Sunday, October 31, 2010

PostArt of the Rockies

This is a quick little postcard sketch I did of the Grand Tetons of Wy. hemmed with autumn trees, reflected in Johnson lake . And yes, the lake was really this deep cobalt blue, a wonderful contrast to the golds and oranges of the autumn foliage. This PostArt was sent to my Mom.

4"x6" acrylic on 140# watercolor paper postcard
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Autumn Path

Not far from where I live is a state park with several paths for hiking and walking. I go down there often to walk through the lovely trees.  When Dana suggested an autumn path as a challenge for Inspiration All Around Us- I thought of this scene. In the early morning, the sunlight streams over the hill where the river flows beyond and fills the forest with light.

8"x10" acrylic palette knife

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Apple Harvest Time

I absolutely loved painting this challenge for Studio Atelier.

Five delicious crunchy fresh sweet apples.... yum! Or ten if you count the reflections in the black granite. Not sure what kind they are, Barb didn't say.

11"x14" acrylic on canvas


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Moonrise in the Morning

Took this photo about 7:45am PDT. An unusual occurance - full moon rising .... in the morning. The sky was cold and clear. It had rained all night and was very windy. A lucky break in the clouds afforded this picture. You could even see a little detail in the moonscape. Click on the image to see it better.
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Rain on a Blue Pool

I painted this Bougainvillea vine hanging over a pool of water, as one of two florals that was commissioned in bright colors for a tropical themed bedroom. The other is Birds of Paradise.

9"x12" acrylic on linen

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Red Coverlet

A few weeks ago I picked up a beautiful book on the early impressionists with many images of their works. I have been studying these pictures to glean whatever points that I can and have been wanting to try painting in the style of these masters using their techniques, but somehow blending it with a contemporary feel. When Jen of Rookie Painter featured an early morning bedroom scene with morning light coming through a large window. I decided to paint my picture  from her photo, and following some paintings by these artists, especially Henri Matisse. This is the result - a blend of Victorian sensibility and figurative pose, with a cleaner, modern look. (You will not find it posted on the RP blog.) Please click on image for a better view.

9"x12" acrylic on canvas.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons ...

 ... paint them. This painting was done for Lela's Paint and Draw Together challenge. In posting her photo of lemons and flower, artist's were challenged to simplify the composition and let it speak to us. I chose impressionism rendered with a palette knife. The shadows and lights were important to the still life, so I chose to emphasize the light by offering glorious lemony yellow sunshine pouring through the window - matching the lemons which keep company with the Nasturtiums - a cascade of brilliant oranges, yellows and yellow greens. Accented by a deep cobalt blue vase and popped with a white bowl which draws your eyes to a focal point of the painting - the humble lemons. I know that my painting is a departure from the original photo - but this is where my imagination took me and what I heard it speak to me.
Click on picture for a better view.

8"x10" acrylic: palette knife on canvas  

Friday, October 15, 2010

Reflections: Natures and Mine

Dana Marie's Inspiration All Around Us theme: Reflecting -  prompted me to use one of my photographs as an entry - and I decided to post the story behind it here with additional photos.
They were taken at Emerald Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA. When I was leaving Lassen, heading south to continue my journey through the High Sierras, I passed this incredibly beautiful little lake. It has to be one of the most scenic spots in the park - it is a hidden gem. The waters are so still and clear that its surface is like a mirror.  In remembering this,  is why I chose the first picture here to send in. 

You can see the rocky, volcanic soil between the trees, which has kept them from becoming too dense. Yet the forest is still recovering from the last volcanic eruption. 

In the other photos:

It is strange to see gigantic boulders scattered here and there throughout the park, where they had landed after being spit out of the volcano during the eruption. (image #7)

The underground volcanic activity is somewhat like Yellowstone, but on a smaller scale, where vents release a cloud of sulfur scented steam (image #6).

The year I visited was when CA was engulfed in wildfires (2008) and every where I went, the views were smoky. It was as if the whole state was on fire. As I neared the CA/OR border, heading south in OR,  the horizon was hazy and the air became more so the farther south I traveled. See the picture with the red sun in a smoky sky (image #5). I took this shortly after entering CA.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Forest Light

I painted this from a photo I took in the Cascade Mts. of Oregon. I was taken by the way the fall sun lit up the turning leaves and seemed to turn the whole forest alight. As I painted it, I was reminded of a line from one of my favorite poems God's Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

The world is charged with the grandeur of God
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil.

