Personal Art Blog

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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February Snow

February Snow

8x6in  oil on canvas  $125. SOLD

My daughter sent me some photos after the huge
snowfall they experienced last weekend. 
This is a composite of a couple of the images.

Artist Note.

Here is a black and white to show the value of
the snow in the shadow. A middle value counts
as a dark -  so even though it is a snow painting,
mine is 3/4 dark pattern
At the Guild I have a board with the following
guide for division of light and dark patterns in
a painting. It can be helpful. These are
approximations, but you can get the drift. It
helps to have a dominant light or dark pattern.

2/3 light
1/4 dark

1/4 light
3/4 dark

1/3 light
2/3  dark
3/4 light
1/4 dark

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Orchid Study

Orchid Study

6x8in oil on canvas panel NFS

The first time I ever did an orchid I knew I would have
to get really familiar with the way they grew. Very intricate.
I don't think I ever posted this study when I finished it because I
wanted to keep it for future reference.

Artist Note

Continuing my story of how I grew into my
Fracturing Technique.
On yesterday's post I left off with forgetting my brushes on a
plein air trip. I had all the rest of the equipment, but as my
companion was my beloved hubby, who does not have the
slightest desire to paint or brushes to borrow,
I had to improvise.
I tried twigs, leaves and as I was scrubbing on with a flattish stone,
using it like a palette knife, I wondered if this is what the
cave men did... and that's when the light bulb went off.
Credit cards. Something I never seem to leave home without!
Step one

I applied all the colors with the credit card feeling my way
with the textures and strokes. I took the window squeegee
we carry in the car and used it to clean off some heavy areas.
and smooth over others.
I liked the texture and freshness of this combination of tools
so took photo.
Glad I did or I would not have a record of my journey.
This is from over three years ago.

This is all credit card work...and the difference between
the marks the knife and the card make are because of the
way it is held. Hotel plastic keys are the best as they
are more flexible.
With a knife you use your wrist more because of the handle. 
With the credit card you use your arm more because it
becomes an extension of your hand
The following images are from a different painting made
when I got into really using it.
Held lightly and
pulled downwards.
Mushing in -
see pressure with
finger on back.

Accent touches.

This last one is great for tree trunks. Use long length
of card and put tree trunk color (variegated) mixture
on palette and swipe edge of card into it
Apply with a side motion.
I still use this one for my tree trunks.
I gave workshops using this technique for quite a while
with great results. Everyone was given a
bathroom squeegee to take off excess paint cleanly
or move it around.
Wanting to have the same freedom with my small paintings
led to me to making my handy tool. The color shapers you can
buy did not have the same "response to the paint and surface"
as the one I made, but if an artist has never known the
difference I do not see it being a problem.

I was told there is an Australian artist who pulls out
a credit card for accent touches and I am sure there are others
It just seems so natural and handy once you discover it.

Check out watercolorist Rita's clever idea for making the handy tool
in Italy. Click on Rita Vaselli She is so generous with her credit
and helpful to others.  I tried to pick it up
Use the translator to read what she says.

I heard from Audrey who took a fracturing workshop
in December.
She has just done a really lovely fractured lily.
Click on  Audrey Hindsman
If you are interested you can read about the fracturing workshop
on her Dec 17th post.

I loved hearing from Blanche Niznik and she put a generous
mention on her blog. She is preparing for a show
but still took time in to do a great fractured apple

A big thank you to all of them for their enthusiasm and participation..

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Before and After: Fracturing

After Fracturing
8x6in oil on canvas NFS

Before Fracturing,
6x8 oil on canvas  NFS

I thought I would show two paintings I have side by side
in my little gallery area here at the Guild.
I placed them together for visitors to understand what
and how the fracturing technique changed my regular imagery.
This is in my early days in exploring the technique, but
I have kept both pieces side by side as it really helped
me keep going forward in using the color and fracturing
in a more adventurous way.
My goal was to loosen up...and this is for those of you reading
who have the same goal.
I took workshops from great artists like Dan Gerhartz...twice!
How about the loose and juicy work of Ovanis Berbarian - took
from him too. Then our marvelous artist and friend Carol Marine -
see any of her signature brushwork above? I enjoyed one with her.
How about Qiang Huang - I even organized a workshop twice
to try and get loose like him.
So I ask you... do you see any of it in the painting directly above?
Nooooo, you sure don't and why is this? I sure tried, and
would "get it" in class, but...
after a week or so back in the studio my old habits would
creep back in and after a few week I would find only ONE
thing would have stuck from the workshops.
I kept getting parts of it and next thing I knew I
would head back for the security of what I knew best,
and that was ordinary realism painted in a safe and normal way.
THEN I discovered painting with a credit card...when I had
forgotten my brushes on a paintout.
More on that breakthrough tomorrow!

