Sunday, May 31, 2015

626 Lake Sinisippi

My friend Dawn posts the most beautiful pictures of sky/seascapes of Lake Sinisippi on Facebook and gave me permission to paint them.  Each one is more beautiful than the previous.  Dawn is also an artist, and she should be painting these beautiful scenes herself (ahem!).

Here's what I've learned:  The more beautiful and colorful the scene is, the more difficult it is to paint, at least for ME!  I would much rather paint a grey day seascape than a total blue sky/blue water sort of painting.  As an example, my neighbor friend sent me such a beautiful untouched picture of an exquisite sea/skyscape, complete with subtle pinks, purples, corals and blue.  I felt I had to paint it and yet, I've struggled for 3 days and who knows how many pounds of paint to get it right, which isn't happening.  I photographed it and was ready to post, but that inner voice said "May as well have painted a clown.  Don't do it."   Lake Sinisippi trumps Pine Lake today.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

625 Door County Classic

Door County has always been known for it's cherry production.  They have become even more popular since research has shown the antioxidant health benefits of cherries.  You can buy cherry jam, wine, honey, juice, salsa, pies, sausage, dried cherries, frozen cherries, and the list goes on.  The cherry trees are in full bloom now, which means that the cherries will be ready to pick in approximately 60 days. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

624 Slight Dip

This is another scene from the Sunset Trail in Peninsula State Park, Door County.  Painting these last few path scenes has helped me with a large painting I have on my easel of a path leading to the sea in Hilton Head.   There is a lot more to it than the path, but I feel I made good progress there today.   I'll keep plugging away.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

623 Rest Stop

This is another vignette from the Sunset Trail at  Peninsula State Park in Door County, Wisconsin, a most beautiful and peaceful place.  This one gave me a little trouble.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

622. Sunset Trail, Veering Right

Despite the humidity, the rain, and the intense allergy conditions, I am mentally back in Door County on the Sunset Trail.  Here is another scene, this time painted with acrylics, and fyi, I'm not asking my husband's opinion today after yesterday's response.  hmpff.  I wonder which scene and medium you prefer.

Monday, May 25, 2015

621 Sunset Trail

Door County, Wisconsin is a beautiful place, a peninsula with Green Bay to the west side and Lake Michigan to the east and not much distance in between.  Peninsula State Park is a popular place for camping, biking, hiking and cross country skiing.  On Saturday, the day after my party, I walked along the beautiful Sunset Trail, so grateful for the beautiful scenery, the perfect lighting, and all the blessings of the weekend, reflecting on good friends, beautiful art, and admiration for Mother Nature. 

On Sunday, yesterday, I watched an artist demonstrate his painting technique at the gallery.  He uses inexpensive hardware store brushes and paints with liberation.  Maybe it was my mental return to this scene, or a reckless abandon, or possibly a new-found confidence, but I loved painting this so loose and without intimidation by the oil paints.   My bubble was burst when my husband asked, "What is it?"

Friday, May 22, 2015

620 Door County!

Today is a special day.  My paintings are hanging on the walls of a gallery I have worked hard and long for.  I was honored with a party given by dear long-time friends, with many surprise guest friends who traveled far to celebrate with me.  I can't even think of adequate words to express how I feel, blessed indeed, and oh, so happy.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

619 Great Horned Owl Tribute

The owl family is still in the neighborhood, traveling from tree to tree.  The owls have grown quite a bit, and seem confident with their flying.  It reminds me of children once they get the rhythm of riding a two wheeler--there's no stopping them.  The crows sometimes indicate their location, but the owls seem to be fending for themselves.  It has been nearly impossible to get photos of them as they are too far away and the trees have filled in.  I still try, because I'll have a record of where and when.  Two nights ago, my neighbor and I could hear them very close to us and we were sneaking in back yards in the dark to try to figure out where.  Yes, we are owl junkies and no, we didn't get caught.

