Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Summer of 2011

The summer of 2011 was a great one for painting! I got to take a workshop with Peggi Kroll-Roberts in San Clemente in July, where besides having the opportunity to do some great exercises on values, learning to simplify what I see and use a loaded brush, I also had the best burger I've ever had!! at http://www.ridersclubcafe.com/ Can't stop thinking about it....
But back to the workshop - I really enjoy Peggi's deliberate yet spontaneous brush work and I got this adorable piece of her's to take home and be inspired by.
As a mother myself, it was great to hear her talk about finding opportunities to paint even when her children were small, having them model for short stints by their pool. I also appreciated her telling us about the importance of finding what subject matters call us personally. Finding what we're drawn to as opposed to just painting what everyone else is painting on location is definitely part of the journey as an artist. More information on her work and workshops can be found at
I left the workshop inspired and the first painting I did on location after Peggi's workshop I really focused on painting what I was drawn to and laying down the paint with confidence which made the whole process flow more easily. We painted on Channels Islands and there was this little burger joint/bar next to an art gallery that I was drawn to. I wanted to capture the bluish-grey-green of the building and the splash of complimentary color orange in the umbrellas that really made it pop. On top of that, the place was named Manda's Galley and Manda is the name of my beloved niece Manda whom I miss dearly and who inspires me to paint and do what I love in her honor.
In August our family traveled to Ireland and Sweden and I was determined to bring my gear and do a little painting when possible:-) Ireland was green and luscious and with a lot of wonderful time with family and sick children this was the only sketch I attempted. It does bring back to me the feeling of that last sunlight hitting the fields outside our window and the very still water of the creek even though it's not finished.
In Sweden we stayed at a small island in the archipelago of Stockholm and got to experience some beautiful sunsets together as a family, my mom and sister's awesome cooking and treasure hunts and lingonberry picking with the kids. My dear husband tried to study some and I would steal away to paint, with this one being my best attempt at capturing the colors of the island with it's shrubs and moss.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Paramount Ranch

I absolutely love painting on location and on this particular day I was drawn to the atmospheric effects of a warm California morning. I've realized that there's a particular advantage to working on location for me as well. Besides enjoying nature and learning how to capture what I see I can't work on the painting too long....I have a set amount of time to work, which prevents me(hopefully) from over working it...Still want to get better at making loose, painterly brushstrokes to describe the foliage though.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Painting on location - Plein Air

These are some sketches done on location over the last few months. In the sketch right above, I tried this technique that I learned about in Nathan Fowkes workshop last year.
It seemed so appealing, since it's such a light way to travel. He uses watercolor and white gouache, and he makes it look so easy in his beautiful sketches, but I got a little frustrated by how the colors dry lighter and darker than expected so I've gone back to oil again. I'm really enjoying painting outdoors again and just enjoying the serenity of being in nature.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Printmaking class

I really love the work of David Weidman
so I was excited to take a printmaking class at Moorpark College this spring. Wanting to see if I could create some work inspired by Weidman's great shapes and design it took me quite a long time to figure out how to use the medium to it's advantage, so the fact that our teacher Sexton Stewart was very patient and gave us the creative freedom to take it where we wanted was so helpful. I figured out a few things along the way and the prints below were part of my final project. I like working monochromatically at times but found that with printmaking it almost works better the more contrasting colors you use. And I definitely want to play around making more abstract prints.