A Forward View

9 Paintings of 2019

2019 was one of those “mixed bag” years of great joy to great sorrow, as well as everything in between.

One highlight of my year happened in the beginning of May. My painting, “Leaf On The Vine” was part of the Oil Painters of America National Exhibition which was a thrill and great honor to be part of. My husband and I, along with our two Boxers travelled to Utah to see the exhibition as well as Zion and Bryce National Parks.

Sadly, a couple of weeks later, my mother passed away. She was 89, a woman of strong faith and was always committed to praying each day for family, friends, acquaintances and our Nation. In many ways she was a great example and encourager and I will always be thankful for her.

As we look back to the memories and accomplishments of 2019, I hope we can use what we have learned, having a forward view of the new year with hope in our hearts for each new day.

Summer of Oil Sketches

I have taken the opportunity these past months to get out of my comfort zone and “stretch” my artistic style with relatively quick oil sketches. These all need adjustments in some way but I have decided to keep them as is with notes to myself of the changes to be made since a few of these have the potential of becoming larger paintings.

Rainy Day In Paso

Life is hectic for everyone, so carving time out to do what we enjoy needs to be a priority. My husband and I, along with our two very sweet Boxers, enjoy a bit of local traveling which includes going to Paso Robles.

We have been going to Paso for nearly 35 years! The first 25 years we went waterskiing and wakeboarding at Lake San Antonio then good friends of ours introduced us to Paso’s wineries and vineyards. The beauty of the area has been the subject of many of my paintings including this painting I just finished today. Summerwood Inn & Winery has been a favorite of ours and we have stayed at the Inn on several occasions. On one particular rainy stay at the Inn, I fell in love with the rainy day view looking out onto the patio toward the vineyard and knew I had to create a painting of the scene.

This is 10″ x 26″ oil on canvas and so far, untitled. Here are a few photos of the process:

Three Times The Charm

18″ x 36″oil on canvas

This is one of those paintings that I just want to lay on the ground, flat on my back in absolute relief that it is finally over! I began this painting a year or so ago but after the initial block in, I decided to change it to a night scene. Once completed, I was unhappy with its somber mood so I decided to change it one more time. After each major change, I would set the painting aside for months, but a few weeks ago I knew it was time to get it done.

The smart thing I SHOULD have done in the very beginning was make a few small, different color studies which would have saved me a lot of time and frustration. Some artists would have scrapped it and began again but I built the canvas using 2″ wide stretcher bars and was unwilling to scrap it. I also loved the composition and on my third attempt painting this scene, I changed some of the background which now that it is done, I am really happy with.

Has anyone ever gone through changing their painting several times? I always work out my composition ahead of time but from now on, I will make sure to work out the color ahead of time. Below is the process of my initial composition, second painting (somber, nighttime version) and finally, the completed painting.

Small Project

8″ x 10″

Sketches done of this simple still life of garlic and earthenware. I quickly sketched with ballpoint pen and then did a 5″ x 7″ value study in oil. My aim was to be able to work quickly in color in order to finish in one sitting. Well, I continue to struggle between speed and accuracy, so the final painting took two separate sessions, about 6 hours total.

I am currently finishing up a large painting in oil, but plan to get outside, work only with larger brushes in order to capture the scenery at a much quicker pace.

Until next time, blessings to you all.

Visiting Arizona

View of Lake Pleasant

We are enjoying the opportunity to visit the Phoenix area and Scottsdale while staying at the Lake Pleasant Regional Park in Arizona. We, my husband and I plus our 2 Boxers, have been to Arizona in Spring and Summer but the winter season in the desert cannot be beat!

This morning, before the rain really set in, we were able to take a hike down to the lake and see the beautiful views.

This trip had a rough beginning though. We were supposed to leave Sunday evening but got only 10 minutes from the house when the truck lost power, causing us to turn around. Being so close to home when we broke down was a blessing though and we are so thankful that we were kept safe. Two days later, we were on our way again to enjoy family and the beautiful Arizona scenery.

Happy Valentines Day!

New Challenges With Painting

5″ x 7″ oil

I am looking forward to going to the 2019 Plein Air Painters Convention is in San Francisco this Spring and as a painter who enjoys the controlled environment of the studio, this will be a new and exciting experience for me. My hat goes off to all the Plein Air painters that are able to complete a quality painting, in changing light, within 2 – 4 hours. I love taking my time with painting and getting lost in thought, music or a good audio book, so working quickly is definitely a challenge for me.

To avoid any excuse regarding location or weather, I decided to set up my easel in our yard to capture some of the landscape and also set up still life’s in my studio. In order to stay within a 3 – 4 hour time limit per painting, the majority of my paintings are 5″x7″.

I will be heading back outside to work on my landscapes in changing light. For those of you who paint out, I would love to hear how you deal with the light, the elements and mixing colors quickly.