Monday, September 30, 2013

Day 30

11x14 oil on canvas

Well, I did finish 30 paintings in 30 days even if I had to do a marathon today to catch up.  All but one of the paintings today had already been started either en plein air and needed some major touches, or just a painting that didn't work to my satisfaction and I went back in to fix spots so I would feel a bit better about them.  It is rare for me that a piece is started outside and then completed on the spot.  There is always something I want to fix and living with a painting until it is dry helps rest the eye so coming back weeks later you see it with fresh eyes.   Yes, this is at Sprewell Bluff, a piece I started several years ago and never finished.  I still see things I'd like to fix, but I'm so much happier with this now than it was when I took it off the landfill gallery shelf.  Total paint time today was about 9 hours.  

On to the rest of my life!  

Day 29

11x14 oil on canvas

Getting really tired and have resorted to palette knife and some scratch art.  Looks a bit like fall is on my mind.  On to painting number 30 before midnight! 

Day 28

11x14 oil on canvas

I've always loved my turquoise blue bowl.  The challenge for this painting was the spoon.  I didn't completely nail it, but close enough for me to move on to day 29.  

Day 27

11x14 oil on canvas

Today is the last day of the challenge and I am three paintings behind.  Trying to catch up painting and posting.  Not sure I can finish three more, but we will see how the day goes.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Day 26

11x14 oil on canvas 

Today was a fun day.  Leslie came and painted with me and both of us finished our paintings early.  Leslie painted trees and I painted begonias.  Not so sure about the size of the pot compared to the trees or how to fix the perspective, as the pot is supposed to be sitting on the ground with the trees in the background, but once this painting drys and I live with it a bit, maybe I'll see what needs to be done to make the pot sit realistically in the landscape.  

On to day 27. I am still one painting behind.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Day 25

8x10 oil on canvas  "Just a pepper" 

Not much to say about this one except that my studio is a lot cleaner than it was.  I spent my time organizing and throwing out stuff I didn't need or I needed to give away.  It feels good to have a clean studio.  

On to day 26. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Day 24

11x14 oil on archival canvas panel " Sweet Dreams Eddie Ann" 

Last December precious Eddie Ann crossed over the rainbow bridge.  I've wanted to paint his portrait but never could come up with the right idea for him.  He was a special kitty for sure and I will miss him forever. This portrait speaks to me and to who he was, I hope he likes it.  He was loved and still is.  

On to day 25.  I am still one painting behind, but maybe I'll be able to catch up before the challenge is over. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Day 23

11x14 oil on canvas  "Rhododendrons" 

Today was a wonderful first day of fall with the air a bit cooler and this afternoon sprinkles of rain.  In the studio I looked for something to paint from my favorite things collection of reference photos and found these rhododendrons.  I just love them almost as much as my azaleas.  

This afternoon the children came to play, paint and cook.  They set up a tea service and made wonderful tea ... except I think some of it tasted a bit like some kind of strawberry kool aid.  hummm  Both Carley Ann and Anna Claire painted with me yesterday and asked today if I could make them a page to show off their work.  I said I would, of course, and plan to do that in the morning.  Both children have such wonderful talent and I'm so proud they both want to paint.  It's good to have painting buddies.  

On to day 24.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day 22

11x14 oil on canvas  "Happy trees"
Several years ago Sandra Babb and I painted at Callaway overlooking the golf course and these two trees captured my attention.  I painted for a bit and then scraped off what I had painted and put this idea away leaving just a ghost image of what I had attempted. 
This afternoon I retreieved the canvas with the fuzzy ghost image of two trees and had a grand time painting my heart out all the time thinking about these two trees and how they grew together as many do appearing in the distance to be only one tree.  I thought about how all of us live in this world and at a distance seem to be one but yet, looking closer, we too are planted close to others  making us stronger than if we just stood alone.  Tonight I am thankful for God, my family and my friends who make me stronger and happier standing with me through this wonderful journey we call life.  As Bob Ross, a famous painter who taught many of us how to paint via televison, always said, " lets paint happy little trees",so I did.  On to day 23! 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Day 21

11x14 oil on canvas "Just around the bend"

You probably have figured out that I love azaleas and I love Callaway Gardens especially in the spring.  We are so fortunate to live so close to so many beautiful spots sometimes it's hard to choose a favorite.  Still, there is no place like home and in the spring my yard here in Thomaston and my neighborhood yards fill me with the same beauty.   Then there is Macon, Columbus, Atlanta, oh my... so many places to paint and so little time. 