I hope you like this tribute,  done in watercolor with ink enhancement.  Mama (or Papa?) owl is sewn on to the page.  I particularly enjoyed hand lettering the words and painting them.  I am also working on a couple more pages in this style, one in particular of the willow tree.

"619 Great Horned Owl Tribute"
watercolor - 11x7.5 in

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

618 A Perfect Day

Monday was a perfect day.  Oh, nothing of major significance happened, just an ordinary day.  But everything seemed perfect, mostly because the weather was glorious, the birds were busy and people seemed happy.  Wearing SHORTS and a SLEEVELESS top (that in itself is really earth shattering here in Milwaukee--today I had my winter coat on again.  And a sweater.  Sorry, I digress)  with my backpack slung over my shoulder, I headed out for a walk to one of my favorite spots, Big Bay Park and a beach on Lake Michigan.   On my way down the path, an artist was tucked away painting the beautiful view.  I felt ashamed that I wasn't painting outdoors.  The water was so blue and so was the sky.  Several others were there enjoying the day.  I collected rocks, and hauled them home in my backpack, a good workout.  I immediately sat down to paint when I got home, so I could keep the feeling inside of me fresh.  Yes, it was a perfect day.

"618 A Perfect Day"
acrylic - 11x14 in

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

617 Celebrate Friendship

I could have called this painting "Blubbering" because that's what I did when I received this floral delivery today.  I was so surprised and touched by this thoughtful gesture from a dear friend, who sent me this arrangement to celebrate my art showing at a favorite gallery.  I took artistic liberties to paint it in one of my blue and white bowls in official celebration of this special weekend.   I am nervous and excited, and I certainly feel loved by the overwhelming outpouring of good wishes and kind gestures.  It is all very humbling, touching and .....I don't even have the words.  It's a wonderful feeling. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

616 Milwaukee River, Autumn

Still getting acquainted with the water soluble oil paints, and have much more work to do.  There is no perfect medium.  The things I love about acrylics are the things I hate about acrylics, same goes for oil paints.  I will continue's all about learning.

This is a scene behind the Art Ladies' hang out backing up to a beautiful Milwaukee River scene.  Today, there were kayaks on the river, but I wasn't quick enough with the camera to capture them in a photo.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

615 On the Road

I first fell in love with the beauty of clouds and skies in New Mexico several years ago, which is where this reference photo was taken.  The skyscapes are amazingly beautiful, perhaps enhanced by the open roads and the colorful landscape.  I didn't paint them then, but took many pictures for my collection, and have studied them intensely since.  They are more difficult to paint than I had thought.  This is another attempt at oils, and it took 3 days to get it where I am marginally happy.  

"615 On the Road"
oil - 6x6 in

Friday, May 15, 2015

614 On the Outs

This is probably the last of the Indian eggplant paintings.  I hope to make a visit to Whole Foods this weekend to look for cherries as I will soon be in Door County to celebrate my acceptance at the Edgewood Orchard Galleries,  and cherries are very important to Door County.

There is a "rule" in painting that objects should not 'kiss," but I love the negative space created by this kissing thing, and in the case of objects leaning against one another, I think it's got to be "legal" and if not, I'm breaking the rules anyway.  So there.

"614 On the Outs"
acrylic - 8x6 in

Thursday, May 14, 2015

613 Afternoon at Remingtons

This is a painting I started quite some time ago en plein air at the site of the Art Ladies' favorite restaurant spot on the Milwaukee River.  I love to see the changes the river takes on with the seasons and the time of day.  The ducks are an added bonus, and provide much entertainment.  Occasionally there will be a kayak or two. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

612 Aubergine

The little Indian eggplants still interest me.  I love their color, shape and sizes.  Unfortunately, by the time I finish with them, they may be past their prime of freshness.  Maybe I will make baba ghanouj with them tomorrow. 

