Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yesterday's Apple & Blurbing

Happy Thursday everyone! I've spent almost all day working on my new art book from Blurb--a site where you can create your own book of text, photos, imagery whatever you. I noticed several other artists were using Blurb on the web and I so I've had creating a book on my art "to do" list for a while now.

It's also been insightful and emotional to sift through almost a decade of folders of past paintings--some hits, some misses. Some I barely remember. And of course, I'm already mourning a few pieces that I just can't find an image for and have long lost the buyer's name (note to self!).  I'm pleased to say that many of the paintings were sold years ago though  so a quick thanks to all my collectors over the years for your support!

There's something very cathartic about bringing all your art together in one place. Though trying to decide what to put on the cover is much tougher than I thought it would be. Abstract? Landscape? Animal? I don't think I'll able to choose just one. 

While I'm creating the book (working title Colorful Connections, of course) mostly for myself and family, I plan to have a link where you can purchase the book if you like through Blurb

When I ordered Carol Marine's Blurb book last week, in addition to looking forward to seeing 100 of her beautiful, jewel-like daily oil paintings, I was eager to see the quality. And I was very pleased given the reasonable price for a 4-color 100 page book. Blurb also has a Blurb bookstore where you can search for other artists or art topics such as daily painting. Another attractive daily painting book I spotted Clair Hartmann's Yesterday's Paintings--isn't that a fantastic cover??

I also spent just a few minutes this morning checking out an oil painting instructional DVD I ordered from another busy Daily Painter and Teacher, Hall Groat II.  He has a wide variety of DVDs, but as a foodie and a painter, I couldn't resist Painting Desserts DVD. Though I may need to pick up a few "pastry models" at my favorite French bakery (Trompeau if you are ever in the Denver area) in order to practice tomorrow. OK. Better get back to my book.

Bon soir everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Squeeze Me

Aren't lemons great? They have a sunny hue and an interesting boxy but tapered shape. I particularly enjoy painting lemons very high key with lots of white mixed with violets, oranges, yellows, and greens. The more I read other artists blogs or read artist interviews, the more I feel compelled and inspired to practice my small "daily" oil painting studies from life. So a quick thanks to all the other daily painters out there.

Here, my goal was to play with a "yellow shape" on top of a yellow background (in this case a yellow file folder). Tomorrow, I might try a plum on a purple or violet background and possibly have some more dramatic lighting so I can play with the light and shadow more.

Speaking of light and shadow, last Friday, I went to see Quang Ho's very interesting slide presentation and talk in Greenwood Village. And while Quang is certainly well known, I was pleasantly surprised to see a standing room only turnout for an artist presentation. Quang was the judge for this year's All Colorado Art Show which runs through August 6 at the Curtis Arts Center. FYI, best of show went to a lively, colorful oil still life (reminiscent of one of my all time personal favorites Janet Fish) by artist Sharon Holsapple.
Finally, my title today is also a nod to my favorite "in the studio" music band, Squeeze, the brilliant (IMHO) British pop band. The guys are touring the US this summer and I was beyond thrilled to see them over the weekend in both Aspen and Denver (yes, I saw the same band in less than 24 hours.)  And I'm not ashamed to say I wish I was in Vegas tonight to see them again.

Those of you who paint and listen to music know how uplifting, comforting, and entertaining audio inspiration can be in an otherwise lonely studio. So thanks and cheers Chris & Glenn for helping me out in the studio for so many years! I'll be the first in line to buy your Spot the Difference CD next Tuesday.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Trip to Bountiful

Usually, I tell my students that you can't go too wrong if you keep things simple while painting. And normally, I try to adhere to my own advice but once in a while I don't get that message. This multi-layered oil painting on panel took me a few weeks from start to finish. It contains a kitchen sink of techniques--some new and some tried and true.

