Friday, May 21, 2010

Produce Stand

11x14 oil on panel

This is the one I've stewed over for a week. I had done the gray scale version of this in order to figure out the values. The majority of it being in shade threw me apparently. I know that I respond to and am inspired by strong contrasts of light and dark, but this scene really struck me with the backlighting and softer, subdued foreground. And I knew it could work, I just had to get what I envisioned out of my head and through my brush. And man, did it feel great!

I struggled last week with time... always something lately interrupting my studio time. The week before, I was struggling with brushwork ... trying to define too much, paintings looked like patchwork quilts. It all came together in this.

I actually went on to paint two more lovely paintings yesterday (if I do say so myself!) And one today. Hopefully the weekend will not disrupt my new-found creative spark. We have just one week of school left now too - so I have to be busy next week! I wanted to have all my work done for the show in July so I could just focus on framing and such, but dragging my feet the last two weeks has put me behind. My daughter very kindly says she will let me paint. We shall see how that works out. She doesn't have a camp set up until mid-June and then later in the month, we are off to Florida. I look forward to posting all my show paintings leading up to the opening in Vermont. Sprinkled in with some Florida beach scenery. Ah, summertime!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Moses Botkin Monthly Challenge

This month it was my pick and I decided we should experiment with a limited palette. And I meant limited. I chose the complements of purple and yellow to paint whatever subject we each wanted. We could add white and mix the two colors to make grays, but no black.

It was a fun challenge. It forced me to look at values, something I am struggling with this week! It also made me loosen my brushwork more, as there was less tendency to define everything and separate it based on color changes. While I went loose and undefined though, some of the group really worked the colors to make them as natural looking as they could and achieved some really interesting and surprising results. Be sure to check their blogs for more information on how each one approached the assignment.


Study in Complements
8x10 oil on panel
Paint colors: ultramarine blue/quinacridone red, hansa yellow and white.
© 2010 Robin Cheers

Sliced Plum on a Wood Block
5x5 oil on panel
Paint colors: ultramarine blue/cadmium red, cadmium yellow and white.
© 2010 Jeanne Illenye

Dancer at the Bar
7x5 oil on hardboard
Paint colors: ultramarine blue/thio violet, cadmium yellow medium, white

PY Study
12x9 oil on panel
Paint colors: cobalt violet, cadmium lemon and white.
© 2010 Vicki Ross

20x16 oil on canvas
Paint colors: ultramarine blue/alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow, white
© 2010 Suzanne Berry

Friday, May 14, 2010

I know there is a painting in here....


The setting- a farmer's market.
The story so far - tried to mass in using color. Wiped it off. Tried to draw it carefully and paint each section. Wiped it off.

The trouble is values. My head knows the logic, but my hand can't seem to make it happen. There are many colors and lots of different market "brick-a-brack" but I am not holding the correct values in full color.

So I reduced it to basically three values and am gratified to see that I am right, there is a painting in this scene! But to make it happen in color - there is the rub.

Stay tuned.

note: tomorrow we share our Moses-Botkin Monthly Challenge paintings!

Monday, May 10, 2010


Once in awhile I like to remind friends of the most wonderful outlet for all things handmade. I find gifts on ETSY all the time - teacher's gifts, mother's day, something for a special friend, etc. Everything from scarves to jewelry to fine art. And they are all so unique and creative. You really need to check it out! You have to have an account (username/password) to shop but its so worth it.
Some of the vendors put together neat "treasuries" too.... and I was included in some very fun ones this past week.
Check them out -
May's Dream of Summer Vacation makes me long for the lazy days of summer.
Paintings of Kids at Play is a lovely collection of children in art.

My painting of the sprinkler park was featured in both.

11x6 oil on panel
$150 + s/h - sold
Available on ETSY

I have not yet really put much energy into my ETSY store, but it is something I plan to work on and use more regularly.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


11x14 oil - linen mounted on gatorboard

Finally following up with my demo painting. I really liked the loose quality I had when I finished at the New Braunfels Art League meeting and didn't want to muck with it too much. So I worked a little more in the faces and gestures of the couple and filled in some of the white canvas... but left the majority alone.

There is a good lesson in that. Stopping before its done. Was it Richard Schmid who wrote something like that? It takes two people to paint a painting... the artist and someone to tell the artist when to stop.

Today I needed that person. I lost my vision, got carried away with too many small brush strokes and ended up with a busy mess. The only good thing about a bad painting is that it makes me anxious to get back to work first thing in the morning and do it right.
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