Nest In The Vine

11″ x 14″ oil on canvas

My husband and I have dear friends that own a small vineyard, Klender Cellars in Paso Robles, producing an amazing boutique wine. Throughout the year, we have had the privilege to see their vineyard during its many stages and have participated at harvest time. Owning a vineyard is hard work so it was easy to come to the conclusion that access is definitely better than ownership! Their vineyard is always fascinating and has been a tremendous source of inspiration for me with my painting. On one particular visit, my friend showed me a birds nest that was in the vines of the Cabernet grapes that were still green.

Shown below is my concept sketch and stages of my painting.

Sunrise At The Vineyard

8″ x 10″ watercolor on Arches 300lb. watercolor paper.

Is it the ‘norm’ to have a few paintings in progress as well as a stack on the side of your desk with many ideas for future projects? I also wonder how many artists have their entire day(s) to paint or try desperately to fit the time in here or there? My time is limited, so when I get a few hours, I turn my music on and shut the world out. Today I planned to take the entire day to paint, however, life got in the way. The first half of the day was taken up by “must do’s” so when I finally got home, it was an absolute pleasure to paint and finish up this small watercolor painting!

Stay cool with all this summer heat.

Newest Painting

18″ x 36″ oil on canvas

This painting began with a conceptand instead of sticking with the usual sizes of canvas, I made an 18″ x 36″ canvas to fit my design. I had fully intended to go with a full color, daylight scene but it was missing a certain feel to me.I was going to scrap the whole idea but figured I had nothing to lose by changing the color and with it, the mood. I went with a limited palette of Dioxazine Purple, Indian Red, Raw Umber, Titanium white and a tad of Ultramarine Blue.The underpainting from the original colors show through and gives a nice warmth to this piece. It is quite a departure in color from my other paintings but I’m liking it and it gives a calm, moonlit effect. I am thinking about creating a smaller version in full color but I need time to ‘rest’ from this subject and to paint in watercolors.🎨

I welcome your thoughts and if you have changed directions as well with paintings of your own.

On the Easel

18” x 36” oil on canvas

Under painting is complete and now I can concentrate on greater care with color, depth and detail. This is one of two projects currently in progress for my vineyard series. 

Back to Watercolors 

I am not sure if I am the typical artist but I like working with several mediums, I get bored and have a need to go different directions with my art and sometimes, I just need a break from doing any art at all. During the summer, I was working “en plein air” as well as in my studio painting summer seascapes with oils and currently have a couple of paintings to finish for friends but the “bug” hit me and I had to get back to my first love, watercolor. I needed to create another painting even bough I have a couple unfinished paintings. Living in Southern California you would think I would be at the beach all the time to paint but vineyards, harvest in general, mountains and even the harbor are so much more interesting to me.

I wish I didn’t need any rest at all and had all the time in the world because I would love to produce so many more paintings then I already do, but I plod along like a turtle. Below are some “in progress” photos of my little detour from oil painting.

Poppies In The Vineyard

22″ x 30″ oil on heavy weight gesso’d watercolor paper

Finally finished! I have completed 12 vineyard paintings and now plan to photograph and make prints to sell. I will add more to this collection at a later date but for right now it’s time to move in a different direction and on much smaller canvas’.

I chose to do an impressionistic style with this painting and still managed to put way too many hours into it. Working large just takes too much time and I get bogged down with detail. Although I am pleased with how this turned out, it was a struggle because the surface of the paper felt like working on a chalkboard so from now on, I will stick with oil on canvas.

Here are photos of the progress:

Merlot In The Morning 

18″ x 24″ watercolor on Aquarelle Arches watercolor block

I have been working for quite some time on a vineyard series of large paintings which include acrylics, oil and watercolor. This particular painting was taken from reference photos taken at quite literally the crack of dawn! Although this painting maintains my typical control with the paint, it is more stylized then my usual realistic approach.

Beginning stages of the painting: