Sunday, August 25, 2019

Second Day of Still Water Workshop

I went to the second session of the "still water" painting workshop taught by Karen Philpott. I am learning a lot from this workshop. I love that it is so motivating for me. I've come home from each of the two I've attended so far, eager to get in my studio and paint!

A side note of general workshop info: One of the best things about this particular workshop is that Karen doesn't demo for HOURS. At some of the workshops I've attended (by both well-known and not-so-well-known artists) the artist would get so wrapped up in his/her own painting that they'd spend literally hours demo-ing how to paint a particular scene. The attendees end up sitting there watching for hours. And of course there are the attendees that hero-worship the artist and ask lots of questions and make lots of flattering comments, and so (in my opinion), the artist is off on a major ego-trip. In an all-day workshop, the demo would last ALL morning. I've had to employ the ever-handy "got to go to the bathroom" move just to stand and move around and get my blood flowing again. That's the reason there are two artists, in particular, that were so long with the obvious ego-inspired demo that I will never take another workshop from them.

Thank goodness, Karen doesn't do that! With Karen, she shows how she begins the painting and how she lays in the main shapes, and how she start laying in the lights, and then sends us to our set-ups to start painting the same photograph. She sets it up so we can see her finished painting of the scene (that she completed and framed before the workshop began) and the one she'd begun in class as a reference. The rest of the day is spent with us painting and Karen right there giving assistance.  It's a great plan of action for a workshop.

Here is my painting from day 2 of this workshop:
Oil on 16x20 linen panel
This week's photo reference was three empty boats tied up to a pier - although the pier isn't in the photo. There is actually the tip of a fourth boat in the far left of the photo, but Karen left that out, and so did I. 

I'm pleased with this painting. I may do a few more touch-ups after it has had time to dry a little.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Painting a Canadian Scene

A good friend of mine is in Canada right now on vacation - Banff which is in Alberta, Canada. I won't mention my friend's name since I don't want to advertise that they're out of town. She's been sending me photos of all the beautiful scenery. She and I both paint a lot of landscapes, and so she knows I love photos of gorgeous landscapes. Last night she sent me a series of photos, along with a video. The video was awe-inspiring with the magnificent scenery. So as I played it, I took a bunch of screen shots. I asked if she minded if I painted one of them, and she said of course I could paint any of the photos she sent me. She will be painting a lot while she's there.

So here's my "Canadian Calm" painting that I finished today.
"Canadian Calm" oil on 12x24 linen panel
The thing about this painting is that it is so pretty (to me) when I look at the actual painting, but the photos I've made of it all look kinda blah. It has a lot of color that doesn't show up on the photograph.

I just looked at the painting again and realized that the front line of trees and the back line of the mountains follow the same general outline. I looked at the photograph my friend sent me, and the far mountain line doesn't really have that dip in the middle.  I need to go back and take out the dip and straighten the line to just below the top of the mountain to the right of the middle of the painting.  Then I need to lighten up the tall mountain right on the right edge of the painting so that the line of trees in front of it will show up a little more clearly.

So . . . tomorrow I will work on it more.
And . . . here is the final painting - with the mountain leveled out, I worked on making the clouds similar to the photo, and lightened the mountain on the far right. I like it much better now. And I am done with it. When I look at the actual painting, I love it - love the colors especially - the purples and pinks and blues.

"Canadian Calm" Oil on 12x24 linen panel


Friday, August 16, 2019

Painting Still Water in a Landscape

Today I attended a workshop at On Track Studios taught by Karen Philpott. It was a really good workshop. Karen had a presentation showing how various artists have handled painting still water. It is really fascinating to see how different artists handle similar scenes. Then she demonstrated how to paint a still water scene. And then, each of us students started working on our own still water paintings.

Here is my painting.  I am pleased with it, and now I'm anxious to get back into my studio and try another still water painting.
"Morning Reflections" oil on 12x16 linen panel
After looking at the painting more, I made a few changes - nothing major - just a tweak here and there.  So this is the final painting:
"Morning Reflections" Oil on 12x16 linen panel


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The First Step in Painting

What's the first step in painting? For me, it's deciding what to paint!  I really enjoy painting things/scenes that have special meaning to me. So today I took photos as I ran errands. Fortunately I live out in the country, and so when I saw a scene I thought might make a good painting, each time there was no car behind me, and so I was able to stop my car and take a photo.

Here are my five favorite photos from the today's excursion. What should I paint next?

This is a farm that actually is on Columbia Pike, but I took the photo from Coleman Road. I pass this just about every day - and often several times a day.

This barn with all those hay rolls can be seen from Coleman Road. It is within sight of the barn in the photo above. Again, I pass this all the time.

This is a farm just a little ways from our place on Carl Road. The only problem is that the barn is almost completed obscured by the trees. It is a long ways from the road - so I couldn't get a closer shot. 

This is Carl Road - our road.  This particular spot is so pretty year round with the trees lining the road, fields on both sides. One of the prettiest roads in Williamson County. So pretty that Miley Cyrus filmed one of her movies here - which was an interesting experience as a resident during that time.

