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Monday, January 26, 2015

Lowry In Snow 26

Lowry in Snow, 12x16, oil on panel
This photo came out very stark! But I am not sure I will have time to retake it any time soon so I am going with it. I painted over an old still life I had done in blues that was never finished and not likely to be. I figured blue and purples under a winter scape was apropos. It was a bit more difficult than I expected fighting that blue. I had a hard time with my values and colors on top of it. They still seem a bit overly warm to me and the sky needs to be a shade or two darker perhaps. Could be the light reflecting on the brushstrokes too. I am thinking out loud here...

This is the view from my window where I work on the old Lowry AFB again. This lone tree was actually in the photo with the Purple Deer on Day 20 but it did not add value. It is not a beautiful view but I have grown to love it over the years. Glad that I have a window and a view at all!

Young Artist study 25

9x12 oil on linen
This painting was a black and white study for a larger piece I posted last month, #2 in that post. I decided to paint it in color and give it to the young lady in question when it is done. It is not where I want it to be yet but I have it mostly covered in color now so here it is as a painting for the challenge. I want to sit on it to see if I like the high key or if I want to tone it down a bit.

I was so exhausted by the time last Friday came around that I did not really paint anything this weekend for the week coming up to finish up the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. My hat is off to anyone who manages to complete. It isn't that I haven't been at my easel everyday, as that I have managed to do. This weekend I really wanted to get some larger pieces finished that just needed a bit of attention. They started to weigh on me, and I was motivated to work on them. When I focus on the challenge it takes up my whole weekend. I could not do both.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Park Along the Bay 22

Park Along the Bay SF, 6x6, oil on panel
Squeaking by to Day 22 in the 30 paintings in 30 Day challenge! Keeping to a simple subject so I feel like I am accomplishing a painting and not just a block-in. This is right near SF bay on a very wet drizzly day. The rain had stopped for awhile but it was only a matter of time before it began again. We were in San Francisco to see the Impressionist Pt 2 from the D'Orsay Museum in Paris. It was Pt 2 because it was the second of two exhibitions on loan from the D'Orsay while it was undergoing renovations and it was the later "Impressionists" as they moved on to other directions. So the show included VanGogh, Bonnard and Vuilliard among others. Pt 1 had the more typically known names associated with the impressionists. We could only go to one and I wanted my husband to see these later names. He had never seen a VanGogh in person before. He was suitably impressed.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Beach Chairs 21

Beach Chairs, 8x10, oil on linen
Still on the easel and taken under warm lights this is a bit yellower than the actual painting. Trying to economize on brushstrokes and keeping to simple shapes. Even though I prefer to photograph when the paint is somewhat dry the wet paint does have a juiciness to it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Purple Deer 20

Purple Deer, 9x12, oil on linen

Today's image is from a photo I took outside my office window last spring. I work on the old Lowry AFB in the city of Denver. We have a herd of mule deer that honor us with their presence from time to time. This painting was done using the complements purple and yellow. The scene lent itself to those colors naturally because of the dried grasses and the deer being in the shade of our building. She came right up to the window to see what I was doing.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Gallery Cat 19

Gallery Cat, 8x10, oil

Day 19 is another that started out with flat shapes. The surface is that slick oil based gesso I used that sometimes I enjoy but other times, not so much. I struggled with the paint slipping all over the place on this one. This surface lends itself more to landscape for me so now I know. Details are hard to garner until you have a layer of paint dried on top. I really liked the composition on this one so may give it another go. This cat was hanging out in one of the galleries in downtown Denver.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Goats 18

Goats, 8x8, oil on panel

Day 18 brings goats.  A cool jumble of goats that would be fun to play further with and not get to serious about; ie flatten out the shapes and integrating and overlapping them. I like the overall design and think it can be pushed further.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Pelican Study 17

Pelican Study, 6x6, oil
I have jumped to day 17 as I am tired of messing with day 16's painting. After two days of trying to get a photo worth posting I refuse to spend anymore time on it. The painting was the first in a series of pelican studies; it is of 3 pelicans standing on 3 posts along the beach. I want to do these studies to work towards a bigger piece I have in mind. In the 10 days I was in Florida this past November I never got tired of watching this amazing birds. We get the white pelicans through Denver twice a year but I can never get as close to them as I was able to the brown.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Storm Brewing 15

