Thursday, August 31, 2006

Blue Iris

While I'm waiting for the daily paintings to dry, I thought I'd share this painting I did of some blue irises. Allan and I were at the Woodland tulip farm earlier this summer and there were beautiful bulb flowers growing profusely in the display garden. I snapped tons of pictures and this one inspired me to paint this painting.

Vincent Van Gogh did an iris painting that has a single white iris amongst other colored irises. I was probably subliminally inspired by the memory of it as I was painting.

This painting belongs to Allan. He likes it and I put it into a wooden frame. It hangs in our home.

Thanks for sharing. I'll be back to blogging after the Labor Day weekend. Take care!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

White Iris

This is the White Iris with the background partially completed. If you look at yesterday's blog you can see the previous background which was just a brown wash.

This painting is on a gallery-wrap canvas which means I need to paint the edges. The only trouble is the bottom edge sits on the easel so in order to paint it I have to flip it upside down. I used to ignore the edges until I was done. But I discovered that isn't such a good idea because I can't remember my paint mixtures nor can I replicate the layers. So now I paint them as I work.

Photographing this painting wasn't easy either. It's big - 36" x 48", and wet. Shooting with a flash caused reflections on the wet paint. It's too big to drag outside. I ended up turning the easel to face the late afternoon sun from the window, then shot without a flash. The left side seems lighter due to the window light. Then I pushed my easel back into place and managed to get a big smear of green paint on my nice sweats. Geez!

While this one is drying I started my painting-a-day project. I finished one tonight, but I can't post it yet. It's wet. I can't photograph it with a flash or use a spotlight because it will reflect off the wet paint. Shooting without a flash distorts the colors. So I'll have to wait until it dries to plop it on the scanner. That means I won't be able to post any of them the day I paint them. That was what excited me about this whole thing--being able to share them in cyberspace the day I painted them. But until I can figure out how to digitize a wet painting, I'll have to wait till they dry. I wonder how other painting-a-day artists do this??

Thanks for reading my blog and sharing my painting today.

Oh, one more thing. You might want to read this article in USA Today that features some of the ways artists are marketing themselves by creating painting-a-day and how it is changing the art marketplace. I stumbled across it and was totally amazed. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

One little panel

My art journey took a different path recently, after I read an article in the September issue of The Artist magazine about an artist that creates one painting a day and posts it to his blog, then sells it on ebay. After I read the article I started searching for websites and blogs made by artists who do this and found some surprising inspiration.

The result is I'm getting ready to try it out myself. As you can see, Allan is holding one 5" x 7" panel next to my big White Iris painting that I've been working on for a while. You would think a painting surface this small wouldn't scare me, considering I'm working quite large - 36" x 48" on this painting. But the idea of completing one small painting in a single session is a new concept for me.

The artists that are doing this are amazingly good, and after reading through some of their early posts I can see how their paintings and techniques developed. So if it will help me grow as an artist, I'm all for it. The other part of the puzzle is what to paint. I've always been a detail painter with a fascination for illustrations, which occasionaly translates into botanical subject matter. So the idea of creating small botanical painting studies of plants and flowers that grow around seems like a natural extension of my interests.

But in order to get ready, that is to put these paintings on a blog and all that, I've had to enter the cyberblog world and learn all about blogs, groups, and lists. Then I had to update my website and figure out how to switch my blog to the beta.blogger so I could have neat looking text areas for links and stuff like the other artists have. This definitely cuts into painting time, and as I still have to reserve time to sleep and feed the cats, my painting has been on hold a few days. Then there's the task of preparing these little painting boards and figuring out how, once I get a painting on my blog, to get visitors to know its there. So I made a mental commitment to not get stressed out about it, but to work on my blog a little every day, and add one or two people onto my list. It can't help but grow.

With that in mind I worked on the background of White Iris tonight and it's definitely improving. I wish I could figure out how to post another picture on here but it doesn't seem to work. Maybe something to do with this dinosaur of a computer I'm using? That's a whole other story!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Reassurance - Verdaccio

I've completed the Verdaccio. This was done with earthy green tones. Now it will dry before I add flesh tones and background. For Mary and Nick.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Painting a Day - getting ready

Painting a Day - getting ready
Originally uploaded by Wise Girl.
I'm getting some boards ready for small daily paintings. A special thanks to Allan Brewer at Home Depot - he cut them for me. I went to every, and I mean EVERY lumber store in town and none of them would cut for me. Not even Lowes! But Home Depot said, sure, we'll cut them. And they did. Hooray!

Monet's Butterfly

Originally uploaded by Wise Girl.
This is the outline of my painting titled: Monet's Butterfly. The hands remind me of a butterfly, and the background will have a floaty scarf with Monet water lilies on it. I haven't added any underpainting yet because I'm waiting to see how the other two turn out first. But this may be my favorite of the hands paintings I have done.

Reassurance - starting over

This is the reworking of my painting titled: Reassurance. This time I am underpainting a Verdaccio. After it dries I'll add the flesh tones and refine the background. I love this painting very much.

Reassurance - didn't make it

Well, this one didn't make it. I went too heavy with the washes, particularly cadmium red. I will start over and keep working on depicting realistic flesh in the old master's style. Chalk this one up to experience, although it may hang in Mary and Nick's house someday, because their hands were the models!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

My New Website

I just launched my new website. I hope you enjoy it. It's designed to match this blog. Your comments are appreciated.

Feel free to browse the gallery. I'll add new paintings as often as I can.

I'm intrigued by a painter I discovered - Duane Keiser. He creates a postcard-sized painting-a-day, then posts them for sale on ebay. I'd like to try the same myself. Just need to get some painting boards prepared. This is one of my goals for the week, along with making progress on a few other paintings.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Originally uploaded by Wise Girl.
This is my first hands painting. The underpainting is being done in a Grisaille. I hope to tone and refine all the colors as I go. Right now it's pretty rough, and I'm not sure I can pull it off. But I took a wonderful lesson yesterday from an artist who taught me about Verdaccio, the green underpainting used for flesh that gives realistic tones and depth. I never understood the concepts before, but I think I do now and I'm anxious to start a new painting. I also learned how to prepare my canvases and how to mix my own mediums and varnish. There are some definite recipes that I could not have figured out simply by trial and error. Hopefully, this will help me in my quest to find by "ouevre." as yours truly says. Special thanks to Pamela Green, a wonderful artist and teacher. She is helping me tremendously.

Yellow Iris with Oregon Swallowtail

I love this painting. It has a lot of movement. I modeled my strokes after a Van Gogh painting of yellow irises. In the lower right-hand corner there is an Oregon Swallowtail butterfly. It looks like it is about to land on a leaf. The inspiration for this painting came from a photograph I took of wild yellow irises at Lake Sacajawea.