Thursday, December 31, 2009

My New New Year's Resolution

Auld Lang Syne
6x6, oil on panel
One year ago today I made a resolution to oil painting, starting with a painting a day for 30 days - see below for #1 through #4. I took my first oil class when I was 13 and hated it. Since then I've played (not really fair to call it "work") with just about every other media in the art universe and taken classes and workshops in drawing and watercolor. About every 5 years I'd dust off the long brushes, buy fresh oils, paint something terrible, and push it all to the back of the cupboard.

Many factors piloted me back to oil painting: time, the encouragement of friends, the support of Mr. Right, a painting teacher I adore (thank you, Laurel!), and discovering the people who comprise the art-blogosphere. How lucky am I?? This year's New Year's Resolution? Ditto.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

This Thank You Note Just Had to be Painted

Happy Christmas
8x10, oil on panel
A dear friend brought us these beautiful lemons from the tree in her garden and honestly, they were one of the loveliest gifts I have ever received. The citrus fragrance has been heavenly and the fruit was so fresh and tasty - we enjoyed them all during the holiday season - both for eating and for painting! Thank you, friend.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Different Strokes for Different Folks Portrait Challenge

Lovely to Meet You, Ruth
6x6 oil on panel

This is my entry for the portrait-exchange challenge that artist Karin Jurick hosts each December on her blog Different Strokes for Different Folks. Karin collects headshot photos from participants, pairs them up, and sends them back out to be painted. You don’t know who you are painting (or who’s painting you) until one or the other appears on the DSFDF blog. Be sure to visit that site – click here – to see all the amazing portraits.

And so, it turns out to have been New Hampshire watercolor artist Ruth Bodycott’s charming face that has graced my easel this holiday season (original photo at left). You can’t imagine how many times over the past few weeks I’ve walked in from cooking or cleaning or wrapping or cleaning or decorating or cleaning… shaking my head… and looked over at Ruth who was looking back at me with that priceless “aren’t the holidays grand?” expression. I wouldn’t pretend to have captured her whimsical gesture in this portrait but I surely do appreciate it. Visit Ruth’s blog here – she paints delightful watercolors.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Trimming Every House in Who-ville

The Cheermeister Portrait
8x8, oil on masonite
I love to paint the faces of imaginary people. When painting the face of someone I know I can never meet my own expectations. It's just never quite right. But, painting the face of a person no one has ever seen is different. Low stress, lots of fun. Speaking of fun, I'm spending more time decorating our chimbley with bizzle binks and jeantinglers and hanging holly-Who wreaths than I am painting these days. And watching The Grinch, obviously. Hope yours is merry and bright.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Just How Many Shades of White Are There?

12x12 oil on panel
email for info
No kidding - there were snowflakes bouncing off the camera as I was taking this photo. I was trying for the high key value scheme of 2/3 light, 1/3 mid-value, and a smidge of dark with this painting. And continuing to explore stripes. And glass. I was worried it would be cold so I choose a pink ground and really tried to push the whites toward warmer tones. Which great artist was it who said, "white in shadow is darker than black in light?" Slips my mind right now. Hmmm... perhaps a cup of cocoa will jog my memory.
In honor of today's snow here in Central Texas (4 actual flakes at my house thus far), grab a cup of cocoa and try this. You might want to warn someone that you could need saving after a while.