Wednesday, June 28, 2017

When Life Gives You Lemons...

What started out as a SUPER LEMON day yesterday has turned into lemonade for me.

5:30 AM Family medical emergency sets the emotional tone for the day.

9:00 AM Local students for our plein air painting day together DO NOT arrive as expected.

9:15 AM Last minute addition arrives - an artist from FL who is visiting in the area - and we begin a delightful four hour private session of plein air painting together.

Morning Walk, pastel, 7x5 inches sold
The artist I was working with is adept in a variety of mediums. Pastel is her most recent addition and she has identified her challenges with it so that is the medium we focused on. We started out on the back patio facing the studio garden. I use a scene before me as inspiration and let a painting evolve from there. This artist works in that manner also so she understood when my completed painting had elements of the scene before us (overcast but bright sky, Washington State fir trees, a winding path, lots of green foliage) but was not a literal representation.

Melissa painting the lake
An overcast morning turned into a sunny afternoon and we moved to the lake side. Our session together ended with a lovely painting by Melissa and the medical emergency resolved.

In retrospect, what began as a most unusual day has contributed to my decision that private mentoring is the way I will structure my teaching for the rest of this year. So, to those who have contacted me wanting to attend a group plein air session like the one I offered yesterday, please reconsider one-on-one time with me. Email me for particulars.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Begonia Study with acrylic underpainting

This week I am inviting a few artists for a 4-hour Paint Plein Air with Me session. Artists asked if I would be teaching more Studio workshops this year - this event evolved out those requests. If you are interested in painting with me this summer on a weekday, 9am - 1pm at my home studio in Black Diamond, let me know by email or comment here and I'll schedule more days and invite you. Tell me which day of the week works best for you.

The artists who requested this first session work in a variety of mediums and at least one will have an introduction to oil paint. To speed things up, I will suggest an acrylic underpainting so I took myself through the steps. I used liquid acrylics blue, orange and yellow.




The white you see in the painting is where I have lift acrylic back off of the white Fredrix canvas sheet. This was a really fun process and one that I plan to use again. Next, I brought the image up on my computer screen and sat beside it and painted in oil.


Begonia Study, oil, 7x5 inches. DailyPaintworks SUMMER SALE


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Peony and Interior #1

Peony Study, oil, 6x6 inches sold
SUPER SUMMER SALE
Thanks to all who have purchased, bid and are following their favorites on my Daily Paintworks SUPER SUMMER SALE. Your interest is what keeps me painting these.

Even as I contemplate what to paint next for the sale and how I can include other work, I am thinking of Fall and my work for galleries. For years I have taken interior shots but only recently have I begun to get a clear vision of what I want my interior work to look like. It will be oil and quite unlike any work I have to date. Tonight I started interior #1. It is the workshop space of Arts Alive! in Enumclaw, Washington. Here is a detail shot (the actual painting is 18 inches square) of step 1.

Interior #1, oil, 18x18 Step 1



Monday, June 12, 2017

Trying something new

I recently painted from my 6s iPhone. Today I painted from my old 27 inch iMac. Quite a different experience. I'll do this again.
Boat House, oil, 6x6 inches
SUPER SUMMER SALE
In the past two years, I have taken many photos of the old boat house across the lake from us but it wasn't until today that I got around to painting it and the lily pads that surround it. I'm probably the only lake resident who loves it.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

When you leave your reference photo at home...

I have an iPhone 6s (pretty small); I want a 7 Plus (bigger, better camera). I have never painted using a reference photos shown on my iPhone...until yesterday.

Yesterday as I prepared to leave for my Friday afternoon painting group, I shot a photo of my black Fredrix canvas sheet and the reference photo for Side Garden 2. Then dashed out the door. I soon realized that I left the reference photo* at home. Paint from memory or paint from iPhone? iPhone.




* And now, I word about the reference photo: A couple days ago, in anticipation of rain, I cut the blooming peonies from the side garden and brought them inside for a bouquet. Next day, I decided to paint a close-up view of the peonies with the rest of the side garden and house as background but of course, the peonies were in the house. I took a photo of the bouquet, copy pasted a few flowers into the side garden photo just for reference, not placement. And then, forgot to take the reference photo with me to paint.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Side Garden Finally

Painting the flowers on the side of our house sounded like a good idea. But then stuff happened and I didn't get out there as early as I thought I would. Well, that's OK because I'll just attach my plein air umbrella to my trip-pod. Yes, I could have done that but after standing in the hot sun for 10 minutes with umbrella parts in my hands, turning them round and round, I gave up on the umbrella and just started painting. This is the very first (hopeful) stage. It went downhill after that.

Back in the studio today - a lovely rainy day - I finished the painting after wiping it off a couple times. I'm happy with it now and just added it to my Daily Paintworks Super Summer Sale.



Side Garden, oil, 6x6 inches sold

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Varnish Day and Virtual Framing


Today was first-coat varnish day for Holiday Creek and Wanderlust; tomorrow both will get another application. I was reminded today about showing DailyPaintworks auction paintings with a virtual frame. Here is how these two will look. Both are currently on auction in my Super Summer Sale with free shipping. You can click on the image to see the auction. Free shipping.
Holiday Creek

Wanderlust Auction


Monday, June 5, 2017

Super Summer Sale Thank You


The first little painting for my Super Summer Sale has a few hours left in the auction. As I head for bed tonight, I want to thank the people who have placed bids on Frosty Morning Abrams Road - it is a warm welcome back to Daily Paintworks auctions for me.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Gesso on Fredrix?

