Monday, June 29, 2015

648 Pepper

It's been awhile since I've painted a pet portrait.  Pepper is my friend's father's dog, and he is the only dog I've ever met that actually poses for the camera.  I took only three pictures of him, all decent, because he sat and looked right where I wanted him to.  Most of the time I have to chase the dog around hoping to get a nice shot. 

"648 Pepper"
acrylic - 6x6 in

Saturday, June 27, 2015

647 The End of the Day

"644 Late Afternoon at the Harbor" was a mini version of this scene, 6 x 6" painted earlier in the week.  Many people really liked it, but I'll tell you now that I absolutely hate that painting, and it nearly ended up in the trash.  After all the time I spend on it,  I decided that I should post it anyway because not every day's painting turns out the way I want.  There is always something to be learned from the experience, and from that experience, I learned that for this artist, those big scenes require a bigger format.  This is the same scene, but is 20 x 16" and I am much happier with it.

"647 The End of the Day"
acrylic - 20x16 in

Friday, June 26, 2015

646 Strawberry Festival

It's strawberry picking time in Wisconsin, and the charming town of Cedarburg has its annual Strawberry Festival this weekend.  In addition, Cedarburg Art Center just finished its annual 10 day Plein Air Festival and the completed artwork was on display beginning today.  The weather was beautiful for the painters and the paintings were not "foggy" like last year.  The artists did a wonderful job and many of the paintings were sold early on. 

These are more strawberries my neighbors picked for me on their second strawberry picking trip.

"646 Strawberry Festival"
acrylic - 6x8 in

Thursday, June 25, 2015

645 Infinite Possibilities

In March my BFF and I visited our dear friend in Maine, and knowing that I was looking for seascape painting inspiration, Sharon took us to several beautiful spots, one of them formerly Fort Williams, now Fort Williams Park on Cape Elizabeth in South Portland.  It's such a beautiful place, but it was so cold.  I came across this spot, created by Maine Stone Scapes, and was amazed that there is no mortar whatsoever.  I love rocks, and here I was in rock heaven.

To me, this scene represents optimism and "Infinite Possibilities."   I happened to come across these words of wisdom, "Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today"  James Dean. 

"645 Infinite Possibilities"
acrylic - 16x20 in

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

644 Late Afternoon at the Harbor

This was a lovely scene in the harbor at the sailing center, Milwaukee, Lake Michigan, Wisconsin, where I go to study the relationships among water/sky/boats.  I am still frustrated when painting these water scenes, specifically boat scenes.  I am concluding that painting in a small format presents more difficulty for me, as I have had success with larger formats.  Any way you look at it, I may be moving on to land soon!

"644 Late Afternoon at the Harbor"
acrylic - 6x6 in

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

643 Neighborly

We have THE best neighbors across the street.  They are so kind and loving, and I have become quite fond of their two children.  Every year, they go strawberry and sugar snap pea picking, and always bring some for us to enjoy.  There is nothing like a fresh picked strawberry!  The peas were eaten within 10 minutes and the painting was started right away.  I miss the days when we would go strawberry/apple/raspberry/peach picking with our kids and good friends.

"643 Neighborly"
acrylic - 6x6 in

Monday, June 22, 2015

642 Sweet William

Bouquets of Sweet William were plentiful at the Farmers' Market.  I have never grown them but suspect they must be early bloomers.  The sunflowers were from the Chicago Farmers' Market, but possibly were grown in Indiana.

Meanwhile in my garden, the big fat rabbits are eating my favorites---bachelor's buttons, liatris, and several others---even marigolds!  Aren't rabbits supposed to dislike marigolds?  I have put three different repellants down.  I wish the owls would come grocery shopping in my yard.

"642 Sweet William"
acrylic - 7x5 in

Sunday, June 21, 2015

641 Sunny Side

This is one of 24 small arrangements we used for the garden club dinner.  Each table had three birdhouses and three small floral arrangements. 

"641 Sunny Side"
acrylic - 6x8 in

Saturday, June 20, 2015

640 Peonies and Balloon Flowers

This is another centerpiece from my Garden Club dinner earlier in the week.  The peonies and balloon flowers from the farmers' market are still beautiful.

"640 Peonies and Balloon Flowers"
acrylic - 6x6 in

Friday, June 19, 2015

639 President's Dinner

The Garden Club's official year has come to a close, and on Tuesday night we had our President's Dinner at the beautiful Lynden Sculpture Garden.  I was in charge of centerpieces and favors for guests and I was delighted to find beautiful flowers at a local farmers' market.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

638 In the Garden

This is part of Edgewood Orchard Galleries' Sculpture Garden path and one of the sculptures.  I photographed this scene last Fall, but didn't make note of the artist and sculpture name.  I tried to find out, but couldn't in time for this post.  I will identify if and when I learn the information.

* This sculpture is called "Evening Out," and the artist is Cathy Broski.

