Friday, October 31, 2008

A Painting and a Demo

Down by the Fish House, 12 x 16

Yesterday I got to paint with some great buddies at the new barn of our friend (and incredible artist) Lisa Beaman. Another glorious day and a fabulous lunch with friends... does it get any better than that?

For my plein air students as promised (and anyone else who is interested). This is what my personal painting process looks like step by step. (Many thanks to my mentor Cassandra James, from whom I learned so much about art, and life.)

1 - Block in shapes with dark neutral (toned panel).

2 - Lay in darkest darks, correct drawing.

3 - Add color in shadow family (dark to light).

4 - Add color in light family (dark to light).

5 - Begin sky and ground plane (dark to light).
6 - Continue sky, begin clouds.
7 - Highlights in light family, lowlights in shadow family.
.8 - Final highlights, final painting.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tom Miller Dam

Below the Dam, 12 x 16

Autumn is finally arriving here and this has been a week of clear, cool days. It's absolutely glorious! Yesterday afternoon it was quiet down by the dam (before the afternoon dog walkers I guess). A sweet mother with her 3 children stopped by my easel and the kids all told me about their art endeavors. I love those kind of visits - maybe one of them will be a painter some day!

The Tom Miller Dam was built in 1938-1940 on top of the remains of two other dams that were swept away by flooding some time before that. It separates Lake Austin and Ladybird Lake (both are part of a long chain of lakes that runs through the Ausin area.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunnyside of the house

Mayfield House, 12 x 16

This historic 1870's cottage is surrounded by extensive gardens, lily ponds, hiking trails, and a large family of peacocks that struts around and generally keeps a watchful eye on things! The property was donated to the city of Austin in 1971 by the family of Allison Mayfield (a former Texas Secretary of State in the early 1900's). It's a peaceful spot right in the middle of town.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Perfect Day

Trisha's Hay Barn, 12 x 12

We are beginning to have some wonderful, cooler days here in Austin; and today was one of them! I was so glad to be outside. Our painting group met up early at the beautiful ranch of one of our members, Trisha Bridges. There were Longhorns wandering around, horses that kept guard, and happy painters all around!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Art School Gallery Show

Trio, 12 x 12

My last couple of weeks have been so full. Teaching, travel, all good stuff... but it's nice to take a short breather. My still life class was invited to do a show at the Art School Gallery, and tomorrow morning I will go over to install it. My students are very excited - they have done great work and the show is going to be beautiful. This piece of mine will be included.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Beautiful Fall Day

Ladybird's Cistern, 12 x 16

Finally cooler, incredible blue sky... today was a perfect day to be out painting. My group met up at the Ladybird Wildflower Center and this is one of several cisterns for collecting water on the expansive property. Lady Bird left a huge mark on Texas with her commitment to wildflowers, native plants and natural landscapes. She made the world a better place.

"We are obligated to leaving the country
looking as good if not better than we found it."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More Still Life Sketches

Still Lifes with Metal Containers, each 6 x 6

These are more small sketches from still life set-ups I did for my class. The challenge was to paint the metal vessels so that they actually look metallic. Our brains totally freak with the idea of "shiny." We have to over-ride that to just paint what is there... mostly muted passages with just a few spots of "shine." And it's tricky!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sometimes they look different...

Morning Light Peeks Through, 30 x 40

Study for Morning Light, 12 x 16 (originally posted July 17)
This is another large studio painting next to it's original study. In this case, the large piece took a different direction as I painted it (sometimes these things have a life of their own). Although it started out pretty much the same, the smaller trees on the water's edge kept fighting for dominance. Removing them was like ending a war on the canvas. It must have something to do with the overall size... anyway, peace was won and that's what counts!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Inspiring Story

The Menagerie, 6 x 15, pen and ink

I made this drawing a couple of weeks ago for local shopkeeper, Vicki Roan of The Menagerie. She wanted it for a big thank you ad to the community for 30 years in business. For those of you who are in Austin, the ad is in this morning's Glossy section of the American Statesman. A great article in the same section describes how she started the business out of her home as a single mom with young children. Now her grown daughter helps her run the business. It's a sweet story and I wish them 30 more years of success!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Large Painting with Small Study

Afternoon Glow, 30 x 30
. Study for "Afternoon Glow", 12 x 12 (originally posted 8/23)

This is another large painting based on a plein air study. I painted the smaller one on location on St. Simons Island, GA and then worked from that to paint the large piece. I had several people tell me they would be interested in seeing the the two together, so here you are. In this case, I followed the composition and color pretty closely. This process of starting small allows me to gather information on my travels for larger work back in the studio.