Friday, November 15, 2013

Prickley But Pretty

Prickley But  Pretty   Oil  6 x 8 oil on linen panel
I have a love of thistles, their beauty and the pain they cause when trying to pick them, makes you leave them right where they are. In other words they adorn the weed patch where they are. But I love them for their wildness as I do all wildflowers
This painting was done on Senso linen. It comes in sheets in a tablet, sealed with clear gesso and ready to paint on. Economical  because if the painting is not one you wish to save you can dispose of it or if it is a keeper as this one is, I used Yes Paste to bond it to a hardboard panel. The canvas has a medium to coarser weave than I usually use but it was easy to paint on. This might be something you would like to try.

Monday, September 2, 2013

In the Quiet of the Morning

In the Quiet of the Morning 6 x 8 oil on panel
Early each morning I drive to Mt. Carmel where I teach and pass this little pond, it is so serene and in the morning light seems to be of another world. Always smooth as a mirror with the light beautifully reflected. I enjoyed doing this scene so much I may do a larger version as well.
Join me for a moment and enjoy " The Quiet of the Morning".

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Funky Chick

Funky Chick  pastel 5 x 7
No, I haven't lost my mind after so many chickens recently. I just felt the need to step out of my comfort zone and go a bit nuts. This turned out to be so much fun, I may do more in the future, the medium of pastel lends itself well to the colorful hodge podge of color. Feel free to comment , if you think I have gone over the edge.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pride in Appearance

Pride in Appearance pastel on archival panel 7x5in.
This white hen has preened her feathers to a glowing white. I am sure she is setting an example for all the other hens in the flock.
I used a Unison panel with an underpainting of pastel brushed in with water.I used Unison and Sennelier pastels . My goal was to have the hen look luminous. All blending was done by layering pastels, no rubbing.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Is That an Ax???????

Is That an Ax???????? pastel on board 7 1/2 X 9 in

If this doesn't bring a smile to your face, nothing will. This is a real life rooster owned by Becca Groves and her family, she was kind enough to share this photo with me and I did my own little things with it. But really, truly, the eyes are are real mc coy.
This is done on Unison pastel board, with no underpainting. Just direct layers of soft pastels, mostly Unison and Sennelier.
 I have been doing more serious work and needed a laugh and a subject with lots of color.
I hope he makes you smile as well.

Monday, August 19, 2013

White and Bright

White and Bright oil on panel 5 x 7 in.
When chickens have the freedom to range feed the develop in every way from muscles to healthy feathers. They will take dust baths and just because of the freedom they have to go where they like their feathers seem to be healthier and whiter, almost reflective of light. 
I used a palette knife to finish the grass and feathers. I begin with a light wash of all the colors after I have drawn  in the chickens and then build up layers of color until I get the effect I want.

Monday, August 12, 2013

No Butts About It

No Butts About It  Oil on linen panel 10 x 6 in.
This rooster, Henry is leading his harem, perhaps astray! I wanted to show early morning light when the chickens are let out of their coup and go off hunting for whatever chickens hunt for.
I wanted this painting to have  the light encouraging you to enter the picture , not just chickens but a scene that can be seen on almost any farm raising chickens.
I began with an underpainting, and then worked from dark to light. There is a delicate light violet on the edge of the bushes and in the grasses. Scumbling helped keep the delicate background gently recede.
As this rooster and his harem hustle off, all we see is BUTTS, No Butts about it!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Nature's Ballerina

Nature's Ballerina 6 x 8 oil on panel
This wild plum tree reminds me of a ballerina  in her beautiful tulle skirt making her debut on the Spring stage. There is a grace and beauty in these trees reminding us that Spring has arrived and showing off their blossoms against a few green buds just opening on the other trees.
This is an example of a "do-over". I had an unsuccessful painting, sanded it down and toned the old painting with the "soup" from the bottom of my paint thinner container, always a neutral grey, sometimes warmer, sometimes cooler. This tone was slightly warm. If you haven't tried doing this, it is a free tone from what you would wipeout and throw away.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sunrise Peeking Through

Sunrise Peeking Through 6 x 8 oil on panel
Early in the morning driving to a small the town nearby I held my camera to the window and just clicked away. Bone chilling cold, crisp clean air . The delight in seeing this sliver of sunrise was just calling to be captured in paint. It is a quiet moody piece, very contemplative when you spend a few moments looking at it.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Wild Grapes

Wild Grapes 7 x 5 oil on panel
During my summer at Mt. Carmel I have the delight of watching a fence full of wild grapes change from green to blue/purple. the most fun is getting to pick them and make wild grape jelly which is unequaled in taste.

