Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Joy of Sharing Art

I got an e-mail from the buyer saying "I love it!", then later in the day received this photo. She had gotten a frame for the painting and was so kind to share with me the joy she was experiencing.

This is what makes painting a joy: the joy it gives to others as well as myself.

She just said, "Here it is!" and there it was on my screen:

Her happiness made my day!

Happy New Year, everyone.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Merry Christmas Composite Painting

8x10 Oils on Wrapped Canvas

This painting was the November Challenge on Paint My Photo, and was supposed to be "white" but I had so much white at first it just looked dead to me. The other part of the challenge (for me)  was to use several photos and make a composite still life. This was based on four reference photos.  Had to block in with acrylics and then finish with oils. Turned out pretty cheery, don't you think?

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Bowl and Oranges - and Learning to Love the Paint

 8x10 Oils on Hardboard Panel

I finally finished the first of ten oil paintings that are part of a course of instruction I felt I was ready for (in dire need of). The trial and error approach was becoming a frustration bordering on quitting painting, and as usually happens at those times, the universe answers.

Roaming around in the interwebs I stumbled across this site: Daniel Edmondson Art Studio and decided it was worth the money. I had already investigated maybe taking local art classes as I live near Montgomery College, which has a fabulous art curriculum, and the Glen Echo art conclave - but the prices for the courses (like $400+), plus the commitment to specific days and times seemed overwhelming.

So I went looking for a style I really want my art to look like and found Dan. Now, true, my painting did not come out in the looser style I was striving for but I did learn that the medium you choose to use has a lot to do with that. I have been learning to paint with Genesis paints which are a new medium that work like oils while you are painting, but you can heat set them rather than let them slow dry. If you like glazing, this is great. Mainly I started using them as I was frustrated with acrylics for certain paintings but due to some health considerations did not want the smell of oils and turps in my small apartment. They've been great and I will continue to use them for certain paintings, but they work better for a style that is very precise - where you don't really paint wet into wet, more like value change next to value change, then blend smooth. Also, the paint has to be 'worked' with a palette knife to loosen it up, and will set up on the palette and on the canvas after a while so you can't as easily move paint around as Dan shows in the DVD.

Anyway.......I stuck with that style for this first painting, however, I watched all ten DVDs first and it's impossible to convey the many facets of painting that Dan conveys in a 'natural conversation' style.

Also, because I have not yet begun to paint 'from life', I have painted from photos, and while I know you can push the color and change anything you want, from Dan I learned why I cannot learn to SEE from photos. Being in the middle of reading John Carlson's book on painting and the many nuances we artists must learn to see, this is crucial. I have learned from experience even looking at paintings on the computer, I am learning to see colors I had not seen before. So learning to SEE is now a priority for me.

The cameras try to balance everything out to middle gray, and he showed us this on the DVD by holding up white towel to show how even watching a DVD doesn't give you the truth of color or value changes.


This is an iphone photo of the painting against my dark couch.

Notice the flat whiteness of the bowl, the extreme color bands on the orange, the whiteness of the orange slices.

Here is the photo taken against a white board, same lighting. Now the darks are too dark, but that's easier to adjust in editing software.

This taught me as much about photographing my artwork as NOT relying on photo references to learn to see nuances in tonal changes.

This is a closeup of the bowl, which is my favorite part of the painting, showing the shadows. It could not be photographed without the white paper towel giving the camera a lighter light to factor into its computation towards middle grey.
So I was tempted to just go ahead get traditional oils, and found some at a yard sale to try out. Wow, I loved loved loved how they glide on. I got a major headache from the smell however so knew that's not an option for me. 

I have now purchased water mixable oil paints and will do the second painting with those to see if I can achieve that loose brushstroke I love so much. Watching Dan paint has made me see I make it too complicated, don't use enough paint, and "lick it down" ad nauseum, which is fine for the more traditional look but not so fine if you want to use the brushwork itself to achieve the result you are looking for. I want thick juicy paint!

I don't make any commission promoting Dan's course - but I can encourage you to feel comfortable spending the money because it's worth it. I plan to complete the still life course, then invest in the landscape course. I think in two or three years I may be an excellent artist!

Hope this helps you. Will post as I finish each painting!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Orange Challenge

9x12 Acrylics on Gallery Wrapped Canvas

This was painted for a challenge on the Paint My Photo website. And I painted and painted - for many hours - while I learned about using orange, and about painting reflections. It might have been easier in oils and I may try a similar one one day to see the difference. But it was fun and I'm happy with the result. Thanks to Lillian Bell for her great photo reference and inspiration.

Note; the background is actually VERY dark - and on my computer in Adobe it shows as true; but for some reason once uploaded it's reading lighter. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Ruh Roh

Well, I did finish two more and still have many in process, but life seems to be getting in the way. Not sure I'll finish 30 in 30 but I sure am painting daily!

Noble English Setter

Oil on Hardboard Panel, 6x6 inches

Autumn Misty Morning
Oil on Gallery Wrapped Canvas, 8x10 inches

Sunday, September 15, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Two More Finished!

Rooster Line Dance
5"x7" Acrylics on Canvas Panel

Sunflower I
5"x7" Acrylics on Canvas Panel

Do your Holiday Shopping now AND benefit the parrots of Garuda Aviary!

