Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring and Snow

Geraniums in the Window, 11x14
I am still working on the oil of Mykonos which is coming along nicely. I put my oil palette in the freezer while I was out of town. While I was waiting for the paints to get soft, I finished this watercolor above. The oil palette came out nice and fresh and good to work with. In regards to this watercolor, I think I took this photo in California. There are geraniums and clematis growing on the wall. With all of the daffodils in bloom and the bright sunny days, I was inspired to make this painting really sunny. Ironically, the morning I finished this painting, Dallas was covered in snow! It never snows in Dallas, until this year, that is. I am happy with the light and shadow in this painting. I did take artistic license on this painting and changed the white shutters to blue and embellished the flowers.

Look at this beautiful planet we live on. These images were in Beaver Creek, Co. this past Spring Break. I didn't get as many photos as I would have liked. That is why I had to put the one of family up there. It was the only one that shows the blue sky and the mountains behind. Look at how tiny the people are down the slope in the distance. While we were there the sky would be clear cerulean blue and as the day went on it would go to deep cobalt without a cloud in the sky. I took a lot of pictures of aspen trees as well. In the Batchlor's Gultch the ski paths are heavily lined with bunches of aspens. When you are skiing through them there is warm glow all around. So many colors are reflected off of the trees, lots of grey green, gold, cool yellow, orange and brown madder (red brown). Some of these trees are so big around. A photo cannot depict the feeling of being surrounded by aspen trees. Something I noticed from the ski lift is that even in the shadows of the aspen trees in the morning, the main shadow would be a french ultramarine blue and as the shadow of the cluster of branches went away from the tree, there would be a golden color on the snow, sort of like a halo, then the white, white snow.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

European Paths

I have been working on this oil painting (second picture) of an alley in Mykonos. While I was trying to develop the foliage and plantings, I got distracted by this watercolor I had started (top photo) over a year ago. I had drawn and glazed the watercolor, but, at the time, I felt that I didn't save enough white, so I started over (Siesta in Cap-Ferrat) and put this one aside. Today, I liked the glazes I had put down. So I went back and forth between the oil and the watercolor on this day. I finished the watercolor and to my surprise, this watercolor came out much brighter than the one I completed first (posted in 2009). I will continue with the oil.

Someone asked when did I go to Mykonos. The last time was in 2002. Like many artists, I take lots of photos for inspiration and then organize them by subject. I have all of my Greece photos out right now because I really want to paint this photo of a woman walking with her donkey. Eventually....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I did these pears in a plein air class on a rainy day. We met in the studio and made some simple still lifes. We were limited to two colors and the main challenge was the painting style/technique which I cannot recall the name. I searched my notes and the internet and cannot find the name. If anyone knows please tell me. It is the style / technique were every stroke is put down with intention. No glazing or layering. If it is dark, you put it down dark the first time. Susanne Kelley is the teacher and her quote constantly is "paint what you see, not what you know". That is how I was able to paint the glass. I would like to try this again with another subject.