Thursday, January 31, 2013

Square #30

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Here's the last square for the 30 Paintings/30 Days Challenge by artist Leslie Saeta   I used a 1/4" flat brush to apply the oil to canvas.
The color combination her is Permanent Green Light /Thio Violet mix as the dominate color, Thio Violet, & Naples Yellow.   A Triad combination on the color wheel.
As you can see, the green/violet mix creates a blue-green color.  There's a few touches here and there where it's the pure green.  Otherwise, it is mixed into the other two colors.
I have 3 more squares left on my 24"x18" canvas.  So I hope to finish it by tomorrow and will post the entire set titled: "Rainbow Mix".

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Square #29

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I used 3 colors and white in this 6"x6" square.  The dominate color is Thio Violet with Permanent Green light and Cadmium Yellow Light as the other two.  Titanium White was used to mix into the other colors to create a lighter value.  I used a 3/8" Flat brush to apply the paint.
I've been reading "Mastering Color - The essentials of color illustrated with oils" by Vicki McMurry.  She writes about "Mother Colors" on pages 54/55 of the book (dominate color blended in all the other colors used in a piece will harmonize the work.)
She also shares on these pages examples of two color wheel mixes she created and talks about temperature and value of colors. 
Under a beautiful painting example on p.55 titled "Golden Hills", she has this brief insert......"Every color leans toward one of the primary colors. As you begin mixing colors, ask yourself if the mixture leans to the yellow, red or blue part of the color spectrum.  Understanding this concept, developing your observations and applying this knowledge will save you hours of struggling to find the right color.  A majority of the time, the solution to a problem  to adjust either the temperature or the value of color."
I have to admit, there are so many times I pick up a book and what draws me to it is the illustrations inside and seeing the writing is concise, to the point in a few paragraphs - not pages to read.  This book is filled with beautiful painting examples and  the information is precise, to the point.
The book is published through North Light Books

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Square #28 - 30 Paintings/30 Days Challenge

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I'm a day behind....bad girl....yes, I scold myself from time to time.  Yesterday the house demanded attention.  Clothes too :D
Here is #28 where I used a fan brush to smooth out the brush strokes that I applied paint with.  I also wanted this square to be on the "cool" side and used Pthalo blue in the mix.  And, if you're following, you'll see I change positions of the two fruit in almost each square.......the apple still wants to be in front.  Again, I think it's something about being Red.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Square #27 30Paintings/30 Days Challenge

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Oil on canvas....getting so close to the end of this challenge.  This square was painted with a 1/4" bristle brush. 
I liked laying on the paint with this brush, but it was difficult to create sharp edges.  Maybe if the work was larger than 6"x6" I could accomplish having more control with edge work.
Now on to finishing my 24"x18" canvas of squares.  There are 7 left to paint. A valuable lesson I'm learning about my painting's very difficult for me not to go for detail. Simplifying an object by using one stroke of color and it's value is harder for me then dissecting an area with all the reflections and different hues I see or imagine I do.  
I would recommend this challenge to anyone to try at least once.  Who knows? may discover a technique and/or more about composition by doing this.  So many ideas in my head....not enough time................does this sound like most artists you may know?  Maybe yourself? 
Share with me... 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Squares #25 & #26

Square #26

Square Square #25
#26 shown above is Oil on canvas created using a narrow palette knife.  With #25, I used 2 brushes.  First applied paint with small #4 bright brush - then blended with 1" bristle brush.

