Friday, July 1, 2016

"White River"

This is the White River in Arkansas on a sunny fall day.  I painted it in 2015.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Keeping Colors Bright

6 x 6     Oil on Panel

January 3, 2015 is the first day in the new year for me to complete a small painting.  Having finished a large painting from a photograph a few days earlier, I wanted to paint from life today.   It's my preferred way to paint, but it was rainy and cold outside   Since that wasn't going to work, I painted from a vase of flowers in my studio.  I chose a small square canvas because I knew I wouldn't have a lot of time to paint and I enjoy painting the square canvas. 

On a white canvas, I loosely scrubbed in the middle values of the flowers, finding the location and a very general shape for each cluster of flowers.  There was no detail but only an abstract design.  With the dark background color, I found the edges of the flowers.  The shadow in and around the flowers was painted next and the flowers seemed to emerge from the canvas.  The last thing added was white to the flower and leaf colors to paint the lighter areas and highlights.  By following this order of events and saving the addition of white until last, I can keep my darks dark and my bright colors bright.     

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Last Painting of 2014

The First Colors of Fall
30 x 40    Oil on canvas

I had to walk a little bit in a West Tennessee park before noticing this scene.  The reds and golds in the trees at the bend in the road attracted me to this landscape and begged to be painted.  Since I was walking with my husband and dog and without a paint brush or canvas, next best was to take a picture.  Pictures never tell the whole story so I just tried to keep my brushwork loose and put in as much color as I remembered in the original scene.  Painting it was a nice way to end 2014.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Fishing Pier
9 x 12    Oil

This was a warm summer day perfect for fishing and for plein air painting, which is how this painting was done.  What a great way to spend the day!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Why and How

It's a cold, wet, dreary gray day in December and I'm looking out my kitchen window watching the birds at the bird feeder and thinking about painting.  A Titmouse is at the feeder and immediately I know why I love to paint!  It excites my senses to see this beautiful dark feathered little bird with a tuft on its head and lovely orange colors under it's wings and cream colored breast feathers.  In the same way that is excites me to see a beautiful bird or any number of interesting or beautiful things, it excites me to paint these things, also.

So how would I paint the Titmouse?  I would paint an impression of him with a long handled bristle flat, establishing the lights and darks quickly while working to get the shape  and colors of the bird, but not painting every feather.  Then I would quickly establish the background, painting branches and leaves to put the bird in a natural setting.  To make the bird believable, I would put his bill, eyes and feet in with a fine brush and a little bit of detail.  One step I left out which is important when painting birds, is to take a very good picture of the bird, since birds won't be still long enough to paint.    

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Oh no!  I've hit a roadblock and I can't paint!  

Every artist feels this way at one time or another.  So what do you do?  You can get back in the studio, do what you've always done and paint your way through the roadblock.  This works for some folks.  Or you can take a little time and focus on what inspired you to paint in the first place.  Ask yourself questions about what, how, when, and why? you paint.  Explore colors you love, media and surfaces you like, techniques and styles you enjoy, and know how you want your paintings to look and what response you want from viewers.  In other words, know thyself  and as you've heard so many times, paint what you love!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Trolley Brigade
8 x 10    Oil    on panel

  The trolleys add their color and sounds to the downtown buzz you hear as you walk the mall in downtown Memphis,TN.  I was fortunate to catch all three trolleys in one picture!

5 x 7  oil on linen panel

Being one of my favorite fruit, these berries were fun to paint and eat!