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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Backlit Ocracoke Boats

6x6 on canvas panel

Having a red gesso underpainting is really helpful in doing these quicker studies, since I don't have to worry about covering every little spot. This is another one from my Ocracoke references; the sun was hitting these boats from behind which made for some nice effects. I'm having a lot more fun doing these little pieces than I thought I would.

Also, see Douglas Hoover's latest painting! He's currently in Ocracoke and we must have been on the same wavelength when we painted these. How cool is that?

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ocracoke Dock at Evening

5x7 on canvas panel

This painting was based on a horrible reference photo I took last year while leaving Ocracoke Island on the ferry. It was getting late and the ferry was pulling off so the photo came out blurry and dark. I fixed it up as much as I could in Photoshop and decided to try it as a painting anyway.

I have a lot of auctions starting at $9.99 going on this week. I'm trying to clear out many of my small paintings and would like to find good homes for them, so if you're looking for a good bargain on art, check out my eBay store. I'm also starting my timed studies at auction at $29.99.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

House on the Marsh

4x4 on canvas panel

Here's another quickie, from a roadside view on way to the Outer Banks.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ocracoke Lighthouse - View From the Ferry

4x8 on canvas panel
Click to bid on this painting

I tend to generally paint in a passive voice; focusing on giving my paintings an atmosphere of calm and serenity because that sense of tranquility is what I'm always striving to attain in my own life. Lately I've been looking for new ways to challenge myself with painting and to step outside my comfort zone, which admittedly has led to a non-cohesive style for me overall, but I find that the experimentation with different styles is helping me develop a way to find a balance between them all in the future.

I've been avoiding small paintings for quite a while because I find myself fussing with them too much and feeling like there's just not enough room to work with. I always try to add more and more detail until I get rid of the painting in frustration. A week ago I tried a few timed studies and liked how it forced me to paint in a more active voice and kept me from over-analyzing everything. That was the idea behind this little painting of the lighthouse on Ocracoke peeking out from behind the trees.

It's time for me to start cleaning the dust off my hoard of canvas panels!

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Sunday, April 19, 2009


24x24 on stretched canvas

I had so much with the Game of Life painting I did a few weeks ago that I wanted to do another based on a board game, especially since everyone that looked at my Life painting accidentally kept calling it Monopoly instead (love you, Mom). I've always liked playing with the Scottish Terrier dog token so he was the one I gravitated toward painting, especially after I saw the fun shadow he cast when I was taking my reference photos.

Painting text is still such a beast to me! Hopefully practice makes perfect eventually.

I'd like to do a whole series of board game paintings. What were or are some of your favorites? My husband and I were discussing Clue last night and I thought it could have some fun set ups, and I have some great memories of it. I'd also love to find some vintage copies of popular games that have had facelifts over the years.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Tagged Again!

A few weeks ago the very talented Tom Pohlman was kind enough to tag me for the Passion for Painting Award, and yesterday the also very talented Sara Winters told me she had tagged me as well! Please check them both out if you get the chance; both are an inspiration to me and their blogs aren't to be missed. Tom's paintings focus on the Southwest and his brush strokes always come across as expressive and energetic, and Sara has really inspired me to try some paintings with red underpaintings again. You should check out some of her recent boat paintings; they're gorgeous!

And if you missed my original post about the award, where I listed seven things I love and seven other artists that inspire me, you can find it here.

Thanks to both Tom and Sara for thinking of me, and thanks to everyone that keeps me inspired with both your work and your comments. It's good to have in these slow times!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring Hill

4x8 oil painting on canvas panel

Since lately I've been working in layers on paintings, I decided to mix things up and do a quick and loose painting with a 30 minute time limit. I think I'll try some more during the upcoming week just to shake the cobwebs off and as good practice in between some larger pieces I'll be working on.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tabby Cat Contemplation

5x7 on hardboard panel

I gained even more respect for animal painters after working on this piece. I also went back to a masonite panel on this one, which I haven't worked on in over a year, because I thought it would work for the subject better than a rougher surface. I did like it but I may try a different pose on canvas to get a comparison of how the two work for the way I paint.

This is a portrait of my best buddy. I met him while volunteering at a shelter in college, and he grew on me so much that I begged to adopt him even though I had a few months left before graduation and wasn't supposed to have pets in my apartment. His name at the shelter was Tigger and I got used to it and didn't change it, though I feel totally unoriginal for not changing it now. I mostly call him Roo or one of the other millions of variations on his name.

Years ago I submitted many of his pictures for the Wetcanvas Reference Library so he's been painted by many talented artists and has proven to be a popular subject. The photo I based this painting on is one that I submitted, so you may run across someone else's take on him at some point.

He's got one really interesting personality quirk. He's never responded to me calling his name or using any other method of trying to get him to come out when I want him to, and even treats won't do the trick. But about two years ago he caught a cold, and everytime he sneezed I'd check on him and make sure he was OK. A few weeks after his cold passed, I caught a cold, and I noticed that whenever I sneezed, he'd come running from wherever he was to check on me. Ever since then the only sure way of getting him to come to me when I need him to is to fake a sneeze. I feel bad about it, but he gets rewarded with tummy rubs and really doesn't seem to mind. He's really the best cat ever, and sleeps tucked under my arm at night.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rows of Lavender

6x6 on stretched canvas

I took a break from larger paintings to do this little lavender painting. A friend gave me a lavender and vanilla scented liquid potpourri so lavender pops in my mind every time I pass by it, and thus this painting was born.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Apple in Bowl

24x24 on stretched canvas

This painting was a bit of a pain to photograph and came out kind of grainy, and I didn't want to mess around with it too much more since it's still wet. I'll try again in a few days for a better one.

I've had this striped bowl for years and I've used it in previous still life setups. I love all the colors so I couldn't help but use it again for this painting.


Monday, April 06, 2009

Ocracoke Island Sunset

10x10 on stretched canvas

Admittedly I overworked the bottom part on this one. I've been having an "off" painting day despite my best efforts. I'm nearing completion on a larger apple painting; hopefully I'll be able to tie it up for posting tomorrow.


Saturday, April 04, 2009

Mustard Field Tree

6x6 on stretched canvas

I felt the urge to paint a happy little tree, and since spring has me thinking of the subject I wanted to plant it in a field of mustard. I'm currently working on two other different sized paintings with different subjects, so I'm trying to keep busy even though I feel like I'm not getting anywhere specific fast.

R. Garriott recently posed a few questions on his blog about how artists manage their time, and just how long an artist spends each day painting. I think I usually manage about 4-6 hours of actual painting five days of the week, and then of course I still have art-related things to do even if I'm not actually painting, like listing and shipping. I give myself a two day break of no painting to regroup and refresh myself because painting can be exhausting, both creatively and physically. There are days where it's hard to get going, and I just have to plant myself in front of the easel and get to it.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Game of Life

24x24 on stretched canvas

I've been working on this painting for the last few days which is why I haven't posted as many other pieces this last week. This subject was definitely outside of the box for me, but that's why I chose it. It posed a lot of challenges that I was curious enough to try, like the faux shadows of the board game itself against the actual cast shadows of the objects on it. And all that lettering! I've never really attempted a painting with so much text on it before. Also, many of my paintings are more subtle color mixes so this one, with all its loud colors, gave me something to think about.

I'd love to hunt down an antique version of the game and paint it next time.

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