Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Broken Barns, 8 x 16, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

Emmanuel... God is with us!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.

Thank you all for your support this year...
for following my work and for sending me messages of encouragement. 
I wish you abundant hope and fullness of life in 2013!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Dangling Fruit

Dangling Fruit, 18 x 24, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2012
Available at the Davis Gallery

This is the last of the pomegranates... for now anyway! Happy am I, to see the series framed and beautifully installed in the Davis Gallery Holiday Group Show. The opening reception was Saturday night and though I had every intention of taking lots of photos, I only managed to get this one before the festivities began. 

The work is on display through January 19, 2013, so please stop by if you are in the area. Click HERE to see all of my work that is included in the exhibit.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Branches of Pomegranate

Branches of Pomegranate, 24 x 20, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2012
Available at the Davis Gallery

More pomegranates... did I mention that I love them? These fruits have been treasured by most religions and cultures throughout the ages. They are valued not only for their beauty, sweet juice and medicinal qualities, but also for what they symbolize... abundance, promise, new life, resurrection, eternal life, prosperity and fertility. In this season of gratitude for all good gifts and especially for my health, the promise of abundance and new life is especially meaningful to me. 

This piece will be in the Davis Gallery Holiday Group Show that opens this weekend. Click HERE to visit my website's "Holiday Show" page and see all my work that will be included in this exhibit. And please come by the gallery to see them in real life if you can make it!

Holiday Group Show
Davis Gallery, 837 W. 12th Street, Austin, Texas
Drop-in Reception - Saturday December 8
7:00 - 9:00 pm

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ruby Orbs (enlarged)

Ruby Orbs (enlarged version), 18 x 24, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2012
Available at the Davis Gallery

I have been on a pomegranate painting binge lately... I simply can not resist their shape and color and essence. This is the enlarged version of a study I posted last week; and is one of three paintings in a series that will be on display at the Davis Gallery Holiday Group Show. The exhibit opens this coming weekend and includes fabulous work by many of our gallery artists. If you are in town, please stop by for the reception on Saturday. I hope to see you there! 

Holiday Group Show
Davis Gallery, 837 W. 12th Street, Austin, Texas
Reception Saturday, December 8, 2012
7:00 - 9:00 pm

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. 

See more Small Works

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. :)

See more Small Works

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

River Secrets - Auction for Hurricane Sandy Victims

River Secrets, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012, SOLD
All proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy Victims

Friends, please join me in a fund raising effort for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. I will donate the proceeds of this painting through an auction over at Daily Paintworks. The process is easy, you bid (and keep bidding), and at the end of the 7-day auction I will send the full amount of the sale to the Red Cross. The painting will go to the highest bidder... It's win/win! 

Update: this painting sold and proceeds have been donated to the Red Cross. Thank you K and B!

This cause is near and dear to my heart. My son and his new wife live in Brooklyn and my sister's family lives near Albany. (Thankfully, they are safe and sound). My thoughts and prayers are with each of them, and with all who were hit by this devastating storm. 

Coincidentally, I was just in New England this past weekend and painted this plein air piece beside the Connecticut River in Hanover, New Hampshire. My husband and I were at Dartmouth College (his alma mater) for homecoming.... truly the "calm before the storm" in that part of the country. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Lacy-Blue, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012 

I couldn't resist taking another shot at these gorgeous Lace-cap Hydrangeas (see my last post for first one). This piece is a little looser and abstract, as I was mostly focused on the shapes and color relationships. And I do love that blue! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lacecap Hydrangea Blossom

Lace-cap Hydrangea Blossom, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

I do love hydrangeas and the Lace-cap is one of my favorite varieties. When I see them growing in a garden (or anywhere for that matter) I am captivated by their magical, delicate forms. Nature is a constant wonder, don't you think?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bicycle Alley - Quick Draw Do-over

Bicycle Alley, 8 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

Plein Air Painting events often have a "Quick Draw" component in which artists gather in a pre-defined perimeter to paint in a timed and judged session. For the 90 minute Quick Draw in Kerrville, I chose this glowing alley as my subject. It seemed simple enough - but no. When the end whistle blew I was not quite finished. I did turn in that piece but when I got home I had to paint it again. I just wanted a little more time! This small piece is my second, home effort. 

