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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Teller Farms Revisited - Saturday 11-22-08

Last Saturday was another gorgeous day. And though I was tired from working all week and then painting all day Friday and then going to openings Friday night, it was just too beautiful out. And I had that incomplete painting from Teller Farms from the previous weekend...Since it was started in the afternoon, I didn't have to get an early start, which was nice. I spent a couple of hours on it and then headed home. I sure enjoy the people who walk there. So pleasant. One woman said to me " you made my day! Seeing you out here painting in one of my favorite places." Some are very polite and say hello but don't ask or come over to see what I am doing. And to think I used to be terrified that someone would come and look!

I am thinking it might be better to crop this piece to be 16" x8" - I did not rework the foreground at all last Saturday, and it probably does need some work. But if I crop it...that eliminates that issue. Although it then puts the farm buildings right in the middle, or cuts the painting in half, which is not a good thing. Any feedback?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I have been out painting, just not had time for the computer

Friday, November 21 found me painting with Melinda and Jody up in Morrison, CO. We were met by a friend of Melinda's, Lance. The four of us set up to paint the town church. Actually, Lance set up on the hillside behind us and painted us painting the church. I should have thought to have taken a photo of his painting to post. I am still a bit slow on thinking ahead of what I might want to post.
Melinda is a fast painter, and I have slowed down since I have been painting larger formats. I picked an 8"x10" for this painting so we would all be on the same page. Lance did a 12x16 and still finished with us all. Hmmm. I kept mine simple and I have not touched it up at all. I see things that would improve it but just haven't had the time.

After lunch we drove along hwy 8 and painted near the quarry. I was still not feeling on top of my game; I can be intimidated painting with new people sometimes and I think this was one of those times. I again chose a small format, and then wiped off the first attempt. the second attempt is okay; Strong shapes anyway. this is 8"x6."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Before and After Sqaw Pass

Here is a painting I posted back in October, I believe. I painted it up on the road between Bergen Park and Mount Evans. I was not unhappy with it in its original state, but I felt I could improve upon it. This is one I tweaked on Saturday afternoon.I feel it is improved but there are those that would argue otherwise.

Being on a roll, I also touched up "Holy Cow" and "Cherry Vale Farm."
In Holy Cow I added the tree behind the mother's head, which I had intended to be there all along, and broke up the building shapes, which is also something I had originally wanted to do. to see the original posting:
In the Cherry Vale Farm painting I only lightened the roof, which had continued to bother me and I broke up the barn itself . Very minor adjustments.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Other Weekend Work (11/14-15)

Friday I was supposed to meet my new painter friends from the week before in Olde Town Arvada. Friday turned out to be snowing and cold. I walked Fritz between 7:30-8:30 a.m. at Wash Park and it was amazing in its grayness. No light, but the trees were outlined in white snow, the gray sky neutralized the trees, except the bright oranges and reds and it was really quite lovely. I was determined to come back after taking snow-encrusted Fritz home and to not drive out to Arvada but to do a quick painting at any number of beautiful places I noted along the 2.5 or so mile walk. BUT, when I got home, got my gear in the ready - the darn sun was showing its face; I really did not want to paint melting snow. Melissa and Company had opted to stay indoors and paint a still life, so I then decided to stay indoors and rework my painting from the past Friday. I totally redrew/painted the street scene on top of the original. I did not get it done but it is about the same place structurally as the original with just a bit more "je ne sais quoi." Substance comes to mind. The big missing piece is just hinted here and that is the twisted umbrella of the trumpet vine that will be just about dead center of the garage roof if I can pull it off.

