Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Think I've Figured It Out

It came to me clearly this morning that the subject matter I am most drawn to is that which seems to relate to American life. Marching Band, people with pets, kids on the beach, soccer players are some of the subjects that I've had the most fun with. I do love me a landscape, too. I feel a lot of peace when painting Nature, but feel most in tune with LIFE when I'm painting people. That is why I think the Austin Figurative Project is going to be a very good thing for me. I will paint study after study and get really comfortable with the human form. Then, I can paint what I feel about the people I observe. I'll be able to put their personalities on the canvas and that will make me supremely happy. All my painting sessions lately seem to be bent on maintaining a festive atmosphere, so it looks like I had better practice being more lighthearted about painting in the company of other people. I have never thought of myself as a serious person, but I sure come off that way when I am painting. I am amused that that is the impression I make. What they don't know is that I will usually sing and dance to whatever music is playing and that is why I don't drink and paint. Gotta keep that foolishness under wraps for now.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Big Pear

Our final painting for Phillip Wade's "Magnificent Acrylics" was a project on a textured canvas. He brought in all sorts of pears for us to paint or we could do a landscape. He thought that it would be a fun exercise to paint one huge pear, hence the name of the last project, "The Big Pear".

He was right, of course. It WAS fun! After a fashion. There was a point where I didn't like how muddy it had gotten, but what looked muddy close up, turned out to be kind of bronze when you step back...and I am most amazed at how sleek and rounded the pear looks even though it's painted on quite a rough surface.

Now my kitchen still life collection is complete. You didn't know that I was just painting to decorate my kitchen and art had nothing to do with the decision to do the Big Pear. Maybe it did a little, because it's the pears that I paint that Frank loves so much, so doing a Big Pear was something fun I could do for him.

Monday, October 15, 2007

"Art By Design" '07 show

Here are some pics from my second Creative Arts Society juried show, "Art By Design" held at the Design Center of Austin.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Couple of Paintings

As promised, here is a photo of the first still life I did in Phillip Wade's class. And here is a painting I started last fall. It originally had purple floors and walls because I was in a purple state at the time. It's been changed so much that it definitely has lots of built up layers, as Jennifer Balkan so nicely put it. I really should sign it, varnish it and stick it on a frame. Time to move on already!

I'll tell you something that I'm really looking forward to doing this coming week at Inks Lake. Last year is when I did my first plein air painting and loved the process. I can't wait to get some time to paint outdoors there again and get a few good paintings of the area. Or at least some good studies that I can finish out at home, since I'm kind of a slow painter still.

I'd like to talk about another project that I have in mind, but it might not happen, so I'll wait until I get started on a sketch at least. I will say that it involves soccer players and the reason that it might not happen is that I'll chicken out. Meaning it may be more than I am ready to take on. But, there will come a day when it will happen. This I vow!!!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Frank Calls This "The Pear Painting"

Frank loves the pear in this and that's how he refers to the painting. I find it extremely amusing that he can totally focus on what he likes and ignore the huge blue pitcher.

I love this painting and therefore will only work on the onion until it looks like an onion...seeing as I bought an onion just for that purpose today. Then, it's getting signed and varnished and a little hanger on the back to put up on the kitchen wall. My other still life (which I still have not photographed!) will go up on the wall, too. And I understand our last project, with the textured canvas, is called "The Big Pear", so will have a third still life for the kitchen walls. Yay!

But, right now I need some inspirational photos or pictures of landscapes for this coming Monday's landscape painting lesson. I'm fresh out of ideas and a little sick of seascapes. Send me your ideas pronto!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Hello Stranger

I think I may have been a little busy. Been paintin' and paintin' and learnin' and such. It's good to be back in a painting class. I learn so much faster when there's a teacher and I keep getting great teachers, so the brain is getting a workout for sure.
Recent paintings: Owl's Head Lighthouse and Crooked River, Oregon. Can you tell that I had so much more fun with Crooked River because it was an 18x24 canvas and I got to use huge brushes, as opposed to Owl's head Lighthouse which was 10x10. The small restrictions were a requirement of the Austin American Heart Association for their "Find Your Heart in Art" show and silent auction. The larger piece was from Phillip Wade's first class. I love the still life I did this past Monday, too. I'll get a shot of it one of these days.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Self Portraits Can Teach

I was lucky enough to get a critique from Jennifer Balkan, my figurative painting teacher this summer, on this self portrait just before turning it into the Austin Figurative Gallery for the Self Portrait Show this past Saturday. She pointed out what I'd wanted to change and I'm so grateful that I finally "got it" about light sources and the power of shapes. It was a realy lightbulb moment for me to finally understand how powerful a composition can be when the viewer understands where the light is coming from. And the more subtle power in a composition that has interesting shapes.
Of course, I didn't get it good enough to create that really well on my canvas or I wouldn't have gotten the comment, more than once, that it had so much more interest when seen in a better light. So, something to work on in my future paintings...don't be so dull!
It was a very interesting show and such a treat to be displaying my work with Austin artists, as I still consider myself an art student.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

