Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Reflecting Light

A collection of glass bottles is the focus of this still life oil painting. It was painted from life. It helps to see how the light reflects as the glass is recreated on canvas. In my last post, I discussed the practice of using the rules of color and light to paint little still life paintings. I did not have a reference for my example, but used what I knew about the subject to create the painting of an orange bell pepper. Painting glass is different. Light spews in so many directions. Reflections on glass depend on so many variables, that I find it difficult to create the sensation without an actual reference. The color of the glass, the thickness of the glass, and the direction of the light are trickier when it comes to painting glass. This original 6x8 inch oil painting is for sale in my Etsy Shop along with some of my other original still life paintings. At this point, it is not available as a reproduction. I hope you will stop by and view some of my other small format paintings. This painting can be viewed here.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Always Looking

When painting still life, I've always felt it was necessary to have a reference. The best references are those that I buy at the grocery store or farmer's market and bring home. Or are they?  Recently I've been giving myself a little test. I've worked on a series of fruit and vegetable paintings. Some I have painted from a live reference and some from my mind's eye using the rules of light, shadow, and color. The question is whether or not there is truly a difference.  What do you think?  Was this orange pepper painted from reference or memory?  I'll let you ponder that and will give the answer in my next blog update, so stay tuned. The original 6x8 inch oil painting is for sale in my Etsy shop. It was created with professional grade oil paints on a stretched canvas. You can view it here. It is also available in larger sizes as a reproduction on archival paper or canvas from my website here. Click here for sizes and prices. You can also make it into a fun little throw pillow. Follow this link for sizes and prices of throw pillows.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

It's in the Eyes

Recently I've been working on a series of small bird portraits. I always start with painting the eyes. If I can get the eyes right, the rest of the creature seems to come together much easier. This guy is strong and determined. He's in charge and wants everyone to know it. As I get the paintings in this series photographed and uploaded, the originals will be listed in my Etsy shop in the Birds and Animals gallery. Most are 4x5 an 4x6 inches in size, created on canvas panels with professional grade oil paints. If I can get decent photographs, I will also sell them as reproductions here. It is a challenge to photograph small paintings and have them suitable as reproductions, so many of them may exist in original form only. When they are gone, they're gone, original one of a kind small format art. How cool is that?  If you'd like to see all of the work I have available for reproduction, please stop by my gallery and shop here.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sunday Morning


Sunday is a pastel day, easy, comfortable, devoid of stress, a sleep in, read the paper kind of day. This mixed media contemporary abstract design is my Sunday morning. The stress of the weekdays has broken away revealing a soft inner core, pastels, tints, not the grating of the day to day grind.  That's what inspired this original collage work that was developed on 12x12 inch watercolor paper using acrylic paints, ink, and torn paper. Reproductions of the image are available in the abstract gallery of my website.  To add to the fun, I discovered it looks great as a pillow, too.  Click here for prints and here for pillows.  How fun is that?


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sunshine and Rain

The weather in February has been awful. Snow in the East and rain in the West. In the Pacific Northwest where I live it has been day after day of drizzling liquid.  To combat the dreariness of it, I have been painting oranges. They are bright and sunny and I get to eat them when the day is done. This 6x6 inch still life of sliced oranges is one of the recent series of tropical fruit paintings that has served me well during the gray gloom of the month.  The original can be purchased here. Visit the tropical fruit section of my Etsy shop to view more. These little jewels are not available as reproductions, but I hope they will brighten your day as they have mine.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Old and New

Combining some contemporary techniques with a traditional still life is what today's posting is all about. I began this acrylic painting with layers of paint and pattern, using stencils, stamps, and a paintbrush, I created a textured underpainting. Working intuitively the design took on a life of its own. When I reached the point where it felt like it was finished, I created the silhouette of a simple pear still life over the underlying design.  It turned out to be a fun combination of old and new, abstract and representational, and my love of both was satisfied by the completion of the painting. The original was created on a 12x12 inch sheet of watercolor paper with acrylic paints. Giclee reproductions are available from my website here. The square format painting can be ordered in a variety of square format sizes, on paper, or on stretched canvas, one of my favorites when 1.5 inch stretcher bars are used. Very cool for the kitchen.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Converging Ideas

Playing with texture and color was the order of today's effort.  I used acrylic mediums, foil, and paint as my playground. It was a fun experiment that achieved a design worth keeping. The original work was created on 11x14 inch paper. Reproductions are available in a variety of sizes from my website. Click here for details about this work.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Balancing Act


Part of creating abstraction is playing with some of the basic elements of art, lines, shapes, colors, and balance.  Today's abstract work was an exercise that dealt with all of these elements.  It began as a collage that combined some handmade and found papers.  Dark lines and dots were the first inspiration.  I added some complimentary colors, red and green, but was not pleased.  A dash of purple didn't help.  As layers began to build, the work wasn't coming together for me.  I added some stenciling, then some paint markers, then some more paint.  I let it sit for several days.  The balance was off.  I had lines dissecting the paper in ways that didn't work.  I added some black paint. It was too dark.  Still I was not happy.  It sat for a few more days and I worked on other compositions. Finally in a fury I painted the three white circles.  Suddenly it seemed to work.  A balance of light and dark, rectangular and circular forms, and textures came together in a cohesive abstraction that I call Leaving the Dark.  The title is both figurative and literal.  Literally I moved from black to white and figuratively I felt an accomplishment the took me from a cranky, dark place to a light hearted mood. It was all about the balance. I am happy. Reproductions of this abstract collage painting are available from my website. Details are here. You might also like some of my other abstract work. Check out my abstract gallery here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Good Morning Bird


