Somehow the whole month of November went by without a post. I finished this painting a couple of weeks ago and didn't post it until now - December 1st! I'm continuing to work on finding that balance between realism and painterly interpretation. Below is my set-up in my studio.
Last summer, we made a quick trip to San Diego, where my husband and I were born and raised. We visited one of our favorite places, Seal Beach. This little seal was dozing off and every few seconds would his body would jerk and he would awaken. I guess it's a natural instinct for protection against preditors, but what a very restless way to sleep!
I painted some produce and leaves to try to remind me that it's Fall here in Texas, where the daily high temps are still close to 90 degrees. We don't have the brilliant colors I grew accustomed to in Ohio, so I'll make up for it with by painting a bright orange pumpkin and yellow squash.
I recently painted this scene on a hot afternoon in the Texas hill country. A friend and I stood in the shade of a gazebo on a nature preserve while painting. When we had first arrived, the vegetation appeared quite dull and dried out, but we managed to find inspiration and beauty around us.
Reflection of the Setting Sun, 12 x 12, oil on canvas
(Contact me to purchase)
Yesterday, September 21st, was the International Day of Peace and the opening of a show, Square Foot of Peace, at a local college, University of Mary Hardin Baylor. I was invited to create a painting that portrayed my thoughts on peace, and this is the painting I submitted for the show. If you are in the area, please consider visiting this exhibit - maybe you will experience a few moments of peace while viewing some art.
Landscape studies of Scott Christensen paintings, 8 x 8, 8 x 10, oil
One of the best ways to improve my paintings is to have a goal that pushes me to paint more. I recently applied to and was accepted into the Burnet Plein Air Art Festival, coming up in September! So, I am preparing by practicing landscape painting techniques. These 2 paintings were done while watching a painting demonstration DVD by Scott Christensen. I painted along with him and I learned a great deal about his technique for mixing harmonious colors using a limited color palette of white, yellow, blue, and red, along with 5 grays, mixed from various combinations of these colors. There is so much to learn from other artists, and through DVDs and YouTube videos, learning from very talented artists is more accessible than ever before.
Thank you for viewing my art and sharing this journey with me.
Summer is here and so are the delicious peaches! I re-visited painting a still life after spending a 1/2 day mentoring session with a local artist. It's so important to paint from life whenever possible, and it doesn't hurt to paint something delicious!
Recently, I spent the morning painting with the Austin Plein Air group at Mayfield Park. There are lovely ponds, gardens, and free-roaming peacocks. It was a busy day at the park with lots of visitors and artists. The peacocks were quite entertaining - loudly calling out and displaying their feathers!
Painting the lily pads...
then, I did a quick painting of some lovely flowers.
One of the males, strutting his stuff
As I was packing up my easel, a peacock walked over and laid down right by the flowers.
Last Saturday, I participated in Paint Out for Preservation 50, a plein air painting event in Georgetown, Texas. The event is sponsored by the Georgetown Heritage Society with the Georgetown Art Center. The focus for our paintings was the historic town square area. My eye was drawn to the bright sun shining on the front of the Palace Theatre. It was such a beautiful day, and there were many interested people passing by and they seemed excited to see so many painters on the square.
This painting will be available for purchase at the Georgetown Heritage Society during the week of May 16th - May 20th.
My very first outing with the Plein Air Austin group was about 3 years ago at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center in the Texas hill country. I painted this from one of the photos I took there. It was a beautiful day and the start of making new artist friends in Texas.
Recently, I was invited to participate in the 4th Annual Art & Wine Festiaval in Belton, Texas by the owner of a local winery who found my paintings online. I have never shown my work at an art fair, and decided to take the plunge. Even if I don't sell any paintings, I'd at least get to taste some good wine! I've been painting and researching everything I need to bring to set up my booth and display my paintings. I'm really looking forward to this experience!
If you are in central Texas, I hope to see you at the festival on Saturday, April 30th!
I used to live by a creek that ran through a golf course and these turtles would jump into the water as soon as I got near them as I walked along the cart path. This time, I was able to capture a photo of them before they plunged into the water for safety.
