Monday, September 30, 2013

30 in 30 - Day 30...."All Sheeped Out"

Oil on Gessoboard

It's funny.  It didn't strike me til I started this post how appropriate it is as the last entry of the 30 in 30 challenge.  Kind of how I feel, a little wiped out.  It's such a great practice and I applaud Leslie for creating this challenge, because I definitely painted more than I would have without it.  I applaud everyone who started, finished or simply gave it a try!  I still have four to add before I do my random drawing for one of my Email Subscriber and Followers to win one of the paintings!!

If you would like to win one of my paintings from this challenge - it's not too late.  

Simply add your email up to the right - or sign up as a Google Follower!  

If you win - it's your pick!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

30 in 30 - Day 29 - Layers of progress

oil on linen on panel

 Spent the day at Malibu Nature Preserve with Allied Artists for the 11th Annual Exhibit.  Sold a few paintings and enjoyed the beautiful weather, talking to collectors and the other artists, but most of all I had the chance to paint and  I got a little closer to reaching 30 paintings in 30 days:-)   The lighting for this scene was what drew me to paint it.  A really dark background with with a back area that looked really cool gray and a very lit up foreground.  I managed to take one picture half-way through when I was playing around with some color choices and the top picture is where I left off at the end of my session. It still needs some finishing touches and adjustments.  Back-lit trees are always a real challenge.   Hope all the 30 in 30 Artists are hanging in there!  Only one day to go!

30 in 30 - Day 28 - Chewie Revisited

oil on Canvasboard

Do you have unfinished paintings hanging out in your studio?  I do for sure.  Some of them just seem to linger, with some unsolved areas just waiting to be resolved.  Leslie's 30 in 30 challenge has come in handy when it comes to taking a second look at some of those stragglers and finding a way to work them out - Because I just have to have a painting done for each of those 30 days...even if I run a few days over:-)

30 in 30 - Day 27 - coming soon

Thursday, September 26, 2013

30 in 30 - Day 26 - Green with Delight

Oil on Gessoboard
to bid

Back to my trusty cars:-)  It just happened several green trucks were lined up next to each other at Cruise Night in Camarillo last month and the late day sun always adds a dramatic ingredient to the mix.
I'm going back tomorrow night!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

30 in 30 - Day 25 - "My Dock"

oil on gessoed board

This cat followed me around when I visited the amazing houseboats in Sausalito just north of San Fransisco this past May.   I had seen them from my car window on my way up to Camille Przewodek's workshop and was determined to figure out how to get off the freeway and get some pictures.   It took me a while, and parking was a little on a dare, but I did it.   
When I was little growing up in Sweden there was a children's show on TV that was all about this lady who lived on a house boat and it seemed like such an idyllic dream life to me.  Seeing all the houseboats in Sausalito was like stepping into another world, and back to the sixties communal living all at once....I tip-toed gingerly around snapping pictures for as long as I could without garnering too much attention by the locals - cat included.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

30 in 30 - Day 24 - Abstract Study - Title Wanted

Oil on Gessoed Board

I did this study today.  Lines and shapes...with something in mind.   I just don't know how abstract or obvious it is?  What do you see?  Can you help me with a title?

30 in 30 - Day 23 - Seed Study

oil on linen on panel
To Bid

This is a semi-abstract study that I feel really happy about!  I like the repetition of color and the varied design of the seeds.  I struggle with an all-out abstract approach.  This seems to be the only way I've figured out how I can approach painting abstractly.  I have to start with something tangible, a concept, idea, objects etc. and then translate it into visual symbols...I can't just start painting out of nowhere...That is too much of an unknown.  This one was the third in a series of paintings on the theme Seeds.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

30 in 30 - Day 22 - Morning Backroads

oil on linen on panel

Every morning we take the back way through hidden valley to take our son to his new school and the other week it was nice and foggy so I went back to capture this scene of a very distinct grouping of trees.  I ended up painting it today at the Thousand Oaks Art Festival.  Painting in public is a nice way for me to get a little more used to talking to passers-by about my process and answer questions.  I was drawn to the trees here and the way the fence created a nice entry into the painting.   Day 22 - 8 days to go and I'm hanging in there...moving a little more slowly though.

Happy Painting!

