Friday, April 29, 2011

Little Birds and Little Bets.....

So I read this article by Robert Genn on facebook the other day called Little Bets (click here to read The long and short of it is that it's better to get lots of experience making little mistakes along the way, then wasting a lot of time on one big one....This is perfect for daily painters, it takes the stress out of painting....However, when I started painting I didn't anticipate exhibiting and I was painting on inexpensive supports that cost more to frame than the painting is worth.....alas, what to do now? I don't like the stress of painting on expensive supports, it cramps my style....Anyway, I found a friend on Facebook who is allowing me to use many of his photos for reference to paint....I would like to start a project of 100 paintings from his "library" from Barbados. It's a place I've never been but looks incredible, and one of the points in the article was to choose a topic or subject matter that you are interested in, will not tire of....I think If it was something like flowers, or animals, or something else, I might get bored....I don't know...anyway, it gives me goal, so here is painting number 1 from Barbados John's album....a wee little bird in the surf.

Neighboring Farm

I've been dying to paint the farm across the street since I got my outdoor easel, I know I probably look rather silly to all the passersby sitting at my little easel in the middle of a 5 acre field, but oh well, at least I'm outside and the sun is shining!

First Bloom

April has been, without a doubt, the most miserable spring I can remember. I don't think the sun shined more than twice, and if it did it was accompanied by very gusty winds.....miserable weather for those wishing to paint outdoors....When I went to paint the first bloom in my garden it was bouncing and waving in the wind like a buoy in the water, so I snapped it's pic and painted in the safety of the barn.....

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nemo part 2

Here is Nemo again, he's not quite done, but I saw storm clouds rolling in and I wanted to get it off the easel and photographed and close the barn door! (my studio is in the barn, but I like to paint just inside the barn door where there is lots of fresh air and light, not in the studio, go figure. This one was tough, the photo was odd, it didn't show Nemos shadow, even the light source is obvious....also his eyes were very troublesome for me, I'm going to tinker with them a bit tomorrow, but his fur was so much fun to paint!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Painting Nemo and Paint & Partake

This is a study of Nemo, for a commission for a friend. It's a Labradoodle, and I'm working from a photograph so I thought I would paint a small version first (8x8) and make sure the coloring is true to Nemo....This isn't the photo I will be using for the final, but I thought the way he cocked his head was cute.....I'm glad I did this first, because the compostion is not great, and it needs more contrast. Suggestions? Lighter background perhaps?

Tonight I'm attending an event called Paint and Partake, at the Red Tornado Gallery in Findlay, Ohio, where we will try 4 wines AND paint a masterpiece in 3 short hours, all for the low price of $30. I love events like this that are low in commitment and price, but high in fun!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Over my Head

You know when you start a painting and immediately you know you are over your head? Well this is it for me....any artists friends feel free to jump in and direct because I'm at a standstill!!! I started this a week ago, got frustrated, the paint is too dry to fuss with, as is my mixed paint on the palette....I need a quick fix or I'm going to paint over it! suggestions???

Life's Challenges and the Weekly Challenge

This was a tough week for me, both in my personal life and painting. Something tells me they both go hand in hand...... I thought I had a true friend in someone, and found out that in fact, I was wrong. I have very few friends that I have entrusted my deepest secrets to, and to be betrayed by one is devastating, almost like a death. I'm hoping this week is a new start, so here is my entry in the weekly challenge. This was the most difficult of al the challenges so far, and I have lots to learn about figures and flesh tones, but hopefully its something I will be learning in the Peggy Kroll Roberts workshop when I go! I can hardly wait!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Daffodils, Daisies, and Doldrums

This week has been the absolute worst since I started daily painting...I don't think I accomplished a single satisfying painting...Yesterday I started work on a larger picture of a rose, worked on it it for 3 hours, and when I went to clean up, the painting tipped over and landed directly on my palette, Needless to say there were 8 or huge globs of paint neatly ordered in spectrum order.....I decided not to even tackle that mess today, and decided to set up a cheerful still life to beat the awful weather doldrums and rut I am in.....Here is my attempt at a glass of daisies and daffodils, even they refused to cooperate as I tried to arrange them so I finally gave up in disgust.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Complementary Commission

