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Showing posts from January, 2015

30 Day Challenge #30 LAST DAY - Watching

                                                                 Pastel/Velour Paper
"Watching" was kind of the kickoff for my challenge work.  This was one of the first paintings I did going back to my beloved pastels but using a different support from pastel paper.  "Watching" gave me the encouragement to start down a new path.  And for many of the last challenge days I have painted on both velour and sanded supports.  I think now I have used them enough that I will be able to determine by subject which support might provide the best look, but still think you get some great looks on mi-teintes papers as well. 

For 2015 I promised myself I would concentrate more on one media, pastel, and while I am glad to stay more with my pastels going forward I also want to dedicate myself to learning to work…

30 Day Challenge #29 - Lioness

                                                                 Pastel/Sanded Paper

This is the same lioness I have used for several pictures and as I line them up she doesn't look the same in any of them.  This time I tired making my own sand paper support, get this, using clear gesso on paper (because it is paper be sure to put coats of gesso on both sides as it reduces curling).  I guess when you check both white and clear gesso, each have a certain grittiness, but clear seems to have just a tad more.  I think too, that is why most canvas has gesso coats, to give the oil/acrylic something to adhere to.  It makes a pretty rough surface so I gave it a try.  Again trying out an abstract background - still have no idea of why or when to put colors, just getting rid of the white of the paper.  I know there must b…

30 Day Challenge #28 - Turquoise Reflections

Turquoise Reflections
                                                                Pastel/Sanded Paper

What I know about cars might fill up a thimble.  But like many Americans I am fascinated with the chrome, shiny colorful finishes and of course that it continues to run.  Thanks to Sue at PMP for this wonderful reference of an antique car.  I want to do this again but with color pencils as I think that will indeed give me the glossy look that would make the chrome and paint shine and do this car justice.  But for sake of time and speed this is done with pastels.  Again I used the blue palettes that I don't normally every mess with and find the rich colors refreshing.

Thanks for stopping by and hope you are having a great week.

30 Day Challenge #27 - Surfs Up

Surfs Up
                                                                  Pastel/Sanded Paper

Ok, getting to where I am counting down the days now, only 3 more to go for 30, 4 if you want to do a pictures each day of the actual month.  Since we are cold guess I am thinking of the tropics and waves came to mind.  Trying to capture the light reflecting through the wave.  This was also about using colors I don't normally use.  Since I don't do a lot of landscapes I don't use a lot of greens.  Am going to change that at some point, so today might be the start.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great painting week.

30 Day Challenge #26 - Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams
This is Fergie, my dog niece.  She belongs to the neighbors, but as soon as they let her out of her gate she is on her way to the door to our porch.  She has boundless energy and tells the story of whatever she is talking about that day.  She is curled up on the couch here getting her beauty sleep and is one of the picture references I have. I have another that I am going to try to do an oil of, but thought this was just a precious bundle of fur.

Thanks for stopping by and hope you are having a good Monday.

30 Day Challenge #25 - Tree

Here is an ink sketch of the bones of a tree.  Drawing trees is something that is really good especially in the winter months where there are no leaves and you can clearly see the structure of the tree.  Each tree has its own look, shape and many of us can easily recognize the type just from a silhouette. 

Thanks for stopping by and hope you are having a great weekend.

30 Day Challenge #24 - Lady with Parasol

Lady with Parasol
WARNING:  this may be more information than you want to know - but this is how my mind works.  This morning woke up to yet another dreary and rainy day, so thought, today I should paint an umbrella.  This is a beautiful shot of a recreation with live models from PMP, photographer is Lynne Fearman.  Anyway it was on about page 20 of umbrella shots and boy it reminded me of Monet's "Madame Monet on the Cliff ".   This is a beautiful picture at the Portrait Museum in DC.  Now, breathe, not the way it is painted, the pose reminded me of Monet (one could only dream and wish to paint like the impressionists).  Anyway while it is gray, rainy and cold I spent this morning with whites, grays and blues trying to make white - which i…