30 in 30 - Day 21 - Swedish Sun study

Oil on Gessoboard

Snapped a picture of this view in Fjallvik Sweden this summer.  It was a late evening around 8-9PM and of course the sun was still up creating this strong almost blinding light on the water.  It reminded me of the paintings of Russion artist Bato... and I wanted to see if I could figure out how to paint it to get that effect of strong sun light.  I ended up painting the water almost white...but somehow that didn't capture the effect of the sun as well.  I felt like the strongest light needed to be on the boats and the dock...without the light on the water competing.  Painting is a lot of interpretation and problem solving.  Below is the actual photo.
I might try another version of it.    How would you paint it? 

Friday, September 20, 2013

30 in 30 - Day 20 - T.O. Rush Hour

oil on Linen on Panel

This painting will be available at the Thousand Oaks Art Festival which happens this weekend, September 21st and 22nd.   If you can find the Westlake Village Art Guild's booth at the Lakes, you can see more of my work along with our other talented members.
Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza and The Lakes from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • 2-Day Festival
  • More than 60 visual art exhibitors
  • Continuous live performances
  • Children's hands-on artistic and interactive art exhibits
  • Over 12,000 visitors
  • FREE Admission and Parking
  • Smoke Free Premises
  • Wine Tasting at THE LAKES

Next Friday I will be painting at Camarillo Cruise Night for the last time this season...boohoo.
September 27th at 2222 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo between 5PM-7PM
 Have to figure out where else I can get my fill of Classic Cars this fall!

Happy Painting!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

30 in 30 - Day 19 - A Kid's Dream

oil on linen on panel

I'm excited about this one .  I did the under painting in blue quite a while ago and did some of the simple shapes of the tables in shadow and it's just been hanging around since then.  Lots of shadows, and tables and chairs at Kidspace in Pasadena - Every kid's dream of a great day, playing in water, seeing insects and other animals, and over all just exploring, but it could be a little intimidating with all those legs and metal.   What was so fun about this painting was how just adding a few of the other values, the bright sun hitting the ground and some light spots on the girl and her dress and leaving everything else sort of unfinished really worked.  It was sort of like building up, or carving things out...I really liked the process.   Maybe a way I should approach more paintings...?

Somehow got the dates mixed up when I added to Leslie's Challenge...this will go in for day ahead of myself...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

30 in 30 - Day 18 - Laying Low

 Oil on Gessoboard

Had so much fun painting this one.  Gessoboard seems to lend itself to broad strokes of color and that worked well for this subject.  I also allowed myself using my whole palette of color so that gave me a little more freedom.  Day 19 of Leslie's challenge and 11 days to go.  It's been a whirl wind so far and it's not over yet.

30 in 30 - Day 17 - Laundry Interpreted

Oil on Linen on Panel

I took a bunch of pictures of laundry during our stay on a farm in Sweden this summer and I thought this particular scene would be good for trying out a flatter look.   I'm very inspired by artists that find a way to abstract the landscape.   Artists like Mark Daniel Nelson, Catherine Kehoe, Ken Kewley....  Yesterday I saw the work of Ilya Gefter... on the website Painting: Powers of Observation and I wanted to see if I could play around with the shapes and lines like he did.  I used a palette knife to do the laundry, was inspired by Camille Prezewodek's color in the background and did my favorite high-up focal point and tried to just paint areas of flat color.  
Things got a little mixed up in the foreground...How do you abstract a big area of flower shrubs - flatten them out?....I didn't quite know and it ended up looking a little like two different painters worked on it...I might take a look around to see how other artists have solved it...
I do like the feeling of light that happened though.

Happy Painting!

Monday, September 16, 2013

30 in 30 - Day 16 - Just One...

oil on linen on panel
I knew it as soon as I saw her,  our one little rabbit who hangs out in the front yard.  I knew I would want to capture the light coming through those ears.    For this painting I started with an orange underpainting and I then tried using a limited palette...   I was inspired by the posting of this artist, NJ Darling.  She is also doing the challenge and I loved her cow painting.   
 I have to admit that I wasn't entirely successful in keeping to that palette...a little yellow seem to have found it's way in.   But the next time I do it, I'm going to stick to the red, white, yellow ochre and black, because I was really amazed how many color combinations those few colors can create.  I think I might need to get red oxide to really make it work...
Does anyone know more about that color?

