Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Daily Bread of the Eyes

"Mesa Thunder" 9x12 oil on archival linen panel
The sky is the daily bread of the eyes. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy sunny Monday everyone! The Denver Summer Art Market is less than 2 weeks away so I’m so exciting to be getting ready for the event and working on lots of new art. Looking forward to seeing all the Denver art fans there! 

Today’s oil paint alla prima cloud study was from northern New Mexico—just south of Raton. This study (which will be for sale at SAM) is also a nod to one of my favorite painters--Maynard Dixon. (Love painting skies? Please check out my Pinterest sky board.)

The change of seasons always brings new artists to my studio--so welcome new summer students! And before I get back to SAM work here are some of my fav pics from beautiful New Mexico--I loved it so much I hope to return in the fall. In the meantime--enjoy and happy warmer weather painting!
Best dessert? This dark chocolate pinon tart at the Abiquiu Inn--Amazing!
Georgia O'Keeffe country (Ghost Ranch)

Giant paint tube sculpture on Canyon Road

Colorful SF artist Barbara Meikle's palette at Passport to the Arts paint out

One of my favorite adobe homes off Canyon Road

Gorgeous red chile ristras--I never get tired of this color!

Passport to the Arts event on Canyon Road--lots of artists hard a work!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Georgia On My Mind (and Easel)

"Abiquiu Poppies" 20x24 acrylic on gallery wrap canvas--SOLD

Well! Well! Well!... This is wonderful. No one told me it was like this!Georgia O’Keeffe upon arriving in New Mexico
 Last weekend I too had a wonderful trip to the Land of Enchantment--New Mexico. Thankfully Santa Fe is only about 6 hours from my studio in Denver. It’s easy to see why artists so many artists and painters call this beautiful state their home. (Love New Mexico too? You'll enjoy my Pinterest New Mexico art board.)

There are endless artistic and cultural influences in New Mexico but one artist who clearly left her mark and legacy on the region is of course Georgia O’Keeffe.  Whether you’re a fan  or not, I see her as an artistic pioneer. 

Not only did she find success as a woman over 100 years ago but she also elevated “simple floral”  paintings to fine art. And she clearly loved the New Mexico high desert landscape and nature. Today’s colorful poppies painting was inspired by my trip to O’Keeffe country. (Available at the Summer Art Market in a few weeks.)

As part of my trip, I planned an entire O’Keeffe “immersion” day starting early at the Georgia O’Keeffe museum in Santa Fe. One of the featured exhibits were her atypical tropical Hawaii paintings. Did you know she went to Hawaii?
O'Keeffe in Maui in 1939
 There’s an interesting New York Times article about her excursion —20 years before Hawaii’s statehood. Here’s one of her beautiful ginger floral paintings she painted for--of all things--a Dole pineapple ad which you can see here. 
O'Keeffe painted this ginger flower for this Dole pineapple ad circa 1940
The other highlight at the museum was a display of O'Keeffe's studio supplies, props, etc. as well as her easel.  On the large canvas was an unfinished light tree painting sketch (charcoal?) as if frozen in time waiting for the artist to return.
O'Keeffe studio table, supplies, easel and unfinished painting in progress
After the museum I drove directly to her studio and home in Abiquiu (space is limited so be sure to RSVP online before you visit). Unfortunately, photos are not allowed at the site (which is also a national landmark) but in my next post I"ll share some pics of the area including Ghost Ranch and a fantastic pie I had. (Yes...Chocolate was involved.)

Love to shop for art? Reminder that Denver’s Summer Art Market is June 7 and 8. Hope to see everyone there if you’re in town. Remember the Market is open longer hours on Sat. until 7P.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The "Keys" to a Still Life Painting: Daniel Keys Demo

Daniel Keys alla prima still life painting demo @ Gallery 1261
Happy May everyone! My artist demos are popular posts, so I hope you’ll enjoy these photos from the Daniel J. Keys alla prima still life oil painting demo a few weekends ago. Daniel was visiting Denver as one of the featured artists  at Gallery 1261 this month.
Daniel Keys at work at Gallery 1261
Even those he’s relatively young Daniel’s a seasoned painter (who has studied with Richard Schmid) and popular workshop instructor who work I’ve admired for years. I particularly enjoy his gorgeous  floral paintings (such as this one) and was really looking forward to seeing him paint in person.
Daniel Keys Still Life Oil Painting (those roses are amazing.)
For those of you who enjoy still life painting you probably know that arranging your still life items for a successful painting can be half the battle.  When I asked Daniel about this he said he may take an entire day back in his studio to arrange his objects.

I'm always interested to see how other painters start a painting As you can see, Daniel begins with a quick tonal wash.  After a fairly quick sketch in of the subject he made note of his darkest darks and lightest lights which provides a helpful value range for the painting. FYI, here’s a link to his palette colors and favorite materials.
Daniel Keys Palette (he noted that he usually paints on gray rather than white)

Did notice that Daniel changed the green lid of the jar to a more “harmonious” gold? I love seeing artistic license at work! Daniel also offers several DVDs that take you step by step through his still life process. And here’s a very interesting article about his time management tips and studio habits

P.S. Looking for more still life painting ideas and inspiration? Check out my Pinterest board “Not so Still Life.