Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Mountains - day 27

My Mountains
6x8in oil on canvas panel $130.

The view from my studio at the "golden hour."
I never get tired of it.
Organ Mountains, Las Cruces, NM.

Artist Note,
Only three more days to go in the challenge.
The Facebook Challenge was on at the same 
time and I thank everyone who invited me 
to take part. I would have loved 
to have participated, but it just would 
have been too much on top doing this 
challenge PLUS working.

I must be getting old when I cannot
do everything I want to!

Old or sensible!

Sensible is old!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Cherries - Day 26 in the Challenge

6x8in oil on canvas board $130. SOLD

Artist Note.
Painted during cherry season,
but it never made it to my blog.

I painted it at a friend's house
from life. I liked her nice shiny
colander better than the cherries.
It was a challenge to paint
the reflections

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Kat - day 24

6x6in oil on canvas panel. Gifted to self!

This is my dear companion, Kat. A Blue Heeler.
She died a year ago and I have tried to paint her
several times. This is how this one came about.
It caught her anxious look perfectly

After making an abstract gesso 
mono printing on my canvas
I turned it around looking for an image to
The one below said waterfall!
Done that already.

This one said dark stream, snow 
and shadows

In this one you can clearly see a 
Native American's head in the middle 
with outstretched arm

and then this one...
I could clearly see the dogs eyes and nose
in the middle especially the nose.
Can you see it?
(click to enlarge.)

It inspired me to paint my
beloved dog in a way I had not done before
-  it was more about my memory
I am very happy with the results. I have had too
many failed results going from a photo.

If you are interested
Here is a previous Utube
video gesso demo

I showed some examples on my blog of painting
in color over abstract mono printing on canvas.
See back post gesso mono printing
and this post gesso mono waterfall

Friday, January 23, 2015

Mustard and Garlic.- Day 22-23

Mustard and Garlic
6x8in oil on canvas panel $130. SOLD

Artist Note.
Paint and group things which "relate" was the 
mantra at art school. 
A flower would not go as well with radish, 
onions and garlic as a jar of mustard would.
I always have flowers in my kitchen so 
why not?
A casual flower like a daisy or sunflower
looks great with my blue and white dish towels
but I have tried mixing them with the veggies
and it just doesn't work.
But... I am an impressionist and 
that could be why. Abstract them more 
and I know it would work.

Missed day 22 posting but I did work on 
completing several paintings.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Roses and Gift -Day 21

Roses and Gift
6x8in oil on canvas panel $130. SOLD

Some guild member friends gave me this
beautiful lidded pot for Christmas.
I have already painted some
tiny studies in watercolor and this is my first
attempt in oils. I know I will be painting it again.

Artist Note,
I took a day off from the challenge yesterday,.
The workshop was over and I needed a day
to regroup and focus back on teaching.
It felt so good!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Figure Session - Day 19 in the Challenge.

Figure Session
12x9' oil on gesso board 

Artist Note.
The water-media workshop was great and
it gave me a feeling of freedom
in my oils. I had an opportunity 
to paint the figure today and went
at  it with a very fluid paint quality.
No drawing, but found my angles 
and proportions first with a script brush 
using transparent brown oxide
with Gamsol to make it flow
My favorite area is where the chain rests
between her breasts. 
The glare of wet paint caught on the area
her hair 
 in the photo But it doesn't matter as the 
painting is unfinished and 
stands as a study.
The workshop had some good
non-representational artists. 
The collage method was extra powerful
in that and the abstract area.

Here is a photo from the workshop.
at group critique time.
Nancy Frost Begin is holding the
collage and the actual painting is the 
one on the easel.
With Susan Hanssen standing to the left.

It is not one of mine, but I watched 
the experienced artist work on it from 
start to finish and I can tell you 
a strong and beautiful design like this is not easy 
to achieve.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Decorative Nest - workshop. Day 18

Decorative Nest
15x11" gouache on paper

Day 2
Susan Hanssen 

 Paint something in a way we would 
never paint it. Reach outside our 
comfort zone.
Susan's example was an abstracted chicken 
with a blue top-not instead of red! 

If you think of the very organic way I 
painted the nest and feather just a 
couple of days ago then you know
how much I pushed myself out 
of my comfort zone with this one.
Polka dotted eggs and bright colored 
branches/twigs - plus a border!!!

