Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's and "Painting 30 in 30" EVE

Happy New Year - 
'party hardy' 
and if you are doing that one, stay safe and have a designated driver on hand.  

Tomorrow, I will begin my 30 day journey of trying to complete a painting a day for 30 days.  I chose a theme this time - a subject I haven't done much - as a real challenge for me.  My subject matter will be 'interior/exterior (oh definitely outside) spaces' - some with furnishings/others..not ~ without the presence of humans or animals.

This series is called "Inviting Spaces" 
and I am looking forward to being able to interpret it - loosely. 
It will be an exploration of 'furnishings and furniture', and landscapes ~ 
as 'still life'.

In addition, I hope to utilize a variety of mediums 
(and I say HOPE - because as the grind kicks in, I tend to 
lean on the medium I am most comfortable with  - oil paint).

Here are a few paintings and concepts I admire 
when thinking of 'inviting spaces' done by others, strictly interior of course..
"Interior of the Restaurant at Arles"
Vincent VanGogh

"Sitting Pretty"
by Anne Blair Brown 
Brushwork Bootcamp #2 
demo and brushwork

"Balcony Room at Purveskjul"
Vilhelm Hammershoi 

Several Dutch Master's painted people in amazing 
interior spaces doing daily tasks. 
Another interesting composition choice developed 
by these painters is below.
I have included a short description of the concept of 

Les Paoufles (The Slippers)
Samuel van Hoogstraten

One of the most effective manners for 17th-century Dutch painters for achieving pictorial depth within domestic settings was the so-called doorkijkje, or see-through doorway which permits the spectator to view something outside the pictured room, whether it be another room, a series of rooms, a hallway, a street, a canal, a courtyard or a garden. The doorkijkje offers the painter and opportunity to create a more complicated architectural space and contemporarily expand narrative.

My choice of subject and perhaps the manner in which I paint them will hopefully create a story or further dialogue in the viewers thoughts - that is my goal anyway.  And if nothing else, they will create a feeling of welcoming, coziness, and a NARRATIVE to put one's self IN that space/place.

What do you hear, smell, feel - what emotions or memories does it evoke?  As I move along, it will be fun to hear from you via comments - any thoughts you might have. 

These paintings will also be offered FOR SALE - 

if you are interested. 

And as this year comes to a close, I wish you and yours a great 2014.  It will be a good year to paint..and that's what I am going to do!

Just an FYI - these are the 30 paintings I did in Jan. of 2013 

for this very same challenge.

My slate of activities is clean, my supplies are stocked 
and I am stoked and ready!!

For this great event and for other reasons, I have been working on a blog at Word Press this year.  Go on over for a visit, as it is JUST ART - no blogging - you can use it like a 'gallery'.


P.S. I am committed to being fair to my readers and viewers to keep this blog SPAM free, therefore, I WILL delete ANY comments left that are outside advertisements or spam.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Crescendo

If you DO art and you are looking for a GREAT way to start 2014 go to Leslie Saeta's 'Slices of Life' blog and read about the '30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge' and then think about joining in the fun and find your way out of the fog of 2013.

I found it a super way to hit the ground - running!  

Seems that my painting has really waned here at the end of the year..maybe yours has to, sometimes not because we don't want to paint, but because of the busy time of year for other activities.  

Stay tuned - check back on New Year's Eve.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Work Done in Mixed Media

"Tulips III"
mixed media on Arches watercolor

This painting was first drawn in brown ink, then painted with watercolor and finished with pastel.
I have been enjoying the ink drawing with watercolor but this one needed an extra punch of
strong color - I can usually get that with pastels.

It comes in an 11" x 14" matboard ready for framing.

Thanks for looking!
Be sure to check back often - 30 Paintings in 30 Days
starting SOON!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Painting with Cats

New activity at the farmstead - puts a new meaning to 'painting in the studio'.
They are small enough to sit on my neck and shoulders and do this 'butt shine' in my face often.
Here is a video to show they were mighty busy today

This is what I finished today -
"Buttercups (Rananculas)"
watercolor and brown ink
(I should state 'painted with kittens' - keeps me moving all around to keep them out of the paint,
off of the surface and happy with some attention - ha!)

in an 8" x 10" mat below

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Gearing UP FOR '30 in 30'....and Welcoming Studio Guests

Stay tuned - gearing up for "30 Paintings in 30 Days" Challenge 
for 2014 - starts January 1!
This time I will be painting with a certain 'theme' in mind.
Gathering resources, materials and clearing the calendar.
Can't wait!

