Personal Art Blog

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

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Yellow Roses And 1,000 Posts

Yellow Rose #1
6"x 6" oil on canvas panel $110  SOLD

It is rose season.
I managed to get two paintings
completed before the petals fell.
Thank you for sharing your
beautiful roses, Joan.

Artist Note.
I am giving myself a
pat on the back today.
This is my 1,000 post.
I had a shock when I saw
it on the sidebar.
That's a big number!

Quite a while ago I went back
 and deleted some of the
images/posts I thought were
ones I wished I had not shown.
I had gone 488 days without
missing a post, and the
quality... or lack of it
was definitely noticeable,
 and that is
the double edged sword
of "daily painting" and
posting it.

Yes - it is a marvelous way
to improve the actual craft
of painting, but the
creative side does not always
shine through under
those circumstances.
Not for me anyway.

I started to understand
that I needed
to paint every day with
an explority curiosity.
"Good" paintings did not come
out of this, but being aware
of what I liked
 and didn't like 
sure did  - and that
helped me develop
my own style

 I maintain the habit
of painting or sketching daily
Some paintings are
 definitely better than others
..just like some days
are better than others!

The enjoyment for me
is always
with the immersion
into paint and process.

Please share with me what
makes you happy about painting.
The process or the results?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Red Teapot and Van Gogh

Tea With Van Gogh
6x8" oil on canvas panel  $140.
Purchase HERE

Artist Note.
Good to be back painting after
being hit with a nasty virus.
I am still coughing and living
in a whirl of
tissues and nose blowing.
From now on it is fist bumps
for greetings
instead of handshakes.

A good friend came back from a
trip to Europe with a gift of two
tablecloths  - both with images of
Vincent van Gogh's work.
This one had his gorgeous"Irises" painting.
see detail below.
I have set up a couple of 
still life displays using 
the tablecloths as the background.
They are rich and exciting.

I decided to use the red teapot
to see if I could balance out
the power of the colors 
in the cloth.
The next one has fruit
in a clay bowl.
You can just see a tiny bit of it
at the right side

I started this before
Mr.blanky blankVirus
decided to form an
intimate relationship
with me and
managed to complete it today.
Yea - on the recovery road!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Market Day - and handy hints.

Market Day

6x6in oil on canvas panel  $100. SOLD

A family enjoying our award winning Farmers and Craft
Market here in sunny Las Cruces, NM

Artist Note.
This is another re-post.
This one is from three years ago.
I am recovering from a bug but thought i could pick
up some old posts with good information in them.

The monthly focus is the Figure in Landscape at the
Artist Guild this month. We are a mixed group so
to help the ones without much access to live models
I find it easy to use the tried and true "Stick Figure "
It is easy to find figures in magazines or newspapers to

use a magic marker and do the following
exercise. You can use photos you care
about by placing a piece of glass over
them and draw on it. ( I use a photo
frame piece of glass and tape the edges)
When you do a couple a day you get
used to the basic proportions of the
body - the spine, where the elbows
and knees have a joint,
and the important line of action.
(The movement angle)

I have an exercise where I draw
the stick figure in different positions and
then show how easy it is to use a simple stroke of 
the brush to make the clothes.    

First the drawings.
I spray fixative
over the charcoal
so it can be used
many times and
washed off

Add the paint
using single
strokes for arms
and pants. I paint
a stroke to a joint,
say elbow, stop,
and then start again
I press harder so
the brush gets wider
for the torso

Add all the clothes,
and background
and you have a decent
painted figure to go
into a landscape

The artists all
take turns to
paint over the
figures on this
same canvas.
They choose the
the clothes and

This is not about perfection, but it is about finding
a way to grow an understanding of the basics of placing
a figure in the painting.

The top painting was a demo starting with stick figures.

Sorry about not being able to remove the old comments.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Blue Shutters And Colors Used

Blue Shutters - France
8x6in oil on canvas SOLD

What a green thumb the owner
of this house in France must have.
Handsome ivy-covered walls,
clay pots filled with flowers 
and herbs...
plus a comfortable chair to 
sit on.

Artist Note
This is another pick-up post.
This one from 
May, two years ago.
I have expanded the post
by adding the colors used 
because I had a request
for the information.

I painted a transparent
Indian Yellow (WN)
over my canvas mixing 
Transparent Brown Oxide
in the bottom half.
This set up a nice glow
to work my opaque 
colors into.
The warm Turquoise Blue
was made lighter with
 Naples Yellow first, 
and white added
for the edge of the shutter
on the right.
I used two different blues
for the shutters in the shade
(mixed with turquoise)
Ultramarine & Ocean.
The dark of the interior 
thru the top of the window, 
and other dark areas
are mixtures of 
Ultramarine and Oxide Brown,
both are transparent.