"612 Aubergine"
acrylic - 6x8 in

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

611 Indian Eggplant

I found these small eggplants at a grocery store in Chicago and couldn't resist their beautiful color and size, conveniently fitting in a blue bowl.  I tried to research why they are called Indian eggplant, but found no good answer.  In India and some other countries, eggplant are called brinjal and is widely used in Indian cuisine.  I thought it was interesting to note that so many cultures have popular eggplant dishes--Greek and Turkish moussakka, French ratatouille,  Italian eggplant parmesan, Arabic baba ghanough.  My mother-in-law made the world's best eggplant parmesan.

I also thought this was interesting information from Wikipedia: "Botanically classified as a berry, the fruit contains numerous small, soft seeds which, though edible, taste bitter because, as a relative of tobacco, they contain nicotinoid alkaloids."  hmmm....

Monday, May 11, 2015

610 Happy Little Signs of Spring

Many thanks to Kari Snick for allowing me to use her photograph of this happy little vignette.  I notice that one of the eggs has a crack in it, so I wonder if the eggs have hatched.

In Owl Patrol news, this afternoon I heard loud squawking coming from the tree where the owls were last seen.  Out my kitchen window, I sawe lots of wing-flapping during this raid.  It made me so sad to see two nasty crows diving on the owls so  I went outside and CAW CAWed at them a few times, hoping to shoo them away.  One left and the other followed a few seconds later.   I was relieved.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

609 Common Tern

I enjoyed incorporating calligraphy in this painting, and I think I will continue with this practice in the future for this type of painting.  I am currently taking a class where seeing the minute details of nature is key and we will be using watercolor, colored pencils and ink.  I know I will enjoy the opportunity to paint things owl and nature related.

"609 Common Tern"
watercolor - 4x12 in

Friday, May 8, 2015

608 Certain Teed

My neighbor came across this house sparrow nest with three little eggs in it, and called me to see it because she knows I love to paint all things bird-related.  You may wonder why the title "Certain Teed."  We are having a new roof put on our house and the sparrows included in their nest a very long piece of plastic packaging material from a Certain Teed product being used on the roof.  The roof project just started five days ago, so it didn't take long for the nest builder to forage for interesting materials.  Two scraggly feathers are also included in the nest.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

607 Triplets

The owls, Spring weather, and a recent visit to Joanna Poehlmann's exhibit (my second) have put me in a mood to paint with a bird theme.  I have no idea what kind of bird eggs these are despite my effort to find out, because I found the photo on a copyright free site.  I guess it can be anything you want it to be.   If you have an idea, please let me know.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

605 Atlantic Ocean, March in Massachusetts

I am feeling a little more confident about using the oil paints and am understanding how they work, even enjoying the process, today starting a new large landscape with the oil paints.  I can't imagine how long this will take to be finished.

In other news, the Owl Patrol has discovered the Great Horned Owl family has moved to another clump of trees on my block to escape the crow attacks.  The owls are less visible, but hopefully we will be able to see and hear them from our house.

Last night I saw a You Tube video of a female GHO laying her egg.  It reminded me so much of my childbirth experiences.   There was another amazing You Tube video of the mother GHO feeding her 2 day and 4 day old owlet babies.  Check it out. 

"605 Atlantic Ocean, March in Massachusetts"
oil - 9x12 in

Sunday, May 3, 2015

604 Great Horned Owl Primary Wing Feather

My neighbor found this feather in her yard along with the tail feathers of a wren.  The GHO male has been seen perching on this neighbor's chimney and he always seems to be facing in the direction of our house.  I saw a fluffy white cotton tail the other day in the vicinity.  hmmmm.....

Friday, May 1, 2015

603 Sunflowers in the Sunroom

It was a perfect moment,  as the sunflowers just happened to be falling in a perfectly natural arrangement and the sun streamed in our front window, the light hitting some of the the petals,   charging them with vibrancy.  I couldn't let the opportunity to paint them pass.