Sunday, February 23, 2014

Current work on easel.....

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Here I've decided to start a painting on stretched canvas size 40"x30".  You can see to the far left a photo of a couple standing in grass in front of a canvas tent. (by the color chart)

 I took this picture at a Civil War Enactment in 2011.  They were set up near the Des Moines River in Bonaparte, IA.

 ~click on image to enlarge~
I decided to back up to get a wider shot here so you could see more of the studio space I have my easels set up.  I took down my old collage on the wall when I brought home my 4x8 insulation foarmboards  from the studio in Bentonsport.  I've covered them with canvas drop cloths.  

I mounted one here and created small shelves using foamboard propped up with large sewing pins.  I can set the 6x6 panels I paint on them to dry and view before they're framed.

This studio space has enough room for 3 people to work with plenty of space around each person......4 people max.   You can barely see Obie laying on the pulled out chair from the table that's been shoved up next to the wall and has narrow shelving on it.  I can easily fit 2 table easels there.  

 Oh he's jumped up on the computer chair watching my fingers do there thing. ...s-l-o-w-l-y he's reaching out like he wants to help.  I'm NEVER alone.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Alla Prima Paint out with Artist Reception 2-8-2014

I'm moving slow today....fighting a flu bug I think gifted from my hubby.  He was home from work last week with it...feels better it's my turn. :(  So, below are some pictures that  my friend Jeanette Corley took of the art event "Alla Prima" paint out and the beginning of my artist reception that was held Feb. 8th 2014. 

 Showing the technique I've been using with 6x6 pastel paintings
View towards left of walking in the FMAAA Gallery door
view of my easel with a shot of me being serious.
Definitely posed here!
Connie Morris working in front of the large oil paintings that are part of this show.
Carlene Dingman Atwater working beside Connie.......
Carroll Michalek beside Carlene.....
View of 2013 and what I had completed in January for this years (2014) 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge created by artist Leslie Saeta
where some of the pictures are hanging for this month's show and.......
another view of the first artwork seen in the one person show called "Gin Lammert: After 2009" at the FMAAA Gallery in Fort Madison, IA  

The show is open to the public and will be hanging until  Feb. 27th.  Gallery location is 825 Ave G (downtown Fort Madison, IA) and hours Tues. -Sat. 10am to 5pm.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

"Curled up in a ball"

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6"x6" Pastel on board
Guess I'm not done with painting images of our beloved cat Wabbles.  Here's another example of using the gouche paints as an underpainting, then finishing the picture with soft pastels.  

......And.......I'm not done yet :D  I have at least 2 more photos of Wabbles I plan to work from.  Then it's our new member of the family, Obie, that will be my next model.  He will be a challenge since he's a black & white kitty.  

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


~click image to enlarge~
6"x6" Pastel on board
I Love the contrast here....Wabbles was watching a lady bug crawl across the floor ...hunter instincts kicking in, waiting to pounce. The light source is from our South facing picture window.

Again, I've used the gouche paints to establish my value range, then I block in colors with my soft pastels. I'll be sharing this technique of underpainting in a class this summer for the Villages Folk School.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Profile Pose

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6"x6"  pastel on board
I really like the affect of using gouche (opaque watercolors) to establish my value range before applying soft pastels.  I haven't tried this in a larger format yet.  I've been staying with small 6x6 to 8x8 squares lately.

I'm feeling ready to branch out to larger sizes.  We'll see what today be continued.......

Monday, February 10, 2014

Look into my eyes......

~click on image to enlarge~
6"x6" Pastel on board
Good puppy! I love Labs. I had a black lab years ago and treasure the memories of her.  At the time, a lot of change was going on in my life. So much so, I was forced to find a nice couple to adopt my girl Shadow.  My daughter kept tabs on her (too painful for me to do at the time).  I did know in my heart, she was loved and that's what matters the most to me.

We can't always control the circumstances around us, only how we react to them. In stating this, I realize it's only up to me to continue pursuing my dream of being a prosperous contemporary artist/teacher (and staying healthy while creating).  I have the access to material, place to work, and TIME to devote to studio work. (and workout for the other topic I've mentioned.....good health).

I hope all that read this post today understand where I'm coming from.  We all have our own paths to follow.  I'm ever grateful for the ones I've crossed.  Too philosophical this dance club music is playing (Paul VanDyke)....time to go workout , then hit the easel :D

Sunday, February 9, 2014

"In my Comfort Zone"

~click image to enlarge~
6"x6"  Pastel on board  SOLD
Here's the finished work that I created during our 1st (and maybe  an annual event?) "Alla Prima" Paint Out held yesterday at the FMAAA Gallery in Fort Madison, IA.

We had a good turn out and decent weather for Winter here in Southern Iowa.  The forecast was for 1 to 2" of snow...didn't happen.  

This picture is of our cat Wabbles taking a nap in one of her favorite spots......the back of the couch above Keith's head (my hubby).  She has  3 special places in our house where she lands for her long naps. I like the play of shadows and light in this picture.
Here you can see where my easel set up is at the far right (hadn't started sketching yet)  and close up of my good friend Anita Lee working away.  We wanted to use more of the natural light coming in the large South facing windows, so we're located in the front 3rd of this space.
Here's a closer shot of the other ladies that showed up to paint.  Connie Morris, Carlene Atwater, and Carroll Michalek.   I, unfortunately, didn't take more pictures.  I had a few friends snapping away and as soon as I get ahold of those shots, I'll post them here. Another person joined our small group of painters a little later...Jeanette Corley. 

