Sunday, December 20, 2009
I dislike: ....that I impose the stress of a deadline on myself.
I like: ....and am flattered to be the artist selected to capture their "special place"..to suspend time and provide a lasting remembrance for generations.
I dislike: ....the mental anguish and composition decisions I go through during the drawing and design phase. I'm reluctant to,(and usually don't), accurately depict the subject "exactly" as it is. I begin a list of mental complaints: I have very little to work with; it's a bad photograph; subject hasn't any character; the season is wrong; trees are growing in odd places. This dialog with myself can go on for several days.
I like: ....when I discontinue my "negative dialog" with myself and start to make a "connection". About half-way into the drawing and design phase, I begin to develop a "feel". When this happens, my composition and color decisions become easier; I'm working as if it's my own "special place".
I dislike: .... when I have to make decisions about certain elements in the final composition. Although I've been given full creative license, I want to honor all the important elements that may be important to my client.
I like: .... when I begin painting; it all comes together; composition, color, values, and the most important element of all....a sense of place.
I LOVE: .... that moment when I lay my brush down and consider my day's work as "well done".
I LOVE: .... the moment when I deliver the painting and see the joy on my client's face.
I LOVE: .... being an artist. painting. for others, for myself. It's what I do. It's who I am.
Fortunately, there's many more "likes" than "dislikes". Or I'd be doing something else with my life.
I completed this commission yesterday. I'll contact my client tomorrow and make arrangements for delivery. I think they'll be pleased.
"Brumley Boulevard" 9" x 12" Watercolor
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
"LITTLE DEVIL RIVER" - 11" x 14" - Watercolor.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
It's been a long time since I have painted "big" and I really had fun! Here they are:
The panels are 2' x 8' and took a combined total of 60 hours. After the primer dried, we each took a small brush loaded with yellow and began to make "loose" line drawings of the elements; drum, truck, trike, glass balls, snowman, decorated gifts and ribbon...until all 4 panels were "blocked in". Then we began painting the base colors; mid-tones using red, yellow, blue,green & purple. That took about 2 days. then we began to build up the shapes with shading & highlights. This is when we began to "get excited"....the panels were almost glowing! What fun! Did I mention that I love my job? What a way to begin the holiday season!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
On Friday night, November 27, citizens of Waxahachie and Ellis County will gather around the tree as the Mayor "flips the switch" to light the tree and officially open the Christmas Season in Downtown Waxahachie, Texas. I'll post photos of the panels in the "almost done" stage, then later, I'll post photos as they're being attached to the frame under the tree... then post the "final photos" when the project is complete. What a way to begin the holiday season!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Today, I went back to Lahaina town....there are so many paintings just waiting to happen! This is a little park behind the library that's on the seawall. Looking north from the park, the seawall walkway goes for about a mile with shops and restaurants lining the street. It's a favorite place for the locals to eat lunch, relax and just "hang out". Several came over to see what I was painting. I met some very nice people today. One of the "perks" of working on location!
Lahaina - Maui, Hawaii
"View from the Sea Wall"
12x16 Plein Air Watercolor
Only 2 days left before I must return to the "mainland"....I'll be painting tomorrow near our condo on Ka'anapali Beach.....I love my job!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Here I am in Maui, Hawaii! I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to visit this beautiful island for the 2nd time in a year. Last year, I left my plein air gear at home, and traveled only with my sketchbook. This time, I brought all my gear with the intention of doing at least 4 good plein air paintings. On Tuesday morning, I drove to Ma'alaea village and boat harbor. The trade winds were blowing about 4o mph, and it was a challenge just to keep my easel upright! My whole setup blew over twice...but no harm done to equipment or the painting!
"Old but still Floats" - 9x12 Watercolor
This old teakwood sailboat caught my eye right away! the lovely brown weathered deck and bright blue sails in a harbor full of 'shiny new boats' just needed to be painted!
After painting in the Ma'alaea Harbor, I loaded up my gear and drove back to Lahaina town. This is an old whaling village near where we are staying. There are probably 100 places to set up and paint and it's hard to make a decision....fortunately, the available sunlight helps me to decide. The late afternoon sun put this ice cream store in "backlight" and the main street in bright light....a great composition that didn't need any "tweeking".
"Ice Cream Store" - 9x12 Watercolor
I nearly out-stayed my available light! I was so intent on capturing some of the detail of the ice cream store building and the time got away from me....I looked up and it was nearly sundown! By the time I got my gear packed up, it was almost dark! A long painting day...the harbor in the morning and the Lahaina in the afternoon - great start to my "plein air vacation"!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Today, I wanted to paint in the "upcountry" of Maui. A local artist, Julie Houck, told me that the "upcountry" was a great place to paint! The drive time was almost an hour and I got a late start. (Breakfast on the patio of our condo was so nice! Chatting over coffee with my husband, his brother and wife was so relaxing....and I AM on vacation.....!)
9x12 - "Downtown Makaweo" Watercolor
Makaweo is called Maui's "Cowboy Town" - historically, it was the center of the ranching and farming area also know as "the upcountry" on the island of Maui. I was tempted to stop several times and set up my easel (the sugar cane museum & factory really caught my attention) but I was "on a mission"! I drove around in the town of Pa'ia (I hope I'll have time to go back before I go home) for about 30 minutes then continued on up to Makaweo. The "main street" (Baldwin Ave) is quaint with turn of the century, historic store fronts. Local art is popular here and there are several galleries. What a great day!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
It's a beautiful island with mountains, farms, beaches, and plenty of subject matter for an artist. I'll try to meet up with Julie Houck, an island artist and fellow member of International Plein Air Painters. Can hardly wait! I'm standing on one foot, then the other, just like a little kid....doing my "antsy-dance". :-)
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Outta Gas, one of my recent paintings and a multiple award winner has been retired and placed in the private collection of Doug & Ginny Field.
It's a favorite of mine, with fond memories connected to it. The "inspiration" for the painting is an old gas station & some old pick-up trucks on a corner in New Zulch, Texas, about 30 miles south of the home of my high-school best friend, Ginny Field. Gin and I "go back" almost 55 years. We get together often, only living a couple hour's drive from each other. Last year, during one of our "girl-friend days", the two of us took a shopping trip down to Bryan and this station was along the way. Gin had been telling me about it and said it would make a great painting. I learned over the years, that when Gin spots something she thinks needs to be painted, I need to pay attention. Sure enough, the old gas station was a Texas landscape artist's dream; all the elements were there. We stopped and took photos....Gin pointing here & there saying, "get a shot of this...and the old trucks...and the rusted gas pumps...".
Back in the studio, the painting came to be and I began to enter it in area competitions and exhibitions. First time out, it won a first place award, and another 1st place a couple months later in a different show. Gin was right about the subject matter...it DID make a great painting, and I may paint one or two more; we'll see.
In July, Ginny was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and is struggling through the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy. The treatments have been rough on her; the only time she leaves the house is to go to the clinic for another treatment. So, to bring some outside to the inside, I hung Outta Gas in her den. The "show venue" is much smaller than the painting is accustomed to, but it's being viewed daily by my greatest "fan" and best friend....can't ask for a painting to have a better audience than that!
(Note: this post was first published last October 15. Since that time, my friend has discontinued treatment and entered Hospice)
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
This is painted mostly from memory stimulated by the sketches.....it's been my experience that a memory is much better than a photograph.....at least for a painting that is......