#24 30 Paintings/ Days

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6"x6" Oil on canvas
I've added the apple to the "Rainbow Mix" canvas.  If you're new to reading this, I'm following the 30paintings/30 days challenge that artist Leslie Saeta started at the beginning of this month.
What I'm getting out of doing this exercise will be valuable to me in creating other oil and pastel paintings.  Yes, even with pastels.  It's about lighting!  It's about color!  It's about values/tones!  It's about challenging myself to set aside thoughts of major work and doing something "quick- Just Because".
This may not make sense to some of you, but I'm banking most will understand.  I used to write a "To Do List" every serious.   I still have plenty of tasks to do through out the day, but challenging myself to just be free with a certain block of time is liberating.
So,.....about the work above (which I'm THRILLED the "browse" window is back working for me to download images here).....I used a #14 Filbert Monarch Winsor & Newton long handle brush.   A #14 is around 1/2" wide.  Because the brush is a Filbert (arched top), I was able to make a wide variety of strokes.  Still using one brush to create the alla prima square painting.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

#23 of 30 Paintings/30 Days Challenge

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6"x6" Oil on canvas.
THERE IS A MAGIC COMPUTER FAIRY!  I haven't done anything different and all of a sudden(I've been checking each time I post here if I could download an image from my computer)  there is a "Browse" button where I can download images again.
HIP HIP HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  As long as the button is present, I will have something visual for you to look at and no more directing you to my website to view what I'm talking about.
Oh....about this square......I used a #10 long handle Winsor & Newton Bright brush.  I'm now using a full palette (warm/cool colors) to paint the rest of my daily paintings. (Yes, I missed yesterday do to family obligations).  I also tend to use one brush for an entire small Alla Prima painting. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Square #22

Go to  to view.

I firmly believe  strokes of color (or line drawings) reflect how we feel mentally & physically when they are applied.   What I find fascinating with this pear series is when I step back and view how I've approached each square, some seem almost identical while others have a life of their own.

For instance.....#20 says "TA-DA"  while #22 says "tada" and almost the same color scheme is used.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Square #21

Here's the latest of the 30 Paintings/30 Days challenge.

I've also posted on the website the first two finished canvases so you can view what the squares look like next to eachother.  Now on to the last 24x18 canvas.  It will be titled "Rainbow Mix"  and I'm not limiting my palette to paint the subject in each square.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Square #20

Here's day 20 of January already.  I can't believe how fast time seems to be going this month.  Here's #20 of the 30 Paintings/30 Days Challenge.

The exciting thing is, I've sketched designs on 4 canvases this week.  One is 24x36 in size...a commission of a beautiful B & B in Bentonsport, IA.  The others are going to be fun florals.  Starting to receive show announcements in the mail.  I can't decide if I'll attend any outdoor shows this year.  I have a little time left to consider a few local shows. 

Setting up/tearing down at these outdoor shows is a lot of work.  Plus, one never knows what the weather will be like.  I used to do 15 shows a year.  Last year only 1. 

For now, I know I'll be busy helping customers and painting on the easel I have set up inside the Iron & Lace store in Bentonsport. The store will officially open in April for the 2013 season .  I'll be there 5 to 6 days a week until the end of October.  People from around the world find the small community and I enjoy hearing about their travels.

Well......back to work I go!  Anxious to show everything I'm doing.  Pictures will be posted on my website or facebook page.  Enjoy!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

#19 of the 30 Paintings/30 Days Challenge

To view work click here....

This is a version of the Pear where I used a fan brush to soften everything.  I like the affect!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Square #18 posted

Still haven't fixed my upload problem here. So visit my website to see #18.

It's nice viewing the pear squares together there. When all 30 paintings are posted, I'll show the three stretched canvases that are filled with the 6x6 squares.  It's been a fun journey so far.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Square #17 (warm palette)

I used a short handle 1/4"wide brush to paint #17.  (the opposite of #16)  I liked the control and blending I could do with laying on color to canvas with this size brush.  Unfortunately, it proved to be tedious for my hand.  

After having carpal tunnel surgery last year, I'm learning what I should and should not do if I don't want to continue to have issues with my wrists.  I believe my work will be evolving.......adapting a more "painterly" approach to applying paint to substrate (canvas, paper, board, etc.).

So, on to using long handled brushes....a bit wider then 1/4".
To see #17......

