Personal Art Blog

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

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Artists Studios Online Tour - A Blog Carnival

This is a fun blog happening. Marla Laubish came up with the great idea of having several bloggers do a little bit about their personal studios.
Have you ever been curious about where an artists creates? Yes? Me too. I am really going to enjoy the privilege of being invited into other artists studios.
Some of the artists will also be offering giveaways. Neat deal.
I hope you take the time to visit them. if you are busy then one or two a day can make for a wonderful week of studio visits.

Marla LaubischCarol SchiffKaethe BealerJo MacKenzie
Michael ChamberlainCharleen MartinSally BinardJacklyn Karabaich
Sharon GravesSea DeanJohnna SchellingTaryn Day
Julie Ford OliverSarah SedwickKim RempelCindy Michaud
Joanne GrantCarmen BeecherCindy Williams                           
Cathy Engberg


It is too messy to show you. Yes, I admit to feeling too embarrassed to let see what it really looks like. Every so often I go on a cleaning binge, swearing to keep it that way... and then I get so caught up in painting, in no time at all it is back to what it was. Sigh. I see gorgeous immaculate studios and go green with envy.
By the way, I keep my house neat. Go figure.

I am blessed to have an enormous studio next to the house. The previous owner had a bar, Pool table , weight room, ham radio room and storage room. It is 1700 sq ft.  This is a painting I did of my water bottle on a TV tray including the surrounding studio space. 

The large room is split into two areas. Behind the screen is my large desk, water cooler and shelves. To the right is the entrance to another large room. Go past that and there is a framing room. In the front of the still life I have my very large easel with a crank, computer, printer AND... drum roll...exercise bike!  It is a valuable addition to the studio. When stuck on a painting I get on and pedal furiously while thinking about the problem. I do not always get a solution but do feel better for the exercise.
Behind the easel is a large mirror which is absolutely invaluable. I spot my errors - especially in values much easier with it. It is a mirrored closet door so has handy little wheels to easily move it. I have a high window so the natural light is cast downwards. Over my easel are two Verilux 48" florescent bulbs -  perfect lighting when dark.. The wall along to the right and out of view, has thin shelves to prop my paintings on to dry.  Next to the mirror are my brushes. Blushing at so many. (I have been known to part with a few to university students who cannot afford good ones, but not easily so cannot take credit)
This is a very short video I made of my collection of brushes.

Here are even more brushes. These are my watermedia brushes. I have a different area in my studio for my watercolor and acrylic

Below are shots of my different areas. Frames -  objects - canvases -flowers - books - more props.
I have so much stuff and I have another studio too with more still life objects for the classes

Over the years I have used the kitchen table, a bedroom, garage and have even rented an apartment for a studio. This one is the largest of them all and the one I feel most comfortable in. It has not necessarily produced the best paintings so size has nothing to do with that!

For my give-a -way I offer this watercolor

Farmer's Market Radishes
5x7in watercolor on acid free paper
4 chances at getting a Fracturing Handy Tool

Please let me know which you would prefer and the reason why.  I will have my hubby, Jim, select the ones he likes best. He is more impartial than me.
I thank you for taking the time to visit my studio.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sunny and Cloudy Days in CA

SUNNY DAY. Painted in the car on the way from Scotts Valley
to Monterey.  What a beautiful drive through the farms,  fields
and layers of hills as a backdrop. Every so often a bump in the
road would make a loop or mark not needed.

GRAY DAY. In the car and on our way to Capitola, near Santa Cruz.
It would drizzle and clear up, drizzle and clear up,
but the sun never did come out.
Still beautiful, but in a whole different way.

Sketching only. Sometimes I just sketch the simple shapes I see.

Artist Note.

I took my watercolors with me on vacation and was happy
to get some painting done.
Traveling with watercolors is easier than oils.
I have this little box I have owned for over 30 years.

