Wednesday, February 29, 2012

More paintings...

Just bought my first ArtByte Tutorial on Daily Paintworks. They are mini workshops (sort of) by Carol Marine (and others in the future). They are priced on the iPhone App model (cheap). Just loved it. Now if I can just apply it - I aspire to paint looser and cleaner more like Carol. I was lucky enough to be present when she did a demo for Plein Air Austin several years ago. I learned so much from watching her. I will probably purchase every tutorial she publishes.
147 "Green Pastures" 6x6 oil on board

The paintings below were done this week (before I watched her tutorial). I must say I was very pleased with some of them. See what you think.

145 "Sunny Flower" 5x5 oil on board

149 "Mountain Laurel & Friends" 6x6 oil on board

146 "Sun Tinged Copse" 5x5 oil on board
I have discovered that on the days when nothing works, a sunflower is the perfect answer for me. I always love to paint them and they always cheer me up. No matter what else has gone wrong a sunflower seems to come out well. So whenever you see I've submitted a sunflower for my Daily Painting you can be fairly sure I've wiped out several failed paintings before resorting to my go-to image.
148 "Sunflower Reprise" 5x5 oil on board
144 "Pecking Order" 6x6 oil on board

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Reminder That I Promised Tips as Well as Art

Michael left a very kind comment on my blog thanking me for the art and the tips. It reminded me that although I promised art and tips, the tips have been few and far between. That said I decided to start making a concerted effort to share at least one new idea I've learned or one new product I've found useful each week or two.

Dollar Store laundry dryer
So to get started this week's tip is the best way I've found to dry my brushes after cleaning them. This is inexpensive (downright cheap) and dries the brushes in the best possible position to keep them from getting too much water in ferules. I clean my brushes and then use a plastic drying rack designed to dry panty hose and such. These are easily found in most dollar stores, dime stores, etc. Mine cost a dollar. It can hold up to 16 brushes hanging vertically with the brush part down and the handle clamped into the clothes pins at the top.

Something else I've decided to do, which I must admit, I've stolen from other daily painters, is to start numbering each of my paintings so I can keep better track of them, so from now on, each painting will have a number and a name. I find I've painted the same subject several times when it's one I particularly enjoy or feel challenged by. For example I've probably painted Mount Sopris a dozen times or more and will probably continue to. This way I will find it easier to identify which one is which. Today I uploaded my 144th painting to Daily Paintworks, so tomorrow's painting will be #145??? (I have no idea what it will be yet, we shall see).

141 "Plum Assignment" 10x8 oil on canvas
142 "Bird in the Bush" 8x10 oil on canvas
This past week I took a 3 day workshop with Qiang Huang (Chong Wong). If you'd like to see his beautiful work, I've added a link to his blog at the bottom right of this page. The workshop was on still life which has not been my favorite subject in the past. I'm now rethinking that. I learned a lot and really enjoyed the challenge of working with still life. During the course of the workshop we got to watch Qiang paint two gorgeous paintings. He offered Powerpoint presentations on his methods and also on the basics of painting (composition, value, color, etc). Each day we set up a still life and painted it while he came around to give us constructive critiques and assistance in how to correct our errors. On the last day he gave us an overview of how to market our art. A blog, Daily Paintworks or E-Bay, and an e-mail list were all important pieces of marketing for the beginning artist. I was glad to know I had already stumbled onto some of the recommended marketing avenues, and Qiang taught me some new tricks to do with them. The three paintings I did in the workshop are below. I think all 3 are a significant improvement on my previous still life attempts.
140 "Tea for One" 8x10 oil on canvas

In addition to these three workshop paintings, I also managed to knock out the following since my last post:

"Hill Country Drought" 6x6 oil on board
138 "Road to Nowhere" 6x6 oil on board
143 "Track to the Top" 8x8 oil on board

135 "SWEET" 6x6 oil on board

137 "Resting Longhorn" 6x6 oil on board
139 "Marathon" 6x6 oil on board

"Alley Parking" 10 x8 pastel on Wallis paper on board
 My other big news is that one of my paintings "Alley Parking" has been accepted to the Austin Pastel Society's 2012 Juried Show. I am so excited to have the opportunity to show with such a talented bunch of artists. The painting that juror, Dawn Emerson, selected is "Alley Parking". It is a 10" x 8" pastel of a scene I caught sight of in Salida Colorado when we were on our way back from our Christmas holiday with my husband's family. This slushy alley was bright with lined up kayaks and canoes against the wall and the "No Parking" sign. It was such an unusual sight that I had to run back with my camera to save it for painting fodder.  I've done a similar one in oil also.

