Personal Art Blog

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

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Desert Cardinal

Desert Cardinal
6x8in  oil on canvas panel $140. SOLD

Artist Note.
A member of the Cardinal family
It took me forever to pronounce
and I can understand why the 
much more popular
Desert Cardinal is used
The bright red of the northern cardinal would
be like a neon light for predators
in the scrubby desert so nature
in all her wisdom
added the neutral colors on top on
this southwest dwelling wonder.

This guy is a regular at my feeders
I have two pairs visit, and 
although of the same genus,
one male has a lot more red than the 
other under his wings.

I was excited to find the nest of one of them
on my daily walk.

Their population has declined by 53% since 
1966 - most likely due to the southwest desert
being cleared to agriculture and urbanization.
Fortunately, some of their habitat is
safeguarded within national wildlife
refuges, parks and other protected areas.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Rose Duo

Rose Duo
oil on canvas

Artist Note.
This is a detail from a painting
in the M Phillips Gallery.

I am in the middle of moving my 
gallery/studio and into a new space.
Lots of planning, etc.
And I am also working on a 
couple of paintings
but they are not completed. 
Trying to stay stress free.

Presently I have a retail space
right on Main Street, downtown
Las Cruces.
Great location - except they close 
down Main Street without notice
causing a lot of aggravation.

I am still going to be in a building
on Main Street,
but in the next block.
It is an office space with parking 
right behind it.
Nice and clean but a few things
had to be done.
You can see a partition wall was
removed so the two rooms
became one large room.

Then a neutral grey paint painted
on  all the walls. A guild member
is doing all the painting and he has
done a great job.
Thank YOU, Rich!
Here you see the start of
space planning.
My easel in blue,
and white tape for
shelf placement.
File cabinet footprint.

There is a lovely curved wall
in an area I will have for a table
to each lunches at.
I will also have a another
 along the wall or me
to do demos etc for the classes
I have until the middle of April
to do everything and many
members of the guild
are offering to help.
It will be FUN!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Daffodils and Hyacinths - Watercolor

Daffs and Hyacinths
6x6in aquabord watercolor SOLD

Artist Note
Spring and all the beauty it brings.
The Quail have had their first babies.
Nests are being used all over the place.
The daffodils are up -
blossoms are on the trees
and the
March winds have been

This painting is on aquabord.
I quite like the way the colors absorb
into its dimpled surface,
creating a different appearance
than on paper.

The best part of course is
that no glass is required.
I prefer to wax for protection,
but a couple of layers
with a light spray of varnish
is also perfect.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Peacock Feathers With Roses

Peacock Feathers With Roses
7x5in oil on canvas panel  SOLD

Artist Note
The beauty of the rose always astounds me,
but place it next to a peacock feather and real
competition for the top spot happens.
The real dilemma for the artist is deciding
which one wins.
Rose or Peacock Feather?

This is a pick-up from an older post.
Still swamped!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Hydrangeas and Coffee Bean Plant

Hydrangeas and Coffee Bean Plant

8x6in  oil on canvas panel SOLD

Hydrangeas with sprigs of coffee bean plant.
These  hydrangeas have a lot of a creamy color in the center
with pale blue edges to the petals. I got them at Trader Joes
in Albuquerque at weekend. They are not perky!

Artist Note.
This is a repeat of a favorite post.

This was a demo done in class today.
I had a lovely set up using the the reds of the strawberries from
yesterday to move the eyes around from the coffee bean buds.
I blocked it in like this.

Then I realized I would not be able to fit it all 
in during the time I had time.
So  - out go the strawberries!
Next I used the fracturing technique
and came back.
reworking every area.

Had family visiting this week
so not much painting accomplished 
after classes.

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Old Red Chevy

The Old Red Chevy  (1948)
6x8in oil on canvas panel SOLD

Artist Note
The inspiration for this one comes from
the Lets Paint New Mexico group.
February 14th Challenge
The original photo was of a 
rusty blue truck -
 beautifully rusty - but as the theme 
this month at the Artists Guild 
was on painting
I thought I would demo
red in the sun and shade.

In my opinion,
Red is one of the hardest 
colors to paint in the light
without going chalky or 
losing its local color and turning
due to adding 
too much white.

 These are the colors I used
for the truck.
Permanent Alizarin
(with a whisper of green
from all the trees around)
to darken into shadow.
Permanent Red and Grumbacher Red
as base colors
then I
added orange with a touch
of Naples Yellow  Light
to make it
even lighter.

The basic principle involved
when painting a dark value like red
is that it cannot possibly go as light
as a middle or light value can. 

The exception being highlights 
or reflective light on shiny surface.

I really admire this painting by Sargent
using all the values of red.
The background is rich, dark red.

