Friday, October 28, 2011

Just About Done

"Autumn Bittersweet"
13" x 18"

I did a lot more work on Wednesday in class with this piece.  I think it's just about done.  I may go back in to do a little tweaking but I'm going to let it sit.  I'm planning on putting it in a local sale/show coming up at the Petersham Town Hall on November 4, 5 & 6.  If it doesn't sell, I'll then be putting it up for auction on the DPW site.  So stay tuned.  Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blue Pitcher

"Blue Pitcher"
5.75" x 6.25"

Years ago I thought "hey . . . I'm going to make a quilted table runner . . . how hard can sewing a bunch of random squares be?  Little girls in 4H do it all the time!"  Well those little girls ROCK!  Because sewing little squares together so that they line up is wicked hard.  (At least for me it is, although that's not saying much.)  I never got around to backing and quilting the squares, but it has still served me well, appearing in some of my still lifes . . . and well, here it is again.  Although I haven't yet, I'll be putting this painting up for auction over at DPW in a couple days.  You know how I love messing around with "virtual framing" . . . so here's what this could look like.

Anyway . . . I've been jumping around working on about 4 different paintings at once (very exciting! . . . truly satisfies the ADD in me), and preparing some others for upcoming shows. So back to work and I must gather my supplies for class tomorrow -- Weeeee! Have a good day.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm A Scrubber

"Pumpkin Shadows"
9.75" x 9.75"

(an example of what this could look like when framed)

Click Here To Bid

When in doubt -- scrub it out.  I thought I had once again ruined this painting.  (For those of you who have been following my blog you might remember my numerous failed attempts at this painting last Fall -- ha!)  Well . . . I tried it again.  About 3/4 of the way through, I thought I had gotten too dark with the shadows so I decided to scrub them out.  Then I thought the pumpkins were too dark.  So I scrubbed them out.  Then I thought that everything appeared too muddy so scrubbed some more and then threw on some more washes (YEEEow! - scarey stuff!) I think it all worked out though in the end.  While I really enjoy the push/pull of watercolor (i.e. putting color down, then lifting it out), my goal is still to achieve proper values earlier on, without having to scrub.  It always gets dicey when you're playing with color that way.  Anyway . . . thanks for looking -- have a good day!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Save The Drama For Your Mama!

"Autumn Drama"
6" x 7"

This subject has been my nemesis for the past few days. This is the only painting (out of four attempts!!) worth showing. (Can you say OCD?)  I have a little more tweaking to do, but I thought I'd share it. It has been such a great learning experience.  It's still not exactly what I had intended, but I really started understanding a lot more about the process of creating a very dark background.  (My hat's off to Carrie Waller and Jacqueline Gnott - they're both experts in working with rich darks and dramatic lighting - check their work out if you're not already familiar with it).  The photo of the painting isn't great -- there's a little glare on the top right, I took it under artificial light -- but other than that, it's pretty true to life - although the jug is a little washed out.  (I didn't feel like fiddling too much with it in Photoshop.  Too tired . . . painting the same thing four times will do that to a person.)  :)

Hasta Velveeta!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Great Day

What a fantastic class today!  :)  I worked a tiny bit more on my big painting, but I mostly concentrated on creating washes and figuring out what happens when one wash is added to another.  SO MUCH FUN!  The bottom examples are of exercises we did for homework and in class.  We worked out some interesting compositions using only a circle, triangle and rectangle, then filled them in with wet in wet washes.  (The one I did for homework is on the right and as you can see I messed around with it quite a bit). Thinking about composition is such an important part of painting.  I used to tell my students that no matter how wonderful their skills, a poor composition could deter anyone from even looking at their painting.  I used to give them a list of "10 Rules to a Good Composition" making the task of designing a compelling composition more objective and hopefully easier. Rules in art can always be broken, however learning the rules first is imperative to initial success and understanding.  After practicing those rules, they can then be broken for more interesting and unique solutions.  Well . . . that's what I believe anyway.

Ok . . . enough blah, blah, blah-ing!  Oh . . . but one more thing.  The composition exercise alone was very worthwhile . . . but then adding the washes helped to practice that skill without the pressure of having to produce an actual still life painting.  So good!  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Auction and "Every Mother Counts"

"Insight Into My Sole"
12" x 16"

(what this painting looks like framed)

I recently decided it was about time to put this painting up for auction.  It's larger than my 6" x 6" paintings (obviously) and different than what I've been painting recently (I finished it last winter) but I thought, "what the hey?" Nothing ventured, nothing gained I guess. Perhaps there are some shoe aficionados out there, eh?  :)

The following painting is part of the "Every Mother Counts" art auction over at Daily Paintworks.  You can read more about it here.  If this painting sells -- all proceeds (minus shipping) will be donated to "Every Mother Counts." 