Just a few include painting the first layer with Golden Acrylics an old gift card (Victoria Secret BTW for those of you who like details) and scraping the paint over the gessoed Masonite board (18 x 18). (This idea came from an online demo I saw a while ago of an artist creating an entire painting with plastic cards as brushes.)

I also built up additional texture with a thick gesso using a variety of tools such as palette knife, stamping, and some stencils. Lately, I've been really drawn to waxy encaustic paintings and so I glazed some of the shapes back with milky opaque colors. This piece started out as a purely abstract color study demo for one of my abstract students with reds and golds. When a figure and face began to emerge I decided to work with that imagery. I added the dream catcher at the bottom just for "good luck" and because I love circles.

Quick thanks to all my students who continue to work hard and paint during the summer--I know it's a season with many other temptations. I love seeing each week what you are working on from dogs to pheasants, from florals to seascapes to aspens. Speaking of aspens, this weekend I'm off to Aspen and can't wait to take some photos up there. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yupo Nalu

Nalu, as some of you may know, means wave in Hawaiian. One of my younger students, this week painted this gorgeous frothy wave on Yupo with Golden Fluid Acrylics. We had a great time working with the wave pattern and texture with spraying both rubbing alcohol and water directly into the wet acrylics which tend to hover on the Yupo surface until dry.

We also added some freshly ground sea salt into the Quin Gold for the sandy texture beneath the wave.  For the wave colors we used Thalo Blue, Turquoise, some Quin Magenta, as well as a touch of Hansa Medium and Crimson.

It's been a joy to be back this week painting in the studio and I'll be posting 2 new pieces soon, one oil abstract figure and one acrylic abstract horse. While working, I've also been busy listening to some very inspirational and informative Blog Talk Radio shows called Artists Helping Artists.

I loved their recent interview with well-known daily painter Carol Marine about daily painting and what it's meant to her and her career. I hope I can get to one of her workshops at some point, if I can find one that's not full! But in the meantime, I really looking forward to her book 100 Small Paintings which I ordered earlier this week. Mahalo everyone & happy painting!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Break & Inspiration

Greetings Everyone from the Studio!
I hope you all enjoying your summer. I'm back from a bit of a creative hiatus but hope to be in full swing now. Many thanks to all of you who were kind enough to check in with me! The summer has been unusually busy. I was out of town for a while as well as working on some non art projects, but I'm back and in the studio this week and very excited to work on a new series of projects in the next few weeks.

First, a quick welcome to all my new summer students! I think it's wonderful how many people I meet every week who are willing to take the time out of their busy lives to explore their creative side. 

Last week I was lucky enough to be up in the Vail/Edwards part of Colorado and went to an intimate but  very nice outdoor art festival in Edwards where I spotted this larger than life paint encrusted palette that I just had to photograph for inspiration. In between painting, I always try to keep looking for inspiration when I can.

At the Vail International Gallery, for example, I came across the amazing landscape paintings of Colorado artist John Taft. While his colors are more muted than my own palette, I was really drawn to his atmosphere and composition. As Colorado painter, I've seen many mountain and aspen paintings in my time, so it's always interesting when this subject matter catches my eye in a new way.

And I always find some ideas and inspiration at our Cherry Creek Art Festival which featured over 230 exhibitors from around the country. It was great to see some new artists that I caught my eye as well as some old favorites return. For example, I've always enjoyed Phyllis Stapler's colorful and contemporary animal paintings.

While I'm not usually drawn to really tight realism, I loved Richard Hall's stunning oil still lifes with natural elements. I just had to stop and compliment his rendering of tricky textures and he and his wife could not have been nicer. Speaking of still lifes, I also enjoyed the brush work and subtle color harmonies in Kelley Somer's work. Another artist that I've really come to enjoy this summer is Mark Adams--as many of you know I love animals and food (but not in that combination!) so I really look forward to his blog postings. 

OK, no lack of inspiration. Time to get to back in the art saddle so I can post some paintings this week. Have a great week and as always feel free to write to me about my art, classes, or any other art topics you may have a question about. Namaste!