Wednesday, September 9, 2015

30 in 30 - Reaching for Light

"Reaching for Light"
Oil on Gessoboard

Got a question from Kaethe Baeler  (Check out her beautiful work!!) regarding what my green formula is?   So I thought I'd just share it in my post!

 I've had a lot of different greens on my palette over the years, trying to figure out the secret formula to great greens:-)  Everything from Sap Green to Viridian and using yellows and blues to mix:-)  I still use Gamblin Cadmium Green Light for some of those Poppy Light Greens, but that's the only straight green color I use now.

What was really helpful for me in thinking about greens was something Wyllis Heaton shared about the fact that greens are never as cool as we think.
Here is what Wyllis said on FB in his answer to the question about his greens:

"Green is the hardest thing for me to paint! I avoid scenes with a lot green if I can... But the main thing about green in a sunlight scene is it can almost never be warm enough... Basically the greens you can buy as paints are Way too green to describe foliage... The best way to see this on the freeway... Those freeway signs are green for real, like green paint green, compare that green to the natural greens around it... You'll see how much warmer the nature is.. I carry Turquoise and lemon yellow on my palette, so I can make super green for those occasions, but it's usually an unholy combo"

After I read that I've tried to be really conscious of pushing my greens warmer than I think they are.  And looking around in nature, I agree with what Wyllis says.

Recently I've also changed what I do when it comes to mixing my greens after seeing the greens of fellow amazing CA artist Karen Werner.
I loved the greens she was mixing and she told me that she took a workshop with Kim English (who is definitely on my list of artists to study with).  And what she had learned from him was to use Paynes Gray and Lemon Yellow to mix those really nice warm greens.  

So that is what I've been doing lately, I have added black on top of the Paynes Gray and I use that with different yellows and oranges, with a little addition of Cad Green light when I want a bright, but slightly cooler green.  I've also added Alizarin Yellow - Williamsburg Oils (courtesy Colin Page) to my arsenal of yellows.   It's a really nice and transparent and works great for a warm toning of the canvas and for mixing greens with.

So Kaethe, that's my loooong answer to your question on my greens.  And it goes to show how much we learn from fellow artists and friends!  I'm so grateful for those friendships!

Happy Painting!!


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

30 in 30 - Light Around the Edge

Light Around the Edge
Oil on Gessoboard

More Hydrangeas!  Sort of nice to work on a series for the 30 in 30 Challenge.  Learn more about the challenge here - maybe you'd like to join?  We'll see if this series will keep me going til the end...I've been known to mix things up:-)

Monday, September 7, 2015

30 in 30 - Light Continued

"Light Continued"
Oil on Gessoboard

Here's another ART SELFIE with my friend Bob Raser.   Read more about him in this earlier post.

I don't feel like I have a lot to say about my own art right now, so I just want to share the joy of having known our Pleinair Bob!

Miss you!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

30 in 30 - Sun-Kissed

Oil on Gessoboard

Here's another Hydrangea as I focus on painting white and light for the 30 in 30 this time around.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

30 in 30 - Focus on Light

Looking for the Light
Oil on Gessoboard

Sometimes it's hard to paint...and even harder to put things into words.

My good friend, a wonderful artist named Bob Raser -  left us this past Saturday,  after seemingly having cancer successfully removed and on the way to recovery and a normal life, before a sudden stroke changed was a devastating turn-of-events.  My heart goes out to all his family and friends!

I wanted to take the opportunity to share the joy of knowing him with you, in order that whomever might read my blog, will be up-lifted by the enthusiasm with which he lived life!

I will miss his voice, his smile and his wonderful energy!  As Maya Angelou so profoundly said:
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." 

He always made me feel better!

You can see more of his paintings following the link to his website. They are filled with optimism and sunlight, much like his personality".

He also made these wonderful video "ART SELFIES".   Here's a link to one of them.

Keep Creating!  And a big Happy Birthday to my mom!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea
Oil on Linen Panel
Received an Honorable Mention at
Plein Air Ventura Invitational 2015

This painting was actually really enjoyable!  First off, I felt lucky to stumble onto a scene that had both atmosphere and a back lit classical car, and the opportunity to paint the view with a high horizon line!!!  Some of my favorite things!  I was a happy camper!!!   I also simplified more than usual - The fast changing light helped me with that:))
The car is owned by a really nice couple who is selling their house and they were both so sweet to offer me a cup of tea!  Did I mention he was British?...
The honorable mention was nice and you could say it sort of makes up for the fact that this piece didn't even get juried in to  the Ventura County Fair's Art Show....

