Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Learning to Paint

Sometimes I have to paint something, so I can paint it.  This is an example.
This set looked interesting to paint, flowers, pottery, and a cup.  I first painted everything.
But it felt a bit busy. 

So I did the next one simplifying all the objects.

After sitting a bit and look at the first two paintings, I realized the flowers were the most interesting to me.  So with the final painting I focused only on the flowers. 
The last painting I feel like I learned how to paint this subject, in other words, I painted to learn how to paint.
14 x 11 inches, watercolor

                                                    Available at DPWs


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Acrylic mediums

8 x 8 gallery acrylic on gallery wrap canvas
                                                                                                          Available at DPWs

10 x 8 Acrylic on canvas panel
                                                                                                        Available at DPWs

Thought I would share a slightly different method used in paintings these flowers.  As long as I have been using acrylics, I mainly have used water for mixing and diluting my paint.  Read an art book a while back that suggested not using water except for clean up.  The author said to always use a medium for mixing.  Air brush medium was suggested for mixing similar to water, and acrylic mediums such as matte or gloss fluid, or pouring medium for a slightly thinker mix.  Gel medium was suggested for a think texture.
I decided to give this method a try for these flowers, used pouring medium instead of any water for painting both floral paintings.  I was surprised and very pleased with how they turned out.   This does create a much richer look that I honestly was not expecting to see.  If you haven’t tried this yet, give it a try and see if you notice a difference.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Painting exercises

A collage of 4 individual paintings in acrylic

There are many ways to approach painting, many rules and ideas.  But there is only one rule I follow, make it fun!   Ok, really two, paint often.   Some days I need a little push, or should I say a bit of a challenge.  On Daily Paint Works web site they have weekly challenges that are fun to drop in on.
   Today I picked the 10minute challenge to warm up with. (Oh no forgot rule three, warm up before painting anything serious.)

    I picked 4 acrylic colors, white, and gold fluid Dick Blick brand, and teal, and moonglow (dark violet) from Daniel Smith.  Then spread out 4 sheets of black canvas paper Fredix canvas, and pick a little wood deer as my subject.  I then set a time for 10 minutes and started painted, giving my self a about 2 and a half minutes per sheet.

my subject

Half way through I did move and turn my deer to continue on for the last couple.
This is a great way to get in the painting mood, no time to worry or fuss, get get the paint moving, give it a try, you will have fun.

     One more challenge from yesterday,  "Clouds"
                                                 Aailable at DPWs

 DPWs keeps challenges open for a while so you have several to pick from.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sharing the process

Thought I would share the steps involved in making my latest seascape.  
"A Dusting of Yellow"  Oil on canvas,  9 x 12 inches
                                 Available at DPWs

I started with a combination of texture and color combinations.  The texture is a mixture of oil paint, pigment and egg yoke, this mixture is nice because it dries at the same rate as the rest of the oil painting.  I put down my dominate color of blue and a point of red as a focal point.

Then a layer of yellow high light is added to bring back in light and warmth.    
The third step was to develop structure.  The last step is to refine the painting over all.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Emails and art

9 x12 inches, watercolor on Arches watercolor paper
                                                                        Available at DPWs

One of the best things about being a painter is sharing a bit of your self.  Every time I send a painting out, I am sending a part of myself out.  Some times a painting will go out and all you know is where it is headed, other times sending a painting out creates a new friendship.   It is a nice surprise when an email comes back about the painting.  I have had emails with pictures of the art hanging in a new home, and emails with simply interesting photos and information about buyers. 
Recently a new friend in CA sent photos of her pomegranate harvest.  This was really interesting to me, living here in MI there are no pomegranates growing, so seeing them fresh was pretty cool.  Having a new idea of what they look like growing gave me the push to try painting them. Thought I would share the new painting with you.
6 x 6 inches Oil on Ampersand clay panel

                                                                               Available at DPWs

And here is a photo of one of my paintings framed and hanging in a new home:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Just for Fun

Did the Daily Paint Works Spooky Tree Challenge today,  just for the fun of it.
                                                                  Available at DPWs

Getting the spirit of Halloween.  Sometimes getting the paint brushes out should be just for fun and play, life is short and way too serious!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Rearranging objects with oil paint

I am taking another oil painting class from Timothy Widener this year, an excellent artist and instructor.  But today I just was not in a classical painting mood.

