Monday, December 28, 2015

Out with the Old and IN With the NEW!!

This Friday, January 1, 2016,  marks the first day of this year's participation in Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days sponsored by the California artist, Leslie Saeta.  I will celebrate this new year as having 4
years of participation among artists worldwide who have committed to painting ONE painting per day and sharing that painting on a blog or Facebook and the "30 in 30" blog for the month of January. 
I find my growth each year ~ to be worth the participation.

This year I decided to spend my 'painting time' without seriousness of having to 'get it right' on canvas and without the familiar techniques and mediums.  I plan to dive right into the mystery of mixing media that creates new possibilities and also plan to just have fun in the moment.  

Not that painting is NOT fun, but sometimes there is huge pressure to work under with commissions and painting 'likenesses' - which is often the mainstay of my artistic production.  

I am looking forward to the liberation of 'just being in the moment' at the easel and using this time to just PLAY, have fun and make some new discoveries!  Something tells me there is going to be a more abstractness or non-representation to my canvas surfaces.  I have spent a few days during this past month, preparing several different surfaces for this undertaking. I hope to share the making of each surface with each painting I do, however, some will be on plain 'ol stretched canvas, canvas board or factory made pastel surfaces without additional 'sprucing'.

Another important component to this endeavor, is there are tons of other artists doing their rendition of how and what to paint.  Part of the enjoyment is seeing what others are doing at their easels (and of course, you don't have to have an easel to paint).

If you are seeing this news for the first time...(just like me, on the first one I joined, I joined it three days in, not knowing it was going on til I stumbled on it)..the site for signing up is HERE. And BTW if you want to interact with a global view of who and where painting will be furiously flinging in January, click HERE.  Many PINS have cyber media links so you can visit artists in areas you feel are especially of interest.

So COME BACK won't you?  I love reading comments, so feel free to leave one.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Mixed Media

"Look What I Got!"
5" x 7"
pastel and watercolor on Uart sandboard

Completed for my friend and cat-sitter extraordinaire...
this is Cheyenne and Jaden, her grandchildren.
Last painting of 2015!
You can always catch my 'latest' on my Fine Artist Facebook Page.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Ramping UP

Just playing with watercolor/pastel on ProArt sanded pastel panel, today.

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days is coming up
This will be my fourth year that I will be joining in.
I have decided that my subject won't be the goal, but
the way each painting is painted will.  Each will hopefully 
be different - some new techniques, some I would like to
improve on or tweak.  Many will be done in MIXED MEDIA.
Looking forward to some non-representational pieces, as well.

I just returned from the big city with many new possibilities for
substrates.  Busy working on holiday items - soon to be done...then
a little organizing in the studio and I will be ready
to get going January 1!  Please check back.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Couple of Acrylic Paintings

A Scene from the Abiqui Campground
9" x 12"
acrylic on canvasboard

I loved how the cloud bank was riding along the ridge.

"Solomon Valley Farm Road"
6" x 6"
acrylic on wood
(noticed there is a dry split happening on the surface - but 
not to worry, it's just practice)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Tour the Studio

On a tab above I wrote Studio Tour - but don't know if people really find it when looking at this blog, so if you would like to take a quick tour please click HERE.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Journey to the U.P.

Looking through a magazine two summers ago, I happened upon an article about fall colors and leaf changing in the Upper Peninsula of the U.S.  Complete with suggestions of where to go to see the best change and when and what one can do in each place, I clipped the article and slipped it into my sketchbook.  A couple of months ago, we made the decision to GO.  The plans were a little sketchy, as we just didn't know much at all about that upper piece of the U.S., so we sort of just took off in the RV towing the Jeep with our two dogs - without much plan with a few stopping places in mind.  29 days later we recently returned.  I will share with you a few of my photos.  I think I have enough source material for a millennium to paint from.  What an experience and a wonderful trip!!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Weather Changing Ever So Slightly

I know it's getting towards fall, when
the ORB spider appears -
and yesterday with the fog and dew
the webs were obvious
ALL OVER the farmstead.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Travels ~ and Photo Editing

