If I could take a picture of the inside of my head, it might look something like this. Disorganization rules in there. It always surprises me when people think I am an organized person but after seeing this self portrait, they may change their minds. : )
It gets especially bad this time of year with all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I never feel like I'm in control. I envy the people that are able to fully enjoy the season because they have done their shopping early, have the presents wrapped and are able to relax and bake cookies knowing that everything is done. Each year, I think I will do better but I seem to be getting worse. My feeling of bah humbug gets worse every year too. I'm writing this on Dec. 23rd (and pre-posting) in case you're thinking that I should be able to relax now that the holidays are over.
I plan to change in 2011. I'm beginning to make my list of new year's resolutions and you can bet that being ready for the holidays will be first on my list!!!
I had to have a silk painting fix. I enjoy painting on silk so much and miss it if I go too long without doing it. I love the graphic quality of it. This is the second silk painting of grapes that I've done. They are really fun to paint and they bring back happy memories of visits to the wine country.
Ready For Harvest
Image Size 10" x 16"
Silk dyes on silk
Here's another "loose" painting. I'm really enjoying this process. There's something very exciting about getting a piece of paper wet and then dropping in paint and watching what happens. This scene looks so cold to me. I'm glad our winters here are relatively warm.
I'm still working on painting loosely. Maybe I'm starting to see things differently because "loose" is getting easier for me. I know this is still pretty tight compared to most loose watercolor paintings but for me, it's pretty darn loose. Actually, I'm missing working on my tight paintings. Maybe switching between the two styles is the answer for me.
I've been told that it's important for an artist to have a distinctive 'style' so that their work is recognizable but I enjoy painting in so many different mediums and different ways that I wonder if I will ever settle on one style. I guess time will tell the answer to that one.
We used to go to Lake Powell every summer and the stormy days were always my favorites. I have so many photos from those days and have painted from a few of them but never one with the grey skies. I did this painting with a palette knife.
Back to silk painting. Angel trumpet flowers (Brugmansia) are among my favorites. They look almost alien in their size and shape. I videotaped this painting as I worked on it. I'm going to try to post the video below.
I just posted it to youtube and it's a bit blurry. It wasn't before I downloaded it but the file was probably too large and maybe it was posted as a smaller file and that made it blurry. Who knows? I certainly don't. I think it's amazing that I've gotten it this far. You wouldn't believe how many hours it's taken me to figure it out to this point. I am very technologically challenged. Thank goodness our son was home from college this weekend or the video would still be in the camera - not compatible with Mac. Matt's my computer genius. I know it would be nice to have music but sorry, not this time. I'm tired of working on this and my head is spinning enough already. It can only get easier from here, right?
I hope you can see this enough to get an idea of the process. If you are interested in seeing me demonstrate silk painting in person, I will be the speaker at the Tustin Art League's monthly meeting next Wednesday, November 10th at 7:00. If you will be joining us, could you send me an e-mail so we will have an idea of how many people are coming? We are a very small art league and have limited space. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org The meeting is located at 300 South C St., Tustin, CA.
Here is the video (I hope):
Image Size 12" x 20"
Silk dyes on silk
Stretched but unframed
These two paintings were painted from the same photo. The first one was painted a couple of months ago and the second one was finished today. I took the picture in Alaska in Tracy Arm. It is such a beautiful place. I think the two paintings make the scene look very different. The first one is a palette knife painting and the second one is a watercolor.
This Saturday I'm going to be participating in the Tustin Art Walk. If you go to this link, you can get the information for it. I've never done an art show like this so I don't know what to expect, (Hopefully no rain), but it should be fun. If you're in the area, stop by and say hi. There are about 45 artists signed up to participate and there will be wine tasting, a photo contest and a plein air contest as well.
I will be displaying a variety of my paintings as well as silk scarves and greeting cards.