This is the entrance to our property. I've painted the wildflowers and rock wall several times, but I thought a view from the other direction would be good - with the rock pillars and gate. This photo was taken from Carl Road.  My only issue with this photo is that the pillar on the left is in the shadow and can hardly be seen. If I painted this, I would move that shadow behind that pillar.

So, which photo should I should paint first? Which one do you think would make the best painting? Or should I chuck them all, and look for better scenes tomorrow?

Monday, August 12, 2019

Wildflowers and Rock Wall - Again

I can't seem to stay away from painting the wildflowers above the rock wall at the entrance to our property.  However, it's good practice for me to keep painting the same subject - and I DO love those wildflowers!

So, first, I blocked in the basic shapes. Ron looked at it at this point, and thought the rock wall was the driveway, and it didn't make much sense to him. I had to explain that the darker gray strip would be the rock wall and the lighter gray strip was our street, and then it made sense to him.


The photo below is where I left it tonight before I came downstairs to go to bed. It is getting close to 1:00 a.m.; I got started and didn't want to stop! I am certain I will work on it more tomorrow, and so I will update this post then. It is satisfying that I am FINALLY getting a little better with trees. I still have a ways to go, but I'm painting mostly big shapes now rather than trying to paint individual leaves. And since the wildflowers aren't close-up, I can get by with little splotches of color for them. It's the close-up flowers that give me fits.

Oil on 12x24 linen panel
Update - 8/13/2019
I finished the painting this morning, and below is the final version. I added more shadows and filled out and lightened the near trees.  I'm pleased with it.
"Carl Road Wildflowers" -  oil on 12x24 linen panel

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Flowers - The Scourge of my Art

Today I started working on a painting of hydrangeas and crepe myrtle in a tall vase. However, I changed it to all hydrangeas. The painting is based on a photo I took of the flowers Joey brought to Larisa's for my birthday party last week.  He had picked the flowers from his yard.

I was determined to really LOOK at the photo and paint it true to the colors. The white hydrangeas had a green undertone.  However, in the photograph below, they look gray rather than greenish. However, they don't really look like white hydrangeas.
"Birthday Bouquet" oil on 12x16 linen panel, August 2019
Tomorrow I will go back to landscapes. I'm just not good with flowers.  Now the wildflowers paintings I've done have been okay because the flowers are at a distance, and so there is no detail needed. However, close up flowers are another matter. I'm sure I will do some more fine-tuning of this painting before I put it away permanently.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

More Cold Wax Medium and Wildflowers

Tuesday night, I decided to do some quick studies with cold wax medium. I still had my piles of oils and cold wax medium on my palette, and they were still usable. Plus, I had just bought some 5x5 and 5x7 frames.  So I did a 5x5 and 5x7 of the wildflowers at the front of our driveway.

"Wildflowers by the Driveway" oil and cold wax medium on 5x7 canvas panel

"Wildflowers by Rock Wall" oil and cold wax medium on 5x5 canvas panel
I did most of both paintings with a palette knife and then the tip of an angled paintbrush. One thing I really like about using cold wax medium is the texture that I can get. I've always loved the look of texture in a painting, and I certainly tend to use a lot of paint.

Overall, I'm pleased with these two paintings. They're small. I finished both in about two hours altogether. 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Oils and Cold Wax Medium

Tonight I played around with oils and cold wax medium. I really like the look of texture in a painting, and cold wax medium provides some interesting textures. I used only palette knives and scrapers until the very end, and then I used a dagger brush to tidy up a few places. I intended to create a more abstract painting, but I kept scraping off paint and changing things up until I liked the image which ended up not being very abstract at all.

I think this is the painting that was meant to be. The images of the trees and building (cabin? barn?) and water emerged over the course of several hours. There were versions of it that were abstract, but I'd scrape off part of it and start over, and work a little more, take a photo and make changes - and it kept evolving until I ended up with this. I love that the colors are a little quirky.

I want to do a very large (24 x 48 - which is large for me) painting to put in Ron's and my bedroom. My thought in doing the painting below was that it would be a miniature of what I'd paint for the bedroom. I think it will be the inspiration for the larger painting, but not the same image. 

"Early Morning Color"  Oil and cold wax medium on 8x16 linen panel.





Saturday, August 3, 2019

And the accepted paintings are off to the Outdoor Painters Society Show in Texas

Last night I finished all the paperwork for submitting my two paintings to the Outdoor Painters Society Associates Show and Sale in Corsicana, Texas, got the box packed up, and looked up where our local Fed-Ex is located. This morning I took the box to Fed-Ex and shipped it. It should arrive in Corsicana by mid-week next week. The actual show is August 12th through September 26th. 

I wrote about this just a few days ago - here.  And these are the two paintings, again. They're two that I painted when I was at the Plein Air Convention and Expo in San Francisco back in April.