Just returned from an 8 day RV trip to Colorado..
One of our favorite areas - Gunnison Country.
It has high desert mixed with alpine environs and small town quaintness - it hasn't changed much in 30 - 40 years, except for the population being a little larger.  The people are nice and genuinely friendly (a place where you would want to raise kids!) - laid back - no BIG CITY influences.  There are more tourists these days, but that is because Gunnison and the surrounding areas have such a large offering of outdoor recreation activities. What draws us to this area?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Where There's Rain, There's Alot of Water

Duh...last time I posted on my blog about this - was in 2011.  
We had about 3 1/2 inches of rain overnight on that occasion. 
Yesterday and last night, we had over 5 inches of rain.  
To a usually dry place, which is in a drought, this is so out of the ordinary 
and often brings some added tasks after the fact - 
on clean up and mending things. 
 Here is the little trickle of a creek at it's best,
 after a rain like this.

Just replaced some ceiling tiles in the studio last weekend,
that gather some roof leaking from time to time,
DH said those NEW tiles are ruined and
one is about to come out to
the studio to remedy that one 
and prepare for more 
as there is more rain in the forecast for
the next three days.

From rags to riches...
a wheat field on the road above us
in elevation has not been planted 
with wheat yet, We now have
lots of the enriched field earth
in our waterway!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

As READ online...

on an email I get from a book company, the title was "When Vodka and Watercolor Mix.." At first I thought - 'yep - that would certainly loosen up your brushstrokes', but upon reading the article -

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Under Construction..

Under construction ~ figuratively speaking.
This is the idea I had to put this one
together.  They are 6" x 6"
oils painted on wood.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Work in Progress of Trumpeter Swans

Work in progress - oil on 24" x 48" canvas. (click on photo to enlarge)
The bottom 1/3rd is where I will be working at the next visit to the studio.  Should be tomorrow.

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Watercolor for Today

"Spring Break"
6" x 6"
watercolor on Arches 140 lb. coldpress

Seems like everyone has been on Spring Break lately.  Used to be such a special
time of year, when I was teaching school.

Friday, March 27, 2015

How a Painting Looks Above the Fireplace

"Gibbon Falls River"
24" x 36"
oil on canvas

I have been so busy with framing, varnishing, finishing, packaging and
shipping lately, I have nothing new to post.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Watercolor Painting

"Setting with Green Stemware"
6" x 8"
watercolor on 140 lb. cold press Arches

Painted this while in KC from my mom's tableware.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Away, Away..but Back Again

I have been away from home for the last 2 plus weeks.  My 89 year old dad needed some help, so I have been staying with him at his house during this time. Had us pretty concerned for a bit, but he is better now.  Just got back home today.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Pastel Society Show

Mid America Pastel Society 
19th Annual Small Painting Show 
March 3 - March 30, 2015 
R.G. Endres Gallery, • 7700 Mission Rd., Prairie Village, KS 66208  
(77th and Mission Road - next to the city building)

March 3 - March 30 ..Exhibition open to public

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Pastel Painting of Flowers

6" x 6"
pastel on Wallis

I have painted this in oil before and was so comfortable
with it, I thought I could get good color going
with pastel.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Pastel Painting of a Chicken

"Nine, Ten, Big Fat Hen"
7" x 4"
pastel on Wallis

Painted and painted the last several days `
in pastel.  I think my 'pastel mojo'
is hiding away somewhere.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Pastel Painting of Trees

"Tree Stand"
6" x 9"
pastel on Canson Mi-Tientes pastel board

These are some of the trees on my property.  I have 
painted them before.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015

Number 30 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

"On Patrol"
5" x 6"
watercolor on Arches

Doin' the Happy Dance...cause I DID
30 Paintings in 30 Days for
the third year in a row
in the month of January!!!!

This is my sweet doxie boys at 
the front window...
Chaco the red and Hasty Herman
the black and tan (not with us

I loved the perspective of this pose.
Not my best painting, but it will do.

I have a few absolute favorites in the
30 days.

I have learned alot.  I have learned
that I really am much more comfortable
with doing watercolors than I
thought.  And it's from
LOOKING at them., studying them,
reading what other's do when they
paint with watercolor, and watching 
a few videos in this past year.

I LOVE IT - and I think I will be focusing
alot on it throughout the year.
I also love to paint in oil and do a 
pastel once in awhile.