Drying Out

Drying Out 5 x 7 oil on panel
Drying Out, every day after swimming at Mt. Carmel, wet towels and suits are hung out to dry, they make a colorful display moving in the breeze. It is a reminder of the squeals and giggles of the children jumping and playing in the lake who have probably worked up an appetite and are wolfing down cookies and chips.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Snowy Perch

Snowy Perch oil 6 x 8 on panel
All dressed up in formal wear just waiting for the party to begin. This delightful little bird has found a perch on a snowy pine branch all dressed in his feather tuxedo. I giggle every time I see them, they seem to be hyperactive and chatter constantly. All the more fun to watch them and paint them.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Beauty of White

The Beauty of White   pastel   11 x 14 pastel on panel
Growing up in the Midwest lilacs were in almost every yard and always in a farmyard. When we moved last  year we left the beautiful purple lilacs planted by my husband's Mom in the 1940's
Their fragrance filled the air. Imagine my delight when we moved to find two white lilacs in our front yard. Just had to paint them, and here they are.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tiny Bubbles

Tiny Bubbles, 5 x7 painting, showing rustic barnwood frame
I fell in love with sunfish when I was very young, fun to catch and so pretty to look at. Well, not much has changed as I have aged.
I teach painting at Mt. Carmel, a family retreat center near here and one of the young boys went fishing every day off the dock and was always so proud of his catch and was happy to share photos with me, so I adapted  the fishy to look like he was coming up for air. At the same time my husband was making frames from the 125 year old barnwood from  our farm and when we put the two together it was like magic, the bubbles from the fish appear to go right off into the frame. Now how cool is that?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Comfy Perch

These little chickadees are a delight, they snuggle into our pine tree right outside the kitchen window.
They remind me of someone going to a party all dressed up in a neat tuxedo and since they always seem to be chirping and happy, I bet it will be a great party.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Basking in the Sun

Basking in the Sun oil 7x5 in.
These red geraniums and white petunias are a tradition at Mt. Carmel Retreat Center and seem to glow against the blue window boxes. They can't help but make you smile every morning when you get up, they greet you and ask nothing in return except water .

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Spring Faces

Spring Faces 6 x 8 oil on panel
These smiling faces make me smile each time I look at the pots of them around the yard and in the window boxes. They are tiny buy resilient to all the hardships of Spring weather.
These were painted using several photos on my I-pad and shifting between them. What fun technology can be when it helps us reach a create out work with less hassle
This painting was done with a transparent underpainting, much of which shows through in the final piece. The texture varies from thin and sheer to thick and opaque.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wildflower tie Up

Wildflower Tie-Up  oil on panel 5 x 7 in.
The ice is off of the lakes finally, 2nd latest date in recorded history and I am seeing wildflowers at last.
This is a dream scene for me, I love Queen Anne's Lace, my favorite wildflower and a boat ready to be taken out on a quiet pond, sun shining and warm. Dream with me from your chair and plan a quiet afternoon in a boat on the water wherever you are .

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Crumpet, 3 views. dog portrait,

Crumpet, three views, 8x10 oil on canvas panel

These were a birthday gift for my sister this past week. How much fun these were to paint. How could you not love that face? I love doing dog portraits especially since we do not at this time have a dog, I can vicariously enjoy them.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hooked I and Hooked II

Hooked I and Hooked II 12x12 each on gallery wrap canvas
I need a change of subject matter, some of you out there I am sure feel you need to do something fresh and different, well.............this is my shot at going from fluffy to scaley . These pieces will be for sale at a Show called THE SQUARE FOOT SHOW to be held in Bismarck ND , Aug. 6-30,2013. Nothing fishy about the show, check it out.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Snow Bunny

