Sunday, December 28, 2014

! ! ! Giveaway ! ! ! #1

I haven't been painting at all during this Christmas break. Why?  

  • Well, first because my kids were home, and we just did a lot of sitting beside the fireplace and poking the logs. 
  • And, second because I've been glued to my computer reading my new favorite blog... reading every entry from the beginning.  It's called A Joyful Chaos, and it's an absolute delight!  
    • I feel like I'm getting to know a new friend and catching up on her whole life...
    • It's like reading an Amish version of Laura Ingalls' Little House series... 
    • It makes me think about my own shelf of journals and all the little snips of life I've recorded over the years.
    • It reminds me of the truth... "everyone has a story to tell..."

Anyway, I've decided to borrow an idea from her and have a giveaway.

I have these cute little note cards made to give as a thank you gifts to send with any painting that is purchased.  I sometimes have extras made.  
Would you like to have a few?

For your chance to win all you have to do is leave a comment describing a favorite painting, print, photo, or poster you have on a wall in your home or in your memory.

Sharing this post on your Facebook or blog then letting me know you did will earn you a second entry. :)

I will be choosing the winner on Saturday, January 3. 
I look forward to your comments.  (Maybe I'll get some new ideas for what to paint next!!) 

**I picked these cards for this giveaway because A Joyful Chaos makes me think of simple pleasures... a  beloved Raggedy Ann doll... a stack of journals filled with memories... an old barn in winter... :)

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Would you paint a brown and white boy cow for me?
Would you paint our Hereford show bull, Tank?
I recently discovered that these two questions are NOT the same.

Say hello to Tank!

Isn't he gorgeous!

So, here's how I learned this lesson.

My friend, Sarah, teaches 4th grade down the hall, and she's a city girl.  
My friend, Charla, teaches ESL down the other hall, and she's a farm girl. 

A few weeks ago, Sarah asked, "Hey, would you paint a brown boy cow for me?  I want to give it to my dad for Christmas."  
She found a reference photo, and I whipped it out.  It was fun and easy.  When I brought it to school to give it to her, I showed it to Charla.

That's when I got the other question.  Charla knows cows; she and her husband have a farm, and cattle are a big part of their lives.  She asked if I'd paint one of their bulls to give her husband for their anniversary.  She told me all about their bull, Tank... He came from Denver... he used to have a nose ring... he's gentle... 
She planned to go home and take some pictures that night when they went out to feed.

Now meet... Not-Tank.
I had the best time painting him.
It was pretty simple and didn't take long.

Oh, sigh... 
He was a great cow... but he wasn't Tank..
His eyes were too big...
His fur was too smooth...
His face was too skinny...
His nose was too long...
His ear was to pointy...
His chest was too wide...

It's not nearly as fun to edit and revise, but in the end it's worth it.
I love the finished Tank!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Big Papa

Why do cows all face in the same direction when they're grazing?

It's so weird, but they do.  We always comment on it, so I Googled it... Oh, my goodness... there are all sorts of theories about it... and all kinds of scientific research going on around it....  Really?  It's that important to know?

Anyway, this guy looks like he might be wondering why he has to face the same direction as all the others... maybe he's about to buck the system face a different way!


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Water Lily

What can you teach us about your painting style?

I follow a challenge blog called Paint and Draw Together. Each month she posts a new reference photo and invites artists to... well... paint and draw together... and occasionally I participate in her challenges.  I love seeing the varied artists' styles.  Every painting exactly the same... yet every painting is completely different.

This month marked the 50th challenge. (Congratulations to Lela and to every artist who's contributed!) She asked artists to not only submit the image of their final product, but to share photos taken throughout the process.  I loved the image, and I love sharing about the process of painting that I find so fascinating.  So, of course, I chose to participate!  

Picture 1

After drawing in the main lines, (as I've gladly admitted before, yes, I cheat with a sheet of carbon paper) I blocked in the main colors

Picture 2

Next I tried to add a little life to the big flat surfaces of color.  Some yellows and purples livened up the leaves. I added all kinds of streaks paint from colors left over on my palette to the vines... hoping they'd start looking right... they didn't.

Picture 3

After the bold background colors dried a day or two, it was time to block in the flower.  I planned to use alizarin red and white, but I used diaxozine purple for the shaded areas.  It seems to work best for me if get those areas in first and darker than I know they should be.  

Picture 4
* Blend with new white... the petals look like mud...
* Add the middle... the yellows and oranges smear...
* Experiment again with those vines... what a mess...
* Try to make the spots look intentional instead of like I dropped dark paint blobs on the leaves...add some yellowish greens and purple-greens around the leaf holes.... hmmm...

And this is the point where it happens... It always happens... It's the ugly stage... I wonder if I should give up, if I have the right to call myself an artist, if this one just isn't meant to be...

Then with fresh eyes and one more try, it comes together.  Although it's happened dozens and dozens of times, I'm always surprised... and I smile then sign my name in the bottom corner.

 Original Oil Painting on 6"x 8" Wrapped Canvas