30 Day Challenge #23 - Night Train

Night Train
                                                 White Color Pencil/Artagain Black Paper

I pulled this photo off of PMP quite some time ago, but knew immediately when I saw this Ruth Archer photo I was going to have to try to do it.  I have a spreadsheet where I pull the link and photographers name so you can easily give attribution to the photographer.  Well, I couldn't find who did this or locate it in PMP for a while, but it was featured again, so thanks Ruth for this shot.  I think I will do it again, larger and when I have more than one day to complete it because I just love bringing out the lights from the dark support.   This like buildings, is quite a tedious and hard challenge for me as you have the perspective thing, and there are lots of straight lines, things that (should) line up and are really struc…

30 Day Challenge #22 - Flemingo Dancer

Flamingo Dancer
Absolutely love the dramatic angle of the body and hands.  Also like the challenge of the flowing dress and of course the polka dots.  This is a picture of a performing flamingo dancer from Tampa's Yubor City  and takes me right back to the wonderful floor shows at the Columbia.  This is a pastel piece done on mi-teintes paper so plenty of blending and blurring going on.  Day #22 and I am really just counting down happily at this point.

Thanks much for stopping by.

30 Day Challenge #21 - Grand Canyon Study

Grand Canyon Study
Ok, back in the saddle so to speak.  I have a picture of the Grand Canyon I want to do, on a 20"x20" canvas, which is huge for me.  So I am doing a few studies using oil and also trying to get the feel again for the technique that I need to show the rocks and strata layers that make the Grand Canyon so unique.  As you can see this isn't as tight as I usually work, so also am trying to get that looser feel, but my looser tends to end up fuzzy, hmmmmm.  I probably am going to have to do a couple more studies, maybe some of the actual reference, just sections, to work through problems.  I am struggling trying to get the colors I need because I have such a limited palette.   I think I can use some regular oil colors with the water…

30 Day Challenge #20 - Iblis

Oh boy, today we are 2/3's of the way through this challenge and that means we are closer to being done than not.  Right now I am really ready, but am plodding along and feel that my work is reflecting that mental attitude.  There are a couple hundred artists posting daily, so I think I am feeling in the minority at this point, everyone is just chugging along. 

Want to do another Grand Canyon painting so I am working on Grand Canyon oil studies and it isn't ready to post as yet, hoping tomorrow if I can get it to look like I'd like it to.  Building rocks, really trying to paint looser and mixing colors from my limited palette is  slowing me down.  So, I am posting this study I did in a couple of hours, using again a very limit…

30 Day Challenge #19 - Dappled Light

Dappled Light
                                                               Pastel/Sanded Paper
This is a small pointillist quick pastel on olive colored sanded paper trying to depict the dappled light you get in the forest.  Got bogged down this morning time-wise with issues with blogger not loading and needed to get something on paper for today.

I think I have hit the point in the challenge where I am really ready for it to be finished so I can get onto larger projects.  But just got to grit my teeth and get through the next 12-13 days.  Here my teeth grinding!!

Thanks for stopping by and hope your week begins well.

30 Day Challenge #18 - The Conversation

The Conversation

Rothko - watch out and move over!!  Here is my official first abstract.  Inspiration hits at the strangest times and while I have been playing with abstract backgrounds never thought I would do a painting.   But ...  Listening to AHA radio show, Leslie Saeta's weekly Artists Helping Artists show they mentioned a resource where you  could get title name suggestions and one had to do with perky conversations.  Well this painting jumped into my head, couldn't get it out so here it is.  Don't know if this is perky - dear reader you have to determine what this conversation is about - I know I have my idea!!!

I put two coats of gesso on the front and one on the back of a piece of matboard.  Gesso does three things:…

30 Day Challenge #17 - Fall Leaf Gold

Fall Leaf Gold
                                                                    Marker/Gold Leaf
Ok I got to say that unlike Leslie, this is starting to wear on me a bit and still seems like an endless time before the end.   While I paint most days I don't try to get something done, and I am wishing I could work on something a bit longer and slower.  But on the bright side I have gotten to paint some things I've thought about for a while, experimented with new media, supports and generally enjoyed my studio time. 

