Friday, August 14, 2009

Brittany Coast

My art class is touring the world this year. Welcome to the Brittany coast. This was a great exercise in multiple building perspective and water reflections.

Scottish Loch

Look, Ma, my building has 2 sides! This painting provided practice on painting water, landscape perspective, and particularly architecture. Buildings have been a surprising challenge, I can't tell you how many one-sided and lop-sided buildings I have painted-me and Granny Moses, we're like this... This image pleased Tony, who is a stickler for horizon lines and dimensional houses.

Fresh Veg

Attack of the giant zuccini! Actually, this is an English market day, so we are viewing a "marrow" squash. I'm pretty pleased with the tomatoes in this picture. I painted the vegetable basket first, and then had to fill in the flowered background around the finished basket. Bad planning....

Friday, July 17, 2009

Split Mountain, Dinosaur National Park UT

We did a family trip to Colorado with a day trip to Utah to see Dinosaur National Park. The weather was uncertain which made for difficult photography. I was able to use an image of this colorful rock formation as inspiration. The formation is called Split Mountain Canyon. This is the Green River. This is a studio painting in oil.

St Francis of Assisi Church, Taos NM

Another watercolor from our Santa Fe trip. We did a day trip to view the Spanish churches between Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico. This is the back end of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Well known from black and white photography by Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, and also painted by Georgia O'Keefe. This was done plein air, interesting experience as it was about 85 degrees in the sun and the paper kept drying out while I was trying to do watercolor washes.

Wisconsin Farm

I thought I would share "one from the vault". This is a watercolor/goache painting that I did before I started taking watercolor lessons. As you can see, the general "look" of the watercolor style is already formed, but the technique was uneven. I used the opaque watercolor to correct problems.

Sand Dunes and Storm

This is from our trip to Santa Fe in early 2009. This was a experimental studio piece, where I used a black and white photograph as reference. I like the abstract shapes of the dunes against the naturalistic sky.

Fall Color, Colorado

We enjoyed a trip in late 2008 to Colorado. We did a day trip to Cripple Creek and caught fall color on the aspen trees. They are interspersed with pines, so there is more of a speckled effect than masses of color, except near meadows.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ghost Ranch

This is my very first plein air oil painting. I bought the outdoor painting rig for our trip to Santa Fe. Ghost Ranch is a few miles north of Santa Fe, and is one of the places that Georgia O'Keefe lived and painted. I set up the painting rig and laid out my colors, the wind came up and flipped the whole easel over, flinging the glass palette full of paint out, jam side down, into the grass. So there I am picking twigs and rocks out of my paint, before I even touched the canvas. The whole time I was painting, I had to hold the easel down by one corner so it wouldn't fly away. I asked an experienced artist about my experience, and was advised that this is normal. Guess I should have bought the ballast bag... The horse in the picture is reputed to be over 40 years old, I have never seen a horse with a greater sway-back in my life!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tioga Pass, Late Spring Storm

Lest you think I've given up oil painting, here is the first oil painting of 2009, titled "Tioga Pass, Late Spring Storm".

This is from a photo that my husband Tony shot on a trip to Yosemite. We crossed Tioga pass on Memorial Day weekend, when the pass was newly opened for the summer. We stopped at a small turnout next to a brook and Tony decided to take the shot. He set up his camera, but a storm was brewing and there was no sunlight to pop the brights in the view. So he waited, and waited....when I woke up an hour later Tony was still waiting for the light. The temp had fallen toward freezing, and he was wearing shorts! I was greeted by the view of the photographer doing jumping jacks to keep from freezing solid. Finally Tony took his shot and we raced down the pass to Lee Vining on the east side. That night it snowed and the pass closed for 3 days.


Another watercolor, this one working to paint the flowers loosely, and also working on the reflections/refractions of the glass vase. As always, I like to push the color saturation!

Trunk Show

This is a "quickie" from my watercolor class. We were practicing painting loosely, "like a child". Well, I'm never loose, but I did think this was fun. You are not crazy, one tusk is much longer than the other. This old boy had a broken tusk.

Feral Chicken

This is better than those humans! Meet the Feral Chicken. These chickens wander the roadsides of Hawaii and are completely wild. I love the gaudy plumage and iridescent tail feathers. I met one of these chickens recently at the Burbank Animal Shelter. I have no idea how he made it to the mainland. Despite the color saturation, this is a watercolor.

Dancehall Lady

Another attempt to paint a person, this one not so succesful. The figure had very strange perspective, and I later realized the proportions of arm and leg size to torso were way off. My teacher, Vivi Oldknow, recommends cropping to save the best detail in a case like this. So here is what is left of my painting!

Apres Lautrec

This is a difficult image all the way around. This is a watercolor homage of a Toulouse Lautrec oil painting of Lautrec's friend, Jane Avril. The original oil painting had a textured background, difficult to capture in a watercolor. This background is "combed" or "feathered" and actually turned out quite well. The fabric and hat were fashion-challenged choices for Jane, who had flaming henna-colored hair. And then there is the green complexion from being painted under gas-light, which makes her look 2 days dead... Given that I don't paint people much, this was a very interesting exercise!


Watercolor of islands in the Bahamas. I was pleased with the quality of transparency in the water in this painting. Also the abstract quality of the light and dark in the palm tree.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cotswold Cottage

I worked from a black and white photo of an old-fashioned cottage with a thatched roof. Interesting exercise to make it "quaint and colorful".

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tiger Lily

This was a fun little exercise from art class. I didn't get the reflections of the tiger in the water, but the abstract background came out very interesting. I may do this one again, larger, some day. The hard part was getting the eye to look catlike.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fall Farm Scene

Another small watercolor. I liked the mix of green and yellow in this picture. It is quite a bit looser than my usual style.

Strolling Under the Silk Floss Trees

This is a very small watercolor. I took the same general scene as depicted in "A Walk in the Woods", but changed it to a spring setting.

Lovely Lisa

This oil painting was commissioned as a gift. Much research went into the various types of orchids, to select one that would suit the recipient. Capturing the subtle colors of the orchid petals was a challenge, along with achieving the sense of the pot in space.

Chinese Lotus

This watercolor was taken from the lotus flowers blooming in the Chinese garden at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, California. I have a continuing series on lotus flowers. The photograph, shot by Tony, was in black and white.