Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Where Mary Washington went to the Bathroom

We get a little jaded in these parts...Virginia is brimming with history.  And today, at George Washington's mother's house, I painted her fancy pants outhouse.  It is really a facsimile and is used as a tool shed in her garden.  The red bud was in bloom and the light was clear.  Optimal plein air weather.  It is very inspirational to live near so many historical sites.

On a painting note, I held myself to two hours, no more, no less.  I knew I would, so I got as much done as I could, and focused on color and thick paint application.  I use water based oil paints by Daniel Smith and I love them.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Painting #106

An exciting morning painting out...some cows decided to eat my painting friend's umbrella and dumped her entire painting set up over.  Apparently cows are like puppies and very playful.  I viewed it more as an ATTACK. 

Monday, March 21, 2016


I have been on DAILY PAINTWORKS for 100 paintings!  This was done on a grey day looking out my studio window with daffodils from the front yard.

Day 104: Birthday Flowers

After celebrating my birthday all weekend, I sat down to paint today.  These are flowers my hubby gave me for my day, on a sunny sill in my studio.  I let some of the underpainting come through. Check out my gallery on Daily Paintworks.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Painting NO NOs

Although I have a bachelor's degree in painting, I studied in a time where the professor smoked a pipe and mused aloud about art encounters and his opinion of artists and their work.  I was instructed to work GIGANTIC, so much so that my paintings didn't fit on the walls of my parent's suburban home.  I have learned more technical information through workshops and paint outs, sharing information and opinions with other painters.

Here are a few PAINTER NO NOs for artists attempting to work professionally:

I took classes to earn an art based master's degree and my instructor was horrified when I pulled out student grade acrylic paints.  It was a popular BASIC line, and I had purchased a package of six fundamental colors.  I was irritated and embarrassed, but I now know better.  There is less pigment in CHEAP paint.  The less pigment means weaker colors that don't mix to create strong bright colors.  So it is more advisable to paint smaller and use better quality paint.

In general, canvas panels that are made with cardboard and sold inexpensively are frowned upon.  I have often bought them for children to paint on, and they are great for that.  However, they are not considered archival for professional work.  You can buy a roll of gessoed canvas and glue cut pieces to a wooden/Masonite backing using artist grade adhesive if you want to paint on a rigid surface.

When you are at a workshop or a class, it is important to give yourself permission to fail.  It is a time to try new things and grow.  Don't be disappointed by putting the pressure on yourself to create a perfect image.  Allow yourself time to process what you are being shown and realize you will incorporate it into your ongoing painting practice when you return to your studio.

These are all ACTUAL events that took place in my painting career.  LIVE AND LEARN!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Birthday number 53!

Today I painted out in Fredericksburg with my plein air group.  To add to the joy of turning 53, I had a sunny day with music blasting and plenty of scenery to paint.  I actually spend about a half an hour zeroing in on what I will paint a picture of.  I pace around and try to consider vantage points that might involve a little bit of effort.  I selected these two boats after repeatedly being overwhelmed by the amazing river scene before me.

Friday, March 11, 2016


I am lucky enough to have a GROUP that I paint with once a week. Okay, I stalked them on facebook first, but they let me in.  The Fredericksburg Plein Air Group!

 It can get VERY LONELY painting alone during the long grey winter, without feedback from any one.  Now that I am working in a studio on my property, I don't even get the occasional "that looks good" from my husband when he returns from his office.  Now I have people to talk ART with! Many have taken workshops, and are happy to share the nuggets of wisdom that they take away from their classes.
This is CAROL JOSEFIAK, one of my new friends.  She is a wiz at MARKETING and is encouraging us all to get going on the internet and INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST, FACEBOOK and DAILY PAINTWORKS.  Oh, and did I mention BLOG?  She and her husband John are generous with information and encouragement, oh and they are RIGHT FUNNY.  Carol is a brilliant painter and extremely FAST.

Here is John at work, and here is a painting I did of him at work.  I couldn't
 find an outside view, so I painted him painting.  He remained relatively still. 

So, I do suggest finding a GROUP to paint with. We have a rotating attendance that makes each session unique.  I might add that this is an extremely FRIENDLY group that likes to encourage one another.   I found this group in a town about 35 minutes from where I live, and I find each week to be invigorating.  I am grateful that PATTY OBRIEN organizes it and comes up with places for us to paint.  Our only criteria is THAT THERE IS A BATHROOM on site.  I don't always leave with a completed painting, but the company and new ideas exchanged are worth the drive any day.