Not much time to post now, but wanted to show today's painting of the St. Joe river....I just seem to have these visuals in mind right now and have to put them down. So, why fight it, no matter what the calendar says.... !
I don't paint animals very often. But, yesterday's post on the St. Joe river, reminded me of this sighting on that day trip. I saw this very white shape against the green, right down on the river's edge. It turned out to be a Mountain Goat just walking casually along and in no hurry. We took several photos and speculated about why he wasn't high up onto rocky cliffs somewhere. Loved seeing him, and it was a great cap on the day.
Here is another post from late summer on the St. Joe River. The blue shadows were fun against the warmth of reflected light. I thought about developing the back hillside more, but decided to let it fade into the background and distance.
This is from the farm country of the northwest called the Palouse, once again. I always love the curves of the furrowed fields that run up and down the hills They provide visual lead ins that I can't seem to resist. This is a warm summer day in July...an uplifting scene right now and calming to me in the midst of busy-ness.
I've painted this area before, which is the Coeur d'Alene river out at Cataldo. Working with this soft cobalt blue gave me a perfect foil for the limited winter-y palette with ochre, terra rosa and white. I feel like I've broken through a dark color slump.....whew! Which reminds me of a little catchphrase I saw the other day..."Artwork is Work!"
Sometimes the first snow falls so unevenly and melts, for the most part. But, as with this scene, it leaves just enough behind to remind you that that there will be more to come. This path of light is also a way to define the landscape and a way forward.
I think since the days here have been so dark, I have somehow gotten into using only the darks on the value scale! Hard to know exactly what's up with that, but maybe I'd better check the lights in my studio and see if there's a bulb out.... At any rate, this one has more of the middle values and I loved using the various greens of the water to be the real focus here.
This fisherman is kind of blending into the darks of the bank, but it might help to catch more fish! I wanted the cold water feel, but with some warmth in the dry grass and leafless branches on the bank as contrast. I wouldn't be in that river myself, but the fly fishers I know are every bit as single minded and dedicated as the artists of my acquaintance.......ha!
"Swept Away" is now off 'hold' and officially for 'sale' and I thank those who inquired and left such nice comments about it. I made color notes and will be painting from my digital image of it for the enlargement if it sells.
I have been mulling larger works and this painting is a small plan for what might turn out to be one of those. This longer format is different to work with, but I think could be fun in creating some big sweeping sky shapes. My intent was to create an uplifting view to the skies and the impression of movement, so that in a large piece you might always notice a bit of something new each day. It is inspired by a sky last summer over the Palouse farm country.
This one's on hold for now, but you can see a larger view, or
Just a quick post as a reminder that this painting is being auctioned on Daily Paintworks and tomorrow is the last day for this auction. All proceeds from the sale will be donated to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief. So.......if you would like to donate and get a painting too, please consider bidding. You can view a larger picture and the auction HERE . Your painting will come to you gift wrapped and with a black metal scroll easel.
I finished this portrait today and was happy to keep the loose parts loose and just concentrate on edges and directional brushwork. So.... a bit more refined, but hopefully not too tight, as that was not what I was going for. She's just not a formal kind of gal :)
Back home now and had a chance to start a painting today. After the portrait workshop of two weeks ago, I've had in mind some photo references of my niece that I have not used. I am always drawn to her familiar family profile, and the thick curls that missed me completely! She looks great in red and is wearing the blouse and black vest from her Basque costume, and a red scarf she looks great in. I hope to post the finish tomorrow.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and you are enjoying the long weekend as well. This is a painting that is similar to one I painted earlier and sold. In this case, it's a smaller version. I have a net connection that is like a gossamer thread while we are away from home, so I will keep it extra short here!
In the fall I painted some other views to Mt. Rainier, but I keep thinking about the beautiful looming mountain. One of the things is a surprise about being in the park is that the mountain seems so close and ever present. The paths and trails are numerous and the color in late fall can be beat! I have some Claessen's #66 linen that I hadn't used for awhile and I loved using it here for texture and the way it grabs paint off the brush. It was a good match, and a nice departure to have a little more texture to work on.
On another subject, I have a freeArtbyte for you at Daily Paintworks. What's an Artbyte?? It's an Art tutorial and this one is on using transparent and opaque paint to enhance your work. Take a look and let me know what you think. Should I attempt another?? hmmm.......
This is the Westport Winery, where I stood at the end of tidy rows of grapevines, near and far. The variety of greens both warm and cool created the lushness of the view. Makes me want to be there again...