All in all - this 30 were better than any 30 in 30 before.

The next thing I will be focusing on is getting a 
few pastels done for a small painting
show with the MidAmerica Pastel Society
in Kansas City.

So NOT so many postings every day - but if
you have been visiting my blog
throughout the month of January,
I invite you to come back often.

I really enjoy your company!!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Number 29 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

"Xander II"
watercolor on Arches
6" x 6" (approx)

Here is a better painting of Xander..didn't like the one 
that I did the other day, but when you
are in a crunch to do ONE a day,
and you start kind of late in the day
and you are driven
that is what happens.

I like this one much better.
Ahhhh..only ONE more to go!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Number 28 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

"The Other Bailey"
5" x 7"
watercolor on Strathmore

This dog is named Bailey, same as mine, but is older 
and belongs to my friend's the Joneses.

She is 14...and I remember her as a puppy.
She came to play with my Herman one day.
Herman gave her a run for her money
I will never forget it.

Update - just found out,
Bailey had to be put down

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Number 27 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

6" x 8"
watercolor on Arches semi-rough

Xander is in the household with Venture and Venus, whom I 
painted earlier in my 30 in 30.
He is an American Foxhound, as well.

He is the newest member in the household
of my FB artist friend, Liz.

He is full of antics.  Never a dull moment.
He does something either interesting, amazing,
and almost assuredly downright hilarious every day.

I painted him quickly, as I
had my own dogs to attend to
since it was such a nice
calm day at 71°.  That will
make you people back East
envious..with all the snow and wintery weather.

Our dogs needed baths, nail clippings,
and ear cleaning.
Cold winter has not allowed
us to bathe much - in the
'dog world' here in a long while.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Number 26 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

5 1/2" x 5 1/2"
watercolor on Arches semi-rough

Bruno belongs to a friend in Denver.
He is a Swiss Mountain Dog.

What a happy face!!

Today I was faced with a big question
DO I paint this in oil or watercolor??

My immediate choice was watercolor...maybe
it's a sign.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Number 25 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

7" x 7"
pastel on Art Spectrum/aubergine

Aiden is a Whippet who lives in the mountains above Denver.
He always wears a jacket.
I can understand that.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Number 24 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

"Amy and Pete"
6" x 6"
watermedia on Strathmore

Amy was in my first and second grade classroom
 and I helped 
with her education beyond those
years, in my Title I classroom 
when I was a school teacher.
Her mom was one of my 
excellent educational assistants!
I have loved keeping in
touch with her over all these years.

She lives in Burlington, Co.

When I put the request out for photos to paint from
for this challenge, Amy's were the very first to arrive.

I painted her Hampshire piglet, Gumball, a few weeks ago, 
as #3 of the challenge.

Knowing her for the many years as a child ~ allowed me to 
make a perfect likeness of her.
Her top was DARK blue and white, but I decided, 
I liked the first blue I put down - 
goes with her very beautiful blue eyes.

THANKS ~ Amy!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Number 23 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

almost 4" x 6"
once I painted this, I realized..the tail
seems pretty important
on this birdy.
So I matted it and extended the
unseen tail on the mat.

I have seem other artists use
their matboard for
extra decoration, or illustration.

Only 7 more!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Number 22 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

6" x 8" ish
watercolor on Arches semi-rough

I have painted Gracie before, in oil...not knowing it was Gracie
long story for that.

Although this is not the photo the owner wished
I would paint, it is my favorite - for 
light and shadow.
I tried this one with a little more 'design' to it.
She was very pretty, one blue eye and one brown.

Her owner wrote to me:

"I was working at a veterinary office and she was brought in in a plastic bag with 3 of her siblings and we were told they were dead. She wasn't, she was barely alive, breathing only a couple times a minute. I took her and rubbed and rubbed her in a heating pad for an hour until she was breathing normally and had a strong heartbeat. That was in 2002. She turned 12 years old on the 14th of November. In July of this year she was diagnosed with cancer, and doesn't have long to live. My heart is breaking, but I am just trying to keep her as comfortable and happy as possible in what time I have left with her."

Gracie passed just before Thanksgiving 2014. 

I love this story.
It shows such compassion and hope for animals. 