Step one was to mark up the paper 
in a random way with dark watercolor.
Those marks can be clearly seen behind the nest.
2. Draw the subject with watercolor crayon..
3. use transparent washes.
4. Finish with gouache. 
5.Touch up with watercolor crayons.

The border happened quite naturally
to stop the very bright nest from
appearing to float.

Decorative art can be fun and relaxing
and I quite enjoyed painting this. 

Here is a wonderful sheep Susan did.
The patterns are painted the same
 as from the collage study..
See more listed under sheep on her website

I was asked why I was taking a watercolor 
workshop from two artists who work
so differently to me. 
Simply this... when the opportunity comes 
along to have the opportunity to learn from two
artists of Nancy Frost Began
and Susan Hanssen's
incredible talent and teaching skills...
any artist should jump at the chance.
17 of us are very glad we did!
I am exhausted.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

SW Landscape - Watermedia Workshop. Day 17

Southwest Landscape
24x20 watermedia on paper 
not for sale

Artist Note.
Today was the first day with the fabulous
Susan Hanssen.
It was very interesting because her
goal is to make us think in a different
viewpoint from our regular work.
We start by making a collage from
colored magazine papers assembled to fit 
an abstract view of a specific image.
Here is mine.

I really liked this method because it provided 
color and shape inspiration. 
I soon found out what did NOT work
regarding color or shape. Saves a lot of time
 messing it up later...with paint!

It was not easy, but I noticed everyone 
in the class turned out really good work.
People, pets, a fabulous
beetle and truck...
and abstract landscapes.
I think it is the planning that takes 
place for that first step which helped us all.

Changes took place automatically 
as the work progressed but the basic
design stayed in place.

1. Collage
2. Transparent washes
3. Gouache
4. Watercolor crayons

I don't want to give the impression it was
easy because I worked all day on this image
and there are still some areas 
which I am thinking changes may take place.
I will wait and think about it.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Feather - Water-Media Workshop. Day 16

Feather and Nest
17"x13" water- media on paper

Artist Note
Another creative day.
I had a blast.
So many amazing artists are in the group 
 I can't help but be inspired 
by what they do, but the ooh and ahh moments
happened when
Nancy Frost Begin
worked on a painting to demo the
way we would be working.
I could have sat and watched her paint
all day long.
No such luck...She was very aware of
wanting her students to have time to paint.

This was another method where we painted 
on top of an old painting. No coating of acrylic
matt medium this time.
(I goofed and called it varnish yesterday.)
With this one
 white tempera paint was applied 
over the painting in different ways
and left to dry. Next, black (permanent) ink
was put on rather intuitively. 
Special instructions were given
 on the next step
of hosing the tempera off.
We did that yesterday.
See below
The resulting imagery
"spoke to me" and I saw 
the direction I wanted to go.
The underlying marks
provide some wonderful natural effects
one cannot create any other way.
I really like this painting.

What a creative and stimulating
two days they have been.
Thank you, Brilliant Nancy!

The next two days are with
Susan Hanssen.
She is fabulous painter.
I am looking forward to another
completely different approach.
See her work HERE

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Spider Mum - Watercolor Workshop. Day 15

Spider Mum
mixed water-media on rag paper.

Different for me I know.
This is a workshop painting and is still 
not finished. I may have to do some tweaking 
after I have time to look at it.

Artist Note.

It was an exciting and very busy day.
The instructors are
two award winning sisters
who have a mission to free
artists from the constrains of 
the traditional, and introduce
new methods to achieve 
creative fulfillment.
Their motto is 

Today, the first of two days out of four,
were with
Nancy Frost Begin
(Click her link at bottom)
The painting above was worked on top 
of an old painting which we had varnished.
I went freely into it with
great inspiration after watching Nancy's 
amazing demo using gouache.
She applied it in a certain way and then
 moved some around with various tools
allowing random areas of the original
painting to show through. 
This created beautiful abstract areas. 

My flower would look dorky on a regular
background, but I feel this method
provided some oomph!

Tomorrow we try another exciting method
involving tempera paint and permanent black ink.

Check out Nancy's amazing work