Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wave Runner

6x6 oil on panel
$450 framed

Available at dk Gallery
  Wow my days are just flying by. I haven't had a chance to pick up a brush this week though I made some yummy and creative caramel apples this morning. Once the Halloween festivities are over, and Harvest Festival at school this weekend, I am sure things will settle down nicely. Remember those carefree days at beach not too long ago?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Exhibit Montmartre

8x8 oil on panel

Ask dk Gallery about this painting

I am packing again. This makes 3 out of 4 weekends I will be out of town this month. Its a little crazy! This weekend is a Girl Scouts camping trip and should be a lot of fun. Our weather is just beautiful now in central Texas.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


10x8 oil on panel 
Ask dk Gallery about this painting

I'm working on some small paintings for the upcoming "Small Gems" show at dk Gallery which opens December 6th. I plan to attend that opening and am really looking forward to that visit. I'm taking my daughter because I could not go to Atlanta without her or risk her eternal disfavor! She desperately wants to visit the Georgia Aquarium - she has hopes of meeting Jeff Corwin and working there one day. 

Tis the season for small. A lot of galleries and artists turn to these tiny treasures thinking that people like to buy for holiday gift giving. What a lovely gift original fine art makes. I am painting quite a few in the hopes of offering some here, entering the 6x6" Squared show again at Randy Higbee Gallery, and putting together a little event at Joel's Coffee House where V....Vaughan and I work together so often. We owe Brad, the chocolatier extraordinaire, some payback for allowing us to use his space to paint large and small, and do some occasional teaching.

Here it is framed and ready to go!

Friday, October 11, 2013

I Feel Like a Rock star

Today I was invited to go to my daughter's school and do a demo and little talk for the entire 5th grade class (100+ kids). I had no idea what to expect and I spent most of the morning going through photos and trying to decide what to paint. Did they want to see something from start to complete finish? In 45 minutes? Or did they just want to see a start of a more complicated scene? Did they want a lesson? Something that goes along with their curriculum? I decided to do a kid on the beach - something that allows me to paint big shapes and is a single object that I could almost finish. I demonstrated working large to small, dark to light, and thick over thin. And I talked about impressionism and my style and what inspires me.

The above is a little out of focus (phone camera), but I have to say I am pretty proud of what I managed to get done. The kids were so nice and asked really good questions. I've know many of these kids since Anna started school there as a kindergartner, so it was good to have a friendly audience! With the oohs and ahhs and the round of applause, I felt like a rock star!

I will finish this up soon. I hope! When I looked around my studio today for complete paintings to take in to show, I realized I have a lot of almost done work. Time to get things ready to go to my galleries.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

A Nice Surprise

8x8 oil on panel
Unfinished sketches 

Today I got the chance to meet Mike Rooney in Austin. We've known one another online only. We both have work at Tidewater Gallery in Swansboro NC  - in fact it was Mike who introduced me to them! (http://mikerooneystudios.blogspot.com/) He is here teaching a workshop and they invited me to come meet up with them at Barton Springs pool. (Thanks Anne and Diane!)

Mike creates wonderful landscapes in the Cape Cod school tradition. It was quite interesting to listen in and learn a little something new. 

While they painted a landscape/water view, I did several studies of swimmers. I think I will work on a series of these. I'll finish these and share them here soon. 

Plein air artists have lots of stories about meeting interesting onlookers while painting and today may be my most interesting to date. A young man came up and asked if he could use my cell phone to call his mother whom he hadn't talked to in several weeks. After sizing him up and asking point blank if he'd run off with it, I let him make his calls (long distance). Who could deny someone trying to reach their mom? He finally reached his dad and, as he sat next to me, I heard enough to know that he just got out of rehab and seems to be alone in the city. Since leaving the pool I've had two of his family call my number - worried about him. 

My prayers go out to them all for good things to come. Makes me wanna hug my daughter close when I see her this afternoon. 

There but for the grace of God....

