Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Look what Santa left for me! I've been a very good girl this year!

2012 Scion xB, Army Rock metallic

Friday, December 16, 2011

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Studio Work - Pastel Abstracts?

I thought I would try to do some abstracts with my pastels. I decided to just play around, so used some Colourfix coated paper. I used a dark brown grey colored paper, and decided to put some gouache on it to tone it further. Then to try to have an interesting palette, I used a split complimentary palette.

Colourfix paper with gouache to tone
Pastel choices
 For a composition, I decided to take one of my landscape photos and try to use it just for the shape of the design. I was hoping to move it into an abstract completely away from the landscape. You can see the photo in the upper left corner of the picture below. I then did a thumbnail sketch (upper right -below).
first pass with pastels

Hmmm. You can see that it never moved into an abstract. I then decided I didn't like the portrait shape layout of the painting as there wasn't enough interest in the lower portion of the painting. So because I was using a paper support instead of canvas, it was easy enough to cut the painting into the shape that I liked better.

Finished painting

Then I had the lower hunk of the paper leftover:
  I played around with it a bit further:
 And this is what I ended up with:
As I have said in the past, sanded pastel papers are not my favorite choice. Way too much dust and hard for me to control.  I really don't know why I don't use my favorite, even if I just plan on playing.

Tomorrow is to be a rainy day, so I think I will get the oils and palette knife back out and see if I have better luck. I received some sample paints in the mail this week, and will see what I can do with those.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Studio Work, November 27

Being my last day of vacation, I thought I'd better make an effort to do some painting. I had a photo I'd taken in October which I wanted to try to paint, so I got out the oils and the palette knife. I enjoy using a palette knife instead of a brush, but it seems like I forget to get it out. I liked how this turned out.
Fall Yellow, 8x10, oil
I had lots of paint left on the palette, so decided to try to use it up. I attempted to do some abstracts from imagination.
Abstract 11/27, 5x7, oil
I still had lots of red on the palette, which wasn't used in the original painting, so did another abstract. I will admit, I did have to add a bit more paint. This one reminded me of Joan Mitchell's abstracts. I have a print of a Mitchell abstract, but it is not marked with the name. It is a bit more structured than some of Joan's abstracts.
The DPW Challenge this week is to paint like another artist who you admire. So this is in honor of Joan Mitchell's artwork. Click here to see the Challenge page.

After Joan Mitchell, 6x6, oil

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Abstracting from Life

Although I took the whole week off from work, I never seemed to make it into the studio. Today, I decided to paint with the group at the arts center. One of the group gave a discussion on how he goes about creating an abstract painting from a still life. We all gave it a shot.
The Setup

My first painting kept going towards realism. It's a cute little painting, but it sure isn't abstract.
Abstract 1 - 6 x 6 - Gouache on Crescent Board
My second painting went abstract and I kept it pretty much hard edged.
Abstract 2 - 5 x7 - Gouache on Crescent Board

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wet Painting Carriers

I enjoy building things out of simple materials like foam core board, so I thought I'd give it a shot to make some wet painting carriers out of a sheet of lightweight corrugated plastic similar to the ones made by one of the artist supply companies. I prefer to paint on 8x10 panels, and made mine to fit that size. I used 1/4" square balsa wood dowels to create slots to hold the panels. I made the first one big enough to hold 10 wet paintings. I still had a piece leftover to make another that will hold 4 wet paintings. I tried to make one more out of the scrap leftovers, but because of the way the channels of the corrugated plastic ran, it didn't work out.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Frank Webb Workshop

Although I rarely paint in watercolors anymore, I jumped at the chance to take a workshop with Frank Webb today. I always admired his work and was happy to hear he was conducting a workshop in town hosted by the Central Ohio Watercolor Society (COWS). I was a signature member, but decided to go into other media several years ago. The workshop was held in quaint German Village, a suburb of Columbus, at the German Village Meeting Haus. The venue was really good for this and COWS fed us well. The only downfall was the parking issues, but at least it was a beautiful clear day, so walking the 4-5 blocks from my car was pleasant.

Here are a few shots of Frank working (some of the photos taken with my zoom lens looking at the overhead demonstration mirror).

Frank Webb's palette and tools
I attempted a painting using his 'wet on wet' technique. I had a bit of trouble remembering how to use transparent watercolors, since it has been a few years.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Superior Buttercup

"Superior Buttercup and Delicata Squash"  8 x 10  oil
See "Art for Sale" tab to purchase

I was going to paint a picture of a pumpkin for the DPW Challenge, but I only had a couple of squashes in the house. I did an under-painting using the Fast Matte oils, and the next day finished it up with regular oils.

