Friday, October 30, 2015

717 Rescued

These flowers were in with garden waste at the curb in my neighborhood.  The marigolds were such a beautiful vibrant color---difficult to achieve, but irresistible.  

"717 Rescued"
acrylic - 6x6 in

Thursday, October 29, 2015

716 Drive By Photo Shoot

I am constantly reminded to squint when I am painting so as not to paint harsh lines and fussy details, in fact, I recall with a smile that in one class, our instructor asked us to smear Vaseline on our glasses to blur the image we would see.  It was a fun exercise.  This photo (reference) was very blurry because we were clipping along in Door County.  I just can't resist a photo op when I am in the passenger seat. 

"716 Drive By Photo Shoot"
acrylic - 6x8 in

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

715 Welcome to the Sunset Trail

This striking maple tree is located at the base of the Sunset Trail of Peninsula State Park.  It was magnificent to look at last weekend, especially on a blue sky Sunday.

"715 Welcome to the Sunset Trail"
acrylic - 8x6 in

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

714 Changing Seasons

The reference photo for this painting was taken in Door County in late August.  I love the softness of the colors of the leaves.

"714 Changing Seasons"
acrylic - 10x8 in

Monday, October 26, 2015

713 Somewhere in Door County

We spent the weekend in Door County, where the tourist season is wrapping up.  Many of the stores, restaurants and galleries will be closed by November 1.  The Fall colors were beautiful, even on the grey Friday, and the cold, rainy blustery Saturday.  Sunday was beautiful with blue skies, a perfect day for a walk on the Sunset Trail at the Peninsula State Park.  I took many photos from the car while in motion, otherwise we would have worn out the brakes.

"713 Somewhere in Door County"
acrylic - 6x8 in

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

712 Alone With My Memories

"712 Alone With My Memories"
acrylic - 16x20 in

Monday, October 19, 2015

711 Abundance

On Tuesdays, I look forward to receiving a box of fresh produce from Springdale Farm.  It is fun to see what's in the box, and I really enjoy setting up and photographing several still life possibilities.

"711 Abundance"
acrylic - 11x14 in

Sunday, October 18, 2015

710 Stealing the Show

Anyone who lives in my neighborhood knows EXACTLY where this scene is.  I see it every day and approach it head on with this magnificent Ginkgo tree, a real beauty to behold.  The other trees are in full Fall color now, and are so beautiful, but competing with the Ginkgo.

"710 Stealing the Show"
acrylic - 12x18 in

Saturday, October 17, 2015

709 Somewhere (Else) in New Mexico

This scene is somewhere between Taos and the Albuquerque airport.  I was attracted to the bright white stone of the mountain, and on closer look, the two crosses at the top, providing the imagination with endless possibilities.

This painting is on watercolor paper.  I have conferred with another artist who successfully mounts her paper paintings onto hardboard or cradled hardboard, and will include that option if sold. 

"709 Somewhere (Else) in New Mexico"
acrylic - 8x10 in

Thursday, October 15, 2015

708 Somewhere in New Mexico

The photo reference for this painting was taken during our ride to the airport.  With nearly 800 photos taken during this trip, I think I will have enough painting material for a long time.

"708 Somewhere in New Mexico"
acrylic - 9x12 in

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

707 Sisters

There are a lot of things I could write about, but I will keep it short.  This painting started out as something entirely different, though based on a very simple sketch from long ago.  Little Sister had a prettier color dress giving her more importance, Big Sister had no bow, giving her less importance.  Little Sister had red hair and pink complexion.  I am happier with both sisters feeling special with red bows.

It took great restraint to abstain writing about my sister.  It would have been a very different and very  lengthy post.  I could have told you about the time she......   but I won't.

"707 Sisters"
acrylic - 8x6 in

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

706 Aunt Mamie Takes a Break

"706 Aunt Mamie Takes a Break"
acrylic - 8x6 in

This is another painting taken from a simple sketch found while cleaning out my work space.  I originally planned to call it "Do-si-do" because I imagined a girl dancing at a barn dance in rural America.  As I began painting and let my mind wander, I was taken back to my childhood summers spent in Streator, Illinois, where my Aunt Mamie was the Martha Stewart of her day, only she didn't have a staff.   Typical Aunt Mamie, she would say on a whim, "Let's pick the cherries today, and we'll make jam,"  or "Today, we're going looking for cat tails for flower arrangements."  She worked very hard to take care of the family, a large house, a beautiful yard that included her award winning roses and the most gorgeous gladiolas you've ever seen.  Aunt Mamie never took a break--she cooked and cleaned and served her community, quietly and without a lot of attention or recognition.  As I grow older, I realize what a strong influence she had on me.

The pose of this woman in the painting could be interpreted as a hands-on-hips reprimand, and certainly Aunt Mamie could be authoritative, but after all this sentimentality and reminiscence, I decided this is Aunt Mamie's alter ego, who breaks into dance in the yard on a beautiful summer day.

I recently visited the family home, and felt the same warm-fuzzies I remembered.  I graciously declined a tour of the home from the current owners because I wanted every image of its interior to remain the same as in my memory.

Monday, October 12, 2015

705 Reflecting

I've been cleaning out and rearranging work spaces, and during this process came across a pile of simple drawings of people done in a long-ago class, probably from magazine or other photos.  I was sort of enchanted with the sketch of this woman, and since I had no reference photo (other than the sketch), I thought it might be fun and challenging to make up the colors and background.  I enjoyed painting it, and may attempt other sketches.  It was a good exercise.

