oil 10x8 inches magnify/purchase
Second of the paintings done at Anza Borrego. Coming up next are two little desert watercolor sketches I did inside the RV. Reluctantly, I have decided to take some time off from painting. There are matters I must attend to related to my mother's passing. I guess I'm a one-thing-at-a-time kind of girl. So once I get those responsibilities in order, I'll be able to focus again at the easel. I have some fresh ideas, and can't wait to get back to it!
oil 6x12 inches magnify/purchase
This was my first time painting on location in the desert. After so many months of drought, there were few spring flowers, but still plenty of color if you have the eye for it. Spindly twiggy bushes are a challenge I decided. A the start I looked carefully for correct values in the distance, because I wanted to convey the vast desert space. I'm especially happy with that aspect of this painting.
Monday I took myself and my dog in our little RV on a paintcation to Anza Borrego Desert State Park. What I loved most about this spot was the quiet and the very dark starry nights. I painted outside in the mornings, as the afternoons were either too warm or windy. The rest of the time I spent inside piddling around with my watercolors. Oh, and there might have been a couple of margaritas and pints of ice cream. Meanwhile, my little malte-poo waited patiently to go home. I guess to her, the whole place smelled like coyote! Here are some pics of the first day. It was 75 degrees in the shade, but I swear it felt like 90 in the sun! I don't get that. I came home a day early to avoid driving in the high winds expected for today. Better shots of the paintings will come once the rain stops and I can photograph them.
watercolor and gouache approx. 9x11 inches magnify/purchase
I bought flowers at a local farmer's market. Later that day, they pulled my raffle ticket and I won a huge basket of fruit, veggies, bread, nuts and a fragrant bunch of stock to add to my flowers. Lucky flowers! I nursed the bouquet along for a week. Here are the survivors barely hanging on. I liked the prospect of making a lively painting with a not so lively subject. I kept it loose and left my marks alone.
oil 6x8 inches magnify/purchase Sorry about the glare. I continue to try different approaches in my work. Here, I worked with low natural light rather than a set up strongly lit from one side. For so long I have mixed paint on my palette, made a stroke, then the next, avoiding painting on top of previous strokes. Now I'm exploring the possibilities of mixing paint on the canvas with my strokes. Along with using thicker paint, this is freeing. I feel like I can do anything I want to and see how it turns out. I've begun to question the "wipe out" in favor of working with the paint, pushing it around, trying different stuff and letting it be. In the end, it is what it is. Maybe this one looks like somebody else painted it! Ha!
watercolor & gouache approx 11x8 inches magnify/purchase Reading about John Singer Sargent this weekend got me in the mood for some watercolor. Not surprisingly, he produced about 900 oils. But did you know he did about 2000 watercolors? And he had no problem using some opaque paint here and there. I had fun with this, then even more fun playing with some gouache on top.
oil 12x12x1 1/2 magnify/purchase
Meet Grandma Tina from Amy's Farm in Chino. She's a gentle old cow who doesn't mind being led past a line of school children so they can get a sense of how big a cow really is. She always wears her halter and bell. I had a hard time getting a good shot of this piece due to it being wet on five sides. There is glare on the bottom third obscuring some nice warm darks. Painted on 1 1/2 inch deep gallery wrap canvas, ready to hang.
oil 8x10 inches click for purchase info and magnifier
I didn't have much painting time in January, but the month definitely ended in a positive way, paint-wise. Yesterday I got out to Irvine Regional Park in Orange where this old tractor asked to have her portrait painted. Mostly the light was cloudy and overcast which allowed me to slow down and enjoy myself instead of racing against changing conditions. As I painted, the Shetland ponies nearby snorted and chewed, and the little train clicked by again and again full of young children on field trips. One painting, then one wipe-out in the afternoon. Having had good dose of dirt, trees and fresh cold air, I went home a happy painter.
oil 6x6 inches click for purchase info and magnifier And now the kid version. My Maine friend brought me this rock from Maine. It's a long way from home. Credits to my granddaughter, Grace for the painted paper.
oil 6x6 inches click for purchase info and magnifier "Rock, Paper, Scissors" is the name of the salon where I get my hair cut. After my cut a few days ago I had this idea. That's a serious rock not to be messed with.
oil 16x12 click for purchase info and magnifier Here's a piece I did back in November but never posted. We visited the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco more than a year ago. The sixties/seventies vibe was still visible, but the sidewalks were bare of hippies. Too bad. I loved all the graffiti in this shot, especially the 1967.
oil 9x12 inches click for purchase info and magnifier After my mom's passing it's hard to get myself to the easel, but therapeutic once I do. So of course, I picked something "easy": white porcelain, gold and foliage. Ha!
In other news:
"Mission Sunrise" was juried into California Art Club's exhibit "California's Heritage: The Mission Trail." Altadena Town & Country Club 2290 Country Club Drive, Altadena, CA. January 24 through May 27. Reception Sunday, Jan. 26 3:00-5:00.
oil 9x12 inches click for purchase info and magnifier Fellow artist, Nick Brown gave me permission to use his reference photo for this piece, painted last September. The old boat is located in Inverness, CA, and is a favorite subject for painters and photographers.
oil 8x8 inches click for purchase info and magnifier I enjoyed painting the muted tones in this piece. Even the oranges in shadow were quite neutral. Thursday morning my mother passed away. It's a very sad time for us and we're busy with preparations. She was an amazing lady who loved life and accomplished a lot in her 93 years. I'll miss her so much.
oil 8x8 inches click for purchase info and magnifier Life is pretty crazy right now. My mother is seriously ill in the hospital. I managed to squeeze in some painting time last Sunday and this is the result. Happier news: My painting, Sunflowers & Eucalyptus is a finalist in the Daily Paintworks Monthly Contest. To see the December entries, click here.
oil 6x6 inches not for sale. I was able to squeeze in one more painting before 2014 arrives. A vintage choir boy candle with tiny pomegranates, pine cone and a sprig cut from our Christmas tree. The candle and his companions are my most favorite decorations. Growing up, they were on our mantle every year sitting in a most wonderful spun angel hair. I don't think they make that angel hair any more. Mom is 93 and enjoys seeing them on our mantle now. A friend, Mary Jo, surprised me with these teeny little pomegranates. We were talking about gifts and she said, "The best gifts are the ones you don't expect." So true. Happy New Year everyone! May the year ahead be full of unexpected blessings!
oil 5x5 gallery wrap canvas
I've been getting ready for Christmas. No painting going on here, but plenty of other stuff! Here's a little piece I did last week as a gift for a friend. I'm pretty sure I'll get back to my easel next year. Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone! I hope your celebrations are full of love and laughter.
oil 6x8 inches click for purchase information and magnifier
The Graber Family has produced delicious tree ripened olives since 1894. On the property are two great gift shops and this little museum. The sun had set while I was shopping and the glow from inside the museum made for a good nocturne. I really enjoyed painting this little scene, first in watercolor and then in oil a few days later. I've been using thicker oil paint lately, which is fun too.