Friday, September 13, 2013

30 Paintings in 30 Days.....update

Just posted to my Daily Paintworks Gallery:

Train Tracks Glowing
6" x 8" acrylics on canvas panel

Boots and Pansies
5" x  7" acrylics on canvas panel

Pineapple Cake
6" x 8" acrylics on canvas panel

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Experiment with Fun - Home on the Range

Home on the Range
4.5 x 10 inches
Acrylic on Paper
Not For Sale

I took a little break from the paintings I have started for the Leslie Saeta 30 Day Challenge. I wanted to just play and seeing all the wonderful watercolor works on Paint My Photo, decided to play with acrylics, watered down, to paint on paper.

The Paint My Photo site has monthly challenges and this month the challenge was to pick two photos from the site (there are THOUSANDS), and put a person into a landscape - in scale.  AND it had to be LONG format so that the winner's can be used as the website masthead for the next six months.

So I played this morning and was not unhappy with this outcome for my first try. Will definitely practice and do more acrylics on paper!

These were the reference photos I chose to merge, both from Paint My Photo:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Day 7 but Painting #2

Cherries and Lace
5x7 inches on canvas panel, acrylics

I am so glad I didn't commit to a painting a day! It will be a stretch to get 7 done for the week but I'm close. Have several almost dones and two more completed. But the photo on one was awful and now the light's too low. Frustration.

Anyway, am loving learning to paint with acrylics and although there's a lot of trial and error, am really happy with this one. Had to go to store and buy Pyrole Red as the Napthol and Cadmium Red Medium were so orange I couldn't get the right color. Pyrole fluid acrylics by Golden did the trick as the 'mother color' for the cherries.

This is a study for a larger painting, so it's done on a student grade canvas panel, but I'm selling it anyway's really pretty....and will be affordable for someone to enjoy.....and the parrots at Garuda Aviary can really use the financial help. Even just a little bit like this.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Day 1: Palette Knife Cantaloupe Slice

Here is yesterday's submission for the 30 Day Challenge. I used Genesis heat set oils and it's not setting properly as the paint's so thick.  Will try to reset but my A/C broke and don't want to turn on the oven! Was fun to paint, though.

Palette Knife Cantaloupe Slice
3.25" x 8" Oil on Panel

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Day One of 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

Joining Leslie Saeta's challenge to paint, paint, paint, and today was day one. Some artists can do a painting a day - I'm too slow - so I'm committed to 30 in 30. Have my subjects all lined up, about half the panels/canvases prepped and worked on two today that have the same color palette.

Finished a palette knife painting of a slice of cantaloupe......but didn't get to photograph it before the sun went down, so will post that tomorrow.

Some will be for sale, some will be just learning experiences (read "FAIL") but I'm hoping it will loosen up my style as well as see color and tonal values more easily. That only comes with lots of practice.Some will be "studies" made for larger works down the road. But if they're good enough, they will be for sale.


The parrots at Garuda Aviary need more peanuts! All proceeds from this (huge-to-me) effort will go to the Aviary.

Here are a few of the reference photos I've chosen to work with the first week. You'll have to check back to see the paintings!

 Should be fun! And later there WILL be a parrot or two!

(Most of the photos above are from Paint My Photo - if you are an artist, this is a fabulous resource!)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

New Paintings in My Daily Paintworks Gallery

Decided to finish up some unfinished paintings and get them posted - they can't be turned into donations for The Garuda Aviary unless they are done!  Hope you enjoy.

Now is the time to order a commissioned pet portrait if you want it by Christmas!

Elephant: Close up and Personal
6x6, in Oils on Panel

Cardinal in the Snow
3.25x7.5, in Oils

Colorful Cat!
6x6, in Acrylics/Glazing on Panel

 Daisies Fresh from the Garden
6x6, in Acrylics on Hardboard

Night Queen
6x6, in Oils on Hardboard


3.5x8, Oils on Panel

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

White Lab Nicholas Portrait - Finally Finished

Painting white objects is truly a challenge, as you have to show the form, while still representing a very white dog.

Mostly I wanted to capture his gentle nature and I'm told by those who knew him, I did.

Painted in oils on a 9x12 inch gallery wrapped canvas.


From his human:

Dear Elizabeth, 
I can not thank you enough for the painting of Nicky. What an artist you are. It is absolutely beautiful. I will cherish it always. We lost Nicky last Oct. He was my best friend. What a wonderful gift. I still miss him everyday. This portrait has captured him exactly, especially his eyes. When that picture was taken he was looking at me. I had told him to sit and look pretty and I'll take your picture. He was a lot of fun. Thank you so much. Pauline

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Border Collies in the Surf

"Catch Me If You Can"  SOLD

Love watching dogs play! They are so free and joyful!
This is my first palette knife painting and the process was also free and joyful. So will probably do many more! 

This is a 12x12 inch oil painting on 1/4" gessoed panel.Palette knife application of paint makes a nicely textured surface, which has been varnished for protection.
Signed with initials on front and full signature on back.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Appreciating LIFE

Haven't posted in quite a while....had a near death experience mid-March which kept me in hospital for 3+ weeks and am now getting back to the easel. Am appreciating life deeply now! 

Hope to be posting to Daily Paintworks some pieces for sale soon - have to finish a couple of commissions that are overdue first.

My step-mom had her birthday this week - mid 80's! Now that's a life to celebrate! She lives in a gorgeous condo overlooking the Chesapeake Bay (and Bay Bridge) and pot gardens - must be BLUE pots. And her geraniums are always so lovely on her deck. So I was inspired to paint her a 'birthday card' on masonite and she loved it:

If you'd like a special 'birthday card' painted for someone you love, let me know!