Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pear Cactus

My artist friends who paint together on Tuesdays and Fridays were a bit short on what to paint tomorrow, so I remembered some pretty good cactus photos I had taken on a trip to West Texas and volunteered a drawing. You probably can imagine what came next...after I had the drawing done, I decided to paint it. And, my thought in this little quarter sheet piece was to throw some paint on and paint fast and loose. I've posted the wet first step with just sloping new gamboge, quin gold, prem rose, and some turquoise that was on my pallete in a very loose swash. Of course, I had the drawing down and lots of masking for those prickley cactus needles. Next step was to find the ripe pears on the cactus and have fun with their colors. I tried to retain some of the colors (that you don't usually find on cactus) on the pears and the actual cactus before going in with the greens. If I ever play with this drawing again, I'll probably use some magentas and several blues in some places rather than leaving the whites. Who knows...just depends on how the day goes.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Nothing like getting home and sleeping in my own bed after spending the better part of the week in Dallas babysitting. My daughter was out of town on business and I kept our little 4 1/2yr old granddaughter. She is a little doll and is so very good, but it's still a handful for someone who's used to not having a little one around going and doing 24/7. We had a very inspiring thread going on Artcolony and I'm really up for getting back to my painting after a week. When we were painting with our ArtRetreat bunch last week, we did paint a "free form...whatever goes" tulip I drew off so maybe I'll post that on Tuesday when we paint again. Anyway, feels good to be back with my paint and brushes.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


This painting will be a new challenge for me in that I've never painted reflective silver before. I bought this little collander last month and have been itching to paint something with better on a really cold and cloudy day than red cherries? I work dark to light, so I just had to get into those dark reflections first and I am about l 1/2 hours into the painting. Have some decisions to make about where my green in the collander is coming from before I go any further as there is really no green other than the few cherry stems in the reference photo. Maybe I'll make a window out of that background or something...who knows? I just wanted to introduce a bit more color. When I was in the Paul Jackson workshop several weeks ago, we used indigo and I was totally unfamiliar with it and it's habits. I've used it again here with some neutral tint added to take the blue down. This is I may get it finished today.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Crystal in Blue

Our challenge on ArtColony this month is "Things We Love" and both this crystal bowl and my fabulous Nikko blue hydrangeas are things that I absolutely love. This is a painting a have had tucked back for a while as I do not consider it finished. Can't decide on a few things that I want to adjust value-wise. An artist friend once told me that if I really couldn't decide which direction I wanted to go, put the brush down and don't do anything. So, that's what I've done with this painting. I do like it though and just love painting crystal. This is 15x22 on Arches 140# CP paper. Colors were AJ cobalt, UMB, turquoise, perm rose, quin magenta, quin burnt orange, and new gamboge.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Purple Funyuns

Kay Smith, an artist friend from Big Spring, came up with he name for this "folly". What was originally a pile of purple figs has turned into a pile of purple onions. What was originally a horizontal painting turned into a vertical painting the longer I kept at it. All artists have projects that just don't work for some reason or the other, and this is one for me. I loved the subject, but this just does not please me and I thought I'd share my thoughts here. Nothing an artist ever paints is a waste! Artists always learn, and as with everything in life, some of the best lessons learned are failures. In evaluating this piece, the failure is mainly in the design. I am not gifted with the ability to come up with lights and shadows to give a painting correctness and to my eyes, this is evident here. There are good lights and darks in some individual passages, but as an overall composition there is not a strong element of design and this is my main objection here. Good lesson learned...take the time to #l do a value sketch if you have questions, or #2, always work from a photograph with correct shadows and values. Kay is coming to Noonday in the Spring to conduct a workshop and she has the gift of taking failed paintings and resurrecting them. I'll defer to Kay on this one. This will be a good challenge.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Purple Onions WIP

This painting started out as purple figs, but my little 7 year old grandson, Henry, said "Grammy, I like your purple onions" so guess it's onions I'm painting rather than figs. This photo is on the dark side, but it's rainy outside today and I took the pic inside. This one is really fun to paint in that I can be rather loosey-goosey and just throw in colors as I please. I even rather like that orange onion next to the dark purple one. Those are the only two that I'd consider probably finished at this point. I'm working from the right corner to left this time, so there is a good bit of glazing and shadow-work to be done yet...not to mention that I'm still drawing on it here and there. One of our granddaughters (Addy, 9 mos.) was here this weekend and gave us both colds, so we're just sorry it isn't the weekend so we can lay around and watch the SuperBowl and all the pre-game stuff. On second thought, I don't need an excuse to just lay around. I can always paint.