Day 20

8x10 oil on canvas

Lesley and I painted yesterday but I didn't get photos of our work so I waited and took the snap this morning.  Hope to paint later today and post today's painting tonight.  This is just a quick little seascape, so much fun to do.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 19

8x12 oil on canvas  "Wild Verbena" 

In the spring of each year wild verbena makes a bold statement all along the roads and fields all over Georgia.  Sometimes I just have to pull over and just thank God for all the beauty He sets before us.  I've tried many times to transplant wild verbena, but never been successful; the best I can do is try my best to capture the inspiration in paint.  

Lesley came to paint with me this afternoon and we started on a seascape, but she had to leave early so I thought it might be best to put that one aside and wait until she can come back and we can pick up together where we left off.  I worked most of the afternoon but was interrupted by yellow kitty again this evening. Yellow kitty was so very hungry and his little belly was all sunk in so I called Anna Mary to see if I could come get a cup of food.  Some folks borrow sugar, not me... I borrow cat food.  LOL  After getting yellow kitty calmed down, I went back to painting and painted the wild verbena inspiration painting above.  All in all it was a good day painting and I'm ready for day 20!  Can you believe it!   

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Day 18

8x10  Oil on archival panel  

Everything was going good until I got to the white waterlilies.  I just didn't have the time or energy to deal with putting in the shadows which would made the waterlilies read right so I just opted for some quick outlines and a blue-yellow play of lines.  Given more time I would like to do this painting again and make the waterlilies totally white and take more time with the water droplets. 

I love this composition and really love the movement of the water.  All in all, I'm happy so it's on to day 19. Not sure that I will be able to do another catch-up painting this week, but we will see.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Catch up painting

11x14 oil on canvas  "Through the grass" 

This is the first effort today.  I'm using this as a catch-up painting since I did not get to paint this weekend. After posting this one I will only be one behind my goal of 30 paintings in 30 days. 

My self critique tells me that it certainly could stand some darker values and certainly could do something with those blue blobs of paint I added at the end trying to tie the painting together.  Still there are certain parts I do like and I will keep this maybe tweaking a bit more with some glazes after I live with it for a bit.  

Day 17

11x14 oil on canvas "Azaleas with Dogwoods" 

Today is day 17 and I painted two this afternoon trying my best to catch up.  This was my second effort taking a painting that I had previously done and painting over the shapes I did not like so that I could retrieve it from hanging in the Landfill Gallery.  I'm a great deal happier with this painting now giving it a new life today.  The photograph is not good as the camera picked up reflections from the wet paint, so I'll photograph it again when it is dry.  Moving on to day 18.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Day 16

12x12 oil on archival panel 

Today is day 16 of the painting challenge and I am 2 paintings behind, but I think I can catch up given a little luck and determination.  The painting today again is challenging me to get the ellipse right and try my hand at glass again. I paint more landscapes than I do still life,or at least I did when I was painting on a regular basis, so returning to still life for a little while feels good.  

Day 14 and 15

Well, as I told some friends, "I am a complete failure".  LOL  I did not get to paint Saturday or Sunday as so much activity was happening around this house it was impossible.  I painted in my dreams, however.  And, you should have seen what I painted!  Both paintings were awesome, the best ones yet.  LOL

This is part of why I didn't paint this weekend... enjoy.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Day 13

8x10 oil on archival panel  "Time to Sail" 

Yesterday when Lesley was here we talked about different ways to paint and tools to use.  I pulled out several books to find examples and my book of Monet's paintings was one of them.  This morning the book was still out so I sat for a little while looking and smiling and just enjoying another cup of coffee in the studio.  When I put the book down I was totally in my Monet Mood.  While my painting has only a faint handshake to his work, I did play with dots and dashes of color keeping my palette pretty limited and just had fun.  I do think it is time to sail, don't you?  On to day 14.  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Day 12

                                          12x12 oil on archival panel

Today was a fun day as I had a friend come paint with me.  We decided to paint the same subject from a photo reference and had a ball watching each other paint.  This is my painting and the following is Lesley's painting.  What fun!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Day 11

6x6 oil on archival panel 

If you guessed that this is Peanut Butter Candy, you are right.  Somehow I never got the color of peanut butter just right in this painting but really enjoyed the effort.  