Oil, 12 x 16 inches 
I got to class and as usual he had some beautiful still-life set ups ready to go.
I looked them all over picked one that interested me, set up an easel and couldn’t get going. 
 So I pulled out a sketch book I had in my bag, ( full of abstract designs) and one simple layout caught my attention.

When I fill up a sketch book I always paint the cover :)

Looking at the still-life and the sketch I got my brushes moving, and started having some fun. 
 But the best part was when Timothy came over to see what I was doing, actually had him at a loss of words for a few seconds. But then I got a smile and chuckle from him.
What I had decided to do was combine the colors from the still-life, the layout of my sketch, and try and represent different surfaces, like the glass, something fuzzy like a peach, and metal.  It was a fun experiment for the day.

   By the way Timothy has an excellent book available; "Painting Light and the Impressionist Method"

(I also have a book on Blurb, of Still-life paintings)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Over and Under

I have the bug to paint some dramatic sky scenes.  I also want to try some new techniques.  After doing several black and white studies, decided to start with the one I liked best.  Did an under painting, but instead of the traditional earthy umber color, used black, red and gold.  

16 x 20 acrylic gesso on wood panel

Almost stopped here, really love the abstract look!  But decided I can always do more, so laid in the over painting.  The under painting was done with colored gesso, the top in oil.  The painting is now resting in a spot I can view it and decide if more needs to be done or not.

One thing I have decided there is a series here…..


Monday, September 30, 2013

30 in 30

Last day!!!
30th painting in 30 days :)
"A Web of Thought', 8 x 6 inches, Acrylic on panel
                                                                                                 Available at DPWs
Decided something fun and different for today!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sending some Michigan to Texas

Day 28
Decided to send day 28 to an art collector, a wonderful women in Texas that has collected several of my paintings.  When someone is kind enough to follow and support your work, they deserve an extra surprise once in a while.  So a little of Michigan is headed to Texas :)
   Hard to believe there are only 3 more days left, this 30 paintings in 30 days has gone by fast!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Ideas from many directions

Day 27, and just decided to have some fun.
"Seesaw"  Acrylic on canvas panel, 5 x 7 inches
                                                                                           Available at DPWs
     I did some drawing a few days ago of faces, focusing on the  asymmetry of features.  I find it interesting to look at a person's face and notice differences from one side to the other.  Most obvious is usually the eyes.  If you don't want people to feel uneasy by staring at them, try pausing a TV show and study those faces.  Raise your hand up, and block one side of the face from view, then do that to the other side.  Sometimes it will look almost like two different people.
     Many years ago I made my living as a hair stylist, and learned right away never try to balance a hair cut by measuring the distance from the ears, trust me people's ears not level, and sometimes it is amazing the difference.
    One of my favorite painters is Pablo  Picasso, thought  he would be a good muse for this painting.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Surprise Ending

Day 26 of 30 paintings in 30 days, and it started out  rough, but ended ok...
Acrylic, "A Pose",  10 x 8 inches on canvas panel
                                                                                         Available at DPWs
This painting started out life as a tree, a simple tree.  What started out as a simple painting tumbled out of control.  Got up early and had a small sketch I planned to quickly paint for today's painting.  It started out well but did that mistake that happens, went too far and lost the original idea.
where I started
Still interesting
A point to far

Should have stopped here, I wanted it abstract and colorful,  did I?  No...
Got to this point and just wasn't happy.  While it was still wet dumped some pinks and iridescent paints on it, scraped in some texture, and start over.  Love what I ended up with, so sometimes a failure and change of direction is a good thing!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Light and Dark