This is a second painting I've painted from pictures I took in Santiago Canyon (in Orange County). The day we were there was such a relaxing, tranquil day and I wanted to give that feeling in this painting. If you want to see the first one I painted, here is Santiago Canyon, which I painted about 6 months ago.
I'm back to my using photos from Alaska. On the train we took from Anchorage to Seward, the country was so beautiful! I took lots of pictures on that 4 hour ride and this is painted from one of them.
It is a palette knife painting. Using a palette knife is good for me because I am forced to paint loosely. I know some artists can get a lot of detail with the palette knife but I'm not one of them.
Image size 6" x 6"
Hollyhocks are such dramatic flowers, reaching six to eight feet into the air. I really love these flowers so here I am painting them again. I tried for a looser, more impressionistic feeling than in my previous paintings of them. I think all of my other hollyhock paintings were done in watercolors and this one is oil. I'm really enjoying painting in oils right now. These small format paintings are less involved than my usual ones and it's fun to do a spontaneous project.
Say that three times fast. This week I bought some pears to paint and decided to paint them in oils as well as pastels.
Here is the one in oils. I tried to paint loosely like I did while I was in Leslie and Dreama's workshop but it ended up being tighter than I wanted, but looser than my usual paintings, so maybe I'm getting there.
Lean on Me
Lean On Me
Image Size 6" x 6"
I planned to do the one in pastels in a more photorealistic way but I didn't like the way it was looking so I added more gestural strokes and I'm happier with it now. Here it is:
Here are six non-representational paintings I did for a contemporary art show starting on Friday night and going for a week. All of the paintings in the show are $99.00 or less. There are some really interesting paintings in the show and if you enjoy contemporary art, it's worth a visit.
These six paintings are painted to flow together but also stand alone as individual paintings. They can be hung vertically, horizontally or even in a circle (with all six) because the design is continuous through all of the pieces.
These are acrylic paintings on 12" x 12" gallery wrapped canvases with the sides painted black and they don't need frames.
Here are pictures of the individual paintings.
These are hung vertically in the gallery but the above pictures show them in their horizontal position. At the gallery, they are turned 90 degrees clockwise for the design to work vertically. The picture of all six at the top of this post shows how the design transitions between the canvases.
The regular price of these paintings is $150.00 each but during this show only, they are $99.00 each or all six for $550.00.
Here are two more paintings that are in the show:
24" x 8"
Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, no frame needed
$99.00 for this show
14" x 14"
Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, no frame needed
$99.00 for this show
The show is at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in downtown Santa Ana. The opening for this show is this Saturday, Oct. 2nd from 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. This gallery is part of the Santa Ana Artists Village and the first Saturday of each month (this Saturday) is their art walk from 7:00 - 10:00 when galleries and artists workshops are open to the public. There are wonderful restaurants here also and it's a fun evening out. I hope you can stop by the OCCCA and say hi on Saturday. I will be there for sure from 6:00 to 8:00 and then I'm going to check out the other art and food venues myself. I hope to see you there. I will also be there on Friday night from 6:00-8:00 but if you come that night, the art walk won't be happening. This is a grab and go show so some of the artwork may be purchased Friday night and gone before the art walk.
The address for the OCCCA is 117 North Sycamore, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Last Thursday, Friday and Saturday I attended the best workshop ever. Leslie Saeta and Dreama Tolle Perry have very different painting styles so having these two teachers instructing was like going to two workshops at once.
The first day, Dreama demonstrated her painting style and we all used a photo she provided and did a painting using her palette colors. She has such a beautiful, loose style and her paintings just glow. Trying to create paintings like hers would take years of practice (for me) but I was pretty happy with the looseness I achieved with my attempt since my painting style is so literal.
Here is the painting I did that first day.
That first night, after teaching all day, Leslie and Dreama cooked a wonderful dinner for us. It was so nice to spend time with everyone and get to know Leslie, Dreama and the 19 other people in the class better in such a beautiful, relaxed setting.
