Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Frisco Streets -sold

oil on canvas panel 8x6 inches

The sun was trying to burn through the clouds, but it was still dark enough for the glow of tail lights and street lights. I tried to capture this in-between state of light. I love those San Francisco streets that scoop upward in the distance. The buses and cars move the eye from side to side, so I tried to use line to direct the eye into the distance and up the hill.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tie Dye Toaster-sold

oil on canvas panel 6x6 inches

Here's my "paint your toaster" entry to the DPW challenge. I have never owned a pop-up toaster. This toaster oven has toasted for us since 1974. As for the color reflections....uh....I was wearing my tie dye T-shirt. It seemed fitting on the '74 toaster so I went with it and just had fun.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mona's Pear-sold

oil on canvas panel 6x6 inches

We visited San Diego over the weekend so I've missed a few days of painting and posting. Got a chance to see some great art in museums, though. This painting was done about a month ago and inspired by Duane Keiser. He had combined a Vermeer with a pear. I used a page from an old desk calendar. While painting I discovered that Mona Lisa has no eyebrows! Weird. Then recently I started reading The Secret Lives of Great Artists by Elizabeth Lunday and found out historians don't know if Da Vinci didn't paint them, multiple restorations lost them, or if the poor girl over-plucked!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Favorite Shoes

oil on canvas panel 6x6 inches

Daily Paintworks gave us a "paint your shoes" challenge recently. These are my favorite shoes for style and comfort. I live in flip flops, so I don't wear these very often, but still they're my favorite shoes. I thought about leaving out all the gold stitching to simplify the painting, but the stitching is part of the style, so I decided to paint it in a simplified way. The color palette was enjoyably limited: burnt umber, ultramarine blue, yellow ochre, cad yellow medium and Twhite.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Stretch your imagination a bit, and my shoes could be 21st century pilgrim shoes: black leather with buckles.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Truck 'N Cluck

oil on canvas panel 6x6 inches

For this painting I used a photo taken at Gold King Mine in Jerome, Arizona. There were chickens walking around and I was lucky enough to get a few in shots with the vehicles. I liked the living, moving element in with the "graveyard" of old vehicles.

Funny, I'm posting from San Francisco a painting I did at home in Chino from a scene in Arizona. Today we rented bikes and rode across Golden Gate Bridge, visited Sausalito and took a ferry back. We've had some sun and quite a bit of rain, but rain means great cloudy skies in my pictures. Yay!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

One Persimmon SOLD & San Francisco

oil on canvas panel 4x4 inches

Here's my last persimmon painting for the season, I think. It's from a few days ago when I was trying out neutral surfaces. I'm missing painting, but having lots of fun.
Today was our first full day in San Francisco. This morning we took a tour boat around in the bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz. The sun was out, and the water and city just sparkled. We ate a SF lunch of clam chowder and sourdough bread then visited the Aquarium and toured the Boudin bread factory. Picked up chocolate at Girardelli, rode a cable car to the concert hall to hear the San Francisco Symphony perform Brahms' "A German Requiem." Then back to our room by 10:15 for dinner: chocolate! Whew!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thumbnails & Value Studies

I'm posting this one with some hesitations (since it's not a painting), but hopefully it will be of interest or value. Yesterday I busied myself planning the next watercolor for my Monday night class. I almost always do thumbnail sketches and value studies for my watercolors and occasionally for my oils.

Here's the process: I find my painting within the photo by moving little mat corners or strips of paper around on the photo to "frame" a design. Using a Papermate Flair pen, I make little sketches-maybe 3x4" or smaller, moving shapes around to fine tune the design. I pay attention to line, pattern, shapes, and how the picture space is divided into larger shapes. (The design chosen here is from the center of the photo reference.)

Next I make the thumbnail I like into a value study planning out where my darks, lights and mid-values will be. I may do several of these. I try for unequal amounts of dark, light and mid-values. I like to think of the design as the skeleton (support) and the value pattern as the soul the painting. When I paint, I'll follow what I've planned here more than what the photo tells me.
I learned this from several very good instructors along the way. There are probably many of you out there that do something like this. For me, if my design and value pattern are not strong, I might as well not waste my time painting it!

