Friday, January 28, 2011

With respect to Carl Sandburg

I came into my art studio after lunch to find that an artist had been at work:

Carl Sandburg had it wrong. Cat's are not like fog; they definitely leave something behind.

I've been playing with new colors from Daniel Smith. Love them! I think that Deep Sap Green, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, and Buff Titanium are are my new favorites. They will be featured in my next painting.

Enjoy your week-end.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Negative Thinking

I've been thinking negatively for awhile.

In my paintings, that is. (OK. Occasionally in my mental musings about my art, the weather, and annoying commercials where children are portrayed as being so much wiser than their clueless parents, but all in all, nothing serious.)

I had been getting to a slightly (VERY slightly) complacent stage in my painting, so I decided to challenge myself with working on a weakness of mine: negative painting - which is painting the space around objects rather than the objects themselves. My brain just DOES NOT GET IT. I get it intellectually but not in any measure of decent practicality. Oh, I have no problem when the shapes are simple or geometric, but when they are organic and complex...blah!!

Here is an example, which is an example of negative and positive painting: (the first picture shows a wash of color - then I used that wash to paint around the shapes of trees for the second picture. I also added some actual limbs, which is positive painting)

I have a pile of failures to show for it, but I won't burden you with them.

On a different note, I have decided to take on the challenge of a fellow artist to earn my "Artistic License" by creating a sketch a day for 75 days. I loved her whimsy and decided to go for it. After all, I have a beautiful journal that has been calling me.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Curses, Daniel Smith!!

I have a confession to make. I love Daniel Smith.

I know, I know. Hard to believe.

It started out somewhat innocently. (Doesn’t it always?)

I needed a particular item that my local art store and even my usual mail order art supply sources didn’t have. I Googled the item and found a company called Daniel Smith. I ordered the item…a little tube of Quintacridone Gold. That started me down the road to my addiction.

Whoever is in charge of marketing at Daniel Smith is a genius. If they were in charge of the U.S. economy we would all be in wonderful shape. First came the emails. Yes, other companies email me. But these emails are diabolically brilliant. They offer things I really want, and worse, things I didn’t know I wanted but once I see them I SIMPLY MUST HAVE THEM!!!

In case you think I’m exaggerating, let me elaborate. One example: they suggest triads - three lovely colors that I’ve never heard of that are used to paint a beautiful whatever…like the “Monarch Triad”, the “Winter Wonderland Triad”, the “Kestrel Triad” and more. I can use these incredible colors to "experiment with color and expand my palette". Yes! As I look at these gorgeous colors I think to myself, “Wow! If I had those colors I would paint so much better. Any problems I have in my painting are probably due to the fact that I don’t have the right color”.

Now, they even have something called “Watercolor Ground”. Lost your whites in a watercolor painting? Don’t like a particular section? No problem. Paint over it, let it dry, and voila! New painting surface. I SIMPLY MUST HAVE IT!!!

Periodically they even offer FREE SHIPPING! Once they even offered a free tube of Quintacridone Gold if I bought four tubes of any color paint. Heck, I was going to buy paint anyway. Eventually.

I can’t resist.

Sometimes I won’t allow myself to open the emails. Then I get their spring catalog. I tell myself I won’t open that either. But the cover illustration is so beautiful. “Is that a watercolor?” I ask myself. "I’ll just open the cover to read about the cover art. OH MY GOSH! Look at those beautiful watercolor sets. I SIMPLY MUST HAVE ONE!!!"

Oh, and yes, every time I have ordered from them, I have promptly received what I ordered and been perfectly satisfied. Dang it.

No, they’re not local, although since we are in the same state, from a Google Earth perspective we are in the same neighborhood.

OK. I don’t NEED anything right now, it’s true. I’ll be perfectly content with what I have. I’m working on wonderful projects…another winter Centennial Trail scene, a mountain daisy composition, a beautiful series of photos from Turnbull Wildlife Refuge. I'll put the catalog away somewhere. Just in case. For later.

Wait! I just got a notice. An email from Daniel Smith!!

