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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Strawberries Anyone?

Back to work on the berries and bowl. I'm darkening the colors layer by layer. When you darken one area, then the other areas look light, so you go over there. Then you have to do the first place again. You end up going round and round! Enough for today. Tomorrow is another day to add more color, texture, shadow....and maybe the little seeds on the berries for fun!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bird of Paradise

I've been procrastinating about doing my own framing. But, two juried shows I want to enter are coming up, so I thought I better get serious. I bought a gizmo that shoots thingys in the frame to hold your work in, some pre-cut museum glass and spacers. I "tested" two frames over paintings I've done over the last six months. While doing this, I ran across an older pastel I did on a black board. The flash went off, so the black-on-black strokes show up more than they do in person. Oh well, this will have to do for today's post!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Strawberries in a Bowl Painting, continued

Today was "watercolor with your friend day"! So, I got to resume where I left off with the strawberry painting. I am having fun with this piece. Doing glazed pottery is really quite fun. I have some granulating watercolor called "Goethite Brown Ochre" by Daniel Smith, and it really gives wonderful texture to the pottery. Today my Mom is being discharged to go home (with my sister and brother). This is a momentous day, I wish I were there.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Seaside Cliff

I had plans to paint this picture a month ago, and was delighted to finally get to do it. While the workmen did their work at the Truckee house, I set up in the kitchen nook which has windows on two walls, turned on the music, and painted away. This was from my photograph taken at Crystal Cove Beach in Newport Beach, California. There are lovely little red and orange plants clinging to the sandstone cliff. I just love a landscape that has a break from GREEN!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Paintings of Our Truckee House

While Mom is being well taken care of, I'm trying to catch up on things at home. Tomorrow I have to go to the Truckee house all day for various plumbers, painters and burglar alarm people to come and do work. (This burglar alarm thing became a requirement to get our home insurance renewed - what a pain!) I plan to paint while they are all doing their thing - hurray! Finally! In the meantime, I thought I'd post some oldies - the first sketches of the house I did before I started taking art classes. Later, I did a painting of an interesting tree in our backyard - I think it's called a Jeffrey Pine. And finally, a watercolor of the view out our livingroom window in a beautiful snow storm that I did in my first watercolor class with Jan Foss of Incline Village, Lake Tahoe.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Morning in the Rose Garden

I did this painting two years ago. I practised the large rose four times on scratch paper before doing this. It was a big accomplishment for me back then. Roses are so complicated and maze-like. But the practise paid off, and I understand how to do them now. I entered this painting in a little local show to commemorate the re-opening of our town rose garden. I won first place! I won two rose bushes, which are in my garden and have grown very large and have huge blooms with yellow centers and pink edges. So, I decided to post this older painting, because it makes me think of my Mom. I painted it with her in mind back then, and her love of her little rose garden. Tomorrow morning my daughter and I are driving out to see her for a couple of days and care for the house and her little dog. My sister has been there, and I assume all is going well with Mom's therapies.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Update on my Mom

My Mom is improving. She is in rehab now. She has 3 to 5 hours of therapy each day - physical, occupational, and speech. She is walking with a cane now. Her goal is to go home, be independent and be able to walk her dog again. My siblings and I are rotating going there to be support and take care of her house and her dog. Today we played her favorite card game and she won. It was fun. At times it was difficult for her, but she is coming along. I am home for a few days and then I will go back for a few days. After that, I hope to get back into painting.

Friday, June 12, 2009

My Mom had a Stroke - Going Out of Town

I will not be painting or posting for a while. My Mom had a mini-stroke and is hospitalized. She will then go to a rehab facility. I will be going out of town to visit her, and take her dog home with me. She lives alone by her own choice. My siblings and I (who all live hundreds of miles away) are taking turns going out there to help. Until then....later...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Home Grown - Strawberries in a Stoneware Pitcher

Well, I have a start....doesn't look like much yet. I've never done a stoneware item. The glaze on it has different colors and I'm not quite sure how to do it. But if I don't show you the pitcher, you will never know anyway! I am actually doing this as a still-life, while it is still alive and not eaten. Sitting there smelling those berries made me so hungry! A well-known still-life artist mentioned the RF factor in her article. I didn't know what that meant until later in the article..."rotting fruit factor". So, I took a photo of it so we could eat them tonite!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Deciding What to Paint Next

