In these busy past few weeks, I've had a bit of time to paint, but posting has gotten the short end of the stick. So, this is a catch- up post for a painting I put together last week. I was trying for interesting darks, trying not to rely too heavily on flat passages. This was from two photos of the Owyhee River in the fall, with the rust colored foliage providing contrast.
I hope your Christmas was wonderful and that you find time for relaxing as the year winds down.
I finished this one today and the size did have me taking extra time and stepping back quite a lot for the long view. While I'd used this shot before, this time I played much more with a kind of shimmering color effect with a lot of broken color strokes. I am posting some of those details shots as well. It is already sold, but it can be seen on my website.
Yesterday, I continued to mull over the band of light that I wanted to add to the trees in my last post. And, after Julie Ford Oliver's energetic comment "go for it!" there was no holding back. I posted the adjustment in my last post and on my website.
Today, I worked with a particularly simple value scheme. The dark masses I kept in the 6,7 range but the lights are all in the 2,3 range for a lot of contrast.
This is a great stand of Cottonwood trees along the Boise River as it passes through Eagle. I am quite sure I haven't done it justice but the story I wanted to tell was simply about this beautiful gold band of color against blue sky. I painted just a suggestion of a few birds for some motion though you probably can't see them unless you take in the larger view.
I would like to try another view of this and perhaps have a more distinct band of lighting in the tops of the trees. It lends itself to many interpretations, so how can a painter go wrong?
This is a painting I actually started last fall. But I'd gotten lost in all the wonderful color of the entire forest and the story I wanted to tell got lost as well. So, I put it away and it wasn't until it was unearthed recently that I saw a clear path. The whole idea was to say something about this wonderful bright light in the forest, all on it's own.
I mixed glazes using Gamblin Solvent Free Gel with some of the shadow colors that were grayed down. I then painted all the muddled middle values that confused the whole composition and toned them way down. I'm much happier now with this single statement of color and subject!
Today I did work with more fall color. I've noticed on this tree, which is in our backyard, that as the leaves change, so do other parts of the trunk. This one gets a deep rich red color and the texture of the peeling bark gives it a lot of interest. There were more of the yellow masses of leaves, but I thought for focus, I would just keep it to a few.
I worked on a light gray gessoed surface today which I haven't done for quite a while. I liked the way the warm colors came forward right away and the darks were more immediate to achieve. I only have a hint of fall color in this one, but I'm planning for more along that line soon.
I am so thankful for all my collectors, but after eight commissions, I am looking forward to painting for myself in the next few weeks. This is from our friend's garden. They have created a true oasis in their perfect backyard space. Their hard work has paid off beautifully with color and fun artistic corners everywhere. As always, the sunflowers caught my eye. And, Alison let me know that, while they weren't a big challenge to grow, they always plant them "for the birds" which I thought was a perfect title.
I'll need to mull this one over for awhile and possibly knock down some of the brushwork. So, though it's currently not for sale, you can see the Larger View On My Website.
The 'big island' of Hawaii is the scene for another beachy painting. The soft greens of these lush mountains came into view as we drove around a bend in the road. While the photo I used is from a few years back, I remember the scene well. I debated whether to put in the figures on the beach, but added them for scale and just the tiniest sparks of contrasting color.
Life gets so crazy busy sometimes and I find myself neglecting my blog, which is frustrating but I know is a familiar lament for many of us from time to time. I am painting, for some commissioned work and also busy with a bit of travel and family obligations.
Today though, I took a second look at a painting that I was never quite happy with. The color was lifeless and I couldn't see the resolution. When I am in a bind like that, it helps me to use a limited palette to bring cohesion back to the work. I used cad. lemon, cad yellow dark, cad. red light, alizarin crimson,ultramarine blue and white. Then, I just concentrated on warm and cool 'pieces' of color to create interest. Much better!
I've been working with commissions and other projects for awhile but did get time for this enlargement of a smaller work that has long since sold. I always enjoy working with water reflections and this different format. This one is on a deep edge canvas with the painting extending onto the edges.
Today another still life, but this one from a photo of about a week ago at a local place. Yesterday's post "Flow Blue With Pitcher" was painted from life, Next time I do so, I will try to remember to take a picture before I take it apart!
I had time to work with a still life today. This is a set up using several pieces that were my Mom's. She loved deep blues, and pinks, and gold tones and .... ok, she just loved color! I'm sure that's where I get my own love of color. The name 'flow blue' is from the blue glaze that blurred or 'flowed' during the firing process. It's lovely and I along with my sisters have several pieces from her collection
I finally had a chance to finish this painting today. I worked with blending some edges, and using more opaque paint in the build up around the face and background. It's always interesting to come back to a work after some time. Every time I walked into my studio for the last few weeks, I'd think a little about how to resolve certain areas and finish. By the time I sat down today, it was mapped out in my head pretty well. It worked for this one anyway!
Still have the Bighorn river on my mind with these cattle at the river's edge. They were no doubt seeking a little relief from the hot day and what feels better than wading to cool off the tootsies?
I blocked in all the shadow areas in a thin mix of pink and coral tones, then drew the shapes and worked with thicker paint right over it all. I used walnut oil on this one, to loosen up the paint a bit. I just put a little puddle on the corner of my palette and dip into it periodically. It's best when I don't use too much, It can get a little too slippery and does increase drying time otherwise. On the other hand, I like the consistency which is slightly thicker than OMS, but not sticky.
