Personal Art Blog

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

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Farmers Market #13

Farmers Market #12

5x7 watercolor on acid free paper   Not for sale

Artist Note.
Here is a more traditional approach to painting the garlic. traditional as I can get anymore. A bit of fracturing
slipped in.
In this piece I used three opaque watercolors
along with the transparent colors.
Cerulean Blue, Yellow Ochre and some Chinese White.
I love a touch of opaque paint to contrast next to the
glow of transparent color. An artist who used this to
great effect was J.M.W. Turner click to see his work.
I have been known to tear up in front of his paintings.
He belonged to the Romantic School and was a forerunner
of Impressionism. I marvel at his watercolors and he used the
Chinese White... so if it was good enough for Turner....

Holding on to this for a while to see what I think of it
after a week.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Farmers Market #12

Farmers Market #12

7x5in watercolor  - still in process.

During this market series I found a fascination with
plain old garlic.

Artist Note.
In my last post I mentioned I had become fascinated with
the garlic and that led to a weekend of nothing but
drawing and painting garlic.
Above is the one I tried using the fracturing technique
I developed. I obviously pushed the colors, but that is
the fun of trying different ways of exploration. I have to live
with it for a while to see if I will place it for sale.
The fracturing is still pretty new to me in watercolor
and keeping paintings I sense something works...or doesn't,
helps me on the next one.
I completed another one in a very traditional method
which I also like and I will be posting that.

Below shows my sketches and another watercolor
in process.

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Farmers market #11

Farmers Market
Garlic - 4 x $1.
6x8in oil on canvas panel  $125.  SOLD

Boxes of locally grown garlic create a pattern of cream
and hints of purple. Love the sign!

Artist Note.
Don't ask me why I found this compelling to paint.
Who can explain the inner urge - that response of excitement
when viewing something which might appear ordinary to others?
I love color - certainly not much here.
I love pattern - very repetitive sameness here.
So I am questioning that strong response and am going to explore
more of this today.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Farmers Market #10

Farmers market #10

6x8in oil on canvas board  $125. SOLD

Bright, late afternoon sunshine and the eye catching colors
of  bead strands made this a "must paint" for me
This downtown Santa Cruz market is a place where crafts and produce
mingle side by side. I found it totally captivating.
The enterprising young entrepreneur who owned this bead display
used a pair of crutches to hold the rod the beads hung from.
Each end was set in concrete in coffee cans and it leaned slightly
against the wall. A narrow board of shelving held the ready-made
necklaces. She put herself through school doing this.

Artist Note.
I did an on-spot watercolor of this. See below
Unfortunately I did not get a photo of the woman
because I was too busy painting her. And that led to lots

I tried to paint  pretty well to the sketch. HA!
What you can do with watercolors you can not always
do with oils. Follow this little journey if you have the time...
I felt longer hair was necessary otherwise the bottom
of the hat is in a tangent with the base of the beads.
The yellow hat got lost against the beads without the
really dark areas shown in the above sketch, but when
I painted the dark areas in oil, I lost the glow and feeling
of the colorful beads glistening in the sun.

Something is not appealing to me. In fact the whole thing
looks pretty awful and did not capture what was in my memory.
It was late afternnon and the color of the sun was golden.
I decided to try for that sunny feel and I changed her shirt to yellow

I am beginning to think this is a wiper. I am not a figure
painter and this market series has me painting them.
I can tell it is not I go looking for a model.
Be nice if I had a hat! But the shoulders are what I need.

Meet the back of Gail. My wonderful gallery owner.
I should have asked her to tilt her head up.
(Nice haircut don't you think?!)
Are you getting the drift of how ridiculous
I can be over a tiny 6x8 painting? I know there
are others out there just as bad as me.
It goes on. I felt the light on the wall behind the beads
was too light for the type of light source so I knocked
the value down.
And the list goes on...and on.
Would you believe that even if I am not satisfied with a painting
I truly love painting and the process
of discovery which goes with it? True!
If you are still here then I thank you for reaching the
end of this longer than usual post.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Farmers Market #9

Farmers Market #9
Hats next to the Celery!

6x8in oil on canvas panel   $125. SOLD

Only at a farmers market can you find hats and celery being
sold side by side.
The eternal appeal of hats obviously captured this young lady's
attention even though she is laden down with stuff.