Thanks to all who have allowed me to use their photos to paint
from this month!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Number 21 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

7" x 7"
watercolor on semi-rough Arches

Archie belongs to a artist friend, Marcy, who lives in
Salina.  She got him this past year.

I love the 'champagne color' challenge.

Had to get out the white I needed
that ear fur to fling out into the space a little more.

Wow - only 9 more to go, this
21 has gone by so quickly..
such is life, I guess.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Number 20 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

7" x 7"
watercolor on Aquarelle/Arches

This one is a FB friend's - daughter's dog, Nia.
I loved the photo of her and could see
the underneath blanket being
played up a little in chroma
for great sassy contrast.

Lovin' doing watercolors.
They seem to be working for me
right now.
They are opposite of oils and pastels, 
which are darkest to lightest
as you paint.
Watercolor is just the other way around.
Plus I have some open cuts in my pointer and thumb
on my painting hand, that keep getting
gamsol and oil paint in this
rate they will never heal.

So right now, my brain and those fingers have to 
constantly slow down
and think.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Number 19 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

5" x 7"
watercolor on Arches

This is our weimaraner 
(vy-mer-rah-ner) - 
we call him 'Bader Boyz'.

This afternoon will be spent on varnishing,
fixing our big pole yard nightlight...
it has been out and without it 
it is VERY dark here at night.

The RV needs some extra TLC in winter,
it's such a nice day, we will
attend to some of that, too!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Number 18 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

"Trumpeter I"
on Arches

It's Day 18, and I needed to change up my
I LOVE painting every day,
but there are tasks that
become mundane.
One of them is preparing to
paint in oil and 
then the clean-up after.

I wanted to take a break.
so mysterious some days.
Today it was right there for me.

These swans migrate through
the property of my aunt
and uncle's in the Ozarks
area of Missouri.

Thanks for the photo Emily!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Number 17 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

9" x 12"
oil on Raymar canvasboard

I am calling this one Americana or Primitive style today.
I didn't paint with that intention, but that
is what seems to have played
out on the surface,
kind of flat.
And no matter what I did, the color mixing 
was often MUD..meaning I wasn't mixing just
2 colors and introducing a complimentary in the mix.  Oy!

It's reeeeeallly windy here today and that always
plays havoc with my painting muse and psyche.

It actually drives me a little crazy.

Aspen is a Chesapeake Bay retriever who
belongs to my friend and past coworker, Kim.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Number 16 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

"Major Sun"
6" x 6"
oil on pine veneer

This is Max and Major again.  I have painted them 5 times, I think.
They are right down the road, so every once in awhile
on a sunny day, I go take more photo updates of them.

They are Belgian draft horses.

The veneered wood has a heavy grain in it.
Not sure how it will do as it dries..
although it is sealed with gesso 
and a coat of red oxide acrylic.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Number 15 of 30 in 30

"Cat Bird"
11" x 14"
oil on canvasboard

This was one of those days, when I just wanted 
to walk out of the studio and
be done for the day
and that feeling hit - about half way through this
'time at the easel'.
It was a three time 'wipe off' and
I finally went with it.

You 'win' some and you 'learn' some.
Probably the biggest "aha"
I am painting on too large of a canvas
for a 'daily painting'.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Number 14 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

'Best Friends'
6" x 6"
oil on wood veneer

When we are RV vacationing at our favorite spot, Cape Lookout, Oregon,
there is a daily migration from the campsites - up and over the sand dunes
 at sunset.   Camera in hand, it is the best time to
people watch, and shoot lots of great photos.
It's like the neatest 'human attended' event I know.

People bring their lawn chairs, their bottles of wine,
dogs and kids
and their beach toys.

There is cheering and clapping as the sun
makes it's grand departure
from view.

I was so touched by this girl, sharing this moment
 with her 'best' friend.
The dog seemed as 'in tune' with the
event as much as everyone else.
I like this scene so much, I will chalk 
this little one up to practice 
for maybe a larger version 
some day soon.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

30 Paintings in 30 Days - NUMBER 13

"The Best Dog in the Whole World"
9" x 12"
oil on Raymar canvasboard

Hasty Herman - our little black and tan dachshund - 
left this world just over 4 years ago.
He was almost 10.
I have painted him many times,
but found this photo this
morning, and it's so 
typically HERMAN.
He would plop down
on just anything
that was creating a soft spot.

