Friday, October 28, 2011

I Think It's Done....

I've been working on this for three days, about two hours each on Tuesday and Wednesday in class.  Then I brought it home and sat it on my easel and studied it for a day.  Today I tweaked the trees.  I hadn't made the trunks light enough and they melted into the background.

This is my first finished painting from painting my way through Kevin MacPhearson's book.  MacPhearson's work is called "Full Moon Rising".  I had a great time working on this, and learned a lot about trying to paint trees.  I used a lot of different brushes to get different effects, which was a first for me.  I used every side of the brushes too, not just the flat side.  And I used the smallest brush ever for the tree limbs.  Just couldn't make those little brush strokes any other way.

I also practiced graying colors, and learned how to mix some colors that were new to me.  So now I'm ready for my next attempt at his book.  It will be another landscape.

12 inch X 16 inch oil on stretched canvas

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

W.I.P. Landscape - First color pass

Click on painting to view larger.
12 X 16 inch oil on stretched canvas

Not too good a photo...the colors aren't true.  I took lots of shots, but this is about the best one.

This is my first application of color to the underpainting I posted last week.  I want to let this layer dry before I go in and work on the trees on the right.  I think I may be doing a lot of wiping off!  Trees are a lot harder than apples and pots!  LOL.

Mexican Sage 


Also, for your viewing pleasure,  I'm posting picture of some plants that survived our drought thanks to my husband.   We moved into our house with new landscaping and within one week our neighborhood went to stage 4 water restrictions, meaning hand watering only, between 6 to 9 p.m.   My husband stood outside in 100 degree heat every day for two months, watering our new trees and shrubs.   We didn't loose any trees, but a few shrubs didn't make it.  The majority survived, though and I'm thrilled that after our recent rains they are blooming their little heads off!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I had the best weekend!

"Mountain Skies"  8 inch X 8 inch oil on canvas panel
I painted this from a photo of our trip to Wyoming.   I need to practice trees some more.

My husband and I drove to Fredericksburg on Sunday, which is about an hour from San Antonio, a nice Sunday drive.  When I was growing up, folks would take Sunday drives, but I don't think anyone does that much anymore.  The daily commute for my family members gives most of them all the driving they want to do every week.  But since I've retired, I don't have to commute any more, so I enjoy driving places with my husband.

Fredericksburg is an old German settlement, with lots of old buildings that have been restored and turned into cute shops and galleries.  I especially wanted to visit the Good Art Company gallery, because Ruth Andre had blogged that she had some paintings accepted there.  I've seen her work online, but was glad to have the chance to see some of them in person.  She paints beautiful horses!

Also in the gallery were paintings by Nancy Medina.   I was delighted to see her beautiful florals in person.   I've never met either artist, but follow both online, so I had this feeling of connection to the art and artists.

We also visited a gallery called Insight Gallery.  It was a thrill to see works by Scot Burdick.  He has written about and has a youtube video on "The Banishment of Beauty", the clash between representational art and abstract art.  I remember watching his video several years ago, so I was excited to see some of his paintings.

Works by Quang Ho and Scot Christensen are being featured by Insight Gallery for the month of October.  Quang's works are vivid and exciting.  However, the highlight of my day was an enormous landscape by Scot Christensen.  (Click on the link and then click on Gallery to see a slide show of some of his paintings.) He paints in wonderful muted colors with beautiful strong brushstrokes.   I could have looked at that painting all day.

I have only become aware of Christensen within the past month, and I wonder how could I not have known?  I feel sort of the same way as when I learn a new word, and then I find out everyone else has been using that word all along.  Girl, he's famous!  I plead ignorance.

The painting was offered at $52,000.  My husband asked me how he could charge so much for his paintings.  My answer was that his talent is that rare.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Quick Flower Sketch

I painted this using a canvas toned with dark green.  It was actually one that I'd painted over about a month ago and today I thought I'd use it.   I've seen other paintings where the artist used a dark, or even black, toned canvas, and I liked the effect.   I like this much better than my original painting.

I used a number 8 bright brush and had fun.  The best part is that I overcame my tendency to be very tight and detailed and blend-y.

7 inch X 9 inch oil on canvas panel

Friday, October 7, 2011

Landscape Underpainting

This is the underpainting for a landscape that I started in my weekly class.  Our instructor has us use transparent oil color to sketch in our study and values.

I watched the movie "Julie and Julia" last week.  Its about a young woman who decides to cook all of the recipes in Julia Child's cook book in one year.  It gave me the notion that I want to paint my way through a book.    I have Kevin MacPherson's book, "Fill your Oil Paintings with Light & Color".  He gives steps for how he first blocks in his paintings and then discusses his finished paintings.

Julie Ford Oliver has been painting and posting a series that she calls Painting the Masters.  She stated that she has learned a lot from studying and copying the works of various artists.

That's what I hope to gain by copying some of MacPherson's works.  So this is my first attempt to paint from his book.  His painting is called "Full Moon Rising".

12 inch X 16 inch oil on stretched canvas

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Two and a Half Plums

This has nothing to do with Charlie Sheen's former show.  I just like the cadence of the title.

I've been trying to figure out what about my own paintings make me unhappy, and I believe I've figured it out.  Some of them of course are just flat ugly, or as my daughters used to say, YOU-gly.   But apart from that.  I have been trying to change my style of painting to a looser one.

When I first started painting, I wanted my painting to look exactly like the set up.  If it looked smooth and realistic, I was happy.  Now I'd like to paint with a looser style and "see" more colors.  I'm not able to achieve that and so when I've finished a painting, it might not be ugly, but I'm not happy with it.  That's what I keep whining about.   Please just bear with me!

8 inch X 8 inch oil on canvas panel

Monday, October 3, 2011

Vase and Oranges

This little study was an experiment.  I saw a challenge on the DPW website to paint a color painting of a black and white photo.  There was a black and white photo in one of my art books, so I thought I'd try to paint it in color.

The background color is a big mistake.  I premixed colors and I thought they looked good on the palette, but I don't like them in the painting.

Claudia Hammer had a funny post of a painting she wasn't happy with.   She said that people would point and laugh at it.   Claudia is a terrific artist, so her idea of a failure is at a lot higher level than mine.  So please, no pointing and laughing.  If you must snicker, please cover your mouth.

8 inch X 8 inch oil on canvas panel