Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dahlia, 30 in 30 - Day 30

I know this doesn't really look like a dahlia but the photo I painted from was a dahlia, hence the name.  My motivation for this challenge is over.  After I painted this a few days ago, I disliked it enough that I planned to not post it but my heart just isn't into painting another small painting today that isn't interesting to me so this little one is getting posted after all.

This is an ACEO, or artist's trading card.  The standard size for these cards is 3.5" x 2.5".  It is done on TerraSkin which is always fun to use.  I do like the watery look but that's about all I like.

So that you know that I'm not being a slacker, here is a photo of a large painting that I've been itching to work on which is probably part of the reason that I don't want to do any more daily paintings.

It is 48" x 48" and so far, I've got everything roughed in and now I'll start adding dimension to the water and lily pads and 'push' the fish under water.  Doesn't this look like it's a lot more exciting to paint than those little daily paintings?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Alaska, 30 in 30 - Day 29

This is another scene painted on a piece of plexiglass.  It had to be painted with the foreground done first and working into what would be the background.  I like the first one I did better (the end of December) but it was a little interesting working on this one.

Image Size 6" x 6"

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bird of Paradise Study, 30 in 30 - Day 28

This is painted on a very rough piece of watercolor paper but it is another piece of paper that has lost its sizing.  Do I care?  No!  I'm actually beginning to learn how to paint under these conditions which tells you that I bought way too much watercolor paper quite a long time ago.

Only a couple of days left on this challenge and I'm so ready for it to be over.  I may change things up for the last two days (I've given up on the idea of going through the 31st) and do WIP photos of a large painting that I've been working on instead of doing small paintings that don't make me happy.

Bird of Paradise Study
Image Size 4" x 6"

Monday, January 27, 2014

Pomegranate, 30 in 30 - Day 27

This painting is done in pastels.  I've always liked the look of pastels but don't feel really accomplished in this medium.  I have trouble mixing colors in pastels.  The colors are so intense and with my love of bright colors, I tend to not tone down the intensity sufficiently.  I'm sure I will keep trying though.

Image Size 6" x 6"

Sunday, January 26, 2014

TerraSkin Pear, 30 in 30 - Day 26

Here's another pear.  I'm really reaching for subject matter now.  I'm looking forward to the finish line of this challenge.  I usually paint every day but I don't usually have to finish a painting each day.  I don't know how artists do this "painting a day" for years.  I now appreciate the dedication that they possess and know that I don't have it.

I haven't worked on TerraSkin for awhile.  I love how the colors glow on this surface and it was fun to paint this little pear.  If you haven't tried TerraSkin, it has characteristics similar to Yupo but I like it much better.

TerraSkin Pear
Image Size 5" x 5"

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Anjou Pear, 30 in 30 - Day 25

Pears have such a fun shape and I loved the color of this one.  I used the red/green complimentary color scheme again, this time reversed with the subject red and the background green.  It is another palette knife painting.

Anjou Pear
Image Size 5" x 7"

Friday, January 24, 2014

Silk Wave, 30 in 30 - Day 24

This is a silk painting that I just finished.  It isn't stretched on a board yet so the circle looks a little out of shape.  I didn't finish this in one day.  I've been working on it this week along with the daily paintings.

Silk Wave
Image Size 22" x 22"
Silk dyes on silk

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hillside Vineyard, 30 in 30 - Day 23

I found these cute little stretched canvases the other day.  They are 4" x 12" which I think is a really fun proportion for many scenes.  Here's my first try using one.

Only eight paintings to go in this challenge and I'm getting excited to work on some bigger, more serious paintings.

Hillside Vineyard
Image Size 4" x 12"

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Green Bell, 30 in 30 - Day 22

I don't like eating green bell peppers.  They taste too GREEN.  Give me red, yellow and orange bell peppers and I'll eat them all day long.  But for painting, the green ones work just fine.

There aren't many paintings where you can use the green/red complimentary color scheme effectively so I took advantage of this opportunity to use mostly those two main colors.  I love how using complementary colors will make each one really pop!

This is another palette knife painting.  Fun, fun, fun!

The Green Bell
Image Size 6" x 6"

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Barbados Stairway II, 30 in 30 - Day 21

Barbados Stairway II
Image size 11" x 15"
poured watercolor

This is the last of the three poured paintings I started last week.  I've painted this photo before several years ago using oil.  That one was done on a long, skinny canvas which really enhanced the sense of climbing but I wanted to do this one in a more traditional format.

Here is a picture of the first one I did:

Monday, January 20, 2014

Burano Wash Day

Burano, Italy is such a charming place with the brightly painted building, canals and laundry hanging throughout the island.  I don't know why hanging laundry is so appealing to me when it's in another country.  I certainly don't find my laundry room charming, especially when it has laundry hanging in it.

Today is day 20 in the painting challenge.  Even though it's called "30 paintings in 30 days" January has 31 days so does that mean that I need to do 31 paintings?  That is what I'm planning to do because I set out to paint a painting each day for the month of January so with that in mind, I have 11 more paintings to do.

I put down my palette knife for this one but I think I would have liked the painting better if I had used the knife.  I like the texture I get with it better than with the brush.  I'll probably do some more paintings of Burano this week because the island really appeals to my love of bright colors.

Burano Wash Day
Image Size 6" x 6"

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Paso Robles, 30 in 30 - Day 19

Paso Robles (in California) is one of my favorite wine areas.  The rolling hills dotted with huge oak trees, winding roads and beautiful vineyards make it a wonderful place to spend a few relaxing days.

This is another palette knife painting on a 6" x 6"panel.  I really like the square format.  It makes the paintings more contemporary.

Paso Robles
Image Size 6" x 6"

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Laguna Palms, 30 in 30 - Day 18

I finished another one of the poured watercolor paintings.  I really like the graphic quality of this method.  These paintings look a bit like wood block prints to me.  I have one more to finish so you'll probably see that one in a couple of days.

Laguna Palms
Image Size 11" x 15"

Friday, January 17, 2014

Taking A Break, 30 in 30 - Day 17

This scene is very calming to me.  I have always liked pictures of empty chairs and apparently I like empty boats as well.  Perhaps this has a calming effect on me because I was really calm when I took the picture because we were on vacation.  Ah, sunny days, lapping waves and empty kayaks make happy memories.

This is another palette knife painting.  I'm really enjoying working with that knife although it still reminds me of frosting a cake and I seem to always be hungry now when I paint.

Taking A Break
Image Size 6" x 6"

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Springtime Reflections, 30 in 30 - Day 16

This painting challenge is now over halfway done.  Only 15 days left.  This painting is mostly poured watercolor with a little bit of direct painting at the very end in the trees and a little color in the reflections and mountains.  I haven't done a poured painting for about a year and today I started 3 of them.  I like the way that poured paintings have a cohesiveness of color and a glow that is usually not achieved with traditional watercolor painting techniques.

Before the final touches, I used only cobalt blue, alizarin crimson and cad. yellow in the pours.  I love the way the colors mingle and create interesting color mixtures.

Springtime Reflections
Image size 7.5" x 11"

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Looking South, 30 in 30 - Day 15

We are having 80 plus degree weather here so another beach scene seems appropriate for today's painting.  This is another view of Laguna Beach looking down from Heisler Park to the southern part of this bay.  I have painted this scene before in oils using a brush.  This one is done with a palette knife.

Looking South
Image Size 6" x 6"

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sweet Magnolia, 30 in 30 - Day 14

The colors in this are so sweet, my teeth are hurting!  After I started painting it, I remembered having the same problem the last time I painted a magnolia.

They are such beautiful flowers and I really love them.  We have this magnolia tree in our back yard and the flowers are just starting to bud.  I painted this from a photo taken during last year's bloom.  This type of magnolia loses all of it's leaves and then blooms so it's completely covered with these beautiful pink blooms and no greenery.  It's pretty spectacular!  Too bad it's not in the front of our house.

Sweet Magnolia
Image Size 6" x 6"

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Sunny Day in Newport, 30 in 30 - Day 13

Because I live in Southern California, if you look at the title of this painting, you are probably thinking that this boat is in Newport Beach.  Actually, I visited Newport, Rhode Island a few months ago and snapped the reference photo for this painting.  That boat looked a bit more seaworthy than this one does but at least this was fun to paint.  I used my trusty palette knife again for this one.

So far, I'm almost halfway done with this challenge and it hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be but I also have only done a few paintings that I consider to be keepers.  I learned a long time ago that not every painting is going to be good and very few will be great but striving for excellence is one of the things that keeps me painting.

