Monday, October 19, 2015

Painting of Sunflowers Ending Summer Season Fun

Time flies when you're having fun! Right? Today's painting is in process; it's almost "there", meaning done/finished. I'm giving you a sneak peek at this painting of sunflowers because I'm amazed that it has been so long, again, between blog posts. I'm just not a writer so blogging gets relegated to the back burner of my daily activities. Sorry, folks.

This 8 x 10" oil painting has been sitting here looking at me as my head starts thinking about fast drying acrylics because our weather is getting colder and wetter. No title yet for these sunflowers at the end of the summer season. For a creative person pop, popping with ideas and possibilities time goes so fast it does seem to fly--at supersonic speed!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Artists As Late Bloomers and Other Life Changers

Storms blowing through our area completely pulled up my largest tomato plant, overturned chairs, and dotted the yard with large leaves and tree branches, but my late bloomer rose bush stood its ground! Surveying the damage today somehow transitioned into thinking about artists as late bloomers.

Later as I started to update my about page on Etsy  I thought of the many artists I've known and heard about recently who came to  art after other careers. "Late bloomers" they are called, sometimes derisively.

How many came to an "aha moment" to make a life change? How many worked and worked much of their adult years to be able to afford being the artist they always knew they were? How many juggled their priorities through the storms of life and somehow kept going? Is this true of other professionals, e.g., musicians?

Maybe it's all about life changes and how adaptable people are. Maybe it's just the creativity in each person that propels them to take the risks of changes. I don't pretend to have the answers. I'm just observing lots of these changes presently and not only in the art world. 

Here's to the start of a new month tomorrow and a new school year for young and old.
Be the original you are!  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Southern Oregon River Landscape Oil Painting, Rogue River Summer, Original Art

 "Rogue River - Summer"

Summer and rivers seem to go together! Today's oil painting was inspired from my summers in the hot weather of Southern Oregon. A day at the river or an evening picnic and swim was a perfect way to cool off from triple digit weather.

"Rogue River - Summer", a colorful original oil painting, shows an impressionistic view of this famous Southern Oregon mountain stream in the summer. The Rogue River attracts tourists to run the rapids in this remote landscape below Grants Pass. 

Along the way pools and coves provide a pause in this exciting trip through the canyons of towering mountains. Dense evergreen trees and massive rock formations add to the scenery.

This is another painting from visits to this area in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. The weather is hot, but the river is icy cold and dangerously swift flowing. 

"Rogue River - Summer" is an 8 x 10" oil painting on canvas adhered archivally to a hardboard panel ready to place in a standard size frame. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

An Artist's Summer Recharge of Creativity

Where did the summer go? My last post to this blog was in May! To put it simply, I was recharging my creativity. No special workshops or trips into the wilderness areas or spiritual retreats in seclusion. Just stepping back from the busyness of the art business.

Like many people I'm trying to simplify my life partly by cleaning out proverbial "stuff". As I and my friends have said for years, "I just want to paint." It doesn't work that way, folks, when you have websites, online and gallery venues, etc. plus aiming for a balanced work/life.  The goal still is to simplify for the purpose of freeing up more time to paint. I'm getting there.

I've been playing with art ideas and materials. My struggles with water miscible oil paint quality ended happily when I invested in a few Cobra brand oil paints. On my personal color wheel of oil paints below note the interior ring of a red, blue, yellow, and green. They retain their sheen better and hold their body better than the other oils which sink into the canvas to look flat. I even tried going back to traditional oil paints.

Using small pieces of gessoed watercolor paper I enjoyed my own at home workshop by working through the exercises in one of my favorite books, "Oil Painting The Workshop Experience" by Ted Goerschner wiith Lewis Barrett Lehrman. Using one of Robert Burridge's suggestions to pin up your studies in one place, I used a very large sheet of corrugated cardboard to tack up my little exercises. Great way to see your progress over time!

