Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dec. 1st, World Aids Day

Monday, December 1st, is World Aids Day and to further awareness here is a postcard from the World Aids Campaign organization. One can also do a search and find a list of organizations that are fighting this devastating disease.

On Painting . . .

I have been painting in oils today but don't have anything to show for it. I don't consider days like this a loss at all. By the time this painting is finished, the one thing I will have learned is how many color mixtures there are for grass and foliage from the color palette I'm using. I love the creating, watching the strokes as slowly the subject emerges. Trying to impart excitement, impact, or the soft visual quality that entices. I'm trying to find my painting "voice" so today was practicing the scales with notes of green.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Peace Rose, Watercolor

Instead of adding a new post I decided to update yesterday's post with additional photos after the corrections were made. A bit more definition/shape was added to the petals in the third row from the bottom and in a couple of other areas. I personally like it better now and hope you do too!. For those of you that commented and didn't want me to touch the painting, I hope you find the minor tweaks an improvement. I do appreciate your comments/feedback and hope you keep them coming, but sometimes one just has to go with one's own gut feeling.

Peace Rose

6" x 6"
Paper size 10" x 10"
Fabriano Aristico Soft Press

Happily I got to paint today in between household tasks. Before this painting is signed I will let it sit awhile to get a fresh view. I think some petals on the viewer's right, third row up from the bottom, maybe need a little more separation/delineation.

Hope Your Thanksgiving is Bountiful

Wishing you and yours a most blessed Thanksgiving.

Photo of the north pasture taken in November, 2005. The bottom of the photo was cropped because it had the date on it in large numbers.

Peace Rose Update

This photo is showing some of the underpainting done last night. The palette so far consists of New Gamboge, Rhondonite Genuine, Quin. Pink, Rose Madder, Perm. Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Turquoise, Cascade Green, Cobalt Blue

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Peace Rose, The Beginning

I loosely sketched a Peace Rose on a 10" x 10" piece of Fabriano soft press paper. I taped the edges in two inches on each side for the area that will be covered by a mat. The sketch is so light but hope you can see enough of it to tell it is there. I chose this size painting specifically as I have a square gold frame that I have been wanting to use.

Next, I went directly to the center of the rose and a couple of other areas, placing Quinacradone Gold. These areas will be the darkest area of the rose. Because the rose is set in a grassy setting, I used Yellow Ochre as an underpainting around the rose.

The rose bush was a gift from friends in Wyoming and I hope it survives the winter. I took a photo of the rose in September, this year and am using it for reference. In the photo, the grass is rather dull and the day was a bit overcast so no strong shadows.

To the right of the painting in the bottom photo you can see the edges of two porcelain trays (there is third large porcelain tray that isn't shown.) They are perfect for mixing washing and clean up beautifully. One tip I learned from Tim Tyler is to write the name of the color on the rim so I know exactly which color I'm using. Then when I'm finished painting. The paint simply washes off. I purchased these trays at Crate and Barrel, on-line, for a very reasonable price and has been one of the best purchases I've made.

Depending on how much available time I have inbetween shopping and Thanksgiving preparations, I hope to have more steps to post.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Trellis Roses, Watercolor Update

Here is an update. I added more foliage, darkened some of the leaves and darkened a couple of areas in the flowers.

There is both a cropped and uncropped version. As you can see, the painting has been signed yet I hope you will feel free to give feedback.

Trellis Roses, Watercolor

Trellis Roses
6 1/4" x 7 3/4" on 1/8 sheet
Fabriano Aristico Soft Press Paper

Painted from a photo I took of the roses that grow by the carport. I have to admit that I'm pretty happy with most of this painting simply because it shows the practice with shapes and values has helped. I may go back in and darken the interior of the larger top rose near the yellow stamens (I think that is what they would be called).

Posted also is a cropped version of the painting with the second rosebud removed. Which version do you prefer? My person preference is the cropped version.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Turkey, Watercolor Fun

6 1/2" x 8"
Fabriano Soft Press Paper

Joined in the fun at Paint Friends for the November Paint-A-Long. The turkey was really homely but it is even more so in the watercolor study. The shape of the bird isn't even correct but it was fun painting it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Strawberries, Watercolor


7 1/2" x 5 1/2"
Fabriano Aristico Soft Press Paper

Comment Moderation & Another WC Study of Reds

I'm a big fan of comments and appreciate the feedback from all those that comment. From this morning on though, I will be monitoring comments before they appear on the blog. Comments that appear to be advertising will not be allowed. No spamming. That's my rant for the day.

Now on to the main subject which is the beginning of another watercolor study of reds. The image below is of the stem part of the strawberry. This has been painted wet on dry paper which gives a little more control. Where this ends up is anyone's guess. I am using a reference photo of locally grown strawberries that I took earlier this year.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Strawberries Take 2 (revised version)

After comments at Paint Friends, to add some darker values under a couple of the berries and glaze some olive green color in the upper portion, I went even further. I added cobalt blue, magentas, greens and more reds and did some negative painting. The berries are not as well defined but I like the leaf areas better and the ground work. What do you think? Do you prefer the original version or the reworked version? Don't be shy about commenting. *smile*

Playing with Red, Strawberries

It is always a challenge playing with reds as I still didn't achive the value changes or leave enough light on the berries. I also realized there isn't much breathing room around the berries and added too many. I just love painting practice pieces. Painted on an 1/8 sheet Fabriano paper cropped to 9" x 7".

Monday, November 17, 2008

Playing with Reds and Roses in Watercolor

Today was play day in a less structured way (no drawing or pre-planning). Using watercolor, different red paints were labeled at the top of the watercolor paper and a square of each color painted. I found though that I pretty much stuck with certain colors: Deep Scarlet, Anthraquinoid Red, Quin. Red, Permanent Red and Scarlet Lake with maybe swish or two of the other reds. The greens: Undersea Green, Pthalo Green, Sap Green. The blues: Cobalt blue or Cerulean. The yellow used was New Gamboge.