A Sunny Day in Newport
Image Size 6" x 6"

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Lily Pads, 30 in 30 - Day 12

Well, the nicest thing I can say about this painting is that it's finished.  Actually, it may not be finished but I'm done with it!  Ugh!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Kenny, 30 in 30 - Day 11

This is Kenny.  He was rescued by my friends and now has a loving home with two dog loving  humans and a dog sister.  Isn't he so cute with those whiskers and long eyebrows?  He also has a snaggle tooth which I couldn't show in this portrait but it really gives him tons of personality.

He was abused by his previous humans so he is slow to trust anyone new, but once you've gained his trust, he is a loving little guy.

Let me just get on my soapbox for a minute and say that I wish more people picked their family pets from a shelter rather than promoting the breeding of designer dogs.  There are so many animals already born that need homes that would make loving companions and it would be so much better to give them a happy home.  Also, I think that mixed breed dogs are healthier and have better temperaments than pure bred dogs.  Okay, I'll stop now or I will probably start offending too many people.  Just one more thing, if you really want a pure bred dog, I've heard that about 1/3 of dogs at the shelters are pure bred.

This is a palette knife painting.  I've had this reference photo of Kenny for over a year and have always intended to paint his portrait but was afraid that I wouldn't be able to make it look anything other than amateurish.  The palette knife helps because the finished painting has a looseness that I can't seem to achieve any other way.  I knew that it would be perfect for capturing his beautiful scruffiness.

Sam, my dog, is very jealous that I painted a portrait of another dog so I guess it's time for me to paint Sam's portrait once again so he's not mad at me.  : )

Image Size 6" x 6"

Friday, January 10, 2014

Eggplant, 30 in 30, Day 10

I've always liked the look of an eggplant from an artistic point of view but have never found a way to cook them that I've liked.  I don't like their sliminess.  I've had eggplant parmesan in restaurants that I've liked but it's never my first choice.  I feel like I should cook this so I'll scour the internet for a good recipe.  If you have one, I'd love for you to share.

This is a palette knife painting using oils.  During this challenge, I've been painting in oils more than usual and I am enjoying it but I'm missing painting my larger watercolor paintings.

Image size 7" x 11"

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Silk Sunset, 30 in 30 - Day 9

I haven't done a silk painting in almost 2 years.  That's amazing to me because I really like to paint on silk.  I approached this one in a different way than usual.  Usually, I like to do detailed paintings using resist to control where the dyes go but for this painting, I just got the silk wet and started adding the dyes.  I put salt on the bottom section and I'm not sure I am really happy with the result.   To me, this looks like the land after a forest fire.  I guess that can be an interesting subject but definitely not the look I was wanting.

This hasn't been steamed and washed yet so there are some creases showing in the photo.

I will try this again and see what some experimenting can produce.

Silk Sunset
Image Size 8" x 10"
Silk dyes on silk

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chiaroscuro Onion III, 30 in 30 - Day 8

Chiaroscuro Onion III
Image size 8" x 10"
Here's that onion again!  I promise that this is the last time you will see this onion this month.  In fact, I'm retiring this photo forever.  I think three times is more than enough, don't you?

Nelvia, another artist participating in this challenge, suggested painting the onion using bright colors.  I also decided to paint it with a palette knife instead of a brush to make it more fun.  These colors are brighter but I didn't want to get them too bright because I thought it would start to read more like an orange or some other kind of fruit.

I think this newest one has become my favorite of the three paintings.  Which do you like the best?  Here are the other two:

Chiaroscuro Onion II
Chiaroscuro Onion I

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sunlit Palm, 30 in 30 - Day 7

It's day 7 already of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge and we're almost a fourth of the way done.  It is getting easier, mostly because I've become a bit more organized with my time.  I'm trying to finish the painting for the day early and start the next day's painting so that I don't sit down to start painting and just look at a blank canvas wondering what I'm going to do the day I need a painting.  It shouldn't make a difference since it takes the same amount of time to paint, but looking at that blank canvas the day before a painting needs to get finished is much less stressful than looking at it the day it's due.  Time management is the key to this challenge.

This is an oil painting.  The background was painted with a brush and then I switched to the palette knife for the palm tree.  I'd forgotten how much fun it is to paint with the palette knife.  Using it is a good way for me to paint more loosely.

That's all for now.  Time to start tomorrow's painting….

