Thursday, December 31, 2015

Prickly Pear Fruit

"Prickly Pear Fruit"
10" x 10" oil on panel

When I saw this fruit in the produce department of the 
grocery store I wondered what they were. They 
displayed so many beautiful colors 
and felt plump like a full water balloon.

I cut through the leather skin to see what it looked like. 
Brilliant pink inside! Their juicy fleshy tasted mildly sweet. 
No wonder that they are called succulents. The seeds are 
hard like kernels of popping corn. Fascinating!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Odd Couple

"The Odd Couple"
18" x 18" oil on panel

Since I share my studio with another artist, 
I can't control the lighting on my still life set up while 
the overhead lights are on for my studio mate. 

So, I placed a backdrop around the still life table 
and hung two black shower curtains to block 
the light from the fluorescent overhead lights. 
It works pretty well.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Gray Pot and Bird Nest

Gray Pot and Bird Nest
14" x 11" oil on panel

I found this little bird nest and couldn't resist painting it!
I edited it by placing two oranges in the background.
It feels like the pot is nestled in a little more.


8" x 8" oil on panel

Mrs. Backer's Flowers

"Baker's Flowers"
12" x 24" oil on panel

I bought these cupcakes at Mrs. Backer's Bakery 
here in Salt Lake City, Utah. Not only are they 
beautiful to look at, they are delicious!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Let's look at layers...

Think of painting on your canvas as a series of "layers." 
An artist makes corrections and adjustments on each 
layer until their painting looks the way they want.

Below is the first layer of my pond painting. This is when 
I adjust the shapes and simplify the color masses. I want
the rain clouds to be dark so that I can scumblelighter 
paint over them in the next layer to add texture to my sky.

*Scumbling is a technique of applying paint across 
the surface of your painting without pressing the paint 
completely down into the texture of your canvas. A 
scumbled stroke looks "sketchy" and "see-though" 
allowing the color over which you are painting to still 
be partly visible.

Notice how the second layer over the storm clouds is 
softer and lighter in value. When viewing this painting up 
close you can see how layering introduced color and 
texture into my painting.

Now I am ready to drop in some detail.

I can put algae on the water, highlights on the willow, 
and paint the flora along the bank of the pond.

So, back to Layers...

When first blocking in a painting, I like to think of my first 
layer as the "idea" stage. It's easy to look at that underpainting 
and say, "This looks pretty bad." 

Try to speak positively about each layer - knowing that as you 
make incremental adjustments and corrections - a beautiful 
creation will emerge! Be nice to you.

After all, it's just a layer... 

Here's the Process...

After sketching in my subject with a colored pastel 
pencil, I start blocking in the big masses of color.

Next I begin to define my subject (the two girls
and the kayak).

Now it's finally time to put in the details such as
the ripples on the water, the planks on the dock
and the paddle. The foreground is the last thing
to paint.

"Strolling the Snake River," 36" x 36" oil on panel.
J'ai finis!

Pumpkin Patch

"Pumpkin Patch"
16" x 20" oil on panel

When I visited this pumpkin patch I noticed that the orange 
pumpkins were sitting all together on the bare ground away 
from the greenery where they grew.

I snapped some pictures of the vines and leaves and took
the large pumpkin (on the right) back to my studio where I 
painted an image of it into the greenery.

Sometimes combining photography with painting from real
life creates a more interesting painting. Even artists can
enhance their work by editing.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Our Open Studio Was A Success!

Our Open Studio was a success! This year we decided to cater 
Brazilian Food from Braza Grill and serve lots of cookies and treats.

The student work was beautiful!

Holding an open house to exhibit and celebrate your finished
artwork is an amazing way to complete a full cycle of creation;
from a blank canvas all the way to the final framed piece.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fun at the COLOR Workshop!

 The two-day color workshop was a huge success!

The first day was spent discussing terms such as value, hue, 
intensity (chroma or saturation) and reviewing the basic primary 
and secondary colors.

It was pretty close to being an information overload.

We created color charts - which are labor intensive, but worth the effort.

Of course, cookies make anything bearable!

The second day was more about putting into practical use the information
from the day before. We completed paintings, reviewed color matching
and talked about utilizing "grays" in our paintings.

Here's part of our work...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

COLOR Workshop October 16-17, 2015

Hello Fellow Artists,

I will be presenting a two-day COLOR Workshop 
on Friday & Saturday, October 16-17

The tuition includes your lunch on both days. 
Here's what we will be learning:

Basic Color Wheel                                       
Hue (primary & secondary colors)               
Intensity (saturation, chroma)
Color Temperature (cool vs. warm color)
Color Matching (using a knife)
Color Schemes (analogous, complimentary, 
and monochromatic)
Mixing Grays
Creating Color Charts
Atmospheric Perspective

Students will paint in a 15-page booklet that 
can be used later as a handy reference. 

Two-day COLOR Workshop
October 16-17, 2015
9:00 am-3:00 pm (both days)
$120 - Includes lunch both days

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Plein Air at the Utah State Fair

The Utah State Fair had a "Quick Draw" 
event today - a competition en plein air.

I took up the challenge and painted under a 
hot September sun. Having gone through 
three water bottles I still felt over heated!

The hot asphalt heated the soles of my
tennis shoes and I kept having to prance
around (I must have looked funny).

The artists were supposed to turn in their paintings by 3:30
but I yielded to the heat and whimped out around 2:15 pm.

It was one of those "don't care anymore" moments. Ha-ha!

Here's my painting. I received a third place ribbon and cash 
prize in the professional division. Yay!

Friday, September 11, 2015

State Fair Winners!

It's that time of year when I head to the Utah State Fair to see giant 

vegetables, consume crazy food and enter the fine arts show.  

Several of my students entered the art exhibit along with Lucia, my 
studio mate.  It was fun to walk into the Fine Arts Building and see 
that we had earned ribbons. 

Lucia won first place in the Professional Division for her painting, 
"Holy Cow."

I won fifth place in the Professional Division for "Seven Heart Rocks."

Pam McCullough won the Shirley Venus Excellence in Art Memorial Award" award for her painting, "Egret" as well as a three month membership to the Intermountain 
Society of Artists (ISA).

Jackie Lalor won an Honorable Mention ribbon for her portrait of a Vietnamese 
woman, "My." She also won Best of Show for her sculpture, "Strong Girl."

It can be a little intimidating to enter a work of art at the Utah 
State Fair but you will never win a ribbon without entering a piece. 

It's worth the risk!