30 in 30 - Day 15 - Beach in sight

oil on linen on panel

This was painted on the beach of Leo Carillo, the dog-beach part.  Spent a lovely morning there with my good friend Daggi, and today I just figured out what this painting needed.  - A figure to show the actual scale of those trees.  With some reference I focused on putting in the highlights and shadow areas to help it read, but keeping it fairly loose.  This painting will be available at the up-coming

I will also have a few paintings at the Thousand Oaks Art Festival this weekend September 21-22
You can find me at the Westlake Village Art Guild booth!
More info here

Saturday, September 14, 2013

30 in 30 - Day 14 - Stick Time

oil on linen on panel

Both my boys love playing with sticks and are always asking to take them home.   As a result I have to constantly get sticks out of my car...and quietly re-unite them with their nature friends...  This little guy is a friend of ours and he likes to play with sticks as well.   I really enjoyed painting this one.  Focusing on simple strokes and lots of color.  We'll see if anyone recognizes him:-)

30 in 30 - Day 13 - One More Stay

oil on linen on panel

Today I met with several artists from Allied Artists to paint at Topanga State Beach.   I have wanted to paint the Old Topanga Ranch Motel across the PCH there for a while so I was excited to get to this paint-out.   You can read an article here about the motel and when it closed.  It's another one of those iconic landmarks from years gone by and I was drawn to paint the sun hitting the buildings and of course the orange/red and green roofs.   Had some success keeping it painterly, but I probably could have kept it more usual:) 

The way it goes with plein air painting...I ended up having to leave in a rush...I had made the mistake of spraying sun-screen in my face before I got started.   I thought I was being very responsible, but as the bottle says... you're not supposed to spray it directly in your face?   When I realized that my burning and runny eyes were not due to a nearby fire...(I had seen some firetruck whizzing by and then smoke, well actually the fog rolled in)  I decided to pack it up.

My eyes finally got better after splashing water in them repeatedly...but I wont do that again.

Happy Painting!

30 in 30 - Day 12 - Coming Soon

30 in 30 - Day 11 - Coming Soon

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

30 in 30 - Day 10 - Shadow Study

Oil on Gessoboard

I spent today working on some bigger pieces and this was my study for one of them.   There's some exhibits coming up that I want to enter and I'm working hard at creating some larger work.
Dan Schultz wrote an interesting post on the difficulty of getting started on larger studio work...and I could really relate.  You can read more here and see if you agree.   I'm glad to know I'm not alone.  Painting plein air and small studies seems so simple compared to starting a larger piece that I've planned out.   There's a greater investment in wanting it to work out.

Happy Painting!

Monday, September 9, 2013

30 in 30 - Day 9 "Butt, Mom..."

oil on Gessoboard

I decided to paint another little one.  This one waiting patiently for mom, who's engrossed in art and/or conversation at an exhibit at King Gilette's Ranch earlier this year.   The girl was all in shadow and you'd think that I'd want the subject lit up, but in this case it made for a nice effect having clearly stand out from the background.   After listening to AHA - Artists Helping Artists with hosts Leslie Saeta and ...  Ken Auster last Thursday and their conversation on titles...I'm paying a little more attention to not spelling it out as much...Had a lot of fun with my husband thinking of titles for this one.  I didn't go for "Mom Jeans".  I might need to add some pockets though...

30 in 30 - Day 8 - Remembering Mother's Day

Version 1

 Version 2

oil on gessoboard

For today's challenge of day 8 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days I decided to tackle a painting that needed something changed.  You can see the painting on top above.  

After I took Camille Przewodek's workshop in May of this year I painted this bouquet of flowers out in my back-yard.  We had done a lot of palette knife painting in the workshop so I used a palette knife and set up my still life in over-head sun in front of a brick wall wanting to capture the warmth of the sun.

I painted what was there in front of me, but something about the subject didn't work for me.   The color combination just seemed a little lack-luster...
It wasn't until I saw this painting of "Backlit Sunflowers" by Eric Merrell that I hit me.  That wall in the back-ground just didn't do anything to set off the colors of the flowers.   What I like about Eric's still life is the color combination.   His flowers with that back-ground reminded me of Camille's way of capturing the warmth of the sun hitting a subject.  And Eric is a master with colors!  He also has a unique way of simplifying his values with his beautiful signature brush strokes.

So today, in my second version, I changed the background to a cooler blue.  I also worked on the shadow of the flowers hitting the table cloth and warmed them both up.

Does it make a difference?  Let me know what you think!

30 in 30 - Day 7 - Playing on abstract

Decided to paint some abstracts this weekend and started on a few small (of course:) 6x6s to just see where it would take me.  I have no idea why the process of painting abstractly is so difficult?  It just seems like the process is so different than what I do when I paint in a representational way.  Do I start without knowing what to do and just go for it?...or do I take a concept, or something representational and figure out an abstract way of expressing it?  The second choice at least gives me a road-map...which I need!