Felt like trying an experiment today, and this is something I heard about from one of Leslie Saeta's co-hosts on AHA radio show (I think it might have been Carrie Waller), not sure what she did but she said she did gold leaf in one of the earlier challenges.  So this is just a simple fall leaf wit…

30 Day Challenge #16. Chippie

Chippie                                             7"x5"                                  Pastel/Sanded Paper
Well we are officially half way through the challenge and I am still alive.    YESSS!!!!!  We have a couple of chipmunks (today's inspiration) which provide us with lots of entertainment when we sit on the porch.   Hey, we are easy to entertain.   Whatever is added to the garden becomes both the birds and all the animals territory and they always check it out and use it.  While digging my garden I unearthed a huge rock which we stood up, as it looked like a statute, a man in a robe, and added a zen look to the garden.  Well Chippie loves to crawl up, it about two foot high, and sit on top of it to survey his territory.  He will sit a few minutes or make a quick stop but also will lay on top of it for long periods, maybe sunning himself before he runs off to check under the bird feeder.  Occasionally if he is feeling bo…

30 Day Challenge #15 - Pretty Boy Harry

Pretty Boy Harry 7"x5" Pastel/Velour Paper I don't know why but I haven't done many regular cats, only cats have been of the big African variety.  So I am remedying that situation with Pretty Boy Harry.    This is from PMP and the photographer is Neil Cartwright.  Harry just looked so peaceful and I loved the soft long silky hairs and the subtle color blends in his dark fur.  Thanks for stopping by and enjoy today.

30 Day Challenge #14- Blueridge Sunrise

Blueridge Sunrise 7"x5" Oil Well one of the best things about doing the challenge is that you don't have to have super high expectations and can experiment without fear of failure.  So this is taking my trying to get loose into an abstract, simplified look at the sunrise over the mountain ranges of the Blueridge.  You look out when you are at elevation and all you see are countless ridges flowing to the horizon.   They are eternal just like the waves rolling in off of the oceans.  24 hours a day, 7 days a week, they have been here forever regardless of the day or the weather.   It is so refreshing and peaceful to survey God's creation.  Thanks for stopping by and hope you are having a great week.

30 Day Challenge #13 - Really!?

Really!!? 9"x12"                                                                               Oil I just love the expression on this Boston Terrier's face.   Oh yeah, if a dog could talk!!  This is Izabella's best bud and came as part of her reference photos.  Previously I did this dog on scratchboard and thought I'd try him in my new found medium of oil.  Also to surprise my hubby I thought I would do most of the body as I usually do the heads and he always asks why not the complete dog. If I continue in this I am going to have to either replace my water mixables or get some real oils as these tend to get pretty dry and gummy buildup if I use it thick in places.   That might just be the nature of these types of oils and not using oil medium it may always be drier.  Of course I am just using matboard pieces as the support and not canvas so not sure if that would make a difference either.  Not sure how long it will take for these to dry and since they are on pap…

30 Day Challenge #12 - Cruising

Cruising 7"x5" Color Pencil/Pastel Well this little guy is out for a swim.  What drew me to this was trying to see if I could get the water look and of course the fluffy little bundle who is just paddling away.  Thanks for stopping by and hoping you are having a good Monday.

