Thursday, July 30, 2009

Two Gifts: Laurel and Laura

Bowled Over
8x8 oil on panel
$85 - email here for info
A return to produce painting and one perfectly titled. OK, today has just been the happiest of days. Grab a cup of coffee and stick with me here - we've got alot to talk about.

First, Lavagirl and I spent the morning volunteering at the West Bank Community Library. We were reminded what a great place it is - the people, the atmosphere, and natch, the books! Their second beautiful location has just opened - here's the website. I'm dreaming of a whole afternoon spent there reading and another sketching.

I return home to find not one but two artists I admire so very much have visited and left comments on this blog. First, Austinite Laurel Daniel - a talented plein air landscape artist and teacher. Laurel has a gift for distilling the most important aspect of any scene - be it landscape or still life - and then capturing it on canvas using lights and colors that are truly stunning. She recently won second place in an International Artists Magazine contest and was published in their April/May 09 issue. I was lucky to take a class from Laurel last year and will start again next month. Visit Laurel's blog

Next, the incredible Laura Frankstone. I've followed Laura for 3 years, give or take. More than any other artist, Laura's work and process and attitude inspire me. She works primarily in watercolor but the medium - for me - is really secondary to her eye, her understanding of color, her line. A resident of Chapel Hill, Laura travels constantly and even sometimes visits Austin; when she does, I'll think, if she were my friend I'd take her to sketch at the Littlefield fountain or Hey Cupcake - those places are just so Laura. And then, whadda you know, the next week she'll post drawings of those very places. Laura's one of the best
Urban Sketchers and she's getting alot of well-deserved recognition - look for a grand article on her in the upcoming issue of Artful Blogging. Visit Laura's blog here.

I've always heard that, through blogs, artists have created an enriching community of friends-cum-supporters together. As a newbie, I guess I didn't really understand that until today.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Where Did the Day Go?

My Space
11x14 oil on canvas
Or at least a space that could look a bit like mine with a spot of paint. I love the brown/turq combo – it would definitely be my next favorite home interior choice – but the painted white furniture and chintzy upholstery will have to wait until Mr. Right and I are empty nesting. Our house runneth over with books – I may have mentioned that – and it was almost as fun to paint them as it is to live with them. However, she says brushing her hands together, the level of detail here was… well… let’s just say enough is enough. For now anyway.

And, to any family members reading, I'm not about to paint Uncle John's table.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

8x8 oil on canvas
$85 - click here to email
I've been sketching this little boy playing with his beach ball off and on for a week. Yes, in sketchbooks, but also on envelopes, napkins, and grocery lists. Everywhere I look in my life right now, there he is. And so, when I woke up this morning and knew I wanted to paint him, it happened quickly and easily. The only question remaining was the color of his bathing suit. I settled on UT burnt orange because that's what the boy in my family would want.

I just want to say that Mr. Right is my hero. The art room is arguably the best room in our house - it has windows on three sides and is located smack-dab in the middle of the action. Last night as I painted he was grilling our dinner. Today he and Lavagirl were playing in the pool, laughing and splashing, not 20 feet away. How lucky am I?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

As Relaxing as a Day on the Beach

Easy Read
12x12 oil on canvas
Painting this afternoon was pure pleasure. Another one of those days when I'm reminded how lucky I am to be Bliss Following.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This One May Be A Bit of An Oyster

Calm Before the Storm
18x18, oil on canvas
You know - acts better than it looks. This all started when planning a lunch with a twisted sister who is married to a restauranteur. Thinking about her got me to thinking about him which got me to thinking about his (yummy!) restaurants which got me thinking about painting restaurants which reminded me of this photo and... well... you get the idea. So, there I was, painting along on my typical little 8x8 when Mr. Right appeared at the art room door and casually said, "You ought to paint that big." Challenge issued.

Within minutes there was a huge expanse of blank canvas in front of me and, let me warn you, nothing good comes on after the Craig Ferguson show. It was so fun to paint big! By the light of day I like all save her face and hands. Sigh. Those are so hard. I think she's better in person than the photo looks. My hero of the painting is definitely her uniform - I'm a sucker for black and white

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Different Strokes from Different Folks

Somebody's Grandpa
8x8 oil on panel
I painted this yesterday for Karin Jurick's Different Strokes from Different Folks challenge. Click here to check out the DSFDF blog. Karin is a brilliant artist who, graciously, posts a new photograph every couple of weeks for artists to paint. She then posts all these paintings to the DSFDF blog. The results are facinating and so inspirational. I've actually done several challenge paintings but this will be my first time to submit. I won't be (too) disappointed if Karin doesn't post it as my blog is only a few months old. Now, do yourself a real favor and grab a cup of coffee and click here to check out Karin's work. Jeepers... talk about your inspiration!
Update: Somebody's Grandpa is up on the DSFDF blog! Just keep scrolling 'til you find us.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Deep Summer

