oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info I painted this one in bits and pieces yesterday and today. I was juggling paint with repairmen for the washer, both refrigerators and a blown electrical circuit. At least I got a lot of breaks. That can be a good thing for a painting. Sometimes. Speaking of breaks, I'll have to break from posting for a while. I'm going to the mountains to paint this weekend, then next week a sewing project and a trip to Idaho. We're going to visit this precious little baby, Emmy May Werner, our seventh grandchild. Emmy was born on Monday and this Gramma has some hugs and kisses to give her!
oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase info Our camping trip was great. While I get back to normal, here's a painting I did last month but never posted. These little dried pomegranates have made it into more paintings than I can count. They seem to be just the bit of color I need. MORE ON BRUSHES: Last post I realized that by comparing Rosemary's Master Series to Silver's Bristlons it was like apples to oranges. I suspect Rosemary has a line of bristle or synthetic bristle that hold a chisel shape nicely. I only intended to discuss how important it is to consider the different types of marks made with various brushes. Recently I was asked via email how I clean my brushes, since they last so long. So here's what works for me. First, I use turpenoid to get as much paint out of the brush as possible. After trying three different brush soaps, Jack Richeson's Linseed Studio Soap works best for me. I dip the brush in the soap and scrape the excess off on the rim of the jar. Then I work the brush on the bottom of my sink, quickly turning it over, back and forth pushing it into the sink while adding just a tiny bit of warm water. (Don't push it around in a circle. That will ruin the shape.) When it looks like no paint color is coming out of the brush I do the same movement in the warm water to rinse. Then with some hand soap in my hands, I rub the handles to get them clean. Then rinse the whole brush and dry with an old towel, squeezing the excess water out of the bristles, and shaping them. I lay them flat to dry. I used to do this after every painting session. But now if I know I'll be using the same brushes the next day, I just get all the paint out with turp. I try to make sure I don't leave brushes around that haven't been washed. I've heard Murphy's Oil Soap works for a lot of people, but I don't like the smell. Please let me know if these practical tips are helpful, and I'll keep them coming.
oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase info Yesterday I held a teeny tiny oil workshop in what is normally my watercolor classroom and studio. Just three participants, and they did a fabulous job. This is the 6x6 demo I did for them after lunch. Why is the strawberry almost as big as the apple? That's a baby Granny Smith. So cute and a nice pop of wonderful green! Below you can see each participant's morning value study as they are just starting their color studies. I should have gotten pictures of their finished afternoon 6x6's. I get so focused on the content and guidance that I forget to take pictures! Recently I received an email question about how I clean my brushes. I'll address that in the next post. Meanwhile, we're off camping for Fathers' Day weekend. Have a great weekend, all you dads out there!
oil 10x10 inches magnify/purchase info I wanted to see what all the hoopla was about, so I ordered some Rosemary brushes. These are their Master Series Long Flats. The brushes seem well made and are extremely soft compared to any other brush I've used. That took some getting used to. I decided they're perfect for soft-edged passages, but if I wanted a clear mark or thicker paint I used my Silver Bristlon Flats. In the photo below, you can see after one painting the Rosemarys are splayed a bit even though I carefully cleaned them. (I didn't use the largest one.) The Silver Bristlons (a synthetic) on the right are years old and still have their beautiful chisel shape. I'll use both the Rosemarys and the Bristlons. Once in a while it's fun to use a different type of brush than you're used to. It's good to play with the way you lay down paint.
oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase info My friend, Mary Jo keeps sharing her roses with me so I can paint them. Let me just say, the rose is a humbling flower to paint. If you have a problem with pridefullness and overconfidence, paint some roses from life. I wiped off the first attempt.
oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info I couldn't resist the light at the end of this tunnel, a barn on beautiful Baker Scudder Farm in Rancho Cucamonga. Thursday friends and I met up there to paint. Though overcast for most of the day, the dark inside the barn made for some nice contrast. I don't like to make changes once I get the painting home, but this time I risked it. Basically I added more interest in the focal area, and reduced interest in the foreground. Below is how it looked before the changes. I decided the red rake detracted from what I wanted to convey.
oil 12x16 inches magnify/purchase info Yesterday I grabbed an old painting that had been lying around my studio minding its own business since 2012. "At least I can improve those gawd-awful greens", I said to myself. So with no still life or photo reference I repainted the entire painting. Really fun!!! Here's the old painting:
oil 12x12x1 1/2 inches magnify/purchase info Yesterday was National Donut Day. By 10:00 am the girl at the donut store was worn out and the two bottom shelves were empty. I took two glazed home and went back later for these beauties. They were still warm when I got them home. I wanted to eat one so bad!!! For this painting I toned my canvas with Indian Yellow and Thalo Red Rose which gives it a warm glow. This is painted on gallery wrapped canvas with sides painted and ready to hang. Wouldn't it look great in a contemporary dining area or kitchen?
oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info Here's a plein air piece I did yesterday.
I think this is an old citrus hauler. I was told by one of the volunteers that it's a 1938 and has 180 thousand miles on it all within the city of La Verne. I don't know a thing about vehicles except how to drive them, which I enjoy very much! This one won't start anymore. Lost all it's power, but gained a lot of character.
oil 8x8 inches magnify/purchase info Here's the demonstration I did yesterday afternoon for the Loma Linda Art Association. I was able to finish it during the meeting for the most part, then make some minor adjustments at home this morning. That orange surprised me when I cut into it and saw the beautiful Cara Cara color.