Every once in a while, I stumble across a new art supply in my Studio. At some point I NEEDED it but then got busy with something else. I have Fredrix pads of canvas sheets in white and black. That started me thinking about painting small oil paintings this summer to warm up for larger work in the Fall. But, I don't want to accumulate more paintings so I created my Super Summer Sale. So far I've completed three paintings (shown below). Each of these is on the DailyPaintworks Auction for $25 plus FREE shipping. The auctions last 7 days. Take a look.

Now to the title of this post: Gesso on Fredrix? I'm not a fan of the texture of the Fredrix canvas sheets. I'd like a smoother surface so today I applied gesso to the canvas. It is drying now, I'll let you know if I like it.

Applying gesso to Fredrix canvas sheet.

Frosty Morning, oil, 6x6  sold

Wanderlust, oil, 6x6

Holiday Creek, oil, 6x6

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Super Summer Auction Sale

I have a to-do list for today but instead, I am at the computer inventing a Super Summer Auction Sale. First one up for my Super Summer Auction is Frosty Morning Abrams Road. I finished this one this morning with a deceased artist's brushes. That's another story, read it here.

My summer goal is 1) to paint a lot in oil 2) to NOT end up with a pile of paintings even if it means practically giving them away. Free shipping too!

Frosty Morning Abrams Road, oil, 6x6 inches

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Early May morning plein air


I started this painting about 5:45AM when the sky was pink with the rising sun. An hour later, when I quit, the sky was blue. I chose to leave the docks and boats out but I do plan to paint the boats soon.

What fun it was to paint so early. Try it, you'll like it.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Begonia in oil

Back to my plein air Begonia painting today except this time in the morning instead of afternoon. Of course, that changes the light which changes everything so I painted over most of it. Next time I'll try to paint alla prima to avoid this problem. Yes, I did take a photo of the flower yesterday but once you start painting from life, working from the photo is really disappointing.

O-2017-5-27 Begonia, oil, 10x8 inches

Friday, May 26, 2017

Four stages of learning


Here we are at the end of May 2017 and my flower and vegetable gardens are pretty much in. I just UNSUSCRIBED to all the garden/plant/seed supply email lists I've been on and I'm starting to think about painting again.

I switch mediums a couple times a year and once in while I try a new medium.  I spent last June working in acrylic (again) and that is the medium I thought of when I came across the four stages of learning presented by Nicholas Wilton. I'll apply this to my experience with acrylic but it is applicable to other challenges.

1. Unconscious Incompetence
We don't know what we don't know. For years I collected acrylic supplies not knowing which were quality and which ones would make learning this medium even harder for me.

2. Conscious Incompetence
I started painting. Oh, oh. Acrylic dries really fast with hard edges. I bought retarder and interactive acrylics and books and still, I was not happy. In this stage we know enough to realize that our art (or whatever we are trying to learn) is not so good. This is the stage where we either quit or we go for help.

3. Conscious Competence
In this stage I decided to work WITH the medium instead of trying to make it act more like oil paint. I got help by taking an online class last June with Chantel Barber. Through her advice I felt I was starting to "get it" and I changed my attitude about the medium to embrace it's drawbacks as attributes.

4. Unconscious Competence
This is the stage of working "intuitively." This is how I like to paint (of course). By the end of June of last year, I ended up with a few paintings in acrylic that I was happy with. But by mid-summer I had to put the acrylics away and return to pastel to prepare for upcoming workshops in July and October. If I had continued with acrylic I eventually would have been painting intuitively. And at some point I would run out of challenges and then it starts all over again to learn new material.

The point of this post is to remind you (and myself) to recognize that we are always in a stage of learning. Don't give up if you really want to achieve a goal.

Thank you Nicholas Wilton for your post about the four stages of learning. Now, back to my oil painting-in-progress.
Begonia in progress, oil, 10 x 8 inches

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

On the Easel 5-23-2017

I've been digging, weeding, planting, watering. Yesterday I finally got back to my easel setting up a plein air still life.

A simple pot of Begonias but the glass table-top and reflections in the pot made it more interesting to me.
Also, the almost neon orange red color...hmmm...haven't quite figured that out yet. Hope to get back to this soon - I think it is about 80% complete at this point.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

On the easel 5-13-17


Working on the second painting of the roses ("Petite Gift"), this time in oil. I'm trying to paint it more slowly and thoughtfully than I normally paint and I'm actually enjoying this s-l-o-w pace in oil because I'm getting reacquainted with the medium. I think this painting is about 80% complete at this point.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Last Friday at our Painting Group


A charcoal sketch on UArt paper, my reference photo and my Soltek Easel with pastels.
This is as far as I got during our group painting time but I continued to work on it over the weekend. Scroll to the bottom to read more about last Friday's Painting Group session.
Petite Gift, pastel, 10x8 inches
Last Friday was framing day for ReneƩ while Ed painted on with his usual determination and focus. Both of these artists inspire us all.






Friday, May 5, 2017

Book: Art Journey - Abstract Painting

I'm happy to have been included in this beautiful new book published by North Light Books.

Click on the book cover for more information
Blue Road, pastel, Private Collection
Toward Evening, pastel, Private Collection
From the West Unto the East, pastel, Collection of the Artist