Saturday, December 19, 2009

A 2009 Holiday Greeting: Sunflowers 2009

Holiday Sunflowers 2009 - 9 x 12 - oil on panel
by Allan and Marie Wise
Allan and I completed our annual holiday sunflower painting. This is the second year we've done a joint painting for the holidays, based on sunflowers from our massive sunflower garden. Although our sunflowers long since dried up, we took lots of pictures while they were blooming last summer. This painting is based on one of those photos. See more sunflower photos by Allan and Marie.
The painting is small and done mostly in direct painting style on a linen covered panel. Marie blocked in the preliminary colors, then Allan added flourishes in the form of color accents, better green colors on the leaves, and more definition in the flower centers, along with some purples in the background. Marie evaluated and agreed with the changes. As always, Allan's eye for color and composition is discriminatingly correct.
Thus, this is our annual holiday artistic greeting to all of our artistic friends in cyberbloggerspace!
~~ 2009 Holiday Sunflower Greetings, and best wishes for the New Year! ~~

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Simple, Classic Child's Portrait

Simple, Classic Child's Portrait - 8 x 10 - oil on linen panel
Allan says I should concentrate on what I do best; people. Which also happens to be what I love best!
A recent charcoal commission included photos of a child that I felt were universal, touching and delicate. I changed the clothing to represent a typical white shift worn by a child in the 1800s. The background represents classical portrait background colors that might have been used by Rembrandt or other Dutch painters of the time.
I used a linen panel pre-primed with oil gesso, sketched the shapes and blocked in with Terra Rosa thinned with turps. Then I added color on color, using a palette of earth tones similar to what would have been available during Rembrandt's time: Flake White, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Venetian Red, Yellow Ochre and Cobalt Blue.
I also used a traditional medium (sparingly), and finished in about 3 hours. You can see the progress and fan me at Marie Wise Art Journey Paintings.
It dried for one week then I photographed it (today). When completely dry I'll varnish, frame and display!
~I will keep the brush happy in my hand!~

Thursday, December 03, 2009

December Happenings at the Broadway Gallery

I stopped by the Broadway Gallery at noon to deliver my paintings, fully intending to return for First Thursday happenings. But my best laid plans were laid awry because I ended up caught at the office with a last minute project. It's a good thing I snapped these photos when I was there. They represent a sampling of the holiday spirit that permeates the gallery air.
The Lower Columbia Woodcarver's Association featured the carved Christmas Santas my Dad collected for years. He handed them down to me and just today Allan put them out on our windowsill together with other holiday decor. I'd love to get another one. The carver Dad loved the best was Pat Hallowell, I think she's deceased now, because I didn't see her name on any of them. But I took a fancy to the 'Moon Santa' seen above!
Debby Neely's prints were grouped together (second photo), which I love because I can see and evaluate all of the artist's work in one location. Debby is a relief printmaker. Her scenes of ducks and water are traditional and stylized. She's very talented. I haven't seen her in a while though.
The third photo shows the featured artists' wall. This month it was dedicated to a selection of different artists, very eclectic!
I snapped a photo of Trudy Woods soothing blue ceramic work, but mysteriously it disappeared from my iphone! Must have been that tricky shutter! Or maybe my klutzy thumb!
That's about all I have time for. Soon I'll be blogging and Twittering for the Broadway Gallery, as that's my gallery assignment. Such a hard job!
Take care and enjoy the approaching holidays!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Commissioned Portrait of Willow Moon

