Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Secret Garden Oil Painting

"Karla's Garden"
5" x 7"
oil on gessoed masonite
This month's Calypso Moon Artist's Movement challenge is to paint a place where you like to go and enjoy the scenery - a pond, a garden, a flower dept. at the store - a secret garden. 

Right now, my gardens, although some planted, aren't what you call a place to go sit and enjoy yet.  So I remembered a place where I relished the opportunity to go to. It was at Karla's secluded homestead in the mountains above Denver.  Karla is always on the 'garden tour' every year. She has lovely flower and vegetable gardens and is a gardener extraordinaire. 

Recently I found the negative from one of the photo shoots I did while 'garden sitting' there - (they had taken their daughter back east to her first year of college.)  I used my trusty little negative reader (thanks mom and dad) and made the negative into a digital image and used it for this painting.  It had been in my stack of "things to paint" - this challenge nudged me right into painting it.  And here you have it and although I can't go there anymore...too far away, I think about that lovely place in the cool mountain air on a sunny summer's day, windchimes swaying in the gentle breeze.  She had a great hammock that you could lay down in and just breathe it all in.  It was Zen. And of course the other attraction for me was her horses, chickens, dogs and cats. 
Took care of them, too!
BTW - this one is in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Painting for Today

"Cup of Pansies"
5" x 7"
oil on black gessoed masonite board
Finally finished a painting or two.  I like the looseness and brushstrokes in this one.  It was fun - I get jazzed about the colors on the black just have to work hard in getting the hue to read it may take a few applications.  Honestly, I have to attribute the photo to one off of Morguefile. I was intrigued by the composition.   
Purchase info at Etsy.


I have many things on the easel right now, nothing is completed to final photograph at this time, so let's call this a "station break" back the meantime, some sketches - Dean Grey got me remembering a few fun comic sketches I had done and one unfinished portrait of Jim Morrison. Dogs and I are holed up in the house, while the aerial sprayer is spraying the wheat fields around the house (sounds like "Sky King" flying over - got my attention in the studio☺).  Mustard weed is abundant in that particular field (not ours)...a little out of control, I would say, but with the wind - who could fly lately?  At least today is a nice, sunny, mild day for once.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Where I Stand Sunday

Dualing mowers attack the landscape - preening and cutting it to perfection!
Actually this is where I stood Saturday before the rains.  My thoughts go out today to those in the southern parts of the U.S. affected by the bad weather and tornadoes. 
 I feel your anguish.  The season is upon us.
I say "8 acres" - but we can really only mow about 2/3rds of that amount due to the woods (that we stay out of during tick season) seen in the top left corner of the photo.  This Spring, we have EVERY tree imaginable bloom and blossom - some ornamental trees I thought -  'didn't have it in them'.  Amazing beauty - hopefully some amazing apricots, cherries, mulberry and apples!

Cherry tree.
In the studio today - having a disagreement with a canvas.  Going to set it straight.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. If you'd like to join me by posting a photo on Sunday of places you've been on your blog/photo hosting site/website, leave a comment on this post telling me where I can find you/your photo and I'll add a link to my sidebar so others can find you.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!!

 forearthday1 forearthday2


These photos are the property of Pattie Wall.  Please do not copy or reuse them in any form.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Where I Stand Sunday

Today, I went to a fun 'champagne tasting' event.  I invited and picked up my friend Jan.  We were photographing some of her artwork on her back deck.   She has lots of cats.  This one showed up at her farm recently. It is a very young and very pregnant cat...reminds me of a pregnant teen. Nice as she is, the other cats don't like her around.   Jan says she will let her stay.
There will be kittens soon. 
Jan gave me some of her plants from around her yard.  I got a white lilac bush shooter, some daisies, iris, larkspur and a piece of her grandmother's rose bush to replant at my farmstead.  My farmstead is fairly void of flowers and color..time to get some things to grow here.
Nice day today in Kansas. 
Yesterday, I painted with Susan Carlin - online/portrait workshop.
Will post that one soon, still tweaking it. 

P.S.... Elaine wanted to know some of my favorites at the champagne tasting -
I am not a favorite of the sweet tasting stuff I like those on the dryish or brut side -
(1) Iron Horse's 'Blanc de Noirs' made from predominately Pinot Noir;
(2) Pacific Flowers - a Riesling style;
(3) a French champagne that was luciously good with chocolate (aren't they all) - Mumm/Brut.
Oh ya, how could I forget (I must have been in a hurry)...this event was sponsored by my friends at
L & M Liquors in Downs, Kansas!
Thanks Shannon, Susan and Anna Marie!!
Talk about takin' care of ya, if they don't have it, they will get it and they are so good at recommending some deliciously good ones!