Dr. Pozzi At Home
 Hammer Museum, CA
An amazing, life sized portrait.

notice how dark a value
the red in the light is

The one below is by Gauguin.

Women of Tahiti, on The Beach
Musee d'Orsay, Paris.

It  is perfect for
showing red in light and shadow 
pink in light and shadow.
Pink can go lighter due to it already
being a lighter
value to start with.

Easy to write about, but not as easy for me to do.

I am always intrigued how the principles
are followed by the masters in every style.

I have certainly picked
the pursuit of lifelong learning.
Does anyone else love the fact
that we  artists can keep
getting better at our craft...forever?

Friday, March 3, 2017

Avian Symbols - Alcohol Ink.

Avian Symbols
6x12inches Alcohol Ink on copper plate.  
Framed 500.
Purchase HERE

Avian Sanctuary
6x12inches Alcohol Ink on copper plate. 
Framed 500.
contact artist

Artist Note.
I loved painting these two companion pieces.
I was experimenting with the alcohol inks
and using more control in layering and line.
It is hard to get an accurate color 
as the copper reflects thru the inks.

I floated/glued them on a sheet of tin 
with a neat dark frame.
I really like the combination of metals.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Spring Run-off

Spring Runoff
6x8 inches oil on panel $140.
Purchase HERE

Artist Note
I am really drawn to the sound
of a bubbling stream and
singing birds.

Computer Issue follow up.
Thank heavens
the solution was found for 
my computer woes!!
I have to thank fellow artist and blogger
She emailed privately and so 
I will not put her last name  but 
we have followed each other's
work for a few years now and 
she has helped me before.

The solution was to enable 
third party cookies in Settings.
Simple eh?
Bless YOU, dear Lauren.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

New Mexico Sunrise

New Mexico Sunrise
6x6 oil on canvas panel $110. SOLD

A gorgeous spot in northern New Mexico.
It really is
The Land Of Enchantment.

Artist Note.
I have been having major
computer problems and
had to acquire a new one...
oh boy, now I have to
get used to
Windows 10.

 PLUS... unfortunately,
my usual way
of answering Blogger comments
is not working.
I type away with
a complete comment
when I click PUBLISH
I am asked to
please choose a profile. 

It happens on every artists 
blog I try to comment on 
including my own.
I can answer from my phone just fine,
but then I cannot see the whole blog.

I have tried every single one
of those  listed to no avail.
Everything I have typed
goes into never-never-land
Can anyone help me please?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Pouncer ll - Fracturing Demo

Pouncer ll. Bird Watching
8x8in oil on Senso

Fracturing Technique - Step by Step.

Artist Note.

This is a re-post.
Some of you may not have seen it.
Swamped at the moment but hope
to paint tomorrow.

I have had so many requests for information on the fracturing technique
that I thought I would show some of the steps and tools I use.
I am using the natural linen SENSO. I buy it in pads which I tape
to foam core board. When it is dry I use YES paste
to glue it to a Masonite panel
Ampersand makes  boards in 6x8 in size.

 I drew this out with a mixture of
Ultramarine and Permanent Alizarin
using a script brush.
 Next, I placed quick brush marks
of bright, local color.
I made sure to go over the neighboring
edges in some places but not all.
Next, I used my handy tool to swish
 through some edges.
This part is where you allow your
own personal taste to guide you.

I hold the shaper at an angle and
VERY LIGHTLY  skim it over paint
to remove and randomly
break up areas .
Then I go back and reinstate.
Sometimes I fracture one layer
and others several times.
It all depends on how broken up
I want the image to be.

    This is a short handled, ANGLE brush.
    It is a marvelous brush for these
    small paintings.
    Using the edge, a straight line is easily
    made and I use the side to make
    multiple, different type marks.

 I make what I call "opposing strokes."
Shown here.
Make a stroke and then brush in the
opposite direction... and then again.
If you get into the habit of doing
this it will
prevent over blending and
keep your paint surface active.

If you click on the above it will
take you to DPW tutorial page where
I have a FREEBIE one for the tools I use
I also have a little video showing
 how I paint using the
fracturing technique.
(be sure to scroll down)
In the last two years, Catalyst has
come out with a whole line of shapers
so there is no need to make one.

I used a #2 round brush to do
the small areas to finishing up.
I check my center of interest
- the cats head- to make sure it
has not been fractured as much
as the other areas.

I hope that by showing my methods
and tools it will inspire some
of you to try some new method just for fun.
Let me know how it goes.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Special Visit

Meeting a Fellow Blogger.
Anne Winthrop Cordin 

Anne and Cooper

I was delighted to get a message
from Anne
asking if we could meet as 
she passed through Las Cruces
with her husband (and dog).
Are you kidding...Absolutely!