Artist at work on Willow Moon - 12 x 16 - charcoal on paper, top
Portrait of Willow Moon - 12 x 15 - charcoal on paper, middle
Portrait of Sunshine Blossom - 12 x 16 - charcoal on paper, bottom
Two years ago Mark Downey of Kelso contacted me to create a charcoal drawing of his new granddaughter Sunshine Blossom. I have no recollection of how he found me, but the result was the above charcoal portrait of a perky 6-month old toddler that he framed and gave to his daughter and son-in-law for Christmas.
Two years later Mark contacted me again to do a portrait of his new granddaughter, Willow Moon, with the intent of giving it as a Christmas present. After several fits and starts with the photo I was to work from (Mark doesn't have a computer and is proud of it) he delivered a photo via CD and flash drive. The result is seen above, a 12 x 16 charcoal drawing to which I added a moon and pussy willow branches onto Willow's tee-shirt. Several of my facebook friends inquired as to what 'Willow Moon' was, to which I replied she was an adobrable granddaughter, as granddaughters tend to be!
Mark is scheduled to pick up his portrait next week and take it to Michaels for framing with his 60% off coupon, as he did in 2006. I think it is a lovely gift, and gives me some much needed Christmas cash while keeping my drawing skills up-to-date.
Join my Facebook fan page and see new paintings in progress. including a classic child's portrait based on another photo of Willow Moon!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Hopeful Symbolism of Wind Energy Technology in Art

Top: Kate Lupo, Middlebury College Art History student
Bottom: Morning Wind, 48 x 60 original oil by Marie Wise
"Kate Lupo is a senior Art History major at Middlebury College who is writing her thesis on the hopeful symbolism of Wind Energy technology in art, spanning from the Dutch Golden age to the present. In her thesis discussion, Kate is delighted to include Marie Wise's beautiful images of modern wind turbines. Due in May, the thesis will be a coalescence of Kate's passions for art and the environmental movement."
- Kate Lupo
I've had a lot of positive feedback since sharing that Kate Lupo, a Middlebury College art history student (seen above) interviewed me for her thesis on the symbolism of wind energy in art. During the interview we discussed many art topics, one of them that the depiction of windmills in art is not new. Kate knows much more about art history than I, and she explained that artists have painted windmills (and other industrial scenes) for decades. Although I'd never thought of it that way, I realized she was right. Artists have painted all sorts of industrial scenes for decades, Monet's railway station and Van Gogh's windmills being two examples.
Why then, we pondered, is it so difficult for people today to process the concept that an artist would choose to paint wind turbines in our modern age? I think it is because people have trouble making the connection between what they conceptualize in their minds as art, and what they see when they look at my paintings. True, they look at them intently, love the colors and politely tell me they've seen them [wind turbines] before. But sometimes a puzzled frown furrows their brow when they ask me why I paint them, or why I like them, or why I'm inspired.
Kate hit the nail on the head when she decided to delve into the concept of symbolism. Although my wind energy painting inspiration comes from direct observations of turbine parts and wind farm projects under construction, Kate understands that the real power of depicting wind energy in art is the symbolism. The symbolism of a solution to global warming. The symbolism of the myriad problems inherent in our country's electrical generation system. The symbolism of the political pressure to find more renewable energy sources. They symbolism of protecting the plants and animals in our world.
Specifically, Kate found inspiration in my painting Morning Wind - seen above. In Morning Wind I included a heron in the foreground as a means of uniting the composition. Kate thought I had included the heron as a symbolic statement, and explained that herons are associated with the bible as symbols of resurrection, regeneration, and renewal. More about herons symbolism. I had no idea herons had this kind of meaning, but in context it makes sense, and seems to give this painting a much more powerful meaning. Maybe that's why so many people like it. Subconsciously they associate it with regeration and renewal! Thanks to Kate for opening my eyes to this concept!
Kate promised to share her thesis when she is finished, and I hope to share it with you (with her permission). In the meantime, if you'd like to contact Kate she's at She attends Middlebury College, a liberal-arts school in upstate Vermont with an enrollment of 2,400, according to a recent article in Time Magazine. The article says its considered one of the greenest schools in the U.S.
The article also says that college president Ronald Liebowitz has pledged to make the college carbon-neutral by 2016, and is well on the way. Earlier this year the school opened a $12 million biomass-gasification plant that uses wood chips from nearby forests and mills. The plant has already cut Middlebury's carbon footprint 40% and reduced fuel costs. But Liebowitz believes the real benefit of going green transcends the bottom line. "This is one of the highest priorities for the country," he says. "It's key for colleges to take the lead and push the envelope. We need to give something back to society." That attitude has put Middlebury at the head of the pack.
It looks like Kate's on the right track, and so is her college!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunflower: Adolescent