NOW It's Done

October '06
I think this is the best painting I've done so far. I hope to continue to improve with each painting so that when my friend Lucy (pictured at the fence) retires, I can give her this painting as a retirement gift.
I figure that doing this for the past year (September 9th), on a constant basis, and taking classes on a constant basis, I have improved quite a bit, learned quite a bit. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different

I changed the water in this painting...completely! And now I like it. Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Evening Reverie...I think

I think I've come up with a name for this progress. I need to do a little more detail work and then stop! Put down the paintbrush! Move away from the painting!
"Evening Reverie"

Friday, August 10, 2007

Two Paintings In The Works

No good working title for this one yet. I've considered "Contemplation" and "The Gaze", but nothing's just had the right ring to it yet. This one was done with a raw umber ground.
The Eiffel Tower painting is nearly done. I did it for Sami's apartment which has stark white walls. It's been fun. This was done with a quinacridone Red ground.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Farewell Photo

I had fun getting this photo before bubble and plastic wrapping these paintings for the CAS "Surf's Up" show at Cypress Grill.
I guess I really like water and sunsets.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

"Sunset Over Lake Michigan"

Acrylic on canvas 9x12 It's amazing how good this looks sitting in a frame. I had bought the frame for a silly still life and am so grateful that I never framed it because it just makes this painting. See it for yourself at the "Surf's Up" Creative Arts Society show, Cypress Grill on Wm. Cannon west of MoPac, July 26-September 27.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

"Sunset Over Lake Michigan"

"Sunset Over Lake Michigan" acrylic on canvas 9x12

I was attending this sunset a week ago with my oldest girlfriends: Patti, Lynda and Lucy, in St. Joseph, Michigan.

There's a wonderful lookout point, with multiple decks, but this view was off to the side where the fence was hanging loose. It spoke to me more than the magazine type shots I got from the top deck.

I'm nearly finished and just wanted to share my joy at finally painting something at home. It's been nearly a month and my paints had gotten fuzzy! I've been sketching and painting, but that was at the beach and at painting class. This piece I did just for me...and the CAS show at Cypress Grill the end of this month. "Surf's Up" is the theme, so my palm trees, sunset boats and this one are going in it.

I've got a million paintings in my head. Time to start sketching.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Giclee, Another Way

Well, then. I've been researching having giclee (pronounced zhee-clay) prints made of four of my paintings and am having second thoughts about the idea. I'm beginning to think my husband really IS smart when he'd say "just paint another one" after I'd fuss about wanting to keep a painting but also wanting to give it to someone. For what it will cost me to get prints made of just ONE painting, I could paint 30 paintings. And, I guess, if you're going to be that prolific, you're not going to want to keep all those paintings yourself and it's not so painful to let them go to new homes. So.............................................I guess I will save my money on prints and spend it on canvases and paint and just continue to do what I do, only not keep them like favorite puppies.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Birthday Fairy

My wish for the Birthday Fairy this year is actually a service. I'd like to get some prints made of my paintings. Well, that and a trip to Jerry's Artarama. My daughter tried telling me that "art is an expensive hobby". I put it in perspective for her...I'm an art STUDENT and we all know that education is expensive. And if I weren't studying art, I'd surely be spending lots on manicures and massages, Restylin and cosmetic dentistry. In fact, I believe I'm even SAVING money by being an art student and I have the added bonus of not caring if my hands are manicured or if I have something new to wear. What a relief. I think Farmer Batman and Samurai Penguin are done. I'll sign them tomorrow morning and get a photo before I pack them for shipping to the niece and nephew. I've learned that even the suggestion of subject matter can seem like a commission and that I don't like commissions. I've learned that I can paint a pretty good tractor, which I find encouraging enough to think about doing other vehicles. I've learned that you can't fight your style, even when it doesn't suit the subject matter. And, just this week, I've learned that I really hate the idea of someone wanting to buy one of my paintings. How bizarre is that? The more I paint, the odder I get. It's just a matter of time before you find me sitting on the bench in my front garden, yelling at kids to "get off my lawn!"

Monday, June 11, 2007

Little Treasures

Sunset Boats "Wish I Were Here" One of my painting teachers calls the small canvas paintings, "Little Treasures" (I corrected this from an earlier post where I called them "Sweet Little Paintings"). I had a couple of 9x12" canvases left over from my landscape painting workshop, so I decided to make some slp's. They're fast because they're small...much smaller than the 24x30 that I usually work on. The first one was boats at sunset with lots of pinks and purples. My mom is fascinated by how the color seems to change with the light of day. I may have to break down and give it to her since she's so enamoured of it. I think I'll get some prints made first, though. The second one I did this weekend and it's of palm trees with a hammock, tentatively titled, " Wish I Were Here". In case you haven't figured it out, the theme running through my paintings is just that sentiment. That is, until this most recent request from the teenage niece and nephew with extremely creative and slightly warped minds. I'm presently researching Batman and farm equipment, penguins and Samurais. You figure it out.