Artist Note.

Three more artists have graciously given permission to show their
first fracturing attempts.

Sue wrote how she got the video when it first came out and
had many attempts before this beautiful one she shows on
her blog. She recommends a great book too so be sure to visit.
 Click on Sue Church Grant

Roxanne wrote she is a plein air painter
stuck indoors over a wicked winter so she was happy to try new
ideas in her still life work. Check what she did here
Roxanne Steed
See, Flowers for Vincent and scroll down to see the
Flowers and Fechin. Two lovely pieces.

The other artist is Jeanette Jobson who wrote that she enjoyed
playing around with the technique after watching the video
and said so on her wonderful blog called  Illustrated Life.
See the results here jeanette

This is another case of three very good artists, still enjoying
trying new techniques, and generously sharing the results
with other artists.

I thank them for mentioning the Fracturing Artbyte
It helps DailyPaintworks also and can take people over to see
the wide range of excellent tutorials available.

I hope you visit their blogs.
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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Adding Carrots

Adding Carrots

8x6in  oil on canvas panel  $125. SOLD

Back in early January I was out of town taking
a workshop PLUS participating in the 30 in 30 days
Challenge. My self imposed goal was to paint only
things I had never painted before and this time it was
This is the painting.
I should have called it
Lonely Turnips!
Painted at night under
warm lights.

This time I painted in the daylight - cooler tones.
I went to the store and bought another turnip to get
the colors better and added carrots to make this
a much more complete painting.
Don't you agree the top painting has more interest?
At least it tells a story!

Artist Note.

I am really thrilled to be able to show two more
artists who are trying the fracturing technique.

Ann Feldman sent me a wonderful email telling
me about the excitement she felt over her first attempt.
and when I went to look I could see what a fabulous
job she did.
Ann Feldman (click on name to see work)
generously gave credit saying she enjoyed learning from
the Fracturing video and made me feel really great.

An ACRYLIC artist had a go and was very successful.
She adapted to the medium and used Golden open
acrylics for the end part. Her name is Anna Vremann
(click on name) She has a couple of fractured pieces 
on DPW. One is called Fractured Onions and is
 about 5 paintings in. Another is the Cardinal.
She shared in her email how much she had enjoyed
doing it.

I hope you go and look at these artist's work. .
It is not easy to try something new and then allow
other artist to pop in and comment.
I thank them very much.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bat That Ball

Bat That Ball

5x7in  oil on linen  sketch  $75.

This is a quick sketch as I was trying to capture
a kitten with the fracturing technique.
I rather like the feeling of movement I managed to
capture so I stopped before I lost it
...and that is why it is just a sketch.

Artist Note.

I enjoyed seeing another artist having fun doing the
fracturing from the Artbyte video.
Click on Sharon Rose Smith
Scroll down one post to Red Peppers and a Squash.

Sharon wrote,  "I am a realist by nature, but you 
piqued my interest and released a wild part of me."

She did a great job. Thank you Sharon

Celeste Bergin worked more on the red chair from
yesterday so take a look and see how well she did.

Please send me a link to your blog if you try the
fracturing. It is fun to see what everyone does.
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pansy Time

Pansy Time

6x8in oil on linen  $125.

Every year I get into painting beautiful, colorful pansies.
I subdued this first attempt.

Artist Note.
I was really delighted to see some artists share their fracturing
experiences after viewing my video artbyte.
Check out this wonderful Sunday post by Celeste Bergin.
Even though she is already a fabulous painter
she still is not only willing to experiment,
but to also let others know and pass on credit.
Celeste Bergin (click on name to see)
I love her two paintings.

Another one is Lisa Graham  (Click on name to see)
She works in a completely different medium and
visual technique, but was still courageous and
publicly willing to give it a go and give credit.
She achieved some great layering effects.
To my eye, the surface became interesting with the
multiple marks. Her story telling is always a pure delight
and I am an avid follower of her blog.

One of my favorite artist is one we all know. Kind and
generous, Rita manages to get to so many blogs to support
and comment.She tried the fracturing with watermendia.
 Rita Vaselli (click on name to see) I really loved what
she achieved on a couple of her paintings. Again, what an
adventurous spirit to try something new and share it by
passing on the information to others.

These talented artists are all established, but willing to try
something new. I am indebted to them as it thrilled me no
end to see them have a go.

