Friday, October 30, 2015

Apple A Day Works

an apple a day helps keeps us in good health - a quick work at the start of each day teaches me and keeps me aware of the color, design and shape of my art.

I love the white tin painted here. It's a can that I saved and primed with watered down gesso. I've painted and drawn it a few times now, in different ways. I tried it out again today and decided to do just a half hour study to see if I could get sufficient information down in a short time. The grapes seemed a nice contrast and offered nice blues and purples in the way of reflected light on the can. 
When painting with white I try to be mindful of how it reflects all the colors of the light spectrum, so in order for me to paint a convincing white, I need to be able to paint subtle color shifts. In truth, convincing whites are actually pretty colorful. Just good practice and I think this study will really work to inform me when I return to this in oil. And I will... :)

White is Colorful, oil on 6 x 8 panel

A charcoal drawing with the can is here. It's always a great practice item for me in terms of color, shape and value. I love the irregular side, really makes me think.

White Tin with Pear and Grapes, charcoal on 12 x 24 paper

Today was my deadline for getting paperwork to North Light Books for the Strokes of Genius publication. I'm so glad to get this finished up - there were days when I thought I wouldn't be able to get a proper Raw image ready by the November deadline. Feels good to have this done.

While I was out today, I shopped for materials. Paint was on my list and I always make comparisons among the brands I like. Gamblin is a favorite, but the cost can be hard to live with at times. That said, as I was headed to the check out I saw a new line of paint by Gamblin. This 1980 line is half the price of regular Gamblin paints. Before making the decision to purchase, I looked them up on line in store and was satisfied enough with the write up to give them a try. I'll let you know what I think...but here's a link to their page.

A sketch from today...this little dark-haired girl was in Marietta and too precious to pass by. That's all for now. Thank you for stopping by and enjoy your Friday all. Peace and Health -

Dark-Haired Girl, charcoal on about 12 x 12 paper

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Apple A Day Works

an apple a day helps keeps us in good health - a quick work at the start of each day teaches me and keeps me aware of the color, design and shape of my art.

This morning's quick paint was a bunch of red grapes. I set this up using my cardboard box and white pillowcase. The grapes need to be eaten today, so they're in the spotlight. I started by lightly toning my panel with alizarin crimson, ivory black plus white. Looking at the entire mass of grapes, I used this same mixture to block in the overall shape, including cast shadows. Once that was done, I worked to locate the highlights on individual grapes. This helps me loosely establish relationships without drawing circles or spheres for the fruit. Then it's just a matter of laying in mid tones to suggest transient and reflected light. For this I used warm and cool red, grays that compliment the background and a few greens. I decided to create a ledge in the foreground for the composition. More could be done, but when the hour is up I need to move on...

Red Grapes, oil on 6 x 8 wood panel

 Set up for Red Grapes

Today I'm meeting an artist friend, Trisha Selgrath. She has very kindly agreed to help me get a proper photo of a drawing; a portrait that I need photographed well for a publication in North Light Books, Strokes of Genius 8. Hillary, pictured below has been selected for their 2016 publication. I met Hillary when she and a friend were performing during an ArtWalk this summer past in Marietta, Georgia. She works at a coffee shop on the square called Cool Beans. Her strong facial structure and mass of hair intrigued me, so after a few sketches, I came up with the image below. Needless to say, I'm honored to be included in this publication alongside so many other talented artists. Congrats to all concerned - :)

The RAW photograph has been a hard thing to get right with my aging camera, so I'm turning it over to a professional. I'm really grateful Trisha is taking the time today to do this for me. You can check her work out here - my thanks Trisha...

Hillary, 18 x 24 charcoal on paper

Something else I'll be working on today in a larger format. This study was informative...but I think the palette can be improved upon.

White Cottage, oil on primed mat board, 18 x 9 

Here's the value study that got me going. I'll likely do another in a larger size just to get a better idea of the final work. These are helpful to determine values, but also to allow time for to plan the composition...what to change as needed in order to make things stronger.

White House, charcoal sketch in 5.5 x 8.5 notebook

All for now...thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your time and hope your day is good. Take care -

Peace and Health all -

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Apple A Day Works

an apple a day helps keeps us in good health - a quick work at the start of each day teaches me and keeps me aware of the color, design and shape of my art.

