Personal Art Blog

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

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Organ Mountain Sunrise

Organ Mountain Sunrise

6x8in oil on canvas panel  $125. SOLD

Artist Note.
This is a "site specific" landscape.
The Rio Grande with the Organ Mountains
in the distance.
The Organ mountains are the
jewel of the southernmost part
of the Rockies and are 9,000 ft high.

I cannot fudge and be my own landscaping
company with this one.
This is the only place where the river
bends to have the mountains as a backdrop,
otherwise, it always runs parallel.
After painting the previous two landscapes
in an abstract manner, and having leeway to
place masses for design impact -
I had to stay true with this one.
Fortunately, it is a view I love to paint. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Approaching Storm - New Mexico

Approaching Storm - New Mexico

8x8in Oil on canvas panel SOLD

Artist Note.

Create a sense of place without detail
using simple abstract shapes, and color.

Both the previous post and this one 
were self-assigned 
exercises to help me explore the relationship
of warm color 
in both receding and frontal space.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sunset Reflections

Sunset Reflections
 8x8in oil on canvas panel  SOLD

The Rio Grande River is the main source of water 
for the beautiful Mesilla Valley, NM, where I live.
Many irrigation ditches divert the water to
the small farms which grow
chilies, onions, cotton, pecans, 
corn and yes...even wine.
The sunsets here are gorgeous, making even the 
oldest farms beautiful in their glow.

Artist Note.
Create a sense of place without detail.
 Simple, abstract shapes and color
were formed using palette knife and brush.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Waterfall and Demo

8x6in oil on canvas
work in process

Artist Note.
Working from a gesso mono print
and using the imagination.

First Step.
 See video showing 

I started with a gesso mono print made by
using both black and white gesso.
I used a Raymar canvas board to press into 
the black and white gesso mixture. 
Paper does a fine job also.

I lifted it off and turned the board and 
pressed down again leaving the above image.

Using my imagination I looked for shapes 
I could already "see"  a subject forming from.
There it was...
The angle of gray running across made 
me think of water and rocks.
The texture made from the gesso was great.

I used transparent colors to test out 
the imagery and I could have painted the
whole painting this way if I wanted to. 
Building layers of glazes and scumbling
in some areas.

This is where the individual's own response 
has to be listened to. I decided to go into 
it with the palette knife...and had a heck of a 
lot of fun. In fact I am still nibbling at it.

The role of imagination in painting is not necessary
to be a good painter. 
In my opinion, it IS a necessary exercise to explore
everything you can to find out if that little voice
inside responds with pleasure - or not!
A multitude of pleasures eventually becomes our
own distinctive style.

To see a sample using paper from my 
September 27th post of this technique

Monday, October 6, 2014

New Mexico Window

New Mexico Window
51/2in x 8in watercolor on Yupo paper  SOLD

New Mexico windows  and doors
have been a favorite theme for me.
This window is a new find.

Artist Note
I consider door and windows almost
like a still life within the landscape.
The light may change, but not that quickly
and being able to
get close up to study them is a real pleasure.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Thank You

This was my third Challenge and this time
I knew enough not to have a 30 day 
theme, but allowed myself to change my 
subject and 
media to suit my inspiration. 

The best part was finding the work 
of accomplished artists
whose art inspired me. 
With so many participating it 
was pretty well impossible to get around 
to leave a comment
 as well as
completing a painting 
The good news is they stay on Leslie's blog forever 
so I will have plenty of time to catch up.

I loved the map Leslie had on her page for 
registration and finding 
where many of the participating 
artists lived. Neat!

I also want to thank all of you who 
visited with words of encouragement.
I swear I have the BEST, smartest
and friendliest artists who take 
the time to visit and comment.