Painting little creatures with a limited palette and few brush strokes was part of the inspiration for this little bird, the first painting of the day.  Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson, and Titanium White were the three colors I used in its creation.  He was painted on a 6x8 inch stretched canvas with oil paints. A wash of crimson started the process.  The original painting is for sale in my Etsy Shop in the Birds and Animals section.  Details about this little guy are here.  Reproduction prints are also available on paper, canvas, acrylic, and metal at my website in the Birds Gallery.  Also, just for fun, he is also available on note cards, phone cases, and throw pillows in a variety of sizes.  I hope you will visit.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Another Road


This little 6x8 inch painting has gone home, sold to a buyer from Bend, Oregon, one of my favorite towns on earth.  It was inspired by the high desert and Cascade Mountains that are so visible from the plains of Central Oregon, so I am pleased that it can make its home in the landscape that inspired it. The original painting was created with professional grade oil paints.  Reproduction fine art prints and posters are still available from my website in the landscape gallery.  I hope you will stop by and see some of my other landscape paintings, too.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Back to the Road

Recently I have moved back to painting roads.  The demands are diverse and give me an opportunity to work on a number of skills, all about perspective.  The ability to paint proper aerial perspective is the first requirement that comes to mind.  As subjects move into the distance, the colors required to paint a realistic depiction changes as blue moves into the paint and yellow moves out.  Secondly, I have to focus on the geometry of the road and how it decreases in shape and size as it moves into the distance.  If I don't get it right, it doesn't look like a road.  Moving away from objects in the painting is also a consideration.  I have to ask myself a series of questions.  Do they overlap?  What is the relationship in size and how do I depict that? And lastly, I have to consider edges.  The closer objects have sharper edges than the objects in the distance. So, you can see why I like to paint road scenes. So many challenges keep me thinking and on my toes.  The original painting displayed above was created with professional grade oil paints on a stretched 8x10 inch canvas.  It is available in my Etsy Shop of small format original paintings in the landscape section.  Prints and reproductions are available in a variety of sizes and surfaces from my website in the landscape gallery.  I have several additional road paintings I've been working on, but the paint isn't dry yet.  I'll let you see them when they are finished if you check back again soon.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Back to Tradition

This week I was inspired to move back to some traditional work. Using a dark background to contrast with the bright orange of a tangerine trio, I worked in oils on canvas.  The painting is a small 6x6 inch square format that was an absolute delight to paint, but so difficult to photograph.  My son, who is a cinematographer, gave me some great suggestions and I want to publicly thank him for his help. My photographs don't compare to the wonderful work he does with a camera, but I do appreciate his tutoring. The original is for sale here. Reproduction fine art prints are available from my website.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Front Page News

My new years resolution was to update my blog twice a week rather than the once a week I have been plodding along with for the past couple of years.  That would mean that later this week I would be doing the updating rather than today, but I received some good news that couldn't wait, so I am updating a few days early.  This morning I received a notification that this piece in my Spotted Fever Series had been selected for placement on the front page of Crated, a site where visitors can "buy, sell, and discover amazing art."  It was very exciting news.  If you scroll down, it is in the third row of images.  I'm not sure how long it will be there, maybe just today, so I had to share.  If you missed it on the front page, it is a part of my collage gallery and can be viewed here. I still have one more composition from this series on my work table and am not sure what surprises it will bring when it is completed.  It will join this one and the rest of my Crated art when it is finished.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Spotted Sunset

Today I am including another of  the Spotted Fever series in my post.  I have used almost all of that luscious dotted paper in this series.  This design is one of my favorites because of the warmth of the color.  It reminds me of a sunset. The horizontal lines remind me of a landscape and how the land and sky seem to spread out in strips of color and design as they recede into the distance. The square format would look great on a stretched canvas with the sides painted black. Although it was created on a sheet of paper, it can be ordered as a reproduction on canvas from my website.  You can view the entire series of Spotted Fever collages at my website or by clicking on the prints tab at the top of the page and selecting the abstract gallery.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Spotted Fever

Back home with my paper, paint, and ink, inspiration arose from a sheet of paper I found on a clearance rack at the local craft shop.  The bold polka dots spoke to me and encouraged a series of abstract collages with the spots as a focus.  Torn paper, acrylic paints, pigment ink, and jazz radio in the background helped the design come to life.  I have completed a second in this series and a third is still on my work table.  When the lovely spotted paper is all gone, I will have to look elsewhere for inspiration or go on a hunt for more spots.  You can view the first two in the series in the abstract gallery of my website.  The third will appear as soon as it feels finished.  Fine art prints and posters are available for purchase.  Click on this link or choose the prints or abstract tabs at the top of the page.  To see the entire collection of my abstract work, visit here.