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Yesterday I met others from SOCALPAPA to paint at Crystal State Beach Historical District. While I set up the sun started to burn through the overcast giving my subject some nice shadows. In the shots below you can certainly see the change in light conditions. (The last shot of the painting is more accurate than above.) By the time I finished, my subject was pretty much buried in shadow. It's always a surprise when I finish and look around me. The beach had filled up with sunbathers and children played in the waves. I chatted briefly with some of the other artists then headed home at 1:30 to try and beat the Friday afternoon gridlock. A great place to paint is worth the drive, especially if I come home with a good one, and this one made me happy.
oil 12x12 inches magnify/purchase info This painting was inspired by Armin Hansen. On Sunday we visited the Pasadena Museum of California Art to take in the Armin Hansen Exhibit. I was blown away by the power of his paintings of Monterey Fisherfolk but also the few still lifes. Powerful design, bold color and thick paint. This was painted by natural light from a window behind the table. I used the following pigments: cad lemon, alizarin, ultramarine blue, thalo blue, permanent rose and T white. (Plus my pre-mixed greens as discussed in previous posts.)
IN OTHER NEWS: This coming Sunday I'll demonstrate for the Loma Linda Art Association. The public is welcome. 2:00-4:00pm. Loma Linda University Drayson Center, 25040 Stewart St., Loma Linda, CA.
oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info On the second and last afternoon in Zion National Park I hiked the short distance up to Weeping Rock. My feeble attempt to describe it is this: At Weeping Rock you are on a ledge on the side of a mountain. The ledge is maybe 50ft long and 10 feet wide. The wall curves up and over your head with a curtain of water dripping off. The photo and my painting both show the view from the ledge. (If you enlarge the photo below, you can see the water droplets falling.) Spectacular atmosphere changing every ten minutes or so. Very challenging, but what a very special place to experience with my brushes in hand. For the painting, I was interested especially in the sweet spot where the mountains rise out of the valley floor so near each other. Also pictured are my four paintings for the trip laid out on my campsite table. The color represented is very accurate. It was a great trip.
We had a great day at the Balboa Art Walk yesterday! I always meet the nicest people and their dogs too. I'm a happy artist when I get to display a "full rack" of my work...20 linear feet on that tiny little island. Thank you to friends and relatives who visited, and to all the folks who enjoyed and purchased my work. Pictured are a mother and her two daughters visiting from Utah who were buying my paintings as gifts to each other. So sweet and fun to be part of that! I think they bought a couple more after these shots were taken. I told them I'd recently gotten back from Utah and wished I could go home with them. Special thanks to my hubby who helped me schlep all that stuff and set it up, then hung around all day and took care of me. :-)
IN OTHER NEWS: Here's the revised version of "Golden Oil".
oil 6x6 This is one of the demos I did at the workshop today. Painted fast because time was short, and I just realized I need to tweak the symmetry of the bottle! Will be for sale shortly.
Thank you, Teri Gammalo for hosting us today. What a great group of ladies! So much fun teaching a small group. I packed in the content and worked them hard, but they held up to the end. See?
oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info My second day in Zion I got out early. I hopped on the tram (or dragged myself and gear into the tram) by 8 am. Hey, that's early for me! At Canyon Junction a trail runs right along the river, giving easy river access for painting. I found the perfect spot, shown below. It was quite secluded except for the perfectly tanned "buff" guy. Is that still a word for muscular??? He hung around a bit, walking here and there nearby. A small backpack, no shoes, wearing nothing but a Speedo. Yep! Well that was a little weird.
EXCITING DAYS AHEAD! Tomorrow I teach a small one day workshop in Anaheim Hills. Sunday I'll be at the BALBOA ART WALK with 100 fellow artists. If you're in SO CAL don't miss it! You can find me right along the sea wall on the island at Pearl Street. Park in the big parking lot on the Peninsula, and walk onto the ferry. Turn left off the ferry and I'm close by. It'll be a great day!
Here's a pic of the guy in the Speedo.
(Just kidding!) But there really was a guy in a Speedo.
oil 10x8 inches magnify/purchase info I painted this the first afternoon directly from my campsite. Those rock formations are an art in themselves! The pattern of structures was a bit daunting, but I'm happy with the result. Like usual, the color is better in person. I've been doing some framing today in preparation for the Balboa Island Art Walk this coming Sunday. If you're in Southern California, I hope you'll come! One hundred artists along the sea wall. You can find me at Pearl, a left turn when stepping off the ferry onto the island.
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Over the weekend I camped near one of my favorite spots on earth, Zion National Park. This was my fifth visit and my first time to paint there. For a painter, it's heaven. Hop on and off the free tram anywhere and choose your subject from spectacular views all around you. The changing light and weather conditions will certainly challenge you. Here you see "The Great White Throne" from River Walk Trail. It appeared violet in the distance. I had two days to paint. This is the first morning's effort. Five minutes after I finished clouds came overhead and very strong winds rushed through the canyon. The river sand flew everywhere...into my teeth and into my painting. You can see it here if you look closely. I hope I can brush it off when the paint dries.
IN OTHER NEWS: Spring Pickings is for sale at auction on Daily Paintworks. To view the auction, click HERE.
oil 8x10 inches magnify/not for sale My favorite of the two painted at Moro Beach. And below, my favorite little dog, just waiting and keeping me safe. What a pleasant time I had, the nice stone bench and all. Ahhhh...can't wait to go back. This piece will be framed and available at the Balboa Art Walk, May 17th. IN OTHER NEWS: If you're near to Redlands, visit Stonewheel Olive Oil Company. Ten of my paintings are on display thanks to the owner, Alisa Chatman. Artist reception Thursday, May 7 6:30-8:30. 7 N. 5th St, Redlands. Come on out, enjoy the art and let Alisa fix you up with some specialty oils and vinegars. It's Redlands Market Night too!