In the meantime, meet my 2 'studio kittens' we recently rescued 
from the dark and cold of night.
They were strays.
The black one was very small, and possibly dumped, as we cannot locate any 
'momma cats' or other little mates.
The striped one is perhaps a member of a 'feral' colony who decided to be more
social.  Both have responded well to bagged or canned food and warmth.
They say a cat needs 400 square feet if living indoors - the studio is 750 square feet 
and a 'climber's paradise' - all sorts of stuff stored in there. Ha!
Pye (Pyewacket) when she was first introduced to the indoors.
Filling out about a week and a half later.
They change so quickly, just like little kids.

Hard to catch Meenewkers...aka MEE.
and week and a half later..
also growing in front of our eyes. (Crate door always open, it's a sleeping compartment.)
It is becoming tricky opening the outside door now, they both want to go out, 
since I have taken them outside to see the world for little spurts at a time.  
They are in definite peril in this world, there are a myriad of predators - 
from coyotes to hawks to owls (our dogs)...
so for now, they will stick close to us.
Pye has NO outdoor skills, Mee - does.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving and an Announcement

Happy Thanksgiving!  Hope your day was a special one!
If you are thinking (or not) that Black Friday is way too complicated - then
POP on over to my Etsy shop for some great art and some special 'HAPPY HOLIDAYS' prices -
prices good for the next couple of weeks.
Click HERE

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Figurative Portrait in Oil

"Ă„dvice from the Little Black Dress"
Painted in Oil
on Arches oil paint paper
8"x 8"
I had some leftover paint on my palette that was perfect for skin tones, so I grabbed this Arches that I had toned with red oxide and painted a quick one.  I liked the attitude that came forward and therefore the title.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Spending these last few days looking over some of my paintings that have always seemed sooo dark and leaning toward that mid to dark - ONE VALUE..like the hollyhocks a few days ago.  In a room with not much light, these two got lost - they just didn't stand out at all.   This one is big - 18"x 24" - and it usually hides behind others because I have never liked looking at it. 

These past two days I have tackled it - and now I think it will be able to be out in front of some of the others.  I find it interesting that I always knew what these two needed, yet I didn't seem to care to stretch myself JUST a little more as I left them to dry. There are more like this.
Maybe there is some learning here - hope so. 

As I worked on this I was reminded of the quote I recently read ~
"Colour is the fruit of life." Guillaume Apollinaire

It is fun painting on really dry paint.  I like this enhancement (2nd photo here)!  Do you?
old one
updated one
I have lost that light hitting the red rose behind the left side purple tulip.
I will try to catch it soon,
the reds are pretty wet.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Odds and Ends

It amazed me - when I recently dragged out a bunch of unframed art to show a client I saw a blatant need for some do-overs and correcting on some of my paintings - starting with this one - which I think was a little photoshopped to make it look better when I finished it the first time. Glad I took it off of 'selling sites'as it was really tweaked from what it actually looked like - that just happens sometimes. 
The background in this original painting was about the same value as the flowers and leaves, the reds didn't seem to pop as much as they do in the photo above and there seemed to be no contrast,
so I added some lighter background today.

I liked the first one, but when you looked at it, it all seemed like a dark jungle.
I like it better now, I don't know that this photo does it justice.

I also tackled the wrapped edges of three larger paintings, that I never had dealt with before - as the surfaces were so wet with oil paint when I finished them.  It's a little tricky matching the same color on the sky or a field surface, for instance, for a wrap around 
but I am liking how they turned out.  

Now for sale at my Etsy shop
Click HERE.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pastels Galore

"Sunset Clouds"
5 1/2" x 7 1/2"
pastel on Kitty Wallis 
Belgian Mist


ON TO More..
"Colorado Highway 10 to Walsenburg"
5 1/2" x 7 1/2"
pastel on Kitty Wallis
Belgian Mist

Started today...
Work In Progress
I have tried a portrait from this same photo before - in watercolor  - wasn't very successful with it.  This one is pastel. My dogs are on the couch in the RV..with this incredible late afternoon light coming through the window. Although I usually work dark to light as in oil painting, I put down some of the light as a reminder - so I can 'make it happen' the way I want it. There are no rules these days, just what I feel.  
Animal and people eyes always go in right away..placement is key.
Because it is a complex scene - with the blanket folds and legs and head placements, I started with a center point vertically and horizontally...a crosshair -  if you would.
Stay tuned - I will try to get a camera shot each time I am at the easel on this one.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Clouds - Pastel - WIP

There is a special Moonlight Madness sale in a nearby town each year - Downs, Kansas . In addition to the sale, local merchants host several fine artists who set-up displays of their paintings in hosting storefronts and are encouraged to demonstrate their art.  There was a Halloween party for kids at the Community Center, and a Bake Sale on the street.  I set-up in a store called 'Timeless Treasures' - a really outstanding used furniture and collectibles store on Morgan Ave.  I took my pastels along and started this 'clouds' pastel on Wallis sandpaper.  It rained, but there were shoppers.  All in all, glad I attended.  Lots of interest, got to see several art friends I hadn't seen in a long while and a couple of sales - which is always good!!
The first layer of this painting is almost there...onto more layers - coming soon.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Vacancy - a new oil on canvas

6" x 6"
oil on wrapped canvas

This one is painted around the sides - ergo - no frame needed.
There are so many of these falling down farmhouses in the area - thought I better paint a few before they are gone, gone, gone!

