Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring- The Lochsa River northwest, river, landscape, art

Spring - The Lochsa River    8"x10"     oil
Apologies to those of you who have been receiving old or repeated posts from my blog. I hope to get the issue cleared up soon, but haven't figured out why it's happening. Thanks for your patience. Meanwhile, here is a new painting of a bend in the Lochsa River, where you see lots of spring and mushy wet grass and mossy bits that lead toward the water.
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Farmer Brown's Cow - a monochromatic painting challenge

Farmer Brown's Cow     oil        8"x 10"  
A while back, I gave myself a painting challenge to work in a monochromatic color scheme. Then, I painted this Umber cow for that challenge and never posted it......But, as I am not able to paint for the next few days, he can fill in for a bit. This is actually a cow from the Brown's farm, hence the name, but I nearly called it 'Lunch Interrupted'. I always think the cows that give us these long looks are trying to communicate something profound, but they are probably just thinking ...'I wish this person would go away or bring me more lunch...ha!
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Monday, March 26, 2012

More Blue Sky - Belize

More Blue Sky   oil    7"x 9"      
I don't have much time to post right now, but just wanted to get out one more little tropical dream scene for you, from Belize. Just beautiful weather, the ocean and more blue skies.........
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Villa Incommunicada - Belize, oil seascape, lobster hut

Villa Incommunicada     oil      8"x 9"  
Don't we all just need a place called Villa Incommunicada? A place of being at peace and away from noise? Well, this one does exist and it's in Belize, where my husband went last week for the fishing and brought back some shots of the wonderful Cerulean blue ocean and sunshine. Hope it provides you with a moment of quiet to contemplate today.
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Painting Surfaces For Oil and Acrylic

Dianthus- Claussen's DP oil primed  linen

Blue Boat at Tofino -  alkyd primed linen

Wood River- End of Day  - re-primed cotton canvas
Somehow, this has become a week of teaching or at least explaining some of my art processes and today I will end the week doing so again. For me the surface that I paint on is extremely important, so that I can anticipate the way the paint will drag, or flow, etc. I have been rotating 3 different surfaces, depending on what I want for the final look. The painting in my last post "Drift", is on Claussen DP oil primed linen-smooth. There are several sources online for it. It is an absolute dream, as you can wipe out to white, but the paint adheres without being too slippery. It is for oil paint only.

Another that I like is the alkyd primed linen and linen panels at Wind River Arts. As they explain on their site, the surface is 'slightly more absorbent and takes the paint off the brush easily.' In other words,there is more drag and brush feel. Scott Christensen uses this surface and I was happy to discover it from him. It is only for oil paint as well.

The third one is just your everyday stretched primed canvas, but with a twist. I re-prime cotton canvases with a coat of white acrylic gesso and a second coat of acrylic clear gesso, letting them dry in between. Clear gesso dries with a bit of a texture or grit and really grabs paint, forcing me to use thicker paint when I want that look. I also sand very lightly after the clear gesso is dry. It can be used for oil or acrylic and is also great for pastels, if you work that way. the three paintings posted above are examples of each one.
Click the titles for a larger views or to purchase.
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Drift - underpainting demo, and fly fishing

Drift   oil    9"x 9"

Drift - Demo
So after posting yesterday about underpainting, here is an example in a slideshow demo. The top picture is the finished work, the second image should start the slides. I had a question about whether the underpainting is wet or dry and I have worked both ways. I most often work with it wet however. You will see that I have sketched first in umber, and do this if I need proportions and placement to be a bit more precise.  Hope you enjoy it... and don't hesitate to ask questions ...
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Underpainting - Using Color to Start a Painting


I've had questions both recently, and in the past, about how I use underpainting in my work, so today is a bit of an explanation using cropped versions of recent paintings. I use a color or underpainting  about 80% of the time, and it helps with different issues. First, it establishes a value to judge other mixes against. I frequently  use a value of about 3 and a mix of cad yellow and perm. rose. Depending on the painting, it will lean more toward yellow, orange or pink. Second, a warm underpainting will affect your other colors, including cooler colors, giving them a bit more life. This helps to unify the painting in both color and temperature. Third, I use a pretty thin mix, using the paint with OMS, so that it remains transparent and that helps to wet the surface enough for the top coats to glide more easily. Fourth, when you see transparent and opaque color next to each other, there is a sort of visual 'zing' and depth that occurs. Click the titles below to view the full paintings and you'll see the overall effects. Tomorrow I hope to have a demo ready, using a yellow underpainting.
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

