Sunday, July 21, 2019

Tweet! VI

I love this little bluebird.  He's been such a good friend and partner.  How could I have ever known when I first painted him how much of a helper he'd be.  
Whenever someone asks me to help them learn to paint, I have a couple of go-to images that make great first paintings.  Because I usually paint along with a first-time painter, I've put this little guy on the canvas six times now. I love him every time. As soon as I put that tiny white shine in his eye, he greets me and I welcome him back to the studio.

Those painted by my friends, co-workers, niece, great-nieces, and daughter-in-law are priceless.

Original Oil Painting on 6"x 8" Wrapped Canvas

Monday, July 15, 2019

Stargazer & Buds

I love stargazer lilies.  They smell wonderful. They are so beautiful that you just have to stop and look closely. And, they remind me of my mother.  I gave her a stargazer lily plant one year for Mother's Day.  After enjoying it inside for a while, she planted it in the yard where if flourished.  After a few years when they moved, they dug the stargazer plant up and replanted it where she continued to enjoy it each summer.

This particular stargazer belongs to a friend from high school.  He'd posted a photo of it on Instagram, and I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted to put it on canvas. Thanks for sharing the photo, Travis!
He sent me a photo of the same lily taken a few days later...  Wow...

Original Oil Painting on 8"x 10" Wrapped Canvas

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Animals in Silhouette at Sunset (Kid Project)

If you ever need a great painting project to do with kids, here's a good one.
Last week I did it with 23 5th & 6th graders during our church's Bible school week.  They came to me for 30 minutes for 4 days.  The final products... Well, see for yourself...

Every single one of them was a work of art to be proud of.

Before I put all the supplies away, I had my two sweet great nieces over so that they could each make one.  They're going to be in kindergarten and second grade.  How do you suppose theirs turned out?  Beautiful, of course.

Here are the steps if you're doing it all in one sitting:

  • With a 50 cent chip brush, paint the yellow strip then blend the orange on either side of that then blend the red on either side of that. 
    • Use a dry brush.
    • All strokes horizontal.
    • Don't wash the brush in between colors.
    • Turn the canvas upside down if it's hard to reach the top.
    • Don't forget the sides.
  • With the same brush wiped clean (or a new brush if you want), use black to paint the grass.
    • Use a dry brush.
    • All strokes punched upward or dabbed.
    • Go into the red.
    • Turn the canvas upside down if the lip of the easel gets in the way, then dab down instead of up.
    • Don't forget the sides.
  • Use a blow drier to make sure it's dry. (Then go outside and check the chicken coop for eggs, pick tomatoes and cucumbers out of the garden, and give it just a little more time.)

  • Mix some white and yellow to paint the sun in the yellow strip.
    • A sponge brush is great. (A chip brush will work fine, or a piece of sponge will work fine... just messier.)
    • Tape a circle stencil into the yellow strip.
      • Just a circle cut out of a piece of cardboard or paper
      • Masking tape, painter's tape, clear tape... whatever you have
    • Press, press, press the paint on to the area. 
      • Do not bounce it on the canvas. 
      • Do not stroke it on the canvas. 
    • Use plenty of paint.
    • Remove the stencil 
    • Dry again if your next stencil will touch the wet part.

  • With a clean, dry sponge brush (or brush or sponge), paint the animal.
    • It's easier if you take the easel away and do this step flat on the table.
    • Tape the stencil as above.
      • Use a Cricut if you have one to cut the stencils.  If not... good old fashioned scissors will work.
    • Take off the stencil and say, "Wow!"

I did it a little differently when I did it with a large group and over four sessions.  
  • Day 1
    • Yellow and Red
  • Day 2
    • Orange and Black Grass
  • Day 3
    • Yellow-White Sun
  • Day 4
    • Black Animal
Original Acrylic Paintings on 16"x 20" Wrapped Canvas.
Giraffe - For Sale on Etsy - Click Here
Wolf - For Sale on Etsy - Click Here
Moose - For Sale on Etsy - Click Here
Elephant [SOLD]

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Imagine a Place...

Imagine a mountain range...
     ... of cliffs and rock walls.... 
          ... that rise up from the ground...
                   to meet a moody blue sky...

Imagine a forest... 
...where the trees stand strong...
     ... branches still bright with reds and golds ...
        ... the ground littered with the leaves already fallen ...

Imagine a stream...
... winding through woods in graceful curves...
       ... reflecting the colors from above...
             ... and stones that line its banks...

Imagine a place...
... that makes you squint in wonder...
     ... "Who lived in that castle?...
              "Where do those steps lead?"...

Imagine a story...
... with a wand hidden in the grass...
      ... or a golden ring in the shallows of the stream...
            ... or a doorway ruin at the forest's edge...

Imagine yourself...
.... standing before that door...
       ... if you stepped through...
              ... you'd probably end up on the other side...
... Imagine... What if...

"Mom, could you paint something for our new living room?  Maybe it could be like a forest... or a stream... maybe some reflections... or a path... kind of dark-ish or moody... and maybe a castle in the background... like on some mountains... kind of rough, not exactly realistic ... pretty big so it could go behind the couch... lots of reds would be good... with golds or oranges.... oh, and maybe some ruins like old stairs or a doorway... rocks are good too...."

Ummmm... That's a lot going on... Ummm...   I'm going to need to think about this for a bit... But somehow, all those fragmented ideas knitted themselves together to become this painting.

Original Triptych Oil Painting on 16"x 12, 16"x 16", 16"x 12"

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Garden Cat

I love this cat's attitude... "This is my backyard, and I prefer stretching out right here in the sun among the plants and flowers."

I was flipping through photos on my aunt's phone looking at lots of cute pictures of her great grand babies, but when I came to a random picture of this cat on the wall among the flowers... I knew immediately that I wanted to paint it.  

I found out that the cat's name is Toonces Spraybuttsky, and he belongs to my cousin.  Honestly, you have to think maybe our cats are cousins too! Pounce also loves to hang out with the plants on our back deck and beside the plants in the garden... not to mention the family resemblance! 

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 16" Wrapped Canvas