Sorry, I have been 'vacant' from this blog lately.  My mother-in-law who was 96, had several weeks of going down hill and passed away on Sept. 26 in New Mexico.  It had our family in a holding pattern.

We have also been remodeling a bathroom with installing a window where there wasn't one and putting in some tile for the shower stall - the plastic one just wasn't doing it for us.
Lots going on.  Lots of travel.  Nice to be back home and enjoying the fall - my favorite time of year!

Here is a photo of Bailey - the Weimaraner - enjoying the outdoors - he is really the best at 'couch potato'ing' lately.  Getting older I guess.

Thanks for checking in - even if there isn't anything new - there will be in the near future!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Pastel of Purple Hydrangeas

"Purple Hydrangeas"
image approx. 6" x 9"
framed 9" x 12"
soft pastel on Art Spectrum (aubergine)

Several years ago, I went to Guatemala with a group of painters and Kaye Franklin.  Kaye painted the hydrangeas in the beautiful gardens at the Hotel Atitlan as an oil painting demonstration.  There wasn't enough time for us to paint them, however, I took a lot of photos, never thinking I would paint them someday.  Just goes to show you, you just never know.
I think that is why so many artists collect things, save a tremendous amount of photos and have lots of art supplies, because "YOU JUST NEVER KNOW - 
when that photo or art material or item will inspire you to paint it!"

This is the mat and frame added today.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Pastel of Sunflowers

9 x 12
pastel on Art Spectrum

Both my daughter and step-daughter are
 'floral designers'.
This pastel is done from a photo that my step-daughter shared with me.
She recently relocated from Denver to Boston
and bought these pretty sunflowers to help begin furnishing and decorating her flat in Boston -
looks as though it would feel pretty good with these 'big guys' smiling on the windowsill.
I like the feel of the Art Spectrum paper which I mounted on a piece of matboard.  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Around the West and Back Again

I can't believe that my blog has gone this long without a post...but we have been using our RV - traveling the western US, specifically Colorado, New Mexico and Utah for 5 weeks. I have loads of painting subjects on my camera cards and can't wait to get to the studio.  But first, as you can imagine, our farmstead needs a little TLC and taming. It's been moving along - getting wilder and wilder by the day.

So - just as a reminder, some of my paintings are back online in my Etsy shop and also on Daily Paintworks - 2 shop venues I use.

Please visit them - if you have a moment.  Some of the prices have been reduced...so I can move some art and gear up for the next go round!

Great trip, good to be home....being in some of the hustle and bustle of the big cities we visited - makes me appreciate my 'country life' even more!  We also visited lots of state and national parks with wide open spaces that were beautiful!

(Dinosaur National Monument)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Portrait Finished and more of WIP

9" x 12"
oil on Raymar board

I couldn't resist painting from this photo.  I had those great outdoors colors on my palette from mixing and put them to good use.

More progress on "Cottonwood" 12" x 12" (WIP #2)

I changed the sky on WIP #1.  In Kansas, there aren't too many days of those kind of perfect blue of skies 
so I lightened it. I like the effect I got by lightly touching between the branches in a sort of negative space.
There is a darker blue left around the branches..it took the hard edge off the tree limbs in a lot of places, also allowed me to slim them down and I like it much better now. I may darken the midsky up to top some. Amazing what the color change of the sky does to the sunlight/highlight on the tree.

WIP #2 (today)

WIP #1 ( a few weeks ago)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Painting My Favorite Person

Self Portrait - the Spikey Years
6" x 8" on Raymar canvasboard

Yesterday, I watched a YouTube video - several times to work on mixing colors in oil for portraiture with artist Brian Neher's tutorial.  I used his palette to paint this self-portrait from a photo I took
of myself in the days when I had short spikey hair - "the Spikey Years".
Fun to paint - not as frustrating when you have most of your colors mixed and ready to mix, value-wise.
These are just the little dribs I mixed, I later mixed larger amounts of certain colors.
Onward to paint another one, while paints are still wet and viable.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

WIP - An Oil Painting of a Cottonwood

This Cottonwood tree lives up the farm road - out on the edge of a crop field. I have wanted to paint it for a long time - but was wary of it - so many branches.
Well, these past two weeks I have been tackling it.
I have a little bit more to do before I am satisfied with it.
It is 20" x 20" on my OWN stretched canvas.  I say OWN in caps, because I finally got around to it (used to do it exclusively back in 'the day') - been wanting to for a long time, much more economical and I have that control over it's quality.  Check back soon for it's final photo.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Never a Dull Moment

May starts the tornado and hail/wind/storm season in Kansas.  
It has started with a vengeance - we have had several days
of our 'weather radio' alarm singing at all times of the day -
thank goodness we have that.