 Ever have those moments when you ask yourself how did I come to make this? Well yesterday morning was a very rainy day, so I set up three apples to paint. As those where done I felt just so so, and changed things up to a pear and two apples. Pears have great shape and they offer me such diverse planes. I always enjoy them. When that was done I decided on this set up and somehow wondered how that progression came to be. The bits of color against the dark fabric intrigued me, I though I'd work to suggest the direction of the stripes seen in the scarf...they might make a nice abstract design with the representational objects. I laid out just the apple slice this time because of the light it would attract by my window. As for the jar...I just love the shape of olive jars. :)

Apple Slice & Jar, 6 x 8 oil on panel

And here's my set up for the morning's final small work. As I look at this, the light is brighter than when I painted; looks like I took this when my larger light source was on. In the end it was a great learning experience as I got three 6 x 8 works done in about an hour and forty-five minutes. It's easier to work faster in the morning when I'm more rested - that said, I could always use more sleep. Anyway, after this one it was time to move on...

Set up for Apple Slice & Jar

This is a sunset from just a few weeks ago. There's a horse farm down the road from my home studio. I actually have the opportunity to draw these lovely animals quite a bit during the evenings. They wind up in a field that is just on the other side of this one. The family is really nice and allow me to walk across to paint whenever I like. Limited palette of terra rosa, alizarin crimson, pthalo blue, cad yellow plus white.

Sunset over Field, 6 x 8 oil on wrapped canvas

This is a charcoal sketch of three of their horses back during the summer - maybe June or so around  dusk when the light from a sunset filters through the trees at the back side of the horses. I don't know if it's easy to read, but my eraser was a great tool for skimming across the page to suggest the wire fencing. These marks run just above the horses. A special place. 
Trio, charcoal on paper

Thought I'd include these plein air studies from the past days. The oil is just before the rain came in. Fall colors are starting to appear in different places by the lake. I did this 8 x 10 quickly - about 40 minutes as a demo for class. The charcoal was done at another location; a value study and 30 minute demo for a class. We have a great time finding new locations by Lake Allatoona here in Northwest Georgia.

That's all for now....I thank you for looking. Have a great day - Peace and Health

Fall Colors at the Lake, 8 x 10 oil on panel

Value Study, charcoal on 18 x 24 paper


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Apple A Day Works

an apple a day helps keeps us in good health - a quick work at the start of each day teaches me and keeps me aware of the color, design and shape of my art.

Yellow  Flower, 6 x 10 oil on primed linen matboard

As the week begins there are things to do for work and family - All Hallow's Eve is next weekend and I'm getting materials ready to make our scarecrow for the yard. This is the only time I enjoy raking leaves. :) Here is last year's scarecrow, during the day and evening. Our kids in the neighborhood love it. This year I'm thinking of a Ghost Rider for my husband's Harley.....:)

And last evening I went up the road to a secluded older church for some sketching with charcoal. FUN...

Church At Dusk, 5.5 x 8.5 notebook

Last post for today, a plein air I did at Rope Mill Park - not far from my home studio. It's beautiful there with trails and water complete with rapids. This was done in by the water; 15 minutes using a plastic palette knife with a bit of linseed oil and Gamsol. The paint was really easy to push around and it made things go even faster. These quick draws get me warmed up, thinking and moving. I don't take a lot of time with them. It seems the more I just DO, the better. It's a liberating experience and gets me ready to work on larger paintings.

That's all for now...thanks so much for stopping by. Peace and Health - 

Rope Mill Reflections, 5 x 7 oil on panel

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Apple A Day Works

an apple a day helps keep 
us in good health - a quick 
Structures by Lake, 8 x 8 oil on canvas

work at the start of each 
day teaches me and keeps 
me aware of the color, 
design and shape of my art.

I like the covered structures at the backside of the lake by our home. These are shelters for boats, and they're pretty full during the summer months. I've suggested their roof tops in this painting with lighter values at the tree line. Their placement with the vertical lines at intervals, offers a nice contrast to the darker foliage at the water's edge and allows me to break up the horizontal nature of this composition. This was a demo for a class by the lake and a fun study. Love my time there...

A work from last year by the lake - around the first or second week of November. A heron was flying around and after a few sketches, I suggested the movement here. These guys really don't mind me being around. They just linger, fish and watch me watch them. :)

November Morning, 8 x 8 oil on canvas

Heron at Lake, charcoal on 11 x 14 vellum

Working on figure studies this week for an upcoming show and artist chat. These have been such an education. I use directional lines to help me work out just about anything. In these works, the lines still work to show direction, movement...dancers in motion - our daughter is my muse. She's such a good model. 