I'm always attracted to the wonderful variety of shapes in Cottonwood trees, especially old ones like this stand I saw along the Bighorn river. It reminds me that I have not taken advantage of painting along the many beautiful areas along the Boise river since we've been here. It's banks are filled with old growth and beautiful pathways. What is it about getting away that opens ones eyes?
Here's one that a little different. I was contacted last week by Northern Woodlands magazine in Vermont, to do an illustration for a short essay. It's about two friends going fly fishing and their experience and enjoyment of the day and surroundings. It will publish in September, and the design will use a cropped version. They were great to work with and I look forward to seeing it.
So what else did we see in Montana? Field after field of hay bales under blue skies and quite a green landscape. We had two evenings of rain during the time we were there and it provided wonderful relief from the hot days. I always like the patterns of the mowed hay. It provides great line that helps you point toward and away from various elements. In this case, I used the tilt of the hillside to give it some interest as well.
We just returned from a week in Montana, where we saw lots of cowboys, fly fishers and also several cowboy fly fishers. Here's one taking a day off from ranch duties to bring one in on the Big Horn river. I look forward to catching up with other artist blogs and seeing what everyone is up to in the world of painting and creating.
I love painting hens and chicks and it's been way too long. The colors and animation they provide while running round the farmyard (or backyard) are endless. These two were actually from a pic I took in Hayden long ago. I did spark up that patch of light behind the two as it gave them a little compositional path to follow.
This is from Belize, where my husband has fished with friends, several times. I'm told that seeing the fish is one of the most challenging aspects, as they seem to 'hide in plain sight'. An expert guide is invaluable to the day's success....... pointing out schools of silvery Bonefish that you'll otherwise miss.
My painting process was to first do a loose drawing with a small filbert and umber paint.
I concentrated on shapes and placement of the figures, then went into the sky and water with broad areas of color. Edges were last, where I softened them throughout the painting and left the most contrast around our action figure pointing out the day's catch.
I have been called away to help out a family member with some health matters, but hope to return soon. This is the latest painting I've been working on and while it's not quite finished, I decided to share it for now. Until I am able to return to blogging and my easel ... happy painting!
I'll keep this one very short as the keyboard on my laptop is broken and I have to type things repeatedly to get it to work.(new one ordered) Here's todays effort and hoping everyone's Mother's Day was a nice one.
This is part of the beautiful and expansive BC Provincial Legislature building complex in Victoria British Columbia. There are wonderful park grounds all around and it is right next to the harbor and many gorgeous city sites. Can't wait to go back some day!
I got a question today about having other painting demos online. If you follow my blog, you know that I do post them occasionally, but I thought it might be a good thing to give a link for viewing several of them. Here's a link forBLOG DEMOS in both oil and acrylic painting and for a few others listed on MY WEBSITE. You'll see a little duplication, but not too much.Hope you like them.
This is from a picture my husband took while fly fishing with friends this weekend. It's on the Owyhee river. I intensified the turquoise color of the water and used some scratching for the brushy look of the trees. I also took photos of the painting stages along the way. So, tomorrow, I'll post the slideshow demo.
While we've had sunshine and a few days of low 70's. Most days are still cool and breezy. This was a shot from a little creek just 10 minutes from us. I liked all the spring greens with cool lights of early day and the framework of shapes created by the trunks.
I am told this variety of marigolds is called Royal Mix. And that seems a perfect name for the wonderfully golden color that they have. The crowns of intense color really made a nice spotlight for the focus of this one. These were waiting for someone to come along and nab them on a table at a garage sale.
I have several pictures of rocks and water taken over the years. So, it's hard to say where this is from. I go back to them now and then and always find them a peaceful subject to paint, much like being there and watching the water rushing by.
I painted plein aire today but didn't have far to go because this tree is in our backyard. When it blooms each year, it's like a beautiful gift, wrapped in every shade of pink you can imagine. It has a lovely umbrella form and is a favorite for both myself and my sister, because it always reminds us of our mom...... who loved it and anticipated it's bloom every spring.
When I'm painting trees, I so often find that it is either the silhouette of the whole, or the places between the branches that create interest. And, while I used fun color in the trunk and branches, I really had the most fun painting the blue patches, or negative spaces of the sky. It's always interesting to pay attention to what we see in both positive and negative space
This is an old painting, but one I still love. In re-organizing my website ages ago it was somehow left out and on it's own, languishing in a studio box. The little cow pitcher was given to me by my sister-in-law and I don't think she realized at the time that it had wonderful memories for me. My Tia Celes had one that was very similar and I always remember it on her counter. It was the companion to a table laid additionally with sugar, coffee cups and probably some kind of home made dessert for company ( I don't remember doughnuts)
I hope you had a wonderful Easter, enjoying both family and friends. This is one I painted recently for a client who saw one of mine that was similar, but sold. It's such a bright, fun palette to work with, and reminds me that I don't use yellow enough. Have a bright Monday!
These two were enjoying a shore lunch and taking a break when I caught their picture on the banks of the Big Horn river It was a bright day and when I caught the image I was able to visualize the finished painting pretty quickly. One thing I had to work against was everything being too green for an interesting set-up. So, I countered it with some warm transparent oxide red in the undertones and put a nice warm yellow shirt on one of the guys. A few bits of color in the lunch set-up created interest as well.
My niece was the model for this painting, but I did not worry about capturing a likeness. Because she was under a leafy tree, there was soft dappled light and moving shadows bouncing around everywhere. Of course, it's that splash of red that caught my eye!