Monday, Memorial Day, we spent the early evening watching the skies..that is our best guess for what is happening in the atmosphere above us, as we aren't near a town and are hardly ever considered on the big city TV channels
that are hundreds of miles from here and treat us as a we don't exist - 
like the left-out (dare I say, 'bastard') stepchild.  (click 'read more' to go on)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Happy Blogiversary to Me!!

Today is 6 (six) years since beginning this blog.
I feel it waxing and waning throughout 
the days, weeks and months of this year, especially.
Life is that way, too. 

Been busy, my Dad was here for a visit which was some excellent 'father/family time'.   We have also been working and working outdoors taking care of things that have been a couple of years unkempt..the drought last year and my inability to do much with healing of my ankle surgeries (which was the meaning of that 'do much' department) has us now trimming, planting, cutting, cleaning, sprucing, and falling in love again with this land we inhabit, the earth, 
and all the wild animals we share this space with.  Reclaiming the 'garden spot' for veggie planting has taken some time, but things are beginning there.  
Trying some lettuces for the first time this year - along with tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchinis, pumpkins, herbs...
and that will more than fill the 20' x 50' area.

There is a lot of maintenance that needs to occur when you own land and multiple buildings, as well, and altho I am not in the studio - my mind still swirls about stretching a couple of B I G canvases and just painting away.  That should begin here soon, as days get too hot around the noon hour and beyond (this week earlier we had temps in the high 90's - as some of you did too, I hear) to keep it up and maybe (just maybe) there will be an occasional 'weather event' that causes us to stay inside.

So while I seem to be taking an unintended 'breather' ~

Posts = 940
Page views = 45,143
Comments = 2,222
(drum roll here....)

Followers = 177

'Giveaways' usually go hand-in-hand with Blogiversaries - 
I'm sorry to announce, 
it won't be happening this year.  
Maybe next.  You just never know.
I am just thankful for YOU ~ dear reader.
Thanks for hanging in there with me.

 and on today's weather front 
so forth and so on...
I think those frisky tornadoes will skirt us.

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Landscape Painting in Oil

"Klamath River Inlet"
10" x 20"
oil on wrapped canvas
(wet paint causes shine)

Last year, we took a long RV trip to the west coast and the northwest areas of Oregon and Cali.  We stayed for a few days at an RV park that was right along
the beautiful Klamath River in California, 
just east of where it meets with the Pacific Ocean - 
and we then took time to visit the Redwoods.

All this week I have been waiting for the oils (below) I ordered to arrive - 

...of course they show up AFTER
I am done with this landscape...but I ordered some new colors...new paintline for me ~ Vasari.  I have never spent this kind of $money$ on paint.  
These colors are the Scott Christensen colors.  They are Sage, Bluff, Adobe, Bice, Jasper, Cedar, ShipRock, and Silver Point - 
they even sound yummy!  Now if I could just paint like Scott - hmm.
Stay tuned!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Portrait on Grey-Toned Paper

7" x 11"
graphite and white charcoal on 
grey-toned Strathmore paper

My daughter has this great 'scowl' when she questions -
she is such an actress and is so expressive with her many 'looks'
leaning on the counter in my kitchen many years back.
Taking an online class - sketching with 'this' paper.
It DOES have a little tooth to it, but it 'feels' really smooth.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Pastel Self-Portrait

"Self Portrait with Dog"
8" x 10"
on Strathmore black pastel paper

Practicing my faces - some make it to this blog, 
some do not.
This one is the nearest likeness to ME that I have ever done, 
except one in college - 
which I no longer have for some reason.
After looking at it, there is one area that needs some 
clarifying..my hand holding the dog's paw.  
An issue that I dealt with, I went after this 'alla prima' - 
didn't leave any room at the bottom of the surface
for that detail to be sorted out visually - 
it's right on the edge of the paper.  
Can't crop it, will lose the dog's face.  Paint and learn.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Portrait Practice

Portrait practice today in oil 
on a 6" x 8" canvasboard.
Wet paint shine on the left...oh well.
I bet I painted those eyes - 4 times..finally gave up.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Country Road Landscape in Oil

"V Road"
oil on wood
6 3/4" x 14"
I was updating the photo on this one and the text got removed with the old photo.  I worked more on the road color and set up the painting in color spectrum lighting in the north window.  This is the road to the west of my house.
There is a grain elevator on the horizon, but you can't see it, because
I left it out.  

Happy 17th Blogiversary to ME

 I would like to admit, it's still here, I'm still here and it's still worthy of my attention - although sporadic.   Here are a ...