"638 In the Garden"
acrylic - 8x6 in

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

637 Calm

I took the reference photo for this painting last summer from a ferry approaching Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard.  It was such a beautiful day, and we were with the dearest of friends, more like family.  The sun was shining, and that day, everything was right with the world.  I remember the feeling of calm and contentment very vividly.

Do I score points for persistence and determination?  Note: another water and boat painting.  I think this scene, which really had two canoes in it, warrants a larger format. 

"637 Calm"
acrylic - 5x7 in

Monday, June 15, 2015

636. Quiet Stillness

A friend of mine posted the reference photo on her Facebook page and kindly let me use it for this painting.  I enjoyed painting it, and I wish I had a rowboat and a calm lake to experience the quiet stillness of a summer or fall's late afternoon. 

"636. Quiet Stillness"
acrylic - 16x20 in

Saturday, June 13, 2015

635 The Mighty Oak in Spring

The oak tree is full of Spring green leaves now, but it is so big that you can stand under its canopy and still see its beautiful structure.  I enjoyed painting it with leaves, an unexpected surprise.

"635 The Mighty Oak in Spring"
acrylic - 8x6 in 

Today I went to the Old Towne Art Fair in Chicago and saw some really nice art.  Two of my fellow artists, Ken Reif and Judity Gahn Murphy also represented by The Leigh Gallery were there and it was fun to chat with them.

I was also thrilled to meet Brian Burt, a fellow Daily Paintworks artist whose work I instantly recognized.  He uses "classical techniques with contemporary subjects."  As an example, you want to take a giant bite of his jelly donut because it looks so real.  His paintings have just the right amount of whimsy coupled with perfect realism.  Amazing.  I've always admired his work and it was a joy to meet him today.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

634 Two Mighty Oaks

Today was a day to experiment after completing two larger paintings.  I started out using India ink and acrylic paint, intending it to be a black/grey/white painting, but somehow it evolved into a painting with limited colors.  It felt good just to play around on this rainy day.

One of the really nice things about painting on a daily basis is the opportunity to try new techniques and subjects.  It's been a wonderful experience for me, with 634 daily paintings under my belt.

"634 Two Mighty Oaks"
mixed - 10x8 in

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

633 A Painting of Eve, The Mother of All Living, a Sculpture

      The sculpture.  Isn't it beautiful?                                                                           

If you've visited the Edgewood Orchard Galleries in Fish Creek, Door County, Wisconsin, you would know of their beautiful sculpture gardens, paths speckled with impressive sculptures.  This sculpture is one of my favorites, called "Eve, The Mother of All Living" by Carl Vanderheyden.  It is beautifully patinaed and captivating.  I never thought I could/would paint it, but I'm glad I gave it a try today.  I needed a success (in my own eyes) after failing miserably with the sailboat paintings.

On that note, I spent some time at the lakefront today, a beautiful warm day with a cool breeze, perfect for sailing, I imagine.  As expected, there were many sailboats on the Lake and I snapped quite a few pictures.  Who knows if that will have made any difference in my next attempt.  I don't easily give up.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

632 Sunshine Farm

I have been painting up a storm, finishing up several larger paintings, but flopping on the smaller daily paintings (sigh).  I have been working diligently on seascapes, but those mostly-blue scenes have me baffled, and if you add a sailboat to the picture...well, I have lots of bonfire material.  I am sure there are lots of studies about the correlation between good paintings and the knowledge/experience the artist has with the subject and in the case of sailboats, I have zilch.  I have been studying the relationship between sky/sea/boat, but it is clear to me I will have to spend more time at the harbor.

This is a scene from Algoma, Wisconsin, on the return from Door County last Fall.  This was an "I brake for farms" moment.  It was such a beautiful scene, and oh!  that turquoise barn!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

631 The Mighty Oak

I love this oak tree, always have, and it just so happens that it is in the front yard of the home that the owls now frequent, so I can admire its structure while pretending to look for the owls.  I can photograph it and people will say, "There's that owl lady again," and they won't know that I am really admiring the tree and it's beautiful structure.  To me, it's a beautiful structure, almost a sculpture.  During the Fall, I love to collect its leaves and press them in a book.   

Thursday, June 4, 2015

630 Center Gap Lighthouse, Milwaukee

I find the mostly blue sky/seascapes to be very difficult to paint.  Maybe one day there will be a painting with a sailboat in it.  I have to figure out a way to make it interesting.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

629 Welcome to Edgewood Orchard Gallery

Edgewood Orchard Gallery in Fish Creek, Door County Wisconsin welcomes you with beautiful flowers and a sculpture garden that is beyond anyone's imagination. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

628 Sand Dollars

The point of the exercises in my current class is to keenly observe the minute details present in natural objects.  Sand dollars are all different in size, shape and color, and the markings are teensy little hatch marks.  It has been a nice change to travel light to class (no paints other than watercolor or pencils) and to slow down and really observe and appreciate.