Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Yellow Roses and Split Complementary

Yellow Roses and Vase
8x6 inches oil on canvas panel $140.SOLD

Artist Note
Continuing the color harmony
focus at the Guild this month.

This Split Complementary
 color harmony is an unusual
one for me to try.
For a start it is a red/violet
and not a blue violet.
The wheel below is by
The Color Wheel Company.

I made a reminder of my 
warm violet mixture.
and decided to use a tube color.
See the top one below.

Below is the palette
for the painting
The larger amount of the red/violet
reminds me to have more of it than
any other color. I cooled it 
with the black.
I used both the 
complement - yellow
and the grey to neutralize it.

Colors used are
Mauve  (Holbein)
Perm Yellow Light
Ivory Black 
Titanium White

One dominate color - meaning "more of"
is the key to all these harmony lessons.
I remember the wonderful artist/teacher,
Ovanes Berbarian, saying over 
and over again...
"ask yourself is it a 
A pink-y painting
a blue-y painting - a green-y painting!"
Then make sure that color dominates.

I used to think the accent color 
was the dominate color
because I would notice it first
Like the yellow rose here. 
It took Ovanes to 
put it in easy words 
for me to understand.
So this is a "mauve-y painting!"

Friday, August 19, 2016

Sunset On The Bay - Blue and Orange

Sunset On The Bay
6"x 6" oil on canvas panel $110.
Purchase HERE

Artist Note.
I am still following 
the Guild's class assignment
of different color harmonies
This one is the 
Complementary one
I chose blue and orange
for mine.
Titanium White was invaluable
with the orange mixture. 

I mixed a pile with just a wee
spot of orange and that became my white.
 Transp Brown Oxide 
( a deep burnt orange)
took down the orange into 
the rich tones before.adding blue
to darken 
I used a coral
orange which can bend 
to the pink tones with a blue gray.
I used both a warm and cool blue 

Nita Leland's book,
Confident Color
has been fabulous for helping 
me understand all the different
color harmonies. The good news is that
Nita has a brand new book out,

I am excited to see it because her 
other books have been invaluable 
with helping me in so many ways.

 Hover over the North Light
block under the book and 
you will find a discount code.
She also has lots of free info 
and color charts to download.
A fabulous site!

Monday, August 15, 2016

A Floral and An Analogous Demo

Three Flowers
6"x 6" oil on canvas panel  $110  SOLD

Artist Note.
At the Artists Guild this month we are 
working on doing the basics 
for getting back in touch 
with the different
sets of color harmonies. 
After a two month break
 the basics 
are a fun way to start the flow.

  We started off with 
Monochromatic of course. Easy - one color
in all the right values and chroma.

 the one below was a demo
for the Analogous harmony
the run of the wheel from
from orange,
 to yellow to yellow green.


Shown on my palette below are 
T White - Perm Yellow Lt - Orange - I Black
Pre-mixed before starting to colors 
shown below 
Mix black with white to 
the correct VALUE before
adding it to the other lighter colors. 

The yellow and black
make the greens
The orange and black make browns.
Gray mixed from black and white
added in small proportions to the
colors makes many subtle
 and bluish neutrals.

The top painting is done with
Yellow Light, Permanent Rose
(instead of the tube Orange)
It gave me a cool pink
as well as orange.
I also went into a touch of
Ultramarine Blue added to the Black
 to cool down the gray into a true
for warm/cool bounce.
The effect is brighter in
all the colors, but
 especially in the greens.

I know all of you reading this already
know all this stuff about color,
but when I was
painting for my show last month
I found lack of good color harmony
was the single main reason I
tossed and started again.
Have to remember
DOMINATE (more of)

Next - the Complements - a fav!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Watermelon and Cherries

Watermelon and Cherries
10"x10" oil on panel Gifted!

Artist Note.
This was started as a demo during the 
June workshop. 
I finished it a few weeks ago.
It is bright and cheerful and 
given as a wedding gift 
to a very dear friend's

I did it!
I hibernated from all distractions
for over a month.
No visiting blogs or writing them.
I found I went thru 
major blogging withdrawals.
I went off social media, too,
and immersed myself into
painting for my November show.
I emerged with seven 
completed paintings from
48"x39" to 9"x12"
several good starts.

I am now back in the classroom
and my busy, but stimulating
 life starts up again.
Can't wait to get around to
catch up on everyone's blogs.

Thanks for all the
encouraging comments on my last post.
You are great!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Lilac Bouquet

Lilac Bouquet
8 x 6 in oil on canvas panel $150.
Purchase HERE

Artist Note.
When I was cleaning my studio 
I found this painting I had started, 
and never finished due to the
 lilacs wilting pretty fast.
I enjoyed finishing it using 
mostly the palette knife
and fracturing tool
I really like the colors.

Thanks for all the supportive 
and understanding replies
to my previous post.
Lots of great insights and sharing.
It is reassuring to find
that a messy studio
appears to be part of the 
job description for a lot 
of creative types.

Finally it is all clean 
and organized and
I am ready to start a marathon
painting binge 
to get paintings done for my
solo show in November. 
Classes resume in August 
so I have to really immerse
 into my own world
 for this month.

I am going to stay off all
blogging and social media 
after this post. 
I will be back 
visiting you all at the 
end of the month.
 I know 
I will go through withdrawals...
and miss visiting all your blogs.

Maybe I will not be able to 
stick to it,
but have to try.
Enjoy your July - be safe!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Tea Time

Tea Time
7x5 oil on canvas SOLD

Artist Note

This one is one I painted
way back in 2011.
I liked it then and I like it now.