On Friday, Leslie showed us her palette knife painting technique. She put a very detailed photo of 2 boats on our easels for us to paint. I thought she was crazy! I was a bit stressed wondering how I was going to paint such a detailed photo, being the "I've got to paint everything I see" artist that I am. It was easier than I thought and I'm pretty happy with the result.
That evening, Leslie and Dreama cooked another delicious dinner for us. I must admit, when I first heard about this workshop, the fact that 2 gourmet meals were included definitely sealed the deal and I knew I had to sign up.
On Saturday, Dreama and Leslie had us play musical easels. They set up a different photo of one of their paintings at each easel and we started at our own easel to begin the painting on a 6" x 6" canvas. Then, after a couple of minutes, the music stopped and we moved to the next easel, taking only one paintbrush, a palette knife and a roll of paper towels with us. This continued until all of us had worked a little on each painting.
At the end, we went back to our own easel and they let us do 3 strokes on the painting and then we had to stop.
All of the paintings turned out really well. I love that I have this painting as a souvenir of this wonderful workshop.
If you have the chance to take a workshop from them, I would definitely recommend it. They have one coming up in Atlanta in February 2011. Also, check out their blog, Artists Helping Artists and listen to their weekly radio talk about marketing your art.
We were flying home from a trip to Mexico a while ago and I had my camera with me so I snapped some pictures out the window. I think this view was taken pretty close to Puerto Vallarta. I liked the way the horizon curved. Being up that high gives such a cool perspective of our beautiful world.
Image Size 18" x 30"
Here is a silk painting that I did this week. It is 25" x 25" and can be worn as a scarf (the edges are sewn) or my intention was to stretch it and frame it as I do with most of my silk paintings. I took WIP pictures of this and made a Flikr slideshow from it. You can see them by visiting their site here. This silk hasn't been steamed yet. The colors will become more intense after steaming.
By the way, if any of you know how to get a Flikr slideshow to play on a blog, please let me know. I would be much happier if the pictures were here rather than having to send people to their site.
Also this week, I was thrilled to receive 1st place in watercolor at the annual Tustin Art League member show for 'Wavering Muse' which is shown below.
I posted her a few months ago. Even though she's a bit crazy, this is one of my favorite paintings and it was really fun and challenging to paint.
Once in a while I want to get away from my tightly rendered representational paintings and try something non-representational. This was done on 200# cold press Waterford paper, which I really like. I worked most of this painting wet on wet and this paper doesn't buckle at all. It has a velvety surface and most paint can be lifted and the paper re-worked quite a bit. This was a fun painting but I had to keep reminding myself not to make it become something specific. It's a bit more dramatic looking in person. The colors look a little washed out in this photo.
I love Hollyhocks but haven't planted them in my yard for a while because the leaves always get rust and they don't look very good so I decided to paint them instead. I used Ampersand Aquabord because it always makes the paintings sparkle. The paint sits on the surface and the white reflects through the color very strongly. I hadn't worked on any aquabord larger than 5" x 5" in the past and this one is 11" x 14" which was a little more challenging. It's hard (for me) to get smooth washes on larger areas so painting the blue sky was frustrating at first but I finally got it to look the way I wanted. The color is not smooth but I like the texture. It's also easy to lift color and play with the color values on the aquabord.
I had to let this painting sit for a few weeks because it was looking really "sweet". I have that problem when I paint pink flowers and blue sky. The flowers were a very cool pink so I added some warmer pinks and crimsons to take some of the "sweetness" out of it. I'm happy with it now.
Even though this is a watercolor, I have varnished it with a UV protecting varnish and it can be framed without glass.
This was a fun week for art. On Monday, Peggy, Donna and Cheryl, three of my watercolor artist friends came over to paint. The painting below is what I painted. It is watercolor and gouache on a canvas panel that has been coated with fiber paste, an acrylic medium made by Golden. I'd never worked on it before and one minute I was enjoying it and the next I was cursing at it. Most of the colors were liftable but some were not; I would probably use it again. I like the texture that it created and it is fun to experiment with different supports.
