Sunday, July 03, 2022

Cool World


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Another little still life that was far more challenging than it probably looks. Especially the spoon. Oof.

Friday, July 01, 2022

High Contrast Buddies


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I realized today that I didn't make a big point of saying that I am now painting all my still lifes from life again now. Yes, my neck is now healed enough (after my fusion surgery) that I can move my head back and forth with minimal pain. Wahoo! I've even played a few games of pickleball lately, which makes me very happy. Painting and pickleball. Life is good. : )

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Fall Guy


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Apples are ruthless. And believe me, I've had many chances to observe them. If they aren't sure of a situation, they will sacrifice one of their own to find out more. These cups turned out to be perfectly harmless. Whew.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Circling the Water


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The point of camping for my husband and I (besides seeing new places and enjoying the outdoors) is to get a new point of view. To simplify our existence down to basic survival stuff - keeping fed, keeping warm (or cool), making sure we don't get eaten by bears, etc. To force ourselves to get away from all the stuff we normally do and think about, so that we can see our lives from a fresh perspective.

After a few days outside I start to get ideas popping randomly into my head, about all kinds of things, but I always hope some of it is about art! At a certain point we both look at each other and say - lets go home. We are both re-inspired and ready to get busy again with our respective projects.

Camping is our thing, and we love it, but I'm curious what you do to get a new perspective. (?)

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Getting Educated


Click Here to Bid (8x8in. - oil - starts at $100)

This painting was my transition back to still life from life. I had a photo that I had taken the day before, but this composition just happened to still be set up in my shadowbox. So I decided to try painting from both. What I found is that it was much easier to draw from the photo, especially since I didn't have to get my viewfinder back in the same place each time. But there was far more (& more accurate) information in the real life version, so I looked at that primarily as I painted.

NEWS: My husband and I are heading off into the great Montana beyond tomorrow, for up to 2 weeks. It's been a long time since we've had a real adventure what with surgery and recovery and all, so we're very excited! Unfortunately that means I won't be able to ship until we return (as late as July 3, 2022). I apologize for the inconvenience!

Friday, June 17, 2022

Sun Tea with Lemon


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When I was taking the photos for this tea series, I made one kind of tea and poured it in a bunch of cups. I love how the colors of the tea vary so much depending on the cup and the light hitting it (or not), and the reflections, etc. It is very fun and satisfying to paint.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Friendly Lemons


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Here's another little still life that I painted from a photo. I admit I had to paint it twice before I was happy with it. The first version was too dark, and I didn't realize it until I came into the studio the next morning. For some reason I can fall into too dark when I'm painting from photos, and so (while I forgot this time) I often make the references lighter than I actually want them so the painting will come out about right. Kinda like when I tell my husband we need to leave 10 minutes before we actually do so he'll be on time. : )

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Tea in the Sun


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One of the reasons why someone might paint from a photo is so they can capture a scene that would be difficult to paint from life. This is an example. To have painted in this slice of sun, I would have had to move my easel and all my painting gear to this spot, and either memorize the scene, or constantly be moving it as the sun moved. Since my memory isn't great, and I wasn't keen on moving everything, I took a bunch of photos, edited them, chose my favorite, and painted it. I quite like the result.

Thursday, June 09, 2022

Making Lemons Glow

Click Here to Bid (6x6in. - Oil - starts at $100)

Here's another one from a photo reference. A couple of people mentioned the shadows/highlights tool in photoshop after my last post (about painting from life vs photos). This is a great tool that allows one to adjust the light in shadows (and highlights, but it's most useful for shadows). If you haven't tried it, and you have access to photoshop, I highly recommend it! I found it years ago, and since then it has been my GOTO tool for editing photos for painting. I used it for every single still life reference I've been painting lately. Basically it allows you to "see" into shadows, even ones that look black in photos. You will find it under image>adjustments>shadows/highlights.

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Six Cups


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I painted this from a photo because I couldn't turn my head enough yet (after neck surgery). Normally I paint from life, so I was surprised that there were some things I actually preferred about painting from a photo. And also some things I didn't prefer. Here's a short list of the biggest things.

Things I preferred:
1. Taking a bunch of photos and picking my favorite, rather than setting up one thing and painting it.
2. Having the photo on a screen that was a little further away than my setup from life usually is - gave me more perspective.
3. Not having to get my viewfinder back in the same place every time during the drawing phase.

