Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Hidden Beach Path

 

Hidden Beach Path, 8 x 10, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2023

Another plein air day in Georgia last month found me caught up in the "tangle"...

What do I mean by that? Well... physically, the vegetation itself was CRAZY and I kept getting lost in the vines and branches and layers. But mentally, I forgot to bring my tripod, and had to make do without it. Not good! I started out at a picnic table, but that had the wrong angle. Sitting on the ground? Not at all comfortable (Have I mentioned that I really prefer to stand?) When all else failed, I discovered that a garbage can was a PERFECT support for my paint box!!! Who knew? :)


2023 SPRING WORKSHOPS (click HERE for info and registration):
April 14-15 - Contemporary Austin Art School, Austin, TX (Wait list only)
May 4-6 - Anderson Fine Art Gallery in St. Simons Island, GA



Thursday, March 9, 2023

Streams of Light - Finish It Friday!

Streams of Light, 12 x 16, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2023

Welcome to some Friday fun! Today, "FINISH IT" FRIDAY! 

Sometimes when I am out painting, I am unable to finish a piece on location. Things happen. A car parks in front of the view, a boat sails away, a storm comes up, nourishment is required, the calendar beckons... you get the picture. It can be anything! 

So... Last week I was plein air painting on the Georgia coast, and this time it was the incoming tide that shut me down! I worked as fast as I could, but finally had to pack up to avoid getting wet. I made some quick placeholders for the clouds, memorized all the shapes and colors, and brought it back to finish in the studio. 

Here is how it went from unfinished to finished... I think the final decisions are always interesting...

UNFINISHED

FINISHED PIECE

What I did:
1) Built out the sky according to my painted notes. 
2) Adjusted shapes, value, and color on the large masses.  
3) Pulled the elements together, paying attention to edges and transition colors.
4) Popped the highlights (always the last thing I do). 

In the final stages, I am thinking about how to make the painting flow cohesively. Some of the questions I ask myself include: Does the light agree everywhere in the scene? Does the perspective work? Does the distance recede? Does the foreground come forward? Where does the viewer's eye go? These are very helpful for determining when I am DONE! :)

2023 SPRING WORKSHOPS (click HERE for info and registration):
April 14-15 - Contemporary Austin Art School, Austin, TX (Wait list only)
May 4-6 - Anderson Fine Art Gallery in St. Simons Island, GA

Monday, March 6, 2023

Waiting

Waiting, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2023

Oh, how I love these birds! They stalk the marsh and beach, just waiting for breakfast. Standing ever so still, they "hide" in plain sight... but when a morsel of food swims by, they are quick to pounce. Mesmerizing!

2023 SPRING WORKSHOPS (click HERE for info and registration):
April 14-15 - Contemporary Austin Art School, Austin, TX (Wait list only)
May 4-6 - Anderson Fine Art Gallery in St. Simons Island, GA

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Brogen's at the Pier - Fix It Friday!

Brogen's at the Pier, 10 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2023
NFS

Brogen's is a favorite bar and hamburger joint in the village on St. Simons Island, GA. The food is delish and it's right on the water. When I painted it en plein air, the waitress brought out some onion rings for a little work break. How nice was that? 

Well, the painting had a few problems that needed addressing!:) Here is the "before" image...

BEFORE

AFTER

Problem - Alley way lacked shadow and failed to recede. 
The scene was flat and one-dimensional. 
Fix - Darkened the value on the pink wall leading into the alley.
Fix - Popped highlights on front of Brogen's decks and awnings. 

Problem - Palm tree, ground, and building were blending together. (More flatness!)
Fix - Changed the color of the palm's trunk to differentiate it from the building.
Fix - Lightened ground plane in front of door.


OBSERVATIONS
I had a hard time seeing the true value of that pink wall when I was in the field. It was in shadow, but I painted it like it was in the light. Even very light colors appear dark when they are in shadow. The only way to observe the value correctly is by squinting way down. And I will admit it, I kind of loved the idea of that funky pink wall. But in the end, I had to mute it out altogether! It just wasn't working! 

Fun side note: My niece is having one of her wedding events at Brogen's in the fall, so this piece will go to the sweet newlyweds! 


2023 SPRING WORKSHOPS (click HERE and join me):
April 14-15 - The Contemporary Austin Art School in Austin, TX (Full with wait list)
May 4-6 - Anderson Fine Art Gallery in St. Simons Island, GA


Thursday, February 23, 2023

Saturday Schemes - Figures on Friday!

Saturday Schemes, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2023
Click to purchase - $150 + $15 s/h

I happened upon these two young guys down at Lost Creek in Austin (I mean, isn't that name just fuel for the imagination?) I was painting further up the creek while they had taken up this spot under the bridge... clearly making plans for their afternoon. Oh, the joy of that fabulous young freedom! "The world is our oyster", "we can do anything"... those feelings were so evident and compelling. I took a quick snap on my phone and kept going. Plans like these are not to be disturbed! ;)

Here is how the piece started out...
Block-In

Finished piece

Since the background was so dark, I toned the canvas to bring the value to a more workable starting point. Also, you can see where I had to make some corrections in my drawing. I originally made the torsos too short. Note to self: Check and double check dimensions after the block in, and make adjustments before moving forward. 