The buttercup squash had a sticker that said Buttercup Superior. I tried to paint it, but not sure it shows as a label in my painting. The Delicata squash (in the front) was very challenging.

the setup
the under-painting in Fast Matte paint

I recently tried the Delicata squash and I LOVE it! It has a really nice flavor with almost a 'sweet corn' after taste. I found it is really simple to cook squash in the microwave - cut in half and seed, then put in a lightly covered dish and nuke for 4-5 minutes. My kind of cooking!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

First Frost

We had our first heavy frost of the season last night. When I looked outside this morning as the sun was rising, it was beautiful with a frosty fog and the glow of the bright red leaves of my sweetgum tree.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Simplify Cute Challenge

Blue Dress Day, 8 x 10, Fastmatte Alkyd oil
I painted this for the DPW Painting, "Simplify Cute Challenge". I really simplified the scene and put her into a light blue dress. I had started this using Gamblin's Fastmatte Alkyd paints, thinking I would come back later with regular oils on top. The alkyds are on the dry side and I seem to use them thinly with a dry brush technique. It gave me a different look than I was originally going for, but as it developed, I kinda liked the brush strokes and the haunting look to the little girl. The style of this painting reminds me of another artist's work, but can't recall which one. I wanted to keep her facial features hidden. She sure doesn't look as happy as in the photo. It is easy to imagine a dark story behind my painting.

I really had difficulty getting the hand holding the bag to read correctly, but I think it finally makes sense. Below, are process shots. I had a "Yes!" brand canvas panel already toned with a thin black acrylic on my table, so I used that.

Monday, October 17, 2011


I popped my painting from yesterday into a frame and it looks really nice. It is shown beside one of the gouache studies inside the same type frame. I really like the square format.

Below these is the photo I painted from, and to the right is an older pastel called "Pear Pair". One of my favorites.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Studio Work Sunday

Alum Creek Fall, 6 x 6 , oil

I painted this in the studio from a photo I took last weekend up at Alum Creek State Park. 
Here is what the canvas looked like after I toned it with acrylics and the photo to the right:

I tried to finish the piece I started yesterday, but it was a failure. So here it is in the TRASH! Can't win them all!

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Blustery Plein Air

For the last outing of the year, my group was invited to paint at the beautiful private gardens of the Schnormeier's near Gambier. We painted there last year in July, and it was very hot. Today it was high forties and blustery winds.


I tried to make the best of it and enjoyed helping my friend Chris from work, as this was her first plein air outing. We painted a couple hours and then walked the grounds taking photos. I did paint, but am not happy with it so, plan on working on it tomorrow (in the calm surroundings of my studio!). I may just wipe it off and start another using some of the photos I took today.

Monday, October 10, 2011

More Gouache studies

Our plein air group decided to start painting indoors a couple weeks ago because it had turned really cold. Then this weekend, it was close to 80! Too bad they decided to paint inside after all. If I am going to paint indoors, I would rather do it at home, then to haul supplies to the art center for only 2 hours....Instead, I went for a drive both days and took lots of pictures of the change to fall in Ohio. Hopefully I can use some of these for inspiration for paintings this winter.

So I haven't painted much. I've spent a lot of time getting my studio re-organized and cleaned. I'm still playing around with gouache. I am trying out different boards and papers. Still having trouble actually applying the paint. Because it feels almost dry with it goes on, it seems hard to 'mush' around - it just kinda sticks. There is a fine line between too wet and workable...I am still not getting the look I want, but will put some more time into it.

Here are three quick ones. The first is on Canson art board in black.  I liked the feel of this. The wetness didn't affect the board much at all.
The next one is on Canson Mat Board in a nice buff color that I like quite a bit, but it has a bit of texture instead of the smoothness of the art board above. I like to tape off a frame around the painting area so that the buff color shows. This is not really finished, but I got bored with the fence and gave up on it.
And lastly, hot press watercolor paper. This was my least favorite support. I worked on it dry and it seemed to buckle quite a bit for watercolor paper. Perhaps I needed to stretch it and wet it down before starting.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Playing in the Studio

 I played in the studio for a few minutes last night. I'm on a gouache kick right now and am still learning (I would learn more if I would take more time to play). The one on the right are Hosta plants in a garden..I can kinda see it.... I think gouache works well for value and color studies.
I've always had a problem finding a good way of storing wet paintings until they got framed (or determined to be duds and thrown away...). I have some nice wall shelves in my studio for dry/framed paintings, but the wet ones were always a problem. I generally work pretty small - 8x10 or 5x7 - so figured I could come up with something to display a number of paintings together on one of my empty walls.
Here is a board I came up with. This is a full sheet of foamcore and the tracks are plastic molding (made for covering the edges of paneling). The molding was about $3 for 8 foot at the home store. I used clear Gorilla glue to mount them to the foamcore. The slot width of the molding is just perfect for hardboard panels. Obviously, if the paint was really thick and juicy, the slots might mess up the very bottom of the painting. It was a fun experiment for only a few bucks. I will probably make something a little more refined, but for now it works for me!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Plein Air Exhibit - A Breath of Fresh Air

I have two paintings exhibited in the Breath of Fresh Air show at High Road Gallery. I ran over with a co-worker at lunchtime to see the exhibit before the reception and award ceremony on Sunday (it gets so packed that it is hard to see the artwork at the reception!).

I had her take a picture of me beside my paintings with my cellphone camera. It took pretty good pics!
Stop by and see the exhibit Wed-Sat, 12-4pm, until October 22.