Send me your attempts and I will be so pleased to share
them on my blog.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Grapes and Pitcher

Grapes and Pitcher

6x6in oil on canvas panel $100. SOLD

This is an older piece that I always liked
so I rubbed a little linseed and Gamsol on it
and painted a little fracturing over it.

Artist Note.

It was fun this weekend concentrating on paintings
for my upcoming show in May.
I worked on three. The smallest one is 16x20
I starting with texturing the canvas with acrylic
modeling paste. I then brushed on a couple of
coats of gesso.
When dry, I did my charcoal drawings
over which I sprayed Krylon fixative.  Really handy
to do it this way just in case I got something wrong as
it would be easy to wipe it off without losing my drawing.
The next step was getting the getting the large shapes
massed in with transparent color. I will be
developing them more completely next week.

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Friday, February 15, 2013



8x6 in  oil on canvas  $125.

As you have been able to tell, I have been
doing doing some figurative work lately.
I live in a University town so we see the
students everywhere. This young lady
was totally engrossed with her school book
to the point I had to ask three times if
I could take her photo. Her pile of books
looked heavy - I guess one day
the school books will all be online.

 Artist Note.

I have a gallery show coming up in May so
I will be spending more time preparing for it.
I have completed more than half of it
so the main pressure is off, but my
weekend painting focus will gear
towards that and not my small daily paintings.
Those I will still be doing during the week.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine to New Mexico

Valentine to New Mexico

8x6in  oil on canvas $125. SOLD

Happy Valentine's Day to my wonderful,
amazing New Mexico. It is not called
The Land Of Enchantment for nothing.
I love it and am grateful I found it...
or it found me!

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Red Vase From a Friend

Red Vase

8x6in oil on canvas  $125. SOLD

First, I want to thank everyone who purchased
my video and for all the encouraging comments.
I have placed a link on my side bar for anyone
interested who missed my first announcement.

I love the shape and color of this vase.
A friend from the Artists Guild
brought it in for me yesterday so this is
my first time painting it.

Artist Note.
It usually takes a few attempts at painting a new subject
for me to get where I can  'feel" it in paint.
This particular vase has horizontal, multiple ridges
which I found, after a struggle, will take some exploration.
I went for the basic shape instead. Simplify, simplify.
Do you remember KISS - keep it simple stupid! 
I do not hear it used anymore but it is still as
appropriate today  Very valuable lesson for
painting a complex vase..

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Sunday, February 10, 2013


8x6in oil on canvas   NFS

This is my friend's  granddaughter.
I painted this from a photograph which,
as soon as I saw it,  knew I had to ask
permission to paint her.
It turned out well so I thank my
friend and her daughter for allowing me to
publish it on my blog.
What a lovely shaped head she has.
Totally relaxed she is completely
involved with brushing
the shocking pink mane of the yellow
animal she is holding. My own, 5 year
old granddaughter has a collection of them
so you would think I would know its name.
Just been informed:  seahorse from
the mylittlepony collection.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My Video Demo has been Released!

Three Pears

6x8in oil on canvas board. Not for Sale

This is the image I painted on my video demonstration
for  Daily Paintworks  Artbyte tutorial. (Click for link.)
I painted it in "actual time" and it is about 25 mins long.
I want to thank Daily Paintworks for asking me to make
this Artbyte. Although nervous, I was honored to be asked.
I also thank Jennifer Newcomb Marine for her infinite patience.

There is also a free artbyte explaining the tools I use with
a short demo showing how I assemble my handy-dandy
shaper/squeegee tool. Be sure you look for it.

I hope that any of you who are interested in my technique
will find the video interesting and enjoyable.
The video is on the technique itself. I recommend it be used
with a palette the artist is comfortable with. Trying new colors
at the same time can add to the difficulty factor.

When I was thinking about what to paint for the video
I decided to paint something I had done before in my older style
See below

I always liked this one.
One of the great things about "taste" is there will be as
many people who like this version as there will be who
like the fracturing. My personal opinion is that the eye
is engaged more with the fracturing is my heart!

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Tea for Two

Tea for Two

6x6in oil on canvas $100.

Celebrating ending the 30 in 30 day challenge
with a pot of tea with my hubby.
I have two new red mugs and was excited because
they matched the teapot, but the handles are small
and high up which makes them uncomfortable to hold.
Guess they will be for painting and not to use.

Artist Note.

First time ever painting a cupcake!

My Artbyte video should be released at any time by Daily Paintworks.
Nervous in case no one likes it.

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