Still cleaning up my
home studio
I have had such a lot
to do and so
have not painted.

I miss it.
And so yesterday
I started a new one,
but it is slow going
between making
like...if I should
save an item or let it go.

Brushes for example...
Now why 
did I hang on to them?

Anyone else a
studio clutter-er ?
Make me feel better 
if you would share.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Peony Arrangement

Peony Arrangement
6x8in oil on canvas panel $140 SOLD

Artist Note.
The last of the peonies
until next year.
I watched a gardening program
about the peony losing favor in
British gardens and how
one woman is determined to
restore it popularity.
I hope she is successful.
They are so beautiful.

It is summer break and
yesterday I started to clean 
my home studio.
No easy task. I am messy.

My first job was rounding
up all the failures
to destroy with
black roof tar.
Nope - I am not allowed 
to burn trash in the city.

My dear hubby patiently wiped
tar on nearly 150 paintings today!
Three plus years worth of rejects.
I keep them thinking I can tweak
them to make them right,
but nothing is successful that way.

Why tar?
Non-removable that's why.
I actually have had people take
my paintings from the trash.

Now I disguise the trash bags 
with garden clippings

because if you look carefully
you can see the shapes 
of the canvases. 
We have professional 
trash hunters come round on
big trash day when the grappler
is due. 
Once bitten -  twice shy!

Happy Fathers Day 
to all the wonderful
men who take on that 
responsibility with 
love and pride.
Birth, adoption, 
and step fathers alike.
Our daughter is coming in
to be with her "Daddy" 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Watermelon Time.

Watermelon Time
8x6" oil on canvas panel SOLD

Artist Note.
This is a painting from my 
Farmers Market series I 
did back in
I still like it and as we 
are eating lots
of watermelons at 
the moment
I thought 
it was appropriate.

I finished the workshop 
last week. It was great
because all the artists
already had plenty of miles 
on their brushes 
and were eager to 
dive into a new technique.
Some stunning paintings 
were accomplished
- they took risks
and stepped out of 
their talented
comfort zones.

I thank them all for 
the trust and FUN!
I really enjoyed myself.

Sunday, June 5, 2016


6x8 in oil on canvas panel SOLD

Artist Note.
It has been a while since I posted.
End of semester - took a quick trip,
and lots of cleaning up to do. 
Also preparing for my workshop
which starts Tuesday. Again, lots to do.

I find it fun to prepare for 
 the workshops 
I provide all the different supports 
(six of them)
for the first day 
and we work like crazy
exploring each surface with the 
fracturing technique.
It is a good group of 
talented artists...
 all from different places.

The peonies are from a trip
to see my daughter over 
Memorial Day - she gets a gold star 
because back when she moved 
into this house
 she planted peonies just for me.

This was started plein air and 
completed in the studio. I
 painted early morning, 
and the cool sky really
was noticeable.

I find the
peonies are difficult to paint 
because it is too easy
to make them look like
 a cabbage rose. 
The peonies also droop with 
the weight  of the flower
and when standing like 
I do to paint, you tend to 
look down on them.

Not too bad if you squat down 
like I had to, to take this pic
just before we left.
(thanks heavens for yoga!)

I will look forward to getting 
back on track and catching up 
after the workshop.

Happy painting days!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Transparents in the Landscape

New Mexico Light
8x6" oil on Linen Panel $140. SOLD

Artist Note.
I belong to a group of
painters who issue a
Challenge to paint from
a photo of New Mexico

This is Challenge #10 for 2016
So beautiful and typical of NM.

At the Guild this month
we are learning the joys of using
a transparent color foundation
so I thought I would demo this
image to one of the classes.

Transparent colors used:
Indian Yellow
Alizarin Perm.
Ultramarine Blue.

Starting with very thin
coat of  IY
all over and
lifting off cleanly with rag and Gamsol
where I will place the
blue of the mountain
(don't want it green!)
Add a touch of Aliz
to the IY for the
warm ground, etc.
Aliz and UB for the purple
Adding UB and IY with hint
the purple for the Green.
Simple shapes of value and color
at this stage.

I moved the peak of the mountain
slightly to the side to avoid
having it directly
over the featured bush. 
All transparent colors for block in.

Starting to add opaques on sky, 
mountain and top area of ground

It could be considered finished
at this point but
 nearly all the
transparent areas 
have been covered and 
it is looking too heavy.
for my taste.

Not sure I liked seeing so much of the 
warmer colors behind the featured bush
so below you can see changes 
I made to that area area

 Choice to be made
I decide on this one.

Now to tackle the other
 I have some major issues 
with the front bushes 
competing with the focal area. 
Also all the transparent glow 
has been lost,
I decided to test what it 
would look like if I removed 
 the front bushes. 
I placed a piece of glass 
over and painted on it first.
Yep - I can see it opened it up.

Then I restored all the 
golden transparent color with 
IY and Aliz. making the foreground
rich and glowing...once again.
Not shown on the one above.

Next - 
I lowered the big bush at its base
and add another bush to balance 
it over on the left. I added a strip 
of light behind the 
large bush area to 
set back the mountain even more
and bring the bush forward.
I placed a strip of fence in 
front of the left bush
to add to the feeling of distance.

Finally getting to where I feel
I have made the painting my own.

I admire the way each artist 
in Lets Paint New Mexico
has a different viewpoint 
from the same image.
Scroll though the link 
and look at all the great paintings. 
Some fun challenges are on there.