Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Good Luck

Once again I limited my subject to a single object, although the surface of the rusted old horse shoe had me lost in fabulous rusty tones.  The color of rust is one of my favorite things to paint actually.  I love the beauty created as the metal breaks down in multiple colors.  It is common knowledge in the country that the shoe opening must point upwards or all the luck will run out.  But, of course.  I managed to do this 5 x 7 in two and a half hours, a little over my desired time of 120 minutes.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Successful Daily Painting

I have done over one hundred paintings as a daily painter and I encounter the same problem every time: trying to complete a painting in two hours or so.  I am working on solving this problem, and I think it is mostly due to picking complex subject matter.  Today I selected this succulent plant in a tin that was a favor from a wedding.  It is simple, visually exciting because of the reflection of the metal tin, and I put up a simple yellow backdrop. I paint with a brush first and then complete the smaller areas with a palette knife.  Because I have finished in two hours, I still have studio time left to work on other projects. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Standing in Muck

I live near a bridge over the Rappahannock River where the Civil war and Revolutionary war had battles.  I went down a slope with my gear and stood in muddy clay for an hour and began this painting.  I was hot and so I packed up and crawled out with my wet painting.  Yay.  I finished up in the comfort of my studio.

Sunday, April 17, 2016


Sunken Well Tavern
Fredericksburg, VA

Sometimes when faced with an overwhelming view, it is best to zoom in on one aspect of the scene.  In this case, I zoomed in on the door and the windows with ads taped to them, and was able to manage capturing my subject matter in two hours.  And then of course, we ate a delightful lunch.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A bit about our PAINT OUT

The highlight of my painting week is Wednesday, when I "paint out" with a group of painters in a nearby town, Fredericksburg, Virginia.  We are definitely blessed to be surrounded by history galore.  Our leader, Patty O'Brien, selects locations based on aesthetics, ample parking and opportunities for middle agers to use the bathroom indoors. We arrive at 9am at the selected site, and generally work til noon.
Everybody roams around, looking for the perfect spot.  This is also a great opportunity for photography while the light is good.  The peach trees in bloom were really eye catching.  Ginny picked a nice flat spot, off of the road.  She prefers to sit and paint, whereas I prefer to stand so I can back away from my work easily.  Most of the people use umbrellas to shade themselves and their work.
Carol chose to work near the cows.  Cows behave like large puppies, we were informed.  They gather near you because they are nosey, not because they want to attack you.  However, they did grab an umbrella and chew on it a little.  Carol has an extremely regal folding chair.
Many of the painters, like Ginny, also wear a hat for sun protection and eye shading.  It is hard to see accurately if you are squinting from sunlight.  Many of the hats have a chin strap so that you can secure the hat if it is windy.
This is the view I selected (My umbrella has been taken down do to vigorous winds). I choose to do broad paintings from a distance instead of working close up on a subject, using detail.  I try to remember that these paintings are really going to serve as studies for other work later on.  I can refer to my photos and do a larger painting in my studio.
This is my study.  We work for two hours to record the light as we saw it when we started.  After two hours, the sun's change is usually too drastic to keep working.  I have learned to resist the temptation to keep painting because it often destroys the light effect that prompted you to select the spot in the first place.  I also enjoy racing the clock and working consciously to ensure I will be far enough along at the end of our session.  Of course you can touch things up when you arrive home.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Oh, Happy Day!

Thursday afternoon my daughter Emma and I hung my show at the Middle Street Gallery in Sperryville, Virginia.  We worked hard mastering the hanging system and placement. 

This is Emma taking a picture of me taking a picture with my camera.
Here are my 8 x 10s.
These are two of the larger paintings.  As you can see, my theme was TREES and ROWS OF TREES.
And today I found out that 4 of my 8 paintings had been SOLD!! The opening isn't for another week.
It was the best feeling to get this bit of news, and very gratifying to know someone likes my work!