Today, January 30th, it was about 75 degrees and sunshine! It was an amazing day and I had to get outside to paint. I chose this scene from a small park in a lovely town, Salado, Texas. It's been too long since I've painted outside (plein air), and it's always a humbling experience. So much to take in, simplify and paint as quickly as possible as the light and shadows change before your eyes. I think the the 30 Paintings in 30 days challenge really helped me to get this one done onsite.
Today was the last official day in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge, or, as I am calling it, the Almost 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge. I made it to 28 started and finished paintings, and I am quite happy with that. Thank you everyone for your feedback online and for putting up with the numerous blog posts, Facebook updates and Instagram photos. I hope you enjoyed my paintings. There will be many more to come this year.
One of my favorite places to spend a summer vacation is Cape Cod. We spent several family vacations there with great friends from the northeast. This scene is of the dunes just after an overcast sunrise near Provincetown.
I pulled over to the side of the road the other day to snap a few photos of some beautiful brown cattle. There were at least 4 babies and their mothers and as soon as I got out of my car, they started to back away and the mothers inserted themselves between me and their babies.
This is another winter scene from my days in Ohio. I'm fairly certain that this was an abandoned barn, but "snowed-in" was my first thought when trying to come up with a title. I enjoy painting snow scenes from my home in Texas.
Maybe this is the painting I should dedicate to my friends up north! I used only a palette knife to keep this painting loose and bold. These daffodils bloomed in our yard each spring in Ohio, thanks to one of my favorite people, Emily Ackerstrom. Her passion for gardening was a gift to us. Her carefully orchestrated gardens brought color to our yard throughout the Spring and Summer.
All of these small paintings are available in my DailyPaintworks Gallery by clicking on the link on the painting titles, or the gallery link to the right on this blog page.
For this painting, I used a reference photo I took a few years ago in Ohio. The tree's shadows on the barn caught my eye. I found this picture as I was looking for a "snow" picture to paint for the weekly challenge on DailyPaintworks. Now that I live in Texas, I had to go back into my older photos to find a snowy, winter scene. While the snow is lovely, I do not miss the cold weather. Painting number 20, done.
One of my first plein air painting classes was taken at Cape Cod. This scene reminds me of the marshes we painted on one of our outings near Truro. There was a light fog and the deep quiet of the morning. I used the palette knife for this painting, almost exclusively. Painting #19, finished!
I painted this from a reference photo I took at least 5 years ago. There was a creek that ran through a small park just behind our home in Ohio. I snapped the photo, because I have an attraction to rocks and water, and thought I may want to paint this little scene someday. Well, today was the day. Painting 18, done!
This is a much larger version of an earlier painting I called: Seriously? I didn't get the same sarcastic feeling from this one, so I named it Beauty. I feel like I'm evolving into a true Texan as I continue to be enamored by cattle. This beauty was hoping I was bringing food, and instead, I was setting up an easel to paint. Oh, well, maybe next time... Painting #17 for the new year, done!
Yesterday, we took a ride into the Texas Hill Country, just northwest of Austin. We stopped in a local store for the Hahne Winery. The owner delighted us with stories of his family growing up as neighbors of President Lyndon B. Johnson and how his mother, Tillie, shared a close friendship with LadyBird Johnson. He treated us to a wine tasting and entertained us with stories rich in history, featuring famous people such as Jaqueline Kennedy Onasis and Janis Joplin. Then, as we were leaving with our purchase of several bottles of wine, we were given a small cross created by his 94 year old mother, and a lovely red rose. It was a perfect afternoon.
Hiding in the shade is a small pup, taking a break. I can relate to how this little puppy feels! I do love grassy dunes that remind me of summers on Cape Cod. Day 14 of the 30 in 30 challenge, completed.
A quick study of two of my favorite things. This challenge is extremely hard, but each painting teaches me something new. I'm almost half-way through it. Thanks for your encouragement along the way. Day 13, done!
A few years ago, I attended a Lavender Festival at a Hill Country Winery with the Plein Air Austin group. This painting was done using one of my reference photos of the same view I painted in plein air. Day 11, completed!
I absolutely love water lilies. Several years ago, I created 3 large paintings of them, but my style was so different then - much tighter. I am really loving getting looser and my brushstrokes and allowing the paint to create texture and colors I would have previously smoothed away. Day 9 - done!