This is the third in my sunflower series, and the last this season. I'm tired of sunflowers and moving on. Maybe another will emerge later, maybe not.

The holidays are busy and I don't know if I'll get much painting done, which is my own personal let-down amidst the festive season. It happens every year.

But the good news is I have two commissions lined up, both portraits. I'm looking forward!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends! Don't eat too much pumpkin pie!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Holiday Happenings at the Broadway Gallery

Top to bottom:
Audrey Hoffman with her portrait in the background, paper works and woven scarves
Allan's Fav: Carole Boudreau's watercolor of ferns
Jane Gerdon at the cash register, Carole Boudrea's work in the background
Marie's Fav: Lorena Birk's small painting of a horse
We stopped by the Broadway Gallery for their Annual Holiday Open House on Saturday afternoon around 4:00 pm. Although the weather was nastily stormish there were a few people mulling around, listening to the music and in general admiring the paintings.
One of my favorite artists Audrey Hoffman was there and she showed me her work. On the shelf beside her colorful woven scarves and reclaimed paper diaries was a black-white photograph of her that reminded me of Georgia O'Keeffe. You can see it in the photo above. I hope I'm like Audrey someday! She laughs a lot and reminds me of what Georgia O'Keefe was probably like based on what I've read.
Allan and I always pick our fav artworks when we visit galleries and his by far was Carole Boudreau's watercolor of some ferns. You can see it in the second photo above. Carole is a skilled watercolor artist. Every time we see her work we go, ahhhhh!
I chatted briefly with Jane Gerdon at the cash register, explaining that I'd e-mailed the Broadway Gallery last January because I'm interested in joining again, but no one ever answered. Apparently my e-mails expired in cyberspace. Since the Rake Gallery dissolved I've considered rejoining the Broadway. So if they want me, I'm interested! Jane's pictured in the third photo above.
Finally, my fav was a small painting (very small) of a horse by Lorena Birk. In my opinion it was the best oil/acrylic piece in the gallery. I'm almost tempted to purchase, but then I'm not really a horsy person. You can see it in the fourth picture above.
While at the gallery I picked up a copy of North Bank magazine's winter 2009 issue which included a nice article about the Broadway Gallery written by Jessica Swanson. Jessica's my Facebook friend and she did a nice job. I think she's also a new mom. Thanks Jessica! However, the article mentioned today's holiday open house and said to, 'watch the [Broadway Gallery] website for more information.' So I checked the Broadway Gallery website and it appears the last time it was updated was September. I couldn't find any information about the holiday open house. Wonder if they're looking for a webmaster?
Finally, I'm hoping my friend Laurel Murphy will take the lead and start blogging about the local art scene. The best way to learn is to just do it!
~ I will keep the brush happy in my hands! ~

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Reach for the Columbia, Celebrating Art and Artists of the Columbia River, Art Show & Sale

Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership
Annual Reach for the Columbia
Art Show and Sale
I participated in the Reach for the Columbia Annual Art Show and Sale on Saturday, November 14, sponsored by the Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership. According to Steve Harvey, board vice-chair for the partnership, this is the first year they've included an art show with their annual dinner. I certainly hope they do it again! In my opinion it was a spectacular evening. There were 280 registered guests for the dinner, and 20 artists participating in the show. It was held in the Portland Art Museum, a very gala and elegant location.
The art show took place during the cocktail hour prior to dinner, so guests had time to stroll through all the artist displays. Displays were located on three floors, and I was on the third floor. I had the privilege to meet and chat with many people connected to the river through their jobs, and to wind energy specifically. I even ran into some of my port colleagues! At several points during the show, the room was packed to the gills with guests!
I was very pleased to sell two paintings and a handful of cards, and many other artists had a number of sales! So although my contribution was comparatively small, I feel proud that I helped support an important cause, the preservation of the Lower Columbia River estuary. I hope to have the privilege of participating next year!
To all the staff that planned and organized this event, including Windy Hovey, Maggie Codding Jones, and Laura O'Keefe, plus others I didn't get to meet, you did a fabulous job! Every detail was attended to, and all the artists were taken care of in grand manner. Thanks so much! You guys are the best!
Here's aphoto album of all the pictures I took. Sorry if I missed anyone!
or see it in slideshow mode
Don't forget to join my facebook fan page!
PS: Thanks for all your ideas on what I should wear. I ended up taking my best friend Irene's suggestion to wear a 'clear blue like the Columbia' clean-lined dress! It worked perfectly!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Reach for the Columbia Annual Art Show & Sale

Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership
Annual Reach for the Columbia Dinner

Art Show and Sale

I'm participating in an exciting art show next Saturday, sponsored by the Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership. It's a non-profit organization in Portland that works to preserve and enhance the water quality of the Columbia River estuary. Back in my port days I recall coordinating tours for several groups connected to the partnership.
Steve Harvey, a friend from the Cowlitz Wahkiakum Council of Governments, is on the estuary board of directors, and recommended me for the art show. Subsequently the partnership invited me to participate and I was honored to say yes!
It promises to be an exciting evening at the Portland Art Museum, with invited guests including US Representatives Brian Baird, Earl Blumenauer and David Wu. I hope they like artwork!
I'm planning to feature some of my best nautical and wind paintings, along with one floral, and have my new book, Power of the Wind, available. Allan picked up four wooden easels on sale, and we have a couple of table-top easels as well.
I'm excited to meet the estuary staff that so far I've only talked to on the phone or in e-mail. They've done a fabulous job of coordinating things with me, and I appreciate how organized they've been.
I promise to take pictures to share with you. Geez, I wonder what I should wear? Maybe all black like Georgia O'Keeffe?

Friday, November 06, 2009

October Wind #3

Third in my October Wind turbine series, based on my trip through Klickitat County on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. I completed it a couple of weeks ago, but I've been so busy with life and everything that I haven't had time to post. I really like this painting. There's lots of yellow ochre, which is exactly what I saw that day last early October. The greens are 'fallish' and I made them with ultramarine blue and various yellows. I found that ultramarine blue makes a more realistic green; less garish than the Winsor or Viridian greens that I've used before. I could vary the green much more towards blue, which I did in the distant shrubs, and you can't get that shade when using the green pigments. That's because as distance recedes, you lose yellow first, then red, leaving you with just blue on the far horizon. I learned that from Mitch Baird.
Check out my new book: 'Power of the Wind', and join my Facebook Fan Page to see paintings in progress!
~ I will keep the brush happy in my hand! ~

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sunflower: Emerge

This is my second original oil painting of a sunflower, based on the sunflowers Allan and I grew in our garden this summer. For various reasons, this painting was tedious and I grew tired of it in a hurry. I was attempting to emulate a classical, realistic painting technique based on an article in one of my artist magazines. But I guess my tendancy towards perfection took over, and no matter what I did, it just wasn't realistic enough. Thus, I became disillusioned. The next and subsequent paintings I'm working on, (now in progress) are less focused on realism and more focused on 'feeling'. It works better that way and that's the truth!
~ I will keep the brush happy in my hand! ~

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October Wind #2

This is continuation of my October Wind series. I started it in early October and originally named it Klickitat Wind because all the wind turbines are in Klickitat County, Washington. Then I decided to rename it because the most intriguing component of this series (aside from the turbines themselves), are the gold, brown and orange fall colors. I wanted to tie it into the time of year, instead of the location.