Day 22, thought about skipping to painting to today, but this daily painting is really becoming a habit.  Trying to avoid my paint brushes just did not feel right.
"Fire Fade", 6 x 6 inches, Acrylic on wood panel
                                                                                                                Available at DPWs
I started this painting focusing on the light and dark to capture a setting sun over a lake.  A site I know very well living in Michigan.  As I worked on it I realized it is not just the light, dark, or fire like colors, the size and shapes are just as important.  The bright light distorts objects.  Branches tend to twist and warp in the light.  This one of those things you see but don't see.  Feel like a my eyes opened a little wider today.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Day 21

I needed a break for flowers today, decided an abstract landscape was just the ticket!
12 x 12 inches, acrylic on wood panel
Available at DPWs

Working on wood instead of canvas is a nice change, wood has a smoother surface that the paint quickly glides over.  When working with quick fluid brush marks that I like for abstract work a smooth surface is perfect. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Follow up

Ok Day 19 ....
One more floral, and if you saw yesterdays post I had a canvas panel left that had been used a place to mix paint, well I did use that for today's painting.....
"Dawn" Acrylic, 12 x 9 inches
                                                                                             Available at DPWs
A little different than it looked yesterday....
You know what they say a little bit of paint can give things a whole new look!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Different method, different beginning

Acrylics,  watercolorand oil paints are all paints, usually applied with a paint brush, a like?  Yes and no.  
The mediums to blend them are different, the way they flow onto the canvas have very different feels.  But also the very start of a painting can be very different depending on the paint you plan to use.
With oils I usually tone a canvas and start the painting neutral in color, think of only the light and dark areas.
With watercolor the surface is white and first colors are soft washes, leaving my lightest areas bare with the white of the paper showing.  
With acrylic, there is a wildness to the beginnings of a painting, often a bold color, wild splats of paint, that eventually gets molded into something fairly normal.  The last couple of paintings actually began life as the previous day's paint palette.  I used a canvas panel to mix my paint one. At the end of the painting section the last colors are used to shape an idea out on the panel to work on at the next section.
   Palette from yesterday....
               This is where today's painting started.
And this is where my panel being used for a palette ended, which might be where I start a new painting.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fun before work

I got up today determined to get some work donemy pear trees are loaded  with fruit.  They need to get picked, cleaned, peeled, chopped and canned.
    So what did I do?   Painted a picture of course.
                                                                                                                  Available at DPWs

 Day 17 of 30 in 30


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Day 15

Today is cold and raining, beginning of a typical Michigan fall season.  Needed something to change my mood today.  Thought about how happy I am when spring comes and painted to that idea.  The subject came to mind quickly; Magnolia tree flowers.
A12 x 9 inches, Acrylic on canvas, "Spring in a Bottle"
 Available at DPWs

     Once I knew what to paint, I needed a plan.  Knowing there would be a lot of white and light shades in the painting, decided to use an opposite for the base; a black canvas.
     Wanting to have a softness to it, most of the painting was done by a technique called scrubbing.  Using a mainly a hog bristle brush the paint is put down with a scrubbing motion. 
 I would let one layer of color dry then scrub in the next. 
 Only a few fluid brush strokes were used here and there for detail.
   It is always good to have an idea and a plan of attack when you are painting:)
   Made it half way into the 30 paintings in 30 days Challenge!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Day 12 painting

A quick post of today's painting, fresh from my garden to you!
12 x 9 inches, Acrylic, "As The Leaves Turn"
                                                                                      Available at DPWs

Also thought I would share a tip.  
 I put some of the paint on my caps, so I can quickly find colors I want when painting.  Save time when looking for colors.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Another day another painting

Day nine:
Oil on gallery wrap canvas, 8 x 8 inches, "A Lone"
                                           Available at DPWs
The tree sits in a field across from home.  
To paint this I picked that tree up and put it in the land I remember see while visiting California.  
It is fun to rearrange land in your mind, even better than rearranging the furniture at home :)