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

#16 of 30 Paintings/30 Days challenge

Mixing paint and trying out different color combinations with a limited palette the last 15 days has been one of the BEST exercises for me.   Did I say, mixing paint?

Yes...sounds like I've been really limiting myself.....but when working with color that is pre-mixed, it's easy to develop a routine of just picking up that stick of color (pastel sticks) or rich tube of paint and not pushing to try and do something different  with it other then making that one stroke on canvas or paper.

For me?...that's nothing more then laziness.  January is a good month for changing old habits.  All aspects of tweeking my work habits, ever so slightly,  is spilling over into "other" areas of my life as well.  Such morning ritual of French Vanilla Capaccino (Sugar! Sugar! Sugar!) before doing anything else.

Realizing the comfort foods aren't needed anymore , or at least I've cut back on .....(we're talking my capaccino and chocolate here.) confidence is rising.  I've tapped into that flow of imagination and wonder and look at my surroundings with brighter light.

In stating all this, I leave you with a quote. see painting square #16, click here:

"When you are on the problem, you stay in the problem.
  When you focus on a solution, you move forward toward something that is more in alignment with your passion and joy.
       Seek a solution of what is your passion....... we must be the change we wish to see in the world."

Monday, January 14, 2013

30 Paintings/30 Days #15

I've just posted #15 of my painting challenge. 
Check it out here:
Yes....I'm a day ahead !  (Too much fun to put the brush or palette knife down. )
So far, I feel this has been one of the BEST ways I've ever began a new year. 

For these reasons (and probably a few more).........
1.  I've dusted off reference books that have been sitting too long without my thumbing through them.  (Actually "reading" them....... doing more than just looking at the pictures.)

2.  I'm using different brushes for each square block I'm painting. (some have NEVER been touched).
This process is helping me decide which I really like and those I need to give to someone else to try.

3.  Re-visiting and discovering new color combinations of oil paints on my palette. 

Something I didn't think of before starting this challenge was how I've spent  more time working with the soft pastels and ignoring my tubes of oils.   In doing this, I've developed a laziness with how I choose colors for what I want to create.   Since pastels are already a set color stick, I've had no need to mix and play with different combinations I would normally avoid.

I'm excited about all I'm discovering and plan to create a body of work in 2013 that will be a real eclectic mix of different sizes, subject matter, and medium created in.
Now.....on to square #16 and Happy Creating!     

Friday, January 11, 2013

Still not able to download photos from computer follow my 30 Paintings/30 Days challenge ....continue viewing the new work on my website.  When you go there, please click the link ARTWORK   Go to:

I'm EXCITED....started working on limited palette of "warm" colors.  It's hard to put the brush down after painting a small square.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

30 Paintings/30 Days

Well....I'm having some difficulty with posting pictures here.  I've posted on my Facebook page 2 images of this project I'm taking part in.

Last count that I know of, around 250 artists are starting the new year with painting daily.  30 Paintings/30 Days.  The brain storm of artist Leslie Saeta.  You can read more about this project on her blogspot.

Go to my Facebook page to see the start of my work.  I've marked off 3 canvases size 24"x18" into even 6x6 squares.  Painting a square a day.  I'm sticking with a single Pear as still life subject. 

These are limited palette studies.....I'm playing with different combinations of cool colors , then warm colors on next canvas, and a mix of both on the final canvas.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to download the pics here.  I invite you to click the facebook button at the right and check out the work in progress.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


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Size: 23"x35"  Soft Pastel on Wallis Archival Paper

It's done!  Greens seem a bit brighter here then on the original.  I couldn't adjust the color on my computer to what I liked.'s pretty close.

This is a commissioned work that will be going to California.   The house sits on a Century Farm just NW of Lacey Keosauqua State Park in VanBuren Co., Iowa.  There's a  new house being built and this one will be a fond memory for family members.

I'm honored to be asked to do this piece and I hope it's owner will enjoy it for years to come.