Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer Colors

I was outside in the sunshine and watched the swallowtails this morning. The sun catches the wings and makes them almost iridescent.
I decided to alter the painting I had done and add some blues to try and show this iridescence. Interesting to me, is this example of a photograph where only the new paint has a glare...the blues in the wing. In life, this looks a lot better and I think the blues add to the original seen below.

I have also been working on a series of cut flowers from the yard in a ball jar.  Here is the most recent.

Summer Flowers/ Ball Jar #3/ oil on canvas on board/ SOLD

These are all painted with a transparent underlayer, wet on wet. Somehow, I seem to repaint the backgrounds for these in the same colors.

Now, I want to paint a bouquet of coneflowers in a clear jar...with blues in the background...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer in a Ball Jar

Summer in a Ball Jar/ oil on gesso board/ 8 x 6/ SOLD

These are all blooming in the yard presently. The hardest part of this painting was the background. I had three iterations before this one. Two were darker and the flowers needed light so look their best.

Have a desire to paint the nasturtiums so this will be the post for today.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Beach Paintings

Beach Going at a Certain Age/ oil on canvas board/ 7 x 5/

I loved this lady's style. Covered to protect herself and prepared to enjoy relaxing on the beach.
Art Note: I painted this over a pink primed canvas board and had the hardest time getting the pink to "settle down" and not "talk over"  the painting. usually, I like the pink undertones with the bright blue water. Perhaps, I needed to paint the underpainting with less intensity.

Cool Exercise/ oil on canvas board/ 6 x 12/

This one was painted on the white canvas board prepped with a small amount of gamsol. The "pink" visible here is a tiny amount of permanent rose mixed into the blues on a later layer of paint.

Zinnia and Swallowtail

Zinnia and Swallowtail/ oil on board/ 8 x 10/

Art Notes: This painting was painted over a failed painting that my husband sanded down. Sanding leaves the surface smooth. Depending on the amount of sanding, it can leave ghost images of the previous paintings, or a soft mid-tone background. This one had a soft beige background. I wanted the butterfly to be loosely painted. I mixed a transparent black (alizarin crimson and winsor (Pthalo) green) for the body and lifted out the spaces for the colors with gambol on a Q-tip.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Butterfly and Zinnia

Butterfly Sketch/ oil on canvas board/ 7 x 5/

I love butterflies (so much so that I grow host food just to raise (and give away) caterpillars). I have painted many butterfly paintings. However, most end up recycled because they are too "tight" and detailed. I am so pleased with the looseness of this little butterfly. I also love this bright palette of colors
Art note: Can you see that the shadowed wing is "warmer" than the wing in the light (that has more cool white)? (cool light=warm shadows)

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Gold Leaf Swan

Gold Leaf Swan/ watercolor with 23k gold leaf/ 6 x 8/ SOLD

A second gold leaf painting. I love the warmth of this middle value background. Plus, it just makes the painting so rich-feeling.
At the same time, I am having a good run on my small oils: new bright palette and wonderful summer flowers are a great combination!! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Gold Leaf Rabbit

Gold Leaf Rabbit/ watercolor on paper with 23k gold leaf/ 8 x 8/ SOLD

I had the most fun learning how to apply gold leaf (23k) to the background of this watercolor. I wanted it slightly imperfect on this one. It is amazingly challenging to photograph with the shine. Really needs to be seen in person to appreciate this one!!

Monday, June 6, 2016


Colorful Coneflowers/ oil/ 7 x 5/ SOLD

Back to painting after working on hanging the student exhibition at Braswell Library last week. It will hang until the end of June.

This Show is About Learning to Paint.  What follows is my description of the show's intent.

Thursday, June 16 5PM-7PM second floor Braswell Library
Please come, taste a small snack, bring your questions for the painters and enjoy recent work by Sally Adams, Ashley Anderson, Margy Brantley, Michael Chamberlain, Pell Foster, Georgia Barnes Grant, Beth Jolley, Jo Lea, Nancy Proctor, Beth Steed, Sharon Thorp, and Beth Turnage
In human children, drawing is as spontaneous as walking. Whether with pencil and paper or sticks in the sand, children draw. The youngest children are satisfied with the movement of the drawing implement (scribbling). By age five or six, many children make drawings that are imaginative, detailed and creative. However, at about age 8 or 9, children’s drawings become stiff or patterned or children stop drawing altogether. By this age, children become less accepting of their ability to attempt to reproduce what they observe. They turn on critical voices that remind them  “This looks wrong” or “I can’t draw”. It becomes accepted from then on that only a few are blessed with artistic talent. Most of us put away our paints and pencils.

Winston Churchill, who started to paint at age 40, said that learning to paint late in life required only audacity.  In “Painting as a Pastime” Churchill wrote the best descriptions of painting.“Painting is a companion with whom one may hope to walk a great part of life’s journey”“Happy are the painters, for they shall not be lonely. Light and color, peace and hope, will keep them company to the end, or almost to the end, of the day”
“Just to paint is great fun. The colors are lovely to look at and delicious to squeeze out. 
Matching them, however crudely, with what you see is fascinating and absolutely absorbing. Try it if you have not done so-before you die. As one slowly begins to escape from the difficulties of choosing the right colors and laying them on in the right place and in the right way, wider considerations come into view.”
“Painting is complete as a distraction. I know of nothing which, without exhausting the body, more entirely absorbs the mind. Whatever the worries of the hour or threats of the future, once the picture has begun to flow along, there is no room for them in the mental screen. They pass out into shadow and darkness. All one’s mental light, such as it is, becomes concentrated on the task. Time stands respectfully aside, and it is only after many hesitations that luncheon knocks gruffly at the door.”  

Almost all of the work in this exhibition has been created by “late-in-life” painters (only our youngest started at age 13). Learning to paint requires one to silence the voices of negativity, and a willingness to try. Skill (in any endeavor) does not come naturally. Skill comes from a lot of practice -hours and ideally, years of practice. Most successful contemporary painters suggest that one needs one hundred “painting starts” before one’s first painting. This exhibition is work by students: most of whom have NOT completed even half of their first 100 starts (yet). This is an exhibition of active learning. It reminds us that any of us can give painting a try. Churchill might have described our show as he described his own work as an older painter when he wrote “We must not be too ambitious. We cannot aspire to masterpieces. We may content ourselves with a joyride in a paint -box.”  
We invite you to “ride with us” and enjoy.  Maybe our show will inspire you to pick up your own brush and try.