This all confirms for me that it's more important to focus on how I feel about a piece and enjoy the ones where I attempt something new, than pay a lot of attention to the subjective likes and dislikes of jurors - either good or bad!

Which pieces do you feel good about when it comes to your own work?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Summerland Roofs

Summerland Roofs
Oil on linen on board

I painted this one up in Summerland a few months back with my friend Shannon Celia (you can check out her great Seascapes on her website) There's a lot of pretty homes and buildings in that area, but this day I zeroed in on something that looked a little more like a shack.  I always look for subjects with a little character and wanted to explore cropping in on these buildings with the way they were intersecting and I liked the dramatic shadows the sun created.

Here's a painting on the area where we were standing to paint.
 Shade for Lunch
Oil on Linen on Board

It was right by the freeway off ramp, but with some shade it still made for an enjoyable paint out. 
What's the most difficult thing you deal with if you paint outdoors?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Hot Coco

Hot Coco
Oil on Linen on board

Thrilled to paint my Artist friend Leigh Spark's dog Coco!  Doesn't she look like so much fun to paint - sweet thing?

Here's my second version:

Makes me want to paint more dogs:-)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Behind Flights

Behind Flights
Oil on Gessoboard

Doesn't happen often, but this one almost painted itself.  I've been really in to capturing strong contrasts of sunlight in my subjects lately -  where the light is almost white, giving the shadow areas more color.  The reference photo for this one was taken by the Santa Paula Airport where I stumbled upon some old cars long past their driving age as I walked around and it had the perfect strong light to achieve what I wanted....I even found an artist painting in one of the warehouses there.  You never know what you will find out scouting locations.   Had an easier time with the architecture of the cars too.  What do you know?... practice might be making it a little easier:-)

Happy Painting!!

And check out this great post by my artist friend Dan LaVigne on leaving our baggage behind and trusting, in our artistic process.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Farm Cart

Oil on linen on panel
can be purchased through this gallery

For this painting I left the background really simple to be able to push the atmospheric effect and to concentrate on what was in light versus shadow.

John's Blog
Saturday, September 3, 2011

Is OPA Judging Rigged?

 An Inside Look at the Oil Painters of America Selection Process

where John describes what the Judges for OPA (OilPaintersofAmerica) look for in judging artwork.
I found it really interesting in looking at my own work and as a check-list of sorts:

OPA – Scoring system according to John Pototchnik

"5 judges started with 924 entries that were graded using the scoring system. grading the top 190 the same way to arrive at those with the highest accumulative score that were selected for the show.

Paintings were graded on a scale from one to seven.
Paintings were evaluated based on design and execution.

The best works had:

· One dominant value,

· A dominant color harmony,

· A clear center of interest,

· Balance,

· Accurate drawing,

· Convincing value relationships,

· Consistent and believable color temperature relationships,

· Appropriate variety of hard and soft edges, and

· Varied and interesting paint application.

Get all those elements right and you ended up with a the top 1-3 percent of entries."

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Walk to the Beach

A Walk to the Beach
Oil on Linen on Board

Excited to be displaying some of my paintings at the "En Plein Air Gallery" in Carpinteria this next month!  It's a small treasure of a gallery owned by artist Leigh Sparks and located in this quaint small sea-side town south of Santa Barbara.
I will post more of the paintings I've had a chance to do locally in the coming days!
The address is 963 Linden Ave, Carpinteria, California 93013, if you'd like to come and see them in person! or see me painting around town:-)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A window to the Soul

10 x10"
Oil on Linen on Panel

Another opportunity to have fun with a light building.  This is a restaurant behind the Portola Hotel and I took the photo last year,  early one morning as I was scouting locations to paint at the Plein Ar Convention in Monterey.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Daily Commute

 Daily Commute
Oil on linen on board
Feels like a month since I last posted...and it is:-)  I've been painting, but also doing some rewarding volunteering with a focus on our kids.   And that's all in between Open Studio Events and getting ready for other exhibits.
I loved the forced perspective of this view...picture snapped on Balboa Island by the ferries going back and forth every few minutes.
I'm looking forward to posting some more of what I've been working on!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Afternoon Stroll

Afternoon Stroll
Oil on Linen on board

The painting on top here is the Final version of the painting I started on location 2 years ago.  As with anything painted plein air it has a certain freshness to it that I love.  I just wasn't thoroughly happy with the foreground rock formation:-)  Worked on it the other day and even though neither of the photos probably captures the exact color temperature I feel that I resolved a few things...and it only took me 2 years?!:-)
And whether it's an improvement...only you cant tell.

