Thursday, February 25, 2010

Glass Blower

6x6 oil on panel
$100 + s/h - sold

A good friend of mine, Flo Vazquez, whom I used to paint with, has moved into glass art and does some of the most beautiful fused glass. She has a studio that includes glass blowers in the back and it was there that I got to watch and photograph some of the artists at work in front of the furnace. The highlights of that intense fire on the girl were a lot of fun to paint.

I didn't make much progress on my gallery piece below. That is how I am classifying things now... a blog piece or a gallery piece. Obviously, the blog works are the small ones and studies. I have done some really nice work I think on this scale, and have not wanted to repeat myself. But I recently decided to allow myself to use some of those small works to recreate the images on a larger scale. The waiter below was painted before, yet, this version will be completely unique.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


12x6 oil on canvas panel

I was waiting in a small hallway and looked back to see the light just pouring over this woman seated in the window. We have just such a day here today... our little snowman is disappearing quickly. The snow was fun while it lasted.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Making Merry

12x18 oil on linen

This is a commissioned piece for a collector who gets first dibs at a new gallery I'm sending work to next week. A similar scene sparked their interest but was no longer available. This is the King Cole bar in the St. Regis hotel in NYC - and the huge mural behind it is by Maxfield Parrish. Its really quite an awesome setting. Very dim and cozy with the mural dominating the room. I wish I had found this link to the bar earlier! What a great image of the mural. My pictures are not so clear, having been taken at night while trying to be subtle in the busy bar. We should've had a drink and stayed awhile. Next time.

I am happy to share the news that Charleston House in Montgomery is going to be representing my work. This painting and a few others are going to be available in their gallery next week.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Afternoon In Austin

20x16 oil on linen

Still trying to capture light. Especially the intense sun that shines on Austin many months of the year. I am still not completely satisfied with this and almost think it would have been better smaller. I like to work somewhat small I guess - I prefer to finish my paintings in one session. Many times my galleries ask for larger works but I think my scenes and brushwork just lend themselves better to a smaller scale. And not everyone has big empty walls, right?

I mentioned awhile ago that my gallery in Vermont, Studio 47, invited me to have a solo show this year. After talking with him, we decided to make it a three person show. I was just not sure my audience would be large enough to make it worth his, and my, while. Hopefully with three of us, it will be an exciting show and draw in a good crowd. I'm very excited and feel a little less pressure. It will be a good start for me. More details to come, of course.

Also, I will soon update here or my website with info on where these new gallery paintings go.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Jenny & Jill

12x9 oil on panel

I had just over an hour and threw this little painting together. I don't know why I find animals so easy to paint loosely. I've left the background so unfinished, so unlabored. Probably the color and anatomy of the animals makes me feel less pressure to get it absolutely correct.

Anyway, I am quite pleased. This felt more like me! And I took photos every so often so I could share this process and review it myself.

Anything But Pedestrian

12x18 oil on panel

To celebrate my city I finished up a painting I started awhile ago. This is along Congress Ave. downtown Austin. The sunlight hitting this woman walking with the yellow scarf over her salwar (?) just stood out so beautifully.
This photo doesn't do justice to the painting. My camera doesn't pick up yellows well. So its a little washed out - esp. the ground, which is warmer than it looks here. And her scarf is much more vibrant than this. Think lemon yellow!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Painting Interrupted

Just wanted to let people know that I am praying for them and am very relieved that the tragedy today in Austin wasn't worse. So far it seems that very few people were injured. The building that was hit was about 3 miles from here - in our neck of the woods. We have friends who live in the neighborhood behind there and we shop across from there. What a senseless waste.

I was painting but this news rather derailed my enthusiasm. Hope for better all around tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In Search of Light

I read an interesting tidbit in an old magazine Color, a special publication put out by American Artist. One article had some exercises in working with relative values.
So I tested the colors I've been using to try to capture the effects of bright sunlight to see how they'd convert to a grayscale. I painted a few squares using hansa yellow, cad yellow light (hue), and white with yellow ochre. And cad red light hue just to show how dark it is in value, no matter how bright the color appears. When those are changed to grays in Photoshop, you can see how they compare to the lightest value of white (the background). The yellow ochre with white actually gives me the lightest value. Anyway ... I thought this was interesting to see that even if a color is very bright, its value maybe is not so light.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Light Reading

6x6 oil on panel
$100 + s/h - sold

I just had to do another painting of this scene. And will likely do more. I'm still playing with light and shadow - figuring out values. I really like the effect I achieved here without going so dark in the background. And without getting tight. It seems to have more atmosphere, like you can see the dust floating in that patch of sunlight. And believe me, its floating!

ps - this is my daughter, and this side of her head is the one she pulled all the hair out of, so its quite short. Pixie-like. But she won't let me cut the other side to even her up.

Sunshine Blog Award

I had two blog friends, Claire Kayser and Tammy Hext send me a Sunshine Blog award. Thanks! When you receive this you are to post 12 of your favorites and share the award with them. I already have quite a few favorites linked in the right column over there which you should check out.

