Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Go Fish


"Go Fish", Hand painted plate

Sorry there is a glare on this plate that I couldn't get rid of. I sat it in a plate holder to photograph it, but the glare in the coral wouldn't go away. This is my contribution to the Daily Painter's April challenge-"painting outside the box", in which we are asked to paint something different from our usual. So now you know why I never paint fish, especially on china!


Saturday, March 28, 2009

THe Arabesque

"The Arabesque", 11x14, oil on canvas panel

Today I was in a funk, wanting to paint, but searching for subject matter. I went round and round and finally decided to do something I haven't done in a long time- paint a ballerina. My very first paintings of ballerinas in 2006 were tedious-I was trying so hard to make sure that every single limb and muscle was perfect as you can see if you look at my website. Today I was looking at a library book that contained paintings by Dan McCaw. Dan paints ballerinas all the time and they are gorgeous in the way that the figure captures the light. However, his dancers are all stationary- sitting or reposing in such a way that the light hits them dramatically and makes them look magical. Nevertheless they are stationary and that doesn't move me very much no matter how glorious the lighting effects are! Dan is an artist that inspires me a great deal-his paintings sell in the thousands of dollars, and depressingly I can't even afford to buy his book, "A Proven Strategy for Creating Great Art".

How sad is that? I think if I sell this painting that I will go ahead and buy his book. The cheapest one I could find is a used edition on Amazon at about $150. Many are much higher than that.

Anyhow, going back to me, I decided that I should try and paint more of what I know something about, and ballet was a huge part of my life for too many years to just throw away and discard, even though my knees are shot and I could probably not balance on one foot for a full minute if my life depended on it! So I painted this impressionist study of a dancer in arabesque today and I love the way that it came out. I like it so much that I am tempted to not sell it. In truth, I have not sold one single ballet painting that I've ever did because they are so very special to me. I do intend to give most of them to my niece, Kaitlin who also loves to dance and was a beautiful Clara in her company's production of The Nutcracker this past Christmas.

But this one I do intend to sell, and hopefully selling it will encourage me to do more ballet paintings- many more. Ballet dancing is a magnificent art- too often overlooked in this country. If you would like to buy this original painting of a dancer, painted by a dancer, please know that you will help me paint more dancers. And it will also give me the funds I need to buy a book by an artist that is incredible in his bold impressionist style and his rendering of dancers.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

"Tea in the Garden"

"Tea in the Garden"- 24x24

I was pleased to find out that this painting was chosen as the winner in the recent North Port Art Center's contest. It will represent the art center's Spring fundraiser, a high tea and fashion show to benefit the center.

Please contact the art center for more information about the event.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fancy Free

Fancy Free, 8x10, oil on canvas- Framed

Here's a fresh, spontaneous palette knife piece with beautiful color and passages of thick impasto.

If you would like to purchase this painting, please contact Leah at Collector's Gallery and Framery at 941-488-3029.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Tea in the Garden, 24x24

"Tea in the Garden", 24x24, oil on masonite

I made a few revisions to this painting today, and I think I'm pretty satisfied with it now. I also changed the name of the painting to a more positive title, lol.

I will probably make some 12x12 giclees of this one, please email me if you are interested. The price will be about $50 for canvas, and about $35 for a fine art print.

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Left Behind

"Left Behind", 12x16, oil on canvas panel (Please click on picture for better detail)

Some people have told me that I paint like a millionaire because I use tons of paint on most paintings. Truth is that palette knife work requires the use of a great deal more paint than does painting with just brushes and medium. In these difficult economic times, I have become increasingly aware of how costly my paintings have become to produce, and although I have experimented with using brushes in lieu of the palette knife, I've come to the conclusion that for me the excitement of creating passages of extreme texture within a painting still out weigh the cost restrictions that they impose. (Just don't tell my husband that I said that when he sees that I charged a $60 tube of cobalt violet on his credit card!)

Lately, I have begun the habit of saving leftover paint at the end of a painting session. I gob the color together with my palette knife and swish it all together, sometimes creating mud but oftentimes creating gorgeous grays. Then I smush it over a brand new canvas and start playing with my 'mud". The painting above was a mishmash of gobs of paint left over from the past two weeks' serious painting sessions, and spread like icing over a new canvas in a haphazard "left behind" format.

Yesterday, I looked at the mess I'd created (be glad you didn't see it, too!) and decided to try to make something of the mess. Thus "Left Behind" was produced. As the purple vase began to take shape, I knew that I had to do something with the thick impasto in the lower left hand side of the painting. Thus , the impasto became a discarded, or "left behind" sunflower. The rest of the painting came together quickly after that, once the concept had been created. I left interesting passages of original texture here and there within the floral arrangement, just because I liked them. This painting is a conglomerate of color and texture, without rhyme or reason, so please don't expect perfection on symmetry.

Full of texture and surprise passages, this was a fun piece to do!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Mission San Juan Capistrano

"Mission San Juan Capistrano", 8x10, oil on linen

On Sunday night my husband and I watched migrating swallows create tornados of shapes and patterns in the sky here in Venice, Florida. This reminded me of a visit we took to Capistrano Mission in San Juan California back in March of 2007, while visiting my son in San Diego. The beautiful old Spanish mission is a site where the swallows also return annually to migrate. I took a ton of pictures while we were there , but now I wish I had taken more! At the time the grounds were covered in bright yellow and orange poppies, and the weather was quite gorgeous. I have had a hankering to do some paintings of the mission for some time now, but until I saw the majesty of the swallows in formation on Sunday night, I just didn't get around to it!

I elected not to add the brightly colored poppies to this painting, as I wanted the effect to remain soft and I didn't want the flowers to compete with the beauty of the mission's rosy architecture against the soft southern California light temperature. If you happen to go there for the swallow migration this year, which falls on March 19th each and every year, be sure to have a yummy lunch or dinner at the delightful Sarducci's Capistrano Depot restaurant, which sits right at the historic train depot, just a couple blocks and walking distance from the mission.

I was happy with the way that this little gem came out, and may enter this into the Philadelphia Sketch Club's small painting exhibit that is coming up in a few weeks and which I took part in last year.

If you would like to read more about the migration of the swallows at Mission Capistrano, please go here.
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