Wednesday, January 30, 2019

TWOGETHER - Artistic Collaborations

Such a fun project! 
Before I explain these two paintings, first you need to read the letter below to understand how they came about.

My painting partner Julie (You'll have to have a look at her paintings. Click JujuBee Paints to have a look.) was invited to be a part of this upcoming exhibit. All we had to do was think up a great idea... tick... tock... chirp... chirp... nothing... and the deadline for submissions was drawing closer and closer.
Then... Ah ha ha!!! An idea appeared!
  • 1st - We decided that we wanted our paintings to have some commonalities... similar theme or type or size or color palette.
  • 2nd - We talked about logistics of being able to complete this project and set some goals.  We'd complete first phase in the first sitting and commit to finish the next part by the end of the week.
  • 3rd - We settled on doing a fruit still life and  looked through reference photos.  When we came across the spilled basket of peaches and remembered that we'd seen a spilled basket of strawberries, we knew that was it. (Ok, I also had a photo of a spilled basket of limes, which I almost picked, and a spilled basket of cherries.  Clearly I have a thing for spilled fruit... I do know why... It's because I so love the painting at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art by Thomas Decker.  Click. A trip through the museum isn't complete without taking a minute to stand in front of it.)
  • 4th - We basically turned our backs on each other and began the backgrounds.  We didn't discuss what colors we'd use or what style we'd paint in.  Now, we weren't in any way trying to trick each other or to make it difficult for the other.  We each decided what we thought would look the very best with the subject that would come next.
  • 5th - At the end of the evening (ha ha ha) with lots of giggling, we switched canvases.  Julie went home to put the basket of strawberries on my background, and I put Julie's background on my easel to put the basket of peaches on it.

Eeeekkkk!!!! Switch-er-oo!!
Thank you to Jan Brandt for inviting Julie to participate!
Thank you to Julie for inviting me to be her collaborator!
Basket and Peaches by Helen Eaton
Background by Julie Brandt
Basket and Strawberries by Julie Brandt
Background by Helen Eaton

Original Oil Paintings on 11"x 14" Wrapped Canvas
Both paintings will be on display and for sale at TWOGETHER at Jan Brandt Gallery in Bloomington, Illinois.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Oranges Still Life 2

No, it's not a repeat from earlier this month.  Yes, I already painted a still life of oranges, but it sold before I even got a chance to enjoy it on my own wall for a while.  So, I bought a few more oranges, set them up, took dozens of reference photos, then had a snack of orange slices while I chose which picture to put on canvas.  
I don't paint with the color orange often enough, and I want to improve my comfort level with it.  Maybe I'll paint oranges until it's easy for me... Sigh... that might end up being a lot of paintings of oranges.  I suppose I could switch to monarch butterflies... or day lilies... or goldfish... or candy corn... or autumn leaves... or camp fires... or tabby kittens... or...
You have to trust me... do not Google "things that are orange" unless you want to see a lot of images of a certain person's face.

Click HERE to visit my blog friend Sara.  She's written about these oranges and has beautiful photographs she's taken of oranges.

Original Oil Painting on 11"x 14" Wrapped Canvas

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Oranges Still Life 1

I hope this makes your mouth water for the taste of citrus.
Paintings are visual, but I'd like to think that my paintings bring about an extra sense. In this case taste.  Sometimes I hope the viewer almost hears the wind or the cow's moo. Maybe they'll breathe in and imagine the scent of the fresh air or flower. Maybe they'll want to touch the rough paint of a painting done with a palette knife.  Or even better... that magical other sense, the sense of wonder... I wonder who peeled that... I wonder if it's juicy... I wonder if it's sweet or sour... I wonder if she'll eat all three... I wonder why chickens don't like the taste of citrus...

Just some plain old oranges... such a simple, yet lovely (in my humble opinion) still life... 

I guess I don't use the color of orange much in my paintings. While working on this, I used up a tube of orange that I bought for my very first art lesson twelve years ago.  The five other tubes from that set were used and replaced long ago. It kind of made me wistful to squeeze out that last dab of paint.

I used used this same reference photo for a painting about five years agoThen I wrote a little poem about all the words like "orange" that don't rhyme with anything.
Words like  purple... orange... silver... rhythm... else... circle... music... 
woman... month... chaos...
Last week my niece was painting oranges with me.  I told her about the poem and asked her if she could think of any words without rhyming partners.  Without a second's hesitation she said, "Rumpelstiltskin!"  Ha ha ha!  Well, I wasn't expecting that, but I guess that's another one.
Are there any others?

Original Oil Painting on 9"x 12" Wrapped Canvas

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Jacks & Ball

I've been thinking about some of the simple toys and games that I played with and loved when I was a kid. 

One of them was Jacks.  I was pretty good at it, but my mom was really, really good.  She'd toss up the jacks, look over where they'd fallen, then bounce... grab one... bounce... grab two... bounce... grab three... bounce... grab four... game over.  It didn't matter how close or far apart they were.  Her bounces were always the perfect height for her to collect the jacks she was after.  

I don't think I liked jacks nearly as much when I was the mom.  If you've ever stepped on a forgotten jack in the carpet...Ugh... Worse than a Lego, for sure!

I'm thinking of painting a series of these simple toys from childhood... crayons... marbles... Any other ideas?

Original Oil Painting on 6"x 12" Wrapped Canvas.
Click "Jacks & Ball" if you'd like to purchase this little painting.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Little Gray Donkey (a.k.a. Hee Haw)

How about that funny little fuzzy face!
His/her winter coat made him/her look pretty scruffy.

One day when my daughter was about three years old, we were coloring, and she said, "Mom, I know how to tell if it's a girl or a boy."  

I'm sure my heart raced and my eyes widened. I wondered what had she learned at preschool and asked, "Oh, how's that?" 
" Well, you just look at their eyelashes."
Ha ha ha ha...
Well, this one sure does have pretty eyelashes!

The day after Christmas, we went for a drive into the country.  I had my camera ready, and we were on the lookout for old barns, curious cows hanging out near their fences, or anything that I might turn into a painting.  But... that didn't work out. About the time we got onto rural roads, the fog came down.  We saw white... a lot of white... for a long time... 

Ron wanted to take me to a little breakfast cafe he discovered on his last motorcycle trip.

You just never know where you'll find a place worth driving back to.  

If you ever find yourself hungry in the middle of nowhere Northwest Arkansas,  maybe you'll come to the Oark General Store and Cafe.  

Fabulous country breakfast of bacon, eggs, biscuits, and gravy!

Oh, and on the way home, we did find this little gray donkey that didn't mind letting me take a few pictures of him/her.

Original Oil Painting on 11"x 14" Canvas