In addition, I recently discovered or enjoy these artists:

Tony Allain
William Wray
Jennifer McChristian
Stephen Magsig

Monday, February 15, 2010

Moses Botkin Monthly Challenge

This month Diana chose our subject - striped socks! And what fun it was to think about and paint. I think everyone had fun with this subject. Who can't be happy when painting colorful footwear?
My image was inspired by my model... my daughter. Hand her a book and she poses very well for a short while. What I love is that she twists her lithe little body into all kinds of positions so naturally. I just wait and click the camera. She is never still, so painting from life is not possible. This didn't come out QUITE like I meant... seems to be my modus operandi lately. I am going to approach this scene again.
I love the other paintings. They are so fun. I think it would be very cool to have all of them hanging together!

Pink Glow
10x10 oil on panel
© 2010 Robin Cheers

Socks First
Oil on canvas
Marie Fox

24x24 Oil on canvas
Suzanne Berry

Sock Puppets
8x8 Oil on board
Michael Naples

Two Step
5x7 Oil on hardboard
Diana Moses Botkin

Liam in Striped Footies
Oil on panel
Vicki Ross

Cozy Knits
5x5 Oil on panel
Jeanne Illenye

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Value Study

I don't know if this is worth sharing, but I found the exercise helpful. I think Kim English is a master of light... his paintings just glow and I've been trying to figure out how he does it. So I copied one of his painting images from a gallery website, and turned it to grayscale in Photoshop. I wanted to see how his values break down. He seems to have the full range of values from 10 - (black) to a 1 - pure white.

An important part of a successful painting is of course, having a one range dominate the scene with accents of the other. And I think that connecting those value ranges is important so that your eye doesn't jump around the painting too much.
My scene has a few less values. And midtones seem to dominate as usual.

Honestly, working from photos makes me worry that I would get too dark or too much a range of values. When I work en plein air, the values are closer generally. At least I always get them close. With so much light bouncing around you don't see very dark shadows. My trouble with painting on location (landscapes) is that I seem to end up with something looking like it was all painted with 5 values... midtones. I've always had to really push myself outdoors to get a range of values. Maybe I need to push more in the studio too!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Village Market

8x10 oil on linen

I'm still playing and experimenting. I'm trying a few new colors. Playing with shadows and light and values. I've been reading Kevin Macpherson's book Landscape Painting Inside and Out. He has some really interesting exercises in there that I am also going to try, even if its not landscape painting.
This scene is from a farmers market in the West Village a couple of years ago. I bought the most delicious peaches there. Who knew!? I thought Georgia was the peach state, but there is a rival in New Jersey for sure.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Village Corner

oil on panel

I can't decide.... I don't think I like it. I started yesterday and had it "done" and then I wiped some off and changed colors in the shadow and trees today. I still think the foreground shadow is too dark. And I think overall, it seems busy or cluttered. I know its a city... I guess I like things very simple. For once, the image here looks better than the real painting. One more try tomorrow to make it sing. And then moving on!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Oh, Romeo

8x10 oil on panel

Today I packed up my things and went to hang out in V....Vaughan's studio. I sat on her floor and painted while she worked on a painting of a hawk for the SE Wildlife show (I think). We painted...and we talked, and we critiqed, and she showed me her private collection (other artists, not personal), she made a lovely lunch of gumbo (perfect on a rainy day) and some yummy Mexican hot chocolate. My painting was dull. But when a heavy rain began and the thunder started, her "good Dane" as she calls him, was nervous and sat nearby. He was begging to be sketched. So I grabbed a panel and did the above. He is an enormously big baby. And I am enormously blessed to have a friend like V.

btw - I'm tired of feeling sorry for myself and not painting. "Shut up and paint!" I told myself this morning. Thanks for bearing with me.

Ages Ago

Today was the anniversary of James Dean's death. I pulled this ancient painting out of my closet. Look at the date -1992. I went through a period of idolizing this young man. I have always been a fan of the old b&w movies and Giant is perhaps one of the best films of all time.
This was one of the first paintings I did when I began oil painting classes in SC at the Greenville County Museum of Art. Its actually a very nice museum considering its not in a large city. The classes were very good too - it was a good start for me. And they have a large collection of Andrew Wyeth paintings. So, this was a fun trip down memory lane.
Oddly enough, one of the other paintings I did from this time, copied from a Eudora Welty photo, hangs in my hallway. Maybe I should post it too.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Fundraiser - Red, Hot & Soul

My gallery in town had an unusual request for me. To paint a "globe"- like a fishbowl upside down - for the annual gala for the Zachary Scott Theater in Austin. The decorated globes, donated by businesses around town, will be centerpieces on the tables and auctioned during the event.

I decided to focus on Austin and art. The globe I painted to represent the Russell Collection is brightly painted in acrylics and features many landmark buildings as well as public art pieces seen around town. The museums are labeled and the gallery is featured with some people viewing art inside.
It was a challenge and a lot of fun. Very different for me. I hope its well received. And carefully handled! Should it be dropped... its all over!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Leafing Through

6x8 oil on panel

Still attracted to scenes with readers right now. Maybe because its cold and what better way to spend a cold afternoon than perusing books? I love bookstores. I am amazed at the unbelievable amount of knowledge and creativity in the world. I think the idea of an electronic reader is nice for some situations, but nothing beats the feel of a real book, and what if you like to read in the bath?

This painting was done on Friday - still trying to loosen up. Back to work today. Better open the blinds in my studio though... its much too dark and depressing in here now. Kinda cold and depressing outside too.

Note: I am going to put more of my items on ETSY. Its the neatest shopping site - all handmade goods. The link above takes you there. I think you have to register to shop there, but its such a great store, you won't regret it.
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