Friday, July 29, 2011

Multicultural 6"x6" oil #321

I painted this in the studio with the garage doors open and it was raining...rather it was 100% humidity and then it started to rain. I felt like I was moving through sludge to set it up and paint it, but I am so glad that I stuck with it...not because it is a great painting, but because I did it even though I wanted to quit. Sometimes that is the best you can do.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Plein Air Bouquet acrylic 4"x4" #320

Does it count as plein air if you put the flowers in a vase? Had a great time today painting with my friend heather on her porch.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Star Spangled Geraniums acrylic 6"x6" #319

This was for a Daily Paintworks challenge. It was to go outside and paint a plant with a focal point defined and looseness to the rest of the piece. It had to be done with just cad yellow and red, ultramarine blue and white and had to be finished in 1 hour. I was downtown this afternoon with limited opportunities to find plants, but I found a potted geranium with no blooms, but adorned with an American flag, so that is what I painted.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Barber Farm oil about 6"x8" #318

Saturday morning I painted at the Barber Farm in Jericho, VT, with a group of wonderful plein air painters at a festival organized by the Emile Gruppe gallery. It was really hot and sunny and my umbrella shade failed, so I did this pretty quickly. It got some sawdust on it, which I will remove once it dries. The Barber Farm is so beautiful.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Jericho Center about 5x10" oil #317

I went to a Plein Air Painting Festival this weekend. I did this one of an area off the town square in the afternoon; it was really sunny and hot, but I was in the shade and it was delightful. I took a long nap today.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Happy Hydrangeas oil 6"x6" 315

I love this painting and I loved doing it. I was intimidated by painting hydrangeas but they actually weren't as hard as roses or lilies. Maybe it was just a good day for me. I like the bright colors and the sharp edges surrounding the flowers and the abstract qualities. For some reason when I pull the photo in, it shows as code instead of the actual photo, so I can't resize it to be larger. If you understand this problem please let me know!
This painting is available at

Monday, July 18, 2011

Consider the Lilies oil 6"x6" #314

I know I need to do some serious flower studies to understand the shapes, colors and turning of the pedals. I am so glad I did these when I did, because later today I looked at these flowers in my garden and they are starting to wilt. I wanted to post this morning, but we had a thunder storm and our power went out, the phone and internet service went down and I couldn't get cell service. I felt like I was under siege. It doesn't take long to realize how dependent we are on our conveniences. I am happy with this painting, but I know that I need to really practice how to make confident and varied brushstrokes. I am limited in this respect. I also did this for the Daily Paintworks challenge about interpreting music. My music selection was based on my desire to paint lilies so I listened to every rendition I could find of "Consider the Lilies." My favorite was an old-time bluegrass gospel rendition. It is a song based on the "Sermon On the Mount."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Soothing Stroll 6"x6" oil #313

I feel like I have been plagued with some duds lately...but I comfort myself in the fact that I am still painting and I am learning a lot. This is on the Highline in NYC. I really loved her brilliant white hair and shirt and the flecks of white in her partner's hair. I toned down the city scene, but I now wish I had done it darker. Maybe I will repaint it and see what happens.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Growler and Peanuts 6'x6' #311 oil

I have been painting on canvas and am back to panels which I like so much more because of the slick surface. I tend to get get much softer edges with canvas and I am sure it is from my inexperience. I would have to do many layers of gesso on canvas to get it to where I'd like the surface, so panels are a good option. I like this painting and submitted it to the "Reflections" challenge on daily painters. I feel like this painting has the elements of things I learned in Qiang Huang's workshop and is still in a style I am comfortable with.
I am also re-posting the painting I put up yesterday because the photo was so underexposed. This version is much closer to how the painting looks.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Aspirations oil 5"x7" #309

I decided to use the palette knife for this. It has much thicker paint than I usually use. Roses are difficult for me. I need to set aside time to master flowers but I am not yet ready for that. I look at Qiang Huang's roses and am quite humbled. These are from my rose bush. The buds are adorable and then they fly open to rolled looks like they are trying to turn themselves inside out.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Tentative Approach oil 10"x8" #308

Something that Richard Schmid said on Saturday applies to this painting. He said if anything doesn't work in the painting take it out. I had a blue pitcher in this painting, close to dead center, which was a bit of a mistake anyway, but I never liked the way the pitcher looked. It wasn't symmetrical for one thing and the color was too bright. So, I took it out. Now I have a painting that is heavy on the left side, but I like the grouping and it looks like they are overseeing the approaching crab apples. I like the dark background and soft edges. This was on a bright red cloth and again, it was hard for me not to go crazy with the beautiful red.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Aggressiveness of the Bronze Bird 5"x7" oil #307

It was a bit easier getting a photo today...maybe I actually figured some things out. This was my second workshop painting and I worked really hard to subdue the purple cloth backdrop...I so wanted to paint it brilliant colors, but Qiang is right that it brings more mystery into the painting and it pushes the background to where it ought to be. The title is bigger than the painting...oh well.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Siesta oil 8"x10" #306

I have learned a bunch of new things which I am trying to apply in an accurate way. One of those is about photographing my work. There are some improvements but the colors aren't quite right as I was trying to compensate for a washed out look the photo had. I need to try a couple of different set-ups until I come up with one that really works. I painted on stretched canvas for this workshop and I realized that I really prefer smooth panels. I have never tried linen panels....maybe I will like those. The texture is the problem for me. I worked on creating more mystery and toning down my colors in all but the focal point. This was a lot harder for me than I would have thought. I really am drawn to very saturated colors, but I understand how this can be overwhelming. I was in a Mexican restaurant decorated with really saturated oranges browns and earthy greens. A woman came in who had on royal blue pants, a bright red shirt and magenta/purple hair. I suddenly realized why such saturated colors in abundance can be an assault on your sensitivities! I shared a still-life set-up with Grace, a beautiful lady and painter from Arizona. We were matched well, but in sharing the still-life there were compensations to be made. I didn't get the placement right and our lighting wasn't great for this one but we both learned a lot in the process.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


I have been at a workshop with Qiang Huang at the Village Arts in Putney, VT, and a paint-off with Richard Schmid. It was fabulous. I am ready to hit the sack...but will photograph my work tomorrow and post it. I so recommend attending one of Qiang's workshops if possible. He is a wonderful teacher, fabulous artist, and all around really nice person. Village Arts is a treat and they offer professional workshops. Penelope Simpson and Captain John Adams are top of the line hosts and facilitators. I also got the pleasure of meeting Nancy Guzik and many accomplished artists from as far away as China, Hawaii and California.
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