This is a pretty straight forward river scene, but my motivation was to capture the light. Late day golden light makes all the greens so warm. I used Cad. orange and yellow in the mixes for color that floods across the fields from the sun, as it starts to go down. The blue in the more shadowed areas really pops and yet stays light as it reflects the sky overhead.
These two will be my last two posts from last week's workshop. This blonde was unable to return for enough time to finish, but I like the overall blocked in effect. I should probably go back in and finish the sky blue of the sweater she wore because it was so great with her complexion and tawny hair. Below, I re-posted my first day's efforts. I got a better picture, but I think the alizarin and rose tones are still not quite accurate. Ah well.....
Tomorrow I will post another couple paintings from my portrait workshop, but I thought I'd change it up today with this fly fishing painting from the Big Horn River in Montana. I tried a charcoal sketch under this, which I hadn't done for a long time. The usual plan for me is to sketch with a brush. I liked having a bit more of a plan in mind, and will try this again. The charcoal pencil was used for the basic shapes and proportions, but then I also blocked in a few of the darks and sprayed with a fixative before beginning to paint.
Another portrait from last week is this redhead with green eyes. She had wonderful coloring and it was really fun to paint her. There was never enough time to really finish any of the portraits completely, but I learned a lot from each one. Tomorrow I'll post one more.
Today was the last of the 5 day workshop given by Michael Dudash. If you get the chance, do sign up for one in the future. He is a great teacher who is direct in communication, very generous with information and time and does wonderful demos! I really don't know what more a student can ask. I posted my first painting on Thursday, but the post is down as I worked on the painting again the next day. I will re-post when I have a chance to take another picture.
His demos stressed the basics of drawing and getting that right, before moving on, to shadow washes and more opaque paint. He was careful to set the model up with interesting lighting and talked about knowing what you want in a finished work, BEFORE you set out to paint....good advice for any subject matter. I liked his idea of creating a title for a painting prior to starting, so that you have that goal in mind throughout......brilliant!
We've been busy with travel and then guests and having fun with friends and family, but that does mean that I haven't been applying myself at the easel. Today though, I painted one of my favorite subjects, sunflowers. My husband has always been a good one for bringing home flowers...... and aren't I lucky! This bunch was a 'just because' bouquet that he brought home a couple weeks ago, and it just lit up the kitchen table!
While in Mt. Ranier Nat. Park this fall, we crossed a bridge on the drive up toward the mountain. At this time of the morning, much of the river below was in shadow. But, there was that light struck portion, along with the edge of one mountain, that had great light. I probably should not have divided it all up quite so evenly, but felt it successful for it's color, value and other interest in shapes.
Hope you had a nice weekend and time to enjoy a pretty fall day like this one. This was a path we took while on a walking tour of Gettysburg. We had cool overcast light and it was misty, but the humidity did surprise me, I have to admit! When we get days that look like this, I expect to feel a distinct chill in the air!
In working the layers of the background here, it was a challenge to create the great fall color of the landscape,without having it be too bold for the background. I subdued the chroma and tried not to get too dark, though it never shows quite the way I'd like it to on the web (so what else is new for artists :) On a bit different topic, I recently had two collectors who made purchases and didn't realize that my past collectors always get 10% of their next purchase... just email for details...always good to know when you have a deal out there waiting for you!
More fishing on the Grand Ronde for today with a bright and crisp fall day. I enjoyed the light in the canyon again on this one as with the last. I thought about adding a bit stronger color, but decided it would take away from the the main idea here and 'story' so to speak.
Yesterday was a three painting drag, where I just kept wiping off one panel after another and felt as though my hands, eyes and mind were all working at odds with one another! Oh, that was so discouraging...but, just in the nick of time Carrie Waller posted my interview with her on her blog's Friday Feature today! It reminded me that I'd probably paint again some day- ha! Thanks Carrie! And today I did paint this canyon from the Grande Ronde river in Washington
Cataldo Landscape oil-stretched canvas 20" x 24"
I'm posting the finish to yesterday's landscape painting and I have to say, it's been fun to work larger for a change. A larger painting is difficult to see in a smaller format, but Blogger didn't get along with my trying a large format, so check out the link to view below. I am also posting a detail of the fisherman that you see in the distance below. View & Purchase
These pears are from a tree on Lydia Leister's farm, as with my last post. The leaves were starting to turn and they added to the color harmony of the pears that were still hanging on. I took pictures as I painted today, so I'll be posting a demo of it when I have time to put it all together.
