Thursday, February 02, 2017

January Florida Getaway

Boy, I've sure been lax on posting on the blog! I finally have a subject to post! I was fortunate to be invited down to Florida with a couple of my traveling art buddies. We had a great time, although it was cooler than most people would expect, since we were in the Panhandle, not Key West.

My host was very familiar with this area, and had planned a great week of sand, water, food, and plein air! While I was there, I posted snapshots on InstaGram but I have cropped the photos as shown below.

The first time I walked on the beach, I was intrigued with how blue the shadows appeared from the sea grass on the white sand. So similar to how the shadows appear in Ohio on winter snow!

I'd only taken a tiny watercolor kit with hot press paper, and some gel pens, and a very small selection of pastels and PastelMat paper. So, the first painting was the watercolor/gel pen:
I loved how this came out!  So then, I painted the scene again with the pastels:
Not bad. I like both for different reasons.
The next day we went to a local park, and I decided to paint one of the palms in watercolor/gel pens:

The next day, we went to another park which had really interesting sand dunes. This is pastel on PastelMat. I'm really happy with this one!
Then we went to a local shop which was in a setting similar to Monet's garden. I decided to paint the cool blue door in the back in pastel on PastelMat. I didn't finish this, but I think it works:

While we were there we found a tree full of kumquats! We stole a small branch with several fruits and took it back to the condo. We had to cut into one and all gave it a taste! I don't think it was quite ripe, but we got some comical expressions on our faces at the taste! Two of us painted the fruit on the dining room table.

We had a great time! A very relaxing vacation in the middle of the grey Ohio winter!

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 - Artwork Tally and Review

I did not make on-going notes on my art stats at all in 2016. I had to check back on the blog/Facebook/Instagram to see what I accomplished. I am always surprised when I go back and tally my previous year!

Below is my accomplishments (keep in mind that the majority of the artwork were not perfect and in many cases just experimental):

Accomplishments for 2016

    Painted Plein Air - 27 times
    Plein air competition - 1
    Artwork Sales – 0   ugh!!  ;-(
    New Work – 56
    Exhibits – 6
    Awards – 1 Honorable Mention
    Organized Artist Retreat – 1
    Organized and taught a pastel workshop - 1
    Art trips – 2
    Attended art class – 1
    Tinkering Projects - 2
    Etsy (my apron pattern)- (shop stats - 4679 views, 174 favs, 29 sales!)

Another very productive year!! I need to work on marketing to sell more artwork!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

All the New Paintings

I finished the newest painting and had time to photograph all the rest of the recent oil studio paintings. All the subject matter were from my photos from my June trip to Scotland, with the exception of the last painting of the red barn. That is local from the Slate Run Historical Farm. Click to enlarge:

Callander Bridge, 8x10"

Scottish Giants, 8x10"

Stone Cottages, 9x12"

I'm tempted to cut this painting into a square - what do you think?

Foxglove at Loch Earn, 8x12"

Distant View, 9x12"

Chores, 11x14"

Thursday, December 08, 2016

I'm Still Painting

Not much to post recently. I'm back to work full time after my lovely Thanksgiving week off. Working doesn't leave much energy left for creativity.

I've been doing more studio oil painting, which takes more time - which I need to get used to. I am used to painting in plein air in the summer on the weekend, under the time frame of just a couple hours to paint before the light changes. I usually paint "alla prima" and let it go at that with little correction in the studio.

These recent paintings are deliberately slower as I am trying to work on my craft. Once I get more time, I plan on photographing all my recent paintings with my camera, instead of just the cellphone. Until then, I will share the current WIP (work in progress) below.

This is a scene at the local working farm metro park - Slate Run Farm. I am working larger than usual at 11x14, along with scenes which include many man-made objects - that I usually shy away from! I plan on finishing this piece very tight using a brush. Then I want to repaint the scene in a new painting and try to loosen up by using the palette knife. I may edit the composition some also. This first painting was a way to get acquainted with my subject.
 I wanted to get that sky in so it would dry some before I got much further. Even using a medium, it is still pretty wet after I week!
 I want my center of interest to be the far barn, so I lightened the red a bit more than reality to try to convey the sun hitting it. There will be more objects to draw the eye to that area.
I got a first layer of paint on all areas - still much to do there later. I worked really hard on this hay wagon (manure spreader, I think!), and then looked back and said oh "crap"(lol), I painted it way too small!!
 So I figured out its correct size proportionately, and mocked up a piece of paper to test.

Then rubbed out the first wagon version with a paper towel...... Always hard to do that!! But I've learned, it will be ok, I CAN paint it again. 

