Friday, February 26, 2010

Sunset Anvil I

This is a painting I did yesterday at the watercolor session at the art club. I had so much fun yakking with my art budz while I slapped on the paint that I strayed from what I know to be true...when one is glazing for intense colors one must let each glaze dry completely or one achieves mud. The mud in this painting is certainly colorful, but I will start this again and do it correctly this time.

This painting is based on a wonderful photo by my NM Jeep Tours buddy, Roch, who allows me to paint from his great photos. I loved most the varied and wonderful sunset colors in this anvil cloud, but that didn't translate into this painting. Alas, as I said, I will do this again when my focus is more on the painting itself and I allow each glaze to dry properly.

What I like about this painting, other than that wonderful purple-y color, is that I loosened up and let the painting happen. I will, in my serious attempt, focus on the compositional changes needed to make this a good painting and I do know what those are.

This painting was painted for a 24 x 36 inch frame.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Paradise Found

When we added the studio on to the back of our house a few years ago, we had to have a large mesquite tree removed. We were at a local nursery to order a new one to replace that one (we got a Southern Live Oak) and I saw this lone Bird of Paradise blooming beautifully among the closed blooms. It happened to be backlit at the time and my trusty purse-size camera was quickly locked and loaded for this shot. I love having a small camera along for serendipitous moments such as this was, this camera has a higher megapixel rating than my big DSLR!

Anyway, my mentorees should be watching for this photo to appear in a painting near them!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sandy's Bridge

My mentoring class painted this painting yesterday afternoon. This was painted last year for my classes with permission from Sandy Maudlin. I saw this on her blog, then, and thought it was such a wonderful example of painting with a limited palette of two complementary colors, and the importance of using darks to make the scene glow. Once again, we found this to be true.

The above paintings were all done by the students with the exception of one. I will not identify which painting belongs to which mentoree, nor will I identify which was painted by me. I don't want any viewers to think that any of the mentoree paintings are better than the mentor's!

Thanks once again, Sandy! You are just the best!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Grandmas' Heritage

Yesterday, I did a photo shoot of this set up. It represents something I have wanted to paint for a long time. I am the proud recipient of some wonderful artifacts from both of my grandmothers, as well as one great-grandmother. I have put off painting this, however, because of the daunting detail and not feeling I was up to the challenge yet. However, I decided to go ahead and commit to painting this here on the blog, like everyone will bug me about keeping at it once I start! I will be in a three-artist show in July and will need a few more large southwestern paintings before I work wholeheartedly on this one, but if I get all of that detail (!) drawn on the full sheet of paper, I can pick it up now and then and work on it. Go slowly, Susan!

The quilt was made for me by my paternal grandmother, every stitch is evenly spaced by hand and I still remember the garments from which many of these scraps are from! The sewing machine was my maternal grandmother's, I researched it online and it was manufactured in Secaucus, NJ in 1922. The cow cookie jar was in my paternal grandmother's house, next door to ours while I was growing up, and she would make extra buttermilk biscuits every morning and put a couple of them in this jar for us to have after school. No microwave ovens to heat things then, but I still remember the taste and texture of her biscuits, cold and with butter and jam for an after-school treat! The almost-hidden cake stand (under the doily) was my maternal great-grandmother's. The doily from that side of the family, also. The teapot on top of the cake stand was won for my mother by her mother, tossing softballs at milk bottles at a County Fair! How cool is that?

Don't give up on me in this endeavor, I am determined to paint it!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Diane Maxey at AAG

I, and four of my SCG artist friends traveled to Phoenix Tuesday night for the monthly Arizona Artists Guild meeting. This month's meeting included a demonstration by the famed Diane Maxey. I took many photos, and will share a few here. She brought several paintings that had purportedly been in the back of a closet for awhile because they were BORRRRRING (her intonation) and worked her magic on them for the demo. Of course, any of us would have been thrilled to create something even close to her boring paintings! Her reds are to die for, so vivid and eye-catching. It was a good evening and we all enjoyed the demo and seeing her again. The last demo I caught of hers was at an Arizona Watercolor Assoc. meeting several years ago, she painted geraniums then. Red of course! To quote her from the first demo I watched of hers...if it ain't got red in it it ain't worth paintin'!, this said in her Texas accent.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pears in Silver

Back to the painting! This is a demo painting I did in yesterday's mentoring class. The focus was on creating the somewhat shiny look of old silver, which takes on the colors of its surroundings as well as modeling of the pears and bowl shapes. They also were encouraged to be brave and try some spattering on the background after they had finished the paintings. I showed them the great trick of applying clear Contact paper over the dry painting, then carefully cutting around the fruit and bowl shapes, lifting the excess Contact paper and then spattering with a toothbrush to create some texture in the background. They were just sure I was going to cut into my w/c paper, but thankfully I did not. So far, I have had success with using this Contact paper technique and haven't cut the paper yet. I hope I don't break that streak any time soon!

This was a simple painting but fun to do and you always learn something when you tackle a painting, I think this was my fourth time to paint this one.

Monday, February 15, 2010

G'Ma and the Greats

I neglected to post below the photo of my mother with all of her great-grandchildren save for one infant who did not make the trip from Tennessee. Good-looking crew, huh?

PS...These older children all served as wait-staff and greeters for everyone during the afternoon. They did a marvelous job!

Birthday Reunion!

I want to include photos of the wonderful experience we had yesterday. In honor of my mother's 90th birthday, we held a family reunion. All of her grandchildren and their families, in-laws and outlaws included were in attendance. It was so gratifying to have everyone together at one time and in one place. We saw grown up versions of the niece and nephews we had not seen since they were children, and met their families who we had not seen other than in photos. Wonderful experience!

The first photo is of my mom, on the left is my twin sister Sandy and in the middle our baby brother, Mike. Doesn't my mother look pretty?

The second photo is of all of my mom's grandchildren. Celebrating the joy of family is a wonderful way to honor our mother for her 90 years of life. It was a great day!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Lake Pleasant Monsoon - Truly Final

After receiving thoughtful critiques from the WcW group, I made a few changes. I darkened the areas of the water nearest the shoreline to make that more correct. I also raised up the coral color in the clouds so I could add more of that color to the water, as well as some of the shore reflections.

Now, I can say I am done and satisfied with the results. Having a pool of "second eyes" to look at paintings and see things that we who are painting them cannot (or usually don't!) is imperative.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Lake Pleasant Monsoon - Final?

This is the scene we painted in yesterday's mentoring session here. I am thinking I am done fiddling with it, what do you think?