Artist Note.
Lots going on?  Busy? Yes. I wanted it all. And why not, indeed.
It could be worse. I could have placed a hat on the young lady's head!
I really enjoyed the discovery in this one. It took about five engrossing
hours for this little piece of frustration to be completed.
Lots of, "off with its head" moments. Each one a lesson and I enjoyed it.
(At least it was not on video for everyone to see.)
Your eye should go to the light hat with red band and orange one first.
They are then linked to the young lady and her striped shirt.
If your eye goes to her first then the reverse in will happen. Either way
your eye will travel round the painting. (It was like
a repeat of my dilemma in FM #3 - scale or figure.) Her cast shadow
onto the hats in front completes an angle to  lead back in.
I balanced the bright colors of the hats on the right with her purse.

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Farmers Market #8

Farmers Market #8

8x6in  oil on canvas panel  $125. SOLD

My hubby absolutely  loves watermelons. Our fridge
is never without one during the summer. He was not with
us at the farmers market and does not know about this
painting. I know he will love it.

Artist Note.
Below is the photo source for this painting. You can see
I changed the angle because I was all excited about the
cut watermelon on top. The man has another one in his hand
cutting taste samples. I found him to be a little bland in brown
so I went through my reference material...see sketchbook below,
and found a sketch of the guy in the painting. I loved his striped t-shirt.
It was a bit of fun deciding to place him with the striped watermelons.

A page from my moleskin book showing the guy in striped t-shirt
mixed in with other figures. These are only an inch or so high.
I like the preggie lady! I can remember holding my back like that.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Farmers Market #7

Farmers Market #7
8x6in oil on canvas  $125. SOLD

Cauliflower or Coliflower?

I am  notoriously bad at spelling so imagine my pleasure at
seeing this sign. There is another one like me around around!

Artist Note.
The farmer cut off most of the outer leaves before wrapping them in
the plastic.Huge knife...I behaved and did not mention the spelling.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Farmers Market #6

Farmers Market #6

8x6in oil on canvas $125. SOLD

This is another complex market scene. It is a  lot on a small canvas.
The lady in the yellow dress really caught my eye.
For me, the enjoyment of the farmers market  was observing the
different people getting far more involved with what they were
buying than how I see them buying similar items at my local supermarket.

 Artist Note.

When I first started this I painted in only the lady in yellow. I really liked her
but discovered I lost the feeling I was after.
The painting somehow became about only her and not a colorful and
busy market scene. So I popped in the tall lady in white.
She does balance the plastic bags hanging down on the top left.
If you place your hand over the lady in white  you can see
I would have had a perfect square format with the yellow dress
and hanging bags.. But... I had started with the rectangle.
It really doesn't matter because I love painting these scenes and
solving my problems. I did do a couple of thumbnails first and it
did not show up as a problem in black and white. It was the color yellow
that attracted the eye too much and kept it there. Once I had painted her
and liked her I was scared to touch her ( I am learning!) so I moved
the color around and over to the right side using a variety of different shades.
(The shadow side of the blue boxes is not quite as saturated as shown.
 - that is a camera problem I could not solve)

Talking about solving problems...
I had an accident where I lost most of my big toenail a couple of weeks back
and when I was invited to a party I decided the band-aid did not look
too appealing in my party sandals so I painted the shape of a toe nail
in the matching color nail polish right on top of the band-aid.
Obviously this photo was taken without the pretty sandals!

It was suggested I pass on this hint on my blog.

Thank you for all the encouraging comments on my last post.
Sorry I could not get to answering them all but you made me
really great.

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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Farmers Market #5

Farmers Market #5
Two Pounds of Peaches

8x6in  oil on canvas panel $125. SOLD

I loved this scale as soon as I saw it. There were
several of them throughout the market, but I liked the
deep blue trim on this enameled basket.

Artist Note.

This started as a demo in establishing basic shapes
from this photo. Click to enlarge any of these.

Demo -  first layer.
The trouble with
photos are I tend to
follow them pretty
exactlyat first.
All I changed here was
the stall in background

It bugged me that so many other elements were detracting from the
focus I wanted -  which was the scale.
I cannot believe I did it, but I even placed the truck and cars in after this.
Oh no...someone smack my hand and stop me!

 I closed my eyes, relaxed, and took myself back to the time and place of my 
photo source. Doing this simple thing has helped me more times
than I can remember. The air, the noise, the smell and then
there it was as clear as can be - the scale. In my mind I recalled 
how the glass looked and remembered all I could see in detail 
was the color of the tent  reflecting in the scale glass and fruit around
It is only the camera which can pick out every single detail.
After getting the handy tool out it was easy to get rid of some of the
distractions. Squinting turned the trees and vehicles into dark shapes
so I merged them all into the green cover and  a pattern of dark and light.
I left the scale exactly where it was but eliminated all
unnecessary details, even leaving out the precise details on clock face
like the exact width and numbers. All implied but not
 painted in detail. Even so, I still created a feeling of intimacy with the scale.
Now I really like it. The artist who bought it named it
Two Pounds of Peaches - nifty!

