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.

Among the Wildflowers

10″ x 14″ watercolor 

Some paintings go smoothly while others are a struggle. Originally, I began this subject using a different perspective, in oil and on a much larger canvas but from the start, it was just plain boring! I should have listened to my inner voice but I didn’t and after the 3/4 mark I decided to scrap it and begin again. I chose to work much smaller, using watercolors and in a looser style.

Process of this simple watercolor:

Portrait In Watercolor

18″ x 24″ watercolor on illustration board 

Whether or not a face is toward the viewer, I love to capture a single moment in time,  as in these paintings. It was a lovely Spring day at Descanso Gardens in the La Canada/Flintridge area of California. In the painting with the water fountain, the reference photo I was working with had these two children in front of a bathroom so I changed and simplified the background. In the painting below some of the detail on the kids have faded, so I’ll need to go back in to touch it up.24″ x 30″ watercolor 

“Along the path at Scuplterra”

9″ x 12″ Aquarelle Arches watercolor block

This is #17 of my daily painting and even though I didn’t get this one done in an hour or even a day, it needed to be completed. Friends of ours had brought us to Sculpterra Winery in Paso Robles and not only was the wine really good (“nummy” as one of our dear friends phrases it), the grounds that had meandering paths were filled with sculptures. 

Awhile ago I had begun a vineyard series and by the time I started on this, I was burned out on painting clusters of grapes so I put it away for quite a few months but pulled it from my “to do” stack a few days ago and completed it today. As I normally work, I began with a sketch to figure out my design then did a textured effect for the background with burnt sienna and finally went in with the detail work. Planning each project ahead of time with sketches and maintaining control of the paint and detail has typified my work but I have a goal to loosen up my style like so many amazing plein air, as well as studio, watercolorists that paint with broader strokes and washes.

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.