Saturday morning I reworked a painting my daughter has. The original was painted in or around 2004 and it is, I hope, obviously, on the left. The pale green background just did not go with her new decor in her "new" apartment yet she still liked the painting and wanted it to fit in. I offered the option of repainting the background (phew!) to fit the color scheme, and luckily, the color scheme was a neutral gray blue. Perfect for improving this painting. I spent the morning on this as since I added texture to the background to match the texture in the blossoms, I also had to paint over the other flat areas, such as the leaves, bottle and table/paper. while I was at it, I orchestrated a few of the blossoms as well. Oh my, what fun.
I will save the afternoon's touch ups for another post. When one is having this much fun, one keeps going!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Teller Farms Revisited

Sunday found me back at Teller Farms open space. It was projected to be a beautiful day, and it was. Terri and I met up in the parking lot around 9 a.m. I headed back to the same place where I had painted last Saturday with Pat, as I could see the orange willows were spectacular against the purple blue mountains. I painted in almost the exact same spot but turned a quarter turn or so. I am happy with the outcome, but it does needs minor touch ups here and there,ie the evergreen "trees" look weird - what was I thinking? This is also one of those paintings that just looks better in person. Teller Farms Open Space Revisited is 9" x 12." I should call it "Painting of a Fence" which is what a young boy child remarked about it. (really, the fence is just a vehicle for the eye to travel) It reminded me of another time while painting in Boulder where a remark was overheard "Look, an artist!" which is reminiscent of "Look, a moose!"

Pat joined me for the afternoon. I had planned on painting the farm buildings again, too, but in a long landscape format (16x10) so that I could get more of the outbuildings in. I did get a bit more than I expected in place but it was a tough go as the wind really came roaring through. Poor Pat, her whole kit and kaboodle blew over with her palette and her painting both landing face down in the dirt. I am not really happy with the inital photograph of this painting so I am hesitant to post it just yet.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Potting Bench revisted

I had remarked on Saturday that I was going to try and finish the painting I had started on Friday on Sunday morning and the painting from the previous Sunday in the afternoon. The Iowa Street scene from Friday had totally different lighting when I drove down there so I opted to work on another piece from when I was in Evergreen a month ago. I spent the morning in my studio finishing up that piece. I will post it as a "before and after" soon.

In the afternoon, I did go out and work on finishing the Potting Bench, which as you recall, is 24" x 18" - a large painting for me. Here is where the painting is right now, and again, I see in the digital photo a few things that pop out and I will tweak.

If you go down to the entry of November 3 you can see this in its more unfinished state. My husband's comment on this painting was "it is a nice painting but I don't like the subject." I just noticed that I didn't get the hooks in that would help break up the space of the flat board in front. My intent was to do a still life with the pomegranates, which I did accomplish, and you will see that I do like to paint this particular fruit as the winter progresses and I am indoors more. These particular fruit were hand-carried by Richard from his brother's orchard in Vacaville.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Denver Plein Aire Opening

Tonight was the opening at the Denver Public Library for the Golden Triangle Paint out that I participated in back in September. There was quite the crowd which was very gratifying to see, and paintings selling, which is always a good thing. I was quite surprised to be greeted by one of my painter friends with a "congratulations!" having no idea that one of the paintings that I got in to the show won Honorable Mention. The show has roughly 120 paintings hanging, and it is a show worth going to if you are downtown. Heck, make it a destination! I wish I had thought to take my camera with me tonight to post a photo with this entry. Although, the place was packed and it would have been a challenge! My painting that won the award is called "Quiet Sunday at the Bail Bonds." The partially finished painting was one of my first blog entries. It took me a few trips to finish this painting as it is a large format for me when painting outside; as I continue to push that envelope. My diligence was rewarded.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Teller Farms in Boulder

