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.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Hungry Bird

Capturing the character of little birds is always a fun pursuit.  I like to recreate their attitude in these little portraits. This little fellow is a hunter.  He has his dinner and wants to stay on the move. No lounging through long dinners; he's a man of action, addicted to adrenaline, always on the go. The original painting was created on a 6x8 inch stretched canvas with professional grade oil paints. Although my little bird paintings don't stay with me for long, this little fellow is still hanging around. The original painting can be purchased here, or if you miss him, reproduction fine art prints are available from my website and in my gallery of birds.

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.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Digital Dabbling on the Road

Travelling this past week with a car full of packages, suitcases, and extra passengers meant that I had to leave my paints and papers at home while I visited family.  I was fine at first and kept busy with the holidays, but by the end of the week, my creativity bones were itching.  I found myself playing with the digital tools in Photoshop and eventually created this square format collage.  It was a delight to play with colors, shapes, and lines and I am happy with my abstract creation.  The image has been uploaded to my website and is available on fine art paper, stretched canvas, or as a framed print.  I'm also happy to say that it can even be reproduced as a pillow  or iphone case .

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Lines and Colors

Creating handmade papers and using them in collage resulted in this abstract work.  Layering paper, ink, and paint was part of the process.  Lines of color, both warm and cool, helped me choose the title for the piece.  I've been experimenting with paper supports hoping to find a surface that works well. This design was created on an 9x9 inch 90 lb. watercolor paper.  The biggest challenge has been finding a paper that will lay flat.  At first this support curled just like the rest, but about half way through the creation process, I coated the back with acrylic matte medium.  It helped.  The paper tried to curl back upon itself, and in the process, is almost flat.  Framed, behind a piece of glass, it is beautiful. Reproduction prints are available at this link to my website or you can click on the prints tab at the top of the page to view more of my work.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Roads of Life

One of my favorite things to paint in the landscape are roads.  They imply so many things, literally and metaphorically.  Roads take us places, give us choices, and help us accomplish our goals.  I have recently finished a series of small paintings that focus on roads. This little 6x8 inch oil painting is one of my favorites in the series.  It leads viewers to wonder what is ahead and question where we are going.  I love that!  This series will begin to appear in my Etsy Shop as the paint dries.  Some of the paintings will be available as reproduction prints, so visit the Landscape Gallery of my website to view available prints. Another option is to click on the tabs at the top of the page to view my small original paintings, prints, and abstract works.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Birds, Birds, Birds

On my usual rotation of subjects, I have gravitated to birds.  I like to paint these little fellows on small canvases.  Small birds, small canvases seems appropriate, so this week I went bird crazy. As they dry, the originals will be listed for sale in my Etsy Shop.  Of the five that emerged from my brush, this little Chickadee is my favorite.  I love the neutral colors and the warm pink glow as he sits on a branch on watches the world go by.  The original is 4x6 inches and was created with oil paints. Since the paint is still wet, he isn't for sale yet, but keep checking my Etsy Shop and the Birds and Animals link. He and some of his siblings will be showing up soon,  If you can't wait, reproduction prints are available from my website or you can click on the Prints Tab at the top of the page and explore the Birds Gallery.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Magazine Photo Shoot

A couple of months ago, my painting took a trip to Georgia as part of a photoshoot for This Old House Magazine.  I am excited to announce that the January/February 2015 issue debuted today and this painting is a part of it.  The article, Fresh Start, is about the remodeling of a 1940's home in Georgia and the family that owned it.  This little 8x10 inch oil painting added color to an otherwise mostly white bathroom.  It looks great propped up on a shelf just above the bathtub.  You can see it here and if you scroll to the bottom of the text in the link, there is a credit to me and a link to my Etsy Shop.  Needless to say, I am thrilled that my little painting is a part of this endeavor. Reproduction prints and posters of the painting are also available here or by clicking on the "Prints" tab at the top of the page.  The original is for sale at this link.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Magenta Splash Paper Collage

Second in my recent series is this collage composed of paper, paint, pencil, and ink.  I used a variety of media in this experimental work.  The original was created on 140 lb Strathmore paper.  It is the best I have tried so far with minimal curling occurring in spite of a liberal use of wet paint, ink, and matte medium.  I used Decocolor Acrylic Markers, Golden Fluid Acrylics, and some home made alcohol ink.  That bright blue shape was created with a Caran d'Arche Neocolor Artist Crayon and a liberal passage of water and there are some scribbles done with Prismacolor Watercolor pencils.  As you can see, it was a little of this, a little of that, and a whole lot of fun.  Reproduction prints of this work can be purchased here, on my website.  If you would like to see more of my abstract works, please visit the Abstract Gallery at my website or click on the prints tab at the top of the page.