Personal Art Blog

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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Side Entry Nest - day 30 in the challenge

Side Entry Nest

11x9" watercolor on Yupo Paper NFS

Day 30

Artist Note.
A friend gave me this wonderful
nest recently.  
He knew that the nest was no 
longer occupied and he thoughtfully
included the tree branches which 
supported it rather than
destroy it's structure.

I love the "side entry" type nest, but this one 
tragically came with two tiny
skeletons in the interior.
Unanswered questions.
Were they too large to have
been recently hatched?
Or were they the parents?
I will be very respectful 
in my handling of them 
and their lovingly made home

If you can use your imagination
 there are two leaves up on the right
near the opening which I painted to 
form an abstract shape suggesting
a bird flying towards it.

This is the last painting
for the challenge.
I will do a wrap up of my experience 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Watercolor Changes - day 29 in the Challenge

Sunflowers and Pomegranates
13x10" watercolor on Yupo paper

Day 29

Artist Note.

On yesterday's post I mentioned how I had just
been given some fresh pomegranates and
would like to TRY adding one to this painting.
It is on Yupo and it's plastic surface makes it easy
to lift off a previously painted area  See below

I formed the shape I wanted with a 
damp paper towel. I also removed the sunflower
 resting at the bottom of the jar.
Next I placed the actual pom in the position
I thought would be best

Naturally... and I know you will ALL understand this...
other changes then started to happen. 
It seems pretty impossible to make a change 
without the eye noticing all the other areas
 effected by the new shape and color.
Also it is a sunny day and my set up
appeared much brighter.
One back pear disappeared.
The jar became slightly wider
A cooler blue was added - so much for 
limited palette! Other colors and shapes
changed too.
(I do enjoy a warm and cool of each primary.)
I sharpened up some edges 
and softened others.
Below is the one before the changes

I have to live with this new version for a while
to see how I feel about it.
I do know I am glad that I tried the pom addition.
Bit more energy.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Watercolor Floral - day 28 in the Challenge

Watercolor Floral
12x9" on Yupo paper

Day 28

Artist Note
I am trying new colors and a 
truly, truly
limited palette with watercolor.
One red - one blue and one yellow.

I have experienced continual cloudy days and
I find it has really
affected my color vision.
It also has provided me with a deeper understanding 
of the old master's paintings 
when brown was 
dominate in the background.
 Candlelight was their major source 
of illumination at night and on 
rainy days I now feel I understand
what it was like.
Explains a lot!

I have been presented with more fresh
pomegranates and think I will remove
the pears in this still life and 
put at least one of the poms in. 
That is the beauty of Yupo.
Wipes off clear back to the white.
I will show you tomorrow what it 
looks like with the changes.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Experimenting - day 27 of the challenge

Single Pom


Not for sale.

Artist Note
The following is a handy and 
creative way to break up your 
color/value areas if you want to try for
a looser effect, but enjoy painting smoothly.

Start with a random black/grey white paint
patterns on canvas or paper.  You can drip, 
splatter or place, but use a generous amount.
(I used gesso)
Lay another piece of paper or canvas
 over it and
gently press and lift straight off.
It will look similar to an abstract  
mono print
Next I used a palette knife to 
smooth some areas, but if you like what you
see, then leave it alone.
Let dry.
You have two abstracts to work on.
Next draw what your subject will be.
Mine happens to be a pomegranate.
I used a rigger brush and thinned oil paint.
 Let the fun begin. 
I started with transparent colors
Adding some opaque paint where I did
not want the dark underneath to show through.

I am going to do a landscape with the other 
piece of paper - which was the one used on top..
The possibilities are endless.

I want to thank Mary Maxim for 
saying such nice things about my blog on the 
It plays on Thursdays, 
but you can pick it up at any time.
Leslie Saeta hosts the show and is the energy
which makes it work. Mary was the co-host 
for this month and came up with fabulous 
ideas and art information.
If you are not familiar with 
Mary's truly amazing paintings 
you can
check them out HERE

Have a lovely weekend.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pomegranate Trio - day 26 in the challenge

Pomegranate Trio

6x8in oil on canvas panel SOLD

Day 26

Artist Note

I'm still pushing color!

I was given a few pomegranates
with twigs and leaves still attached.
Wonderful - thank you, Gail!

I have been doing some experimental
stuff and I will show that tomorrow.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pansy Patterns - day 25 in the Challenge

Pansy Patterns

8x6in oil on canvas
work in progress.

Day 25
A colorful jolt to the senses!

Artist Note.
This is an older one I re-worked.
It is purely a decorative piece and I
still love having it around to
experiment on.

Back in late 2011
I did a series based on influences
from Picasso's work and cubism.
Using pattern and color as the main
focus it completely made me free
from the realistic motif of
light creating volume.
Good to have a change every so often...
especially near the end of a
Leslie Saeta 30 Day Challenge!
See all the beautiful paintings HERE

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hollyhocks - New Mexico. Day 24 in the Challenge

Hollyhocks- New Mexico

10x8" oil on canvas - $500.Framed
 and for sale thru 

day 24

Artist Note.
Only a few more days left in the 
Leslie Saeta 30 Day Challenge.
(big smile)
This painting was painted from a 
plein air watercolor sketch I did 
earlier this summer.
It is larger than my usual blog size
and I have an agreement with 
the wonderful people at the (above) gallery,
Mark and Gail,
that anything larger than 8"x8" goes
through them.
It has turned out to be a win-win 
situation for all as their large and beautiful
 gallery is only one block
south on Main Street from my tiny,
Daily Painting Gallery. 
in the
Artist Guild of Southern New Mexico.
studio space.
We send interested collectors
in each direction!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Turquoise Leaf and Oleanders - day 23 in the Challenge

Turquoise Leaf and Oleanders

6x6in oil on canvas panel   SOLD

Day 23

I have loved this little leaf dish because the
glaze is so drop dead beautiful.
It gives the impression of caribbean water.
Glazes are something my mother excelled at
as a potter, and this is a color
she would have loved to have used.

Sun is out today - hooray!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Trio of Calla Lillies - day 22 of the challenge

Trio of Calla Lilies
6x6in oil on canvas panel $100.

Purchase HERE

Day 22

These are the type of calla lilies that are grown 
as a house plant.
Pretty, but nowhere near as gorgeous as the ones
that grow outside.

Artist Note.
We still have cloudy skies so my still life set-up
has a very dull cast to it. This is a great
opportunity to 
work with neutralized colors.
For example - the background pinkish
tone was originally a Napathol Red base
with a yellow/green mixed in with it.
I used Naples Yellow to lighten.
The leaves were made from Ultramarine Blue,
Perm Yellow and Transparent Brown Oxide.
 I also added a tiny amount of background
color mixed in - here and there.

I miss my sunshine!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Rose in Glass - days 19-20 in Challenge

Rose in Glass
6x6in oil on canvas panel

Days 19 - 20

Artist Note

It was Page Railsback 
(fabulous with color and design)
who commented on my previous post
that my work was so complicated
it was hard to believe I could do it in a day.
 And that made me think... maybe 
she was right?
I would try something simple.
Whip it out.
So here it is. - a single rose in a glass.
It should have been simple, right?
This little sucker took two days and 
I am still not sure if it is done.

See the amazing, colorful work of
Page Railsback HERE