Storm Brewing, 6x6, oil. $100
Day 15 fresh off the easel. This is a quick photo shoot so I apologize for the glare bouncing off the brushstrokes. It does highlight the brushwork even if it is distracting from the painting itself! Staying on the beach if not focusing on birds today. I have so many beach references from my recent trip to FL; all times of day and weather conditions. I lost count as to how many beach stops we made. I had to walk a beach every day. My aunt was gracious enough to indulge me. This is the Atlantic side, as we were heading north towards St Augustine. We were on the coast road all the way to the GA border which provided a lot of opportunities for pulling off the two lane highway and a quick walk.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Silly Bird 14

Silly Bird, 6x6, oil, $100
Here is my second bird of the week. I may have to continue with birds for awhile. They are intriguing and full of personality and possibilities. See where that takes me. It is thrilling to me that I have been better this week about not only squeezing in painting where before I did not, but also photographing at my easel and posting before work! My exercise routine is suffering, however...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Problem to Solve -13

Problem to Solve, 6x6, oil, $150

Done early this morning; I like the energy of this, which is what I am working towards. Keeping it simple. This subject seemed appropriate for the 13th day. I may do more birds this week. I have a seagull in mind.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Lonesome Highway

Lonesome Highway, 18x36, oil
This is my Day 12 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge. Many of you may recognize this scene as I painted a very similar painting a number of years ago that has since sold. The Denver Stock Show is in progress right now which inspired me to paint another version of this typically American West scene.

As I had just started the challenge I wondered how fast I could paint this large canvas and gave myself a week. I painted the majority of it in two half days, while also working on the smaller paintings for this challenge as well as a couple of other larger pieces I had going in the studio. Faster is not necessarily better, as we all know, but my goal right now is to paint more expressively. Painting in a shorter time frame allows some of that to show through as well as to train myself to let go of my "need" to make things tidy. My block-ins are usually very expressive and free. I realize this painting still reads rather tight in this image, but the landscape is loosely rendered, and for me the car is not as tight as I am wont to do. Baby steps!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

abstracted beach -day 10

Abstracted Beach, 9x12, oil on Masonite
Well, shut my mouth! I found the way to do at least one day prior maybe two, for uploading late to the 30 Paintings in 30 Days blog. I did not see it the first time and I am not really wanting to write more, but I will get this one done just because.

Talk about a slick surface! I had not put a primer on this Masonite board as I save them for gluing linen canvas to. But this was the last 9x12 in my studio so I grabbed it and just started painting. It did allow for some crazy brush work, which for me, is very freeing. I had thought this would be layer one and I would paint more on it after it dried. I probably will still do that, but it was my painting for day 10, so here it is.

I had done two paintings during the week from a photograph of the water beautifully reflecting the light. I painted on the same board, building those layers I so want to explore. My plan was to keep developing it and further abstracting it with each new "painting." I decided to do this on a clean canvas to see how it went before going any further. I like this one the best of the three!

Berthoud Pass sketch - day 11

Berthoud Pass, 9x12, oil on panel
The trail is bumpy to this the 11th day of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I am behind in posting but not so far behind in actual paintings. I had planned to play a bit of catch up today on this blog but our internet was not cooperating so I have given up on that and just going with this one and moving forward from here. My goal for myself was to do at least 15 in the 30 days, and I think I will make it.

Even though these is not technically "finished" according to my definition, I am going to go ahead and post it for today. I like the energy and the movement that is going on. If I decide to "finish" it at some point along the way, I will re-post it. One of the things I want to work on for this challenge is to paint quickly, as if I were actually outdoors painting. I got this done in about 30". I am focusing on keeping it simple, loose and energetic. I tend to tighten up the more finished the painting is. I found a few artists whose work I like and I keep those images in my browser so I can check in from time to time. I want to do a bit more layering too. This canvas was coated in a yellow ocher. As I progress, I have a tendency to not let those prior colors show through as much as I intend. The ocher under painting surface was still slick from the oil gesso I have on it so the paint slides around quite a bit. It makes for interesting brush work.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Apples 3 to One