I have followed Anne for a few years.
I love her blog and work. She paints 
with a wonderful abstract vision,
and writes amazingly well
about her process,
including personal ruminations
which are always interesting.

See for your self

Look what Anne painted while in Las Cruces.
A White Winged Dove.

Thank you, dear Anne, for taking the time to visit
and for making it such an interesting
and stimulating time. I loved every moment.
Hope you come again.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Egg Dreams - Alcohol Ink

Egg Dreams
8x10" alcohol ink on cradled board 
1 3/4" Floater Frame - silver leaf 
with antique finish. $495.
Purchase HERE

Artist Note.
I loved working on this one.
I saw the painting in a dream first
so I had a direction to go in.

I worked on getting a puffy,
cloud-like, background first.
Layering with the inks is 
not easy and I found that 
patience solved a lot of issues
that came up.

The whole process 
kept me fascinated
and I really like the results -
it has a little more of a 
contemporary viewpoint. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

New Mexico Hollyhocks

8x6 inches oil on canvas panel $140. SOLD

Artist Note.
This is adapted from a
Lets Paint New Mexico
I say "adapt" because I had to 
change some areas to fit my 
6x8in format.
It certainly was a challenge 
but that is why I enjoy
doing something 
which makes me 
struggle more than if I had 
picked the content myself.

Lots of very good artists 
participate and it is 
such a pleasure to see the 
different interpretations 
and techniques.

I hope you go on the site
and scroll down to see it all.
Maybe you would 
enjoy participating yourself.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Snow & Aspens

Snow & Aspens
8x6in oil on canvas panel $140. SOLD

Artist Note
The above is a mixture 
of memory and photo source.
After painting the previous
snowy scene I was taken by 
an image a fellow blogger
posted. Click to see. 
I asked her for permission 
to paint it and she 
gave me the thumbs up!

I live in the land of 
crisp, dry air so 
although my earlier memories 
are of misty scenes 
I found it difficult to capture 
the subtle value changes
 with my paint 
due to 
not painting from life.

And that is why, try as I might,
I couldn't capture the 
misty effect!

So... the birches are now aspens.
I did a wee bit of 
"artist landscaping"
moving things around 
to fit my rectangle format,
and then reverted 
to what I knew well.
 I have painted 
aspens many times 
on location
in both NM and Colorado
so this was a treat.

Thank you,
Carol, for the inspiration.
I enjoyed painting it.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

New Mexico Snow

 New Mexico Snow
6x8in oil on canvas panel SOLD

Artist Note. 
Taking a trip to the snowy areas
of New Mexico
is always delightful. 
Although the colors are not those
of my typical bright palette,
I do find I respond with 
pleasure to the 
muted earth tones 
against the bright white of the snow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sunflowers and Blue Bowl

 Sunflowers And Blue Bowl
8"x6" oil on canvas panel $140 SOLD

Artist Note
The sunflowers are still around. 
Cheerful spot of color
during these winter days.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Red Hearts and Sunflowers

Hearts and Sunflowers
8"x 6" oil on canvas panel $140.SOLD

Artist Note
Thinking ahead to Valentines Day.
I have had this terrific vase 
for many years 
and it is sturdy enough 
to hold large Sunflowers. 
Something bright for 
cold days.

Monday, January 9, 2017

World Bank

Farmers Market#15

Artist Note.
I was honored by the World Bank Group
to be asked for another one of my 
Farmers Market series
to be used on the cover or their
Global Agriculture brochure.
I had not taken a high enough 
resolution image.. RATS!
What a lesson...and a reminder
to ALWAYS take a 
proper image with my trusty Nikon
and not 
just the iphone one.

 I really wanted 
them to be able to use it so I 
painted it all over again. 

I found it is impossible 
to get exactly the 
same with the 
fracturing technique but similar 
colors and placements
turned out a decent copy.

Fortunately they liked it and 
I will have the pleasure of knowing 
my painting will grace the cover 
again in 2017

If you would like to see the first one

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Golden Light

Golden Light
14x11in  oil on canvas SOLD

Artist Note.
This was a demo I did last month.
I started with a charcoal drawing
and scrubbed a coat of
Indian Yellow (transparent)
to cover the canvas. Adding
a little Alizarin and
Transparent Brown Oxide
as I worked out from the light
Keeping the paint transparent
as long as possible was my goal.
I mixed Ultramarine Blue
with the yellow to make
a transparent green
and Alizarin, Ultramarine
and Transparent Brown Oxide
to make
the dark of the Ravens.
I fractured everything with
the tool and
went back in and reinstated
and started with using
some opaques by adding
Naples Yellow to
Indian Yellow and greens.

Following the principle
of warm light/cool shadows
I introduced the cooler
blue/greens at the end.
They look more blue on the
screen than they
actually are.