Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Seaside Blossoms - Getting Started with a Strong Underpainting

Seaside Blossoms, 36 x 18, Oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2019
Painted for solo show, "Beaches, Birds and Botanicals"

I receive many inquiries from budding artists about how to get started on a painting. My answer is always the same, "Invest in your block-in and under painting." What does that mean exactly? For me, it begins with a loose, painterly sketch using ultramarine and burnt sienna... 

My first concern is for placement of the subject and establishing my composition. I establish linear boundaries to contain the various areas of the painting. This helps prevent elements from growing.


Next I consider placement of values (meaning lights and darks of the overall painting), and begin to develop the shapes. This is also the best time to make any needed adjustments to the drawing and overall composition. 


Ultimately, I want my block-in to be a road map to my finished painting. If I take the time to invest in this stage of a painting, it usually tells me exactly where to go next.

Seaside Blossoms, 36x18, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2019

Join me for an upcoming workshop...
Fall Plein Air Workshop at Contemporary Austin Art School, Nov. 8-9, 2019 - Register Here

Monday, August 19, 2019

Beach Reflections

Beach Reflections, 15 x 30, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2019
Painted for solo show, "Beaches, Birds, and Botanicals"
Available at the Anderson Fine Art Gallery

Another title for this might have been, "Breakfast on the Beach" as this is another great hunting ground for egrets and other shore birds. When the tide comes in, they gather around larger tide pools and forage for trapped fish and insects. Mornings seem the best time... they are intent on their work until something startles them, sending them up and away.

Upcoming:
Fall Plein Air Workshop: Contemporary Austin Art School, Nov. 8-9, 2019 - Register Here

Friday, August 16, 2019

Silent Silhouettes

Silent Silhouettes, 20 x 20, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2019
Sold in solo show, "Beaches, Birds and Botanicals"
Anderson Fine Art Gallery

I caught this egret just as the day was ending, and everything was in silhouette. I love how simple shapes can tell the whole story. As a painter, I try to let this happen whenever I can, and fight every temptation to add extraneous detail. 

Upcoming:
Fall Plein Air Workshop: Contemporary Austin Art School, Nov. 8-9, 2019 - Register Here

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Life In The Layers

Life In The Layers, 36 x 18, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2019
Sold in solo show "Beaches, Birds and Botanicals" 
Anderson Fine Art Gallery


When I visit the Georgia coast, I love to stalk the birds on the marsh. I stop and take pictures, try to sneak up on them... you get the picture. It slows down our morning walks (greatly vexing my husband who wants to keep the pace up), but it's always so entertaining. They hunker down in the many layers of the marsh; sometimes on the hunt, sometimes feasting, sometimes in flight...  always so graceful!

Upcoming:
Fall Plein Air Workshop: Contemporary Austin Art School, Nov. 8-9, 2019 - Register Here

Monday, August 12, 2019

Bunched - Loquat study with Process Shots!

Bunched, 8 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2019
Available at the Davis Gallery Group Show
Circadian Buzz (through August 31)

One of the focuses of the Davis Gallery group show, Circadian Buzz, was to consider how our daily practices fall into certain rhythms. I am an artist who thrives on disciplined patterns. I paint exclusively in the daylight hours, and sleep at night (call me crazy). I stick to a limited palette to keep things simple (only 9 pigments). I work best when I have goals (for the day, for the week, for the month, and for the year). When it comes to painting it's all an experiment, but I find freedom in a consistent approach and the cadence that brings.

The most important daily practice for any artist is to PRACTICE! For me, much of that practice takes place in the form of studies, both in the studio and outside, en plein air. These studies help me study a subject from different perspectives and experiment with composition. The process shots below were taken in as I painted "Bunched" in my back yard garden this spring.

1) I blocked in the composition and basic values,
using a combination of ultramarine and burnt sienna.

2) Working dark to light, I painted the shadow 
family of each element first.

3) Moving to the light family, I was
careful to preserve the values.

4) As I covered the canvas, my focus was on 
establishing large, simple masses.