I have a round and flat travel brush. Both sable. I love the way
you slip them in and out ot the tube.
A use Holbein water spray to moisten my paints and
sometimes the paper.  I also fill the bottle which
comes with the box. You can see it cleverly doubles as
a palette surface.. There was another little flap too, but it broke
off years ago so I pack the plastic lid off my greek yogurt. Nice
and flat - it slips into the bag which is a neat 8x 10". and it fits
easily into my purse.

The two small sketching/watercolor
books I like. They both have a
system for closing tight to stop a
curl in paper. The Holbein and
The Moleskin I get is a good size
for landscapes
It can pop into a 5x7' opening
of an 8x10 readymade  mat.
Notice my name and phone
in a large size. Same inside the
I lost one once but never again!
Oops... I just noticed my
area code has changed since then.
Good I am doing this.

Below is a painting my granddaughter, Caroline Oliver did.
She has just turned 6 and loves to draw and paint.

I was teaching her the different ways to hold the brush in
this one. Start with the tip of the brush then push down to make
leaves and petals.  And make centers to the flowers.
It is lovely - proud grandmother!

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Irrigation Ditch

Irrigation Ditch

8x6in oil on canvas panel  $100.
See DPW Auction

I am off on vacation visiting the kids and grandchildren.
My hubby and I are excited because they have moved from Portland
and are now in Santa Cruz, CA. We know the area well and have
some fun times planned
As I will not have access to the computer easily I am placing this
on auction through daily Paintworks for a good reason.
I have had several paintings sell  multiple times through Pay Pal but
David at DPW has now got a way to prevent that. I have to change
some things with Pay Pal  and will do it when I return.

Artist Note.

This was painted plein air. Because of the drought, the area farmers
had a one time water allotment to fill their irrigation ditches.
Things are bad for this farming community.
I love painting the river and ditches so
 I dashed out to get this done.
A lot of clouds started to form and I thought it would actually rain
but so such luck. The sun merrily came and went causing my
patterns to change. I do not usually alter a plein air  painting
but the bush bothered me.  See original painting below.
Notice how it divides the bottom half  in two
and the top part of the bush is too symmetrical.

Then I made it thinner

Better, but does not seem incorporated into the surrounding area
very well. I remembered some of the weeds and quickly
put some brush marks with a rigger resulting in the top painting.
I had to slap my hand because I would have kept fussing at it.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Brown Betty

Vintage Brown Betty

6x6in oil on canvas panel  $100. SOLD

I was invited to be a guest artist on the Moses Botkin Challenge.
A small group of very talented artists enjoy the stimulation of a
combined challenge once a month.
The Theme  for June - Vintage

And that brings me to Brown Betty.
This is my mother's tea pot and it is very old.
This style of pot is fondly referred to by the Brits as Brown Betty.
It was first made in England in 1695.
You have to admit that was a very, very long time ago.
It seemed that the specific type of red clay used appeared to retain heat
quite well so it became very popular to use for a teapot and still is to this day.
I can remember seeing the Brown Betty in all of my friends homes
when I was growing up. My mother loved this pot so much she brought
it to this country with her. It only gets used when another Brit comes for
a cuppa tea.
If you are interested you can click to read more info on Brown Betty

Here are the other Challenge entries.

"Old Hotness" 
Oil on canvas panel, 
8"x6" ©2013 

"Old Red" 

Oil on linen, 
Suzanne Berry

"Absinthe" Pastel, 
©2013 V. N. Ross

If you don't already, I hope you visit their blogs and get to know
these talented and fabulous women

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mums, Cherries and great App.

Mums and Cherries

6x8in oil on canvas  $125. SOLD

This is the second painting I have done of these spider mums.
The first one was a demo for last weeks workshop.
I did not get a good image of it before it went.
I loved the color combination and decided to paint it again
while the flowers were still perky.

Artist Note.

The App - Paper Camera - a steal at .99cents
I have known about this app for a while now but am only just
finding out how it can help artists like me who do not use photoshop.