I have a lot more paintings sitting around my studio these days, waiting for that final critical step...

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Wendy Wash

Wendy Wash
Oil on Canvasboard

My favorite part of this painting is probably the simplicity with which I painted the trees in the back.  I'm trying to say more by doing less.
It's a great local spot.  I love the fact that you can find water in this wash almost any time of the year and it's home to several kinds of birds and critters...right in the middle of Newbury Park.

Speaking of saying more with less.
I recently listened to a great podcast on the Ted Radio hour on "The Source of Creativity" and what it means to be in the flow.

From the website:
Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Source of Creativity with Charles Limb

About Charles Limb's TED Talk
What happens in the brain during musical improv? Researcher Charles Limb scanned the brains of jazz musicians to find out.
About Charles Limb
Dr. Charles Limb is an Associate Professor in the Johns Hopkins Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, as well as faculty at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He combines his two passions to study the way the brain creates and perceives music. He's a hearing specialist and surgeon at Johns Hopkins who performs cochlear implantations. In his free time, he plays sax, piano and bass.
In search of a better understanding of how the mind processes complex auditory stimuli such as music, Dr. Limb has been working with Dr. Allen Braun to look at the brains of improvising musicians and study what parts of the brain are involved when a musician is really in the groove.

As artists I feel that we experience this state of being in the groove as well.  You know how some paintings just seem to flow without any effort...Why is that?  This Ted Radio Hour speaks to why that is and what happens in our brains when we are in that groove.

There is also this one phrase said by host Guy Raz on the show that really stayed with me in regards to getting out of our way....:
"... practice doesn't make you perfect, but it does help you stop thinking that you have to be"

I've been thinking about what it is that really makes us improve as painters/artists etc with time?  And what has struck me is that it seems to have  a little something to do with building confidence.

Practice helps build confidence in the fact that you start knowing more about  the technical aspects of the craft of course, but more than that, what it also seems to lead to (on a good day:-) is that:
With confidence - I can play more, be bolder with my paint and braver with my brush strokes etc. because in a sense - I care less about getting it right.  (or as this study explores; with practice, I'm shutting of that censoring part of my brain that gets in the way of the natural flow of creativity).

If you are an artist, what do you feel it is that happens with time, the longer you have painted and practiced?   What do you feel happens for you when you're in the flow?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A boat ditty

Oil on Gessoboard

Here's a little ditty of a boat...:-)  A close-up of a boat in the Ventura Harbor.  Perhaps not a ditty though? as I just learned that a ditty is a short song...but I just like the ring of it!


Monday, March 16, 2015

Cat on a Mission (at San Antonio de Padua that is)

Cat on a Mission
Oil on Gessoboard

It's been a while since I've painted a 6x6 and I had a great time working small and on gessoboard again today.   I've had this photo reference since I visited the Mission of San Antonio de Padua 2 years ago.    My friend Daggi Wallace and I took part of a paint out weekend with CAC and got to meet some great artists and paint plein air.   This was the room we stayed in (no frills:) and there was just something about the light coming in through the window, the beautiful curtains and the angles of those bed that made for a really nice composition that I snapped a picture of.  
Here is the website for 

I kept the image in my files and tested it out as a value study a while back.  This is a great tool we practiced in William Wray's workshop, really pairing it down to see what parts of your image can be pulled together into one shape.     It needed a focal point and the cat seemed a perfect choice.
 There actually was a cat that lived at the mission so it even made sense to put one in.
A fun day of painting!  And it didn't hurt that I got to spend the morning with 5 other fabulous painters in our Monday Morning Painters Group.

Happy Painting!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Nantucket Walk

Nantucket Walk
Oil on Canvasboard

Here's another piece that never made it into a blog post before it sold.   It captures one of the many sunny days we had as a family on the east coast last year!  It's also a reminder of how important it is to make sure you get a photo to keep of all the work you do:-)...

