Saturday, February 18, 2017

Grapes & Pear Still Life

This still life is the third painting the four of us did during our painting weekend at Welcome Home Retreat.  

Cheri had us draw it with the trapezoid method, then block in the dark medium and light tones.  Since we'd had practice with both of those twice before, we all felt pretty confident.  But, she had another goal to go along with it.   She wanted us to paint without overthinking, without overworking, and to keep it painterly.  We actually timed ourselves.  From first paint stroke to signature at the bottom, I did it in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Not bad.  I have to say it was really freeing and fun.  Yes, I overworked my pear some, but I was pretty good about laying the paint down and leaving it alone on the rest. And, it was fun to put turquoise in the background, on the foreground and on the pear.  It was fun to put orange in each grape, on the pear, and in the black background.
I wonder if...  
I hope that...
I WILL use this method of painting again.  
I don't see it becoming second nature for me... 
Maybe...
I AM CONFIDENT it will become easier and feel more natural each time I loosen up and just do it.



So special to have my sister to hang out with us.  She didn't paint; she worked on a scrapbook. Whatever your craft, it's all about relaxing... creating... and inspiring each other at Welcome Home Retreat.  


We took a walk to visit the longhorn neighbors between paintings.   
I heard a rumor that we'll be painting one of those longhorns at the next painting weekend in mid June.  Contact me if you want to join us! 



Click "Grapes and Pear Still Life" to purchase this little painting.
Original Oil Painting on 10"x 10" wrapped canvas.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pitcher and Radishes

Elegant simplicity... 
     one of my favorite combinations.  
A simple white pitcher and two simple red radishes... somehow... elegant together.

This little painting doesn't fit into my usual style; so, how did it come about?
Last weekend was a celebration, a celebration of my 10th anniversary as a painter.  We booked a weekend at Welcome Home Retreat, and I got to spend the three days with some of my favorite people doing my favorite things.
My art mentor Cheri had the painting plans, and this project was where we began.

First, Cheri taught us to use a trapezoid method to sketch in the image. Why, yes indeed, I was terrified not to have the option to trace the image onto the canvas... I am so NOT a drawer!  But... it worked!  

Next, she taught us to block in only the values... just darks, mediums, and lights. (If you look on our easels, you'll see that these didn't start out in color.) No, I did not have any faith. I imagined mine would be meaningless blobs of gray. Before I knew it, there it was... a pitcher with radishes. What do you know... it worked!  

Finally we got to add color, but Cheri had one more lesson for us.  She wanted us to add a discord color  "Color discord is created by using colors widely separated on the color wheel. These colors are visually disturbing … they clash. But, however unpleasant, they can provide excitement."  What that meant for us was, as Cheri said, "Find a place to sneak some turquoise or aqua in there!" And... yes... it worked.

Cheri is so encouraging, even when I whine and complain about trying something new.  Gosh, it was good to paint with her again!

You can purchase this little painting by clicking Pitcher and Radishes.
Original Oil Painting on 6"x 8".

Monday, February 13, 2017

Weekend Painting Retreat

Cheri, Helen, Julie, Judy

Last weekend, these ladies and I had a three-day break from real life and got to relax... create... and inspire each other. 
There is no adjective that I can think of that is positive enough to express how wonderful it was...

We painted...
   talked... 
      learned...
           painted... 
                went for long walks... 
                     laughed... 
                          took pictures of the longhorns... 
                                painted... 
                                     were served delicious meals... 
                                             
...sat in the hot tub under a full moon... 
     painted... 
          shared...
               painted... 
                    got a massage... 
                          rocked in rocking chairs on the porch... 
                               visited the chickens... 
                                    painted... 
                                         bonded... 
encouraged each other...
     helped... 
          admired each others' work..
               painted... 
                    relaxed... 
                          created... 
                                inspired each other... 
                                        painted...








We were very productive. Just look at the masterpieces we created. 


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Little Brown Donkey


On the last day of school last year, Ron picked me up as soon as I said goodbye to the kids, and we took a road trip.
What a great idea!  We drove to Custer State Park in South Dakota.  Let me just say, that going to a major tourist destination during the days before Memorial Day is the best.  We practically had the whole place to ourselves.

The weather was perfect.  We had no agenda, no real time table.   This little tourist trap sold peanuts to feed the prairie dogs.   There were hundreds of them, and they were pretty fat and pretty demanding.  But so cute!

Next stop... The Badlands!  What an amazing place.  We took the kids to The Badlands when they were about 9 and 12.  I remember telling the kids, "It's going to be kind of like a zoo... only for rocks instead of animals."  As you can imagine, that did not get them excited.  We've laughed about that description for years.  15 years later, it's still beautiful.
Bea... u... ti... ful!!!  

And we basically had The Needles Highway to ourselves.  
 





So relaxed... so weird that 24 hours earlier I was finishing the last day of school. 





One thing I was anxious to see again was the Chief Crazy Horse Monument.  They work on it every day, so I was thinking that there would be a noticeable change since I'd seen it 15 years before.
Hmmm... no...  not much changed.  Still huge... still working... still a long way from finished.  Still the story behind the family who works on it intrigues me.
It rained on us at Mount Rushmore, but that was okay.
We have a funny (well funny now) story about the last time we visited Rushmore.  We purposefully went on July 4 so we could see the fireworks show they do from the Presidents' heads.  Hmmm... Guess that was before Google when we could check schedules... The fireworks are done on July 3... Missed it...



The most memorable afternoon was when we hiked around Sylvan Lake.  There are certain places on earth that are so gorgeous that they don't seem real.  When you get to be in one of those places,  you just stop and appreciate the privilege of being there.  Like I said, we were there the days prior to Memorial day so we didn't have to share the trails or views.  On this particular hike, we met only one other couple.











So... what does all this have to do with the painting?


These funny little red donkeys came to greet us on the road.  I'm pretty sure they were begging for treats.  They were pretty persistent.. a.k.a. annoying.. but awfully cute.
Hee Haw!!!

Original Oil Painting on 11"x 14"
Click "Little Red Donkey" if you'd like to purchase this little painting.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Grape


"I want you to paint a picture of my favorite restaurant in Dallas."
     Hmmm... it's a building.
                       
"It's the first place he told me he loved me."
     Ahhhhh.... it's a STORY!!
           And just like that, I can't wait to get started!












Original Oil on 16" x 20"
[SOLD]