Friday, October 21, 2016

Waving Tassels, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2016
Click to purchase $120 + s/h

This is another painting from St. Simons Island, after Hurricane Matthew. At one point, the storm forecasters were predicting that the storm might wipe out all the beaches and flood the island, if "the surge" coincided with a high tide. Fortunately, it did not. The beach is intact. People are out walking their dogs and children are picking up shells.The sea grasses are waving and glistening as if Matthew had never been a threat. It's the simple things that we sometimes take for granted... this was a good reminder to really "see" our world, and to breathe it all in.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Rising Tide Waters and a visit to St. Simons after the hurricane

Rising Tide Waters, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2016

Many of you have been kind enough to remember my connection to St. Simons Island on the Georgia coast, and to ask how our family weathered Hurricane Matthew. Thank you for that. It was a nerve-racking time for us to be far away as the wind and waves were charging the coast. 

The island was closed for 5 days, and as soon as it opened back up, I got myself down there to check on things. Felled trees were the biggest problem across the island, and some areas were hit pretty hard. One neighborhood lost 700 trees... hard to believe... and if you have been there you know how beautiful those trees are. Overall, I am thrilled to report that the island was spared the widespread flooding and damage that was predicted. Our family and home-away-from-home are safe and sound. I even got out to paint a few times, and was relieved to stand before this gorgeous, golden marsh again, with brush in hand. 

But here is the most important thing to know... I saw neighbors helping neighbors and a very grateful community working together. Disasters often bring out the best in people. Have you noticed that? There is still work to be done (there and all along the coast where Matthew hit), but the camaraderie was a beautiful sight to witness. And our sparkling little island is still there. Thanks be to God! 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hill Country Bell Tower

Hill Country Bell Tower, 12 x 9, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2016

Today was a beautiful fall day in Texas... a liiiiittle bit cooler (okay, to some of you it would still seem hot, but we'll take it) and crystal blue skies. Plein Air Austin had a paintout scheduled at this lovely outdoor chapel in the Hill Country, called Chapel Dulcinea. It's not only a great painting place with quiet vistas all around, it's a gorgeous, intimate wedding venue. A pretty cool fact is that getting married here is actually FREE... couples need only reserve it with a down payment that is returned when they use it. How awesome is that? Pretty rare in this day and age... Read about it HERE.

"Laurel Daniel - Oil Painting for Beginners" 
4 Hrs 15 min - DVD or Digital Download - $35 + s/h

Monday, September 26, 2016


NEW VIDEO: "Laurel Daniel - Oil Painting for Beginners" 
Available at Liliedahl Art Instruction Videos 
4 Hrs 15 min - DVD or Digital Download - $35 + s/h

Dear Friends, I have been waiting patiently to share this exciting news with you!! MY NEW INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO HAS JUST BEEN RELEASED! WOO HOO!!! I am thrilled, to say the least!!! So, here is what it's all about... 

I was approached last summer to do this and worked hard with my producer, Eric Rhoads, to present "everything you need to know" about getting started in oil painting. Segments include basic information for beginners on supplies and how to use them, setting up studio space, color mixing, values and clean-up. It also contains several demos, including a "paint along" demo of my painting process from start to finish, which will be useful to beginners and experienced painters alike. 

Click HERE to see a short YouTube trailer about the video...

Please check it out and/or share it with interested painting friends!!! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hydrangea Bouquet - on display in the annual American Women Artists Member Show!

Hydrangea Bouquet, 20 x 20, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2016
Available at The Bennington 

I am very pleased to be participating in the annual American Women Artists Members Show. This is the first time in many years that I haven't made it to the festivities, but it just wasn't possible this time around. Thanks to Facebook and friends posting, I can experience a bit of the fun through pictures and stories being shared! If you are near Bennington, Vermont, please go see the show. It's always over-the-top inspiring and a feast for the eyes!

American Women Artists - Annual Member Show
The Bennington Center for the Arts
Bennington, Vermont
Show runs through November 13
Reception: Friday, September 23, 5-8 pm

Monday, September 19, 2016

Workshop Wrap-up

Pear Demo, 6 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2016

This weekend I taught a still life workshop that focused on the relationship between color and form. My students were hard working - they listened, and experimented and trusted me. :) It was so much fun in every way! It's never enough time. 

This little demo kicked off our time together... a lesson on process AND on building a painting using the "7 Elements of Art" - line, space, value, color, shape, texture and form.
Line and Space


Color and Shape

Texture and Form

Here are some classroom out-takes... see what I mean?? Very focused!!!! 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Summer Cloud Drifts

Summer Cloud Drifts, 10 x 8, L. Daniel © 2016

There is nothing like drifting clouds on a summer day to calm the soul. Wouldn't you agree? Technically, it is still summer (until the autumn equinox), and here in Texas it still feels like summer. But, September! How did that get here so soon? Kids are back in school, routines are getting established, and activities are starting back up. Routine is good, (we all do much better), but I do love the cloud drifting days! 