5) Final steps include breaking up the large masses. 
I use subtle value shifts to add detail 
and save highlights till the very end.

"Bunched" en plein air at completion.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Nature's Patterns

Nature's Patterns, 24 x 24, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2019
Available at the Davis Gallery

This is another piece in the group show, Circadian Buzz. I know the word circadian typically refers to 24 hour cycles, but all of nature's cycles have an affect on us. With this painting, I chose to celebrate the longer, seasonal cycle of spring awakening. When our loquat trees burst forth with fruit each April, it's always new. I am transfixed by their color and fragrance, and must paint them. Something about the giant leaves and clustered golden orbs is endlessly compelling. I particularly loved the challenge of this unusual angle... separating the light on the tree limb from the dappled light on the ground was tricky! 


This piece is on display through August 31...
Circadian Buzz, Davis Gallery Group Show, Austin, TX

The small pieces below allowed me to study different angles before painting the big one. They are also in the show... of course, I wanted to paint all of them larger, but I had to choose! 

Dangled, 8x8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2019

Dappled, 8 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2019

Bunched, 8 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2019

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Spring Return (and a blogger returns!)

Spring Return, 15 x 30, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2019
Available at the Davis Gallery

Dear friends... I have been on a bit of a blogging hiatus and I'm not really sure why. I got interrupted, and suddenly I just found myself out of the habit. But I love blogging, so I am back. It completes the cycle of creation for me... Thanks for waiting! :)

Jumping right in... I am thrilled to have 6 paintings on display in the Davis Gallery summer group show here in Austin, TX...
Circadian Buzz 
Davis Gallery Group Show
Through August 31st

For this exhibit, we were asked to think about rhythm and repetition. To my way of thinking, this two-pronged theme applies both to subject matter (rhythm as a design element) and daily practices (repetition as personal discipline.) The scene in "Spring Return" has an obvious repeating pattern of waddling geese bodies. That swaying rhythm propels them through the scene, and it takes us right along. (Where ARE they going?)

Below is a preliminary study I did from another angle (part of my daily practice and personal discipline)...


Waddlers, 8 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2019
Available at the Davis Gallery

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Flowering Shadows - with process shots!

Flowering Shadows, 30 x 24, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2019
SOLD
"Beaches, Birds, and Botanicals"
Solo show opens April 12, 2019

When I am painting a lot in the studio on larger works, I tend to be working from small studies and photographs as my source material. After awhile, I just want to paint from life. When the grocery store offered Agapanthus in the middle of winter, I knew it was time for a still life! It's offers a visual break and change of pace for my painter's brain. 

This is one of 25 new works that will be in the solo show next week.

Below are process shots that reveal how the painting came together. 

The block in.

Painting directly, wet into wet.

Finished piece.

The set up in my studio.




Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Marsh Hunter - upcoming solo show!

Marsh Hunter, 20 x 20, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2019
Available at the Anderson Fine Art Gallery, St. Simons Island, GA


I was transfixed by the architecture of this Egret (love that curvy neck), especially as he stalked his prey. These birds are fun to watch, because they stand completely still as they wait for a fish or an insect. Then, when a tidbit of food shimmies by, they pounce! I also loved the reflections... I always love reflections!

Show update: Paintings are at the framer in GA, being fitted right now. Opening reception: April 12, 2019 from 6-7:30 pm. SOOOO EXCITED!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Morning Flight, 40 x 30, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2019
Available in upcoming solo show at the Anderson Fine Art Gallery
SOLD

I have been radio silent for a few months now, I know. BUT, in order to get ready for my upcoming solo show, I needed to step away from technology, social media, and distractions of all kinds. Sometimes you just have to do that. I do anyway. And here is the Good News... the new pieces (including the one above) are complete and drying. Woo Hoo! 

More to come about the show, but here are the main details: 

Beaches, Birds, and Botanicals - New Work by Laurel Daniel
Anderson Fine Art Gallery, St. Simon's Island, GA
April 12 - May 11,  2019
Reception April 12, 6-7:30 pm

ALSO - WORKSHOP OPENINGS...
We have had some last minute cancellations, so if you were thinking about coming out to paint this spring, sign up now! I would love to see you. 