This shoe area in the laundry room 
suited him just fine -
using Dad's shoes as a chin rest.
A little paint shine - this time of day
it's unavoidable.

and remembrance

Monday, January 12, 2015

Day 12 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

"Studio Catz"
8" x 8"
oil on Raymar canvasboard

Today was back to normal, sort of.  
Had some 'chorin' to do before I started painting
this afternoon.  Instead of painting
someone else's critters, I decided
time to immortalize the cats
that live in my studio.
The black one ('ol 'poopy pants')
is Pyewacket and the
multicolored ball of fuzz
is Meeka (with a myriad
of hair mats herself).
They often LAY on each other or
intertwine to stay warm.
They are a little over a year old.

They bring us joy and fun. We play
lots and they are full
of purrsonality.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Number 11 - of 30 in 30

"Peepers - 2014"
8" x 10"
oil on canvasboard
This is Peepers, a robin, our second rehab baby bird.
WE  rescued it from sure
ill fate and were able 
to feed and help it learn to fly 
and BE a BIRD.
But that is beside the point today.

There was bound to be one
of those days -when
painting took a back seat.
This is the one painting I would rather not share.
It didn't photograph right, but
maybe that is because it
isn't very good, by my standards.

Short story, cat (who lives in studio and 
is an indoor cat) with lots of
feces (a fistload - sorry
for the gorey details) entangled in it's long
fur, running amok
in the studio,
leaving bits here and there, not 
to mention the smell.
Don't know how these
things happen, but it's
bound to be.

The clean-up took alot of time, it wasn't fun
and I am glad it is over.
Giving a fraidy cat a bath
on the fly - chasing a wet 
cat who isn't clean yet..OY!!

But...this is the outcome
of a painting that I
was NOT into.

It was a rather sh%# day ~
so to speak.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Number 10 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

9" x 12"
oil on canvasbooard

I know Weimaraners - I have one...but 
EVERY ONE is different,
sometimes by just an ever so
slight way.

Gunny is very different from the 'O Gray One
that I have.  He belongs to my cousins
Chase, Taryn and Cade. 

This one took me awhile.
I loved every minute of it!

One third of the way done.
Life is good.

I have ordered a frame for it, and it rocks.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Number 9 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

"Mandy and Elle"
10" x 10"
oil on canvasboard

I almost always start out with a 
red oxide underpainting.
On this one I left some of it showing through
as I liked it - 
it gives a reddish edge.
These two were kittens when I took this photo -
they were sharing a chairback by the 
long windows.
They belong to my brother and sister-in-law.
They have beautiful LOOOONG tails.
Very sweet and fun!

After I photographed the painting,
I finished that space
just in the distance 
where the oxide red was
really showing along the
deck rail, on the left.

Whenever I photograph my work,
I see gobs of stuff to fix.
But I am letting that go
during this challenge.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

30 Paintings in 30 Days - Number 8

6" x 6"
oil on pine veneer

I love it when little kittens are rescued - and this
one was - in August - by my
artist friend Leann, who lives in Michigan.

She and her husband found this
then, 4 week old kitty, without a mom,
without litter mates,
just abandoned near their
rental house they were working on.
And - the short version of the story -
Leann now has a little gray kitty
to go with her other two kitties.

I wanted to paint from a photo she had
posted because it reminds me of a 'heart'.
And I DO 'heart' that this kitty has found a 
good home!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Day 7 of Painting 30 in 30

6" x 6"
oil on pine veneer

This is Venus' sister.  She is an American Foxhound.
  See Day 5.  There wasn't an outdoor
shot that gave the same sort of sunny pose
that Venus' painting had
but I liked this indoor shot.
Although my version kind of reminds me of a 
'doggie mugshot'.

I see one or two areas that need 
addressing with this one
 in the morning.

Along with painting today, I sewed a complete
mitered corners baby quilt out of flannel.

Busy day.

If you would like to see more paintings from about 1200
other artists go to Leslie Saeta's blog
on the sidebar.
There are so many, and each year, I try to visit 
and give say hi and give support,
but this year is overwhelming.

I am pleased that the world seems to be filled with artists.

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 ...