Sunday, June 17, 2018

Love the cow portrait....

Century family farm commission, oil-24"x36"

I was blessed to be asked to do this family farm portrait for a couple building their new home on the farm that has been in their family for over 100 years.  I was told this work will hang in the entry hall.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

It's all about the Clear Glass Bowl!

20"x 20" Gallery wrap stretched canvas

I'm still undecided about a title for this work.  .....could be "which one is not the same"  -  "Snack time". ...or the one I chose for this post.

I sometimes divide a canvas into sections, then work on either a similar subject in each space or choose to use different limited palette combinations to create  the same image.  It's a  fun exercise that can take on several different design elements .

This particular idea came from challenging myself with filling a glass bowl.  My hubby suggested painting a kitten laying in the bowl....I think There's no limit to what could be done.....hmmmmmm...only limitation is the size of my bowl.  For some reason, I have chocolate on my mind.  I may have to paint this bowl filled with Hershey Kisses.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

"Late Summer Color"

11"x14"   Soft Pastel on U Art paper

I had started this work on location during the "Fresh Paint" plein air competition in Amana, IA last year.  When I dug it out from a pile of pastel papers a few days ago, I the sky but HATE the foreground. 

What I love about the pastel medium is how easy it can be to "change" something if you don't like a certain look.  I had painted in a wooden fence that dominated the front lower right of this work.  It was competing with the large tree in the middle plane, which made the entire painting seem busy, busy, place for the mind to understand what drew me to this spot in the first place.

Taking a piece of pipe insulation I had cut to be around an inch & a half long, I rubbed out as much pastel as possible from the area.  Because this work is on slightly sanded (rough textured) surface, there was enough "tooth" ,as pastelists call it, left that i was able to emphasize  the prairie grass growing in the foreground by adding stroke after stroke of fresh color.

If you look close enough, you'll notice the "RED" underpainting too.  I love using a rust color as a first layer of color in a landscape.  The warm undertone always makes cool greens & blues look rich in hue.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Work in progress...

Finished oil  14x11

It's been awhile since I've posted a work in progress.  I have moved my studio space at home to a different room so now I've been enjoying more room to maneuver around.  It also accumadates  the larger canvases I've been working as commission work. 

Looking forward to creating a whole new body of work this year that expands on favorite themes of mine.  

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Painting at Sundown Mountain Resort

11x14 Oil on board

View of what I was painting

Candid shot of artist Carlene Dingman Atwater painting on the ski resort's lodge deck.

October 8th thru the 14th was the "Bluff Strokes" Plein air competition in Dubuque, IA.  I, along with 59 artists, had the opportunity to paint where ever we wanted in Dubuque County.  Of course, there were suggestions from the sponsors where certain locations would award us with cash winnings.   When Carlene and I happened to stop at this ski resort.....yes, Iowa has a place to snow ski ......our view was too rich in farmland  color on a dreary, rain laced day to pass up.  I'll be posting more from this event soon.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Nocturne at Paint the Point

Well, here'so the scoop on my Nocturne adventure as requested by my friend John Preston.   I began the above work when most fellow artists were finishing up on the main street just South of this location.   I've yet to master getting a plein air painting done in 2 hours, unless it's 8x10 or smaller.  That said.....on with my story.

I drove around seeing where everyone had set up.....most in well lit areas or where there would be main flow of traffic ( no hidden dark corners for monsters to jump out).  Yep......I wasn't thinking of safety when I chose this location.  It looked harmless enough ( and actually was) but what you see here was about all the light available.  ( I have orchestra pit clip lights that just shine where I need to see canvas & palette)

I didn't think to take a panoramic photo sweep when I had my easel in place so you can better appreciate my story. :(    To my left was a very dark lot that looked overgrown in the shadows.  I could hear voices/conversations as if people were standing directly behind me after i started painting.....time frame......10pm to a bit after 1am.  The requirements for this part of the competition was to begin no earlier then 8pm & hand in framed work between 7-8am.