Monday, February 13, 2012

This Week's Painting Adventures

"White on White" 8x10 oil on canvas
"Cruiser" 6x6 oil on board - SOLD
"Main Street" 6x6 oil on board
"Hill Country Vista" 8x10 oil on canvas board
"Don't Get Up on My Account" 6x6 oil on board
This week I painted with my friend, Susan in her studio, attended life drawing, and took a day trip out to Johnson City to paint at The Preserve at Walnut Springs in addition to working in my own studio. I'm so glad I bought the smallest of the EasyL plein air easels. It certainly makes schlepping my gear around much easier. Our paint-in at Susan's was so we could both work on the "White on White" Challenge proposed by Daily Paintworks. Susan and I set up a still life using items she had around her house and then painted the same scene from different vantage points. It was a fun way to spend an afternoon. Our paintings turned out very differently, but we were both happy with them. Mine suffered an accident on the way home when I had to stop suddenly and my purse fell on it. Fortunately it did little noticeable damage to the painting and all the paint on my purse eventually came off with enough polish and elbow grease.

I have not been posting my life drawing paintings although I try to go weekly if I can. I have not been happy with the results which points to the need to be more diligent in attending the sessions. Practice, practice, practice. I painted "Cruiser" from a photo I took in Salida, CO., on our way home from the Christmas holidays. I loved the red around the whitewalls on the tires. I was very pleased with the way this one turned out and even more pleased when it sold to a repeat customer the first day it was posted to DPW. "Main Street was one I painted when I was tired and did not want to post the painting I did in the life drawing session, so I stayed up and tried to do this. The photo was far too complex. There was so much going on that I had to simplify and after putting things in and taking them out several times, this is what I ended up with. I may try this one again with a clearer head.

Saturday was beautiful but cold. Susan and I headed bright and early to Johnson City as our group, Plein Air Austin, were the guests of The Preserve at Walnut Springs for a day of painting their gorgeous property. Jasmin, their marketing director, greeted us with cookies, hot coffee, juice and more in the lovely club house. The property was stunning. Beautiful wide open views, trees, creeks, gullies, deer, longhorn cattle and more. We picked a sunny spot with a beautiful view and got to work. The wind was so strong my easel actually went over once, but I caught it before any damage could befall my painting. The cold forced us inside for hot tea and thawing but we managed to get good paintings out of it. (See "Hill Country Vista" above). We also took time to drive around the property and take lots of photos for future painting fodder. The longhorns were impressive. They were all laying down just off one of the roads when we found them so we got out of the car to snap some photos. They really are huge creatures. I was trying to get closer to #46 to get a good close up when she lumbered to her feet startling us both. Hence the title to my next painting "Don't Get Up on My Account". I decided caution was the better part of valor so I did not approach any closer. Don't be surprised to see more longhorns and views from The Preserve at Walnut Springs in my future paintings. I really enjoyed the scenery there.

Oh, lest I forget to brag, this week has been a new personal best for me with 6 paintings sold (or selling at auction) on DPW. David, Carol and Jennifer Marine you guys rock - Daily Paintworks has been such a wonderful find for me and I can't tell you how much pleasure I get from being able to show and sell my work there.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Floral Fun

"Geranium Vase" 6x6 oil on canvas board
"Just Add Water" 6x6 oil on canvas board
This week I found myself painting a lot of subjects but enjoying the florals most. Geraniums, sunflowers and orchids. I also painted one of our favorite restaurants, Julio's, in Hyde Park.
"Sunflower Trio" 6x6 oil on board

"Julio's" 8x10 oil on canvas board
I also did a small landscape from one of our Colorado trips and a new pastel of Mount Sopris which is currently on display on the second floor of the Georgetown Library in the Austin Pastel Society group show there. The artist's reception for the show will be this Sunday, February 5th from 2 to 4 pm.
"Reflective Moment" 6x6 oil on board
"Sopris" 8x10 pastel on Wallis paper mounted on gatorboard

Most of these paintings are available from Daily Paintworks. Click here for info.