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Farmers Market #4

Farmers Market #4

6x6in  oil on canvas panel  $100.

The colors are so amazing at these markets. Here are
Grapes, bananas, strawberries, limes and mangoes. WOW!

Artist Note.

No people in this one. Just a straight on view of fruit.
After the previous complex compositions - this was easy.
Worked on the weigh scale today. NOT so easy!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Farmers Market #3

Farmers Market #3

6x8in oil on canvas panel  $125. SOLD

A sunny California morning. This is the market in Santa Cruz and whole
families join in the experience. I loved this little girl in the white dress
because  my granddaughter has a dress with the frilly layers at the bottom.
Must be in style as I saw quite a few of them

Artist Note.

This was my dilemma - do I have the focus on the scale... or people?
I decided I would do a separate painting with the scale as the focus
and try for a bustling market atmosphere in this one.
So the scale is subdued by value and the woman is hit by sunlight.
The little girl is a risk - having the white contrast low down,
 but she also is a stopper for the eye going off at that corner.
My painting - I can break the rules if I want to!

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Farmers Market #2

Farmers Market #2

8x6in oil on canvas   $125. SOLD

My second in this series. This was an organic stall and very well
stocked. That is California for you - healthy is a way of life.
I am from re-fried bean country... love them... but we do eat lots of salads
to balance our cravings for Mexican food.

Artist Note.
I had a painting binge on these market scenes. I finished four
over the weekend. Fun, but not as easy as I thought they would be.
On this one I painted a composite of three photos.
My focus was to try and capture back-lighting

Here is my son looking
for a box to carry all the stuff
he bought.
I liked his position with
the back-lighting, but
what a shame there are
no fruits of vegetables.

Here are fruits and
vegetables with the
light at back.
I painted the vegs pretty
much like this, but had
to remove the tomatoes
at the bottom and replace
with a more neutral color.
I found the red came
forward too much.

Another back-lit person
which I change into a female. I
was inspired by the woman's
colors in the 1st reference - and I
made her sleeveless.

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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Farmers Market #1 and winner of the painting.

Farmers Market  #1

8x6in oil on canvas panel $125. SOLD

I have started to do a series of the Farmers Market in Santa Cruz, CA.
I took photos and did some sketches and I want to do them
while it is all fresh in my mind. This is the first one and my focus
was to capture the sun and shade.

Artist Note.

I expected to have the winner of the Studio Tour Giveaway before
now, but dear hubby Jim has dragged his feet. It is all Wimbledon's
fault. He has been glued to the TV.  It was only when I started the
heavy sighs and quiet mutterings before assuring him that it really was
quite alright if he didn't really want to do it (Tennis had finished for the day)
and with that he went off to his office
and spent quite a while diligently reading them.
Finally, he came back and told me  he did not
discharge his responsibility lightly, and I was presented with a great
flourish, the person he thought should get the radish painting.
The reason he picked him was because he liked that Roger
said I inspired him. Lovely of you to say that Roger - thank you so much.

I think Jim was surprised at the many nice comments. He has never
read that part of my blog before. He said it was hard to choose.
I was surprised only two artists wanted the handy tool and that was
(please send me your addresses)
It is a magic tool and can do many things besides how I use it
so I know they will love it.
Thank you all for the great comments...big smile...and glad so many
of you enjoyed visiting all the studios. I know I enjoyed them too.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

New Mexico Sunflowers

New Mexico Sunflowers
6x8in oil on canvas panel  $125. SOLD

These colors are not made up - this house is painted  in colors
exactly like this and the yellow sunflowers vibrate next to them.

 July 4th  - Happy Birthday America! For all your problems
you are still the land of the free and home of the brave.
I am proud to be a citizen.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

French Radish

French Radish

5x7in in 8x10 mat  acid free paper  $50.

(The paper is white but the sky must have placed the pale blue cast on it.)
The radish give-a-way winner will be announced on July 5th.
It was fun reading the comments and I know Jim will enjoy his responsibility.

When I was in California our son took me to the Farmers Market in Santa Cruz.
It was a bustling scene of many attractively arranged stalls of fruits and vegetables.
Our son knows everyone there and I enjoyed listening to the friendly banter at each
stall. This is him at one of his regular stops.

Artist Note
Wow. I would have loved to set up my easel here. I took lots of photos
and hope to paint some of them.
It was fun painting the long shape of the French Radish, but I bought  the regular radish too and
painted several interpretations of those.
(previous post and another one still to show.)

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