March 25-28, 2019 - Wimberley, Texas
Contact Helena Hauk, Wimberley Artists Workshops, 800-327-1913

April 11-13, 2019 - St. Simons Island, Georgia
Contact Mary Anderson, Anderson Fine Art Gallery, 912-634-8414 
This one coincides with my solo show! :)

Click HERE for workshop details and descriptions on my website.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Half Light - Show opens December 15

Half Light, 15 x 30, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018
SOLD

This is another painting of mine that will be on display in the "Night Vision" show at the Davis Gallery. The exhibit opens this Saturday and it will be a festive and joyous time! Art and friends... what could be better?

 Night Vision - Winter Group Show
Davis Gallery, Austin, Texas
December 15 - January 12
Reception December 15, 7-9 pm

Come on your way to or from your other holiday activities!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Twilight Closes In - Group Show December 15

Twilight Closes In, 30 x 24, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018
SOLD

I am pleased to be presenting 3 paintings in the Davis Gallery holiday show. If you are nearby, please come join us!

Night Vision - Winter Group Show
Davis Gallery, Austin, Texas
December 15 - January 12
Reception December 15, 7-9 pm

  "Night Vision celebrates the artist's ability to see things many others seem to overlook. This exhibit focuses on spaces shrouded in darkness, the energies that lie beyond the visual spectrum, and allows the viewer to imagine what could exist 'in between'. Each artist has either created new work for this show, or carefully chosen work from the past, which uniquely recognizes Night Vision's concept." 

What do I see? Well, I can't help but notice that there is always a little bit of light, even in the darkest hour. When my eyes adjust, only the simplest shapes emerge, but the way is clear... soft, quiet, and dreamlike. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Soaring - spring workshop information

Soaring, 12 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2018
SOLD

Back to the Golden Isles of Georgia... Out on the marsh, birds love to feed and perch at the "hammocks". Hammocks are stands of trees or bushes that have grown up in the wetlands... where two different eco-systems collide. It's fun to watch the birds playfully helicoptering in and out. On this day, they seemed to be having a convention!

I have three plein air workshops coming up in the spring and would love to have you join me. Put it on your Christmas list! ;)

Workshop Dates (click HERE for details and descriptions on my website)

March 25-28, 2019 - Wimberley, Texas
Contact Helena Hauk, Wimberley Artists Workshops, 800-327-1913

April 11-13, 2019 - St. Simons Island, Georgia
Contact Mary Anderson, Anderson Fine Art Gallery, 912-634-8414 

May 10-11, 2019 - Austin, TX
Contact Registrar, Contemporary Austin Art School, 512-323-6380 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Golden Path and announcing Spring Workshops!

Golden Path, 8 x 10, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2018
Available - Click HERE for information

This is another plein air piece from my fall travels. I got down to St. Simons Island (in Georgia) for a few days and was greeted with blue skies, orange grasses, and billowy clouds. It's one of my favorite places to be and paint, and I never quite get enough!

UPCOMING...
I will be teaching 3 plein air workshops this spring... please come join me! And please visit my website HERE for complete descriptions and information about each one.

March 25-28, 2019
Wimberley Artists Workshops
Wimberley, Texas
4-day, all-inclusive artist retreat in the beautiful Texas Hill Country 

April 11-13, 2019
Anderson Fine Art Gallery
St. Simons Island, Georgia
3-days in the Golden Isles of the Georgia coast

May 10-11, 2019
The Contemporary Austin Art School
Austin, Texas
2-days in Austin (the live music capitol of the world!)

Monday, November 19, 2018

Foggy Coastline - And Happy Thanksgiving!!

Foggy Coastline, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2018

This is another plein air piece from my California trip last month. The fog cover over Spanish Bay was pretty thick all morning, which made for a nice study of atmospheric perspective. This gorgeous ocean view is right along the famous 17-Mile Drive... a delightful place to breathe in and contemplate!

