Show Time

“Misty Morning In Napa”

Many artists I know have been working diligently as they create beautiful works and getting them ready for art shows all around the country and I have been doing that as well. In fact, I have been letting quite a few paintings stack up, thinking that I would just send them out to the framers one painting at a time when it was time for an art show or two. This Fall I was asked to enter my work into three different art shows and one of the shows wanted 9 paintings to display! Wow, 12 paintings going out was such a thrill but then reality hit me as I needed to get 9 of those paintings framed, eek!

The dilemma, paying to have 9 paintings framed. It is far too costly to have that many professionally framed so I drove out to a wholesale framing business about an hour away to get the supplies I needed to mat my work, but they tell me they won’t cut the frames without a resale license. So what do I do? I call hubby at work and asked if he could make the frames if I picked up the moulding and of course, his sweet answer was yes. HA! It was far more difficult than expected and we needed specialized tools. Argh, with only a few weeks to go, we were committed, so we drove over all of God’s green earth to purchase the tools needed, glass, etc. Now add in the gigantic learning curve “voila” the frames are done in just the nick of time! We both worked very hard and although it came at a time consuming cost (plus equipment and materials), the entire frame job for each painting was so well done. The big lesson learned for us is that there is a reason framers charge so much!

Above, “Vineyard Poppies”, is one of the many frames we put together.

My husbands’ father used to own a wholesale art agallery and my husband used to be a “fitter”. He matted and assembled the frames, so learning how to cut the frames was just another step for him to be proficient in. He taught me how to mat the art but he did all the rest. This was a match made in heaven!

Below is a sampling of my art in the different shows:

And last but not least…

“Misty Morning In Napa” (45″ x 60″ oil triptych) won Best of Show in the Thousand Oaks Art Association

As we approach Thanksgiving, take care and be safe.🎨

Upcoming Art Shows

I’ve needed to put my sketchbook and paints aside for a short period of time in order to mat and frame quite a few of my paintings for three upcoming art shows. Being an “empty nester” is a pretty exciting chapter in my life and I am able to pursue my art as well as be involved with so many amazing artists. Having 9+ paintings would be a pretty penny to send out to a professional framer so I’ve spent a lot of time matting the artwork myself, having glass cut and this weekend my husband will cut the frames for me., then the final stage will be putting it altogether. It is a lengthy project but I actually love being a part of this stage preparing my artwork for shows.

The Thousand Oaks Art Association is a wonderful group of talented people and I am so pleased to have two of my paintings in this show. If anyone is local, come on by to see all the beautiful work on display.

Focusing On Painting

12″ x 16″ oil on paper

In the beginning of summer, there was a question that I needed to ask myself, “How much time with social media is too much time?”. As I do my best to get my work “out there”, I realized that for me, it was taking over the already limited time I had to paint so I decided to just focus on my painting. I started by making a plan to finish a stack of paintings that I had set aside quite awhile ago before starting anything new AND before posting. I plan to stick with this plan in order to produce more work and post less.

Here are the paintings that I have completed:

“Poppies In The Vineyard” (22″ x 30″ rework/acrylics on watercolor paper)

“A Vineyard Row” (22″ x 30″ rework/acrylics on watercolor paper)

“Blueberries” (12″ x 16″ oil on primed watercolor paper)

Now that the stack has been completed, I feel much better about focusing on new projects. Until next time, take care and enjoy the last bits of summertime fun and warm weather!

Time for a few changes…

22″ x 30″ oil

“Poppies In A Vineyard” was started a year or so ago and although I placed it in my completed stack, I was never really satisfied with it and knew I would make some adjustments to it later. Instead of overworking something to death, it is better to set something aside for awhile. I finally pulled it out this week and was able to view it with a critical eye and see what was bothering me.

When painting, I always mix a tad of black with other colors for my dark darks but low and behold, I had areas of black that looked like a chalkboard plus I had some areas that were quite rushed in comparison to the rest of the painting. The changes have been made and I am pleased with the outcome.

Here is a recap of the process:

I prepared a 22″ x 30″ single sheet of 300lb watercolor paper prepared with gesso and then made my sketch.

Then came the layout of color

Chose to rework some areas on my desk instead of my easel. Sometimes I will work upside to better concentrate on some areas.

Finally I can call this painting finished!

Taft Gardens

Ojai, CA

Taft Gardens and Nature Preserve is a local treasure with acres and acres (264 acres to be exact), of plants, trees and paths to meander. There were so many beautiful areas to explore but since time was of the essence to start painting, my friend and I chose a place relatively close to where we parked to start painting.

There are over 20,000 different species of plants and trees and I only captured a very small percentage of them.

The recent California fires were devastating and it seems like no area was left untouched but firefighters were able to save so much of the gardens. The surrounding hills and nature preserve was a different story but thankfully new growth has already begun with the recent rains.

Tomorrow we are suppose to get another few days of rain so I plan to head back there soon to see even more wildflowers and green hills before the summer months turn it golden.

Until next time, take care and take time to enjoy your surroundings wherever that might be.

Vasquez Rocks Park

Vasquez Rocks Park, Agua Dulce, CA

Tuesday, March 6th, was a windy day but beautiful and the temperature was perfect for painting “En Plein Air” with a group of friends. I am a native Californian but have not been back to this area since I was a child and now that I have been back, I kick myself for waiting so many years to do so. This is a perfect area for so many sports along with photography, painting or just hanging out to enjoy the beauty.

Vasquez Rocks was home to the Shoshone and Tataviam peoples and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. These iconic rock formations known as “hogback ridges” are steeply ridged strata that sit along the San Andreas Fault system and of course, we as Californian’s have to deal with the occasional earthquake now and then because of this fault system.

This area has been used to film motion pictures, television and advertising since 1935 but prominently since 1963 with episodes of the Outer Limits, the Wild Wild West, Blazing Saddles, The Flinstones and Star Trek’s episode “Arena”, where Captain Kirk rolls a boulder on the reptiloid alien, Gorn. The prominent rock formation has been nicknamed “Kirk’s Rock” since it had been featured in a several Star Trek episodes. Taco Bell, Nike and Bank of America have shot commercials here and there are so many more, too numerous to mention but interesting to look up.

I continue to set aside days to paint outdoors and am loving the time but with all this amazing reference material, it’s time to head back into the studio. I consider myself a perpetual student and look forward to the challenge and practice of this technique. I am encouraged by what I was able to accomplish in a few hours and encourage any other studio painters to grab their gear and head outside.

There are so many wonderful sites to visit in Southern California and if you like the desert and are traveling in the area, definitely make a point to explore this area. Happy travels!

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.