2016 Upcoming Workshops:
Still Life: Color and Form - September 16-17, Austin, 512-323-6380 
En Plein Air: Shape and Movement - November 4-5, Austin, 512-323-6380
Both FULL with wait lists.

2017 Upcoming Workshop:
Strong Starts En plein air - March 30 - April 1, 2017, St. Simons Island, GA
Contact Anderson Fine Art Gallery, 912-634-8414

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Seaside Lookout

Seaside Lookout, 12 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2016

Perfect shade... dappled light... ocean breeze... oh, the glad freedom of summer!!! Painting this view was really delightful. Until... I looked up and saw a girl with her cell phone looking for Pokemon. Let's just say I was a little worried that I was about to be swarmed. Then, she went away and I was back to my peaceful, seaside quiet. (Apparently, Pokemon was somewhere else. Thank goodness!)

Please join me at these upcoming fall workshops:
Still Life: Color and Form - September 16-17, 2016, 9am-4pm.
En Plein Air: Shape and Movement - November 4-5, 2016, 9am-4pm. 

Contact: The Contemporary Austin School of Art 512-323-6380, or click HERE.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunlit Terrace

Sunlit Terrace, 12 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2016

This is one of the summer cottages in the millionaire's village on Jekyll Island in Georgia. It's especially dramatic in the slanted morning light. I love imagining a family "taking tea" on the terrace next to the house. It must have been a great playground for the kids in those families!

Please join me at these upcoming fall workshops:
Still Life: Color and Form - September 16-17, 2016, 9am-4pm.
En Plein Air: Shape and Movement - November 4-5, 2016, 9am-4pm. 

Contact: The Contemporary Austin School of Art 512-323-6380, or click HERE.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Ready and Waiting - with Process Shots

Ready and Waiting, 8 x 16, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2016

Rows of boats always compel me to stop and take a closer look. Their shapes and lines create interesting rhythms across the landscape. I loved how these were peeking through the foliage and catching the light. It was fun to get just a suggestion of the hulls and masts!

Here are a few process shots from the scene to the finish. I have to admit that once I start painting, I forget to stop and take pictures, so there are a few missing steps. (Best laid plans, as they say!!!)

The scene from my easel

 My block in

Adding color

Final painting

Painting friends... 
Please join me at these upcoming fall workshops:
Still Life: Color and Form - September 16-17, 2016, 9am-4pm.
En Plein Air: Shape and Movement - November 4-5, 2016, 9am-4pm. 

Contact: The Contemporary Austin School of Art 512-323-6380, or click HERE.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Beach Walking Day

Beach Walking Day, 12 x 16, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2016

Walking the beach is one of my favorite things to do, and these folks had the right idea... they got out early to beat the heat (like me)! I didn't initially plan to include the people, but they seemed to walk right in! I couldn't say no. ;)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Warm Welcome - Fall Workshop Info

Warm Welcome, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel  © 2016
Click to purchase $120 + $16 s/h

This welcoming entrance belongs to a friend of mine here in Austin. Her gardens and entire homestead is a delight to behold! In addition, she is such a generous soul, she allows me (and other painters) to come over to paint all the time. The gorgeous back lighting in this scene stopped me dead in my tracks! Many thanks for another sweet morning of painting, JM! 

Please join me at these upcoming fall workshops:
Still Life: Color and Form - September 16-17, 2016, 9am-4pm.
En Plein Air: Shape and Movement - November 4-5, 2016, 9am-4pm. 

Contact: The Contemporary Austin School of Art 512-323-6380, or click HERE.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Wild Sunflowers

Wild Sunflowers, 16 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2016

These Sunflowers are abundant in Texas at this time of year. They seem to thrive on the heat and searing light, and pop up spontaneously in the wild. I love them BECAUSE of their resilience, and also for their wispy and whimsical beauty.

Painters, please join me at my Austin workshops this fall...
Still Life: Color and Form - September 16-17, 2016, 9am-4pm.
En Plein Air: Shape and Movement - November 4-5, 2016, 9am-4pm. 

