Monday, October 26, 2009

Philadelphia Museum of Art

This past weekend I went to West Chester PA and was able to steal a little time to go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It was my first visit there and I really enjoyed myself.

I only had a few hours so I went directly to my favorite area, the Impressionists. I visited with Manet, Cassett, Seurat, Cezanne and Pissarro. I especially enjoyed Monet's landscapes; they are so sensual. I was amazed viewing The Japanese Footbridge and Water Lily Pond. It just took my breath away. Renoir's portraits and the colors he used in the skin tones were wonderful especially Portrait of Mademoiselle Legrand. Van Gogh's Paintings are emotionally charged and I fell in love with his Sunflowers. I have seen pictures of all these paintings but seeing them right in front of me where I could see the strokes of paint was so wonderfully amazing and very humbling. It was a very delightful afternoon.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Indian Corn

I painted this last autumn in colored pencils. The photo does not do it justice, but I think you can see the essence of the piece.

Often when using colored pencils I use colored pastel paper. In this piece I used burgundy paper. Jack Whitlow, my friend and drawing teacher taught me this. He says the colored paper helps you keep a mid value to work against. As a color painter I cannot appreciate this concept as much as I should. But I see how the color of the paper underlies the drawing and keeps it together. The paper is mostly covered by the colored pencils but it still is the basis of all color coordination for the finished drawing.

This is something I'm growing to appreciate more as my paintings evolve. It is something I'm also learning in my watercolors without the assistance of "colored" paper. The colors in my backgrounds relate to the colors in my foregrounds often with soft edges blending the two together. This pulls the painting together rather than having separations between items in the painting.

If you notice I've referred to my colored pencil drawing as a painting. This is something that is rather new, but something that I have felt strongly about before. There are many opinions on whether colored pencil pictures are called drawings or paintings. I think it has to do with the picture itself. There is so much blending in this piece that I feel it is more of a painting.

Enjoy the autumn

Monday, October 19, 2009


Here is my latest portrait of Cecelia, the littlest artist. She is the granddaughter of one of my students. She is adorable!

She was so much fun to paint. My biggest concern was keeping her skin light enough while putting down many glazes of paint. The layers of paint are what help me to sculpt the shape of the face as well as develop the color of the skin. Yellows, reds and oranges for the warm colors and blues and purples for the cool colors. The skin and the hair are very close in color and one color just blends right into the other. Sculpting the face consists of placing the darks where you want them to recede and and softening the edges so the lighter areas can move forward. I am pleased with the result.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Yellow Rose

Here's my latest painting. A Yellow Rose. It is painted on Masa paper. I really like the texture of the Masa paper for florals. It really puts them right in the garden. I also like the yellow going into the green. I guess I'm still in my green phase!

I have a yellow rose bush that has the most beautiful, large yellow roses. Sometimes they almost look gold. When all the other rose bushes are not producing roses any more I can always count on my yellow roses.

When painting this rose I wanted to make sure I kept the yellow color up front for the look of sunlight landing on the flower. The green shaded petals in the back make a connection with the background. It was so much fun playing with my colors like this!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ocean View Art Show

Here's a picture of my booth at the Ocean View Art Show. I think the paintings look pretty good in the sunshine. (It's too bad you cannot see all of them.)

Saturday the weather was horrible. Very windy with rain on and off all day. At one point the top of my tent blew off in one corner and it was raining. I had to climb up and grab the top of the tent to put it back in place.

But Sunday was a perfect day for the Art Show. The sun was shining and the temperature was perfect. It turned out to be a great weekend after all.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ocean View Annual Outdoor Art Show

This weekend I'm in the Ocean View Annual Outdoor Art Show along with close to a hundred other artists. The art show is sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Artist's Association. It should be alot of fun. Not only is there art but food and entertainment all in a beautiful setting. I just hope the weather is good and it does not rain!

The show is scheduled for Saturday October 10th and Sunday October 11th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. I hope to see you there.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Under the Palm

This is the painting I had been working on for the Seawall Art Show and had to put it aside. I have reworked it and am more satisfied with it. I like the painting; it is alot of fun with great colors. It just does not capture the mood I was going for. Almost, but not quite. I might try it again as I have some ideas of creating the feelings I want from the painting. (Another plus for being an artist.)

I did this painting with a watercolor background and fluid acrylics for the palm tree. It was the same media as my Koi were. The watercolor background is very simple. I had fun with the fluid acrylics. They are different than watercolors; they are more opaque. But they are more transparent than regular acrylics. The challenging part about using them is you need to "stay in the lines" and you can only put so many coats of paint down before it gets too shiny. But I loved exploring the colors for the fronds. I like the way they frame the trunk.

I have not been spending that much time painting recently. Over the last couple of weeks I have started teaching again and spending a great deal of time preparing my classes. The other day I got a flu shot and now voila I have the flu! Next week I will be preparing for the Ocean View Art Show. I can't wait to get back into a painting mode. My creative spirit is wanting to come out and sing with joy, and peace and beauty.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Contest Winner

I just wanted to announce that Beth Fox won the September contest!!! Congratulations Beth. Please let me know which painting you would like a print of and how you want it to be delivered.

I just want tolet everyone know that we will be having the drawing again in the month of October. Good luck to all of you.