2023 SPRING WORKSHOPS (click HERE for info and registration):
April 14-15 - The Contemporary Austin Art School in Austin, TX (Wait list only)
May 4-6 - Anderson Fine Art Gallery in St. Simons Island, GA

Monday, February 20, 2023

A Good Day

A Good Day, 8 x 8, Oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2023
Click to purchase $200 + $20 s/h

Some days are just GOOD. And I am so grateful for those days! A friend of mine recently reminded me how easy it is to miss that goodness. Maybe it's because life is full of challenges and maybe we just aren't paying close enough attention. It can take intentionality to find the good, but it is SUCH a better perspective when we do! Thank you for the reminder, SS!


2023 SPRING WORKSHOPS (click HERE for info and registration):
April 14-15 - The Contemporary Austin Art School in Austin, TX (Wait list only)
May 4-6 - Anderson Fine Art Gallery in St. Simons Island, GA

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Park Gazebo - Fix It Friday!

 

Park Gazebo, 12 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2023

I do love a Friday Fun Day... A different perspective and freedom to play... 

Today I am revisiting FIX IT FRIDAY - a practice from the cooped up Covid days of 2020! During that time, I posted a new "fixer upper" for 25 straight weeks in a row! It got me through the dog days of staying home and social distancing. From there, I moved to FIGURES ON FRIDAY (like the one I posted HERE last week). Both practices offer a little break and are good for my soul. ;)


BEFORE

AFTER

Problem - Lighting is overall muted and flat.
Fix - Increased the contrast by "pushing" the darks and lights on the structure and foreground trees.
Fix - Brightened the sky with a more intense blue and contrasty clouds.
Fix - Changed the gazebo roof to a cooler, crisper color (which makes its shade below it feel like a cooler place to be too.) 

Problem - Figure on left was not working for me. Too large? Proportions off?
Fix - When in doubt - DELETE! What a relief!
Fix - Narrowed the path which got too wide trying to accommodate my odd figure. 

OBSERVATIONS

Sometimes I can see that I have fallen short with my value range. (It's always so much easier to see after the fact. We get retina fatigue and just stop too soon.) That was happening here. It just needed that final pop of values to set the light and overall tone of the painting. 

Now I can feel the ocean breeze and the sunshiny reflection off the water. Ahhh!


2023 SPRING WORKSHOPS (click HERE and join me):
April 14-15 - The Contemporary Austin Art School in Austin, TX (Full with wait list)
May 4-6 - Anderson Fine Art Gallery in St. Simons Island, GA

Thursday, February 9, 2023

And the Walking Girl Walks - Figures on Friday!

And the Walking Girl Walks, 8 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2022
NFS

Meet my sister. Two years my elder, we grew up together through thick and thin! She is fiercely independent, a brilliant musician, the leader of the pack, and a lover of the morning walk (the earlier the better.) Maybe you can catch a glimpse of her personality in this painting... not much gets in her way!!! 

Oh, and always the wild one... she got grounded for life by our dad in high school (a week-long penalty never quite got her attention). So, technically, she is still grounded! ;)


2023 SPRING WORKSHOPS (click HERE and join me):
April 14-15 - The Contemporary Austin Art School in Austin, TX (Full with wait list)
May 4-6 - Anderson Fine Art Gallery in St. Simons Island, GA

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Fall Fade with Process Shots!

 

Fall Fade, 10 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2023
Available - Click for information 

The muted tones of fall are deliciously soft and comforting. Nature seems to be going to sleep to rest up for its spring display. I love the cycle. 

Below are some process shots...

I kept my dark underpainting very thin and sketchy.

As I added color, I toggled back and forth between the trees and sky, kind of mushing them together. I wanted to hang on to the softness and branchy-ness.  

To finish it off, I used my warmest tones and greatest contrast in the front row of trees and grasses. This added some depth. It helped push the background back and pull the foreground forward.

2023 SPRING WORKSHOPS (click here and join me):
April 14-15 - The Contemporary Austin Art School in Austin, TX (Only 1 spot left!)
May 4-6 - Anderson Fine Art Gallery in St. Simons Island, GA

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Sunflowers - Warming Up in a New Year

Sunflowers, 16 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2023

If you are like me, getting back to your routines after the holidays is a challenge! Whatever it is we are trying to accomplish, this often requires warming up, psyching up, and pushing ourselves into action. It's the same with painting. One thing that works for me is setting up a still life, squeezing out a good deal of paint, and focusing in. The key is to get the brushes wet and keep them moving. 

So... here are some sunflowers for the the new year. They are also the happiest flower created, and they bring great joy into the room with their sunny disposition! 


2023 SPRING WORKSHOPS (click here and join me):
April 14-15 - The Contemporary Austin Art School in Austin, TX
May 4-6 - Anderson Fine Art Gallery in St. Simons Island, GA

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Morning Breaks Eternal and Happy New Year!

Morning Breaks Eternal, 30 x 30, oil on canvas, L. Daniel© 2023
Available through the Davis Gallery - Click for Purchase Info

This early morning scene took my breath away. The rim of mountains in the distance and glorious sky beckoned a new and glorious day. What a sweet way to get started! 

Happy New Year to all! Heartfelt, though a little belated! :)

2023 SPRING WORKSHOPS (click here and join me):
April 14-15 - The Contemporary Austin Art School in Austin, TX
May 4-6 - Anderson Fine Art Gallery in St. Simons Island, GA