Registration begins at The Contemporary Austin School of Art on August 9 for Members (by phone 512-323-6380) and August 11 for Public (by phone and online). For catalog and more info: Click HERE.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Courtyard Umbrellas

Courtyard Umbrellas, 12 x 9, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2016

This is one of my favorite plein air pieces of the summer, and another from my painting days on Jekyll Island. This courtyard sits outside of Crane Cottage which was built in 1917 for Richard T. Crane. Crane, a manufacturer from Chicago, was part of the "Millionaire's Club" that gathered for fun and frolic on the island back in the day. Now, this cottage is home to a restaurant called "Courtyard at Crane" that serves up delicious lunches. I brought my own lunch that day, but it's charm, charm, charming inside too!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Windswept Turret

Windswept Turret, 16 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2016
Available at Anderson Gallery

Back in May, I had a couple of fun days painting on Jekyll Island at the Georgia coast. The Jekyll Island Club Hotel always captures my imagination, not only because of its gorgeous Queen Anne architecture, but also because of its interesting history. At the turn of the century, Jekyll Island was a favorite destination and private club for "tycoons, politicians, and socialites". The Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Pulitzers and J.P. Morgan are some of its famous members who built homes on the island (many are still standing and can be toured). This hotel was their clubhouse and as you can imagine, it was the scene of some serious wheeling and dealing. 

Today, it is still a grand hotel with big covered verandas, bay windows and beautiful grounds. It feels a bit like stepping into yesteryear. You can read more about it HERE. If only walls could talk... ;)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Dappled Trail

Dappled Trail, 8 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2016
Click to purchase $120 + $16 s/h

"Dappled Trail" is a late-in-the-day painting on that same unmarked road from my last post. It seemed like there was something to ponder in every direction. In lieu of walking down this path, I stopped to paint it. I may have to go back that way sometime! (Think I can find it again? Oh yes... most definitely, I can.) :)

My apologies for those two miss-fired blogposts in your inbox this week (one was blank and one old one reappeared). It was "operator error" on my part, and I am so sorry!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Morning Solitude

Morning Solitude, 12 x 9, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2016

"Keep the Momentum" was the last of my show tips as I presented my solo exhibit at the end of April (see blog posts from January-April 2016). Although that really IS good advice, what I didn't mention was that I would be traveling for the next two months (which blew my momentum right out of the water)! I went from Texas to Georgia to New York to Italy, and back again. I saw children and grandchildren, in-laws and siblings, and lots of dear friends. I played with my grandsons (never enough!), collected pottery shards at the seashore, ate delicious food (Neapolitan pizza and pistachio gelato are just two highlights), saw beautiful cities and countryside, and danced at two weddings! It was a whirlwind of fun and rejuvenation!

Now that I am home, I am excited to be loading my brushes again and getting back in the flow. "Be it ever so humble..." there really is no place like home.

Thank you all for your kind "welcome backs" and words of congratulations...
It truly means the world to me. 

A note about "Morning Solitude" (painted en plein air in May, while still in Georgia)... This particular painting location was a sweet reward for following my gut and an unmarked road. Marshes and creeks always bring me joy, but this one was exceptionally quiet and tranquil. Well worth the detour!!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Swirling Sky - Plein Air Magazine Photo Essay

Swirling Sky, 12 x 9, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2016

Sorry to have disappeared for the last two months... I have been off traveling and visiting with family, and having a grand old time!!! More to come on that! 

Meanwhile, I am thrilled to share that my plein air painting "Swirling Sky" was published in a photo essay in the June/July issue of Plein Air Magazine. The essay, entitled "The Many Moods of Clouds" by John D. Cogan, is illustrated with the works of 18 distinguished landscape painters, and I am honored to be included. If you receive the magazine, check it out on page 21! Thank you, Plein Air Magazine!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Value Studies - Process Shots from Workshop Demo

Jekyll Beach Value Study, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2016
Workshop Demo - Anderson Fine Art Gallery, St. Simons Island, GA

Last weekend I taught a workshop on St. Simons Island, GA. The focus of the workshop was color and value in the landscape, and we drilled way down to understand those concepts. On the first day, we took a break from color and painted value studies. Below is a review for my students and for anyone who would like to try it!

Mix a strand of 5 grays, plus black and pure white (7 values total). 
Make sure the grays are distinct from one another.

Get started with a sketch of simple shapes to compose the scene. 

Divide the landscape into 5 values, using John Carlson's Theory of the Planes...
Working dark to light, use first gray (darkest) in foreground uprights found in rock shadows, second gray in middle ground uprights (trees), third gray in distant uprights, fourth gray in ground plane (water) and fifth gray (lightest) in sky.

Values come together as they recede... darks get lighter and lights get darker. 

(Note: usually the lightest light will be found in the sky, but in this scene the white sand reflecting the sunlight was brightest.)

Use subtle value shifts to indicate highlights in each plane.
Save pure white for highest highlights (rock light), and pure black for calligraphy and darkest shadows in the foreground.

Mix a strand of warm values using yellow, black and white.
Mute each value in this strand with white (muted strand not shown, sorry!)

Use warm values to indicate how temperature behaves when color is added.
Color intensifies as it comes forward, and it weakens (mutes, cools) as it recedes.

Hard at work, mixing and identifying values...
Many thanks to a wonderful group of students, you all did GREAT!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sifting Light and Final Show Tip!