This piece is small, painted directly on an oil primed panel, and is pretty true to the colors I actually saw. I like it because it is very painterly, with lots of loose brushstrokes.

I Googled 'klickitat county wind turbines' and found this article that says Klickitat County is becoming the Northwest's wind farm capital.


Check out my new book: 'Power of the Wind', and join my Facebook Fan Page to see paintings in progress!

Friday, October 16, 2009


Rhody #1 - oil on panel - 12 x 16

I resurrected this painting because I was happy to learn it was published in this year's edition of Crosscurrents, the annual magazine of the Washington Community College Humanities Association (WCCHA).

I hadn't heard of Crosscurrents before Ray Cooper, art instructor at Lower Columbia College, invited me to submit my artwork. Since then I've unearthed a previous year's issue and liked it very much. So it was an honor to be included this year.

The WCCHA is a state-wide network of humanities faculty whose goal is to foster creative thought, craft and instruction at the community-college level.

In his Crosscurrents President's message, Jared Leising of Cascadia Community College writes that it is difficult to 'quantitatively' measure the value of the humanities. He says, "One need only read an issue of Crosscurrents to understand this organization means a great deal to students in this state and the people who are teaching them."

As one of those former students I believe in the power of the humanities: art, poetry, music and theatre. Where would any of us be without it in our lives?

That's something to think about!

~Special thanks to Ray Cooper for coordinating artwork for Crosscurrents.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

October Wind #1

I haven't painted a wind turbine in 10 months! Last weekend we drove home from Kennewick on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. The hills were golden ochre, the sky was blue/grey, and wind turbines were churning on both sides of the river. I've never seen so many! I spent most of the trip snapping pictures through my passenger side window. A couple of times Allan stopped, thinking we could take a side road into a wind farm, but they were fenced off. We were in Klickitat County.

The colors were so magnificent that I had to sit down and paint when I got home. This is my first in the series--at least the series I hope to paint! It was painted directly, in one evening, on an oil primed panel that I'd prepared last January.

Here's some of the photos I snapped, and here's the book of all my previous wind turbine paintings. Looks like I'm back to 'painting the wind'!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Sharon's Sweet Peas!

Last July we attended a family reunion and I met my cousin Sharon for the first time. Her home had a wonderful patio area with pool, deck and lots of flower, herb and vegetable plantings. When I wasn't visiting (or eating) I happily snapped photos of all the vegetation.

The colors in this painting caught my heart. I love the brights and contrasts. Several of my FB friends inquired about purchase, so I have set the price at $450.

If you are interested in purchasing, please e-mail me. If you are local I will deliver to your home. If it have to mail it, shipping charges will apply, and I can only do so in the USA. If you are Sharon or Bob, thanks again for the lovely reunion! Dad will never forget it!

Here's a post on this painting in progress.
Join my Facebook Fan Page, the only place to see my paintings in progress!
~ I will keep the brush happy in my hands! ~

Sunday, October 04, 2009

October First Friday Highlights - Hood River!

First Friday at the Naked Winery
top image - My new painting at the Naked Winery!
Seen in photo (l-r): myself, Anna Weber, wine educator; John Tickner, tasting room manager

bottom image - Me at the bar having a glass of wine
You can see my paintings in the background

Our first stop in Hood River was the Naked Winery tasting room, to chat with owner David Barringer and install my newest figure painting, Meringue Angel. David and staff were all busy, because First Friday brings a lot of customers and traffic to Hood River, but everyone was very gracious, taking time to talk with us, posing for a photo in front of my painting, and even letting me try on tee-shirts. The Naked Winery has been very accommodating to hanging my figure paintings in a non-traditional setting (for artwork display). I've sold two, so it must be working! The staff said they loved the work, and customers often comment on it. Thanks Naked!


