Thursday, April 19, 2012

"I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free."   
Nikos Kazantzakis

This morning has nothing to do with painting, and everything to do with life and art. It was one of those oober-early awakenings that happen to mid-life women (and men?). My eyes popped wide open at 3:something and since my mind was excitedly chatting about something in my studio I decided to get up and do something to match this energy. Sooo, I made some tea and grabbed my laptop for some inspirational browsing of artist's blogs. I opened a window to hear the rural world waking up and am now sitting here quietly.

Want to know what I've heard outside? It started with coyotes in the distance about an hour ago. I love listening to those forlorn, yet chatty conversations. I know! It means they are about to eat, but I'm not thinking of that side of life right now. Then the concert progressed to tree frogs, some other critters that I can't name and now I hear birds; lots of birds as they join in.

I read the quote above while reading today's entry from Heron Dance ( I love the way the author's words translate the quiet bliss of this morning. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Khanh's Orchids

These flowers were a gift from a friend. I loved the way she arranged this whimsical bouquet of small orchids! It was a fun afternoon of trying to conquer a busy little subject in oils. I'm learning about under paintings and how they influence a painting's colors and mood. This painting had a Yellow Ochre  underpainting (a hint of this color is in the top left corner). The warm yellow underpainting made mixing a cooler green difficult.

Next time (if there IS a next time with this composition) I will under paint in Cobalt Violet & let some of this cool color show through in the final product. I will also use a larger brush for my petals.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Green Streak

This painting idea has been brewing for about a year(!) since doing  a plein air study at the Pappajohn Sculpture Garden in Des Moines. The day was a gorgeous Iowa summer day, the panoramic skyline was fun from this spot. What bugged me was all of that green grass in the foreground! Artists who paint Iowa summer landscapes can relate to how hard mixing a believable, interesting green is. My greens tend to look like they came right out of the tube - as sometimes that color DOES appear as a Sap Green mixed with a bit of Hookers Green.

My solution above was to imagine a sunset hitting all of that perfectly mowed, Hookers Green grass. (BTW, that is really a paint name)

Below are 2 artists that have helped me with my Green struggles:
Jeanne Dobie - Viridian + Aureolin + a touch of Indian Red (various grayed or warm reds work here)
Janet Rogers- adds a bit of Cobalt Violet Light to her greens

Monday, April 2, 2012

"The Beach is That-a-way"

For some of my followers - My title here is a play on the joke where someone flexes their arm to point to the beach....I did feel this pair (get it?!) is communicating so I thought I would have this fellow show off a bit.

Lesson here (again from Carol Marine) was to mix a color and put it down with 1 or 2 strokes, then mix another fresh color and repeat. I cheated a bit, but not too much. I liked the fresh approach and results with this technique.

Uh, Carol if you are reading this, you may not recognize this painting as I stayed after class with a couple of art buddies and a bottle of wine. This painting was our evening entertainment. :-)

Seeing Red

These small paintings found their way home safely from a workshop in Texas a couple of weeks ago. It was a great week of painting small, still life paintings with Carol Marine. I am a bit worried that our group put Carol over the top as she took a sabbatical immediately after our group dismissed.....I KNEW I shouldn't have asked that last question!

 My goal here was to define form with the use of color. I think I did just that, but perhaps should drink less coffee.