"Golden Gate Bridge from Crissy Field" oil on 11x14 linen

"Golden Gate Bridge from Lands End" oil on 12x12 canvas
Even though one painting was guaranteed to be accepted for the show, I still am happy to have two paintings accepted and shown in an official Outdoor Painters Society show. There is a reception and awards presentation on August 15th. I won't be able to attend the show since I have something both the day before and the day after it. Plus, I'm not sure it would be worth driving or flying to Texas just to see my paintings in a show.

It will be fun over the next couple months to see how this show works out all around.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Final County Fair Results for Me

The Williamson County Fair opened today. Ron and I went to see all the exhibits, test out some of the food (The dry rub ribs at the Music City Brisket food truck were awesome!), and to see the results of the competitive events. We saw some friends and enjoyed some music while we were there, too. We left there and went to downtown Franklin for the first Friday Art Crawl and visited with my friend, Sheryl, who was showing some of her art at the Landmark Book Store right downtown.

So here are the results from the items I entered in the competitive events:

1st Place Ribbons
  • Painting - "He Planted Wildflowers for Me"
  • Fused Glass Vase
  • Peach Cobbler
  • Oatmeal Cookies
  • Triple Chocolate Brownies
  • Farm Eggs

2nd Place Ribbons
  • Almond Spice Cookies 
  • Butter Pecan Fudge 
  • Caramels
  • Cheesy Herb Biscuits
  • Blueberry Orange Muffins
  • Food Mix in a Jar (Triple Chocolate Caramel Brownies)

Items I entered that didn't place
  • Pecan Pie (I forgot about it and left it in the oven too long - I knew it was way overdone)
  • Honey Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Fresh Apple Cake (For the "cake mix as a base" class)
  • 2 Paintings 
  • Fused Glass Pendant and Earrings
I'm pleased with these results. Here are photos of all my 1st place winners. Thanks to Ron for taking photos of everything for me.
Eggs from our small flock of chickens. I've always loved the variety of colors. We collected eggs for several days, and I was careful to select eggs that were all about the same size and free of any defects or spots.

Ron is rightfully proud of the eggs from our chickens. He takes good care of them.

Triple Chocolate Brownies

Oatmeal Cookies - made from the recipe on the lid of the Quaker Oatmeal container.

Peach Cobbler - I changed up the recipe for the crust - adding brown sugar, oatmeal, and some cinnamon and cloves to the batter to give it a little different kick

"He Planted Wildflowers for Me" - oil on 8x16 linen panel. I wrote a poem to go with this painting since it means a lot to me.

My fused glass vase. I love the colors and the free-form look of it.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

County Fair Art Results - TWO Blue Ribbons!

Our Williamson County Fair hasn't officially opened yet. It opens tomorrow evening (Friday, 8/2/2019). The past few days have been when all the entries in the competitive events have been due. Tuesday I took in my art entries for the judged art show - three oil paintings and two fused glass items - along with my entry for "country eggs" (Agriculture division) and "food mix in a jar" (Canning division)  Today was the day to enter all the Culinary Arts items - cookies, candy, cakes, pies, breads. I spent most of yesterday and this morning cooking and preparing items for the culinary competitions.

Around lunchtime, I packed up my ELEVEN food submissions and took them to the Ag-Expo center to enter them in their various classes. Once I was finished with that, I walked down to the arena floor to see if the ribbons for the art items had been posted yet, and they had. The first thing I saw was my "Let's do the Twist" painting with no ribbon. Sigh. Then I turned the corner and saw this:



My "He Planted Wildflowers for Me" painting won first place in the Amateur Painting class. I was so excited I didn't even think about checking to see if the fused glass items I'd submitted had won anything. I went to my car where I sent texts to my husband and children telling them about the ribbon. Then I started for home but stopped by a restaurant to grab some lunch first.

Suddenly, I thought of my fused glass submissions, and I knew that if they'd already judged the paintings class, then they'd already judged the Amateur "Other Fine Art" class. So I drove back to the Ag-Expo Center, and went back to the arena floor and found this:



My "slumped" 3-fuses vase won a blue ribbon!  I won a blue ribbon in both classes that I entered!  I am happy.  It's nice to get the compliments of family and friends, but it is also rewarding to get positive feedback from objective sources, too.

Tomorrow night the fair will officially open, and I will go and see if any of my Culinary Arts entries won ribbons.

I should have taken photos of all the food items because I go way overboard! For the Candy Division, I made butter pecan fudge and caramels. For the Cookie Division, I made Honey Chocolate Chip Cookies, Oatmeal Cookies, Triple Chocolate Brownies, and Almond Spice Cookies. For the Pie Division, I made a pecan pie and a peach cobbler. For the Cake Division, I made a fresh apple cake with caramel drizzle. For the Bread Division, I made garlic/herb biscuits and blueberry orange muffins. Each item was for a different class within its division. 

And tomorrow I will also see how the eggs and the food-mix-in-a-jar that I submitted on Tuesday did. Like I said - I go overboard - but I enjoy it - and I like supporting the local fair; the more entries, the better the competition. And there is something very charming, healthy, and American about a county fair.

Pandemic Painting

The Coronavirus pandemic is in full swing, and people across the world are self-isolating in their homes. Quarantines are wide-spread, and s...