If you want to make some, you will need 
  • 1 small potato
  • 2 pounds confectioner's sugar
  • peanut butter
Boil the potato either whole or sliced.  Slicing the potato will just make it cook quicker.  Then drain the water off and mash the potato until creamy.  You should have about 1/4 cup of potato but you might not need all of it.  

Put one box of confectioner's sugar in a large bowl and begin adding in the mashed potato a teaspoon at the time.  The potato will make the confectioner's sugar melt.  Alternate adding confectioner's sugar and potato until you have a consistency that will hold together so you can roll the mixture out like rolling dough.  

Place  your potato/sugar mixture on to a sheet of wax paper  so you can roll the mixture out into a rectangle making the thickness be about 1/4 inch.  The size of your rectangle will depend on how much sugar and potato you actually used when you were mixing the two together .  If you want to make a small batch, you would use a little potato and a sugar and you would not have used all the potato or the 2 pounds of sugar.  

Spread peanut butter over the rectangle and then roll up into a log like you would a jelly roll.  Once you have the log rolled you can refrigerate immediately and just slice off 1/4 inch slices  as you need it or you can go ahead and slice all of the log into peanut butter candy rounds.    Enjoy. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Day 10

4x16 oil on panel  

Today has been a very busy day trying to coordinate several different activities one of which I did not get to attend. Finding time to paint was interesting.  I painted a bit this morning and again this afternoon but when I realized it was crunch time and needed to get something finished so I could post, I pulled out the palette knife and worked to complete this little group of trees.  

Knife work carries it's own challenges so this was good for me along with the challenge of getting another painting completed for day 10. I love the blues and greens in this painting with the trees showing a touch of fall on the way.  On to day 11.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Day 9

8x12 oil over acrylic /canvas panel, unnamed

About five years ago I taught a class full of eager painters at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia on landscape composition.  We worked using acrylic paint and on this particular day the goal was to show aerial perspective by making the bushes and trees in the background lighter in color with less detail, and the foreground having  more detail. A simple goal with only two things to remember was just what all of us needed. Everyone in the class did a good job and went home with paintings they were proud to hang.  I, on the other hand, did not go home with a painting to hang, but instead stacked my demo painting with the others in my studio that I wanted to revisit one day.  

Today I pulled this painting out of the unfinished stack and worked for about two hours applying oil paint over the acrylic painting I had done as a class demo.  One thing to remember is that you can always put oil paint over acrylic but never the other way around.  This painting holds happy memories of that class and happy memories of Callaway Gardens that year. 

On to day 10 tomorrow morning; I'm liking this new schedule for me as it is certainly getting me back in the studio completing works and making a few new ones.  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Day 8

                                    5x8 oil on canvas panel  "The Earth is the Lords" 

I knew when I began this painting challenge that there would be days I would struggle to get painting time in and I knew that Sunday would be one of those days.  I have to be honest and tell you that I did not think I would be able to do a painting today since my day would consist of Sunday school, morning church and evening church plus family time.  Our service today and tonight really spoke to my heart telling me to spend time in prayer, to make sure that communication links were open to God who loves us and wants the best for us.  

I didn't make it to the studio until after 8 tonight.  By 8:48 I was done with this little painting but what a joy it was to paint, praying all along to God who holds this entire world and beyond in His hands.  I prayed for us all especially for the leaders of our country. Prayed as my hands worked from start to finish in less than 45 minutes.  Then I thanked God for loving me and helping me even with my painting and am in awe that He can care about the most silly things like this painting challenge.  So, with Gods help, on to day 9.   