Sunlit Palm
Image size 7" x 5"

Monday, January 6, 2014

A View of Laguna, 30 in 30 - Day 6

Heisler Park in Laguna Beach is one of my favorite places.  It sits above the beach and this is one of the views from up there.  I was in a hurry on the day that I took the reference picture for this painting so I didn't take the steps down to the beach to take more pictures.  I need to do that so I can get some pictures of the groupings of rocks all around this cove.  It's really a beautiful spot.

A View of Laguna
Image Size 4.5" x 12"

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Fig Party, 30 in 30 - Day 5

I painted this awhile ago but wasn't happy with the background.  It was too dark and too warm so I changed the background and touched up the figs for day 5's painting.  It feels good to be done already and I'm about 3/4 done with tomorrow's painting.  Maybe I'm getting the hang of this painting a day challenge.

Fig Party
Image Size 6" x 12"

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Chiaroscuro Onion II, 30 in 30 - Day 4

This should look familiar to you.  It's the same onion I painted a couple of days ago.  The first one was painted using pastels and this one is done in oils.  It's really hard to get a good representation of the painting with the dark colors used.  The green background is not this light.  There is a strong reflection because the paint is wet.

I painted this on a panel that I had gessoed using black gesso.  That made it really easy to get the rich looking background.  I think painting the same subject a couple of days apart kills the spontaneity of the second painting, even though I used different mediums.  I think my heart just wasn't into this one as much.

So tomorrow I'll be doing something different!

Chiaroscuro Onion II
Image Size 8" x 10"

Friday, January 3, 2014

Budding Plumeria, 30 in 30 - Day 3

Today was a frustrating painting day.  I started a different painting and thought it was finished and then decided that I didn't like it so I painted this one.  I'm not crazy about it either.  It doesn't have the glow that I was trying to achieve, but it is finished so I guess that's good.

January is beginning to look like a very long month.  It's only day three and already I'm spending way too much time each day trying to decide what to paint.  I knew that picking a subject was going to be hard, but I didn't think it would be this hard.

I really like to paint large paintings so picking something to paint small is frustrating.  Looks like tomorrow's painting will be another vegetable or fruit.

Budding Plumeria
Image Size 7.5" x 9"

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Chiaroscuro Onion, 30 in 30 - Day 2

It's only the second day of the '30 paintings in 30 days' challenge and I've already resorted to painting a vegetable!  I knew it would happen but I didn't think it would happen so quickly.  I loved the chiaroscuro effect in the reference photo and it was begging me to paint it.  How could I say no?

I was mentioning to my friend Ellen that deciding on a subject to paint would be the hardest part of this challenge and she suggested painting the same subject using several different mediums which I think is an incredible idea.  You will be seeing this again (and maybe again) during the month.  I'm especially excited to try this in oils.

This was done in pastels.  I put pumice gel on a black panel which made it an uneven gray/black color.  Then, I layered dark blue, dark green and brown in the background and blended it using water and it turned a nice, smooth, rich black.  The under colors of the onion were handled the same way but I wanted it to have more texture so I layered additional color on top without using water to blend.  The green was stumbled on the background and I added a few strokes of rust to indicate the surface on which the onion was sitting.  I added the swish of the lighter color to lead the viewer's eyes back into the picture.

Chiaroscuro Onion
Image Size 8" x 10"

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

On The Beach, 30 in 30 - Day 1

With the new year comes new resolutions and challenges.  I've decided to start the year off with a challenge of a painting a day for 30 days led by Leslie Saeta.  She's done this before and in the past I've never participated.  I usually have a hard enough time finishing one painting each week but I decided to take advantage of the motivation I'm feeling with the start of the new year.  I know plenty of artists routinely finish a painting each day.  For me, the hardest part of this challenge will be picking what to paint.  I'm pretty sure that you are going to see a lot of fruits and vegetables sitting on a table.  : )

This painting happens to be fairly large but most of them will probably be small.  This took me more than one day to paint.  The beach where the photo for this was taken is dangerous for swimming but it's very beautiful.  The waves really do break right on the sand like this so swimmers would get slammed if they chose to swim here.  Sometimes the waves are so forceful that when they break, it sounds like a shotgun firing and the buildings shake.  Mother Nature knows how to get our attention, that's for sure.

Happy New Year everyone and thanks for looking at my paintings.  Your interest and comments mean a lot to me.

On The Beach
Image Size 12" x 30"
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