Side-note: Kent, the owner of this bike who works in the adjacent building, told me the real scoop. Apparently, back in the day, nurses from the hospital across the street used to come to this alley to smoke. I wanted to call this "Smoking Alley" but I didn't think it would make sense to anyone but Kent and me. :)

Here are some process shots from the Quick Draw taken by Kerrville photographers Bob and Diana Nelson. Thanks Bob and Diana!

photo credit: Diana Nelson

photo credit: Bob Nelson

photo credit: Diana Nelson

photo credit: Diana Nelson

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Morning on the River - Kerrville Outdoor Painting Event

Morning on the River, 12 x 9, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012 - SOLD

Fall color is beginning to emerge! This is another spot on the Guadalupe River in Hunt, Texas. The early morning water was so still and reflective, it was almost like glass. After about an hour of painting though, a breeze came up through the canyon and killed the reflections. Luckily, I had gotten lots of the color information in place early on, so I was able to stick with my original inspiration... that golden mirror image.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Overhanging Cypress - Kerrville Outdoor Painting Event

Overhanging Cypress, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

Huge cypress trees line the banks of the Guadalupe River in the Kerrville and Hunt area of Texas. It's quite something to see how they create a corridor for the water to run through. This particular stand of trees welcomes visitors at the entrance of Camp LaJunta in Hunt. The camp directors were kind enough to let us spend a day on their land. It was so pleasant to stand in the shade and paint with that lovely water flowing past. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Creek Shadows - Kerrville Outdoor Painting Event

Creek Shadows, 9x12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

This scene is at the entrance of Camp LaJunta, a kids' camp out in Hunt, Texas. The creek feeds into the Guadalupe River which flows right over the main road and through the center of the camp. I can only imagine the campers' excitement when they arrive at camp each summer and get to drive over the water on their way in. It's pretty cool - I would have LOVED to go to this camp when I was a kid! 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Barn Row - Kerrville Outdoor Painting Event

Barn Row, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

This is another painting from the plein air event in Kerrville, Texas. The ranch where these three barns are located was a treasure trove of painting subjects. (The Victorian house from yesterday's post is on the same property.) I could have painted here for a week, easily, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I had. 

As I was packing up my gear, the little goats below started following me around. They must have thought I had snacks or something - after all, it was getting on towards dinner time. All the other painters had cleared out except for Julie Davis (my faithful painting companion for the week) and me, so we were the only hope those goats had. They were very cute. And persistent!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Porch Light - Kerrville Outdoor Painting Event

Porch Light, 9 x 12, Oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

The last few days have been a whirlwind... 
Immediately upon returning from my son's wedding, I drove out to Kerrville, Texas for the first ever Kerrville Outdoor Painting Event (KOPE). Participating artists spent three days painting in the Hill Country at homes and ranches that were graciously opened up for us. This victorian house from the 1800's was irresistible with all of it's ornamental detail and huge wraparound porch; and the rusty old truck seemed to fit right in.

I had a great time with old and new friends (plein air painters are the friendliest bunch), and my good friend Robin Cheers won it all! On Friday night she won the 90 minute quick draw and on Saturday she took best of show. Congratulations Robin!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

White Picket Fence and Happily Ever After

White Picket Fence, 6 x 8, Oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012,  SOLD

What is it about white picket fences that make me feel settled and peaceful? At home? Maybe that is just my state of mind right now... this past weekend my son and his beautiful bride were married in Long Island. They are absolutely perfect for each other and the whole weekend was full of joy. My heart is overflowing. 

Here are some special moments from the day...

Mr. and Mrs. Rawson Daniel 

Happily ever after...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Beside Still Waters, 12 x 12, Oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

This weekend, my son will marry his true love. It is such a happy occasion for both families and we are celebrating with all our hearts! Such joy! Right before I left Austin for the wedding, I was able to squeeze in a morning to paint at the lake. It was a good way for me to avoid the obsessive nature of all things "wedding"... to just get outside and take a breath and reflect on this most glorious event. I am one happy mom. :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Shallow Creek Bed

Shallow Creek Bed, 12 x 9, Oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

The creeks are flowing here in Texas, due to September rains... and let me just say, we love rain, no matter when it falls. This creek is a popular spot for teenagers, particularly when spring fever hits. But this week? Quiet and peaceful. Only the occasional dog and master passed me by, so I had it all to myself. The river grasses are warming up with that warm fall glow... just delicious. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sunny Side

Sunny Side, 12 x 9, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

I was very taken with the shadow and light patterns on this cottage. Painting them was a great study of temperature (warms and cools), linear perspective and simplification. Architecture always offers a different kind of challenge. It's so important to just see shapes and how they relate to each other, but that can be very hard! I did have lots of encouragement from the peacocks that live here (Mayfield Park). They kept constant watch over me as I worked! 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tumbling Falls

Tumbling Falls, 12 x 9, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

Summer is officially over and we are actually experiencing some cooler temperatures here in Austin! Mornings have been especially delightful and I've celebrated with paintbrush in hand! This waterfall is in a quiet corner of Zilker Botanical Garden and it's a pretty peaceful place to paint.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Secret Fern Grotto

