Monday, April 27, 2015

Silverado Creek

"Silverado Creek"
Image Size 48" x 72"

Here is another one of my projects finished.  This one has been hanging around for over four years!  It's hard to stick a 4 foot by 6 foot painting in a closet.  It's been on my easel all that time and I'm so glad that it's finally finished!  Now, I can use that easel for something new and exciting.

This painting has gone through many stages through the years.  Originally, I planned to paint this as though you were seeing the image through a window.  The white areas would have been dimensional looking with the window divisions shaded as they would look as if it was a real french paned window.  I wanted to hang it in our bathroom and have it look like there was another real window in the room.  I thought it was a great idea at the time.  It started out as a scene that had mountains in the background, an orange grove in the middle ground and would have the upper parts of eucalyptus trees in the foreground - as though you were seeing them from a second story window.  Here is as far as I got on that idea:

After it sitting at this stage for a couple of years, I decided that I wasn't motivated because I didn't like the scene so I changed it to its first layer of the current scene but still kept the window idea:

It continued to sit until one of my friends told me that she didn't really like the idea of the window because it was too distracting.  I realized that I probably wasn't in love with that idea anymore either which was probably why I wasn't motivated to work on it.  My friend said that a couple of months ago and it was the motivation that I needed.

I've always loved this scene and have painted it before several times but only in watercolor.  This one is oil and it is the largest oil painting I've ever done.

I will probably play with it a little more after seeing it in this photo and looking at it in my studio over the next week but for now, I'm considering it finished!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Pastel Hibuscus

Pastel Hibuscus
Image size 7" x 7"

I haven't worked in pastels for a very long time, but I'm trying to finish up some of my paintings that have already been started and this is the one I picked to finish this week.  I started it a couple of years ago, but lost my motivation.  I'm not really painting flowers as much any more so I'm not sure my heart was really in this, but it does feel good to have finished it.

Pastel is such a fun medium and the look can vary from totally blended -which can look like an oil painting- to sketchy and gestural.  I usually prefer seeing the strokes but I had already started this with blending the pastels in the background so I continued that look there but made the flowers a bit more textural.  I like having both techniques in one painting.

Monday, April 13, 2015


Image Size 7" x 11"

I'm still working with encaustics.  I've decided to finally get a blow torch and experiment with that for future paintings.  I'm interested to see if it is easier to control smaller areas of the wax.  I should probably stick with the heat gun so that I don't have more control but why fight my basic personality?  

This painting has a shellac burn in a couple of areas and I've added more wax on top of that in a few areas. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Slow Burn

"Slow Burn"
Image Size 35.5" x 48"

I felt like painting another large acrylic abstract and this is what I created.  I started with a base of blues, reds and a neutral and let that dry.  Then, I poured a mixture of gesso, water and matte medium and spread it randomly over the surface using a small piece of mat board to create a busy, abstract texture.  Where that mixture was thicker, it was an opaque white and where it was thin, the base colors showed through.  After that, I used thin veils of a neutral to tone down a lot of the background to make it recede and threw some white paint to create a feeling of energy.  That always makes me feel good - throwing paint is the best sort of therapy.  Then, I began adding my black and rust colors.  Once I got those areas looking the way I wanted, I added the white details. I mixed the white paint with a gloss medium so that it would be different from the matte finish of the rest of the painting, but that detail doesn't show up as much as I would have liked because the lines are so thin.

I'm very happy with the texture in this painting.  The reds and blues in the background are very subtle but add interest.  One of the things that I love about abstract paintings is that the longer you look at them, the more you see.  Sometimes, I think that can make them more interesting than representational paintings.  They sure are fun to paint.

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