I've been putting off 3 commissions of friends' pets for at least a month now, and since this is already a dreary week with the wintery cold and rain, I figured I may as well go ahead and tackle them....Now I know why I put them off....This is a good lesson for me as well, and it makes me dread the next two a bit (ok, a LOT). In the future, I will insist that I take or approve the reference photo first.....This dog is actually the easiest of the 3 I have to do in regards to reference material....uggg...except for the fact that it is an interior ( I haven't done any interiors yet) and both reference photos she gave me were taken with the light source directly behind the dog, not my favorite composition at all....and then there's all the sports paraphenalia...ugggg...and on top of all that, I'm doing this one for free....uggg. I'll just post the paintings, enough said.....

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ten Fold Sold and Caramel Cuteness

This post is largely in part a message of gratitude to David and Carol Marine and their wonderful artist friendly site for daily painters (I don't know why, but everytime I try to make something a hyperlink it doesn't work, grrrr) I've never met them, nor taken a workshop from Carol, but stumbled across the site when I began daily painting. I've done all but one of the weekly challenges and they have all helped me grow tremendously as a painter. When they posted the Help Japan Challenge, I opted in, and was a little discouraged when my painting didn't sell the first two times around....The third week it was posted, it got a bid! the benefactor, a fine gentleman from Barbados, purchased the work and to my surprise and delight, purchased two more of my paintings! I never expected the response I recieve just by doing what I love best, painting and giving back....I hope the efforts David and Carol put forth regularly for all artists out there are returned 10 fold, like it has for me. Thank you isn't enough for their dedication to their art.

I painted "Shoop" today, for this week's challenge....I had already planned on painting this cute little bunny, but the challenge to use complementary colors helped with my pallette choices....Shoop is a baby bunny in my barn that found a wonderful ome this week thanks to Margie Shoop, and she used the adjective "caramel cuteness" to describe him perfectly!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


This painting is from last weeks chicken series I did, had to at least do a fluffy yellow chick after stopping at the Tractor Supply Store for bunny food and seeing hundreds of them for sale under a heat cute. I didn't get a chance to paint yesterday, since I spent most of the day in Toledo for the last day of Artomatic 419....what a great show for meeting other artists and down to earth people. I've been to art shows where even as the artist I feel very outclassed by the attendees and it always made me a smidge uncomfortable, something to just accept I suppose. Today is my birthday and yesterday the Fedex truck pulled up with a birthday present of 2 live lobsters from Kennebunkport, Maine, where I visited last year with my wonderful boyfriend. I'm from the East coast (New Hampshire and Vermont) and I crave lobster all the time. There is nowhere in the midwest that does lobster justice, if it can be found, and no matter what the price. I have a feeling I know what my next painting might be.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Easels and Cows

Today I opened my mom's birthday gift to me, a new field easel in preparation for the Peggy Kroll Roberts workshop I am attending in May...I had to break it in and muddy it up so I don't look entirely like a "newbie" when I get there. I painted this cow today, and gave pthalo blue a whirl....I'm not a fan of pthalo, but as I dig thru my paints I find I have 3 almost full tubes of it, not sure why...I'm guessing I bought it on clearance somewhere....

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Roosters, chickens, and hens oh my!

I am on a chicken kick this week, thanks to the Carol Marine challenge....I finished my 5th chicken painting today with one still on the easel...I am very happy with the last one I did, so maybe I'll stop painting chickens and move on to dogs....I have 3 commissions for 3 different families for their beloved pets, for some reason I keep putting it off. Commissions are not easy for me, it takes me much longer to paint them and I tend to overwork it....Hopefully these will go smoothly, I just need to bite the bullet and do it.

Tonight I have invited some local artists over to my home to discuss selling art online. I've been a longtime seller on the various sites and am willing to share my pros, cons, and knowledge of my experiences...hopefully it goes well, I'm not a good speaker in front of a group of my peers, and I'm not even sure what I'm going to say, but someday I would like to give painting workshops so this will be good I need to come out of hibernation and start networking with real people, not just internet folks I want to get out there, so wish me luck!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Chicken Challenge

Here is my 2 chicken paintings for the Daily Paintworks weekly challenge. As a kid I had pet chickens and they all had names....Grey Eyes, Hurt Foot, White Hen, Blackie....a shy child with few friends, these were my best friends. My dad even built a hen house for me even though we didn't raise them for food or eggs....