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Day 7

                                         12x12 oil on panel  "My Baby" 

This morning I woke early to finish a painting that I had started last year from a photo reference from my friend Gayla Pryor Trice.  I did take lots of liberties but having this reference photo to work from really helped.  I still might go back in and tweek a few things but for now, this is done and I'll move on to day eight.  

Friday, September 6, 2013

Day 6

                                          6x6 oil on archival panel  untitled

What a fun morning!  I started painting some food and got hungry painting.  Big mistake, so I ate lunch early and went back out to the studio and painted a camellia.  Much better choice.  Time was short, so I'm glad I had some small panels ready to take up the challenge with me.

Also, it's always a surprise to me how my paintings look as thumbnails.  I think turning your painting upside down is a good way to check for spots that need extra help or editing, but thumbnails do it two.  This thumbnail shows lots of areas that need work, but it's on to day 7.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Day 5

                                12x16 art pastels on sanded paper  "Going Home" 
                                            Click the image to see a larger view

Yesterday afternoon I moved some things around in the studio trying my best to make more room.  It seems that the more I clean and throw out stuff, more stuff takes its place.  At any rate, I had a good time organizing several boxes of soft art pastels into color groups and from there into values shifts.  Then it was on to tackle paper after paper of works done with art pastels that just like the oils, I never finished.  

As I looked at the works, I found myself thinking that I really don't have one particular theme that my art work follows.  I'm pretty much open to paint anything and anywhere.  Still, landscape seems to be a favorite so I pulled this one out started many years ago and added some finishing touches playing with the grass and trees for about an hour.  It's now ready to be framed and that makes me feel really good.  

Looking forward to spending some more time in the studio this afternoon cleaning, organizing and thinking about what to paint next for day 6. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Day 4

                                                     9x12 oil on canvas  Two with Two 

Today I picked up a canvas that had a quick sketch of two flowers in a vase that I had started back in 2011 and just never got back to it.  The image was there for inspiration but it just wasn't enough so I quickly set up a plate with a glass to help me a bit with the shapes and shadows.  Needless to say, I was quickly in ellipse hell and actually almost decided I needed to name this one "Ellipse Hell".   I still do not have them right but I'm moving on as I should and get ready for the next challenge day.  

I can only say that doing a challenge like this serves an artist well in several ways.  First it forces work!  Second it forces speed!  And, third it forces acceptance for the good and the bad.  I like it and tomorrow I'll keep going.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Day 3

                                             12x12 Oil on canvas - Gerber Ramble

The last of my Gerber daisies have gone and I'm left with memories and weeds.  Some weeds aren't so bad, but it seems with all the rain this year I have a bumper crop living among the flowers.

On this painting I am liking the blues and greens with a pop of  red Gerbers.  There may be some adjustments to come, but for now this is my painting for day three of the painting challenge.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Day 2

                                                           9x12 oil on canvas  - unnamed 

Again today I worked to finish a painting begun back in spring of 2011.  Somehow I feel I lost my way with this one, but getting this done did make me feel good.  I do like parts of this painting especially the thoughts of how this scene looked when I actually stood looking out over God's palette of colors and shapes that day.  I think this is the main reason I enjoy painting from life out doors.  After you paint what you see you not only have a record of that day in paint but you have the memory of that day, what the day was like, who you were with and what fun it was.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Day 1

                                              9x12 oil on archival panel - no name as of yet.  

Several times today I thought about the painting challenge I had committed to do for the month of September.  September is such a transition month most of the time here in the south.  It is usually still very hot but you can tell the plants in the garden are growing weary of blooming. This year has been very unusual with lots of rain making for hot, humid and sticky days.  

I haven't found much painting time this past year.  Because of that, I have tons of paintings that started en plein air "outside" but never finished.  I'd like to try to get these paintings finished or at least make a dent in the pile of panels and stretched canvas so I don't feel guilty and at the same time use this challenge to keep me working.  

Here is the en plein air piece started Spring 2012 at Callaway Gardens and never finished.  I worked on this today and am calling this done.  The image is not a good representation of the actual colors used because I took this image inside after 9 pm so I could post to the blog but at least you see what I did today for DAY ONE OF THE 30 DAY CHALLENGE.