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Monday, November 29, 2010

A little sketch of "Beach Memories"

Thanksgiving left-overs are done, the baby shower a fun day, and now my obligations are fewer!  Today I did a little sketch of treasures we found on the beaches of past vacations - watercolor and colored pencils.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Time for Little Sketches - Ornamental Corn

During the holidays I'll keep my sketchbook out and mini watercolor palette and colored pensils handy for quick art.  Here is one I did yesterday of some harvest decorating items.

We are getting more snow!  But here it doesn't stay too long on the ground.  Not like Lake Tahoe area.  I am using the fireplace again for cozy evenings.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sock Monkey goes skiing ....

I think I'll just keep it to three nursery paintings and put the last canvas away.  I'm running out of time.  The baby shower is Saturday and Thanksgiving is inbetween!  I'm cooking this year for Mom, my daughter and her hubby (and of course my own hubby!). 

The next painting will be ..... maybe a small watercolor, using a small travel palette .... since my dining table is the Thanksgiving table, I have taken all my art stuff out of the dining room and stashed it away.  Maybe I'll do ornamental corn, or squash or something Thanksgiving-ish. 

We had two nights of snow.  The wild birds are happy I have a feeder going for them.  I love to look out from the dining table and watch them.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sock Monkey Rides a Bike ...

Thank goodness for the internet - I pulled up a cartoon of a bicycle to help me with this - since I don't have a bike myself.  (Remember - I have a horse!   Why would I need a bike?)

And, here is the finished painting of the Sock Monkey in the Balloon Races.  I have two more Sock Monkey paintings to do, then I can go back to my regular type of painting!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

In Progress: Sock Monkey in the Hot Air Balloon Races!

Painting for children - what a change for me!  No pressure!  No art critics!  Just all play, fun and games....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

From Landscape Painting to Figure Painting!

I am very intimidated by the challenge of figure and portrait drawing and painting!  That is why there are no people in my paintings.  But, I am rising to the occasion to paint sock monkeys doing various things like riding a bicycle, floating in a hot-air balloon, and other assorted activities!  Why?  Because I am helping my daughter decorate her nursery for the new baby due in January. 

First I had to make the sock monkey.  Not hard, but you do need the RIGHT socks and directions from Rockford Red Heel Socks.  (For my friends from other countries - Sock Monkeys go back to 1880 in Iowa.  There are websites and blogs devoted to the Sock Monkey - watch out!  They are addictive!)

OK, now I have my model - I can pose him and paint from life!
... to be continued ... 

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Quick Study of Desert Plants - Pastel

Today I really wanted to go to the "Living Desert" park, but it is too breezy and cool right now.  the Living Desert is a little zoo and also a nature park with arboretum desert-style, with wonderful little paths to explore.  I love that place.  It is a wonderful photo-op place, but with the breeze blowing plants, the pictures may not come out very good. 

So, we are doing the vacation thing - doodling around.  I put up one of my photos on the computer and did a quick study here.  I'm trying to use the side of the square pastel sticks to suggest the plants.  It is challenging to do a curved shape this way.  The yucca plants at the bottom have triangular shapes to their leaves, but they have a slight curve to it.  The cholla in the middle of the picture was really hard.  They are full of spines which give them a fuzzy look, but the plant has curved branches.  Maybe with more practise and experimentation I can be successful at how I want it to look.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More Research - Found: Two Artists I Admire

Jones and Terwilliger Gallery in Palm Desert also has galleries in Carmel, California.  I was perusing their gallery and was really attracted to two artists' work.  It turned out they are a married couple.  I guess I like their style!  I could tell they were California artists because the subject matter was clearly Monterey and Carmel.  Brian Blood had plein air work that was beautiful.  I immediately wanted to take up oils and take his workshop!  You have got to see his website!

Laurie Kersey, his wife, does wonderful landscapes, still lifes AND horses!  Her website is

Another gallery on El Paseo was Edenhurst Gallery.  It was like visiting a museum.  They had a beautiful collection of Early California Impressionism, including Guy Rose, Granville Redmond, William Wendt and Edgar Payne.

I have to admit, I feel funny going into a gallery like this, because I am clearly not an art collector.  First, they seem to look you over to see if there are any dead give-aways, like, gold watch, designer handbag or Prada shoes.  Sometimes they don't give me the time of day after that ... which is fine with me.  Sometimes, they invariably ask, "are you a collector?"  I say "no" and they go about their business.  I sure would like to have more fun with this.  Does anyone have any good "come-backs" for this situation?  I'd love to hear it.  Honestly, you don't have to be filthy rich to enjoy art!

Research: Visiting Art Galleries on El Paseo, Palm Desert

With this difficult economy, I was relieved to see several remaining art galleries on this posh street.  The first one I visited was an unusual treat - a fiber artist.  You can see his works on his website .  Here is a picture I pulled off his website of one of his desert scenes. These are really large tapestries that he handweaves on a tapestry loom.  These are 3-dimensional and really beautiful.  In his gallery he has several tapestries featuring bearded iris flowers; and even more of underwater coral gardens with fish flitting in and out of the gardens.  These are REALLY colorful as you can imagine.  As a painter, I really found his work inspiring because he had good composition, movement and use of color.  The texture and 3-dimensional aspect is something painters cannot do, but I really enjoyed.

In my next post, I will tell you about two artists I discovered that I would love to take workshops from!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A New Challenge - called: trying to paint on vacation...

This is called "sharing" ... we are on vacation.  15 minutes to do a value sketch and take a photo while hubby hits balls at the practise golf area.  Then 1 hour blocking in the painting using the computer with the photo I took displayed, and using the value sketch (while hubby is napping).  Then, one hour doing the painting by memory because hubby needs to use the computer....

LOL!  Now, it's off to dinner - a night on the town in Palm Desert!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

So I ask myself, "When am I done with this painting?"

...When it doesn't bug me in some way ... 
This painting is called "Aspen Grove".
This painting wasn't bad last time I posted, but it just didn't "feel" right to me.  I don't know why, it is just something I felt.  I did more layers of pastel, so that now the watercolor underpainting is mostly obliterated.  Oh, well, Richard McKinley said sometimes the painting just needs more pastel to make it work.  ....But I still aspire to be able to do very little pastel and let the watercolor show through ... 

... maybe I'm close to being done doesn't look too bad here ...