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. If you'd like to join me by posting a photo on Sunday of places you've been on your blog/photo hosting site/website, leave a comment on this post telling me where I can find you/your photo and I'll add a link to my sidebar so others can find you.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Pleasing ART Challenge Painting

Alice Thompson's -  'April challenge' "Calypso Moon Artist's Movement" was to paint food -
food that is not necessarily good for you. 

Well people, I didn't have to look too far on this one.  I LOVE Mexican foodI dream about Mexican food.  I CRAVE Mexican food and know that a lot of it is fried and fat laden - beyond a dieter's caloric and fat recommended daily intake.  Just ask any of my peeps, most of the time, if I am on a weightloss journey and someone says, "Mexican??"  I am all over it!  That's probably why I am not extremely successful when trying to eat in moderation or eat within some 'diet' guidelines.
There ARE no mentionable Mexican food restaurants in my living area, but happenstance was that when we went to Salina, Kansas to pick up our artwork several weeks ago, I made the request that we eat Mexican at Gutierrez Restaurant, knowing I was planning to paint for this challenge. 

The noon meal is a buffet.  I went back a few times to that little buffet..because it was all home made and quite delicious.  So where is the bad in that?  Let me see if I can add up calories, sodium, sat. fat, cholesterol, and carbs for just this dish and of course, there were chips to go with that salsa. 
First - here is the painting, done from my photo of my plate.

6" x 8"
oil on Raymar canvasboard

This dish consisted of a deep fried shell beef taco, complete with a huge mound of cheddar cheese, a chalupa ranchera (homemade beans with sour cream, beef taco meat, salsa, more cheese, lettuce on a rolled tortilla), a beef tamale smothered in red sauce and cheese, a huge dollop of sour cream..and of course some home made salsa and deep fried chips. 
Bring on the margaritas (with salt on the rim) - I am ready for some more!  ☺
Ready for the approximate nutritional info for what you see above + chips???

Calories = 2669.3
Saturated fat = 56.1
cholesterol = 268.3
Carbohydrates = 235.1
Sodium = 7780.6
(and oo, did I mention maybe a little 'heartburn' ☺)

Oh I'm pretty close on 'chalking up' this one...been through lots of learning on how to tally it all...
way exceeded ALL the amounts MY guidelines (past, present and future) call for.

Good thing I drank iced tea with sweet and low...

Purchase info at Etsy.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Where I Stand Sunday

Planted 18 tomato plants in barrels.  Covering them at night for now as it still frosts some mornings.  Chives were already in this one.  Ooo, baked potato with sour cream and chives tonight!

Onions are coming up from last year - already in the garden.  I have never been in a place where I could benefit from early food! 

Strawberries are standing straight and tall.

Last year, we planted a raspberry bush..only to have the deer find it within a few days and chomp it to bits.  That was before little cages.  There was one there already and I fabricated another one..two bushes, deer proofed for now.  Grow little bushes...GROW!

There used to be an entire row of apricot trees in a line with this one - the others were cut down before we arrived...this is the last one standing.  I checked the tree I remembered the swarm of activity on the blossoms last spring, no activity, but today...

...the work has begun.
If you look closely, you can see little bees flying around and even a butterfly. Last year, we didn't get fruit...year before the fruit had ugly spots on it, this year - we are crossing our fingers.

Cherry tree will be bloomin' soon!  Forgot to photograph the apple trees...will do that for you later.
Spring is a happenin thing here - a gradual welcome sight.  It was a LOONG and nasty winter.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. If you'd like to join me by posting a photo on Sunday of places you've been on your blog/photo hosting site/website, leave a comment on this post telling me where I can find you/your photo and I'll add a link to my sidebar so others can find you.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Where in the World?

Somedays, you just don't know where your painting will take friend, Mark Bridges had posted his great painting on his blog that he had done for this month's challenge on a blog by Bill Guffey titled "Virtual Paintout".  You can go there and read all about it.  But the fun part was using "Pegman" on Google Maps and searching the Canary Islands for just the right spot to set up my easel and paint.  I had three places in mind...took a long time to find them, as you can't use anyone else's photo or idea, not that there aren't a cazillion places to choose from.  Being new to this, I was reluctant to use any screen that had other photos already saved at the top of it. 

I dug out some old watercolor paints I remembered I had. Dr. Martin's Radiant Concentrated Colors.  I noticed on the cardboard sleeve they were tucked into that I paid $19.80 for them and I think that was at Meininger's in Denver.  I LOVE that place and whenever I am in Denver, I GO THERE, if for nothing else to just look around at all the cool things they have!  In KC, I like to go to Utrecht and Keith Coldsnow and do the same thing.