Picasso is quoted as having said, "I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." Sounds good to me...Process of Learning, charcoal on 24 x 18 paper. 

Process of Learning, charcoal on 18 x 24 paper

Figure, ink on about 10 x 8 paper

Some morning work from today. A ten minute study in charcoal/8.5 x 5.5 notebook. I'm beginning to think a journal of these would be nice - sounds like a project. :)

Thanks for stopping by...enjoy the day! Peace and Health all -

Marigolds and Bottle, 8.5 x 5.5 notebook

Monday, October 19, 2015

I call these Apple A Day Works
Last of Summer, oil on primed cardboard 

an apple a day helps keep 
us in good health - a quick 
work at the start of each 
day teaches me and keeps 
me aware of the color, 
design and shape of my art.

I've been putting together a little series of small paintings that feature glass and flowers. There's so much education in these quick studies. I did this one early morning using primed cardboard - material left over from summer camps with middle and high school students. My logic is purely one that focuses on the process and learning that can come from doing quick studies. The cardboard is here and inexpensive. I apply two coats of gesso, and if things don't turn out as I envision...that's okay. If I'm honest, it's always okay in most cases. Commissions and paintings I create with a show in mind are entirely different of course, but for studies where I hope to learn and grow, for me the surface just needs to hold the paint. :)

This small painting is another in this series. I'm pairing the flower works with other pieces that feature produce from our garden. Little onions are a staple we keep year round. They multiply so quickly. I used a limited palette on this, and used the dark background to help me carve out the onion and little green stems; all painting knife. The pinks were a lot of fun to work with and they offered a nice little glow to the work.

Growth, 6 x 6 oil on wrapped canvas

 More seascapes studies....this is charcoal on some leftover paper, maybe 12 x 16 or so. This is my project for the remainder of the day. I hope to get some good things on paper and canvas.

It's time to get out for a bit and walk my pups. They are a little tired of this painting/drawing thang. Have a great day...Peace and Health all -

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Blue Vase, oil on leftover 9.5 x 7 linen panel

I call these Apple A Day Works

an apple a day helps keep 
us in good health - a quick 
work at the start of each 
day teaches me and keeps 
me aware of the color, 
design and shape of my art.

Blue Vase is a morning study from today -
another exercise counting strokes to
learn about the economy of my mark. I
lay out my limited palette and take a full
minute or two to look at the set up. These
sessions make me faster, and just more
aware. I do enjoy it and they take
very little time to complete.

Clementines make a good snack after - :)

 Looking at seascapes today and thinking of what I'd like to work up larger. This is one from last year. It's a favorite because I really enjoyed the location - can't remember, maybe 9 x 12.

Plein Air Study - Coastline Series

Yesterday was a class day in Marietta, Georgia at the Museum on the square there. For a couple of hours I get to share information concerning charcoal with a great crowd of folks. I plead insanity and a love for charcoal. It's the perfect medium for quick sketches and figuring out values. I keep a small supply in my car, with paper, at all times so if I travel out, it's always there for whatever comes my way.
I love meeting the people in these charcoal sessions. They're always energetic and ready to go, or try something new; anything in fact. I've been thinking the counted strokes exercise would work nicely with our vine charcoal and compressed sticks. That sounds like a fun 15 minute exercise next week.   
Here's my 40 minute demo on 14 x 24 size sketch paper. The vine on a fresh tomato is such a great object to draw. I love the varied mark it prompts - a light touch turns darker in value with different angles. Really a lot of fun and very educational. Don't take my word for it, try it yourself. :) 

Vine Ripe and Little Yellows
Fun stuff - for sure - 5 x 7 oil on canvas

Toward the end of our session, we did a quick ten minute sketch using a pumpkin and pear - great shapes...
That's all for now - Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the day. Peace and Health -

Pumpkin and Pear in my 5.5 x 8.5 notebook

Friday, October 16, 2015

I call these my Apple A Day Works

Potted Plant, 5.5 x 8.5 notebook
like an apple a day helps to keep us in good health; a quick work at the 
start of each day teaches me so much 
and keeps me aware of  the color, design 
and shape of my art.