Next I'll come up with a limited palette of colors for a harmonious painting. That will be another post WAY down the road.
Speaking of road, we're headed off to San Francisco tomorrow just for fun. I'm taking my camera but not my paint...ouch! It's time to celebrate our 37th anniversary! I'll post if I can.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fall In A Jar -sold

oil on canvas panel 8x6 inches

Just as I was finishing this on Friday night, the accountant left his easy chair and entered my paint cave (because there was nothing on TV, he said.) He pronounced this painting "confusing" and said I can't confuse my viewers by painting stuff that they don't know what it is. Well, "Yes I can if I want," I said. So here's a guide left to right and top to bottom: acorn, pussy willows, acorn top, crab apples, chestnuts.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cup 'n Cutie SOLD

oil on canvas panel 6x6 inches

Recently I discovered the work of David Lloyd. I love the clarity of his color, his luscious neutrals and masterful edges. He was kind enough to share with me a list of colors he uses for mixing neutrals. With this painting I tried out raw umber for the first time. Design-wise, I usually try to avoid diagonals going off into a corner, but since the spoon kinda points to the tangerine, I thought I might get away with it. Hopefully the eye loves that reflection enough to stay in the painting instead of sliding up the spoon handle into oblivion! I welcome your opinion.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Car Around The Corner -sold

oil on canvas panel 6x6 inches

Finally got around to painting this car that sits in a driveway just six or eight houses away. I walked my dog past there in the morning and the light was just right: dappled through the tree and the reddish fence throwing color onto the shadow side of the car. Painted in my studio from a photo on my laptop, I took my time and really enjoyed this subject.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fall Trio -sold

oil on canvas panel 4x4 inches

I guess I'm painting a series. I never say to myself, "Now I will paint a series." It just happens that I get excited about certain colors and objects and keep painting them 'till it starts to feel old and worn out. These little canvases are so handy for when I only have short blocks of time to paint. Painters, if you haven't tried them yet, get yourself some 4x4 and 4x6's to have on hand. When finished they look nice on a table in a little mini easel or one of those gold wire easels.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Acorn & Crab Apples-sold

oil on canvas panel 4x6 inches

More Fall stuff. Thought I'd put some red on that green. I love painting acorns. They remind me of Chicken Little. And squirrels. Most impressive is that a massive oak tree starts as one of these. Amazing.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Offerings

oil on canvas panel 6x8 inches

On a walk in Oak Glen I picked up some fallen acorns and stuck them in my pocket. Love all these warm fall colors. Someone asked about the "tail" on the chestnuts. They have these white things on their tips. Don't know what it is, but I like how it picks up the light.
This painting is available at Vander Molen Fine Art, Arcadia, CA

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Persimmon With Chestnuts -sold

oil on canvas panel 6x6 inches

With this one I tried a bit simpler arrangement and a more subtle green. I'm having trouble getting good photos lately. The placement and time of day that has worked for months is now giving me glare in every direction. Must have something to do with the season? If anyone has suggestions I'd appreciate them.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Persimmons & Chestnuts -sold

oil on canvas panel 6x6 inches

On Sunday we visited Oak Glen and came home with apples, cider and these chestnuts. Being unfamiliar with chestnuts, I asked the sales girl at Los Rios Rancho how you roast them. She quickly blurted: "Ya roast 'em over an open fire". I know the song, yeah. But how? So she said to look it up on the internet. Mainly I wanted to paint the shiny reddish brown beauties. My new favorite color, transparent red oxide worked well. Does anybody know if they keep, or should I get that open fire going soon?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Rainbow Grapes -sold

oil on canvas panel, 6x6 inches

Here's the same cluster of grapes I used in Still Life With Wine Bottles. My thinking with this one is to showcase the varied color in one bunch of grapes.