Thursday, October 28, 2010

Autumn (in Progress)

Happy Thursday! Keep telling myself that autumn is a favorite time for many artists and I'm doing my best to embrace the changes and let summer go, but it's never easy...Here's an autumn inspired abstract in progress that's almost done, but not quite. I thought a longer, tall format would be a challenge...

I also created "living" stamps from the leaves in my yard which often end up looking like colorful, layered flora fossils. Another busy week, getting a show submission ready and meeting some great new fall students. Don't want to jinx the show entry so I'll let you know later if I get in.

One of the best aspects about teaching and being an online artist is that I'm always discovering new painters  that I would have likely never found on my own. For those of you who enjoy unusual landscapes, one of my students who hails from the South lent me a gorgeous book called Marsh Mission that features dramatic, colorful marsh and bayou paintings by artist Rhea Gary.

If you're like me, I'm always looking for art related TV shows. So I was thrilled (not an exaggeration) to discover that our Denver cable now has the Create TV Channel. It's kind of a "best of" art, cooking, crafts, travel, etc. PBS channel that we now have in Denver. I'm really looking forward to watching Passport & Palette which starts in a few weeks.

Questions about painting? Please feel free to email me. Also, in November, I'm offering just for fun a FREE short (and friendly) critique for anyone who would like to send me a painting. Thanks and enjoy the rest of your day! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Three Pair

Happy Tuesday everyone! In preparation for some upcoming fall shows, I'm working on some small oil paintings this week such as this 8x10 colorful study of pears. I really wanted do paint something with a bold light and shadow separation. In my kitchen I have a large wooden bowl on my counter under one of my windows and the light patterns are always interesting. Here, you can see some of the window pane shadow falling on the pears. I was particularly drawn to the unexpected silver of turquoise reflected light behind the pear on the right. 

The title of this piece is a nod to one of my greatest passions outside the art world: Poker. This time every year, I watch every hand of the WSOP Main Event coverage each Tuesday night on ESPN. I'm not sure if it's my Scandinavian heritage or growing up in the snowbound Midwest (euchre anyone??), but I've always loved playing cards. If I had unlimited funds my days would probably become an amalgam of poker and paint (which for those of you who know poker lingo is also a good thing). In the meantime though better get back to reality and the studio.

I hope to have some info soon on shows, demos, and other events so stayed tuned. Thanks for stopping by--I'm off to the tables.      

Friday, October 15, 2010

Late Bloomer

Happy Fall Friday everyone! Before I forget a quick thanks again to my students who endured my month long master suite renovation. Particularly shaky moments like tub no. 1 not fitting, running out of paint (Mythic brand Misty Windowpane FYI), and the brief but nonetheless troubling power outage. Anyway, I'm happy to say it's over now. (If I get brave enough, I'll post the makeover but the "before" is rather scary. Maybe closer to Halloween!)

When someone asks me about the benefits of painting with watercolor, for me I say it's the most relaxing and zen like media, despite it's willful tendencies. Add flowers as a subject matter and it's one of my favorite, go to art recipes. Not only is each species of flower unique, but flowers naturally embody a wealth of design elements such repetition, gradation, dominance, etc. And of course floral subjects are the perfect excuse to use some of those really intense pigments. As much as I love red obviously, pink roses from almost silver pale to deep magenta are my favorite so that's what I decided to paint this week and also in honor of October.

For more fall paintings, visit the October painting challenge on the Artists Helping Artists Blog. I sent my community garden green tomato painting post from yesterday. Thanks again Leslie and Dreama for hosting this! Your weekly Blog Talk Radio show helps keep me motivated in the studio every week. I'm really looking forward to the Kevin MacPherson interview next week. Have a great weekend everyone, happy fall painting!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Go Green! Go White!

Busy week, but I've had a great time painting this oil study of late season green tomatoes that I spotted in a community garden last weekend up in Golden, Colorado in honor of my beloved MSU Spartans who had a fantastic game on Saturday.  I'm not exactly a huge football fan but I will always love all things Spartan. (Sorry Wolverine friends and family--maybe next time!)

On a sports related color note, I also attended a wonderful  high school back in Michigan, but we had very challenging team colors: Brown and Gold. Wait it gets worse. It was always in plaid. Yes, plaid. Now there are some lovely tartans out there--this is not one of them. It simply doesn't look good on anyone especially as a tennis skirt or swimsuit. Not slimming, trust me. So I was quick to embrace the emerald green and white we wore so proudly each day especially in fall along the beautiful banks of the Red Cedar River.

Well enough collegiate nostalgia, better back to the studio. First, a very proud shout out to my acrylic painting students Lisa and Andy. Both were accepted into this week's Gone to the Dogs fundraising show at the Knoll Gallery. Awesome job ladies! I can't wait to see your pieces at the opening on Friday.

My other inspiration for working on this piece was taking Jonathan Aller's new online painting course. While I'm typically a looser more impressionistic painter, I learned several valuable tips, particularly to slow way down when I paint. I truly believe painting is at least 50 percent observation followed by accurate recording. . As always if you are interested in classes, a workshop, or friendly art critique please drop me a line--I'd love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by and go Spartans!