Ellen Dittebrant at the Columbia Center for the Arts

top image - Ellen Dittebrandt
bottom image - Ellen's paintings at the Columbia Center for the Arts

Just behind the Naked Winery is the Columbia Center for the Arts. Many different artists were showing there, but I had the chance to chat with Ellen Dittebrandt, who's paintings I've loved for years, having first seen them at the Mother Goose Gallery in downtown Portland. Ellen is a colorist and her work is bright and vibrant; that's why I love it. I'd really like to acquire a smaller painting one of these days. She and I chatted about acrylic techniques and so forth, and even though she was busy with potential customers, she agreed to pose for a picture. Thanks Ellen!

Benjamin Benjamin Gallery

top image - Benjamin Benjamin Gallery interior
bottom image - Benjamin Benjamin Gallery entrance and sign

Around the corner from the Columbia Center is the Benjamin Benjamin Gallery, with an October showing by Brian and Corinne Vegter. Brian is a dog artist and his acrylic paintings of vacations with his dog were lively and vibrant. Corinne's ceramic travel trailers complete with interior lighting were unique and unusual. There was quite a crowd roasting s'mores on a little brazier outside the entrance, which fit well with the 'family vacation' show theme. I enjoyed talking briefly with Brian about his acrylic works, and Benjamin Benjamin curator Myah Bailey and her husband Scott were so gracious to us, as always. Here's Brian's blog posting about the show.

That's it for my First Friday in Hood River experience. It was fabulous!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

October First Thursday Highlights

Margret Short at the Lawrence Gallery
Margret's display of Egyptian pigments (below)
First Thursday in Portland brought us several surprises. At the Lawrence Gallery we had the chance to chat with Margret Short and she was kind enough to pose for a picture, even though we'd just met. Margret's show, 'Lessons from the Pharoah's Tombs' consisted of her series of paintings exploring the pigments of ancient Egypt. Her paintings are so beautiful! She traveled to Egypt to study the Egyptian mytholody and painting methods. I admire Margret because she's a scholar of the 17th century Dutch artists, including Rembrandt. I also admire Rembrant, particularly after seeing his works at the Met last spring, so it was inspiring to talk with someone who's studied his work extensively.

Pictured above is Margret, below it is the glass cabinet displaying momentos from her trip, including glass bottles containing the actual Egyptian pigments that Margret used for her paintings.
State of Grace, Jennifer Gray at the Lawrence Gallery

At the Lawrence we also saw paintings by Jennifer Gray, a figure artist I've loved for several years. She typically paints in toned washes of browns, grays or greens. She also does some abstract work. This piece was amazing!

We were also surprised to also discover Bev Jozwiak is showing at the Lawrence, both watercolors and acrylics. We've always loved her work, having seen it in many shows and galleries over the years.

Tamara English at the ANKA Gallery

We were so surprised to discover that ANKA Gallery is located in the former Rake Gallery space, where I had my Metamorphosis show in December 2007. The Rake Gallery closed in July 2008, much to my dismay. Curator Jeremy Tucker had scheduled my Power of the Wind for September 2008, but had to cancel it. I subsequently showed these works at Lower Columbia College's Art Gallery in January 2009.

But our objective in visiting ANKA Gallery was to see Tamara English's paintings, which inspire me because she patterns her color and design after Persian rugs. I'm fond of intricate and delicate things, and just seeing her paintings makes me feel good. I'd buy one, if I wasn't such a starving artist myself!

We alse learned that the ANKA Gallery showing was part of a larger Portland celebration in honor of the Pacific Northwest College of Art's 100th anniversary. Galleries all over town were showing works by former students and/or instructors. Tamara apparently attended there.