I often save my notes 
and it 
was interesting and fun
for me to 
go back and see 
how I approached it.
I hope you enjoyed it.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Closet Aprons

Closet Aprons
8x6in oil on canvas SOLD

Artist Note.
These aprons hang in the
 closet in my
downtown studio.
 I am given them as gifts.
Many people don't realise
that bright colors can reflect
back onto the canvas
so they do not get used too much.

This is a painting I did
three years ago.
I used a new brand of
paint and a new color.
It was a magenta type
and the problem was
it never ever did dry 
where I had left it transparent.
Well not for almost a year.
I have never had it happen
before or since.
I threw it into the
 Haz waste-pail
to go to the dump,
but should have written
down the name.

Has anyone else
ever had this problem?
Please share.
It would be neat to know 
what to look out for.

Monday, April 11, 2016

White Ravens

White Ravens
 - another study!
8x10 watercolor on Yes canvas

Artist Note.
I am trying to paint something 
I see in my imagination.
I am using the Yes canvas 
because I can lift and scrub
 as long as I use 
non-staining paint.

I like the strong shapes of the 
Ravens reversed into white
against the dark background.
I want to capture 
what I see when the birds 
are moving
in between the
grasses or branches 
when they visit the pond. 

This  is almost what I am after.
Now I have to try it with oils.

I have been painting Ravens
in gouache to get familiar
with their shapes before painting 
them in oil.
I want them to look like Ravens, 
but not in a photographic way.

I found
it more difficult to paint
 the white ravens
and the pink one below
I think it was because I was 
forced to see them 
in a different way.

Every exploration leads to 
a discovery.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Different Studies of Pink Tulips

Pink X Two
8x4" oil on canvas
fracturing demo

Artist Note.
I have been experimenting
with painting the tulips 
on different surfaces 
with different media. 
The top one in oil was
a quick demo on 
the fracturing technique.

I used alcohol ink on the one below.
Still a work in process. 
I want to keep it abstract
and am looking forward to 
doing more with it. 
I am still discovering 
what acohol ink can and cannot do.
I enjoy its unpredictability.

X three
 alchohol ink on yupo.

Below is another WIP.
I like working on the 
YES canvas surface.
It takes all types of wet media.
Watercolor lifts off cleanly,
but unlike paper
it feels slightly scratchy 
and has a tooth.

X four.
watercolor on Yes Canvas

I don't know if or when 
I will finish
any of these paintings.
Does it matter?
I enjoy doing them
and like
  having a stash of 
unfinished paintings to 
nibble on when I
feel like it.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Pink X Five

Pink X Five
6x6in. Oil on canvas. $110.
Purchase SOLD

Artist Note
Pink... I have several pink 
paintings going. 
Must be the time of year
my friends
have given me
pink tulips,
pink freesias,
and are you ready for this...
a pink striped teapot. 
Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Ravens At The Pond

Ravens At The Pond.
6x8in oil on canvas panel  $140.
purchase HERE

Artist Note.
I have been sitting 
sketching the ravens
from inside the car
at this spot.
They vanish if I get out.

This is a local ponding 
area for the Pecan Factory. 
The Common Ravens 
stay year round in our area
and LOVE this particular
spot... even
 when there is no water!
I have seen up to 20
at one time, but
there are only 
about 8 ravens 
in this painting.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Gambels Quail

Quail - watercolor study.

Artist Note
The quail are all over the place
at the moment,
and they are the neatest birds to watch
with their
bobbing heads and perky steps.

Here are five on the rail of our deck -
there were 8 of them at one time. Fun!
They come for the water as well as the food.
Clever - the water bowl attaches to the rail as you can see.

They are friendly to the other birds at the feeders, 
but the Thrashers do have a bit of 
a dictator attitude and think they
 rule the deck.

I sit and sketch from
inside the window.
pencil and watercolor
They can't see me
due to the reflection of the sky
on the glass..

Quail lay their eggs in a shallow 
depression in the ground. One a day.
They may line it with dead leaves or grass.
No full nest of twigs etc.,
I have seen where they surrounded the eggs 
with stones or lumpy dirt to prevent them 
rolling away. Clever and protective.

I found their their eggs under
a bush in a plant-pot one year

These are those which didn't hatch
out of 14 last year, I love the markings
and have not done a full painting 
of them - yet!
It will soon will be hatching time
I can't wait to see the babies
running in a line behind
mom and dad