Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Stolen Smile

Happy New Year!   This is my first painting for the 30in30 Challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta.  If you're curious about the Challenge, check out Leslie's blog at:  http://www.lesliesaeta.blogspot.com.   I believe there are close to 900 artists participating.  It's a great feeling to know there are other artists out there doing the same thing...it should be fun!

I hope to complete 30 paintings in 30 days...however, I must admit if a painting needs more time than what I can do in a day...then I'll take the time to complete it over an additional day or two.  I'll share work-in-progress images for those days (should they occur).

My theme "Family Matters" starts off with a painting I call "Stolen Smile".  This is from an image of my grandson Brian who is now over a foot taller than me!  On this particular day Brian just couldn't resist eating the raisins that were intended for Frosty's smile.  From the looks of it...I think he may have eaten half of an Oreo eye as well!

Stolen Smile, 8x8, pastel

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What was I Thinking?

The past couple weeks have been filled with holiday events and fun with family and friends.  It's been a wonderful time!  In addition to that I've been scouring my reference photos for painting possibilities for Leslie Saeta's January 2015 30in30 Challenge. To post my first painting early on January 1st, I'll have to start painting tomorrow.  Yikes!  I'm a little concerned.  I seem to be going into this Challenge more in a funk than fully prepared!  What was I thinking?

Having completed my first Challenge last September I would have thought I would be much more prepared and thus, excited.  My trepidation must come from the fact that I am fully aware of what it's going to take to complete the Challenge ( at least to my satisfaction).  I know there are going to be moments when I am frustrated, dejected, embarrassed to post what I've painted, and questioning why I am forcing myself to complete this silly Challenge.  There will be nights I drop into bed exhausted and annoyed...bad dreams will ensue.  The laundry will pile up.  Preparing meals will consist of anything fast and easy.  Food in the house will dwindle down to a few cans of soup and bread crumbs.  The dust will gather and the floors will be a mess!!  My poor husband and dog will have to beg for what little attention they will get from me.

Oh why, oh why did I sign up for this???  Who intentionally puts themselves through what is guaranteed to be an exhausting and frustrating month of non-stop painting?  I guess I did.  I secretly wish I could delete my name from the map listing the participating artists and locations that Leslie posts on her blog: www.lesliesaeta.blogspot.com.  Then I would just go about my business as though I had somehow overlooked signing up.  

Then I remember those breakthrough moments.  The progress I've made over the past year and especially during the month of September.  The few pieces I was very happy to call my own. Painting daily almost guarantees progress in one way or another.  For me, by the end of September I realized my best style falls somewhere in between Impressionism and Realism.   Would that be Imperialism? (Just kidding)

Without pain...there is no gain.  I will prepare today and hit the ground running tomorrow morning.  January's "theme" will be called "Family Matters".   My family provides such loving encouragement.  They help me overcome my self doubt and help me see myself as an actual artist.  The artist I always wanted to be as a child.  So I'll dedicate this effort to all of them.  See you tomorrow?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Village - Holiday on Ice

It's such a festive time of year...and a busy one!  I finally found time to finish this painting, complete a few framing tasks and make Christmas cards.  

Recently I went to the Village and took quite a few pictures of people skating and added them to the photos I took at Thanksgiving with my four youngest grandkids who were also skating.   This painting is the result.  I even found space to add several other family members even though they weren't actually there.  Ah, artistic license!  Ultimately, I was able to fit in all the grandkids and their parents and grandparents.  It was a fun project, a challenge, and a painting that will always be dear to my heart.   

Happy holidays everyone!

Holiday on Ice, pastel

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Work in Process...

Started a painting today that's a bit larger than usual...I think it will end up being around 9x12...a great size once a mat and frame is added to it (assuming of course that it's worthy of framing).  I think it will be because I'm already liking the direction it's taking.  Of course, because it's larger and more detailed, it will take a couple days to complete...so I'm posting my work in progress.  

I also signed up today to do another of Leslie Saeta's 30in30 challenges in January.  Yes, that's only three weeks away!!!!!  What was I thinking?  I need to finish this painting and get busy preparing for the challenge.  Oh Lord I may live to regret this.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Good Old Frosty

It was a long tough week when it came to painting.  I had a few days of appointments and errands but actually did find time to practice on a few pieces.  I've resorted to using the word "practice" because I don't think any of them are among my best work.   I continue to struggle to loosen up.  But hey, this is the year I decided to learn to paint...so I'll chalk it up to that.  A week of practice.

First...there were the few surviving flowers from a beautiful bouquet my daughter and her family gave us for Thanksgiving.  I had high hopes for this one...but alas, I think I missed the mark.  

The Last Bouquet, 12x9, pastel
 

Then,  I tried to shake the cobwebs out by REALLY trying to loosen up...

Loose and Bold 2, 5x7, pastel


And lastly,  in total frustration I went to my happy place.  I needed an old friend...one that always makes me smile and reminds me of just how good life really is...

Good Old Frosty, 8x6, pastel




Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Holidays!

A little practice piece for the holidays.  I couldn't resist this scene.  It brings back fond memories of sledding in a nearby park and the many trips to the ice skating rink throughout the winter months. Growing up in a small town in Iowa was like living in a Norman Roćkwell painting.