Friday, November 30, 2012

Abundant Hope - an auction of gratitude for my first full year of remission!

Abundant Hope, 12 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012
All proceeds go to breast cancer research and education.

December 1, 2011 was the first day of my remission from breast cancer. The doctor declared my lumpectomy surgery a success, and the cancer was out. Hope doesn't get much more abundant than that! Twelve months later, I hold dear the lessons of that scary time and am very grateful to be on the other side of all the unknowns. And, it has been a wonderful year... one of the best yet. 

I thank God for this glorious anniversary; and thank all of you for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers, for sending notes of encouragement, and for offering sweet support in my time of need. It meant everything to me.

Please join me now in this auction to raise money for breast cancer research and education. It's easy and completely safe to bid. At the end of the 7-day auction, I will send the painting to you, and donate the proceeds to Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. It's win-win!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ruby Orbs

Ruby Orbs (study), 6x8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

It's pomegranate season! Well, truth is, we are at the end of the season now, but my garden has done it's job producing these delightful fruits for my visual pleasure. I can't bring myself to eat them or even break them open, I just love them too much. I did cut some branches and bring them inside to paint. This is the first of a few studies I did in preparation for some larger pieces.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Reaching Shadows

Reaching Shadows, 6 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012
Click to purchase $100 + $15 s/h

This is another small, studio study inspired by a morning spent observing and teaching during my plein air class. Our class met at Fiesta Gardens, a city park that is generally closed to the public (though it can be rented for private events). Since I didn't get to paint while there, I had to get the images out of my system when I got home. :) The colors that day were just stunning... that yellow-orange building against the blue, blue sky was simply delicious. Many thanks to the generous souls who allowed us to come in and enjoy it all!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Garden Fiesta

Garden Fiesta, 8 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

Often when I am teaching a class, I study the subject so carefully from all my students' viewpoints that I have no choice but to paint it myself when I get home. This piece (and the next one I will post) is one of those. After advising all morning about color solutions, editing and simplifying, and capturing the light and shadows; the scene was completely in my mind's eye. Back in the studio, I was able to paint what I remembered (with the help of photo references of course... my memory is not that good!) All the visual observations from the morning came flooding back the minute I picked up the brush. It reminded me how important it is to really LOOK and notice everything! 

See more Small Works

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sun-washed Reflections

Sun-washed Reflections, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

Cypress trees on the river bank... Low reaching autumn light... Shimmering reflections... This was one of our beautiful Texas mornings by the water. 

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Misty Marsh

Misty Marsh, 8 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

I do love sunny days, but I also really appreciate a misty, mystical morning... when the low fog softens all the edges as far as the eye can see. The landscape seems more quiet somehow. This piece came out of my summer travels and takes me back to a lovely morning bike ride along the marsh. Maybe that is why I saved it till now. :)

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Garden Urn - Demo of 3 Block-in Techniques

Garden Urn, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012, NFS

A strong "start" is required for a strong "finish" when it comes to accomplishing most things in life, and making a painting is no different. In my plein air class this fall, my students have been experimenting with 3 different block-in methods for starting a landscape. The first decisions and initial marks become foundational in a painting, so having a plan for getting started is so important. Here's a little review...

First, a loose sketch gets the subject outlined before starting any block-in. I do this in paint; and I always correct my composition and drawing before proceeding. 

Below are three different block-in methods we've been using

1 - Line and Mass Block-in 

Sketch subject and "mass in" major values in the foreground, middle ground and back ground. Use thin and dry pigment, and ignore details. Once values are established, add color (but retain value decisions), painting from dark to light. Avoid muddiness by painting back into the dark underdrawing with thicker, fatter pigment and a light touch. Reload brush frequently. Save details and highlights for the very end. 

2 - Reductive Mass Block-in

Cover the whole canvas with dark neutral pigment. Then use paper towels, q-tips and scrapers to remove paint and block-in the subject. Apply more pressure in lighter areas and add more paint as necessary for darker areas. Again, add color (but retain value decisions), painting from dark to light. Save details and highlights for the end. 

3 - Simple Color Shapes Block-in

Use color (in the correct value ranges) to indicate the light and shadow families. Divide the subject into simple shapes of color and value. Once large shapes are in place and are "reading" as light and shadow, begin to break up the large masses with subtle value shifts (see finished piece above). Be careful not to mix the values between the light and shadow families. Save details and highlights until the end.

I use each of these methods as the situation demands, but have found that my personal style always emerges in the final piece. One approach might offer a better way to get there, but the painting has a familiar ending point regardless of the block-in choice. It's an interesting thing, I think.

Friday, November 2, 2012

American Women Artists - 2 exhibits in Arizona with opening festivities this weekend!

Cactus Salute, 18 x 18, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

If you are in the Tucson, AZ area this weekend, please join me at the American Women Artists shows where these two pieces will be on display: 

15th Annual American Women Artists National Juried Show
K. Newby Gallery and Sculpture Garden
Tubac, Arizona
Reception 1:00-4:00 pm

"Visions of the Southwest"

American Women Artists - Signature and Master Member Exhibition

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum 

Tucson, Arizona

Paintout 9:00-11:00 am
Reception 2:00-4:00 pm

I am thrilled to have achieved Signature status with AWA this summer and to be participating in these events! It's going to be a fun weekend!

Desert Trail, 18 x 18, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2012 - SOLD