Personal Art Blog

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

Monday, March 30, 2015

Reflections #2...and call for help!


Reflections #2  

8x6in oil on canvas panel  SOLD

Artist Note.

This one should be labeled number 6.
I did 5 - yep 5, wipe-offs.
Much nashing and moaning.
Something is wrong...
 I paint and I enjoy the act of painting,
but do not like the end result AT ALL!
I cannot "see" clearly what I have done.
I also have no emotional response and 
I am wiping off what may not be 
as bad as I think.

It is not what I would call a block
because I can't wait to paint,
but I am in a weird place of not liking 
the end result of anything I paint.
It is rather unusual for me and I am
wondering if any of you
have experienced a similar 
situation? If so, it would be great if 
you wouldn't mind sharing it with me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Reflections #1


Reflections#1

8x6in oil on linen mounted on panel  $135.

Reflections from a water feature I visited
in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Artist Note.
This piece is the start of what I hope will 
be a series of paintings 
based on the reflections
created by a stunning Water Feature
I visited last year

I made sketches and took lots of photos. 
enjoying that inner feeling of excitement 
all of us artists get
when something really connects.
I wanted to start a series and as luck
would have it, Carol Marine came out
with some 
marvelous water reflection paintings
on her blog at the same time
so I put the idea on the back burner.

BUT the images still persisted.

I had wanted to see if it was possible 
to "fracture" something so fluid
...intriguing...
It has not left my mind so 
I am looking forward to seeing 
what develops.

Just in case you are interested...

I have completed the HUGE painting
I was commissioned to do. Here are some 
images. The first one has the underpainting
showing at the bottom
with exaggerated warm and cool colors
at this stage..


Too large for my easel  

These two panels are made to go over a large
flat screen TV - sliding apart at viewing time.
Each panel has to hold its own in the 
design when parted, and yet become 
seen as a complete image when together.
They are mounted on an oak,
three inch deep frame so they 
would not fit on an easel.

Set-up
I placed them on two tables
 each panel is 48"x30".
My reference photos are up 
at the side for easy viewing.

Block-in wash  -close-up
Same area below -completed 

The painting is so large that reducing it down
to the viewing area of the monitor 
makes it lose the looseness of the mark-making.
so I thought some close up images may help.

The family wanted their three dogs
included. Two have passed on, sadly,
one during the painting process.



It is the largest painting I have done using the 
fracturing technique. The new owners love it!
Phew!



Thursday, March 19, 2015

It Has To Be A Universe Thing...In Just TWO Days.

It started with a delivery of 
Happy Face and flowers
from a dear, dear friend who winters in France


Then on the same day I was given this
amazing and simply beautiful book from a friend
who knows my heart...


The same day another wonderful friend sent me this 
deeply moving poem.

*****
Before you know what kindness really is

you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,

you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho

lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,

you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.

You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,

only kindness that ties your shoes

and sends you out into the day to mail letters and 
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.



—Naomi Shihab Nye


****
Then - on the very next day the morning started


 with a
Starbucks delivery from a great guy.


Then in came a Shamrock plant 
from a truly special lady...
PLUS Delicious muffins from

a smiling friend...
followed closely by 
this gem from another good friend. 
Can you guess what it is?


Yep -  a FAB holder for my panels.


The gift below was a total surprise from a a 
dear lady I have known 
for many years, but we do not exchange gifts 
and she waltzed in 
and presented it to me with a 
beautiful coordinating bow.
Four place mats of nests and birds.
Love, love them!

 But wait ...it continues, 
NO it was NOT my birthday. 
I tell you it is a 
Universe thing...

A simply lovely pair of  
silver calla lily earrings. 
(I am wearing the other one!)
This gift is from a close friend 
who is going through
tough times and can still think of 
someone else.

She also brought these beauties 
in from her garden.
Then another neat guy gave me a tall
dog treat can,  and I 
opened it up to find this gem.

A great little bird nest safely resting 
at the bottom. 
Wait..not finished yet...

I arrived back home to find a box 
on my doorstep
from my wonderful 
(honorary)niece in Florida
This was hand made by an artist
with jasper and other wonderful  symbolic
materials.

She also sent me a card made from
a watercolor chart
made by her mother...my closest friend
for 40 years before she passed on.
I held it and had tears seeing her writing
and feeling the love.


So it is rather overpowering to think of the 
bounty of His Grace and Blessings 
in my life and these 
reminders poured all over me.

I have started painting again.






Sunday, March 15, 2015

Red, Yellow and Blue


Red, Yellow and Blue.

6x6in oil on canvas panel   SOLD

Artist Note.
I am still not painting but am grateful
that I am getting round to see everyone's work.
It should inspire me to get cracking...

Another Re-post. This one is from May 2012
34 months ago.

