Monday, August 18, 2014

Getting Ready for the Big Three-Oh!

16 of my daily oil paintings from this year.
Unfortunately I don't mean a landmark upcoming birthday. No I'm taking about the upcoming 30 in 30 daily painting challenge which starts on September 1. Challenge hostess Leslie Saeta suggests choosing a theme for the month.

I think this is smart because I feel some limits and boundaries actually encourage more artistic and creative freedom. Plus an art challenge like this (or one you assign yourself) keeps you motivated as well as strengthen your personal style.

So what's my 30 in 30 theme? You'll have to check back to on Sept. 1 (You won’t be too surprised given my blog name.) In the meantime here are 30 painting ideas or art themes that I considered. Even if you don't want to paint for 30 days you could just give yourself a weekly or "every Friday" challenge or whatever works best for you! Cheers from Colorado and happy painting!

1.    Pets (ask friends, relatives, local shelter to send you pics.)
2.    Your hometown (or things associated with it)
3.    Weather or climate (stormy, rainy, sunny, tropical, etc.)
4.    Your favorite foods/beverages (hot cocoa for me)
5.    Alphabet (from A to Z) or all one letter (apple, antiques, aloe, etc.)
6.    Still life in natural (outdoor) light
7.    Your hobbies other than art (cooking, gardening, music, sailing, hiking,etc.)
8.    Things associated with your state/state symbols
9.    Ode to a season or month (October things)
10.    Same time of day: All morning, all night, etc.
11.    Things found on a farm or in a garden
12.    Toys, games, etc.
13.    Phobias (that would be insects for me!)
14.    Things from the farmer’s market or grocery store
15.    Shiny or reflective objects
16.    Lucky (or unlucky) items/symbols
17.    Beachy (lighthouse, shells, waves, seagulls, flip flops, etc.)
18.    Trees (there over 700 types in North America)
19.    White and black objects (which of course are rarely all white or black)
20.    Things you use in the studio/workshop
21.    Something you’ve never painted before (or were afraid to—i.e. a selfie)
22.    Textures—fur, metal, wood, rust, etc.
23.    All plein air in your backyard or neighborhood (to save time)
24.    Things with wheels (trucks, tractors, bicycles, etc.)
25.    Specific painting technique: All pointillism, expressionism, etc.
26.    Stuff from your closet or junk drawer(especially the not so neat one)
27.    Things with letters or writing in them (signage, mugs, etc.)
28.    Something in motion or moving (the still life opposite)
29.    Different painting tool each day so palette knife, big round brush, small flat brush, etc.
30.    Rock your boat. It's a challenge after all! Paint upside down, with your left hand, glasses off, etc.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Welcome to the Bloom Town

A rainbow of summer blossoms in Breckenridge, Colorado
Happy August everyone!  As a nature painter it’s important to me each summer that I get out of the city and paint and/or take as many nature photos as I can before cooler weather comes around.  As a visual artist I also think it's helpful to change up your environment once in a while. And that doesn’t mean you have to jump on a plane to Tuscany—though that sounds pretty nice. I’m a little more practical though…

So last Saturday I took a quick trip up to charming Breckenridge, CO (which is less than 2 hours from my Denver based studio if the highway traffic isn’t too bad ).  With an apology to all my ski and snow loving friends I think the Colorado mountains are even more lovely in the summer.

The flowers in Breck (as we call casually call it) were out in full force as you can see in every color of the rainbow. I had a really relaxing time snapping photos, strolling along the Blue River, enjoying a fresh Palisades peach crepe (the most amazing crepe I’ve ever had), and checking out the many little boutiques and galleries.
Walking along the Blue River in Breckenridge, CO
 At 9,200 feet the air is so dazzling fresh and clear—perfect for taking photos and just the right amount of cool on a warm August Saturday.

And last Wednesday I also took a one day plein air workshop in Belmar Park (about 30 minutes away) with painter Jeanne McKenzie. I’ll share more about my plein air day in my next post. Aside from a rather painful bee sting to start the day it was a wonderful summer day of painting with lots of helpful outdoor painting lessons to take note of. (For example, bug spray is a must on your packing list but bug bite ointment or pain relievers are even better.)

Before I go quick thanks to my latest Twitter and Pinterest followers! I appreciate your quotidian support and creative camaraderie!