All the programs can be used to help explore your own painting imagery.
Here are some before and after pics to give you an idea.
the one below is a regular shot with my phone

Below are some of the different programs from the app
using the same image. Click to enlarge.

The program above is very handy for seeing warm and cools
in the same color family. It is called Andy Pop

this one breaks the
down into
black and white.
(Not values)

This one above is perfect for checking the negative shapes
It is in Comic Boom and I use it the most.

Comic Boom outlines
and so emphasizes the
negative shapes - which is
invaluable for me.
Warm and cool areas
stand out. Look at the top
of the window  and the wall
behind and see how
blue the shadow is.
A great reminder of
warms light -
cool shadows!

This one is taken in one called Neon.
(this is the first demo of the mums) You can take pics of your
paintings and try them in different programs to see if you like
your art better in any of them.
It all helps to seeing your art a different way.
The artists who use Photoshop have this ability at their fingertips but
I do not have it. Very expensive and the learning curve is huge.
This one is perfect for the computer challenged, like myself.

It also includes ones called Pastel Perfect, Acquarello, and Granny Paper.
I cannot show them all but for the price I have no hesitation
passing on the recommendation to try it. After taking the shot
it downloads right into your camera roll.
If you are into exploring your
own direction in art this can be a lot of fun as well as
maybe useful. I found it very useful for helping me see
the negative areas more clearly. If you paint portraits it will turn so
you can take a shot of yourself and when in Comic Boom
makes it so easy to see the planes with color changes.

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Clementine Glow

Clementine Glow

6x6in oil on gallery wrapped canvas   $100.  SOLD

It must the color orange against the blue cloth that made these
clementines appear to glow as I was painting them.

Artist Note.

This is a painting I did a couple of weeks ago for my blog when I knew
I would be busy with my workshop.
I have painted these before, but in a different arrangement.
I cut the slice out instead of tearing the peel. I wanted a bit of a sharp edge.

The workshop was fabulous -  the way it can only be when everyone
clicks as a group. What a joyful experience and the work accomplished
was amazing.
The next one starts on Wednesday and I am looking forward to it.
After that I go on vacation!

I have a neat app to share on my next post. If you do not have it yet
I promise you will love it.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Patio Comfort, New Mexico Style

Patio Comfort, New Mexico Style

6x6in oil on canvas panel  $100.

It is that time of year when eating out on the patio is perfect.
Too dry for mosquitoes and no flies... yet.

Artist Note.

I am giving a workshop at the moment - lots of fun with a great group
of talented artists. I love teaching so it is a pure pleasure for me and I get
all pumped up...but not enough to go home and do a daily painting!
Knowing I would be busy I painted this a couple of weeks ago.
It is very typical of this area with the Mexican  leather chairs,
turquoise paint and pots of plants for a bit of additional color.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Last of the Oleanders in Murano

Murano with Flowers

8x6in oil on canvas  $125.

This is a beautiful Murano glass vase. I tried to
capture the colors of the iridescence quality.
Could not manage to show the really lovely color changes
but I loved doing it anyway.

Artists Note.
This one is all about technique, texture and trying to get the
slightly frosted iridescence of the glass. I went for a analogous
tonal harmony to make it easier. After painting all the bird
nests I am having trouble getting back into my regular
fracturing technique. I really enjoyed doing it even though it was
frustrating fun - does that make sense?

A little while back I won this gorgeous painting on Rita Vaselli's
blog. I was thrilled even before seeing it because I never win
anything. Imagine my pleasure when I received it. 7"x7"

The clarity and freshness of her beautiful washes show me
how talented Rita is. If you have not visited her blog then I
encourage you to take a trip to Italy via this link.
Mine automatically translates into English. RITA VASELLI

The painting I did for the DPW OklahomaTornadoFundraiser
went to a very generous soul called Judith. I will leave her last name
off for privacy. I gave her the choice of an animal shelter or
the Salvation Army. She picked the Animal Shelter and today
$129. was happily donated with my grateful appreciation
for her generosity. (I started at $50.)

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