Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sunflower Swallowtail

Where do you get your painting inspiration?

I love to paint what I love, and I love what I see around my own home.  I grew a row of sunflowers at the back of my garden last year.  They were gorgeous.  One day this little butterfly danced, flitted, and posed as long as I was willing to take pictures.  So, I had 30 photos... all nearly the same... to choose from.  I loved this one because the little butterfly opened up and showed off his beautiful wings.

So what will be next?
This is what I saw from my porch yesterday...


Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Playroom

When is finished... finished?

I hadn't painted a child in a while, and I couldn't wait to start this little one.  It was one of those images that I knew as soon as I saw it, that I wanted to put the story on canvas.  

At first it came together quickly, and I even signed me name once it made me smile.  But, for some reason, I'm having a hard time calling it finished.

From the very beginning, I started making changes -- not a good plan for a beginner like me... She was wearing a whitish shirt,holding a whitish,  with a white rocking chair, in front of a white wall, so I felt ok with adding some color there, but it became like the domino effect -- each change required another change.  
Her bow was red to match the pattern in her shirt, but now I had to change the bow to match the purple shirt.  The string of Mardi Gras beads were purple, but now I had to change them to keep from overdoing purple.  I changed the book to yellowish, but then it looked just like her hair.  At one point It was "finished" but looked plain like a JCPennys portrait, so I asked the little one's mom to take a picture of the chair with some of her favorite toys scattered around, and she did send several choices.  That presented the next obstacles that no one but a struggling painter would need to fret over.  Since the photos of the toys weren't taken at exactly the same time of day, the shadows were all wrong to match the existing shadows on the painting.  Then where to put them so they'd look scattered not placed. (Well, I knew right away where to place the ball - right in front of the rocker that I never could get to look right anyway!) Of course, her favorite ball just had to be purple - oh well, bluish would have to be close enough. Why didn't I plan this out before I started? I could have given her a pink shirt!  Finally in a bold act, I got out some green and bright orange and made that book into Go Dog Go!  That's just a favorite of mine.
At that point, it made me smile every time I looked at the painting.  I signed my name.
Then I showed her to a couple of people.  My daughter, who is usually very helpful and spot on with helping me find errors that need to be fixed said, "Something's not right about her eyes.  Why are they closed?"  They're not closed!  She's just looking down!  Then another relative asked, "Who's the little girl supposed to be?" Not good... if the question has to be asked, then something's not right...
So... when is finished finished? 
I loved the story this image presented... a little one surrounded by her things... it made me smile.
But now, I've tossed the canvas onto the table beside all of yesterday's mail and last week's bills... sigh... Do I go back and work on it?  Or, do I go back to the time when she just made me smile and let her hang on a wall?


Saturday, March 10, 2012

March's Flowers

How do you know it's springtime?

It's always a surprise to see spots of bright yellow showing off after the winter's gray.
Who doesn't love daffodils!
And, then there's the forsythia!  

It's as if each month has its assigned colors... March has yellow with daffodils, jonquils, and forsythia.
April gets white and pink with the dogwood trees and the redbuds.
May is purple with irises of all shades.
June gets orange with day lilies and tiger lilies.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Winter Cardinal

What sight makes you stop and take a moment to enjoy?

... a rainbow...
... a clear night sky filled with stars...
... the orange sky as the sun sets...
... a full moon...
... red cardinal on a winter day...

Enjoy an Etsy treasury (collection of related art pieces) that celebrates all kinds of birds.  Click Birdsong.