Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Closet becomes office

As you may know from my posts on this blog, I have been in the process of bonding with this new Studio for more than two years. Much of it was about if I wanted my office in my Studio. When we moved to this new house, I insisted I wanted my office upstairs - far away from the area where I make art. And, I loved my sunroom office but I found I didn't really like my studio. It helped when I painted one wall of the studio a raspberry color (realized today it is pretty much the color of my BFF glassybaby that is part of my last oil painting).

Anyway, my office eventually made it's way back into my Studio then yesterday I had the brilliant idea of turning my art storage (+ furnace and tankless water heater) closet into my office for real. That meant painting walls. Very cozy in this 8x10 ft. space with my flat files and old iMac and new iMac but I love it.

Looking out into the Studio from the office, the Studio is a disaster now because I threw everything out of this room into that one. Note the desktop image on my computer - it is the scene when standing in the Studio looking out. Makes me feel less claustrophobic.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Best Friends Forever on the wall

Best Friends Forever, 2017, oil 16 x 20 inches
Since my last post on September 8th about this painting, I've loosened it, tightened it, loosened it. I have to declare it done simply because I am tired of working on it. I will put it in a frame and hang it on my studio wall to ponder while it dries. Sometimes, before varnishing a painting, I see something I must change.

Friday, September 8, 2017

BFF in Progress

Last week I took photos for new oil paintings. This is one of them and includes my Glassybaby BFF. 

This was the painting after a couple hours, 16x20 inches on Gessobord.

Today, when I began to paint again, I started with the color of the Glassybaby referring to my oil color charts. The sunlight in the reference photo is warmer than my studio lights so Alizarin Crimson + French Ultramarine + white with the addition of Cad Red Light works.

This is how "Best Friends Forever" looks after today's painting session.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

When things don't work out...

...they work out better.

There was a fourth painting in my "Everything old is New Again" series but after struggling with it for several painting sessions I lost interest so I turned it upside down and with Titanium White, I painted over most it of following an idea I had for a new painting - a bowl with several pieces of fruit and a vase of flowers in the background?

Next I needed a bowl, several pieces of fruit and flowers. I gathered the objects (well, most of them), arranged them on the dining room table (no room in my studio to paint directly from the setup) in approximately the same composition and took a photo.

This is the reference photo. Morning sun is the light source for form and cast shadows.

I drew the new composition
with charcoal and started painting.

Time for a value check. A few corrections to improve the value structure of the composition. "Value does the work, color gets the glory." -Richard McKinley, I think. See the finished painting below.

Brown Bowl, oil 18x18 inches

Monday, September 4, 2017

September Song in Oil

September Song 2017, oil 18x18 inches


September Song 1997, colored pencil 15.5 x 14.5 inches 
The original "September Song" was nearly square so it took minimal cropping to prepare the reference photo for my oil painting. This drawing was purchased out of my studio by H.D. when she came to consult on a commission portrait I painted of her husband. Private Collection.

The first step for this painting was sanding away an old oil landscape painting on a cradled wood panel.

Next, with my pastel study as reference, I began blocking in the new September Song.

Lightest values, darkest values and a little alizarin crimson thrown in. Set it aside to dry.

Added a glaze of Indian Yellow.

Working on it ...

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Infatuation in oil

Infatuation 2017, oil, 18x18 inches


Infatuation 2004, watercolor 12x15 inches
The original "Infatuation" was a watercolor painting. As a reference for my oil painting, I cropped the photo of it to a square format. Around 2002, I began using watercolor but before painting this one, I always added colored pencil on top of the watercolor foundation. This one was my first watercolor-only painting and I was fortunate to have it on the showcard for the NWWS exhibit and purchased from that show. Private Collection.

To identify areas that need adjusting, I use a grayscale image. I make the adjustment in Photoshop and then go back to my painting and paint the correction. In this case, I felt I needed additional value or weight in the red circled areas.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

A Fine Romance in oil

A Fine Romance 2017, oil 18x18 inches

A Fine Romance 2000, colored pencil 16x20 inches
The original "A Fine Romance" was a colored pencil drawing created in the year 2000. As a reference for my oil painting, I cropped the photo to a square format. I just discovered that I still have the original tucked away with other colored pencil drawings from 17+ years ago.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Trickster

Last spring I had an idea for a new challenge for myself. My plan was to paint small, primarily in oil, and to post the paintings on the DailyPaintworks auction at extremely low starting prices to get them out of my studio. I called it my SUPER SUMMER SALE. There were 14 paintings posted over a 6 week period. This project was fun to do and the paintings all have new homes. A side benefit was what I learned about selling through an auction in today's market - I'll share my thoughts on that in a future post.

In mid-summer I created another challenge for myself, once again thinking of it as a way to keep myself entertained in the studio but after reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, I now understand that what I am really doing with these frequent challenges is tricking myself. Tricking myself into making art. I highly recommend listening to the audiobook read by the author.

