Friday, August 29, 2008

Fall Landscape and the Art of Band Naming

Another painting done at the park. I need to cut some new boards, I can't keep up! However, I'm happy to say that I have some portrait and doll commissions to work on that will probably slow me down on producing sketches and studies like these for a while.
I found a great blog about painting - especially the technical aspects of it, like the properties of paint and various supports well as some discussion about art in general at I found it because I was looking up ways to use less solvent (I'm going to try using just oils and no mineral spirits as well as keeping my brushes submerged in oil when I'm not painting, rather than rinsing them out every day).
On another subject, I enjoy coming up with band names. I think it's funny =) I don't have a band, nor have I ever been in one, but that doesn't really hold me back in the naming department. So imagine how amused I was to find a site that will take words that you type in and generate a list of band names based on them. So the next time you are in silly mood, check out
I typed in 'art' and got False Art and the Power and Art of the Hasty Injury (seems to happen to me alot, especially when I'm making mixed media sculpture).

Monday, August 25, 2008


This is one that was a stretch for me because it is direct, wet into wet painting and I almost always use a grisaille underpainting with color glazes over top for portraits. I started it and I felt so unsure about the colors I was using that I scraped it all off and told myself that I just do grisaille and that was that! Then I went to see Ron Monsma do a portrait demonstration at a local gallery and saw that the colors he was using were not too far off what I had been trying, but I had given up before allowing the painting to resolve itself. So, I went home that night and painted this, which is not perfect, but still a big step for me. The experience drove home the importance of 1.) the value of seeing a more experienced painter work, 2.) having faith in what my eye is telling me and 3.) not being afraid or quittting when the picture feels out of control because that's actually a perfect opportunity to learn somthing new!
The painting is on an 11x11 3/4" wood panel and painted from a photo I took of a friend. She was walking through my house and the color harmony and composition with the partially open door and picture frame in the background seemed so perfect and meaningful, so I said, "Wait, stay right there while I get my camera!"

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fall in the Air

This landscape study was alot of fun. I like to see how few colors I can use to make a complete palette. This one is just paynes grey, cad. yellow, tit. white and alizerin crimson.

I'm working on a quite a few things that I'm looking forward to posting about soon. I just finished a portrait commission and I'm started a new one next week, plus I've been sculpting alot and going to the park to do small plein air work. I never understood why plein air painting has such avid practitioners until I started doing it last week and, boy, now I get it! Life can hardly get any better than sitting in beautiful, natural setting, really looking at it and responding. The finished product is nice, but it's almost beside the point!

I also opened a new shop this week on Etsy. There are two different viens in my artwork, but I wanted each shop to have a coherent look. So the new one, Nature of Paint, is just paintings and portraits and Archetypal Theatre is still my art dolls.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ohio River

Here is a 5x7" oil sketch on my favorite surface - birchwood panel. I love the way that the wood soaks up the paint and the smooth way that colors can be blended.

Monday, August 18, 2008

En Plein Air

I've started working on some smaller plein-air pieces inspired by the walk I take with Sherpa the Dog to Alms Park. We usually go when the sun starts to set and the day starts to cool off. The views of the sky over the Ohio River valley never fail to take me out of my busy-day mindset and into a transcendant bliss. So I've been taking my guerilla paint box up there to see if I can capture some of the magic. This one is 5X7" on canvas stretched over board. It is available for purchase in my Etsy shop.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Vegetables, Herbs and Paintings

I can't resist including a photo of my little potted garden, which has been yielding up wonderful things for the kitchen, lately. And, of course, my favorite gardening buddy, who makes sure that the yard is safe from rabbits or other vegetable-loving creatures =) It's not art related, per se, but digging in the dirt keeps me grounded and that is important to someone who spends so much time in the heady world of ideas and images!

This is the latest incarnation of the 'big' painting. It may not seem like alot has changed, but I've been tweaking the color and learning alot as I go. I've also been doing some small 5x7 oil sketches on wood panel to explore color and composition. Below are three that accidentally happen to match up quite well in a row!