Beach Scene (1)

5″ x 7″ oil

Today begins my adventure with painting beach scenes. I have always tended toward realism with painting but it is time to challenge myself as an artist to work quickly, not worrying about every detail but to achieve what I hope will be an impression of the scene that really draws the viewer into my work. Living relatively close to the beach all my life, I find it interesting that I have never spent any real time painting the ocean, beach or harbor but now is the time to stretch and be challenged in this area and I hope to get a lot better at it!

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:

My Window to a Vineyard

72″ x 96″ oil on stretched canvas

Wine country, Paso Robles, is home to friends of ours that own a 10 acre lot that they planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. My husband and I have had the privilege to see it during the different seasons and help during harvest. Harvesting in 100+ degree heat is hard work and although we are glad to help, we have decided that for us, the best property to own is the one next to the vineyard. Our motto….. “access is better then ownership”.

Our home is not next to a vineyard so I decided to paint my very own vineyard to look out to. I began by building this 6′ x 8′ canvas The painting was too large for my art room so I set it up on 2 easels in the dining room and my husband set up the lighting for me. Below is a smaller section of the painting and of me adding final touches.

I’ve included a few photos from harvest.

Windmill in Napa

Section of a larger painting from my vineyard series.

3 canvas panels, 15″ x 60″ each
Organizing my paintings and sending some out for framing so that I can get them up at wineries.

Classical Painting and Master Copies

30″ x 40″ personal study/master copy (oil on canvas)

There is so much to learn from the original impressionists and masters of classical painting and drawing. “The Gleaner’s” by Jean-Francoise Millet has always been a favorite of mine and I chose to do a “master copy” of this particular painting to learn some of his color mixing, technique and brush strokes.

Juliette Aristides is a modern day classical painter and teaches through her Atelier in the Pacific Northwest.  I have not had the pleasure of attending her school but have learned quite a bit from the series of books she has published and highly recommend them.

Question to Artists… 

I have been debating whether or not to take an online art instruction class and would like to get other artists thoughts on the subject. Staying fresh and challenged in my art is important to me and it has been awhile since I’ve taken a class (which I always get so much out of) but I’ve never taken an online course and need to know if it is worth it. Someone on WordPress mentioned Roos Schuring and although her style is completely different from my own, her work intrigues me and I would love to learn from it. Since her class is a bit pricey, I thought I would ask around to other artists and see what you think.