Apples Three to One, oil on panel, 6x8, $150
 Here is the 4th painting for the 30 paintings in 30 day challenge. This may be harder than I expected. Although I did not have high expectations to painting every day, I have been painting every day thus far. What is going to be my downfall is photographing and posting every day. I just don't want to take the time it takes to do that on top of everything else. I mainly use natural lighting for photographing my art work. Being that I currently go to and come home from work in the dark this is going to present a problem. I had anticipated this so what I am thinking is that I just may not post during the week much. I will post when I can and will probably skip those days paintings altogether. I am sure I hear a big sigh of relief that you want be bothered with daily posts for a month!

I had already painted today's painting when I wrote yesterday's post so it has 4 apples. I promise that tomorrow's posting is not fruit or has 5 of any one thing in it! It really was just by serendipity that these past three days worked out this way. I set these little gems onto my laptop stand and did this quick little still life.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Blue and Orange

Painting 3 in the 30 paintings in 30 days. How fitting to have 3 oranges. This was not intentional! I will be off the fruit soon. Since I am also incorporating painting fast into this exercise I am keeping it simple; although sometimes simple does not mean easy! To make a simple composition interesting can be a challenge. I am not saying that these paintings are fine examples of that, just an exercise to get me thinking more about this without thinking about it, so to speak!

This painting is again painted on top of another.  It is meant to improve on what came before. The original and the new are not all that different on this particular painting. I used the same composition, same bowl but of course, different oranges and lighting conditions, as is to be expected. I did not date the original but I am guessing it was two years old. The color theory is blue and orange or complimentary colors.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Painting 2, Pear Deux

Pear Deux, 6x8 oil on panel
Another painting painted atop another. The original painting was not too exciting. It was a single pear set atop this same book, a book on Richard Diebenkorn. I was trying to think more abstractly, but this piece still came out more on the realistic side. So be it. It may go through another metamorphosis in the days to come. I am enjoying painting atop not so wonderful paintings of mine. I normally would sand them down and then apply gesso to get back to pure white, but I won't be doing much of that anymore. This process is helping me to understand layering of paint, values and color. I have struggled with that for years. That was what was so magical about the painting yesterday.

As promised, here is the link to the 30 paintings in 30 days event.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Day One - Abstract with Pears

Abstract with Pears, 6x6, oil on panel
Ok, so the object of this exercise is to have fun yet paint a painting per day for 30 days. One of my painter friends had posted on Facebook that she had signed on for this event. I decided to check it out and then signed up for it, too. Only because it is not a hard and fast rule that you have to do 30 paintings; the idea is to just get motivated and at your easel more. I don't normally paint during the work week since I still have a day job and I am tired when I get home. But I know I can do it, so I am going to use this as way to at least have a reason to try to paint after dinner. If other obligations get in the way or I am just too tired to think, I will give myself that opt out too. I gathered a bunch of small panels together as I know I can paint a small panel easily.

I painted these pears that were in my refrigerator for day one. The panel I chose had a bad abstract attempt already on it and it just seemed apropos to a quick fun sketch on top of it as I sure had nothing to lose! I am actually quite pleased with it. These paintings will be for sale so if you are interested just let me know.

Apparently over 800 artists have signed up for this challenge from all over the world. I will include the link to that blog on subsequent postings related to this challenge.

In Her Father's Footsteps

In her Father's Footsteps or Budding Artist, 24x18, oil on panel

Happy New Year! A great year has ended and I am excited by what 2015 will reveal. 

You may remember this painting from a post a month ago when it was painted as dark/light pattern. I have since moved it into local tone. So three values as opposed to two. It did not take much to do that and I like it better. Mainly the wall is a darker value so it does not blend in with the paper white edge of the painting on the wall. It helps to carve out her apron more as well. The rug is darker so now the paper towels on the floor read as another value. A bit lighter values are also on the stool and taboret and called it done!

I have signed up  to do 30 paintings in 30 days starting today! It is highly unlikely I will do 30 paintings in 30 days but I figure the chances are better if I sign up for it than if I don't. Even if I get half done I will consider it a success. I will be posting the paintings here and on the blog where over 800 artists from around the world will also be posting.  See you soon!