Bidding begins at $50 and you can click here to bid.  

"Coffee Pot Abstract"
6" x 6"

In the meantime, I've been struggling with a couple paintings.  Does anyone else out there struggle?  It seems like every other day I'm fighting with my paints.  Good Grief Charlie Brown!  I like to think they're growing pains. I have to believe I'm ultimately making progress, but sometimes it just doesn't feel that way.  I have my class tomorrow and am looking forward to it.  Hopefully I can work out some problems and post something good and new for you all.  Anyhoo . . . you have a great day . . . "Onward and Upward!"  :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Watercolor Class

13" x 18"

This is the beginning of a painting that I started today in a watercolor class that I'm taking at the Concord Art Association in Concord, Mass. (a beautiful town if you've never been).  The class is with Marla Greenfield, who is an amazing watercolorist.  I've known of her work for a few years now through various shows and the internet, so I was very excited when my friend suggested that we take a class at Concord and I saw that Marla was teaching one.  Everything's going well except for a couple issues beyond those of an artistic nature as:  1. I am driving my friend crazy because every five minutes I say "isn't this the best?  aren't you excited?  don't you just love to paint?" . . . and 2.  I felt a little goofy at first, meeting Marla whose work I've followed because I don't want to seem like some kind of "Kathy Bates -- I'm your biggest fan" cyberstalking wacko.  Not to mention I keep saying "I'm so excited . . . isn't this the best?  this is what people who like riding rollercoasters must feel like."  Good Lord.  I must get out more.  Other than that, I'm having a complete blast, and who cares if I make a mess of this painting (or drive my friend batty) this is fun, yippee!  

So anyway . . . this painting looks a little crazy for now - Marla begins with warm, cool and yellow "glow" washes and glazes local color over top.  You can read about her process in last Winter's issue of Watercolor magazine found on her website.  I'm very excited to learn how to create glow - hopefully I won't be too much of a dunce. So that's the scoop for today.  Have a great night.  :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


"A Bittersweet Pumpkin"
8" x 8"

(Example of what this painting could look like framed.)

Although the weather hasn't much felt like it, Fall is finally here in Massachusetts.  This morning the air today was a bit crisper than what it's been.  I'm not complaining though . . . the 70 and 80 degree days have been AWESOME!  :)  Wherever you are in the world, hope you are enjoying your season.  I'm going to go eat some cider donuts . . . keep painting!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steam Heat

"Steam Heat"
6" x 6"

Sometimes I get excited when I finish a painting . . . and I really liked this one, so I thought I'd share it right away.  This is the Le Creuset kettle I use every morning -- and I love it!  I'm on a "Blueberry Green Tea" (Bigelow) kick right now (in case anyone cares).  So that's all.  Have a lovely day . . . and keep on painting.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Patterns In Blue

"Patterns In Blue"
6" x 6"

I'm getting back into the swing of things again with this little painting in blue, between saving the little pumpkins I placed around the backyard for decoration, from the dogs.  They are little devils who cannot be trusted.  Last week I spied on them through the window as they pushed a pumpkin down the hill and watched it roll into the pool.  When I asked them what they were up to -- they looked VERY guilty . . .  for all about 3 seconds then started wagging their tails and "doggy-laughing" which consists of lots of butt-wiggling.  So naughty!  (but so stinkin' cute)  :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Thank You

notecards -- 4.25" x 5.5"

Thank you to all who came out to support the many artists on the Backroads Studio Tour here in central Massachusetts last weekend. Although the weather could've cooperated a little more to facilitate better "leaf-peeping" the Tour was nonetheless a huge success . . . and a big "thank you" to all who ventured out despite the rain.  It was great fun to meet so many of you.  I am humbled and extremely grateful for your continued support and encouragement; please know how much you are appreciated.

Among the originals and prints that were available, I also had many notecards in singles and packages of 3 for sale, as pictured above.  I intend on making these available for purchase online in the near future, so keep an eye out for that post if you are interested.  In the meantime, you can email me for more information regarding a specific image of a past painting.  Prices are as follows:

single notecard with envelope:  $2
package of three notecards with envelopes:  $5
shipping and handling within the U.S.:  $3.50

After resting yesterday from the busy weekend, I am back to painting and getting into my normal routine (although in a much cleaner and better organized studio I must say!)  I have lots of potential paintings ready to go, so I'm excited to get started.  Unfortunately a quick visit to the allergist this afternoon will interrupt my day -- but I'm looking forward to doing some painting before I leave and later this evening.  So paint on, my friends . . . and have a good day!