8"x10" palette knife acrylic on canvas
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Two for Hallowe'en

"You Can't Eat Just One!"

Two Trick or Treat paintings for Alice Thompson's Calypso Moon Artist Movement October Hallowe'en challenge. The first one whimsical! Corn candy is one of my favorite things about this holiday - and like chips, it is hard to eat just one, hence the title.

6"x6" impasto acrylic on linen

"The Gathering of All Hallows!"
This is the second painting which is more traditional in nature, but not in how it was painted. The object of the second offering was to 'paint' with anything but a brush. Sooooo....

9"x6" acrylic on linen; painted with a sponge, palette knife, toothpick and finger.
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Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Sack Race

I liked doing this painting for Pam's Monthly Challenge. The photo had several children in it. I chose these two little girls to make the composition less complicated, as the other children were more or less overlapping each other.

6"x6" acrylic on linen
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From the Median

This painting was done for Studio Atelier October challenge. The photo was of some flowers growing in a median. As I studied the picture for a way to paint it, I imagined someone working nearby and seeing these flowers each day. One day she takes a few to put in a vase where she can enjoy them throughout her day.

3"x6" acrylic on linen.
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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bellagio Ristorante

An Italian restaurant scene painted for A Day Not Wasted October Challenge, from a photo (below) taken by Lee on his trip to Italy. I liked this challenge - the bright colors, all the detail. I can imagine myself sitting outdoors and eating some delicious dish and drinking a fine Italian wine. Italian food is my favorite, although I prefer Oregon wines.

9"x9.5" acrylic on linen
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Monday, October 4, 2010

Road to San Miguel de Allende

This was painted for Bill Guffey's Virtual Paintout October Challenge. The city is very picturesque and is filled with brightly painted architecture, narrow pitted roads. Almost all the homes are either behind walls or have iron work on the windows and door. Walls have climbing vines in brilliant shades and flowers brighten up the most humble dwellings. With all that material, it is an artists dream setting, but I couldn't seem to get into the cityscape and architectural drawing - so I looked around and found this lake - a rare nice landscape in a mostly arid and washed out countryside.

8.5"x6" acrylic on linen painted mostly with palette knife.
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Autumn Gold

I love fall. It is my favorite season. So it wasn't difficult for me to paint this picture of turning Aspens of Colorado from Gary's WildernessArt Challenge for October. He often has little animals which I am not too keen on - not too good at painting fur - but a gorgeous landscape, I'll paint anytime.

 8.5"X6" acrylic palette knife painting.
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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Do It Anyway!

One year ago this month I began painting. Such as they are, these are some of the first paintings I did. As I revisit these paintings, I see some things I would do differently today, in the way of color, values, technique and composition. I have learned a lot in this past year about painting and hopefully have improved a bit. There are many artists, especially in the online art community whose work I admire and have learned from. In any event, I am glad I took the plunge. I love painting and have fun doing it.

The title of this post "Do It Anyway" is one of my favorite songs sung by Martina McBride. These words reflect, in their own way, my philosophy in life. I believe that fear of is the great barrier to success and doing what makes you happy. And anything worth doing is worth the time and effort over the long haul, to become proficient at it, even an expert. So I keep on truckin'... and learning!

The first picture is from Devil's Tower National Monument in Wyoming. It is a little river with the French name of Belle Fourche, that ran by my campsite. The trees, I was told are very old, and were around when the Native Americans lived on this land. The Tower is sacred to many tribes who visit it even to this day and leave tokens and prayers on a sacred tree at its base. There is a bench under it for sitting and meditating. It is a very spiritual place, whose name is deceiving.

This next painting is near the mouth of the Columbia River, a stormy area near Cape Disappointment, WA.  Across the river is Astoria, Oregon. This is one of the most dangerous places for ships, so I painted this one heading to a safe cove as a storm approaches.

This last picture is of the Three Sisters, mountains near the town of Sisters in central Oregon. A very lovely place, especially when the Lupines, and other wildflowers are in bloom. This is a scene from a hike I went on along one of many trails through these mountains.

One of the things I truly love about Plein Air painting, is that the paintings don't just remind me of places I've been, but they can convey the feelings, experiences and what was special about a place because they are painted into the scene.

You can find the words to Do It Anyway here