A morning work - 15 minute sketch in
notebook. Love this potted plant. The shapes are wonderful to work with and just a little information - light and dark values - gives me something to refer back to at a later date.

Tomatoes are a great shape too, and I love the vines on fresh produce. Such fun to figure out -

Vine Ripe, charcoal on 6 x 12 paper

I love the shape of pears and paint them a few times a week. They offer such a variety of planes and the colors are lush. I never grow tired of them and always feel the challenge of form with each study.
That's all for now....thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend. Peace and Health all -

Green Pear, oil on 5 x 7 canvas

Green Pear, oil on 5 x 7 canvas

Thursday, October 15, 2015

I call these Apple A Day Works - 

like an apple a day helps to keep us in good health; a quick work at the 
start of each day teaches me so much 
and keeps me aware of  the color, design 
and shape of my art.

This morning I had the good fortune to paint with a friend. We enjoyed looking at each work and figuring some things out. It's always so nice to get together with other artists. I learn so much...

Here's a 45 stroke 6 x 8 I worked on this morning. These are a really great warm up and they make me think about the economy of my brushstroke and mark. I usually think for a minute or two before beginning these, so I can find interesting focal points ahead of time. With all my limited palette laid out I begin and count strokes while working - hard to do for me so early in the morning, I tell ya. This palette was terra rosa, cad red, raw sienna, pthalo blue, and white. I love doing these exercises; they go quickly, and I make every brushstroke count for form and value. Again, no expectations with these daily works, just concerned with what I can learn.

45 stroke painting, grapes and candleholder

About to cook supper and then its framing tonight for this charcoal piece. These two gentlemen were talking one day in the park. I did some sketching on site and managed to get a single photo to make refinements. Love their expression...all for now. Thanks so much for stopping by. Peace and Health

The Conversation, charcoal and coffee on about 12 x 16 paper

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Red Apple - 5 x 7 oil on panel
I call these Apple A Day Works - 
like an apple a day helps to keep us in good health; a quick work at the start of each day teaches me so much and keeps me aware of  the color, design and shape of my art.

It's been a busy time lately with classes and getting ready for an artist chat/demonstration in November. The studio needs a clean up and organization again, and I must catch up with photographing recent work. That said, I've posted images from the past few months below. Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoy -

This is a sketch from this past spring - the driveway that leads to a parking area by the lake where I live. There's a boat ramp here and loads of fishermen all around, not unlike the one in my second post below. He never even knew I was there. After that is a larger experimental study derived from plein air studies. I plan to do more in this series. My last post is the final portrait commission of India, a beautiful twenty-year-old dog.

Parking Area by Bells Ferry Landing at Lake Allatoona, charcoal on paper

Fisherman, charcoal on paper

Storm Study, derived from plein air studies, 30 x 30

India, Commission Portrait, charcoal and pastel, 18 x 24

All for now - I appreciate you stopping by...Peace and Health

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Red Apple, Pastel sketch
I call these Apple A Day Works - 
sort of like an apple a day helps to keep us in good health; a quick work at the start of each day teaches me so much and keeps me aware of  the color, design and shape of my art. 

The weekend has been hectic, and getting much time in studio has been difficult. We've had rain for days now, so there's been no outdoor work to amount to much. Today I'm working to complete a portrait commission. The first study in color is below with the reference photo provided by the client. There's work to do here, but we decided to use dry media as I could get it done much quicker, by her 10 October date. This is sepia and red conte with charcoal. What a beautiful dog - 20 years her coloration.

First study in color - cropped from 18 x 24

Reference Photo

Saturday was a class day, but I laid out a few items and started this 16 x 20 size painting before heading out. The items that I like here are the red tin and the the little metal chicken figurine - both objects are on the right hand side. I decided to experiment with a set up to get a feel for color and composition. As the tin and chicken are my favorites pieces in the arrangement, I pondered them most. This shows an hour and fifteen into the painting process. At that point I had to stop and pack up for class. I don't really expect to return to this one, it was a study to work ideas out.

Morning Set up - getting things worked out

Here's the study in full - 90 minutes of work and could be fun to look at again 

Friday night was the last ArtWalk of the season in Marietta, Georgia. I returned to the Beer Garden to man a community paint event sponsored by Red Door Gallery located above the Australian Bakery. Despite the on and off rain, it was good times. Here are photos from that session and that's all for now. Have a good day everyone and thanks for stopping by. Peace and Health