Saturday, February 27, 2021

Chicken Soup

When doing a still life like this one, there are a bunch of steps before paint ever goes onto the canvas.
  • Gather ingredients and make a pot of soup.
  • Set everything so that it looks pleasing.
  • Take a photo, move a cracker, take another, move the spoon, take another, move the light, take another, stir the soup, take another... take way too many photos. (Honestly, they all look almost the same anyway.)
  • Reheat the soup (Since you spent all that time taking pictures, it got cold.) then eat it while you look through all those photos and decide which one to use.
  • Draw the image on the canvas. (Maybe you can draw well. I can't.  Tracing paper and carbon paper are my friends.)
Here's the view from my seat. 
See the photo on the left?  It's a photo viewer. You know, one of those electronic frames that people buy for their grandparents, but their grandparents never use... There will probably be one at the next estate sale you go to, and it will most likely still be in the box.  Buy it!  It's perfect for reference photos.
Also, notice those two plants in the window...
Do you see him?
Oh, Buff!  For the 100th time, you can't sit there, and you can't bite the plants!
Questions along the way. Why did I paint that teal first, now everything it touches is turning green. How are these squares ever going to look like crackers? What color is boiled chicken? What color are noodles? How do I make it look like everything's sitting in broth?
This was the first version of "I'm finished!" Then I noticed that the bowl looked like a plate. Boo!

My art challenge for this week was "Home Made." This soup did not come out of a can.  It was home made.

Original Oil Painting on 8"x 10" Wrapped Canvas

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Fanciful Spring Landscape

This one makes me think I'm walking straight into a scene where there might be some unicorns grazing just on the other side of that rise.

I painted this for my weekly painting challenge.  The theme was "Spring Landscape."  Why do I never paint spring landscapes?  I did some counting and a little math. I've done a little over a hundred paintings that could fit into the category of landscape.  I discovered that I have not treated my seasons equally!   
This is what I found:
Summer: 50%
Autumn:  45%
Winter:    10%
Spring:     5%

What?  How did that happen?  I need to keep my camera handy in the coming months and take some pretty spring landscape reference photos.

Thanks to Thanks to Paint with Shiba for a great YouTube tutorial. 

Oil Painting on 11"x 14" Wrapped Canvas.
If you'd like to purchase this painting, click Fanciful Spring Landscape.

Monday, February 22, 2021

14 Year Painting Birthday


On February 22, 2007 I  went to my first painting lesson.  
I painted a tree!  
And, it looked like a tree!
I couldn't wait to begin the next one.
I still feel that way... I can't wait to begin the next one.

I'm forever grateful to my art teacher/mentor/friend

To date, I've completed 558 paintings. There are only 8 of those that I'll never sell. This first painting, Summer Trees, is one of those 8.

These are my first 10 paintings.
Hangs in my niece's home
Given to a student
Hangs in my daughter's home
Hangs in my son's home

Thursday, February 18, 2021

A Good Book to Read

A patch of sunlight...
A favorite quilt...
A quiet corner...
A good book to read...

What more could you want?

I painted this for the weekly art challenge "Looking Down."  I think the intent was probably to paint something from the perspective from above, but I went with the subject looking down. I love this image (and this little one).

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 16" Wrapped Canvas

Monday, February 15, 2021

Chickens in Winter

It's hard being a chicken farmer in the winter.
I better not complain.
It's harder being a chicken in the winter.

Ha... I guess I'm not much of a farmer
with my rainboots and pajama pants.

Before the snow began, they
congregated around the back door
watching me in the kitchen.

Brrrrr... It's been some kind of cold cold here.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

How Do You Say Peony?

Is it PEE-uh-nee?
Or is it pee-OH-nee?
I didn't even know that first one was an option until a few years ago!
Either way, it looks like somebody turned the volume up on this pretty pink peony!

It didn't start out this bold.  It's been through a few "I'm finished" moments.

