Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hibiscus Commission - watercolor study #2

A second study of Hibiscus for a larger commissioned painting
9 x 12
watercolor on paper
I'm working on a commissioned oil painting of some beautiful Hibiscus blossoms. This is my second watercolor study to work out the colors and shapes. In the first study there was a blossom at the bottom right, but I removed it and added leaves and stems. I also added in a bud plus two unopened buds at the top right.
The client also said she thought the first study was too red. So I toned down the pink and added more cools so the shadow areas would be evident.
I think I am ready to start on the oil painting, but I'll await my client's feedback on whether she likes this composition. Personally I like it much better.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Massive Gnarly Washed Up Tree Root


Washed up Tree Root - oil on panel - 12 x 16 (top)
My painting set up (bottom)
Our plans to visit Hood River today didn't pan out and it was a beautiful day so we decided to plein air paint at the Port of Kalama Marine Park.
Every time we walk or drive by the Ahle Point end I've been fascinated by this huge gnarly washed up tree root that has been there forever. It seems a Georgia O'Keeffe-ish/Andrew Wyeth kind of subject that if I had the time, I'd spend hours drawing.
Since there was very little wind I decided this was the day to finally give it a try and set up my easel fairly close to the waterline, but not close enough to get wet!
The thing isn't that easy to paint and I spent most of my time just trying to accurately render the gnarly shapes. Then I had to get enough paint on to contrast the darks and lights which was part of what intriqued me--the big dark shape against a light sky.
It isn't the best thing I've ever painted but I think I captured the shape, which was the hardest part. When I was just about ready to pack up a little boat sped by so I added it.
It was a good painting day !

Friday, March 19, 2010

Live in New York, it's 140 Hours!



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Water Reflections #5 - 22 x 30 - oil on canvas
Red Bow - 16 x 20 - oil on panel
'59 Chevy - 16 x 20 - oil on panel
These are my paintings at auction in the 140Hours Fine Art Auction live in New York 3.19.2010 - 3.21.2010.
The first art auction house using Twitter technology to reinvent the online art gallery!
To all my port colleagues, here's your chance to acquire an original Marie!
Industrial inspiration brought forth by shape, color and 'big-boy toys' resulted in these paintings depicting maritime and nautical scenes. They were all done during my years spent working in the maritime industry.
Who says industrial isn't artistic?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hibiscus Commission - watercolor study

A small study of Hibiscus for a larger commissioned painting
9 x 12
watercolor on paper
I'm working on a commissioned oil painting of some beautiful Hibiscus blossoms. For most of my paintings I like to work out the symmetry of colors and shapes with a little study beforehand. It lets me see how all the elements work together and whether I need to change anything. Plus, I get to dabble in all my luscious watercolors without worrying about messing up!
I'm thinking I need to add more leaf shapes in the bottom left area along with some stems in the background. I also need more lighter blue shapes in the top-right dark area. This will help balance out the larger dark areas and keep them from going flat.
I'll also need to cool some of the shadow areas on the petals so they aren't so uniformly rosy. If I was looking at this scene in nature, my eyes would be able to tell the difference between the light and shadowed areas on the petals. Working from a photo mutes this, so I have to compensate.
This gives my client an idea of what the painting will look like. If she wants any adjustments I can easily make them, because I haven't started the painting yet. So I'll await her feedback and hope she likes it!

Monday, March 15, 2010

October Wind #5 & My Blog is Carbon Neutral!

October Wind #5 - oil on panel - 18 x 24

With my interest in renewable wind energy, I thought it appropriate to include information about carbon-neutral blogging. I received an e-mail from a German based company called kaufDA, working for an initiative called 'Make it Green!' Their goal is to reduce the carbon footprint by raising awareness of carbon emissions.
They told me blogs emit carbon dioxide. I had no idea, but I'm obviously emitting carbons, because I blog a lot! Or maybe it's that the operation of my computer does the emitting, whether I'm blogging or not. The solution, they explained, is for me to post a button demonstrating I care about the environment on my blog, and in return they will plant a tree for every participating blog.
Having worked in PR long enough, I realize the button is the 'awareness' tool, but the trees are the real action tactic. So in that regard, I think it is a good endeavor. And if I can help, even a little bit, I'm glad to do so.
So I have posted the 'My Blog is Carbon Neutral' button (in green on the right) on all my blogs, which includes this one, Art Journey Techniques, and Art Journey iPhone. One blog - one tree. That's three for me! The trees will be planted in cooperation with the Arbor Day Foundation in Plumas National Forest in Northern California.
Northern California is also an area with a lot of wind turbines! Speaking of wind, here's my painting, October Wind #5, in honor of the wind turbines located along the scenic Columbia River Gorge in Kittitas County, Washington. They are making a big difference in carbon reductions and other important renewable energy efficiencies.
Here are the other paintings in my October Wind series:
October Wind #1 (originally named Klickitat Wind #1)
If you recieved this blog post twice, I apologize. I goofed up!
KaufDa, I can't wait to see my trees! If you would like to plant a tree for your blog too, just go to KaufDa and follow the instructions!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Eric Jacobsen Still Life Painting Workshop


Eric Jacobsen Still Life Painting Workshop
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Marie's painting - 8 x 10
Allan's painting - 11 x 14
Eric doing the demonstration painting
Marie painting

We had a lovely painting day at a still life oil painting workshop by artist Eric Jacobsen. He did a demonstration painting, then we painted from several still life set ups around the room. It's amazing how difficult it is to organize your composition within the confines of the canvas space.