In 2014 I worked in oil on small still life paintings. When I returned to oil this summer I warmed up with the summer sale to then move on to painting larger - but what subject? Maybe interiors? I started off in that direction. Then, the idea came to me that it would be interesting (to me) to see how I would now interpret the same still life scenes I painted 20 years ago.

I selected three images of my old work - two colored pencil and one watercolor. Using Photoshop, I changed the format to square and printed photos to use as reference for three 18x18 inch oil paintings. The new versions of the old paintings are complete now and I will post step by step progression photos of each on this blog.

My next trick will be setting up new still life arrangements and painting even larger. What tricks do you use to get yourself to the easel? If you are old enough, I encourage you to try this challenge with your 20+ year-old work. The way we see the world changes as we age. It is interesting to me to compare the way I expressed my world through art then compared to now.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Varnish day for A Fine Romance

Today was varnish day for "A Fine Romance," 18x18 inch oil painting on Fredrix Canvas mounted to archival foam core. I used Liquitex Soluvar Gloss and Matte mixed 50/50. Applied a generous coat with a brush that I reserve for varnish only and though the painting is dry to the touch and can go into a frame, it will cure totally over the next few months.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Gouache underpainting for pastel

This is the gouache underpainting on white Pastelmat. September Song 6x6 is a color study for an upcoming 18x18 inch oil painting.

September Song, pastel, 6x6 inches
And, here is the finished pastel, available for purchase on Daily Paintworks.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Please check this out

I just spent a couple hours organizing my thoughts and recent revelations on my Golden Years blog. Click the link below to read about Big Magic among my other thoughts. To receive the occasional post from this blog, please subscribe as I don't always put a link on this blog as I'm doing now.

Please check this out

Monday, August 7, 2017

Golden Gift Certificate Award

I received a nice surprise today when I learned that my pastel painting, "Rejoice" received the Golden Gift Certificate Award at the Women Painters of Washington exhibit currently showing at Childhood'd End Gallery, Olympia, Washington. Thank you Juror/Judge Melissa Weinman. Congratulations to all the artists in this show and also to all award winners.

I don't enter many competitions these days but this one was special partly because I am honored to be a Life Member of WPW but also because my previous long-time Olympia gallery sold recently and this was a chance to show my work again in that city.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

It's August and I'm back at the easel

"Infatuation"                  " A Fine Romance"
I have created a challenge for myself of four 18x18 inch still life oil paintings. There is a backstory to each of the paintings and I will blog more about that later.

When working in pastel, I work very quickly to create work that is loose, not labored but this new, larger oil work is the opposite process.

I will be working simultaneously on all four paintings to allow the paint to dry - some days I will glaze, some days I will be focused on opaque areas.  Coming into the studio each morning will give me a chance to look at them with fresh eyes. Instead of working intuitively, each day I contemplate the value balance and composition because in oil I can add an object or wipe one out effortlessly. I expect and even look forward to working on the same paintings for a month or more. I love working without a deadline but I also need to continue the work daily or I will lose interest.

This morning I painted for about 3 hours on the two paintings above. For me, that is the maximum number of hours at the easel before I need a break. I started "Infatuation" just last night so it still looks quite raw and lacking in nuance of color and form. The painting on the right in the photo above, "A Fine Romance," is nearing completion. I am taking step x step photos that I may post when my project is complete.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Get to know your oils

I have many tubes of oil paint that I never use. I don't remember why I bought them but mostly they just sit in my studio while I stick to a basic palette of primary colors in warm and cool plus a few other colors.

We're getting ready for two summer events here at the lake and I find it difficult to concentrate on painting while prepping for the next two weekends but it is a good time to FINALLY make color samples of all the oil paint I have. This was actually a lot of fun and I'm excited to get back to painting in August to use some of the beautiful colors I discovered.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Reworking old paintings is one of my favorite things. At least once a year I go through my inventory and wipe off or paint over old paintings. Today I unframed two from my oil Still Life series of 2014 and I found another Gessobord panel with the beginning of a barn. I cut and glued foam core to make a 3-up holder and visited the refrigerator for subjects.


I started with the barn and began laying out where two apples on a plate might go. After I got them placed, I decided I didn't like the composition so I scraped the lower apple off and painted grapes instead.

I spent a very fun few hours painting fruit. Each of these paintings is about 90% complete. I think I'll let them dry and continue on them next week.  

Did you know you can search my blog by label? Try searching for How to Pastel or How to Oil Paint.  Click on the label then select Show All then go to Older Posts.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Final Four

See the final four on my DailyPaintworks Gallery

This is a screen shot of the final four in my SUPER SUMMER SALE. Fourteen little oil studies over the past 6 weeks. They gave me the experience of Fredrix canvas sheets, working plein air, reacquainting myself with my oil bar collection, and have generally cheered me each day. Many thanks to collectors, previous and new, for giving my studies a loving home.