Gotta go.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In the Mood

I've been playing with reality this week.

That's one of the fun parts of being an artist. You are the creator. Don't like reality? Change it!

I took "Day 365", which was based on a photograph that was taken in the middle of a bright, sunny day and wondered what it would look like at the end of the day. I love the light this time of day because the colors are so rich, illuminating a more dramatic mood.

Of course, changing reality has its challenges. You don't have the photographic reference to get the values right. This is part of why I've been working so hard on getting values right when I do have reference materials. My thought is that if I can accurately represent reality, then I can more convincingly present a new reality, created from my imagination.

I've included "Day 365" again so you can see them side by side. (You can see more details by clicking on each painting.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Playing With Snow

Ok. I have to admit it. I like playing with my studio:

Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Let It Snow!

The snow has arrived as predicted. In honor of this, I'm working on a painting using some New Year's Eve day photos we took on the trail:

Yesterday I finished the painting based on the photo we took of the white trees standing out against the pine trees:

I was very pleased with the result, especially the frigid look of the Spokane River.

On a totally unrelated topic, I read in the paper today that thunderstorms produce antimatter! Who knew? Apparently the universe does not cease to exist when matter and antimatter meet. I share this because I'm sure that this will be as much of a relief to you as it was to me! One less thing to worry about.

P.S. I was asked to please send this reminder: if you find yourself with a nuclear powerpack on your back, fighting ghosts with a friend, DO NOT CROSS THE STREAMS. It is still believed that to do so will end life as we know it. FYI, this important safety reminder is still in effect until further notice. Sorry. That worry is still with us.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

To the Mat

Our living room is covered in mat board.

I love choosing the perfect colors to compliment the colors in each painting. Norm isn't as fond of cutting them all out for me, but he's a trooper. I think the lesson learned here is to keep up with the matting.

Now that the website is up and looking WONDERFUL, I am moving to the next stage of figuring out pricing, packaging, and the ins and outs of creating prints from paintings.

Please give me any feedback you have about the website, particularly the portfolio section. We've added more information and also descriptions of each painting.

This week I'm working on winter photos of the trail. Today I'm working from this photo:

It was taken in late December and I am drawn to the white trees against the darker pine trees, reflecting in the frigid Spokane River.

Our forecast here in Spokane is for a major winter storm to move in tonight. That probably means that we will get 1/2 inch of snow. But on the off chance that their prediction of 6 or more inches is correct, we're all set: plenty of food, ice melt, and good company (the dogs particularly love the snow, especially snoozing in the art studio while it falls outside).

Have a wonderful week.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Bend in the River

Happy Friday!

I hope you had a good week. I thought I would share the color version of the partial value study I shared previously this week.

What drew me to this scene on the Centennial Trail late in November? The color, of course. The scene is actually a pretty nondescript view of a bend in the river with plenty of weeds on the bank.
When my dear partner looked at the photo I was working from he said, "Are you going to paint all of those ugly weeds?" Of course!!! That's what makes it so compelling. Even weeds can look lovely late in November when they're infused with golden color. Juxtapose that with the gorgeous evergreens and it is simply stunning.

Speaking of about my new look? I owe it all to Kate Carpenter Designs She will have my portfolio up on the website soon. I'm so excited and thankful for her expertise. Please take a moment to check it out, and if you feel inclined, sign up for upcoming newsletters.

Have a wonderful week-end.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Momentum vs Inertia

def: Mass is the fundamental measure of inertia; it measures the resistance of the body to changes in motion. Thus, inertia is resistance to motion changes. Whereas, momentum is mass in motion, and, is defined as the mass times the velocity.

I guess this explains why I always have such a hard time picking my painting and exercising back up after a break - a very hard time. But, just an hour of painting makes me feel so much better! It's like I find myself again and I wonder what took me so long:

(part of a 1 hour value study painting)

I am so excited to think about the upcoming year and where my painting will lead me. We took some gorgeous winter shots of the Centennial Trail during the break. I'm hoping to paint some of them and share them here.

Here's to keeping our bodies in motion!