On The Big Horn

On The Big Horn   oil    8" x 10"  
I was inspired to paint with orange after seeing Kelley Sanford's last post of tall white birds which for me felt very tropical. She used a great coral color with turquoise blue in the composition. Here, my orange leans more toward yellow and I used warm and cool blues in the water for a little contrast. This is on the Big Horn River in Montana, where much of the river is edged with huge Cottonwood trees that I always enjoy painting.
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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Geranium Stem, small floral in oil

Geranium Stem   oil    6" x 6"
This little snip of a geranium stem uses the favorite compliments of red and green. And, I'm pushing the season here, but looking forward to seeing a lot of geranium starters out soon. 
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

DPW Challenge- "Travelers" in Zorn Country

"Travelers"   oil   9"x7"
Today is a group post for the Diana Moses Botkin Challenge and our "assignment" was to use the Anders Zorn palette of cad red, yellow ochre, black and white. Because Zorn was Swedish, I chose to use a photo my sister gave me from when she was able to visit Stockholm with her family awhile ago. The other works are below and they are aMAZing! Love 'em all, as I know you will.

"Isabelle"   14" x 11   oil

"Water"     6"x 6"   oil

"Laura and Vincent"   8"x 10"   oil

"Pensive"    10"x 8"    oil
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fly Fishing and a great day in the great outdoors

Secret Spot   oil    9"x 9"
Just another quiet afternoon on the river. Well.....with the exception of the sounds of the river, the great outdoors and sparkle on the water.....
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Monday, March 12, 2012

Fishing Gold - fly fishing in a golden light

Fishing Gold   8"x 10"   oil  
I've often talked with my husband about that " head place" I can go when the painting is going well. It's still hard work, you are concentrating, but other issues drop away and you're in the 'zone'. He tells me it's that same escape for him when he's on the water. The light in this work reminds me of that time when it's  'golden' and hopefully there's a great fish at the end of the line, or a great painting at the end of your brush...but either way, that zone can be golden.
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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Angel Trumpet Flowers - floral oil from the Butchart Gardens

Angel Trumpet Flowers   oil     12"x 9"
In this time of almost spring and Easter season, this flower seemed the perfect choice for today. I'd seen this flower in white before, but these were gold and were at the Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada. They actually reminded me a lot of Easter Lilies, but hung down in a profusion of blooms.
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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Glacier Park Peaks- mountain spring landscape oil painting

Glacier Park Peaks    oil      9" x 12"
I'm back to the mountains on this one and the source is one of the many stunning views in Glacier Park. We've been there twice, but were either early or late for the wildlower season. That must mean it's time to go back I think! This early summer view did have lush emerald greens though
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Monday, March 5, 2012

Flower Tangle - a small, colorful, floral still life

Flower Tangle   oil       7" x 9"
Today's  mix of flowers comes from a couple of photos taken last spring. It shows that kind of tangle of small blossoms that have very fragile stems. They just weave all over and under each other, and one can't be separated from another. There always seem to be lots of volunteers in this kind of bunch. Spring will be here before you know it and we'll see them  again soon.
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Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Perfect Cup - a morning coffee still life

The Perfect Cup   6"x 9"    oil  
What's your perfect cup? For me it's strong hot coffee with just enough 2% to give it a caramel color. For you perhaps it's a breakfast blend with sugar and cream or maybe it's tea with lemon. So this was fun because  morning coffee  is truly one of the pleasures in my day.  This is one of those white on white compositions where painting the reflected color is the challenge. I also concentrated on keeping my values in just two groups and that helped a lot. Now I'll go grab a cup, sit back and enjoy...
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Teton Mountains, A Second View.... Revised

Teton Mountains, A Second View    oil      9"x 9"
Today, like we all do, my glance kept being directed to this last painting. I continued to review it and finally asked the question I so frequently used to ask my students.."what do you want to see?" And, what I wanted to see was a whole statement that pulled my view into the mountains. What I saw was too strong a division between the sage filled ground and rise of the mountains. The second I took my brush and broke through that barrier it felt better and the orange bits gave a good contrast with the blue.... ok, now it's finished!
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