Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Trip to Pike Place Market

Pomegranate, Persimmon and Grapes - oil - 11 x 14, top
Two Pears - oil - 8 x 10, center
Pike Place Market fruits and vegetables, bottom

We spent a day in Seattle marvelling over Picasso's works at the Seattle Art Museum, and strolling through Pike Place Market, followed by lunch at our favorite, Ivars.

The weather was clear and the fruit stands were colorful. I snapped lots of pictures. It brought to mind a recent Oregon Art Beat episode about an artist who picked out her painting subjects at fruit stands. So I decided to try it too. The nice fruit-stand guy kept offering me tastes of this and that fruit but I said no, they had to be pretty for a painting. He got the picture right away and picked out all kinds of nice colored ones with the caveat that I could eat them afterwards. Which is exactly what I did!

As soon as we got home I set up the two still life arrangements you see above. They were direct-painted and finished the same day. It was almost cathartic, because I so often work from photos that I forget how to paint from life. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, I discovered that yes, I'm real, 'cause I can paint something in front of me!

They'll be available, along with a selection of florals, at the LCREP Annual Art Gala on December 4. Then the holidays will be upon us and I'll probably be too busy to paint.

But there's always the New Year!

It's time to subscribe to my blog! just click the Just for You Subscribe link at the top right. I'll be phasing out my old mailing list soon so if you're on it, you'll want to sign up with the new one soon. Don't worry, I'll remind you again. 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! 

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Rhody #13 (Yellow Rhody)

Rhody #13 (Yellow Rhody) - oil - 11 x 14 top
watercolor study - 12 x 16 bottom
My painting energy has slowed down a bit, perhaps because I'm taking too long to complete each painting. This frustrates me, resulting in even less painting energy.

However; I'm very happy with my latest small floral called 'Rhody, Yellow'. I feel like I captured the essence of a Yellow Rhody in sunshine. I can feel sunshine and petal in both the watercolor study and the oil version. That, I believe, is the definition of a successful painting.

I'm also energized to start a new watercolor, or oil, that incorporates more of the plant structure. Compositionally, this painting is more abstract than realist. Even though I know what it is, some people may not recognize the flower. I'd like to do a larger painting with more blossoms, sky and leaves, so that I can capture all of those beautiful components working together.

The oil version was direct painted, using a fond brun underpainting, which I've explained on my techniques blog. I haven't done much direct painting, although I love  other artworks done this way. Perhaps I haven't been confident enough to tackle a painting done right the first time, finding comfort in the ability to cover up mistakes in multiple layers. But the benefits of direct painting (for me) seem logical and practical.

So perhaps I'll try more direct painting to energize and get more painting accomplished! 

PS: The Rhododendron is Washington State's official flower!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Washington Landscapes for the Twitter Art Exhibit

Washington Landscape 1 and 2 - watercolor - 4 x 6 postcard paintings
I'm on Twitter a lot and so are other artists. We're a friendly and supportive bunch. I like the twitter chatter about art supplies, museums, photos and exhibits.

So when Twitterer David Sandum announced he was having a Twitter Art Exhibit in Moss, Norway to raise funds for the local public library, I decided to join. Moss, Norway is a long way from me. I had to look it up on a map. But the call was for postcard-sized paintings, which are easy to ship, and I've always had a soft spot for libraries, being that they were my best friends growing up.

These are my two little postcard paintings; watercolor, done of the Columbia River Gorge landscape that seems to capture my attention so much. I shipped them today; cost me $3.71 via the USPS. The post office guy was nice and did a price comparison so I'd get the best rate.

They'll be auctioned along with all the other postcard paintings being sent from around the world.

It amazes me that all these artists that don't even know each other can join in on something like this. That's the web, connecting us all together!