Overall, we had a productive and fun afternoon.  I have to shout out another THANKS to the FMAAA Director and his staff for hosting both this event and my show. They put together a nice spread of snacks and drinks for the reception.

Artwork will be hanging here until the end of this month.  The gallery is located at 825 Ave. G in Fort Madison's downtown district.  Gallery hours are Tues. thru Sat.-10am to 5pm. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

"Happy" #20 of 30 paintings...(not in 30 days anymore since it's February)

6"x6" Pastel on board

This face just makes a person smile :D   I was looking through my reference files and came across the picture of this guy.  He just looked at me with those big brown eyes and said "Pick me....Paint me!"

I normally would've chosen a different color for the background.  Maybe something darker in value.  It's amazing how our moods and first impressions govern the outcome of our thoughts. (I needed to see something that reminds me of the Sun)  This color really complimented this little guy and I always think of yellows as "energy" and "happiness".  What better color to use behind that smile!

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Here's the set up......
basic line work for composition......
gouache underpainting to establish light to dark values.......
~Click picture to enlarge~
Finished 6"x6" Pastel on board

I like the title for this one....simply put as ...."Friends"!  The composition is  interesting because of the placement of the fruit and overlapping of shadows.  The challenge for me was finding the right "Reds" to match the right values(tones).   I start out thinking of colors for three basics...highlight, middle tone, and  darkest value.  Most the reds I have fall in the first range .....highlights. 

Then there is temperature....warms and cools.  Ah, the art of problem solving :D  I love a simple still life.

After painting this picture, I decided I needed to change my pastel box. I have an Easyl tripod and box made by Artwork Essentials.  I had divided the inside into 12 compartments.  
 As you can see from this photo,my pastels are aligned showing lights to darks and warm to cool.  This set up is something I constantly repeat in my pastel classes.  If your set up of color remains consistent and organized like this, it saves time in figuring out what color will work where.
I emptied my traveling box and put all the pastel pieces  into the  wood box my very first set of Rembrandt's came in. (1995).  I didn't realize I had so many sticks.  I've not been using all these luscious colors  when giving demos and plein air painting.   I tend to use the box of colors you see here at the top of the photo.  After careful measuring (before I emptied the easyl box) I discovered the Sennelier Pastel set I'm favoring these days will fit nicely in the easyl box.  Yea!!!!!!!!!!! it's lighter too :D

My dream has been to own a large set of expensive pastels.  One of those sets of 550 sticks or more.  I'm finding I don't think I really need all those lovely colors.  It's easier working with a limited palette.

Story time...............................
This reminds me of a road trip many years ago where we stopped to pick up a snack while filling the car with gas.  My son stood in front of the candy bar rack looking so perplexed.  He couldn't decide which candy bar he wanted.  We had to finally choose one for him.  Just too many choices.    Looking at the pastels at the bottom half of this picture gives me the same feeling....too many beautiful colors to choose from.  So, they're packed away for now.  I'll remember to look through these boxes before running to the store when I think I'm out of a favorite color.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Poppy in Pastel

Here's the set up

Here's the underpainting with Gouache 
Establishing value range and blocking in color.

 ~click on image to enlarge~
Here's the finished work!
6x6 Pastel on board

First off.....I've FINALLY gotten my camera setting on the right auto focus.  It's an old Kodak and has been acting up.  When I've been cancelling the flash, it would pop up with all kinds of images for the auto setting and leave faster then I could change it.  I managed to work fast and found one that I think will have my images a bit better in focus.  We'll see.....

So, the pictures above pretty much sum up the lighting and progress on this little gem.  ....and yes....I'm counting these small works I'm posting as part of last month's challenge of 30 Paintings/30 Days.  

I had to "stop the clock" , so to speak, to finish up works that are hanging in the one person show at the Fort Madison Art Center, 825 Ave G....downtown Fort Madison, IA.  (another plug here :D  )  The artists reception is this coming Sat., Feb. 8th 2-4pm.  As a BONUS.....a fellow artist, Carlene Atwater (she lives in Fort Madison) and I planned a gathering of sorts to happen the same day.  

We titled it an "Alla Prima" paint out and invited local artists to join us in painting at the center, beginning 2 hours before the official reception.  The artists have the option of continuing painting during the reception and promote themselves as well.  So far, there will be 6 of us, including myself, that plan to participate.   We'll see how it goes.......I'll post pics here!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Turned toward the light

6x6 Pastel on board
I'm back to creating small works.  This time using pastels instead of oils.  I'm actually finishing the 30 paintings Challenge.  I didn't make it in 30 Days. :(  (Stopped to work on 36"x48" oil for the show hanging in Fort Madison, IA this month)

This painting of Saucer Magnolia's was created by using a Gouache underpainting, then applying soft pastels on top to create the finished work.

I've been experimenting with watercolor as an underpainting.  Gouache works much better at filling in dark areas.   I definitely don't use as much pastel this way.  Also faster to get to the end result I'm looking for.  I'm anxious to try this method in plein air painting.  It will be awhile before I venture outdoors.  I think our High is suppose to be only 8 degrees tomorrow.  In the Teens today.

Hmmmmmmm flowers make me think of Spring and W-A-R-M  weather! Winter time and snow has its own beauty.......I'm just anxious for  warmer temps.