Curious as to what they cost today, I found a place that was selling them for $92.40.  I thought I could find a better price and found one for $58.19 at Dick Blick.  I usually shop Blick, Jerry's Artarama, Daniel Smith, Utrecht or Pearl - online.  Yes, I know I hoard things 'art supply', but here is one example of why it is a good thing to keep stuff like that around.  I don't think I would pay today's price for them.  The colors ARE vibrant...I would normally use more subdued colors...but I figured what the heck!  Go for it!  Use Dr. Martin...and I did for the most part, had my little cheapos as a backup to mix with.  Some of the colors remind me of good 'ol iodine.  One of these nice days, I am going to give it a whirl with painting 'plein air' with them.  I am sure it's tricky - they would dry very fast, so I bet one has to use LOTS of water and lots of 'wet-in-wet technique'.

The BIG thing I like about watercolor is...there is no waste and no worry about preserving the pigments once I am done...just let it dry in it's space on the palette (I use cheap little plastic ones that have cups) and wake them up again with water for the next go round.  Not that I am 'dissing' oils...I love oils - just need a break from 'cleaning up' the palette and freezing the paint after each time at the easel.  You lose a lot of paint in the transition some days.

"Calle de la Asomada" (in Spanish - means Leaning Street)
La Guancha, Canary Islands
watercolor on cold-pressed Arches watercolor paper
5 1/2" x 7"

There must be a very good infrastructure in Canary Islands, as from what I saw (and believe me, I went everywhere), it is not cluttered with trash and debris, like some smaller countries - (I am pointing southward).  I think I should go there for a painting vacation some day!

(oh ya, I just did☺)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Daily Watercolor Painting

“Flock Dynamics”
5” x 7”
watercolor on Arches 140 lb. hot-pressed
Having watched several of the Discovery Channel's series "Life" -
I am so inspired by
all of the animals on our planet. 
Flamingoes are the most interesting birds. 
The bobbing and movement of their heads is phenomenal on those long necks. 
Perhaps a few more touches on this one…have to get a matboard for an
11” x 14” frame going around it to see what it looks like then. 
I have found it is difficult to go DARK with the hues.  I tend to keep it too light. 
The photo of these flamingoes showed them all entangled…I untangled a few to help it read better.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Coffee Break in Watercolor

Another small watercolor for today - I have spent all day with them and Watercolor magazines for studying techniques.   There are so many ways to approach watercolor.  For some artists, it's all about color use...for others it seems to be about technique...dry brush or very watery blending...some very photorealist (and the 'detail' that they add...they are so patient!!) - some semi-abstract -
some splash wet into wet - lots use other mediums with their watercolor.   It is so 'wide open' and feels like the sky is the limit!   
In subject today, I thought I would try another ellipse.  They are so tricky and in watercolor, you had better make every brushstroke count, cause there ain't no goin' back.  I have 3 watercolor boxes and some odds and ends tubes of one of the boxes, was GOLD - ha! ..used it there on the edge of the ad on the newspaper. 
It doesn't take much to get me excited when it comes to art supplies!  BTW the coolest thing of all, with paint -  is 'stirring housepaint in the can'.  I love that!  The viscosity is the most wonderful feeling!  I also love dipping a stick or brush into silkscreen ink and watching it drip.  It doesn't take much, as you can see.

A Portrait in Watercolor on a Snowy Day

Watercolor just tickles is not very forgiving like other mediums I am most comfortable with.  Struggle...struggle.  Once I took the photo of this work, the temperature read a little different - in my stepping back phase.  At least he's not too paste-y looking.  I really have to push myself with 'warming' it up.  Having some 'quinacridone colors' would help.  This is my sister-in-law took the photo that I used as my resource.  I think his 'ear' looks like the best ear I have ever done! 
What a lucky guy, when I need something familiar to use as practice
it's either him or my daughter.  ☺ It was a snowy morning..but the sun is shining brightly now!  I painted through the storm - in more ways than one - ha!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Where I Stood

Putting a lot of miles on the vehicle these days. This was my feet on Wednesday.  Drove to Salina to pick up art that was hanging for the last month at the Salina Country Club.  I try to take a different way each time I travel from one spot to another. There is so much to see and although some people say "Kansas is flat and boring and there is nothing there" - I find often they are wrong.  There is a variety of geological terrain and sights to see.  You have to keep your eyes wide open.  Saw this off of Highway 18 in Lincoln had to take a closer look.
Not always built in brick...more bat and board...but this one is a gem!  Preserve, preserve, preserve...
BTW - Happy Easter to ALL!