Snow Bunny pastel 5x7in
Yes, another bunny and we still have snow and more expected here in Minnesota, hope this little guy stays warm. I have tried to keep the strokes in this painting soft and have done no blending other than layering pastels. This is done on Wallis paper which works well with my style of work.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Blushing Apples

Blushing Apples 7 x 5 in. pastel
Another in my apple craze, between apples and grapes it is hard to know which is my favorite. These are from a tree at Mt. Carmel Retreat Center where I spend much of my summer teaching. Wanted to hint at some stronger colors in this one. No blending with fingers only color layered on color to keep it as fresh as possible.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Little Jewels (miniatures)

Little Jewels (miniatures)  2.5x3.5 in. 
Years  ago I did many oil miniatures and loved it, they do make original art affordable and collectible to people who either do not have space or finances for larger pieces. This is my first time to attempt this with pastels. I was inspired to try this by reading Karen Margulis, kemstudios. and the fact that I was recovering from surgery and needed smaller pieces to work on. The top landscape is Sunset in Lake Country and the bottom piece is More Little Green Apples. I used Artist Trading Cards in illustration board that I gave a coat of clear pastel base by Art Spectrum and an assortment of pastels.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Yes, God Really Did Make Little Green Apples

Yes, God Did Make Little Green Apples   oil on panel 6x8
One of my favorite fruits, I prefer apples in their natural setting and homegrown, not the polished ones in the grocery store.I wanted this to be a casual piece and the emphasis on the apples.
I have been trying to be a little more relaxed with my brush strokes and have taken the self imposed challenge of hold my brush on the end and standing and arm's length away as I work on each painting. , I am pleased with the effect.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Sisters

The Sisters  6 x 8 oil on linen panel
This group of trees sits together near a little marsh  here in Alexandria. It has a variety of trees, shrubs and flowers that change the view almost on a monthly basis.  My husbands aunt lives in a setting over looking this area from her window, it not only provides a variety of  scenery but attracts many birds that come to the feeders outside her window. She calls when she sees a change in the colors or scene and urges me to bring my camera  and am never disappointed.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Milkweed Explosion

Milkweed Explosion 7 x 5 inches Pastel
I am a great admirer of weeds and wild flowers, grasses etc. They have a beauty all of their own, kinda wild and wooly instead of sophisticated like so many of our cultivated flowers and shrubs. Of course I appreciate them most in their own habitat and not among my veggies and posies in the garden.
The silky texture of the little parachutes help the seeds travel in the wind to go many miles, again to seed themselves in another spot.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Prickley Sunshine

Prickley Sunshine Pastel 5 x 7 inches
Although much of the time the desert seems dull and dead of color when the  Gods smile and the desert blooms, the color is radiant and so it is with this beauty. Not having been raised in desert country but on the plains it was a large learning curve to learn more about the desert beauty. This reminds me of the yellow roses in many of the Grandma's flower gardens. Sooooooooooo take time to smell the roses, just watch so you don't get your nose poked while doing it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lil Farm Bunny

Lil Farm Bunny 6 x 8 oil on panel

We recently moved from my husbands home farm and one morning while walking out to the garden this little guy was sitting perfectly still in the grass hoping he wouldn't be seen. A habit I understand that is inherent in these cotton tail bunnies. I just couldn't help but go into the house quietly and get my camera and lo and behold he was still frozen in the same spot so was able to take a photo of him. Bunnies have always held a soft spot in my heart even though they do a lot of damage in the garden, I think his charm and adorablness make up for any of the veggies he might eat.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

And ........the Leaves Begin to Turn

And ..........the Leaves Begin to Turn   6 x 6 in. oil on canvas panel
We usually think of either summer or fall colors but there is a time in-between that is quite lovely. Of course I have a love affair with trees and by painting them hope to share that beauty with others.  This tree is around the bend from our home and took on beautiful fall colors as well. I have been unable to get out to see it in it's blanket of snow but I know from experience beauty comes in all seasons. Perhaps beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder.
I began this painting with a very thin lay in of approximate colors using my oils with a bit of Gamsol, quite dry brush. When I was satisfied with the composition I laid in the color with a light coat of oil paint and built up the color and amount of paint as I moved to the finish.  I work from thin to thick and dark to light.