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

No Water Crossing

12x12 oil on panel
Available at Kerrville Arts & Culture Center

Another of my paintings from the KOPE this past weekend.

This is a creek/river but it was completely dry this year. We've had more rains in Central Texas but they are spotty and while we might get an inch or 2 in town (or 5 in Pflugerville a couple of weeks ago) somewhere else might get none. And the lakes are filled from rains much farther upstream. I guess the rain hasn't been happening there as Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan are still only 33% full - combined!

The cottonwoods were just beginning to turn and placed so nicely against the limestone bluff that it provided a nice colorful scene despite the morning clouds.
I see things now that I'd change but I don't know....leave it as a sketch or make it more finished?

I tend to treat my plein air work as sketches. Some artists like to make their paintings complete and quite representational. But I strive for looseness in all my work and don't like to spend too long on one scene. The sun moves so quickly, too, that you really can't or you will be changing the work continuously. Better to start a new painting.

A lot of people don't realize this area of Texas is so hilly - the painting from yesterday is a good example. Here are some photos from the area. 
looking east Collins Ranch
West from Collins Ranch
View from Kerrville Hills Winery
Lovely Longhorn

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Collins' Climb

Oil on panel

Third place Kerrville Outdoor Painters' Event

I was honored to win another award at the plein air event opening reception Saturday night. This painting was almost a sketch really. But that is more of how I approach plein air painting. The driveway into Collins ranch is about a mile and a half on caliche and goes up and down two crazy steep hills. I loved the view from top and bottom but finally settled on this view. It was late Thursday evening and the sun was moving fast. I started badly, wiped off and started again. My friend Terri Wells - http://www.terrimwells.com - was sitting next to me (we scrambled to catch the light and just sat in the road to work) and painted one of her amazing watercolors. 

What a fun weekend. Our judges, Joe Anna Arnett and James Asher, were lovely people. Many of our local plein air group were representing - taking 3 of the 5 awards! 

The sun didn't perform well in the mornings but was sure brilliant and putting out its strongest heat in the afternoons. A cool front came in late Saturday. We had really interesting sites again and the event staff and volunteers at the Kerrville arts center did a fantastic job!! 

Congratulations to Julie Davis on her much deserved first place!!

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Kerrville Quick Draw

Is Paco in There?
12x9 oil on panel

I've been painting in Kerrville Texas this weekend and enjoying some spectacular hill country views. Last night was the quick draw event in historic downtown. I think I heard that 25 artists participated. 
It was hot. Very hot. And I chose a scene looking west into the sun. Not ideal but my painting worked out well. We had an hour and a half then put the paintings in frames and presented them for judging. 
I won again this year. Lucky 13, huh? Crazy! 
But I'm so honored. There are a lot of talented artists here and I saw many successful and interesting paintings! 

The title on this one refers to Paco, the owner of Francisco's restaurant. (Excellent food and lovely setting). Everyone who came by asked if I put Paco into the scene. "Where's Paco?" Would have been a good title too. 
This is the last day of painting and then we turn on work for the show at the arts center. Reception tonight from 6-8 pm. I better get out there! Cloudy this morning. And will be cooler thank goodness. 

Here is the setting I painted. This can't have been good for my eyes! 

Ooh - seeing that now I love the composition with the reflection in the glass!! Next time....

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Plein Air Painting - Don't Fence Me In

Been pretty quite here. Well - in my art world. The rest of my life hasn't been quiet at all. I always swear I am not going to get too busy and let my calendar get too full, but its out of my control a lot of time. Since school started, its been one thing after another and this month is going to be nuts.

Starting off the month though, its me time! I'm heading back to Kerrville, Texas for their second annual paint out event. Last year, much to my own amazement, I won the grand prize for the painting below (still available!)

Don't Fence Me In
11x14 oil on panel

I'm excited to go back again and have access to some beautiful private ranches and spend time in the scenic hill country of central Texas with lots of other like minded people.

I haven't picked up a brush in a week or more. Hope I remember what to do when faced with the great outdoors and miles of options!
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