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.
Sketches done of this simple still life of garlic and earthenware. I quickly sketched with ballpoint pen and then did a 5″ x 7″ value study in oil. My aim was to be able to work quickly in color in order to finish in one sitting. Well, I continue to struggle between speed and accuracy, so the final painting took two separate sessions, about 6 hours total.
I am currently finishing up a large painting in oil, but plan to get outside, work only with larger brushes in order to capture the scenery at a much quicker pace.
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.
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.
No matter an artists’ style or choice of medium, there are many things that go into a great composition. I am working on a new series of paintings that make the “shadows” key players in the compositions.
It is so nice to be finished with a couple of recent watercolor paintings but they weren’t without their obstacles. I generally make a working sketch when a project is complicated but I did not examine my sketch of the “Ocean Painters” carefully enough to work through the difficult shade areas or take a good look at the “bench” when beginning the painting. Artists who have worked with watercolor know, once the color is down, it is difficult to make changes afterward. I took my chances and made some changes anyway and for the most part, it worked out.
The palm tree painting was straight forward but my “Ocean Painters” will need a bit of tweaking here and there but is basically done.
I continue to learn something new every day and definitely with these two paintings.
Deadlines are so uninspiring but they do cause me to schedule my days to make the most out of the time I do have to be creative.
As a rule, I try to stay away from deadlines but I am working on two paintings for a show in Oceanside, CA – due date: June 30th. No pressure – HA! My watercolor paintings have layers and layers of color and right about this stage, I am having doubts and being super critical of my work. I have no idea why, but it’s a battle I have with each watercolor painting.
Here is the progress of both paintings plus another painting set aside until later:
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.
My husband and I began our road trip starting in Southern California and traveled through Oregon, Washington, Idaho and back home south through the south-eastern corner of Oregon and Nevada. The landscape was so varied and even though it was all beautiful in it’s own way, we loved Idaho the best. Besides Coeur d’Alene, we spent time in the mountain resort town of McCall, Boise and Caldwell. Here are some highlight photos of the different areas…
Our hike in Ponderosa State Park, view Payette Lake
We continued on Lily Marsh Trail
Strolled through the Ann Morrison Park in the city of Boise
Onward home through the Jorden Valley, mountain areas and deserts…
Dove Springs is a favorite area for so many So Cal people to motorcycle ride and as we made our final stop before getting home, we were able to watch the Memorial Day crowd of weekend warriors get themselves settled for what promised to be an amazing time to be out in the desert.
Though we spent a lot of time exploring the many different areas with our two Boxers, I managed to get in a few more “scribbles” in my sketchbook
As we enter the summer months, I wish you all a safe and blessed time no matter where the days find you.
Our travels continue on from Coeur d’Alene to McCall, Idaho. The Pacific North West or “PNW”, as it is known as by those living in this region, is absolutely beautiful. We traveled through mountains, farmland and ranch lands and as driving through, we are struck by fields upon fields of bright yellow. We were in Grangeville, Idaho and cars everywhere were pulling over so that people could take photos. The need for fueling up our truck came at the perfect time for me to get out and ask what we were driving by and was surprised when I was told that they were Canola flowers.
Of all of the items I buy in the grocery store, I have never once put any thought into canola oil but seeing those fields gave me a new appreciation for what is being harvested each year.
We traveled up the next mountain range and this was the sight as we were leaving…
As we climbed the mountain, we were struck by even more beauty…
White Bird Hill Summit mountain pass is at an elevation of 4,450 feet. Located at the southwest corner of the Camas prairie, White Bird is near the Salmon River crossing point for the Lewis and Clark expedition and also the location of the 1877 Battle of White Bird Canyon, which was the first fight of the Nez Perce War where the U.S. Army was defeated. The summit was named after Chief White Bird. Photos of this view do not adequately show the elevation or beauty but trust me, it is stunning!
We traveled down through canyon along side the Salmon River.
In part 3, I will share the photos of McCall and it’s landscape.