Sunday, January 1, 2012

Painting Progressions

The creation of a painting is not a singular process.  Some artists like to begin with an oil sketch, some with a pencil sketch, and some with no sketch at all.  In a recent exhibit in Lafayette, Indiana several artists showed the progression of their works with photos of the process.  Here are three of my paintings that were among those exhibited:  The inception is obvious except for painting #2, "Gazebo."  In beginning that painting, a wash of mineral spirits and oil paint was applied to the canvas and then wiped away while it was still wet.  The wipeout technique helps the artist designate areas of the painting, and it also allows some of the white canvas to show through from the beginning.  The other two paintings, "Trees" and "Left Turn" are fairly self-explanatory in terms of how the painting was conceived and executed. Double click on the slide show above this post if you want a larger view. Then use the arrows R/L to scroll through the photos of the progression.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Plein Air Artists of Colorado annual show in Denver

If you are in Denver June 24-July 9, 2011, be sure to stop by the Saks Gallery in Cherry Creek Shopping area. Colorado plein air artists are showing our members' work there.

This is the painting that was accepted into this annual show.  It is an honor to be included with the fine painters listed above.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Be careful how you title your paintings....a poem by Billy Collins

Study In Orange And White

I knew that James Whistler was part of the Paris scene,
but I was still surprised when I found the painting
of his mother at the Musée d'Orsay
among all the colored dots and mobile brushstrokes
of the French Impressionists.

And I was surprised to notice
after a few minutes of benign staring,
how that woman, stark in profile
and fixed forever in her chair,
began to resemble my own ancient mother
who was now fixed forever in the stars, the air, the earth.

You can understand why he titled the painting
"Arrangement in Gray and Black"
instead of what everyone naturally calls it,
but afterward, as I walked along the river bank,
I imagined how it might have broken
the woman's heart to be demoted from mother
to a mere composition, a study in colorlessness.

As the summer couples leaned into each other
along the quay and the wide, low-slung boats
full of spectators slid up and down the Seine
between the carved stone bridges
and their watery reflections,
I thought: how ridiculous, how off-base.

It would be like Botticelli calling "The Birth of Venus"
"Composition in Blue, Ochre, Green, and Pink,"
or the other way around
like Rothko titling one of his sandwiches of color
"Fishing Boats Leaving Falmouth Harbor at Dawn."

Or, as I scanned the menu at the cafe
where I now had come to rest,
it would be like painting something laughable,
like a chef turning on a spit
over a blazing fire in front of an audience of ducks
and calling it "Study in Orange and White."

But by that time, a waiter had appeared
with my glass of Pernod and a clear pitcher of water,
and I sat there thinking of nothing
but the women and men passing by--
mothers and sons walking their small fragile dogs--
and about myself,
a kind of composition in blue and khaki,
and, now that I had poured
some water into the glass, milky-green.

Billy Collins

Thursday, October 28, 2010

New website

Dear Reader,
This poor blog has been ignored for too long. In the meantime, a WEBSITE has been created with more recent works featured. Please access the website through this address:

More activity is planned for the blog --- so tune in again if you are interested in the more mundane, nitty-gritty details of this painter's pursuits. Thanks for reading.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Eyes of the Artist Exhibit

Currently I am participating in an exhibit at the Greater Lafayette Museum of Art in Lafayette, Indiana. There are five of us --- women who paint together and enjoy sharing ideas and resources so that we can become better painters and enjoy friendship in the process. Our exhibit is called "The Eyes of the Artist." It has been great fun...

Here are the paintings that are my portion of the exhibit. The first four have a railroad theme in honor of my Dad. He worked for the railroad for over 30 years, so the concept interested me quite a bit. The one with the red building is a scene from Main Street in Burlington, Iowa. The train station is near this crossing, and you have to go over these tracks to get there.

This second painting is more about an object, the luggage cart. It has less of an emotional attachment , though the colors were lively. The railroad museum in Linden, Indiana is an enjoyable spot to visit. I wanted this painting to be appealing, like a still life in the out of doors.

The third painting with a railroad theme is of the tracks behind the railroad museum in Linden. This was an exercise in color exaggeration. The buildings in the background catch the eye, and they are accented by the curve of the field and the tracks. It started out as an exercise in
compliments, painting an underpainting first that used the opposite colors on the color wheel. It was almost too much of an intellectual game to paint like that, and the method was soon discarded. The result was, nevertheless, a lot of color.

Finally, the last one with a railroad theme is of shadows over train tracks. When looking at things in the distance, painters have to consider color changes that occur as objects recede into the distance. Things become bluer and lighter as they move back in aerial perspective. That is what happened in this painting -- the intensity of the blue in the distance becomes like a focal point. The tracks lead one's eye to the blue in the distance, and the trees have lost their green color.

Here are the other paintings that were included: I will comment on them at a later date.

Bev in Boulder



Red Girl in Garden


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

While getting ready for the open house we are having at the Stutz building, there has been a lot of working and reworking old images. Several will probably have a "do-over" in their future. This little chicken study is 6x8 -- a very friendly size to work with.

Still life with lemons and grapes is also a 6x8.

The Florida scene is of a Fort Meyers beach sunset. It is 11x14.

This is also a 6x8 painted on a cradled board. It is quite a different feel to paint on a smooth surface as opposed to textured canvas. Not so sure I like it as I prefer the tooth and paint-grabbing textures.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

2008-2009 paintings

As plein air works and quick studies are my current focus, the painting formats are smaller. Most are now 6x8 to 11x14. In some ways that is easier because there is less canvas to fill, and you have to think more in terms of minimizing brush strokes. In other ways it is less forgiving because your eye sees the painting in one glance. The compositional errors pop out more because of this. Here are some more recent, smaller pieces:

The three paintings of Hawaii are scenes from Maui. The interesting feature of the scenery was not just the mountains, but the atmosphere above them. The clouds just seemed to hang on the mountain tops.

Another recent attempt is to believably capture snow scenes. More on this subject will certainly follow.