Friday, February 20, 2015

Underwater Wonderworld

Oil on canvasboard

I'm happy to announce that this piece is being purchased by the Community Memorial Hospital for their Maternity and Pediatric Floor.   I have a special place in my heart for art being placed in hospitals to bring some joy to patients and visitors!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Barn Treasures

Barn Treasures
Oil on linen on board

Got to paint by this old barn of Las Virgenes last year, through a call to a park ranger on the property.  It's a beautiful old barn and when peaking in we ( my painting friend Lyn and I), found a sign from a restaurant that was once open in many stories to be found!

When it comes to the painting...Shadows are an interesting challenge and I worked on the shadows to make them less severe and cut-out looking, which I think helped:-)

Edge of Afternoon
Oil on linen on panel

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Railroad Play House

The Railroad Play House
Oil on linen panel

2nd painting of the day Saturday.  Painting up in Naples with my friend Carolyn Counnas and members of the organization SCAPE (whose goals are to have exhibitions to help raise money to protect open spaces, to increase public awareness of environmental and conservation issues, to promote camaraderie and provide education for artists).   
Sometimes getting the first painting done opens me up to be more free with the second...especially if I have a limited time:-)
This building, I learned, used to be a playhouse belonging to the girls who lived on this property in Naples on the Gaviota Coast before it burned down.   I don't know if it was right by the railroad back when it was built...would have made me a little nervous Nelly as a mom for sure...

Monday, February 16, 2015

Used to be Thurman's Place

Used to be Thurman's Place
oil on linen on panel

I'm catching up and posting some paintings that somehow slipped through the cracks.
Life is filled with some wonderful coincidences.   One day this past fall my friend Shannon and I decided to go to Hidden Valley to paint.  It's this jewel of a valley tucked away, from suburbia, with horse stables and old farms - this being one of them...
On this day we precariously parked ourselves on the side of the road to paint the morning light on this barn when I thought I saw the owner in his pajamas on the property, changing something by an electrical box.   I quickly ran over and asked him if he wouldn't mind if we set up to paint inside his fence, and to our delight he said yes!  It was warm and there were a ton of red little bugs crawling around in the very dried out grass, but we were so happy to be a little further from the cars zooming by.
A couple of months later I have my open studio and my sister-in-law is telling us about this property she's looking at in Hidden Valley.   And as she describes the location it's starting to sound very familiar to me.  When I show her the painting and describe Thurman to her, we realize it is indeed the same property she was looking at...?!... The owner she met was always - in his pajamas...

Such a small world:-))))

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Day 25 - DIY BubbleBath

"DIY BubbleBath"
Oil on Linen on Board

Not sure if anyone has noticed...?!, but I haven't quite kept up with posting every day for the 30 paintings in 30 Days challenge that Leslie Saeta hosts.  I love the daily routine it creates, but this time around I just had to go a little easy on myself and leave time to work on larger work as well.  So - still painting, just not posting it all and partially taking part is still a great thing to do, and better than not painting regularly for sure!
I've been looking into Plein Air Events for this year, hoping to at least do one and this is the list I've come up with so far - Please let me know if you know of a great event that I've missed!


February 14-22, 2015 Maui, Hawaii   
View the full 2015 Schedule of Events for the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational event! Maui beaches + outdoor painting + artists and observers = Must see!

May1-11, 2015, Florida   
Nationally recognized plein air artists have been selected to capture the allure of the Florida's Forgotten Coast with paint and canvas. Artists will be painting on ...

May 12-16, 2015   Wayne, Pennsylvania SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: PRESS: JUROR: PLEIN AIR WORKSHOP: ... Member of the Plein Air Painters of America, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association and California Art ...
Apply Jan 1-March 1

May 14-17, 2015
... 2015 Carmel-by-the-Sea Plein Air Juried ... Carmel Art Festival in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, 93921. In 2015, ... Gallery Events: Carmel Art ...

June 10-14, Ontario   
Deadline January 30th

June 14
June 14-22……register by June 1st…?