"705 Reflecting"
acrylic - 8x6 in

Saturday, October 10, 2015

704 View From the Rio Grande River Gorge Bridge

I am not a big fan of heights, but I was determined to walk on the Rio Grande River Gorge Bridge located about 10 miles northwest of Taos. It is the seventh highest bridge in the United States, and the 82nd highest in the world!    As you walk 565 feet above the Rio Grande River, with hands clutched on the railing, you can feel the vibration of trucks passing you on the bridge.  The view was so spectacular with all the various ridges and beautiful colors, and I was happy to be stable enough to take photos.  Sadly,  there are a lot of suicides from this bridge, and there is a button to push for you to talk to someone to get help, should you feel hopeless.

"704 View From the Rio Grande River Gorge Bridge"
acrylic - 12x9 in

Friday, October 9, 2015

703 The Giant Crack in the Earth

This is the last of my paintings from New Mexico.  We parked along the roadside with this view of the Rio Grande Gorge, but didn't have more than a couple of hours there, so I sketched, knowing I wanted to paint an abstraction of this magnificent scene.  I had a few colors of paint that were still "alive" on my palette, and slapped them on the board.  Since I've been home, I've obsessed about the green portion to the point of ridiculousness.  Abstraction does not come naturally to me, but I think I like it.  Only time and more practice will tell.

03 The Giant Crack in the Earth"
acrylic - 12x24 in

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

702 Survivors

As I was conducting the first round of Fall cleanup, I just couldn't discard these sweet little survivors, scraggly as they were.  I think they are charming in my new vase from New Mexico in a random sort of way.  I'm such a sap.

"702 Survivors"
acrylic - 8x6 in

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

701 Free Spirit

This is the second painting started after the visit to the Taos Farmer's Market.  I purchased the hand made vase from a cute store called something like Taos At Home or At Home Taos.  I wish I had paid closer attention because I always like to give credit to the artist.  I worked on this painting and yesterday's post simultaneously, but this was finished here at home.

I'm not sure this qualifies as a legitimate "floral arrangement" but the flowers had a mind of their own, so they were "free spirits."

"701 Free Spirit"
acrylic - 12x12 in

Monday, October 5, 2015

700 Simple Joys

Two Saturdays ago, the Art Ladies visited the Taos Farmer's Market with the mission to purchase items for our still lifes, which we later set up at the Hacienda del Sol courtyards to paint.  It was interesting to see what the others purchased and even more fun to see their set ups.  My stash consisted of these flowers, two eggplants and a beautiful bunch of green onions, some of which made it into this still life.  Ha!  I bet you thought they were leaves of some sort.  The black and white dotted table covering is my scarf, and the container for the flowers is a sturdy coffee mug I purchased for my husband.  Even more fun to see was that all of our veggie purchases made it into the next morning's breakfast, prepared by Chef Gerd.    All in all, it was a glorious day.

"700 Simple Joys"
acrylic - 20x20 in

Sunday, October 4, 2015

699 Another View From Ghost Ranch

When we visited Ghost Ranch during our recent trip to New Mexico, I completed my first painting and had a few minutes to spare before leaving this beautiful place.  I quickly sketched another mountain scene visible from a quarter turn from The Pedernal, and quickly blocked in colors.  I wanted to completely abstract what I saw, which was so magnificent that I couldn't imagine tackling it realistically.  This is such a style departure for me, but I really enjoyed it---it was very liberating.  I am sure there are more abstractions in my future.  I would love to know what you think!

Here is the photo I took of the visita.

"699 Another View From Ghost Ranch"
acrylic - 9x12 in

Saturday, October 3, 2015

698 The Rio Grande River at Arroyo Hondo

The day we painted the Rio Grande was the most difficult of days, as it was hot and windy, and as any plein air painter knows, the scene changes quickly and often.  I positioned myself down close to the river and found the gentle sounds of the flowing water so relaxing.  There were a lot of ants and bugs and pollen (ah-CHOO!) and suddenly the wind took several of our easels, paintings, umbrellas crashing to the dirt, or in some cases, down the rocky hill.  The painting then had "texture" and the umbrella was demolished.  Despite all of the above, I enjoyed this day so much and this is my favorite of the eight paintings from New Mexico.

As I have repeatedly said, plein air painting is not for sissies.  And that's the truth.  
"698 The Rio Grande River at Arroyo Hondo"
acrylic - 20x16 in

Friday, October 2, 2015

697 The Pedernal

During my recent Art Lady trip to New Mexico, we visited our old "friend," Ghost Ranch, a tranquil and beautiful place.  I struggled with the decision as to what to paint, but finally realized I had to paint the Pedernal, as Georgia O'Keefe did so many times.  I recently learned that she thought if she painted it enough times, God would give it to her.  I think she "owns" it. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

696 View from The Couse-Sharp Historic Site

This is the second painting completed en plein air during my recent visit to Taos, New Mexico.  We were very fortunate to visit and tour The Couse-Sharp Historic Site during the 100th anniversary of the Taos Society of Artists.  Joseph Sharp and Eanger Irving Couse were two of the original founding members of this society, and were devoted to painting the Native American Indians.  Messrs. Couse and Sharp, along with the four other original members of this society, found Taos t o besuch an inspiring place to paint, as did I, with its mountains, forests, clear blue sky and beautiful sunsets.

The Art Ladies were grateful to be able to paint in such a beautiful and comfortable spot. The views of the mountains, trees and chemisas were breathtaking, and in my foreground, there were changing groundcover.  I was drawn to the strong vertical of the trees.  We had a little downpour but were able to lunch on the porch of the house until it cleared up.  All in all, it was a great day and I left with  many, many reference photos for future paintings.

"696 View from The Couse-Sharp Historic Site"
acrylic - 11x14 in