With the unusually warm weather for the Pacific Northwest, I soaked up the warmth, enjoyed with neighbors the abundance of flowers and vegetables in my garden, and watched new families of birds of different species bring their young ones to their safe spot in my yard for food and water. And I went down the hill to a nearby beach several times for lunch and to enjoy the kids playing in the water and the throngs of fishermen on the pier.

One trip took me for the first time to the "Alps of Oregon", the Wallowa Mountains. Spectacular scenery including the Wallowa Lake and farming/ranching areas of Oregon and Washington!

And I unplugged much of the time from social media. I "lost" my cell phone more than once by just leaving it behind or stashed somewhere. I developed a better plan of limited use of these technologies. 

Kids are getting ready to return to school and I'm ready to welcome the gray, rainy days of studio time. Today I cleaned up some of the garden looking toward my plans for another year of color and growth. I finished a new 8 x 10" oil painting this past weekend and I have canvases prepared for more colorful paintings. I'm ready to write a fall newsletter via my FineArtAmerica print website where more exciting decor products are being developed. Someone said to me this past week, "You need to paint that sunflower," while noting one tall and bright sunflower in my garden. Yes, I need to paint!

I'm back!!

Monday, May 18, 2015

River in Summer Landscape Painting, Colorful Original Art

"Santiam River - Summer"
5 x 7" oil
Today's small colorful oil painting came from my memories of this icy cold river in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. Even though it can be hot summer temperatures which dulls the colors, I decided to paint stronger colors especially cool blues. Can you feel how cold that water is?
I've been inspired to paint several river scenes lately. Seascapes are also catching my eye.
Small daily paintings gives me lots of opportunities to explore my many interests. I also play with different paint colors sometimes, but I use a limited palette as much as possible.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Color Palette Development for Colorful Original Paintings of Dutch Iris Flower Garden

Early morning one day last week, cup of coffee in hand, I check my small cottage style garden for seedlings bursting forth, maybe the first red strawberry hidden under its leaves, any weeds that need to be pulled sooner than later. I don't get far out the slider door when my eye is drawn to the Dutch iris flowers. The spots of lavenders and yellows seem like an undefined pattern of colors. They need to be painted, I tell myself! 

With my iPhone I quickly shoot several reference photos of the flowers from different angles thinking about possible compositions for paintings. I realize I need to do some careful drawings or sketches to refresh my memory of the structure of these irises. That I do later using watercolor pencils in my current sketch book. 

Often I paint color swatches in oils on an acrylic paper en plein air to refine my colors. The above photo shows recent color tests for other Dutch irises in the first photo. Those flowers I noticed change their colors over time so the range of colors spread from blues to red purples.

Then I sketch tiny compositions from the photos as I ponder which fits my theme the best. It might be a single flower in a vertical format or a horizontal washy watercolor of colors to suggest an abstract flower garden. Remember what caught my attention about these irises? That overall pattern of color spots. 

Here's a photo of a print from one of my iris paintings that shows a similar color spot motif.

"Schreiner's Irises"

Monday, May 4, 2015

Rocky Beach Watercolor on Gessoed Mat Board Original Seascape Painting

"Rocky Beach"
5 x 7" watercolor

Today's daily painting is another watercolor on specially prepared gesso panel. A rocky beach that I've painted more than once in watercolor and also in acrylic provides a perfect seascape subject with water, rocks, sand, headlands, and trees.
I've found that traditional watercolor on these watercolor gessoed panels poses a real challenge. The panels don't come close to regular watercolor paper so the absorbance of the water is very different. I feel I can't control the water as I've learned to do on the paper.
Another challenge with this technique is the type of brushes. My fine sable brushes are a "no-no" because the surface is too rough for them. So I have to use synthetic brushes in order to apply more paint. 
If I'm frustrated with the need for more paint on the brushes,  why not paint opaquely as I did this same beach in acrylics? Compare this "Rocky Beach" with "Overcast Beach" 
One definite advantageous to these panels is that I can lift the paint from the surface very easily. But, I don't want to get into the habit of fiddling around with watercolors. I like clear washes or definite paint strokes in my watercolor paintings.


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