30 Day Challenge #11 - Licorce

Licorce ACEO Pastel/Sanded paper One of the best things about drawing is getting to eat the props.  Not only do these look good and colorful, they taste good too!  Today I took a little breather as the picture I am working on isn't finished and I didn't want to do a WIP shot.  1/3 of the way through this challenge but feel I am receiving benefits from the pressure to do something presentable daily.   So hanging onto that will try to plow into the last 2/3s of the days. Thanks for stopping by and hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

30 Day Challenge #10 - Bella in Oil

Bella 5"27" Oil This is Bella, a friend's Beagle puppy, think she is 8 months.  Anyway she asked if I wanted to use her for the challenge and sent me a picture.  I decided to try the oils again but did it on canvas paper instead of matboard, which has a slippery surface.  I am not real sure of the colors but I think they are close, I am working with a very limited palette and couldn't get exactly what I was looking for, but in sunlight pictures she is pretty rusty.   The light beige is where I ran into mixing trouble, got either too white, yellow or burnt sienna - ah well.  She sure looks like a cutie.  Have sent to Diane and hoping to hear back from her with her reaction.  Hoping she will like it and that is actually looks like Bella.  Haha
In just 24 hours since I hung the oils with caps down the consistency of the paint has improved a bit, but I have to continually wet them on the palette as they are drying out.  When I first put them out, and found with oils you…

30 Day Challenge #9 - Lioness Oil

Lioness 8"x10" Oil Had a lot of fun today, but sooooo far outside my comfort zone.  If you have followed me for a while you know I don't paint loose ( not that this really qualifies as real loose but for me it is), I don't do abstract (I am calling the background abstract) and I don't do oil.  So today - what the heck, it's time for some fun and not take myself too seriously in this challenge.  That is what the challenge is for to experiment and not think you are going to make quality pictures every day.  So this piece is done in oil on a piece of matboard.  I have had the oils for many years, never used much and so had to reconstitue them.  I now have them hanging cap down with binder clips on the crimped end attached to paperclips attached to a drawer with a lip.  I am hoping that the oil will move back down so that it isn't hard as a rock and gets to be smooth and buttery again.  May have to end up and replace, but will try this and see what happens. …

30 in 30 Challenge #8 - Windswept

Windswept 8"x10" Pastel/Black Matboard Just took a hot apple pie out of the oven and I should have my house on the market to sell, because anyone coming in would definitely feel homey and get hungry.  :)
An artist I really admire told me to practice tonality, and I try to do so occasionally, work from a black and white photo and just choose a limited palette.  Since I was mentally tired today I decided to try to do a tonal piece and something that didn't have a lot of detail in it.  Am a bit worried because I am actually tired and only a quarter of the way into this.  Hobby Lobby sells packs of matboards centers and you get all kind of boards and colors, mostly non-acid, for about 50 cents each.  Got a smooth black matboard and went at it.  Almost the biggest challenge was to break up the solid black hair mass, especially on the right-hand side.   thanks for stopping by and hope you are doing well if you are in the challenge and stay warm - we have next 36 hours not get…

30 in 30 Challenge #7 - Lady in Red

Lady in Red 7"x5"                                                  Color Pencil/Hot Press Watercolor Paper
Week 1 of the challenge is history!!!!!    And yes, I did sing the song the whole time I worked on this.
I thought Leslie put it very well yesterday "But this is the time where the novelty starts to wear off and it's really easy to come up with a reason not to complete the challenge. Painting 30 paintings in 30 days is not easy."
Saw another artist on PMP do an interpretation of this photo and just loved it so had to try myself.   Also wanted to see if I could make her look like she was lookingY up.   Did do this on hot press watercolor paper I inadvertently ordered and since it's smooth wanted to see how it worked against Stonehenge (because I sure can't paint on it).   It does have a little texture and really takes the graphite, even makes a 4H pencil look very dark.   In the photo she has a really elaborate scarf hood type thing on and want t…

30 in 30 Challenge #6 - Norma's Eye

Norma's Eye 9"x12" Pastel/Sanded Paper (terracotta) Ok, it is kind of a strange subject, but I just love to do eyes, so....   Thanks to AinslieG at Paint My Photo for her reference photo of her first horse.   While not a horse person I think their eyes really are the windows to what they are thinking, plotting or scheming to do to us. Oh wow, just got an email from the owner/photographer and she humbles me: "I am all teary!  You have captured her eye perfectly.  That is her soul coming through.  Wow.  I am really very touched and feel emotional (in a good way!).   I love it. :)"             For an artist, it just can't get any better than that.  Congratulations to Alexander as you guessed a horse, and thanks to Danielle for taking a guess.    This was on my "how good is your imagination" earlier post. This is on the dreaded sanded paper, again I can't get over how it eats the pastel and how it rides on the surface of the paper.  I am going t…