I went for a trail ride this morning. Went up to the gazebo look-out over Washoe Lake. Beautiful morning. This afternoon I began to prepare for what to paint tomorrow. Should I try one of the many landscape vistas from my photo of my beautiful roses in the backyard.....or a bowl of our very own strawberries I just picked as I speak (or, write)!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Quiet Lake Tahoe Cove

I finished this painting today. If you follow my blog, you might remember I did this painting last year, too. What made me want to do it again? For one thing, I wanted to do it on a better surface - one that is archival and had more grit. Another reason is that I wanted to tie the foreground with the background more successfully. Also, I wanted to do a better job with the foreground rocks, and simplify it! Take some rocks out! I think I accomplished my goals here. It is really fun (and challenging!) to do a scene where you can both look into the water and see the rocks and sand; and, also have some kind of reflection on the surface. I learned some techniques from Reif Ericksen. You can visit his website at : I took classes from him last year. His subject matter is the Sierra Nevadas - granite rock, forests, streams, waterfalls. Just what I love to paint!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lake Tahoe Cove, still continuing...

I had a few things to attend to this weekend. My beautiful french angora house rabbit had an abscess that needed vet care. And our Truckee house needed defense against the bird-wars. My husband eliminated the little black woodpeckers nesting in our walls, only now it was two pair of Northern Flickers who enlarged the holes and moved in. I'm afraid our attempts to evict them did not work. (Sigh!) Always something! Miss Lucky the bunny is doing great by-the-way. Next, I had to groom and exercise my horse since the 9 days of rain.

FINALLY, this afternoon I did more work on the Tahoe piece. It is rather hard. But I will keep plugging away with it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tide Pool in Watercolor - finished

This was fun. I even used a sponge for some texture, and watercolor pencils, as well as dabbing the brush to make spots. This was so much fun, I'd like to do more, maybe with shells and such. What would REALLY be fun, is if I could learn how to do reflections on the water too.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tidepool in watercolor

Today was watercolor day. I took a break from pastel to paint with my friend. I decided to do something different. A tide pool. I'm hoping to keep it a little abstract looking. Abstract is hard for me. I tend to define everything, leaving nothing to the viewer's imagination. This is quiet fun. I can get into texture in this one. At this point I bet you wouldn't know what it was, if I hadn't told you. I usually don't post my photographic reference, but this time I will, so you can figure out where I'm going....

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lake Tahoe Cove, continuing...

Before the T-showers came, I had to check on my buddy, Casey. I haven't seen him since I went to New Mexico. He made it known he missed me...with a pretend nip. Next, I cut some roses, then picked some of our strawberries growing under the rose bushes...very...carefully....before the Robin pecks holes in them, and the family of quail with little peeping chickies find them. Got the easle up on the kitchen table under the skylight and did some more on this painting to my "mood" music. The sky opened up and poured on us, the rain drumming so hard on the skylight my "mood" music was drowned out. Oh, well. I hope it is raining this hard over Lake Tahoe. It is low this year. We can really use the rain.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

North Tahoe Cove - work in progress

We are having an entire week of afternoon thundershowers. My roses love this rain! Usually I have to protect them with umbrellas to keep them from frying in the hot sun. The mornings are the only time I can paint in my outdoor studio. When the dark cloud came over and thunder and rain started, I tried to continue under the skylight indoors, but the drastic change in lighting confused me. So I stopped for today. I think I'll spin some baby alpaca (cria) into fine yarn and listen to the rain.

Back to my subject - the North Lake Tahoe Cove painting. I am doing a familiar painting, cropping off some and simplifying a little. I am also doing it on Ampersand PastelBord, an archival surface. I am finding this surface is already easier to work on than the one I did last year.

I began with a sketch and value thumbnail.

Then two layers (drying inbetween) of watercolor wash. For those of you who want to try this - notice the "blooms". Even though the board seemed dry, when I added more dark, it blossomed outward. No problem, that will be covered up with pastel anyway.

Now for some pastel. The camera flash insisted on going on because it was so dark from the storm clouds. I don't like using flash, it washes out the color more than it is. Looks weird at this stage. Tomorrow I can do more.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Finishing Touches - Borrego Springs

After leaving Borrego Springs painting out for a while, I realized I wasn't really done with it. So, after unpacking from our trip to New Mexico, I set up my easle in my "outdoor studio" (under the pop-up canopy) and had fun. The painting was nice, but needed more punch in the area of interest. The two trees in the background were almost identical in size, so I made the one on the right taller. I was able to use some of my new Terry Ludwig pastels that I bought. They go on so easy and I can get nice effects with them. So, now I think I REALLY am done with this painting!