Shortly after I had my initial sketch done, I guy started walking up from behind me and asked how I was doing.  Here's where my husband's advice kicked me in the head..." just PAY ATTENTION ".  I can become so absorbed in what i'm doing sometimes...hmmmmm....needless to say, this guy sorta/ kinda startled me.

I was holding an umbrella over my work because it started to sprinkle pretty good....this guy gently but firmly took it out of my hand and politely offered to hold it for me saying he'd give me 3 minutes of his time.  No thank you seemed to not be an option.

We struck up a conversation while he watched me work ......asked the usual questions about what all these people were doing painting around town, gave compliment on me  not being an ugly toad , then popped the question if I was married.  ( i'm sure he was leading up to it ,anxious to ask personal information. )  

After I answered "Happily so" , he stated.."lucky guy" and continued to hold my umbrella for another 5 minutes , being polite & giving me a bit of a history lesson of the area.

As he walked away, back the direction he came from, he let me know the sound of voices were coming from a bar a few feet away where people were slipping out the back door to have a smoke.

The moisture in the air moved on so no need for an umbrella most the time I worked.  Closer to midnight, it became deafening quiet.  The breeze gave a gust now and then.......I was increasingly aware of being alone......and started asking myself why I chose to stand where I was.  IT WAS THE STREET LAMPS IN FRONT OF THE BUILDINGS dummy.

After I dropped off my painting for the Nocturne competition, I drove back around where I spent most of the night.  The street is called Jail Alley and the dark ominous lot that was to my left was a beautiful peaceful garden.  The back entrance to the bar was 2 buildings away from where I was set up.

I ran into our hostess back at the Dairyland Motel and shared my evening happenings with her.  I told her that "Carl" mentioned he knew her.......she immediately asked if he was polite or not.  I said he was & she gave a sigh of relief.   Stated it's a small community where everyone pretty much knows everyone and said this guy was a good man but could be a bit hard to handle after a few alcoholic refreshments.

There John, is my story.  And yes, I learned a lesson here.  Either brush up on "self defense " moves to remain confident when painting alone at night or always partner up with another artist.

Monday, August 14, 2017

"Paint the Point" last week

"Paint the Point" in Mineral Point, WI was an event I participated in for the first time.  It was held this past week Tues., thru Sat.  An artist gathering was held on Tuesday evening with some wonderful appetizers complimented with local brewed beer.  We mingled and introduced ourselves to new paint buddies and sponsors of the event.

This being the first time being in Mineral Point, I had my friend John Preston, (which has participated  the past 3 years ),  take the wheel and drive my friend Carlene Dingman Atwater and I around Tuesday evening to check out the vistas and town of Mineral Point for potential painting compositions.

After having panels stamped at 7am on Weds., I headed out East of town to park along highway 39 and paint this view looking NW.  Photo's a bit washed out but you get the jest of the 14"x11" panel.  This work, along with the one below, SOLD during the Public viewing and sales on Saturday.  WhooHoo!

 Thursday I decided to hang out on Mineral Point's High Street which is the heart of some pretty awesome stone built buildings that house artist Studios, Deli's, Boutiques and other fine businesses.  If you're not familiar with the community, it's mainly an artists haven for potters, contemporary painters, and creative souls in general.  Mineral Point is approx. 39 miles SW of Madison, WI.

Below is the shop of a very talented weaver that specializes in high end fine scarves and clothing.  The owners did most the restoration work on the building themselves....including the removal of asbestos tiles on the floor. They hired a local carpenter to recreate the store front to as close to the original look as possible.  The doors alone are a solid 3 inches of beautiful Oak.  Glass in the windows have waves in it to look as authentic to antique glass as possible.  It was fun painting the reflections as wavy water. was the colorful wind socks that drew me in......they screamed to me..... "You W-A-N-T to paint me"!    I started this 12"x 9" oil one day and came back the next morning to finish it.

I've gotta learn to talk and paint at the same time.  I had a GREAT time visiting with passersby and overall this week, I've learned a lot about the origins and happenings of this historic town.

(P.S.  I took artistic license and added flower pots on the sidewalk.  The owner said she had the exact type of pots on the back porch of the building and offered to move them out front for my.... I met friendly/helpful people at every turn.