Secret Fern Grotto, 12 x 9, oil on panel, L.Daniel © 2012

Last week, Plein Air Austin met up at a wonderful spot. Getting there took effort and determination, but after 125 rickety, steep rock steps down into a canyon, we discovered a magical, secret fern grotto. This is one of those places that you just have to experience from the full 360 degrees of sight and sound. It's simply breathtaking. The quiet dripping of the waterfall... the eerie birdsong... the brilliantly colored moss and fern...  I can only say this, the climb in and out (on a really hot day) was totally worth it. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

River Rapids

River Rapids, 8 x 16, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

Today Plein Air Austin met up at a park on the San Marcos River, about 30 miles south of town. It was great to be back painting outside (after a little hiatus on my part), and the river didn't disappoint. The water was smooth as glass above the rapids and thundered mightily through the rocks as it traveled downward. Every now and then, a kayaker would entertain by running this little shoot. It was a lovely morning to say the least. :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pier Breezes and Workshop Announcement

Pier Breezes, 8 x 16, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012
Available at Anderson Gallery

This pier in the village of St. Simons Island, GA is a favorite hang out spot for locals and tourists alike. At least once in every visit to the island, my family can be found walking out to the end with ice cream cones to watch the fishermen (and women) and to feel the cool ocean breeze. It's a family tradition! :) 

Workshop Announcement:

I am thrilled to be teaching another plein air workshop on the island next spring!
Come join me! Here is the information:

En Plein Air - Composing a Strong Landscape
May 20 - 22, 2013 
Monday-Wednesday, 9am-4pm 
Anderson Fine Art Gallery
St. Simons Island, GA

Workshop Description: 
Focus on good composition and the strategic placement of natural subjects found in the landscape. Learn to design pleasing, dynamic entrances and exits into your paintings, and practice composing "on the fly" in the plein air tradition. We will meet at different sites on the island, and each session will include a demo and a critique. 

To sign up:
Please contact Mary Anderson

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Garden Color - Door County Plein Air

Garden Color (Quick Draw), 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012, SOLD

The Door County Plein Air Festival ends with a "Quick Draw" event. This is where all the artists paint for two hours in one public, advertised location (about a 6 block radius). It starts and ends with a blow horn (imagine brushes poised in hands at the beginning and a mad dash to frame wet paintings in the back of cars at the end). A live auction of all the work immediately follows, right there, on the spot. Nerve-racking? Yes! But quite a finale it is! And most importantly, this auction and the whole festival raises funding for the Peninsula School of Art which offers fabulous art classes all year round. It's a very worthy cause. 

My week in Door County was wonderful... I was so, so honored to meet and paint with each of the incredible artists who participated. It was truly inspiring. Many thanks to everyone at the school who made it all come together!

Here I am, concentrating during the quick paint...

Bidders and Auctioneer getting ready for the live auction.

My amazingly supportive husband, Bill, came for the final weekend festivities
and our high school friends, Terri and Steve, joined us on Saturday.
Thanks for your support, guys! :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Weathered Bluff and Stormy Lake - Door County Plein Air

Weathered Bluff, 12 x 9, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

These two paintings from the Door County Plein Air Festival are completely connected, story-wise, so I am posting them together...

I got up very early one morning to paint the rocky cove above. I was sure that the morning light would be just gorgeous, but about 20 minutes after I started, it began to rain. Clearly a big storm was coming so I had to quit. Packing up my car, I noticed the "Stormy Lake" view below and determined that I could paint that scene under the tailgate of my rental car. The storm got louder and wilder. Eventually, I was completely inside the car, cross-legged, and finished the painting with my easel practically in my lap. 

I did go back the next day for the "Weathered Bluff" painting - I was committed! It was overcast again, but still beautiful. I do want to go back again sometime when it's sunny! Hopefully next year?? :) 

(Again, please forgive the blurry photos, I did not have the right equipment with me to get good images. Still kicking myself.)

Stormy Lake, 12 x 9, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012, NFS

Friday, August 3, 2012

Broken Barns - Door County Plein Air

Broken Barns, 8 x 16, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

Another piece from the Door County Plein Air Festival...
These dilapidated old barns were in a hidden field on the north end of the Door County peninsula. I didn't see any "No Trespassing" signs and no one lived nearby, so I helped myself to a delightfully quiet morning. I even got ambitious and decided to take some process pictures as I painted, but promptly forgot after shooting the block-in and location pictures below. I guess I was having too much fun. You know what they say about good intentions! Below is the beginning and above is the finished painting.

Broken Barns Block-in, 8 x 16
Line and mass underdrawing
Using French ultramarine and burnt sienna

Broken Barns - location shot 
Block-in complete, ready for color
Sorry, I forgot to take pictures during the process...