I learned about light and shadow and how to break up edges. We worked from a simple palette consisting of a warm and cool yellow, red and blue, plus orange. Eric explained that everyone sees color differently, so when creating a painting it's less important to get the color exactly right, and more important to get the warm/cool and values correct. As it turned out, my painting shows a somewhat orange table covering, when it really was more of a rose red color. But I had to warm it up with some orange, in order to follow the rule of warm light, cool shadows. Turns out, it worked after all.

Allan's painting is one of my favorites. Eric said it had a 'Van Gogh' quality, which is quite a compliment. The pink petals against the yellow background are what make it special. I think it's a keeper!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Daydream Believer

Daydream Believer - oil on canvas - 10 x 20

In early December I heard Susan Boyle sing Daydream Believer and knew immediately that I had to have the song. I downloaded the whole album from iTunes and started listening to it over and over, unable to get enough of her beautiful voice.

About the same time I combed through my repertoire of figure photography for a new subject. Having just finished Blue Angel, I didn't want anything too dark. The song seemed to be my mantra as I looked for something dreamy and daylightish.

The result is this small painting, which I named after the song, because I played it constantly the whole time I was painting. You can draw your own conclusions, but to me, the sunshine is falling gently upon the strong and sturdy shoulders of this young woman, who deserves to have all her daydreams come true!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Sedona Paintings: Flat Rock



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Flat Rock - watercolor - 6 x 9
Flat Rock - watercolor sketch - 3.5 x 11 (double spread)
Flat Rock - pencil sketch - 3.5 x 5.5
This is the last of my Sedona paintings. The flat rock was another magnificent view next to Bell Rock. Again, I could not possibly capture all of the rock, so I focused on the pancake shaped top. Also, the sky was overcast that morning. It cleared up later in the day. It was our only day in Sedona where the sun did not shine all day.
The greens in Sedona are the loveliest sage color I have ever seen. It is hard to capture in watercolor because you almost have to cancel all the yellow out of your green to create it, which is nie impossible because without the yellow in blue, you do not have green. So I mixed and mixed; less yellow, more blue, but never did get it completely right.
As with my other Sedona paintings, I did a little sketch in my Moleskine notebook, followed by a watercolor study in my Moleskine notebook, followed by the painting on Twinrocker handmade, cold-pressed watercolor paper. I used mostly Daniel Smith watercolors (the best in the world), including several of the quinacridone colors.
Here are the other Sedona paintings:
Sedona: Bell Rock
Sedona: Shadow
Sedona: Side Rock
You might also enjoy my photo set of Sedona pictures.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Sedona Paintings: Side Rock



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Side Rock
- watercolor - 6 x 9
Side Rock - watercolor sketch - 3.5 x 5.5
Side Rock - pencil sketch - 3.5 x 5.5
This is just a small portion of a rock formation located next to Bell Rock. I couldn't possibly capture the whole thing, so I focused on capturing the profile near the top, where sage greenery and red striations on the rock seemed to form a design.
I sat in our studio cabin at the Red Agave Resort, which provided the best view I could have asked for. I was warm, the coffee was brewing, and I didn't have to worry about wind!
As with my other Sedona paintings, I did a little sketch in my Moleskine notebook, followed by a watercolor study in my Moleskine notebook, followed by the painting on Twinrocker handmade, cold-pressed watercolor paper. I used mostly Daniel Smith watercolors (the best in the world), including several of the quinacridone colors.
Here are the other Sedona paintings:
You might also enjoy my photo set of Sedona pictures.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Celebrating Spring at Teague's



First Thursday Opening ~ Celebrating Spring Show ~ Teague's Mezzanine Gallery
Teague's Interiors in downtown Longview does custom framing and elegant home decor. The upstairs of the building has been converted into a gallery and this month's show was dedicated appropriately to Spring. I entered three floral paintings. You can see one of them in the pictures above (a bright, pink rhododendron with blue sky background).
Shirley hung the paintings in a very appealing manner, matching colors and using the space well. Wendy showed me her acrylic works and we talked about iconography painting and acrylic techniques. There were tiny, bite-sized floral cakes that looked too good to eat, but I had one anyway.
By time I left quite a few people were arriving. Hopefully this Spring show is a portent of warm Spring weather on the way!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Sedona Paintings: Shadow



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Shadow
- watercolor - 6 x 9
Shadow - watercolor sketch - 3.5 x 5.5
Shadow - pencil sketch - 3.5 x 5.5
After I finished Bell Rock, I felt confident enough to move outside to try and paint another magnificent rock formation. I sat at a picnic table in the courtyard of the Red Agave Resort, a perfect location. The shadows were very strong and I tried to capture them while still showing definition within them. I started with the drawing, moved into a small watercolor sketch, then attempted the larger version.
The sun was very bright and the shadows changed as I worked, but I used the sketch as my guide. Of course, no artist can catch the real colors or vista that I saw, but this was my attempt to capture just a little bit of that Sedona sunshine on a bright, crisp February day!
The last painting was done on Twinrocker handmade, cold-pressed watercolor paper. I used mostly Daniel Smith watercolors (the best in the world), including several of the quinacridone colors.
Enjoy!
You might also enjoy my photo set of Sedona pictures.