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!

Small Watercolors and Working Ideas

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.

Blessings🎨

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.

Mood Swing

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?

“In the Vineyard”

12″ x 16″ watercolor

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.

Merry Christmas!