Friday, January 29, 2021

Orange Zest

I had a double art challenge this week.  The challenge was to incorporate texture as well as radiating lines.  Citrus slices would meet the challenge, and I don't think I use my orange paints often enough.  Orange is such a happy and energetic color, and I love the way the complements of orange and blue work together.

This was actually my second attempt.  The first one was a nighttime scene of a Ferris wheel and fireworks done with a palette knife. It was the perfect idea for texture and radiating lines! And, working with bright colors on a black canvas was so much fun.  Once it was finished, I could not stop looking at it. I think I was trying to decide if it was so loose and painterly that I should be proud of branching out... or if it was just plain tacky.  After a couple of days, I realized the truth... It was just plain tacky.  So... sadly, the lights went out on the carnival scene, and that canvas is now black once again.  The orange slices are much more "me."

Original Oil Painting on 6"x 8" Wrapped Canvas
To purchase this little painting, just click Orange Zest! 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Cool as a Cucumber

How do you like your cucumbers? In a salad? Peeled and sliced? Pickled? Or, on someone's plate besides your own?  I don't eat them (from the grocery store) from about August to May.  But, in June & July... Summer garden cucumbers every single day!
I train my cucumber vines to grow up inside tomato cages.
The deer leave them alone pretty well if I keep them tucked inside the cages.

I love how the kitchen counter looks on summer days.
There is a limit to how many fresh cucumbers you want eat in a day.  
 HERE  is my favorite pickle recipe for the extras.

So why this summer painting and post in January?
This week's art challenge word was "cool."   After thinking through a list of ideas of things that are cool, I decided, "Cool as a Cucumber" would be a fun little painting.

Original Oil Painting on 5"x 7" Wrapped Canvas
Click Cool as a Cucumber if you'd like to purchase this little painting.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Thistles & Butterflies

In early September we went for our first day trip since the beginning of COVID-19. 

Staying mostly on rural roads, we left NW Arkansas... drove down Western Oklahoma... crossed into and over the Ouachita Mountains ... circled through my hometown... made our way back up to our home in the Ozark Mountains.

I love the Ouachitas.  I grew up right  in the middle of them.
The Talimena Scenic Highway is the best way to view them from the top.

Beautiful, I know.
But, what does this have to do with the painting?
The Talimena Scenic Highway has many pullouts or overlooks so that cars can stop and people can enjoy the view.  Of course I had my camera so I could take pictures of that view; however, I got distracted every single time.  At every stop, the ground was covered with thistles, and the thistles were covered with butterflies. I think I ended up taking about five photos of the mountaintop views and 50 photos of the thistles and butterflies.

The word for the weekly painting challenge with my art mentor Cheri was "lavender."  I went through several ideas for what I might paint, then I remembered these gorgeous lavender-colored thistles. Since we're making the rules up as we go, I decided that thistles would be the perfect response for "lavender."

Original Oil Painting on 8"x 10" Canvas Board, Framed
Click Thistles & Butterflies if you'd like to purchase this painting.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Turtles on a Log


Nothing to see here… can barely even see the lake… just a bunch of twigs and branches and logs. Unless… Unless you look more closely!

You never realize how many turtles are living in a pond until the sun is shining brightly on an otherwise chilly day. Then they crawl up on the logs to bask in the light and try to soak up the warmth. (Somehow this makes the idea swimming in a pond or lake a bit less appealing to me!)

**You’ll just have to trust me that there were three times as many turtles on those logs seconds before I took the reference photo.  You see, I was on a hike with about 50 ten year olds.  Kids don’t really come walking around the bend in a quiet and peaceful way that would encourage turtles not to slip off the logs and back into the water.

Sara's inspiration image for January's Inspiration Collaboration showed a tangle of maple branches against the background of the cold sky with one thing that didn't belong, a pinecone perched there on the maple twigs. My response was to paint twigs and branches and logs on the cool lake with something at the center that doesn't... well, actually does... belong.

I' enjoyed seeing this one on my own wall for a while.  My country girl spirit finds something very calming about it.

Original Oil Painting on 9"x 12" Wrapped Canvas

Friday, January 8, 2021

Nurturing a Love of Books

It's obvious that she's special to this little one. She's special to so many others too.  You see, back when I took my little ones to the public library every week, she was always there behind the desk with a book and a smile.

I was asked to paint her with her grandson and was given several reference photos to choose from.  Once I saw the one with her reading to him, I didn't need to look any further.

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 12" Wrapped Canvas

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Inspiration Collaboration 2020 - Final Project Completed

Dear Friends,

12 months
15 participants
48 inspiration images
134 works of art created
Our magazine is complete!
Here’s the link that will take you to it.
The link will be good to enjoy the preview or to make a purchase for the next two weeks. (This was not a money-making venture.  There is a 0% mark-up on the cost of the magazine.)
This project has been a pleasure of 2020.
Now… it’s 2021!
Are you ready to create once again?
Most parts of Inspiration Collaboration will stay exactly the same. 
You may have noticed that there are two (instead of four) inspiration images.  We hope you’ll come up with some wonderful submissions in response to them. 
You may also have noticed that the blog looks completely different.  We hope you like the new layout.
In case you haven’t visited lately…
Helen & Sara

Saturday, January 2, 2021

House of Blues

The story of a mama's life...
Whether it's a bluebird or a tiger, a fox or a human, mama's have to keep the babies happy, dry, and fed. And, sometimes those babies aren't so patient while waiting.

Thank you to Tom of Piks of the Day, and Stuff! for letting me use his beautiful bluebird photos as reference for this painting.  Click the link and spend some time looking around. His photographs are amazing, kind of like flipping through a National Geographic only without the articles.

This week's art challenge  was "Flight." After searching through my reference photo folders, and almost giving up and deciding to paint a "flight" of stairs, I thought of Tom's blog. He's allowed me to use his photos before, and I knew he had many with birds in flight.  That's where I found this sweet little bluebird in a series of photos he called "Food Delivery."

Original Oil Painting on 8"x 8" Wrapped Canvas
Click House of Blues if you'd like to purchase this little painting.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Inspiration Collaboration - January 2021

New year! New images! 
We hope you're inspired to create art of your own.   Click HERE to read the thoughts behind each image.
It's easy to be a part.  Click HERE for instructions.  
We look forward to seeing what you create!