Sherrie Wolf at the Laura Russo Gallery

At the Laura Russo Gallery I was taken aback at Sherrie Wolf's colorful, delicate and inspiring paintings. I had to study them for a while in order to realize that she creates her backgrounds from 17th century French or German paintings, then adds her own flower or fruit arrangements in the foreground. Many of the backgrounds consist of menagerie paintings, which I'd heard of but didn't quite understand. Allan explained they are French paintings featuring exotic animals. Sherrie's work reminds me of Janet Fish's paintings, which I love. I definitely have to learn more about Sherrie's work!


Broadsides at the 23 Sandy Gallery

I'd never heard of a Broadside until Lower Columbia College English Instructor Joe Green explained it to me. A form of book art, a Broadside is a combination of relief printing and letterpress printing. The 23 Sandy Gallery's Web site says Broadsides 'were developed in the fifteenth century for royal proclamations, official notices and even advertisements.' Today they are the intersection between literature and art.

Seen above is Allan viewing the show. The piece directly in front of him is Joe Green's Broadside of William Stafford's poem, Meditation, with relief printing by Joe's wife Marquita. Allan said he took a class once from William Stafford!

That's the end of my First Thursday highlights! It was one of the best First Thursdays I've ever attended!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Meringue Angel

Meringue Angel - original oil on canvas - 36 x 48 - available

I have always loved figure work. As a girl I drew ladies from fashion magazines. In high school I painted portraits of my friends. In college I labored over Michelangelo-like folds of drapery, sketches of hands, and details in fur and feathers.

So it makes sense that one day I'd return to painting what I love most; figures. This is my first in quite a while. Her name is Meringue Angel, because the shape reminds me of that soft and fluffy white frosting on top of a cake. Mixing up the white paint and then layering it on the canvas felt like frosting a cake.

Hopefully I'll find a place to hang her!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I love my Mojito enough to paint it!

my Mojito - three versions - oil on canvas paper - 2.5 x 3 inches
I posted a photo of my favorite cocktail, Mojito, on my Facebook page. A friend said "You should paint that ". So I did. Three times.
It's easy to make small paintings! Not a big investment in materials, or time. My favorite is the top one, which came last. It's looser and brighter, which is what I was trying for.
Here's the recipe for my Mojito, from the Bacardi Web site:
1 Part BACARDI Rum
3 Parts Club Soda
12 Mint Leaves
1/2 Lime
1/2 Part Sugar
Place 12 mint leaves, 1/2 part sugar and 1/2 lime in a glass. Muddle well with a pestle. Add BACARDI, top off with club soda, stir well and garnish with sprigs of mint or a lime wheel.
If you buy a bottle of Bacardi rum, it comes with the pestle. I always use fresh mint leaves from my garden, and a whole lime (even though the recipe calls for 1/2).
~ I will keep the brush happy in my hand - especially while drinking my Mojito! ~

Monday, September 07, 2009

Sunflower: Unborn - Symphony of Emergence

The first in what I hope will be an ongoing series of sunflower paintings. It has been a joy to watch my sunflower garden unfurl this summer. Each weekend brought a new growth stage. Today, alas, they have entered the end stage, and soon will die.
I have been inspired by so many artists, but in the sunflower quest I'm particularly impressed by Jimmy Wright, who'se never painted anything but sunflowers.
I think sunflowers represent life; you unfurl and blossom, then you wither an die. It happens to everyone. I just hope I can make the best of my blossom time!
~ I will keep the brush happy in my hand! ~

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Iphone Sunflowers and a visit to the Lawrence Gallery

Iphone Sunflower paintings, done while waiting!