A minor bit of surgery hindered my 
final few days of the Challenge
and completing the requested collage 
of all 30 paintings
would have polished me off

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Side Entry Nest - day 30 in the challenge

Side Entry Nest

11x9" watercolor on Yupo Paper NFS

Day 30

Artist Note.
A friend gave me this wonderful
nest recently.  
He knew that the nest was no 
longer occupied and he thoughtfully
included the tree branches which 
supported it rather than
destroy it's structure.

I love the "side entry" type nest, but this one 
tragically came with two tiny
skeletons in the interior.
Unanswered questions.
Were they too large to have
been recently hatched?
Or were they the parents?
I will be very respectful 
in my handling of them 
and their lovingly made home

If you can use your imagination
 there are two leaves up on the right
near the opening which I painted to 
form an abstract shape suggesting
a bird flying towards it.

This is the last painting
for the challenge.
I will do a wrap up of my experience 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Watercolor Changes - day 29 in the Challenge

Sunflowers and Pomegranates
13x10" watercolor on Yupo paper

Day 29

Artist Note.

On yesterday's post I mentioned how I had just
been given some fresh pomegranates and
would like to TRY adding one to this painting.
It is on Yupo and it's plastic surface makes it easy
to lift off a previously painted area  See below

I formed the shape I wanted with a 
damp paper towel. I also removed the sunflower
 resting at the bottom of the jar.
Next I placed the actual pom in the position
I thought would be best

Naturally... and I know you will ALL understand this...
other changes then started to happen. 
It seems pretty impossible to make a change 
without the eye noticing all the other areas
 effected by the new shape and color.
Also it is a sunny day and my set up
appeared much brighter.
One back pear disappeared.
The jar became slightly wider
A cooler blue was added - so much for 
limited palette! Other colors and shapes
changed too.
(I do enjoy a warm and cool of each primary.)
I sharpened up some edges 
and softened others.
Below is the one before the changes

I have to live with this new version for a while
to see how I feel about it.
I do know I am glad that I tried the pom addition.
Bit more energy.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Watercolor Floral - day 28 in the Challenge

Watercolor Floral
12x9" on Yupo paper

Day 28

Artist Note
I am trying new colors and a 
truly, truly
limited palette with watercolor.
One red - one blue and one yellow.

I have experienced continual cloudy days and
I find it has really
affected my color vision.
It also has provided me with a deeper understanding 
of the old master's paintings 
when brown was 
dominate in the background.
 Candlelight was their major source 
of illumination at night and on 
rainy days I now feel I understand
what it was like.
Explains a lot!

I have been presented with more fresh
pomegranates and think I will remove
the pears in this still life and 
put at least one of the poms in. 
That is the beauty of Yupo.
Wipes off clear back to the white.
I will show you tomorrow what it 
looks like with the changes.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Experimenting - day 27 of the challenge

Single Pom


Not for sale.

Artist Note
The following is a handy and 
creative way to break up your 
color/value areas if you want to try for
a looser effect, but enjoy painting smoothly.

Start with a random black/grey white paint
patterns on canvas or paper.  You can drip, 
splatter or place, but use a generous amount.
(I used gesso)
Lay another piece of paper or canvas
 over it and
gently press and lift straight off.
It will look similar to an abstract  
mono print
Next I used a palette knife to 
smooth some areas, but if you like what you
see, then leave it alone.
Let dry.
You have two abstracts to work on.
Next draw what your subject will be.
Mine happens to be a pomegranate.
I used a rigger brush and thinned oil paint.
 Let the fun begin. 
I started with transparent colors
Adding some opaque paint where I did
not want the dark underneath to show through.

I am going to do a landscape with the other 
piece of paper - which was the one used on top..
The possibilities are endless.

I want to thank Mary Maxim for 
saying such nice things about my blog on the 
It plays on Thursdays, 
but you can pick it up at any time.
Leslie Saeta hosts the show and is the energy
which makes it work. Mary was the co-host 
for this month and came up with fabulous 
ideas and art information.
If you are not familiar with 
Mary's truly amazing paintings 
you can
check them out HERE

Have a lovely weekend.