June 15-20, 2015, MD
"Easels in Frederick" Plein Air Event. Begining June 18, 2013 artists painted en plein air (in open air) throughout Frederick County, MD. For more information:

June 16th-19th
Los Gatos Plein Air 2015    The deadline for applying is February 1, 2015.
Los Gatos Plein Air 2015. Los Gatos Plein Air 2015 is a fine art exhibition and sale that will be held in Los Gatos, California on ... 2015. Events of Los Gatos Plein Air

July 19-25, 2015   
Door County Plein Air Festival event presented by Peninsula School of Art, July 20-26, 2014

July 27-August 1, 2015, Alameda, CA
Plein Air Paintout - deadline to apply for 2015 is April 27.

September 7–12, 2015   
A Plein Air Festival on Northern California's ... 2015. The festival includes plein air painting, ... All events are free and open to the public, ...

September 14th-19th   
Stay tuned for information about Sonoma Plein Air Festival 2015, September 14th-19th! Artists, the application process opens Jan 27, ...

September 6th-13th, 2015, Washington

September 30-October 4th  September 30-October 4th
Plein Air at the Lost Coast Plein Air Event ... 2015. Shelter Cove, CA. Advance registration may be made by mail or phone or you may register at the time of your arrival at the event. 
For advance registration, please complete the form below and mail with your check for $65. 


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Day 21 - Road Home

Road Home
Oil on linen canvas

My sweet kids are finally on the mend!!   And I can take a breath:-) 
Here's a piece I just finished of a cute neighborhood in Santa Paula.   This piece has been donated and is available for purchase through an up-coming annual fundraiser for Santa Paula Art Museum.
Click here for more info

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Day 14 - Sunlit Pines

Sunlit Pines
Oil on linen board

These pines are making me pine for the many trees on the Swedish island where I grew up.  In Sweden there are 2 distinct types of pine-trees.  The Christmas type variety, called "gran".  And this variety which is called "tall".   Making me a little home-sick...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Day 13 - A Restful Stop in Ojai

A Restful Stop
Oil on Linen on board
Had the pleasure of painting with Dan LaVigne and Dan Schultz in Ojai today!  This year is getting off to a fun start with all these paint-outs with friends.  Always great to see how different each artist's take is and what subject matters we all choose.

Here's a great clip on YouTube about how we each have a unique voice and to embrace it!
It starts with Walt Disney quoting Robert Henri and ends with 4 Amazing Disney Artists painting a tree 4 ways.  It's great!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Day 12 - After David Noter - Exercise Inspired by Catherine Kehoe

Still Life after David De Noter
oil on panel

Today I painted with Shannon Celia and Wendy Gordin.  So much fun!!  We are all part of the Monday Morning Painters (the MMPs) and this particular morning I brought in an exercise for us to do.   This exercise was inspired by some paintings I had seen of Catherine Kehoe's where she used the work of old masters as a source to fiercely observe and translate the visible, turn objects into simple shapes of color to arrive at the essential.  Translating this image into as Catherine called it "intuitive geometry".

She shared this work in her excellent artist talk last Sunday and since I missed out on the workshop that followed I thought "Why not just paint something inspired by what she does and learn from that as if I were in the workshop?"  I am always on a search to get better at simplifying what I see and this seemed like a perfect way to practice that.

So I found a still life online similar in style to what she had used.
Here is a cropped version of that original painting that I worked from!  "Still Life of Flowers, Asparagus and Lobster" was painted by David Emile Joseph de Noter [Belgian Painter, 1818-1892]

There are always things I'm not perfectly happy with..?!...but this exercise helped me see just how simple you can go with shapes and still have it read.  It was also great practice in seeing - and breaking a complex object into simple flat shapes.  And next time I'll work on going even farther!

If you visit Catherine Kehoe's website, you can see Marine plant still life after Anne Vallayer-Coster :-) and what I was trying to achieve.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Day 11 of 30 - Balboa Island "Early on the Dock

Early on the Dock
Oil on Linen on Board

This past Friday, I was fortunate enough to get in an actual Plein Air Painting day.  And lucky enough to have my good friend and painting buddy Shannon Celia brave the early hour (leaving at 5:30AM) to come paint as well!  We drove down to Newport beach where we also met up with Kim VanDerHoek on Balboa Island.   Each of us got a painting done before having a nice lunch and getting to talk shop at Picante Martin's Mexican Restaurant.  Check out both Kim's and Shannon's websites to learn more about their work!
I am so grateful for the artists and friends I make on the journey!!  It is at least half the fun of painting for me.
On this particular day I was interested in doing something based on an unusual view and composition, cropping in to get more of an abstract feel.  I also started with my most delicate color and I liked the direction it took for the most part.  
It's such a great challenge to paint water, and reflections, along with all the movement of the water, and the sky reflecting in the water surface.
 There is a lot going on!   
What I noticed is that I tend to lay in all my brushstrokes to describe the water horizontally, and that makes it look really busy.   As I'm always working on getting better at simplifying.....I'm now thinking it's better to save those horizontal strokes for describing just the surface of the water and keep most of the reflections as shapes, just like I saw Wyllis Heaton do the other night in his demo.

