Friday, January 30, 2009

WIP- Boat

I am mostly packed.
The house is still a mess because I couldn't say away from that lovely lovely red!

I fell in love with this boat the minute I saw it. I wish I knew why it was being worked on. Its like seeing a beached whale, but with a happier ending because this particular leviathan will return to the water in better shape than it was before. I sat for an hour or so and drew it in my sketchbook the day I took the reference photo. It was the perfect time of day when the shadows were nice and long, and everything had a very distinct highlight. "The Golden Hour" they call it. I'll have to find the sketch and post it.

Funny thing- I am really enjoying that street lamp on the right side of the painting. I thought about leaving it out because I thought it was ugly, but that would not have worked at all. It helps balance the painting.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Painting with Wool... Part II

Man, I love needle felting. This time I put down the main colors with roving and then came back and doodled with yarn. It is like paint, but dry. Virtually no mess. And so satisfying! Wool is truly amazing.
Better view of the right side...

Left side.... I take this chicken hat to its new owner this weekend. Its about time. Took me close to 3 weeks to finish it... keep in mind, that is not 3 straight weeks. I wait until the little man goes to sleep before whipping out those super sharp needles. He is like a little ninja. He is everywhere at once. And into everything... at once. A thousand fingers on two pudgy little hands...

dot dot dot.

Do you see the red canvas in the upper left hand corner of the last picture? (I'm so excited!) I picked up a couple 16x20 inch canvases and painted them red. The Archival brand red I got the other day turned out to be a fantastic paint for a base. I initially didn't like it because it dried so stinking fast. Now I love it because it dries so stinking fast. Both of those canvases are set and ready to go, I have a new batch of reference photos hanging all over the walls and my first subject is picked out, and I am so ready to begin I can hardly stand it!

But, unfortunately, it will have to wait until I get back from Texas next week. I still have some packing and repacking to do tomorrow..... maybe I can squeeze in some painting time and get the basic structure drawn in. Ooooo! The anticipation is killing me!

Those canvases became instantly alluring as soon as they were painted red. Somehow just having things set up and ready to start is inspiring. I like to leave paint on my palette all the time because just seeing those colorful globs of potential there makes me want to paint.

Kind of like how cake just calls out to be eaten. Especially a big fat fluffy moist piece of double layered goodness with whipped icing and fresh strawberries....


Friday, January 23, 2009


8" X 10"
oil on canvas board

This is what I ended up with. There is a bit more variation between the fish and vase.

All the red was starting to block together.

The hermit crab inspires me to knit hansigurumi's hermit crab. I am always amazed how people can make something out of "nothing." In hansigurumi's case, she can turn string into sculpture... and then map out the entire process so others can do the same. Check out the link. She makes all sorts of critters. Most of which are sea creatures, which drew me to her in the first place.

Amazing stuff!


8" x 10"
oil on canvas board

This is what is currently on my easel. I doodled it on there and now I'm not terribly sure how to finish it. I feel like all the colors are too close to basic, so there is not much variety.

I'll play with it some more and see what happens.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Some more oldies but goodies

8"x 10"
Oil on canvas board

I had a favorite painting spot outside of Grand Junction. It was surrounded by nothing, full of sky, and all mine. Most of my skyscapes were painted out there. This particular evening gave me a wealth of reference photos. A storm was blowing in, it was right around sunset- the golden hour. There is always such a wonderful surge of energy that comes with a big storm like that. Seems to wake up every cell in the body.

This was one of my favorites at the time, but I am not so impressed with the painting itself now. It must have been the emotional experience attached to the piece. It was bought by The Gallery Bed and Breakfast in Grand Junction, Colorado. .. I think... If you get a chance, check them out. That place is awesome, just vibrating with creativity. They have some of my favorite artists renting studio spaces there.