Things I didn't prefer:
1. The photo is a little distorted - not too bad for this one, but there were others I had trouble with.
2. The photo doesn't capture all the colors or values. Darks get darker and the highlights get kind of obliterated.
3. All told it probably took more time, considering all the photo taking, editing and painting.

Monday, June 06, 2022

I Double Dare You


Click Here to Bid (6x8in. - Oil - starts at $100)

Neck update: I was concerned that something was wrong with my recovery from neck surgery. I was still having a lot of pain 4 months out, but I was also experiencing some strange symptoms that really concerned me. So I got another MRI and met with my neurosurgeon, and he assured me it was all picture perfect. Because I had nerves that were being squashed by a herniated disc for years before the surgery, the nerves will be angry for a while longer, until they heal. Since that meeting with my doc I have a lot less fear, and the very next day started feeling better physically. Go figure!

And I have even more good news. Last week I took some photos of a few small still life setups and painted from the photos. It was a very interesting experience, with some unexpected pros and cons. I'll talk about that when I post the paintings. But then yesterday I tried painting a still life from actual life and --- it worked! It hurt some to look back and forth like I do, but not so much I can't do it again. So, yay! Life is slowly getting back to normal and that makes me so happy! Next up, pickleball. : )

Sunday, June 05, 2022

I Dare You


Click Here to Bid (6x8in. - Oil - starts at $100)

I love cats, but my whole family is allergic, including me now too apparently. I grew up with them but every time I go home now I get congested within about 5 minutes. This one looks pretty menacing, but that's cats.

There is a but in every one of those sentences, but oh well.

Friday, June 03, 2022

Lion King


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When I was coming up with a title for this, the words lion and king kept coming up in my head, I think because this guy is so regal looking. When I finally remembered it was also the name of a famous movie (duh), I thought, oh I can't use that, it's taken. But that's not a thing! Because if every title had to be unique, we would have run out a long time ago. This is unfortunately a real problem with domain names, which is something my husband and I were trying to brainstorm recently. How are we going to fix that problem?!

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Kit Kat


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Even though I found the reference for this on Pixabay, he reminds me of my grandma's cat, Kit. Except Kit was much, MUCH fatter.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Lines and Dots


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Here's another Pixabay find, on gessoed hardboard. The cat is on a tiny, polka-dotted couch! Once again I completely changed the background.

Thank you all for your feedback re: making panels! I compiled a ton of ideas. Now it's just a matter of trying them and hopefully landing on something I like. But this will take time. I am having complications with my recovery from neck surgery, and am in the process of trying to figure out why and what to do about it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Sad Sack


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I found this adorable racoon on Pixabay. The background in the original reference was pretty boring, so I played around with alternatives on my ipad and settled on this one - I would call it a tomato red. And that's why he's sad - he didn't find any tomatoes.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Soaking Up the Sun


Click Here to Bid (6x6in. - Oil. - starts at $100)

Art supplies are getting more expensive. Panels are almost twice as much as I paid for them a few years ago, so I've been experimenting with making my own. This painting is on a piece of birch hardboard that I gessoed and sanded five times. I couldn't get it as smooth as the Ampersand gessobords I normally use. Does anyone know if you can spray gesso? I have a feeling that's the only way to get it smooth. So far I've tried brushing and rolling and even squeegee-ing. Thanks!

Friday, May 20, 2022

Just a Kid

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When I was little my parents kept a few goats and we drank exclusively goat milk. One day we ran out and had to drink cows milk from the store. We thought it was disgusting! But we got used to it and when we had goats milk again we didn't like it anymore. Or at least, that's how I remember it. What's funny is that when I get together with my siblings, our memories never line up.

The reference photo for this was taken by my friend Bren before she passed. On one of our last visits we each went through the other's files and borrowed the photos we liked. Every time I paint one is a way for me to reconnect with her.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Jaunty Giraffe

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This one was incredibly hard, but so satisfying. The giraffe head is mostly in shadow, so the colors are mostly gray and dark(ish). As I mixed my colors I had to keep reminding myself of that, even though I wanted so badly to add in some bright colors. In the reference photo there are a bunch of busy trees behind him, so I decided to make up a very light background for contrast. As I was laying it down with the palette knife I realized I really liked the blue showing along the edges so I stopped myself at this point and called it done.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Chillin' Cheetah

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This cheetah has just the right number of spots. Any more and I would have gotten sick of painting them. Ha.

Many thanks to Paul Kratter for lending me the reference for this painting. Hope you have a great time on your next trip to Africa!