7" x 5"
Watercolor and Gouache
On Wednesday, I went to see the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. If you've never seen it, it's pretty incredible. It's a theatrical production recreating works of art using real people and once it is shown in the correct lighting, it becomes very 2 dimensional and really does look like a painting.
Yesterday, some friends and I went to the Irvine Museum, one of my favorite museums. The Irvine family owns about 2000 paintings and they are shown in the museum in different exhibits. The exhibits change several times a year and they have traveling exhibitions also. I believe that most, if not all, of the paintings are done by California artists from the California impressionist period which was from the late 1800's through mid-1900's. I love impressionism and a lot of these paintings were painted en plein air in the Southern California area so they show the pristine beauty before all of the building took place. The colors and style are exquisite.
I finished the week out today by painting with another dear friend. Margery was my mom's best friend and is the mother of one of my wonderful friends from high school. Margery and I try to get together to paint every week. Of course, sometimes we do more talking and eating than actually painting but that may be why it's so much fun. I have been planning to try doing a 20 minute sketch to submit to the 20 minute challenge for quite a while. I'm not much of a drawing fan and I tend to be a very slow painter so this was something new for me. I rose to the challenge and cut some plumeria (again) from Margery's yard and set the timer. I was going to post it here but can't bring myself to do it because, well.... because it looks like it was done in 20 minutes. If you would like to see it, please visit the 20 minute challenge blog.
This is the last of three paintings I've done for the virtual paintout challenge for August. I've really enjoyed Prince Edward Island's beauty. This scene has a calmness to it and I think I would like to live here surrounded by a river and these tall trees. This is another palette knife painting. The canvas was painted red and once it was dry, I started painting with a paintbrush but quickly switched to the palette knife. Do you think that is a sign that I've become a palette knife addict? Will I ever be able to use a brush with oils again? The brushes just don't seem to have the appeal that they once did.
I like the way the red is showing through, especially in the sky. I think I got carried away with the paint in the foreground and covered more of the red than I had intended. Anyway, this was another fun painting to do and I do have the URL for this one so I can post it to the virtual paintout blog.
Image Size 8" x 8"
Unframed - gallery wrapped canvas painted on sides, no frame needed
$110.00 including shipping in the U.S.
Here's another painting I did for a virtual paintout submission. Unfortunately, I didn't save the URL of the location which is a requirement for submission. Oh well...
This is such a pretty island. I've done 3 paintings of this month's location. I'll post the third one for my Monday painting. I'm pretty proud of myself for having an extra painting this week. This one is a small sketch done with pastels. This was done on archival mat board that was coated with pumice gel.
More plumerias. You're going to get tired of seeing this flower. I have 2 more plumeria paintings in progress. This one was done for the Tustin Garden Club. The plumeria that I posted last month is going to be the cover art for their yearbook and they needed an art piece for the inside. Usually I do pastels on a sanded surface but this was done on the back side (less textured) of Canson Mi Tiente paper. I prefer the sanded surface but it's always good to work on different surfaces. Plumerias are such happy, sweet smelling flowers and they always remind me of summer so I guess that's why I'm so into painting them right now.
This month's location for the virtual paintout is Prince Edward Island in Canada. When I saw this sky on Google Street view, I wanted to try recreating it with pastels. I wanted to make the sky the focal point so I didn't do any detail in the foreground. I didn't do any blending on this. I tried to give the impression of the clouds' wispiness with texture instead.
Image Size 9" x 5"
$100.00 including shipping in the U.S.
I can't seem to stop myself from painting with a palette knife which I find interesting since oil painting doesn't even rate in the top three of my favorite mediums list. I'm just glad that my cravings for cake have stopped!
