Nest In The Vine

11″ x 14″ oil on canvas

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.

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!

Work In Progress…

9″ x 14″

This summer I have been concentrating on watercolor paintings – from very small to medium in size. This landscape is an elongated vertical format which highlights the shadows on the path as well as the morning light coming through the trees.

I have used illustration board, 300 Lb Arches single sheets, Arches watercolor blocks and currently am trying the Fabriano 300 Lb single sheets. I am actually a bit disappointed with how this paper takes the watercolor but am working through the difficulties.

I began by sketching on the watercolor paper then started laying out my color.

I am now at the point of fine tuning and adding greater depth and contrast. Comments are welcome, especially if you have a favorite watercolor paper or board to work on.🎨

Sunrise At The Vineyard

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!

Stay cool with all this summer heat.

From Sketch To The Final Piece

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.

Working With A Deadline

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: