Monday, October 31, 2011

Fruit Bearing Branches

Fruit Bearing Branches, L. Daniel, 6 x 8, SOLD

Our pomegranate tree had an abundantly productive season. I just love the shapes and colors, and it was especially interesting to watch flowers turn into fruit. It's quite a transformation. 

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Alley On Avenue B

Alley On Avenue B, L. Daniel, 12 x 9

A few of us met up this morning to paint in a cute little bungalow neighborhood near the university - yep, a neighborhood with ALLEYS. I do love an alley. :) This one had such a wonderful play of darks and lights, and I was sucked right in. It was a great morning with half the neighborhood out walking dogs and babies. One guy stopped to take my picture and exclaimed that it was "just great to have a flock of artists here!" I had to laugh - so a group of artists is a flock! Learn something new every day. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sun-Struck Sapling and tips for using refined linseed oil as a medium

Sun-Struck Sapling, L. Daniel, 8 x 6, SOLD

Back at the Wimberley creekside, this small cypress sapling caught the brilliant mid-day light. It looked so beautiful against the purple gray limestone shadows. I loved it's simple but dramatic pose.

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Using Refined Linseed Oil as a Medium:
One of my readers asked me to talk about using Refined Linseed Oil as a medium instead of Turpentine mixes or Liquin. She has been experiencing some allergic reactions to solvents and is making the switch. Here is the thing about solvents and allergies: while not everyone is bothered, some people are completely debilitated. Still others begin to experience allergic reactions after years of use. Even the odorless mineral spirits are toxic - the fumes are there even though you can't smell them. So be really careful if you are using them. 

I learned to paint using linseed oil (I use the "refined") and have never missed solvents. If you are interested in trying it, here are some pointers:
 - Place linseed oil in small cup on palette - you only need a small amount
 - Dip just the tip of your brush in it, add a little as you go and mix in completely
 - Use it only to emulsify paint for an even flow (so all pigments are same consistency)
 - Do NOT use it for washes - you won't be able to paint back in and it will take a long time to dry
 - If you like a toned canvas, consider pre-toning with an acrylic wash in your preferred color
 - I don't clean my brushes as I paint - I wipe them out with paper towel as necessary to keep the color clean
 - I use lots of brushes - typically one for each basic color in the painting (since I am not swishing)
 - Brush cleaning - at the end of a session, I clean my brushes with warm water and Masters Soap (also a great conditioner - make a thin paste of the Masters Soap and reshape the tips)
 - Other options are walnut oil and poppyseed oil - I've not tried them but hear they are good choices

Like anything, it takes practice to gain mastery but it's worth it. Most of my students who try it never go back to solvents. I know we all want to be painting for a long, long time, so paint smartly. And good luck!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Quiet Creek

Quiet Creek, L. Daniel, 12 x 9

Last week, the Outdoor Painters Society met up for a few days to paint in Wimberley, Texas... about an hour from my home. This was a special treat because we were invited to paint on private land along the creek. I got there early and had a quiet morning with this glowing stand of cypress tress. Delightful. (Also delightful was the gathering of friends at lunch time.) :) Thanks for having us, Bob!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Reeds in the Lagoon - Plein Air Demo

Reeds in the Lagoon, L. Daniel, 8 x 8, SOLD 
Plein Air Demo

Today my fall plein air class started and we met up down by the lake to paint reeds and reflections and little yellow flowers. It was a beautiful, cool, sunshiny morning - a truly perfect fall day. I promised my students that I would post my demo from class step by step, so here you all are!

I began by blocking-in the large masses of my composition 
using a mix of French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna.
(The stain in the background is just leftover from a wipe-off.)

Next, I painted the darkest darks of the upright planes in foreground and background 
(keeping atmospheric perspective in mind to create a sense of air and depth.)

Then I painted the flower blooms (treating them as large masses) 
and saturated greens in the foreground foliage.

Working to get the canvas covered, I put in the muted tones of the reflections on the water.
I am always comparing value, chroma, and temperature of each component to the next,
because all color and value is relative to whatever is beside or around it. 

Once the values and color of the whole scene were working 
I added the sunlit tips of the reeds and broke up the masses with subtle value shifts.
At the very end, I added the final highlights (very important not to rush this final step.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sacred Pomegranate

Sacred Pomegranate, L. Daniel, 6 x 8, Oil on panel
*All Proceeds will go to "Every Mother Counts" fundraiser

The pomegranate has been held as sacred by many religions since ancient times. It represents fertility and marriage, birth and eternal life... and, it's revered for it's healing medicinal qualities. It seemed a fitting image for this cause.

*Every Mother Counts is an aid organization that combats maternal mortality during childbirth by training midwives and opening health clinics in the Republic of Congo.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

American Women Artists - National Juried Exhibition, Opening Friday

Summer Rains, L. Daniel, 9 x 12, Oil on panel
Available at Huff Harrington Fine Art Gallery in Atlanta

I am very pleased to be a finalist in the 2011 American Women Artists National Juried Exhibition. The piece above will be in the show along with fantastic work by women artists from all over the country. I will be attending the opening this Friday night, so if you are in Atlanta, please stop by. I would love to see you!

Here is the information:

2011 American Women Artists (AWA) National Juried Exhibition 
Artist Reception Friday, October 14, 6:00 - to 8:00 pm 
Huff Harrington Fine Art
4240 Rickenbacker Drive
Atlanta, Georgia
Exhibit runs through November 3

Thursday, October 6, 2011

One Chocolate and One Vanilla

One Chocolate Cupcake (after Wayne Thiebaud), L. Daniel, 7 x 5

One of my very favorite artists is Wayne Thiebaud, painter of desserts (and other objects of every day life.) In my still life class this fall, we have been looking at his work closely and taking inspiration from his thickly applied paint, colorful shadows and juicy edges. Of course, I had to take the challenge myself. SO, with great admiration and all due respect... here are some sprinkled cupcakes in the spirit and manner of Mr. Thiebaud

It must be noted that if Thiebaud was painting these cupcakes, the paintings would be at least 10 times larger. If you have seen his work in person, you know what I mean. BIG. I learned so much trying to emulate his style and hope my students did too!

One Vanilla Cupcake (after Wayne Thiebaud), L. Daniel, 7 x 5