Sunday, January 31, 2010

Southwest Corner

Southwest Corner, 8 x 8
"Cold and sunny" was the forecast for Saturday morning; and sure enough, the temperature gauge in my car read 31. The snowflake symbol was on. (I know, really, in Texas?) In spite of the arctic conditions, four hearty souls came to our Plein Air Austin paintout! Ya gotta love that kind of bravery. We painted at the Art School at Laguna Gloria, and this corner of the Villa was absolutely glowing in the morning light. Fingertips were numb by the end, but we had a great time.
Click to purchase $140 + $12 s/h
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Friday, January 29, 2010

Grand Oak

Grand Oak, 6 x 6, SOLD
...and this has been a grand week. I just finished teaching a 2-day workshop where I met some fabulous painters who are now like old friends. It's always a joy to watch artists at work and participate in the creative process with them. It's a privilege I never take for granted; and I'm sure I'm the one who learns the most. Many thanks to my students - new and old!
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Road Home (large version)

The Road Home, 30 x 24, (see previous post for small study)
As I traveled through this tunnel of gold throughout the days of autumn, I was struck by how some of the most rapturous images are the ones we pass every day. Whether or not it was more colorful than in other years (or maybe it was that my eyes were more open), these sparkling oranges and yellows were absolutely spectacular.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Road Home (study)

The Road Home (study), 8 x 6, SOLD
I painted this little study in the fall, but have been saving it to use as reference for a larger version. The autumn color is long gone and this tunnel of trees is completely bare now. But we have a pretty short winter so it won't be long till the trees begin to bud out again. Side note: I did get the large version painted last week and will post it sometime soon. :)
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dinner Veggies - Still Life Demo

Dinner Veggies, 6 x 8
Still Life Demo: Line and Mass Block-in
I did the following demo for my still life class and thought I would share it here. The "Line and Mass Block-in" is a pretty traditional method of starting a painting, but sometimes it helps to see an example. So here it is broken down. (And no, the canvas is not blue... it's white. I am not quite sure why it photographed that way.)
Step one: Plan composition and sketch large, basic shapes
using dark neutral mix of alizarin crimson, french ultramarine and raw umber.
Keep paint fairly dry to enable painting back in (soupy paint will make this difficult).

Step two: Step back; correct drawing and composition if needed,
and begin massing in large areas of values.

Step 3: Continue massing in values and make final adjustments to composition
(better to make changes here before beginning with color.)
Paint directly into this underdrawing when adding color.

Step 4: It is important to maintain the massed in values as color is added.
Painting directly into the underpainting, add color and work from dark to light.
(Sorry, no progression shots of the color.)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ledges at Bull Creek

Ledges at Bull Creek, 9 x 12

Today was my first chance since the new year to paint en plein air. After several paintout cancellations due to cold and rain in the last six weeks, it was a joy to be out in the sunshine. Not only that, but this creek was full and flowing - something we haven't seen since before the draught. A glorious sight!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Watery Reeds

Watery Reeds, 6 x 6

We are having a cold snap here in Austin - I about froze just running outside to take this picture. These are the days that we stay tucked in our studios with scarves on, and wonder how our friends in the north manage to survive (and thrive) in much colder temps. Stay warm, all!!

Click to purchase $100 + $12 s/h
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Monday, January 4, 2010

Canyon Ablaze

Canyon Ablaze, 24 x 36, Christmas commission piece
I have been on a bit of a hiatus, completely enjoying my family and the holidays... and now we are in a new decade and I am ready to get back to work. Being a goal setter (I'm a big believer in writing them down and being specific), I'm busy making lists that will lead to some familiar paths as well as to some new ones. But it's the unknown, unanticipated surprises that are always the most fun! Happy 2010!