Monday, November 21, 2011

Colorful Rural Landscape Painting, Latest in Swan Lake Series

"Swan Lake Series #7"
8 x 10 x 3/4" oil on canvas, gallery wrap

Rural landscape paintings provide me opportunities for using limited color palettes. This colorful original oil painting is the most recent of a series I've done of the Swan Lake area of southern Oregon.

The scene shows the planted fields where water from the large lake at the base of the mountains is the source for irrigation. Dikes above the water have roads for the vast ranch area.

The painting is ready to hang. No frame is necessary. The image is painted on to the sides of the wrapped canvas.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Oregon Coast Original Oil Painting, Small 5 x 7 Unframed

"Oregon Coast"
5 x 7" oil painting

"Oregon Coast" is a small original oil painting of an overcast day at the beach with evergreen trees covering the headlands above the ocean surf. I enjoy the beach in any weather, but this is a typical day when the lack of sunshine mutes the colors of cliffs, water, and trees. Imagine sitting by the fireplace looking out the large windows overlooking the Pacific Ocean as you enjoy the view without getting wet in the fog mist.

For this small painting I used oil paints on 5 x 7 inch archival gessoed mat board. The painting is sealed with varnish so you can frame without using glass.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Colorful Artistic Journal Sketch as Artist Journey Breakthrough

Artistic Journal Color Sketch
5 1/2 x 9 inch acrylics on paper
(click image to enlarge)

This color sketch I painted yesterday in my artistic journal is a bit of an expressive breakthrough for me. My color explorations of more than three years seem to be moving me into a new phase in my art. I wanted to loosen up and become more expressive in paint colors and brush strokes. I didn't want to continue as a scientific "reporter" of realism resulting from my drawing skills.

Because I enjoy playing with colors in a variety of media I've endeavored to focus on only one or two. That meant that I had to reassess the use of acrylic paints which I had narrow mindedly labelled garish poster paints. I had to decide if I would again focus on oil paints with the physical restrictions of air quality and drying times. Likewise I've had to consider if I will pick up my pastels again as I remembered my initial artistic inclinations in grade school. Watercolor has been my main media for many years, but I reached a plateau and wanted to develop more spontaneity and brighter, clearer colors. Also new canvas products suitable for watercolors needed to be explored. Maybe that would solve my oils on canvas versus watercolors on paper dilemma.

Among the books I'm currently reading, the biography of Chuck Close resounded with me as I read about the artist's search for personal media that fits one's personal art focus. I was encouraged by his journey. Also I've revisited books in my art library by Nita Engle, Nancy Reyner, Nita Leland, Ted Goerschner, and others. I reviewed again Robert Burridge's non-traditional approach to painting with acrylics.

Before I painted this sketch yesterday I had been "attending" a workshop on line about the personal experiences of women's search for validation for being who they really are as individuals rather than the roles "assigned" to them by authority figures or social mores.
It struck another chord with me because I've dealt with this all my life. I wrote articles and developed workshops about creativity for women when it was considered "new" in the era of "paint by number". I spent a year working with artist Judy Chicago who championed women artists in her unique art. I had people who had read my articles on creativity in a national magazine call me to ask, "How could you work with her?" Corita Kent continued as my heroine artist from my time involved with Catholic education. I admired the individualist Georgia O'Keeffe. Some collectors in my watercolor gallery exhibition days commented that my work reminded them of her.

So, yesterday I painted with a conviction of "yes, I can!" and produced bright, clear colors expressively applied. Not a masterpiece, I admit. But whose criteria decides a masterpiece anyway? I came to that conclusion in my art history classes long ago. For me, it's my personal masterpiece for yesterday. Today I keep moving forward to the next breakthrough masterpiece.

If you haven't seen my "Color Chord" series of abstract paintings on greeting cards, an outgrowth of this blog focus of playing with colors, please find them here. You can also find them among my website's "recently sold" paintings.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Playing with Color Combinations Using Acrylic Paints In Artist's Journal

Artistic Journal Sketch
5 x 9" acrylics on paper

Recent sketches in my journal included two unusual results from color combinations. The first color palette included the familiar colors of yellow ochre, burnt sienna, and ultramarine blue. I've used these colors in landscape paintings many times. Burnt sienna and ultra blue I too easily tend to fall back on for variations of grays from warm to cool.

The subtle colors of this journal sketch I found quite lovely. I might have responded to these three colors with a ho-hum attitude if you required that I use these three instead of some bright reds and yellows. Click on the image to see a larger view that shows the multitude of colors produced by this limited palette of a red, a yellow, and a blue.

Artistic Journal Sketch
5 x 9" acrylics on paper

For this color exploration I used cadmium orange, deep magenta, and viridian. I really like the full strength viridian green positioned next to the orange. The touches of magenta near the orange colors make a rich color combination.

Besides using tried and true ultramarine blue with burnt sienna for grays notice the grays that happen when the orange, magenta, and green mix in this journal sketch. The moral of the story is that there are an infinite number of ways to produce gray colors.

It is also interesting to see the yellow component of the orange turn the viridian green to a yellow green. This is a good illustration of the nature of a secondary color, that is, orange produced from a red and a yellow mixed together in varying proportions.

If you haven't seen the "Color Chord" series of abstract paintings on greeting cards, an outgrowth of this blog focus of playing with colors, please find them here


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