30 in 30 Challenge #5 - Yes, Pigs Can Fly

Yes, Pigs Can Fly 7"x5" Color Pencil/Pastel/Ink Whoopee - we are at day 5, so means almost a week into the challenge.  Got to work on the mental as I am tired and found I had to beat myself this morning to get into the studio.  But finally got there!!! Yep, this definitely is a face that only a mother could love.  But I love the ears and he had really long coarse white hairs sticking out everywhere.  Oh yeah, his expression is priceless.  This came from a reference picture from PaintMyPhoto.ning by photographer Patricia Ann Jones, her title was Mirror, Mirror .... which was cute too.  This is  mostly color pencil, Sakura white pen and pastel for the background on gray paper. Thanks much for stopping by and hope you are having a great weekend.  Lots of football!!!!  Enjoy

30 in 30 Challenge - #4 - Kingfisher

Kingfisher 5"x7" Pastel/Velour Paper This little guy is so cheerful and it is so dreary here that I just had to paint him.  This is another Gary Jones reference.  Please check Gary's wildlife photos out at PaintMyPhoto.ning.  He has such a wonderful eye and is just one of the photographers there that graciously allows us to use the pictures copyright free.  I never have seen a Kingfisher in the wild, not sure they are in our Southeast range. I think now that I am doing enough of these on velour paper am getting some idea of how to manipulate the paper.  It takes a lot of pressure and many layers although it still eats my color.   For storage I am putting them in small plastic bags, curling them as I put them in or taking them out - since this is mostly practice I haven't mounted them on acid free board.   The bags however are big enough to hold a mounted picture and it is a perfect set up for mailing giving it support and easy for a framer to mount as it has the aci…

30 in 30 Challenge #3 - Who's Dat

Who's Dat 7"x5" Pastel/Velour Paper When I was younger I actually collected owls - and then after Harry Potter, well I'm sold.  Actually we have an owl that occasionally flies through our yard during the day, think he lives down by the lake.   This is a horned owl. 
Not too late to join in with the 30 paintings in 30 days, sponsored by Leslie Saeta, just check her website for details,, she also does a weekly radio show on  marketing art, interviews with artists, organization, etc.  According to her post yesterday there are 1,227 artists participating in this challenge - whew that is a lot of crazy people in one place!!  I did more planning this time and having done it once before knew what to expect, so thus far, know it's only 3 days, I am feeling pretty good, not nearly as stressed as last time.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great painting week.  Good week for me so far because all it does is rain in Georgia!!

30 in 30 Challenge #2 - Shades of Pink

Shades of Pink 5"x7" Graphite/Color Pencil on Bristol Board Well this puts me back to summer and heat - not winter, cold and drizzle or downright rain.  I love taking pictures of kids (these days always ask first) and this little girl caught my eye.  She was all dolled up cruising in her stroller at the Birmingham farmers market.   I just loved her coordinated glasses and bow and those little cupid lips - she just gottcha.
Thanks for stopping by and hope you have recovered from New Year's and getting a good start on the new year.

30 Day Challenge #1 - Looking Glass Rock

Looking Glass Mountain - Side View 5"x7" Pastel Well I had so much fun and learned so much last January I figured I would do the 30 paintings in 30 day Challenge with Leslie Saeta and 810 of her closest friends.  While it was a pressure filled time just pushing yourself for the 30 days made you work faster, make efficient decisions and gave some confidence.  I did however try to come up with somewhat of a theme or two, have prepared some of the reference photos I wanted to use and am vacillating on the media to use.
Hope you take the journey with me as I try to enjoy it this go round.
Thanks for stopping by and hope you are having/had a wonderful New Year!!