The studies were painted below the paint squares and were done to study the gradation of values, the tones of red and simply to get the look of a rose. I love their soft, velvety texture, their scent, their shapes and the soft transitions from dark to lighter reds. Capturing those attributes with paint is still eluding me, at least so far but what a pleasure to try.

Getting values in reds takes some doing. For lighter areas, used less paint, more water or left the white; for darker areas, I used the complement of red, green. You can see what I mean about the values in the grayscale of the studies I did today.

From the Painting Archives, "Hand Cream"

Hand Cream

Since I haven't painted in a couple of days, with minimal progress on the kids' painting, I thought I would share this still life that was painted on unstretched canvas in 2006. It was painted from a setup in my studio and later mounted on a panel.

I am also happy to say that my sister came home from the hospital yesterday afternoon. She looks ever to much better and feels better too.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Swingin' WIP Progress

Swinging' WIP
16" x 20"
Oil on Canvas

Yesterday was great because I had some time to paint. This photo was taken under warm/cool fluorescent lights and is showing a bit of glare plus the grass is a bit more green. There probably won't be time today to work on this as we took my sister to the ER last night and then was transported to a Tulsa hospital that specializes in heart problems. She was stablized and feeling a bit better when I came home in the wee hours of the morning.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Here is a link to a quick graphite sketch of a male nude placed on my website as nudity may offend some people. This way gives one an option to click or not.

Not much painting or sketching done these last few days after a bout with a stomach virus. In a few minutes though, I am going to put some paint to a piece of watercolor paper just to get past the "white paper, what do I do syndrome."

I have spent some time reading Artsy Fartsy News (what a name lol) published by Robert Burridge. He always has interesting reading. Then, I visited Italy via Sandy Maudlin's blog. I just love her paintings. They are always so well designed and painted. I also watched a bit of video by oil painter David Darrow.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Onions Anyone

Onions Anyone
6 1/2" x 9"
Fabriano Aristico Watercolor Paper

I belong to an online art group known as Painting Friends and each month a member gives a demo and we try to learn the techniques shown in the demo. This painting of onions was for the month of October and I'm late painting it. I had never painted an onion before and even though I'm posting this painting, I will look at it again and decide if a few changes need to be made such as more definition or contrasts, sharper or more diffused edges. The watercolor is painted on a 7 1/2" x 11" piece of watercolor paper but I am going to crop it to 6 1/2" x 9" when matted.

Impressionism Exhibit in Oklahoma City, etc.

According to the Tulsa World newspaper, an exhibition of Impressionism from The Phillips Collection will be on display at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art through January 18, 2009. Childe Hassam, Maurice Prendergast and John Henry Twatchman are a part of The Phillips Collection. What a wonderful experience it would be to see these in real life. A newly discovered painting by Gifford Beal (1897-1956), On the Hudson at Newburgh, is part of the Collection and can be viewed online at:

While browsing the Arts section of the Tulsa paper this morning I read about the Art Smart Club. A new internet based venture, designed to help children develop their creativity. One of the things I like were the downloadable drawings that can be colored or painted. One of their goals is to help work out the steps needed to accomplish goals. Pretty cool, yes?

The Signs of Aging: having a doctor's appointment, getting dressed, fill up the car with gas, check the appointment to be sure you are on time, realize the appointment isn't until tomorrow. I'm still laughing!

Monday, November 03, 2008

In The Mood to Organize

I must be in the mood for Fall Cleaning. Last night and today was spent cleaning up my website, adding keywords and other attributes like "Comments" beneath each painting. I was trying to setup my website so it could be read by an RSS feeder but after spending hours reading, typing and failure after failure, I finally called my ISP to see if it could be done. The short answer was "No", not using Image Cafe, which is what I used to set up the website. I have FrontPage so may set up a website using it to see if it can be done that way. But, only when I have some spare time.

The other house cleaning has been in listing my artwork with pertinent information in a database. I am listing a few paintings at a time as it is time consuming too.

If only I had a magic Genie that would clean up my studio. It needs to be sorted, rearranged so there is space to paint and draw. I am such a clutterbug and like to have whatever I need at the moment, close at hand. The computer in front, coffee pot on the left, watercolor table on the right and behind me, sits the oils easel and table. Every wall has storage/chests, shelves, and cabinets which contain still life objects, paper, adhesives, sprays, videos, cds, books, etc., etc. So every surface is covered with whatever is needed for that task. And no, I'm not posting photos as I don't want to shock anyone ha ha.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Fall Foliage Photos

These photos were taken before class yesterday morning at Tim's place. The first set shows an amazingly beautiful canopy of Fall foliage as I knelt beneath this tree and looked up. These photos don't do justice to the light filtering through the leaves, creating a beautiful glow.

The next set of photos were taken for reference material to see the shapes and colors of the leaves. I like the composition especially in the first photo

This set of photo is a wonderful example of 1-point perspective. I wish I had taken better photos with slightly different viewpoints.
Then in class I took a photo of the teapot thinking I would bring the class painting home to finish it. Well, I forgot the painting but still, isn't that a great looking teapot. I began a new still life study using the pot and oddment in the second photo. Aren't the reflections in the glass wonderful. Those reflections aren't as noticeable when looking at the still life set up in real life. I was meeting a client for coffee when I left and forgot to take a photo of the new class study. The nuances of color in the vase are absolutely beautiful, reds which can be seen in the photo, and the greens, ranging from a frosty/hazy green to a deeper richer green.