 I did a few of my experiments just putting down colors I enjoy - turquoise and orange - in a random way.  I will post these again after I've worked on simplifying the design and the colors.   Figuring out what to take away, which is just as important as what you put in they tell me:-) and maybe that is part of the process with abstract painting. Put it down and edit, edit edit...

After these I painted three more, trying to simplify an experience down to just shapes and colors...again, another challenge...I will post those also when they are more resolved.

Happy Painting!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

30 in 30 - Day 6

French Charm
oil on linen on panel
to Purchase

I go out painting on location with Allied Artists of the Santa Monica Mountains and Seashores.   This one Saturday I had the old location for our paint out and it ended up taking me about 2 hours to get to the right location...Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades.  It was an unexpected surprise when I finally arrived to see some beautiful classic cars from the thirties on display for a fundraiser that evening, especially since I'm so drawn to paint cars these days....Everyone was impressed with this 1937 Delahaye Type 135-M Cabriolet
...., including the young lady posing.
 I'm glad I didn't give up and go home! 

You can see this painting on display along with Pastel, Watercolor and Oil Paintings done by a great group of artists painting to support conservation groups on
Sunday September 29th, from 11AM-5PM
at Allied Artists 11th annual Exhibit at the Malibu Nature Preserve 
33905 Pacific Coast Highway

Friday, September 6, 2013

30 in 30 - Day 5 "Shamu Waiting"

oil on Gessoboard

This is a girl I saw at sea world last year.  Looked like she could have been part of a school field-trip - or she just happened to be wearing a back-pack.  I enjoyed painting her, the colors of her hat and back-pack against the rocks, and her delicate face...seeming to be on the lookout for something.  I started with my alarm set for 37 exercise I've mentioned in an earlier post, but I went over time as I wanted to refine her face.  And I felt pretty good about the result, not too much noodling:-). 

I then went on to spend an hour and a half trying to perfect the proportions on another little girls face....which ultimately seemed like a total waste of time! Especially working on such a small's lesson learned...if you want to paint faces - paint bigger!!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

30 in 30 - Day 4 "Car study in Progress"

Oil on Gessoboard
Car study in progress

This is a piece in progress!   I started out with an almost black color to help establish the darkest values and aid me with the composition by having just 2 values.  I'm now at the stage where I've laid in the basic colors working on keeping it simple and reading well.  I thought I'd still post it even if it's not finished just to show the process, and so that I stay productive during the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge:-)

Happy Painting!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

30 in 30 - Day 3

Open for Blooms
oil on gessoboard
palette knife study

The verdict is out on this one?   Working with the palette knife today to see if that would help in simplifying the shapes and abstract it.  I like some areas of it so now I need to just continue on this road and see where it takes me.  Sometimes the steps on the journey aren't exactly easy and comfortable so I'm hoping that means I'm growing:)...and the painting might not be quite finished...

On another note, I got to see a great demo with Sharon Weaver at the Westlake Village Art Guild this evening!  Thank you Sharon!   A wonderfully composed water scape with beautiful reflections.   She also used a nifty little rubber sculpture tool to erase with, which I've never tried, and a Palette Knife to lay in her big color shapes.   "It keeps the colors more alive and you can cover an area faster".   I really enjoyed seeing how she used the palette knife to create some horizontal water surface lines.   Always learning something new.

Happy Painting!

Monday, September 2, 2013

30 in 30 - Day 2

Pond Pals
oil on linen on panel

Set out to paint this a lot more abstract when I started this morning...?  But somehow I got right into painting it more's difficult to sway what comes naturally...

I enjoyed some of the brush strokes and finding a way to describe the warmth of that afternoon sun.  Next time I need to have a better plan...Anyone else struggling with abstract?  Any good tips?...
I might need to paint it once this way to get it out of my system and then tackle it again:-)

It was a nice surprise that I had the chance to paint on Labor Day - thanks to hubby and kids being busy and getting up early!  Wishing everyone a Happy Labor Day - now it's time to relax with family and friends.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

30 in 30 - Simplifying and abstracting - Day 1

What Ball?...
Oil on Gessoboard

During this 30 in 30 challenge I want to explore simplifying and finding different ways to abstract my work a little more.  Either through color, pushing the composition and/or flattening things out.  It doesn't come easy to me, but I really look forward to experimenting a bit.