Saturday I drove to Boulder to hook up with Pat. She had suggested we go to Teller Farms open space to paint. What an amazing place. And what a gorgeous day we had. The forecast had called for wind, but we painted until mid-afternoon before the wind came up. We hiked on the trail to our first spot just short of a pond. Above is the 16"x10" painting I did at this location. I have tried a myriad of times since Saturday to reshoot this photo without the glare on the sweeping clouds in the upper left hand corner, to no avail. After lunch, Pat suggested we change places but I decided to head back to the road to paint the farm outbuildings while she stayed and painted this same scene facing the foothills. The following painting is 12"x9" and I am standing right at the shoulder of the road. Pat was right, it is a fairly busy road, but I loved the building block feel with the very white reflective barn roofs.
You have to love digital photography as an artist. As soon as you see the digital photo you see glaring "issues" with your painting, dispassionately. Or at least I sure do. In both of these finished pieces I see things I will most likely "fix." Minor changes, relatively speaking, but I think they will improve the work overall. In the top painting I am not liking the grasses and the foreground ridges of the flat ground. In the bottom painting the bales of hay in the upper left-hand corner are not reading well and also the crows on the barn are just at tad too dark in value. The foreground grass field may also require some attention. I am still, overall, very happy with the days work.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

New Painter Friends!

It is always a good day when you meet like minded folks; Yesterday, one of my fellow student friends from Kevin Weckbach's class, Marty, introduced me to the friends he paints with on Fridays. He couldn't stay as he had an opening last night to attend to, but Jeannie and I joined Jody, Kathy and Melinda. We were a tight little group painting on the corner of Old South Pearl Street at Iowa. Imagine that - my neighborhood. We got a late start, I picked a larger canvas, and architecture is not my forte, so although I did cover my canvas, it is really only roughly blocked in. The wind came up mightily so the specks you see in the photo are imbedded debris that hit the canvas with great force. I barely got the canvas off the easel before it was taken by the wind. With great optimism I plan to work on it on site tomorrow morning so that I can finish the potting bench in the afternoon. We shall see how the day shapes up.

Today I met Pat in Louisville and we drove to Teller Farms. What an amazing location. We had perfect weather and I did two paintings that I will try to photograph tomorrow. FINISHED paintings, imagine that. I was beginning to wonder...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Last Sunday's afternoon adventure

Since it is November in Colorado and we are still blessed with amazing weather and temperatures I could not stay inside and paint the still life I had set up in my studio. Instead, I took the pomegranates out to the backyard with a few limes thrown in for color to see if I couldn't come with something appropriate. I also grabbed an 18" x 24" board to see just how far I could get in the time I had alloted. With daylights savings, I knew my light would be dying earlier than I was used to and I didn't get started until 12:30 or so. I had such a good time painting this set up. I hope it shows. Unfortunately, I won't be able to finish it "onsite" until the weekend as it will be getting too dark by the time I get home from work. Too sad as I am really fired up to work on it.

A bit of irony on this particular subject: our patio slants down towards the sidewalk so the potting bench is normally at a slant, not level. I put a piece of flagstone on the slope side to bring it up to level before starting this painting. Note that the potting bench is sloping towards the right. I must be so used to seeing it at an angle that even when it is straight, I can't see it that way. I plan to finish this up tomorrow afternoon if the weather holds.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Washington Park

Friday found me wondering aimlessly around the neighborhoods close to home. The Fall Color is still so amazing and the weather has been in the mid 70's. How can I not be in the mood to paint? There is no excuse to not be outside enjoying the glorious weather when it could change any day now. There was no new posting last weekend because I just could not focus. These things happen and when they do, you just have to go with it. But I was determined to not lose another day even if I wiped the painting off. Put paint on the palette and put brush in paint and put brush stroke on canvas. Phew. That did it; Here is what I managed to do: it is 11" x 14" in my goal to paint larger outside. I had lots of folks stop by to see what I was doing and one woman said "Geez, that is a small surface to paint all that glory! Hmmm.

Golden Triangle Museum District Show

I was notified this past week or so that of the four pieces I submitted to the Plein Aire show, three have been accepted. If you recall, I spent the better part of two weeks in September painting in and around downtown Denver. The show will open November 13, 6-9 p.m. at the Denver Public Library at 13th and Broadway. Here is the link for more information:;