Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hens & Chicks

This is my Hens & Chicks painting.  I did 2 more, but a lady bought them before I took any pictures.  They are such sculptural succulents.  I collect different color varieties of these plants- they amaze me with their configurations. 
The dark red underpainting peaking through the green plant intensifies the color, the two colors virtually sing to each other. I painted Hens & Chicks because I think they are cool to look at.  There is no deeper meaning or intention. I just like them...and they're so easy to grow.
Sometimes, when people view my work, I can see that they aren't interested in my subject matter- like it isn't worthy of their contemplation and/or purchase.  Other people are drawn to my paintings because of the color and nothing else.  I paint what I paint for a reason.  It (usually) makes me happy to do so AND it's the reason the painting is successful, I believe. 
I think the main issue is not the subject matter, not how long it is contemplated or how long it takes to execute, I think it matters that it is attempted and created.  Many of my paintings are a complete surprise to me.  I start out thinking one way, and in the end, the painting turns out to be totally different.  I guess that makes it and "original" original.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cherokee Park in Spring

This is a park across the street from where I used to live.  We had a breathtakingly beautiful spring that I was trying to capture in this shot of the pond.  I should have put some people or some ducks or something else in it, because although I'm happy with the palette of colors, it seems a little too still.   
I love color.  Most of my paintings practically jump off the wall with color.  I wanted this one to whisper.  This is soft, sweet, spring.  I laid in all the colors in my pastel palette, and then finished with some defining darker shots to delineate and give perspective. 
Spring is my favorite season.  It's renewal and growth by opening up to the world. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012


What struck me about the geraniums that were the subject matter of this painting, was that the color just jumped out of a dank, dark corner and screamed for attention to passersby.  I had to take a picture, they were that spectacular.  You'll notice that the background falls away.  No need to focus on anything besides the wonderful complementary colors of red and green. 
The geraniums were on my neighbor's stoop.  Although we had our differences, they grew glorious geraniums...they also had a nice dog, well OK, I liked their kids, too. Back to painting...
I had this goal to paint every day.  I thought this was going to be fairly easy to do, as long as I allocated the time- no problem. Big Problem!  After a month or so, I just seemed to lose my passion for doing it, and everything I tried to paint flopped with a big thud.  I finally realized I was treating my art like a job, something I felt responsibility to, something I HAD to do...and that just didn't work for me.
So I stopped putting myself on a schedule and waited for inspiration to strike.  I tried not to worry- but it took about a month to actually feel like painting again.  Painting is a passion I have, and I found when I removed (even a portion) of that, I lost an integral part of a painting's success. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

From the Window

I had a beautiful view from my bedroom window looking directly into the upper branches of a mature tulip tree.  In the spring it would bloom with yellow blossoms and one time...I saw a indigo bunting looking right back at me from a branch. He apparently didn't want his picture painted, but the tree didn't mind at all.
I don't live there anymore but I have this painting to remind me of that tree.  I loved that tree, the neighbors- not so much. (I digress, sorry)
This painting is a 2x2 ft panel that truly sings with color.  When you play with color pairings, noting what happens to the strength of a color value when it is laid next to a high key complementing color- well, sometimes it takes your breathe away!  I never truly finish a painting until I wait about a day, and then lay in those hits of complementary colors to draw the eye in.  It's the surest way to turn an OK painting into an Oh My! painting...and I hope that it's an oh my in a good way~

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lake Michigan-Miller Beach

This painting was done from some composite shots taken at Miller Beach, Indiana.  Through the trees on the far left you can see the steel mills rusting away.  Usually the subject matter will dictate what my color palette will be, but with this painting, I decided on my range of colors first.  This is a fun way to change up how you paint.  Let me warn you to plan ahead, though.  It can get very confusing if you decide to use contrary colors- your brain (well, mine, anyway) just doesn't want to cooperate sometimes.  I make a little diagram that I look at while I paint to keep me on other words, white=blue, brown= green, etc. I just map the painting out that way.
I did this painting after I moved to Louisville.  I guess I was kind of homesick for Lake Michigan.  Now, 5 years later I am totally southernized.  I love my Ohio River, but this painting always takes me back up north.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Indiana Cornfield

This is a 2x4ft masonite panel.  I did a golden underpainting which peaks through, here and there, to lend the color of late afternoon sun- along with storm clouds gathering in the distance.  I took some pictures somewhere between Bass Lake and Knox Indiana because I was struck by the was light  bouncing around the corn, lighting it up like a pin ball machine.  I love this painting because it represents home to me.  It's the kind of painting that makes people smile when they look at it- whether it's displayed in a very formal, contempory, or country decor.  Who doesn't love a cornfield?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Derby Balloon Race

This is a painting I did from a composite of shots taken at the Great Balloon Race in Louisville.  It's an annual event leading up to the Derby each year.  The funniest thing about this painting is what's underneath.  The masonite panel is large, probably 3x5ft. and approx. 45 years old!  Back in 1967 my Mom commissioned a painting to go over our living room couch.  She wanted a depiction of a little boy and girl, done in an Old Masters style of painting.  What appeared over our couch was fairly scary- even I could see that, and I was pretty young.  The painting went back to the artist 3 different times, each time it got worse.  The children each looked like a combination of The Joker and those Bratz dolls.
The painting finally disappeared, never to be seen again. (Or so we thought)  A few years ago it appeared in my Jeep, along with some other family treasures that my Dad decided I needed.  He and my Mom had stashed the painting in the rafters of the garage all these years.  They refused to throw it away- they had spent way too much money on it.  Obviously, I totally commiserate with that poor artist...many paintings have been less than a good time (see previous post) My thoughts with this one is that it has ended up a collaborative effort-since my parents are willing to look at it again.