Good Day Sunshine
8x8 oil on canvas
$85 - email me here for info
Deep summer is where laziness meets respectability. (Sam Keen)
The 17th day of July fully qualifies as deep summer around our house. Personally, I'm into forced laziness: Sharkboy borrowed my car today and so, alas, no running errands or carpools. Pity (she says as she sighs and shakes her head). Nevermind about the cupboards that I committed to myself would be cleaned and tidied before school started in August. Today I painted and listened to my favorite radio station: The Penthouse. Find it on iTunes, under Radio, then Jazz. Or you can pick it up here. If this blog had a soundtrack, it would be the Penthouse.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Just Time for a Sketch: Cover Girl

oil on paper
Yesterday was super busy but I was anxious to work these skin tones up in oil. Practice. Practice. Practice.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Letterman Sketch, Aux Trois Crayon

conte crayon on paper

Back to the beach, this time aux trois crayon. I have alot of fun with this technique; click here for some details. Her facial features are so-so and I'm going to blame that on my inadequate-but-beautiful bedside table lamp -- okay for reading, but lacks a bit for drawing. No matter as these sketches are pure pleasure. Last night I crawled into bed, grabbed my sketchbook and little tin of conte crayons, started drawing, and the next time I looked up, Letterman was over. My right brain had fast-forwarded completely through the monologue, top ten, and all guests. Craig Ferguson indeed.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz

Hot Property
8x8 oil on panel
$85 - click here for info

This is as close to an abstract as I have ever attempted. My hero in this painting is the mood -- look for just a moment and see if you can't imagine yourself there. And the spot I'm in love with is definitely the orange and white umbrella. It reminds me of the beaches in Italy. I painted during the eye of a storm around here; Sharkboy celebrated his 16th birthday this weekend with a great pool party and today he got his driver's license. Whew! I'm taking a deep breath and imagining my happy place.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My New Water Conservation Plan

Wave Runners
12x12 oil on panel
Another day at the beach for me. I love remembering when Lavagirl was small but fearless and Mr. Right would hold on tight. Maybe it's the greens and turquoises in these paintings or maybe it's just my imagination but I'm somehow cooler when working the sand and surf. We're talking alot around our house right now about water -- how much we use, the viability of our garden, and how much (more or less) we really can use, in good conscious. I plan to do my part by washing clothes, dishes and brushes less frequently and, instead, just painting more.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Update on the Tile Fever Epidemic: Mosaic Art

As I reported a few posts ago, one of my twisted sisters appears to be coming down with tile fever. Read about symptoms here. This disease can be consuming... but it sure is fun. And the results? This slideshow shows the many side effects that still live in our garden and a crazy paper mosaic project I tried one time (tidier than tile and cool in the summer!). Plus, towards the end, a few garden balls and one crook-nosed lady my MIL made. I encourage everyone to catch the fever!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Everything's Cooler in Trouville

Pink Polka Dots
8x8 oil on panel

Don't you love this little girl with her jaunty step and too-big hat? I enjoyed working up the study on paper as much as the little painting. In fact, the lighter values of the study make her look younger to me and I think I prefer it.

I also spent time looking at Eugene Boudin, the French Impressionist painter who was Monet's teacher and who painted charming beach scenes. Check out his Beach at Trouville
here. I'm sure Boudin actually painted on the beach rather than from photographs and memories but I'm also thinking it wasn't 106 degrees at Trouville as it is in Texas today.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Taking My Cues from da Vinci

The Builder
12x12 oil on panel
Good news and bad news. Good news: painting kids at the beach is so much fun! Bad news: painting kids at the beach is so frustrating! After a great Fourth of July with family, I was excited to get back to painting from the photos I looked through last week. It was Leonardo who said, "Art is never finished, only abandoned." I've wiped and restarted this one twice and enough is enough. Humbly submitted.

Friday, July 3, 2009

They Sure Do Grow Up Fast

Beach Boy
12x12 oil on canvas
Found this old photo while flipping through some files yesterday and couldn't resist painting it straight away. (A much younger) Sharkboy playing in the Cozumel surf. Painting a sunny day at the beach while enjoying the AC indoors is a great combination. Hard to believe he turns 16 next week.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Changing Perspective & an Outbreak of Tile Fever

Lemonade Stand II
8x8 oil on panel
More Mimosa (see Tuesday's post) and more purple. These two Lemonade Stand paintings look good together, sitting on the window sill side by side. And here I am... back to painting produce. Determined to branch out yet finding myself ooohing and ahhhing over the beautiful summer fruits yesterday at the store. Reminds me of Blue Bell: we paint all we can and eat the rest.
On another note, one of the Twisted Sisters has contracted Tile Fever. You've never heard of it? Well, it starts when you first think you might want to do a little tile mosaic. Just a small project... nothing major. Riiiiight. It's the tip of the proverbial iceberg. I myself had Tile Fever a few years ago and so did my mother-in-law. It's highly contagious. And now my dear Twisted Sister is showing all the symptoms. Pow! Right in the kisser.