MUCH better! Still lots more work to be done on this painting, but can't get back to it until the weekend. Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Mini Home Studio Vacation

My week off from my full time job is almost over! I've been busy painting, below are a couple more:

 And my recent shipment of Rosemary & Co, Ivory flat brushes! I'd purchased a variety pack in the spring, and found I really love the Ivory series, so decided to order more in a few sizes. I really enjoy these while painting the last layers of a painting and/or for working on architecture.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Cottage at St. Fillans

I took this week off from work and am determined to spend lots of time in the studio with oil paints. Although I've been working on using the palette knife, today's painting was done with brushes.

I've always shied away from painting architecture because it is time consuming, and I always feel like if I can't paint it exactly, I've failed. It's hard to paint straight lines with brushes! I was struggling a bit with that, when I picked up one of my Rosemary Ivory flat brushes. I found this was a great brush for straight edges - and wished I had a few more sizes, so when I took a break, I got online and ordered a few more.

Process shots follow. I learned something after I'd used a dark purple heavy lines to sketch in my composition. I should have used a thinner brush and paint, in a medium value. It threw off my color palette and my values.

 I had a hard time getting the correct temperature for the buildings.
 I decided to make some piles of paint mixtures so I would have a variety. I have been studying David Curtis of the UK, and used his color choices of Ultramarine, Cerulean, Lemon Yellow, Naples yellow deep, Burnt Sienna, Cad Orange, Cad Red, and Violet (I had Cad Violet instead of Cobalt violet).

A nice variety of greys.

I worked on this painting continuously most of the day which is a long time for me, since I usually can only work on a painting for a couple hours at a time, due to working full time.
 Struggling with those colors on the cottage, so wiped that out and decided to get the first layers down on the scenery first.
 Then on to the cottages. Still struggled with the real colors shown in the photograph - so changed it a bit to darker colors on the buildings on the left. Had a lot of issues trying to get that building to look correct.
 Got it to this stage and said I'd had enough. Way too complicated. I like more simple compositions!
St. Fillans Cottages, 9x12, oil on Centurion OP linen

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Foxglove at Loch Earn

Here's another palette knife painting I finished today. This is a view at Loch Earn in Scotland. I took several photos and decided to combine and delete to suit my new composition.

Process shots:

 I put the big bush in on the left, but really hated it, so took it out.

Started filling in the ground foliage. The area in the middle needed opened up so below shows after I added more of the water color there. I let it setup for a couple days before I worked more weeds over top of that area without closing it up too much.

Foxglove at Loch Earn, oil on OP Centurion linen, 8x12"

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Finishing Up an Oil Painting

I've been taking a class at the MAC on using the palette knife for an oil painting. We've had two classes so far, and five more to go. I have used the knife in the past, but felt I needed to put a bit more effort into it with different shaped knives. I've been in a bit of a creative slump this year, and now it's time to get out of that by taking a class! I feel I made some advancements in technique, especially today, on how I use the knife to pickup paint.

I do believe this is finished and I am pretty happy with it! I used a photo from my trip to Scotland.
View to the Meadow, 9x12", oil on gesso'd board

Monday, November 07, 2016

Saturday Studio Work - Dessert

I finally was able to spend some time in my studio this weekend. To get back in the swing of things, I picked a photo of one of the fancy desserts we were served on my Scotland trip:

I needed to get away from all the greens of landscapes. I painted this in pastels on a rougher grit of white sanded paper. I think this was 320 grit Pastel Premier - a bit too rough for me, but I worked with it. Here's the finished painting:

"Dessert", 5x7, pastel on 320 grit Pastel Premier

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Saturday Plein Air - Westerville Wetlands

The weather held off and gave us a beautiful day today! We painted at the wetlands in Westerville. This is one of my favorite spots. Lots of interesting views. The golden rod and asters are slowly fading away, and luckily we got a chance to include them in our paintings.

This was my view. Although it's difficult to see from this photo, the large pond is in view. I wanted to keep the golden rod and asters as the main focus.
 I was trying out a new technique to get the composition down with the darks. I used an Art Graf stick of water soluble graphite. I've used water soluble graphite pencils in the past, but wanted something that would cover the areas easier than a pencil tip. The stick is a good choice!  Below is the first sketch:
 Then I wet it with alcohol so it would dry quicker than water. Nice darks!
 Below are continuing process shots:

 And the final painting. I made a few adjustments at home, but very few.
Fall's Departure, 8x10, pastel on UArt sanded paper.