I've always hated... been afraid of... avoided... been challenged with painting what I call "fancy, fluffy flowers" like roses, peonies, carnations, etc. so I turned to a YouTube lesson for some help. (YouTube's a great teacher when you don't have a teacher handy.)  I picked a YouTube artist whose peony painting was beautiful, and her instructions were easy to follow. 

Day 1
I did my best to follow her process, match her strokes, use her colors. At the end of the session, it was a good try. It looked like a peony.
But, it was ugly, and I was frustrated. 
I wiped it off. 
Day 2
I determined to try again.  I followed her, but not as closely.  Somewhere during that time, I began to understand that I was painting one flower, not twenty separate petals. That sounds silly to say, but it changed my mindset. 
I finished the peony!
I was pleased.
Then I stepped back and looked at it.
It had the right shape, but it was cold and lifeless.
Well, that was disappointing...
Day 3
I took a photo to look at it on a screen and get a different perspective, and I decided it was worth saving... my way. 
I brought it to life... and maybe put it on steroids... but I do love this "fancy fluffy flower" now.

This week's art challenge phrase was "Lots of Pink." I certainly did use lots of pink.

Oil Painting on 8"x 10" Wrapped Canvas
Click Bold Pink Peony if you'd like to purchase this painting.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Tools of the Trade


I've heard the "old timers" (people who've farmed and gardened for their whole long lives) say that the day to start thinking about and planning the garden work is Groundhog's Day (February 2nd).  I'm not sure that working on a painting of gardening tools counts, but I did work on it on Groundhog's Day. 

Since I'm too lazy to start my plants from seeds in the house
Since I prefer to purchase my plants after they're ready to put in the ground, I give myself a few extra weeks before putting gardening on my mind.

The "old timers" also say not to put anything in the ground until Tax Day (April 15th) if it can't tolerate a freeze.  I will be ready to plant on Tax Day!

This week's painting challenge was "Tools of the Trade."  I first thought of painting supplies, or writing utensils, or kitchen equipment.  But, since it was Groundhog's Day when sat down to the canvas, gardening tools seemed appropriate.

Original Oil Painting on 6"x12" Wrapped Canvas
Click Tools of the Trade if you'd like to purchase this little painting. (Until that happens, I sure am going to enjoy having this one on my own wall.)

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Sweet Iced Tea

Y'all can find all kinds of lists about living in or visiting The South. (Things You Should Know about the South... What Every Southerner Knows... What I Learned When I Moved to the South.... Best Southern Foods... Traditions of the South...) They may all vary just a little, but there's one thing that'll show up on every... single... list... Sweet Iced Tea or Sweet Ice Tea.  And, it'll probably be number one on that list.

Unsweetened tea??? What??? No...
A cup of hot tea??? What??? No...
Y'ain't havin' that!
It's a strange thing when you realize that something that's such a normal part of life is only normal where you live... not in the whole world!  It's like discovering you speak with an accent that you didn't even know you had!

I did this painting in response to Sara's Inspiration Image, Friend for Tea, on this month's Inspiration Collaboration. I wonder... If, no when Sara and I actually meet in person one day, will we each have a cup of hot tea or a glass of iced tea?  I suppose that will depend on where that meeting happens. 

Original Oil Painting on 10"x 10" Wrapped Canvas
If you'd like this painting for yourself, click Sweet Iced Tea.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Ruby Throated Hummingbird V


This little hummingbird is a good friend.  He's visited my painting canvas a few times.  I have a few go-to images that are perfect for a one-day-art-with-a-friend painting.  He's one of them.

If you look it up, you'll find that the hummingbird is symbol of joy and happiness.  It's said if you see one it gives positive energy and good luck.

I think we could all use some joy and happiness, some positive energy, and a bit of good luck these days.

Original Oil Painting on 5"x 7" Wrapped Canvas
Click Ruby Throated Hummingbird V if you'd like to purchase this little painting.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Inspiration Collaboration - February 2021

Happy February!

We hope these rosy images inspire you to create some 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!