It's so boring having to sit and wait. What's an artist to do? Genius iphone! The top image was done while waiting for my doctor's appointment, the bottom while getting my hair weaved. The time just flew by, while normally I'd be tapping my feet and itching to get going.
Both were inspired by sunflowers from my garden together with sunflower paintings by Vincent Van Gogh. The bottom one was inspired by my favorite of all, Four Cut Sunflowers. Allan painted a copy for me and it hangs in our dining room. I kept it in my mind as I was iphone painting.
After my hair appointment we headed for Art in the Pearl held every Labor Day. Of course we had to park a mile away and hike in. On the way we stopped at the Lawrence Gallery and saw paintings by Margret Short. I'd heard of her before, but never seen her work up close. It's magnificent. She's a classical painter in the style of Rembrandt. She's done paintings based on her travels in Italy and Egypt. They were small works, but oh so rich and vibrant. I'd be interested to know if she offers workshops.
It was a very nice day, with still plenty of time to get to my easel !
~ I will keep the brush happy in my hand! ~

Friday, September 04, 2009

New Florals in Progress: Sunflowers and Sweetpeas!

Sharon's Sweetpeas - oil on panel - 12 x 24 - top image (in progress)
Sunflower: Unborn - oil on canvas - 16 x 15 - bottom (in progress)

A day of relaxation for me, ah bliss, where I have nothing scheduled but painting (and blogging). So I decided to take the opportunity to share two of my paintings in progress: Sharon's Sweetpeas and Sunflower: Unborn.

In addition to these two, I've started a third painting. It's a figure study based on feedback from the Naked Winery. The owner told me recently how much he likes my paintings, which gave me inspiration to return to my first painting love; figures. Hopefully, Naked Winery will like my new work enough to hang it!

Recently I've become interested in the Naked Winery's marketing strategy; marketing high-end wines with scintillating names. It's very creative, with obviously successful results. The family-owned business is focused on creating great wines; the wine is fabulous, and the names of the wines, well let's just say you'll smile when you hear them! If you ever get to Hood River visit their tasting room on 2nd Avenue.

~ I will keep the brush happy in my hand! ~

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wind Energy Paintings at Nora's Table in Hood River!

Nora's Table, Hood River
The Benjamin Benjamin Gallery in Hood River has arranged to display several of my wind energy paintings at Nora's Table beginning in September! Nora's Table is a restaurant located at 110 Fifth Street in downtown Hood River. I snapped the above photos yesterday while we were there delivering the paintings. It looks like a cozy little restaurant, but we couldn't stop to eat. Hopefully we can do that next time around.
Benjamin Benjamin Gallery owner Myah Bailey set up the arrangement for me. Thanks Myah! It's the first time I've had the chance to show any of my wind energy paintings since my exhibit last January at Lower Columbia College. So I'm excited that people will get to see them, especially in Hood River, a town we love, but don't get to visit that often!
Myah also has a display copy of my new book, Power of the Wind, at the Benjamin Benjamin Gallery, along with cards and posters featuring my wind energy paintings.
So if you get a chance, visit Nora's Table and the Benjamin Benjamin Gallery in Hood River!
~ I will keep the brush happy in my hand! ~

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rhody #11

Rhody #11 - oil on panel - 16 x 20
Every time I get into a discussion about my rhododendron paintings, someone asks me what happened to, you know, my painting (meaning theirs, which refers to everyone who's made a claim on Rhody #7). I sold it sold several years ago to a local collector. I don't know how it came to belong to so many people, except Allan, who I admit, I gave it to, then sold it to someone else. Shame. I've regretted that ever since. But I was informed recently that I'd also promised it to Sam! Which I don't remember doing, but that doesn't mean I didn't. So double shame on me, because I gave it to Allan, then promised it to Sam, then sold it out from under both of them!
Lucky the collector that got it!
So Rhody #11 is my attempt to recreate Rhody #7, my masterpiece, or so those who claim it as theirs keep telling me. In process I discovered it's almost impossible to recreate a masterpiece. A masterpiece isn't created, it just happens. And this one doesn't come anywhere near masterpiece, but here it is anyway. You be the judge. And Sam, if you want to lay claim on it, better speak up now, because Allan hasn't claimed it yet, nor has anyone else!
~ I will keep the brush happy in my hand! ~