 I get a little caught up with all the edges to soon and this new way would keep it more unified and not so broken up.  Something I will get even more conscious of next time I try it:-)

Happy Painting!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Day 7 of 30 - Starting with the Sun

Starting with the Sun
Oil on Linen on board

So after watching Wyllis Heaton's Demo (see yesterday's post)  I decided that I would start this one with the lightest and purest colors, and go from there.  I'm fairly happy with how the Sun-light through the trees worked out and the simplification of the building!  Might still work on the needs some help:-)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Day 6 of 30 - With Lambie...

With Lambie
oil on gessoboard

Happy about some of the simplification and the composition of this one.  Leaving a few more things to the viewer to read:-)  Not sure whether to leave the face the way it is..or work on defining it more?..

Had a pleasure of watching Wyllis Heaton do a great Demo this evening.  Thank you Wyllis!!

 Lots of great little nuggets of truth about painting and helpful tidbits.
Among them:

When it comes to the drawing - if you can map the corner points, the inside can be a mess.
Paint, then draw, then paint again...
A little wavy leaves more for the viewer to get more empathy when it's loose.
Use big brushes - and twist the brush so that it's not all the same and mechanical looking.

What was really neat to see, is that he also starts his work with Delicate...or Fragile colors just like Carol Marine.   Do the brightest colors while your palette and brushes are still clean.  Makes a lot sense doesn't it?

Here's the finished piece:

Monday, January 5, 2015

Day 5 of 30 - "Finding My Strength"

Preliminary study - Finding My Strength
Oil on gessoed board
My friend Daggi Wallace and I went to hear a talk and see a slideshow with Catherine Kehoe yesterday and it got me really excited to get into the studio today.   Her work has been on my radar for a while and I love the way she simplifies and relates shapes from observation of the fragmented nature of the visible.   In her ongoing exploration and observation of the  world, she has created a very distinct personal style and visual language all her own. 
Catherine Kehoe
What I took to heart from her talk is the importance of following our own preferences...It seems like it's something I'm reminded of over and over.  That, as an artist I need to focus on pursuing what I'm obsessed with.   I can be inspired by others work, but my journey will be unique to me.  There's no one "right way to Paint" - what a concept..?...;)

So even though I've heard it before, I guess I needed to hear it again.  And feel validated in the pursuit of going forward with "my own thing.  Trusting that I will get to where I want -  even when I sort of wish I painted like anyone but me:))).

Catherine shared some great quotes...and I apologize for not having all the sources!

...Eliminate the unnecessary so the necessary can speak.
Art is the organization of shapes.
The secret to being a bore is to tell everything (Voltaire)

Question to ask:
How much can I leave out?

Check out her great website:

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Day 4 of 30 in 30 - On Surfwatch

On Surfwatch
Oil on canvasboard

"Peekachoo for Two" Study - Easing into the 30 in 30

Peekachoo for Two - Easing in to the 30 in 30
Oil on Canvasboard

December got sort of swallowed up by Holiday, End of school activities and travel preparations, so with Leslie Saeta's "30 Paintings in 30 Days" Challenge I'm now easing my way back into my normal painting routine!
Any time I'm away from painting it's easy for me to loose confidence and question what I'm doing?:-) so painting small and quick studies helps me get excited about new ideas and get back in the groove.

After William Wray's workshop in November, see this earlier post, I've been really yearning for more simplification in my work.   Because of the subject matter I pick, I might not always be able to do a value sketch as simple as the ones we did in his class, (Three values narrowing it down to almost 3 shapes).   But focusing on just a few values, as in this preliminary study for a larger piece is so helpful!  

The challenge with this piece will be how to create interesting variety using 4 main "figures".   The number 3 is always a more dynamic number than 4 and I want to avoid having it get too stagnant looking, so placement and colors might help in avoiding that.   We'll see...