I always love setting up a blank canvas to begin a new painting, along with the challenge and satisfaction each new project brings. Now that we are on Day 2 of 2021, I am looking forward to the wonderful new possibilities of this coming year… new moments shared with family and friends, new experiences and yes, the opportunity to be creative.
Looking back over last year, I am so glad to have had the opportunity to paint and be creative, as well as get together with close friends and family – even with this pandemic. I am appreciative of the many positive comments and support this blog has brought and I hope that all who read my blog and have seen my work are able to enjoy a happy “moment time”.
Here is a 9 painting sampling from 2020
No matter your location or hobby you enjoy, I pray 2021 brings you good health and happy times.
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.
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:
Quick painting of the front counter at “Rabalais Bistro”, Santa Paula, CA
In my zeal for setting a goal to complete more paintings this year, I began two large watercolor paintings and an oil painting. The 10″ x 26″ oil of a rainy day in Paso Robles, CA is just in the beginning stages and before I continue going any further with this, I plan to work on several smaller color studies, using different palettes to bring a little more ‘life’ into the final painting.
For the following painting, I began with a sketch, next, a black and white contrast study for this pumpkin patch scene, then began the watercolorBefore getting too far with the watercolor process, I decided to scrap this project because it would look much better done in oils.
Finally, in this last piece I have the drawing done and just a tiny bit of watercolor placed but will hold off until I get a value study done to get the greatest impact on the final painting.
So what began as an energetic beginning to 2019 has slowed down to a snails pace and with it, doubts and frustration. I welcome any thoughts or feedback.
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.
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!
Now that I am back in my studio, it is time to finish up a couple of watercolor paintings and work out the details for a couple of more. From early in my high school days to now, I have always loved working in the controlled environment of my own room as opposed to “En Plein Air”. Painting outside is fun and though I am getting to paint outside more, the illustrator in me needs to work on paintings at any hour of the day without worrying about the changing light. I also tend to work on several paintings at a time and below is a sketch of a painting I plan to do in watercolor as well as oil.
This painting is still in progress but it has been sitting on my easel for a couple of months because I just wasn’t “feeling it”. Before covering it up to create a completely different painting, I thought I’d try to change the background and the entire mood of the painting so I chose a moonlit night. I plan to put an old oak tree in front of the barn and have this completed in the next couple of weeks – hoping I made the right decision.
Below is the “before” in progress photo. Anybody else drastically change your art?
Lately, I have spent so much time painting in oils and acrylics that it was time to get back to my favorite medium, watercolor. I would enjoy hearing from other artists, especially those who paint with watercolor.
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.