenbaum is another artist whose work I can look at forever.  She paints the most gorgeous scenes of women reading or drinking wine usually in a garden scene.  She has published a small book of some of her works, which I bought and have just about worn the covers off.  See her beautiful work here.

8 inch X 8 inch oil on canvas panel

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Paint Like You're Rich!

Paint like you're rich!  That's what my painting instructor told our class this week.  She was urging us to use more paint.  So today I squeezed out double the usual amount I put on my palette,  grabbed that honking big brush and went to town.

I have to admit that I have been in a painting funk lately.  I hate everything I paint.  I told that to my husband, and he said, "you aren't going to cut off your ear, are you?"  No,  but I've wiped off lots of paintings that I never posted.   Luckily, I was born with the "happy gene", as my brother puts it.  I wake up happy every day.  But my painting lately doesn't make me happy.  I want to paint loose and lush.  My careful, tidy nature collides with that at every turn.

Jeff Mahoney has one of the best posts about the self-loathing I'm going through, called "what I've learned".   I had to go back over and re-read it today to kick myself into painting.  Basically he says that you have to learn to accept the negative thoughts and keep going.

So, I asked myself, is there anything I like about this painting?   Well, the background is nice.  And I like the water glass.  I guess it isn't a total loss.

The flower and leaves are a mess.  All the paint I was using turned into a kind of sludge that I was pushing around.   Argh!   Lucky for me, I'll wake up happy again in the morning!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The "My Seven Links Project"

There is a project spreading around the blog world that asks bloggers to list links to seven of their posts in different categories.  Then you are asked to tag five of your friends, who in turn list seven posts and tag five friends.  It's sort of like a chain letter, but you aren't threatened with dire luck if you don't pass it on! 

I was tagged for this project by Carrie Waller  from Carrie's Creations  You can click on her link to see the posts that she chose.  

Here are the categories: 

– Your most beautiful post
– Your most popular post
– Your most controversial post
– Your most helpful post
– A post whose success surprised you
– A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved
– The post that you are most proud of

Here are the posts that I've selected:

Your most beautiful post:  Poppies in Vase 

Beauty is subjective, of course.  I really loved the colors in this one.  I liked the vase and the dappled shadows. 

Your most popular post:  "I'm saying this one is finished" 

This post received the most comments of anything I've posted.  This was my attempt to paint in the style
 of David Leffel.  I have learned a lot by attempting to copy another artist.  

I love that feeling of "oh look how he did that!"  

Your most controversial post.  "Wine Bottles"

I got nothing for this category!  I just want people to come by, maybe enjoy the painting or the post.  
No controversy!  So I'll just post a little painting that I like.  I liked the point of view on these wine bottles. 

Your most helpful post:   "I Got a New Book Today" 

I don't think I've been painting long enough to be very helpful to other painters.  I'm still learning myself!  
However, in one post I recommended a beautiful book called Painting the Still Life.  
Several people liked that recommendation.  I wish I could paint like this! 

A post whose success surprised you: "Pot of Geraniums"

Being such a beginning painter, I'm pretty surprised every time I receive positive comments on my paintings!  
This was one of my first attempts at painting flowers. 

A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved: "Lemon Trio"

This little painting was one that didn't get a lot of comments, but I liked the effects in the cloth. 

 The post that you are most proud of:  "My First Painting - 2007" 

My very first post of my very first painting! I started this blog in June 2010.  
It took a lot of courage for me to take that first step. 
I was so nervous about posting my very amateurish paintings and probably not very interesting comments.  
But I'm so glad I did.  I have found the most wonderful world of generous and helpful artists.  
It has been one of the most fun things I've ever done! 

Now I'm passing this challenge along to the following five people.
(And it's hard to choose just five.)

       1. Kathy Cousart
       2. Linda Popple
       3. Karen Werner
       4. Lorraine Shirkus
       5. Claire Christinel.

Have fun!