8"x 10"
Oil on canvas board

This was a little stone shack on the edge of some orchards in Palisade, Colorado. The cherry trees were in bloom and that big blue mass in the background is the Mesa. I took my glasses off for the first half of the painting process, and really tried to concentrate on the tonal values rather than familiar shapes. I was quite happy with this one at the time, and am pleased to find that I still am.

8"x 10"
Oil on canvas board

This one was not very popular, but I like it. It is very moody. I see things in it now that I didn't before. My absolute favorite part of this painting is the wet sand, where the waves are pulling back after swallowing the beach. This was painted on tide-pooling trip to Oregon a couple of years ago. It was my first experience painting in the Oregon drizzle. Believe it or not, painting in the rain was somewhat exhilarating. Like nothing could stop me from doing what I enjoy- not even the weather!

Oh how exciting!

8"x 10"
Oil on Canvas Board

I thought these photos were lost forever, but I found them today! These were some of my favorites. I was so proud of them. Some realtor in Grand Junction bought them.

8"x 10"
Oil on Canvas Board

I cannot remember their names for the life of me. I took the reference photos when Brad and I were summer vacationing in Squamish, BC.

I loved the Squamish Yacht Club. It had rusty old fishing boats docked next to prim little sailboats. I ran around taking photos and trying to paint in the wind and cold while Brad was climbing. These three were done in the studio from photos. All of the on-site paintings were wipers.

16"x 20"
Oil on Canvas

It was summer, but it was cold. I loved it.

Looking at these makes me want to paint more boats.
The first painting is my favorite.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


8" x 10" oil on canvas board

Here is yesterday's painting. I was debating on letting it dry and then adding some dark washes, but right now I am leaning toward leaving it alone.

This is how ideas work:

I stayed up half the night many moons ago daydreaming about a big fat goldfish floating in front of purple striped wallpaper. But I was having trouble giving the image in my head a pleasing composition, so it sat and stewed for a bit.

Then I tried to figure out how to make the fish in a 3-dimensional form, started doodling on it in the sketches and came up with this star-sided fish. I started a felt fish sculpture in gray. I knew I wanted to eventually do this fish in color because the body wanted to be red with a yellow star and black and white fins and tail.

I initially did not know what color to make the face, but daydreaming about my new blue decided it for me.

The wall paper was bland, so I drew some circles in there which turned into bubbles. And the baseboard looked bland, so I swirled it up with the wrong end of my paintbrush.
I wanted the fish to be grounded, so I put some quasi-newspapers down so he would not pee on the carpet.

What can I say? It was fun. I was glad the fish was already sketched out because I really wanted to paint something and was not quite feeling up to slapping something down and hoping it would come out ok.

I wonder if I am leaning more and more toward extreme color saturation because the world outside is so very white and gray... I guess we shall see come springtime with its explosions of color in flowers, grass, leaves on shrubs and trees, and all the college kids sporting new spring fashions.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Socks on a Chicken

Socks on a Chicken
16" x 20" Oil on Canvas

Ta-Daaaaa! He's finally finished. This one had some washes, which I do not normally do, but I like how it turned out. And guess what?!?!?! It was fun to paint! Holy cow!

I just put in an order for some new paint... Ooooo! I'm going to play with some Cobalt blue and a different red. I usually use Ultramarine blue, but am having trouble getting a really vibrant blue.

Several years ago I painted a picture of my father-in-law's Boston terrier, Princess Priscilla Pe-pe (pay-pay), and used Cobalt blue and white for the light parts of the dog. I really liked the look of it, but was soon distracted by landscapes and forgot all about that lively blue.

I have been trying to find pictures of that painting because I really liked it at the time, but I cannot find any. I would have loved to show it to you. It was similar to this one in ways. She was sitting on a gaudy throne-like chair, but I don't remember much more of it. Funny how a painting can be all-encompassing while in progress, but send it off into the world and it is quickly forgotten.

I haven't seen it since it went to its new home. I wonder what I would see in it now that I didn't see then.

Time and distance have a way of showing us the reality of things.... or just blurring them out in our memories until they are gone.