Plein Air and Sunburns

Yesterday's temp of 84 broke a new record in our area...but I loved every glorious minute of it....I spent much of the day outside puttering around the yard, relaxing with my daughter, and playing cornhole. I even managed to paint a couple paintings. I've never done a plein air painting before and needless to say, I need to practice. This is a view of 3 small barns across the road from where I live. I have a feeling I will be painting this scene alot, which is good because it is far prettier than this! The other painting is just another version of Carol Marine's weekly challenge landscape...I was experimenting with more color.....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

High Noon and Challenge entry part 2

Here is the second landscape I painted for the weekly challenge on Daily Paintworks. I had a bit of difficulty with atmospheric perspective in the middle ground area....but all in all it was a great challenge.....a nice simple landscape to get started with! I call it High Noon, because there are no shadows to speak of!

Still Life with Strawberries

Last week I posted about an art show that I wasn't really excited about participating in. I was very busy with my daily paintings and I had a show to hang that week....However, I had a lot of glass stock sitting in my studio and a dear friend in need, so I went ahead and decided to set up at the show and sell my glass wares, with proceeds to benefit my recovering friend and his family.

My mom was always a giver and a helper. If there was someone sick or in need, she was the first to bake meals or do what she could. This is a perfect example of how kids learn by watching their parents. My mom never forced us to be that way, but my brother, sister, and I are all the same. We would give the shirt off our back to anyone that asked, or jump in to stop people from beating their children in public. This could be a bad thing, as I've learned, because some people take advantage of givers and people like me who don't like to say no. But I still think us humans are basically good, and at my age, I don't plan on changing.

A few years ago, I worked for the Boys and Girls kids were a little too old to be trick or treating, but they did anyway, and I told them how many of the young kids at the club didn't have parents that would take them around or it was too unsafe to go where they lived. They donated all their candy without me asking. I was so proud. I told them God would repay them 10-fold someday....they didn't get what I meant until the following week. One of my sons had entered a contest at the library and he was called to pick up his prize....a giant bag of candy. I could have kissed the librarian for validating my promise to my kids.

while I didn't enter this show for a 10 fold reward, life surprises us sometimes. The organizer of the event who encouraged me to join in the first place introduced me to a wonderful young woman who owns a gallery in a neighboring town. She offered to take all my remaining glass that doesn't sell off my hands and sell it in her shop. Blessings in disguise, my mom would tell me.

Today's painting is another version of the still life I set up with strawberries last week...I really like how the pewter pitcher turned out.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cupcake For Mom

My mom asked me to paint a lemon cupcake for her birthday. I took this request seriously because she's never asked me to paint her anything and she said she liked the other cupcakes I painted several months ago. I spent yesterday baking cupcakes to actually paint. I knew exactly how I wanted the cupcake to look, and the rest of the family didn't seem to mind having lots of extra cupcakes around. Today I painted the cupcake...3 TIMES. I like one of them, but as luck would have it, it's the wrong orientation for the wall that she will hang it. I don't remember the cupcakes I painted before being so difficult, but my painting style has changed over the past few months and I'm not sure if she will like my looser style.....we shall see. As I was painting the cupcakes my mind drifted back to when I was a kid and my mother would let my sister and I take over the kitchen to concoct things. She was busy working in the next room so she didn't seem to mind, and we loved poring over the cookbooks to see if we had the right ingredients for a delicious treat. Thanks Mom, for giving us free reign to learn!

German Landscape Challenge

What can I say, I love the weekly challenge, it keeps me on track and gives me an opportunity to paint something I might not normally choose. This weeks challenge was to paint the German landscape photo that Carol Marine provided...It went a lot faster than I thought, so I will paint the other one tomorrow.

Oh My-lanta! What a week....

Phew, glad I put that week behind me...The trip to the dentist to start off what was already a jam packed anxiety filled week made me swallow advil by the handful with a Mylanta chaser. Needless to say, I was back in the dentist first thing Monday to get it straightened out.

This is an unfinished painting that I will get to soon, but I today I needed to paint some other things and I just wasn't up for tackling the spoon today....

Oh Mylanta 8x10 oil on canvas panel