I did a series of lemons and shiny cans
It was a real challenge to see how far I
could fracture the cans and not lose the ridges.
Did not want them stiff so it was a case of
fracture
repaint,
fracture,
repaint.


 I should try them again and see if it is any easier.

Sorry about it pulling up the old comments
but neat to see  familiar names.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sunshine Umbrella




Red Umbrella Sketch

6x6in watercolor on acid free paper  SOLD


Many of us use an umbrella for shade here in the
bright sunshine of southern New Mexico. I use one
very easily...
I was raised using one in England for a completely
different reason...RAIN!

Artist Note.
First - a huge thank you to all the 
understanding comments about my re-posting
and genuine support. WOW!
Blessings to you all.

I have chosen another post with a helpful
reminder about not being too precious with sketches.

 (re-post from 9/3/13)

My watercolor weekend was spent on doing quick
sketches like this one inspired by a photo taken at
the farmers market here in Las Cruces, NM.
I did not draw it first. I started by
placing spots of color next to each other and corrected
angles and shapes with negative painting. If you look
you can see the red of the umbrella under the green and
it doesn't bother me a bit!
The purple shoulder went out too far so I blobbed in a
small dark to indicate the lower part of the sleeve
and did not "tidy up."
These small watercolors are invaluable for me
testing what works or doesn't - what I like or don't like.
This was done on Strathmore  mixed-media #400.
I find I like the surface for a sketchy approach.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Farmers Market Scale


Farmers Market #5
Sold

This is a re-post.
I chose it because it has what could be
a valuable insight for you on a way I 
change my focus
when painting from a photo.
See

Artist Note.
I have had so many inquires asking about 
my lack of posting
I thought I had better do something positive 
instead of feeling glum.

I am going through a dry period.
It is not an artist's block...
there is a root cause that I do not want 
to go into, and thankfully,
 I do know it will pass.
Thank you for caring and sticking with me.
It means a lot.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tulip Study on Yupo


Tulip Study
9x12in watercolor on Yupo Paper
unfinished

Artist Note
These beautiful purple tulips 
caught my eye because I had been 
using the color magenta with the 
Phthalo Blue limited palette.


Although I really like the top part 
of this painting
I am going to put it on one side
and think about how to solve the 
lower area.

I am warming up on Yupo 
to try painting 
CROWS!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

My First Crow's Nest


Crows Nest #1

9x7in watercolor on Yupo

Not quite finished!

Artist Note.
I went to the dentist last Monday
and it is a one hour drive each way so I 
painted this in the car.
A friend had brought in a photo
of a crows nest on their property.
I was surprised how tidy it was.

Still doing some basic studies of the shape
of crows. These are my first in watercolor.
Looks like someone is getting told off!



Thursday, February 12, 2015

Adding Phthalo Blue To The Palette


Adding Phthalo

9x8 oil on black canvas
Work in Progress.


A more decorative style painting
with a brighter palette.

Artist Note.

This is a demo of the same limited palette
as in the last two posts
but replacing
Ultramarine Blue with Phthalo Blue
and
Alizarin Perm with Magenta.

First, I paint right on the front of 
the clear glass jug 
with my Phthalo blue and then a
bit of the yellow  to make it greener
for another layer in the middle.
Why?...because I didn't
have anything in the right color
large enough to hold the peonies.
Painted front of a clear glass jug

A quick block-in
This is not going to work but I did not 
know it yet. The changes I ended up
making are pretty obvious.


See a few of the new color charts below.
This is still based on the previous 
limited palette but replacing the 
Ultra blue and Alizarin.
REASON?
Sometimes, what you need/want to paint
cannot be managed with just one
limited palette. 
If you are painting near the coast for 
example, the aqua of the water
will need a green/blue.

Lively spring greens have a freshness
which the red in the Ultramarine blue
neutralizes too much. 

To make clear purples the Phthalo needs 
a cooler red than the Alizarin so a substitute
with the Magenta works perfectly.

Cad Yellow light
Orange 
Magenta
Phthalo Blue
Black
Titanium White

Of the two limited palettes the majority
of artists making them preferred this one.
Most likely because we live in a very sunny climate
with lots of Turquoise and earth colors.
They also found that different brands make
different results.



















Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hydrangeas


Hydrangeas

6x8in oil on canvas $130. SOLD


Artist Note

This was a demo for the Friday group
on the same limited palette as the last post
with the brightly colored Anemones.
The goal was to show how to paint
masses of small blooms by only painting
one or two in detail, and the rest only suggested
by shadow and color.

This time I worked with \
more neutral colors to show the full
range of this handy palette.
Here are a few color charts
from Guild members.







Ned Jacob's limited Palette

Cad Yellow light
Orange 
Alizarin Perm. W&N
Ultramarine Blue
Black
Titanium White


I was fascinated seeing the many different 
harmonious earth colors and lovely
greens shades that can be mixed.