During a tour at Gettysburg, we stopped awhile at Lydia Leister's farm. Lydia was a widow raising six kids on her own, and one of them gone to the war. Her 9 acre farm was everything they had. General Meade commandeered the property to further battle plans and the Leister's had to vacate the property. On her return, every bit of her garden and orchard had been stripped of all food along with much of the portable property in the house which made for the beginnings of a very difficult fall and winter. This is one of the trees in her Orchard.
We've been vacationing to DC and also Gettysburg and it makes me thankful for those people and entities with the vision to put together so many of the countries wonderful treasures. I am at a loss for words when it comes to the visual feast at the National Gallery. Even though I hesitated to try this painting with Canaletto's "Piazza San Marco" on the wall, I also couldn't let myself back away from it. It is a loose rendition, unlike the refined and beautiful surroundings of the great galleries, but my version for today.
This is my first post of fall color. It's a wonderful twisted old tree on a corner that I pass frequently. And, when it turns each year, it turns my head. The color and shapes are great any time of year, but right now...just the best!
I'm back to fly fishing today as this fisherman releases his catch of the day. It's always interesting to paint water in colors that are not the typical blues and greens. I like these gold tones reflecting part of the foliage above the water and the close up swirly shapes adding movement. So, while keeping the abstract shapes and different color palette it still reads 'water'.
This is the companion piece to yesterday's post and I thought as long as I was posting one, I'd show you the other. I love the red violets with greens and tried to portray a lush view of the vineyards with both paint and rich color.
I posted this on my Daily Painters sites for today and thanks to the question of fellow artist
Julie Ford Oliver (excellent work, go see her! ) I realized it had never been on my blog. It is a painting I had done a while back and it somehow missed the blog world though it was on my website. Anyway, it is one of my favorites for it's color and shapes. Reviewing it makes me want to paint them all over again!
As you can see, I am still enamored with our visit to Mt. Rainier and the beautiful surroundings. This view takes in one of the many trails leading up to the mountain climb. Sometimes, in a painting I crop a hill or mountain really close, so it is a bit looming in the background, as I did here. It seems to make the mountain even larger in the imagining of it.
I am not quite in my regular schedule/groove yet since returning from travels, but this blue watering can helped and I worked with a primary color scheme which was different for me. I saw this cheery little set-up in a garden while on travels to Westport Washington. A fun choice for today's painting.
This is my week for review and this is a situation much like yesterday's painting. I haven't posted it before because I kept questioning what I was seeing. Today, in a fresh look, I cropped it and realized that I had way too much information elsewhere that was irrelevant. It reminded me of being told years ago not to fall in love with one passage to the detriment of the whole. This was a good reminder of that lesson. I touched up a couple shadows and edges, then saw it as a finished statement.
This is one of the many views of Mount Rainier that the park showed us during our brief tour. As with all the national parks I've visited, the trails and roads cut through the loveliest views and done in a way that helps to create a feeling of always being in the heart of the park. Take advantage of these wonderful places when you have the opportunity, you won't be sorry.
This is another landscape from last week's trip to Mt. Rainier. You can see the base of Mt. Rainier in the background, but I've concentrated here on the color of a hillside leading up to it. I've been having fun with thicker paint in recent work and you'll see I have thick strokes particularly in the lighter values and whites. the red orange is Indian Paintbrush mixed with other small flowers.
We've been travelling again, and lucky enough to be with good friends and beautiful views all around. This is in Mt. Rainier National Park, though this particular view is not the great mountain itself. It's up by Paradise Lodge and throughout the park there were wildflowers and some early fall color in both grasses and leaves. I'm looking forward to painting more from the trip this week.
A few days ago I saw a garage sale that had a few bland looking items out for inspection. But in the drive way, under some shady trees, they'd placed colorful pots of flowers with pink and violet 'for sale' stickers in each. They were definitely the bargain of the day and were selling out fast.
Had to come back to some favorites today, which are dusty pink roses. They are a little old fashioned I know, but I put down the thick paint and just went for it. Hope you are having a fun filled and non- laboring Labor Day weekend!
When was the last time you got a letter instead of an email? My friend Judy writes great letters and I know she still has a pen pal with whom she has corresponded for years. It's a nice and personal touch, and I applaud those of you who still write letters. Something I would hate to see go away.