Saturday, June 17, 2017

Violet and Einstein

The past couple months have been crazy busy for me.  I've been involved with five local shows starting with The City of Meridian's Initial Point Gallery, then on to Meadow Lake Village in Meridian, Zions Bank in Boise, Finer Frames Gallery in Eagle and wrapping up for the month of June at Meraki Greek Street Food Restaurant in downtown Boise.  While most of these shows were well worth the effort...alas, each one takes a lot of preparation and takes away from my painting time.  The few pieces I did complete over the past two months aren't necessarily worthy of sharing...with the exception of these two.  

Violet is a goldendoodle who is the mama of our new pup Bennington.  Bennington is old enough to come home this coming life is about to get VERY interesting around here (I've been consuming massive You Tube videos on how to train a pup).  I love Violet...she is an amazing mama to her pups.
6x6, soft pastel

The second finished piece is Einstein.   He had a nice long life and passed away recently.  I'm sure his family misses him terribly.  This piece is for our neighbors who are Einstein's grand pup-parents. 
10x8, soft pastel

Hope you enjoy! 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spring Canopy

Spring Canopy
6x8, oil on linen

A little plein air painting in our neighborhood.  This time of year the flowering trees provide an explosion of color and a gorgeous canopy to walk under as we stroll the pathways that run throughout our neighborhood.  I couldn't resist!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Jar of Peonies

Jar of Peonies
10x8, oil on panel

I'm so glad spring is here! My peonies are going like gangbusters.  Even though they haven't bloomed yet, they're going to be abundant this year.  As soon as they appear, I'm sure I'll be setting up more still lifes to capture their brilliance.  This little still life is in anticipation of that moment.  Another stab at oil painting.

I'm finding that I love painting with either oils or soft pastels...the challenge (for me) is in deciding which one to choose when planning a painting.  With oils...I have to wait for the painting to dry...then, varnish. The big payoff with oils is that I can put them directly into an open frame...whereas, pastels require glass.  When I do paint with pastels, I've been trying to frame them with non-glare glass.  This makes a big difference in presentation...especially for art shows but drives up the cost of framing.  With oils, I'm still learning the finesse of applying varnish.  Ah, the challenges of each medium!   Still......I'm having a blast!

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Torn Hat...43 yrs. later

It only took 43 yrs. to finally get around to putting a coat of varnish on this little guy.  This painting holds a special place in my heart.  It's not particularly well done but it was my first attempt at painting during a semester of art classes as a senior in high school....some, 43 years ago.  Holy cow, where did the time go??  

This painting is a stab at replicating the American artist Thomas Sully's painting of his nine year old son and for me represents the love of a child and the innocence in us all. The original The Torn Hat (1820) resides in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.  Someday, I'll visit there and check it off my bucket list!  I chose this painting because of the wonderful light streaming through the torn hat and the pinkish glow of his cheek.  It is a painting that I may have to take another stab at sometime soon...just for fun.

My mother, bless her heart, always had this painting hanging somewhere in her house.  I'm thankful she held onto it.  Since her passing last Aug. I've often looked at this painting hanging in my studio and thought of her...and her solid devotion to her children.  She spent her entire life caring for us.  Even as we entered our own retirement years.  She was spunky, set in her ways and hard working.  She devoted her life to her children and never lost sight of the importance of each family member.  In her honor, I felt I should care a bit more for this painting.  So I carefully took it down, unframed it and varnished it for the first time.  It's now back on the wall watching over the studio reminding me of my mother and the great love a parent has for his or her own child.  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Dockside Sunrise

Dockside Sunrise
12x16, soft pastel

Back to my boat theme.  With this piece, I had to do quite a bit by memory.  Two years ago I painted a smaller version of this scene en plein air.   But, I made a rooky plein air mistake and didn't take a photograph of the scene before leaving the lake.  So, I had to recall some of the details that I had missed when I painted the first piece.   I was drawn to this particular scene because I loved how the sunlight from the early morning sunrise lit the tips of the kayaks casting jagged sunlight onto the waters below.  It was a gorgeous September morning at Redfish Lake.  One I will always remember.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A few attempts at plein air with oils

Since the Jan. 30in30 Challenge finished, I've been busy framing and attempting a few plein air pieces in oils.  It's almost like starting over again when you start with another least it is for me.  Frustrating at times because I'm not nearly where I hope to one day be with oils...but I guess I love the challenge.  Below are a few of my first attempts...hope you enjoy.

Warm Springs Rd., 8x10, oil

Joplin Rd., 8x6, oil

Before The Rain, 6x8, oil

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Why Am I An Artist?

In the back of my mind I know I'm trying to out-race dementia.  I want to be a REAL artist before I start to forget how to paint!  That's the journey I'm on.  I don't have it now, or even any symptoms but I know it runs in my family. Watching my mom struggle with it for the past 10-15 years has been a sobering reminder.  Alzheimer's or dementia...whatever you want to call stinks!  So, I'm assuming over time I will progress and get better at painting only to decline in later years.  I don't dwell on it because after all...I may not be here tomorrow!  (lol)

If you've ever struggled to achieve a dream that seemed so far out of reach it would be almost impossible to achieve...or, you've felt like that " little engine that could"...chugging, chugging, chugging uphill always thinking..."I think I can, I think I can..."  Then you know a bit about how the past three years have been for me.

Diving headlong into creating art three years ago (at 58), I've been an obsessed woman!  I've had so much to learn and fortunately because of the Internet and workshop teachers there have been mountains of information to absorb.  I felt I was starting out so many years behind everyone else and to top it all off I began with the most brutal self doubt imaginable.  My inner voice was so so critical of every painting I produced I didn't think I would ever feel confident.  And, because of it, I thought about giving up from time to time too.  I'm glad I didn't.   

My tombstone should have one word on it.... "Persevere" because throughout life that's what I told myself to do when things got tough.  It's SO very easy to stroll through life when things are going ok...but challenges call for perseverance.  So, I've hung in there.

For the remainder of my years I know I will love the artist life and continue to be in hot pursuit of that perfect masterpiece.  Personally, I doubt I will produce an actual masterpiece but every once in awhile a painting does magically "paints itself" (if your an artist, you know what I mean).  

In three years (and over 390 paintings) it's happened exactly twice.  Today I'm happy to report that the second of those two paintings (Along The Shoreline, above) was awarded Best Of Show in the Pastel Society of the West Coast's (PSWC) general members online competition as well as one of the Top 15% FAV on FASO's Boldbrush competition.  I don't enter competitions very often so this is a big deal for me especially because I've taken a look at the wonderful work submitted by all the other artists.  

I was dumbfounded when I got the call from PSWC and humbled to have my work acknowledged in this way.  I also know to "keep it real"...judging is subjective and another judge or panel of judges would most likely come up with a different winner altogether.  But today, I will enjoy the news because I know tomorrow, I will be in hot pursuit of that masterpiece all over again!!!