Sifting Light, 30 x 40, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2016
SOLD in solo show - "Chasing Color, Finding Light"
April 23 - June 4, 2016 at the Davis Gallery in Austin, TX

Dear friends and blog followers... in these past months of show preparation, so many of you have reached out to me with kind words of encouragement. Your virtual pats on the back have brightened days of solitude and kept me going. For that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. My opening reception was fabulous - the turnout and response were great and I sold a bunch too! I was pleased beyond expectation!

Show Tip #28 - Keep up the Momentum
I know it's odd to end this list on #28, but there you have it... we have reached the end! One thing I am thinking about is, how can I keep up the artistic flow that comes with living and breathing art? Even though my pace will ease up a bit, I believe the answer to that question is to employ the same tactics found in these tips... set deadlines for myself, make a schedule, be disciplined, and generally keep up the momentum! I guess it's time to go back to #1 and stock up on supplies again! ;)

Here are links to other Show Tips:
Tip #4 - Work in Series
Tip #6 - Be Kind to YOU
Tip #8 - Stay Flexible
Tip #11 - Take Notes
Tip #12 - Know when to Quit
Tip #13 - Stay Updated
Tip #15 - Assign Tasks
Tip #16 - Step Back 
Tip #17 - Sign As You Go
Tip #19 - Celebrate Growth
Tip #20 - Varnishing Day(s)
Tip #23 - Get the Word Out
Tip #24 - Stay The Course
Tip #27 - Tell Your Story

Tomorrow my workshop on St. Simons Island starts... I'm looking forward to working with a great group of artists and painting en plein air in the golden isles!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Marsh Birds - Show Tip #27

Marsh Birds, 24 x 24, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2016 
Sold in Solo Show, "Chasing Color, Finding Light", Davis Gallery

These magnificent birds of the marsh totally captivate me. Whether in flight, keeping watch, or fishing for dinner, their movements and behaviors are fun to observe. They are such beautiful creatures!!

If you have been following my blog for the last few months, you know that I am just a day away from my big gallery opening! In my Show Tips, I have tried to share what goes into planning and executing an art exhibit; from gathering supplies to scheduling time to marketing the work. All that is left now is to go and have fun, but I do have one more tip about that...

Show Tip # 27 - Tell Your Story!
Opening night of any show is the culmination of much work and personal revelation. It's natural to worry about how to use words to describe what we have already "said" in paint. Here is the thing to remember: no one knows our work better than we do, and it's up to us to be our own best advocates. Be ready to talk about inspiration, process and intention. Be ready to share what went into a piece, breakthrough moments, or even struggles encountered along the way. Opening night is an opportunity to tell our story. Don't be shy and don't hold back... and remember to soak up the love. 

Here are links to other Show Tips:
Tip #4 - Work in Series
Tip #6 - Be Kind to YOU
Tip #8 - Stay Flexible
Tip #11 - Take Notes
Tip #12 - Know when to Quit
Tip #13 - Stay Updated
Tip #15 - Assign Tasks
Tip #16 - Step Back 
Tip #17 - Sign As You Go
Tip #19 - Celebrate Growth
Tip #20 - Varnishing Day(s)
Tip #23 - Get the Word Out
Tip #24 - Stay The Course

Monday, April 18, 2016

Azure Fields - Show Tip #26

Azure Fields, 24 x 36, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2016

This spring has been gorgeous in central Texas. The bluebonnets have been especially prolific and colorful. Our beautiful Hill Country specializes in comforting scenes like this one, and they never get old. Each time I see that sea of blue, my breath catches!

Show Tip #26 - Deliver Safely (and On-Time)

Today was Delivery Day and it felt great! The organizing and planning of the last few months completely paid off, and I was not scrambling in the least. As for packing and loading it all up, I admit that I am a bit anal about that. After all that work, I don't want any last minute damage to a painting or frame. I have approached this in many ways, but this time I wrapped each painting with Stretch Wrap (available at shipping stores like FedEx and moving stores like Uhaul). It worked GREAT! The wrap allowed me to stack the paintings in my car without the frames rubbing or scratching, and it kept them from sliding around. Upon arrival, my gallery owner asked me to leave the wrap on... it will help him keep the paintings safe during the installation process. Win-Win!

Picture corners inside the wrap give added protection.

The wrap caused the paintings to kind of stick together and prevented sliding.

Here are links to other Show Tips:
Tip #4 - Work in Series
Tip #6 - Be Kind to YOU
Tip #8 - Stay Flexible
Tip #11 - Take Notes
Tip #12 - Know when to Quit
Tip #13 - Stay Updated
Tip #15 - Assign Tasks
Tip #16 - Step Back 
Tip #17 - Sign As You Go
Tip #19 - Celebrate Growth
Tip #20 - Varnishing Day(s)
Tip #23 - Get the Word Out
Tip #24 - Stay The Course