Wishing you a HAPPY and BLESSED Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Hidden Beach - Painting on the West Coast

Hidden Beach, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2018

I know I have been missing in action for a couple months, and I am happy to report that all is well with me! Thanks to those who checked in! Once I finished those large commissions, I got my house and studio back in order, and I took a break! We traveled some, had a long visit with our daughter and her children, and just enjoyed life. 

This is a painting from our trip to Carmel, CA, one of our fall excursions. Hidden Beach is a small cove, off the hiking trail at the end of Point Lobos. It was a bit of a hike to get down to, and I had a fabulous quiet morning painting the waves and rocks in a lovely patch of shade. (The bright sunlight can be challenging and I forgot my umbrella, so that shade was a welcome surprise.) Very few hikers ventured down the path, so I had the "beach" pretty much to myself. It was awesome. 

Here are some other art-making moments... You will be happy to know that even though I was taking a break, my studio was in full use!




Monday, August 27, 2018

DETAIL SHOTS of 10-ft painting, and Reveal Party Pics!



Figure Detail 1 - Father and Son
from Tunnel of Trees (56 x 120), oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018

I had a lot of fun working the figures into each of these large pieces, and want to spotlight them a bit here (the image of the full painting doesn't quite do them justice.)  This father and son were an extra delight for me, because they are my son in law and grandson!!! I didn't actually have a picture of them walking on this specific Houston boulevard, but I DID have them walking in just the right direction and angle on another street. I was able to pop them into the scene just like they belonged there! Painting them was such a joy that now I want to paint all my kids and grandkids!

Tunnel of Trees, 56 x 120, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018
3rd Commission piece for Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas
I'm including the full painting here, so you can see where each figure appears.

 Figure Detail 2 - Dog Walker
from Tunnel of Trees (56x120)

Figure Detail 3 - The Ladies
from Tunnel of Trees (56x120)

THE COMMISSION REVEAL...
This past Saturday, we celebrated the completion of this 3-part commission project, with a reception at the Davis Gallery in Austin. It was a SUCH fun gathering... I loved being able to share the last painting, IN PERSON, with local friends before delivering it to Houston today! Heartfelt thanks to my friends at the Davis Gallery, and to ALL who came and/or sent kind wishes! 

Here are shots of the party...

Being introduced for Artist Talk by Kevin Ivester, Gallery Director


So fun to see friends...

from all walks of life...

old and new...

Thank you, Eddie, for getting an up close view of that brushwork!!! 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Tunnel of Trees - 3rd of Three 10-ft paintings, and a Commission Reveal Party!!

Tunnel of Trees, 56 x 120, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018
Commission for Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas
Third of three 10-foot paintings to hang in new North Tower

Hip hip hooray! I am finished with my giant commission project! Three 10-foot paintings... mission accomplished!!! This has been an incredible opportunity to stretch my wings and push the artistic envelope; AND, there is nothing quite like being done. It's an amazing feeling.

To celebrate, we are having a viewing party at the Davis Gallery in Austin, on Saturday. This third and last painting will be on display for one day only. If you are anywhere nearby, please join us... 

Commission Reveal - viewing party
Saturday August 25, Reception 1-3pm, Artist Talk 2pm
Davis Gallery, Austin, TX

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Details! Close up images of a 10 foot painting!

Figure Detail from Bayou Bend Pathway (56x120), oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018

As I shared after Giant Painting #1... Giant Painting #2 ALSO needs to be experienced close up and personally! The camera just can not capture the brushwork and presence that this painting has. 

Have I mentioned that I really wish you would drive to Houston and see it in person??? Well, I know that is not practical, so these details are as close as I can get to showing you the brushwork and movement in the painting. Click on images to see them larger. 

Bayou Bend Pathway, 56 x 120, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018
10-Foot Commission for Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas
This is the big one again, just so you can place the close ups... ;)


Tree Detail 1 (top middle) from Bayou Bend Pathway (original piece is 56x120)
Oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018

Figure Detail 2 (right hand side) from Bayou Bend Pathway (original piece is 56x120)
Oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018

Azalea & Signature Detail (bottom right) from Bayou Bend Pathway
Oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018