This is from another photo taken in Alaska. As you get closer to the glaciers, the water has this beautiful turquoise color. It may not be quite this turquoise but I decided to employ that artistic license thingy just because I can. What a feeling of power! Everybody would want to be an artist if they knew how much power we have. : )
I really like working on these small 6" x 6" canvases which is good because I spent most of the week organizing my studio (again). We took out a refrigerator and I had visions of gaining so much storage space but only about half of what I thought I was going to put there actually fit. Sigh.... I guess I need to paint faster so I can use up all of those extra (large) canvases and frames that I seem to have collected. My new motto should be more working and less shopping when it comes to art supplies.
Image Size 6" x 6"
Unframed, gallery wrapped canvas with sides painted. It can be displayed on an easel or hung w/o frame
I finished the two day pastel workshop today and here is my finished project. There were about 15 of us in Dianna Ponting's class and we all worked from a photo of this still life which was taken by Dianna. It was really a lot of fun and I learned so much. She is an incredible artist and teacher. Check out her website. Her work is very photo realistic and is even more beautiful in real life.
I'm going to be taking a 2 day pastel workshop this week so here is my 'before' pastel and we'll see what my next one looks like after the class. This one is done on a mat board that had some texture on it. I usually prefer to work on a sanded surface that is smooth but I do like the texture on this. I don't know if you can see it in this photo but it's there.
Image size 7.5" x 19.5"
This is from a photo of a "castle" we stayed in when we were in Tuscany. We had already been to Venice and Florence and had stayed in very nice hotels and I was very excited that we would be in a castle for our last stop. On the way there, we got stuck in Sienna. Everyone says how wonderful that city is but my memories of it give me nightmares. We were there on a Sunday so everything was closed and after seeing the city we were ready to continue on our journey but we kept ending up at the same intersection. There was one sign that pointed to the highway that we wanted but we couldn't find the road. Of course, nobody we saw spoke English and I was getting hungry (never a good situation). Somehow, we finally got out of town and went to find our castle.
We found the town and stopped to get directions to the castle at their tourist center. The local police were waiting for us when we returned to our car and extorted $60.00 out of us for a parking ticket for parking in a no parking spot (no signs posted). We still hadn't found anything to eat because no restaurants were open in the afternoon. Luckily, our castle included dinner in their price. As we were driving, I happened to be looking at our itinerary and noticed that the cost of the castle was $79.00 a night. This was back in 2001 but still, that seemed way too cheap. Once we got there, of course, we figured it out. We weren't staying IN the castle, we were on the castle grounds in one of their surrounding buildings. The room was nice enough but they wouldn't let anyone in to even see the castle. One person I asked said they were doing renovations and the second person told me that they never let anyone into it. In our room was a notebook with a bunch of rules listed. The one that really cracked us up was "There is a refrigerator on the second floor. Please do not put food or medicine in it." I still haven't figured out why they even mentioned it or what else you would put in it. They made it very obvious that they didn't really want guests there. They probably need the money to pay the taxes on the place, or maybe local parking tickets.
We never found out what the dinner would have included. Some other guests warned us that we would leave the dining room needing to find a restaurant because the offerings were so meager.
It sounds like that part of our trip was horrible but it's actually one of my fondest memories of Italy. Or maybe I should say it is the most memorable....
This is another palette knife painting. The subject matter was probably not the best choice for using a palette knife. It was really hard to do the crenellations on the castle. Oh well, live and learn.
Image Size 8" x 8"
$100.00 Unframed, painted on wood, sides painted, can be hung unframed
Shipping included in continental US
I work in just about every art medium I can get my hands on with my favorites being watercolor and silk painting. I love to experiment with different mediums and styles of painting. I try to paint every day and will post my paintings here as I finish them. I really appreciate any comments you may have on the paintings. You can sign up below to receive the postings automatically by e-mail. If you would like to see my artwork divided by medium, visit my website. If you would like information on purchasing one of my paintings, please send me an e-mail at email@example.com