Hello from Ohio!
I haven't been able to get outside to paint here yet - too many activities with the kids and the family - but I was able to get a new little painting done last night after the kids were in bed. The smell of this nectarine was driving me crazy the whole time I was painting it.....I couldn't wait to finish so I could eat it!
This was for Carol Marine's Gift Challenge on Daily Paintworks. I am a horrible gift-wrapper! I wanted to make it a fun painting, with all the curly ribbons and shadows, but it is not quite happening. I may end up re-visiting this one or scrapping it...not quite sure yet.
In other news, I just wanted to post one last painting while I spend tomorrow packing up my car (and my kids!) for a road trip out to see my family. A little time for relaxation and rejuvenation I hope. I am bringing my thumb box, so I hope to get a little painting done, but I doubt I will be able to post any new work next week. In the meanwhile, I will be reposting some older work that has returned from shows and is now available for purchase. Hope everyone has a great week!
One more for my Relationships Series - a series of different fruits and vegetables on a stark white background, showing the relationships between the shapes, their shadows and the space around them. These berries are larger than life! One of the best parts for summer is having all of the wonderful fruit to choose from (both to paint and to eat!).
Today was my last morning of "freedom" before the kids are out of school for the summer. I knew I had to spend it by myself, outside painting in a quiet spot. This is a pretty little pond surrounded by woods. I wanted to capture the way the morning sun shone through the trees and just touched the pond, and the feeling of peace I felt here. Not quite sure I succeeded. I am amazed at how easy some people make plein air landscapes look - I am definitely challenged! But I have the desire, so I will keep practicing.
I hope to keep my posts regular throughout the summer, but it may take a few weeks to find and adjust to a new rhythm with the kids out of school....I hope you will stick with me ;-)
My entry for the Daily Paintworks Challenge "The Balance Challenge".
This one was too much fun....I think I will be looking around the house to find more items to stack!
Life has been crazy lately, the kids are getting out of school next week.....I think "finding balance" may be my theme for the summer....
By the way, I am excited to say that I have joined the Daily Paintworks site! I am thrilled to have my work displayed along with some of the artists I have long admired. David and Carol Marine have really built a wonderful site and I am happy to be a part of it. I hope to try out the auction part of it soon as well.
I liked the white tulips and the green-grey of the leaves with the peachy-pink of the vase. The leaves seemed to have a mind of their own, so I decided to make them a little more of the focus of the painting instead of the blooms getting all the attention.
Now I need to move on to a few food-themed pieces for a local shop....however I may be tempted to get back outside if the rain ever goes away.....
Today the kids decided to spend the rainy day at the train museum with Dad, so I took a solo trip to an art exhibit called "Art in the Barn". It is a juried exhibition put on by the local land conservation group Essex County Greenbelt. There was lots of wonderful local art hung in two barns on the property of the beautiful Cox Reservation. I enjoyed the exhibit - especially some beautiful pastel landscape work and some stunning bronze sculptures. One thing I realized while looking around was the importance of good framing - some of the paintings were really elevated by their framing, other times beautiful work was somewhat brought down by a poorly made or mismatched frame. I know framing is an area where I could use a lot of work!
The reservation itself was gorgeous, even in the rain. They have trails leading out to the Parker River and all kinds of views through fields and salt marshes. I didn't walk out very far beacause of the weather, but I kept thinking at every turn "oh, I have to paint that", "oh, I have to paint THAT". I think I will be re-visiting the place in more agreeable weather!
After I got my car unstuck from the muddy field that was being used for parking, I headed for one of my favorite shops....kind of a junk shop I guess you would call it. Not really an antique store, though Essex is full of those, this has some antiques, some treasures, and a lot of STUFF crammed into an old building. It is fun just to pick through...you never know what you will find! They really know their stuff there, so it is not like you will find some great bargain, but I enjoy just looking and occasionally finding a great still life prop. Today nothing in my (very meager) budget jumped out at me saying "paint me!", but the true treasure trove was the time I spent outside taking pictures. I spent the longest time taking pictures of the architectural salvage and other junk they had outside the building. I kept expecting someone to run out and yell at me, but I guess they decided the crazy lady taking pictures of their junk in the pouring rain must be pretty harmless.
Even the drive home was full of great scenery, interesting buildings, lovely fields. It was all I could do to keep from pulling over every few hundred yards to take more pictures. Even the houses were fascinating. It was like being in a heightened state of awareness...everything looked so interesting, and so paint-worthy. Maybe it was the rain, making the colors a little more vivid, or maybe I just need to get out more......
One more for the show. This pretty pink-ish vase is nice to look at, but difficult to put in a still life for some reason. I keep changing the color of the background on this one, so I think it is time to walk away from it! I'm going to try one more with the vase and a different set up, hopefully tomorrow.
One more still life for the show at the end of next week. I love this little crock! It was fun to set up still lifes with it. The crock will be for sale at the show with my paintings....(unless I buy it first ;-)
Today was Spring Blossom Day at the Kelsey Arboretum - one of my favorite places to paint!
It was a beautiful day and many of the rhododendrons were in full bloom.
I walked through some of the paths with the head of the horticultural society and learned quite a bit about many of the plants in the arboretum as well as some of its trees (including some very cool cork trees!). I also learned a little more about the interesting history of the place. They invited me to display some of my paintings during their open house next year - an opportunity I will definitely have to consider!
Yesterday we went to Salem, MA to check out the Salem Arts Festival. It was very low-key and didn't seem to be drawing much of a crowd. Their site said there would be artists working and displaying all over town, but unfortunately I was never able to find any of them. The juried show was interesting, and the small space that the Arts Association fills on "Artists' Row" was wonderful - however even Artists' Row itself was pretty dead ;-(
One of my goals for this year is to find a local arts guild or association of some sort to join. The town I live in is very small and doesn't have one of its own, but there are many in the surrounding areas. I have been attending different events, trying to find a group that might work for me. I tend to be pretty shy, and can't quite figure out the best way to go about finding an active, but not too huge, group that I feel comfortable with. I'd love to hear others' experiences.....
Another painting from the Kelsey Arboretum. It was just too beautiful a day to stay inside painting still lifes!
There are a few more types of Rhododendrons in bloom right now at the Arboretum - I think it is getting close to peak season for the plants there. I figured I'd try to get in a few more sessions there while there are still blooms. The Arboretum is having there big "open house" on Sunday with guided tours, etc. It's always fun to hear about the history of the place...I always seem to learn something new each time I attend one of their walks.
I'm not sure why I decided to use paper for this instead of canvas or board. It started out with a bunch of washes - maybe that has something to do with it. I seemed to be always drawn to these gnarled lumpy trees. I'm not sure I captured the light quite the way I wanted to....practice, practice, practice......
This is the first of a couple of still lifes I promised for the upcoming local show. The show is a "art and antiques" kind of show, held in a large, well lighted and decorated barn. It has been a good show for me in the past, so I am hoping for another good one. A few weeks ago, I borrowed a couple of small antique/collectible pieces that are going to be in the show. I promised to work the objects into a couple of my paintings. I thought it would be fun to have a few new items to use for still lifes, and the organizer of the show thought it would be cool to be able to display the paintings near the objects. I have a pretty little blue pitcher, a small crock and a pink-ish vase to work with. So for the next few days, I will have to ignore the call of the outdoors, and concentrate on getting a couple of still lifes done. The blackberries were a lot more difficult to paint than I expected - I will have to try them again soon.