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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Blue Ridge Morning


With my convoluted sleep schedule I'm more likely to be closing my eyes as morning approaches instead of opening them, but I still love the atmosphere that surrounds that magical time of day, with dew coating everything and a soft light gathering around the world.

I managed to get around to designing and ordering my new business cards last night. If anyone out there wants a suggestion on where to order their own, check out Overnight Prints, and don't forget to look for coupon codes on Google before you order.

You still have until midnight to enter this month's free painting giveaway!

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Cedar Island Boat


When I visited the Outer Banks last year we pulled over a a lot to capture photos of the views we were passing. My mother-in-law is from the area and told us about how she and her sisters used to go swimming here when she was a kid.

My artist friend Diane Paone recently commented on an older cracked egg still life I posted about in this blog, and it's given me the itch to reapproach the subject. I think that will be my project for tomorrow.

My painting giveaway is still going on but will end tomorrow night, so if you're interested, don't forget to enter!

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Diane Paone

I was so happy to see that one of my favorite artists, Diane Paone, has started a blog and was very kind to do a feature on my art! Diane creates the most amazing miniature masquerade masks and dollhouse miniatures that you're sure to get addicted to. Check out her Etsy shop too while you're at it; she has all kinds of goodies in store!

There's still time to enter my free painting giveaway if you're so inclined!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Storm over Mustard Fields

Purchase this painting on eBay

I'm starting to get back into the swing with these smaller pieces. I just have to remember not to get so fussy with them.

Don't forget to enter my free painting giveaway for January!


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cedar Island Houses

20x20 on stretched canvas

I've done smaller versions similar to this painting, but I have to say I really enjoyed taking it on in a larger scale. This is a view of Cedar Island, NC. While you wait for the ferry to pick you up and take you to Ocracoke, you can stroll the beaches here and enjoy the view. I also want to mention that I replaced a lot of my older brushes this month and it's made a huge difference in how easily a painting falls off my brush. If you're using old, raggedy brushes, go ahead and stock up on new ones! It makes such a difference.

Don't forget to enter my free painting giveaway for January!


Painting Giveaway for January!

Enter by January 31st for your chance to win!

It's time for my monthly painting giveaway! This month's giveaway painting is the above 5"x7" oil painting on 1/8" thick canvas panel of marshland peeking above blue waters. Even the shipping is on me, so you really have nothing to lose by entering, just follow the directions below!

To enter, email me by January 31st at 11:59 PM EST at settle@sirenicart. com or through the "ask seller a question" on any of my eBay pages or the contact seller section on Etsy with your name and physical mailing address with something similar to "free painting giveaway" in the subject title so I won't accidentally miss your email. Your physical mailing address is only used for purposes of shipment and is not given away or used for anything else. If you've entered before you still have to resubmit an entry for this month if you're interested in the painting, as I don't use previous month's entries in the current month's giveaway. Please include your mailing address even if you've entered before.

After the deadline on January 31st at 11:59 PM EST, I'll randomly draw one name as the winner. You'll be notified soon after the contest if you're the winner and your painting will be shipped soon after!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Countryside Stream


My favorite part of this painting were the long grasses surrounding the stream, and adding the touches of red in the middle ground to a very green and blue painting.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Altantic Beach


I promised more beachy paintings so here we are! This is based on a photo I took at Atlantic Beach, NC. I enjoy painting this perspective because it reminds me of lying in the sand and watching the waves roll by on a not-too-hot day.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Oil Painting Varnishing Tips

I've been asked about what kind of varnish I use on my paintings. If you're a painter, especially if you're working in layers, you may notice that some areas just dry flatter than others. I think a painting looks much nicer when the surface retains about the same amount of shine or matte look all the way through.

On paintings that are dry to the touch but aren't ready for a final varnish, I use Sphinx Retouch Varnish. It gives the whole piece a medium shine and evens everything out and will protect it until a final varnish is applied. It's what I do on paintings I'm sending to customers if they look like they need a little more gloss. But if you have an oil painting that's ready for a final varnish (usually after 6-12 months), Winsor and Newton offers a spray varnish in matte, satin, and gloss. I usually go with the satin but wouldn't mind trying the gloss out. And if for whatever reason you don't like the spray version, they also have them in bottles as an option.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Indian Blanket Wildflowers

12x24 on stretched canvas

This time around I mixed up my usual wildflowers a bit and went with Indian Blanket. One of my favorite things about painting fields of flowers is softening them as they recede into the background.

If you're tired of the wildflowers already, I have a few coastal pieces coming in the next few days.


Friday, January 16, 2009

The Bluebonnet Tree

6x8 on stretched canvas

Here's a smaller painting. It's funny to me that I used to exclusively paint smaller pieces, but now I find myself struggling with them. I struggle with the fine line between too much detail and too little and end up having to wipe parts of the painting fairly often. In the end I was happy with this one, but it wasn't a smooth ride.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bluebonnet Hillside

Purchase this painting on eBay

Back to flowers! Here's a 10x10 of a hillside of bluebonnets. Blues have always been difficult for me to photograph, mostly because the intensity of the blue can change so much depending on the light, and since I take the photo outdoors in shadows it further intensifies the blues. I try to adjust the photo to reflect what the painting looks like indoors under medium lighting.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dandelion in the Wind

6x6 on stretched canvas

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Evening at the lake


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Poppy Field

Ever since I approached painting tall grass in a recent painting of Ocracoke, I've had the itch to go back to painting wildflower fields. When I first started painting it was a subject I approached constantly, but I was never satisfied with the results I got. This was a smaller piece, a 6x8, to get me back into the swing of things. I'm currently working on several wildflower paintings in different sizes to see which scale feels most comfortable to me. The link for this painting will be active on Sunday night.


Monday, January 05, 2009

Exercises for Eye Strain

If you're like me, you might get eye strain from long painting sessions and too much time around computer monitors. I've used ibuprofen in the past to help ease strain, and of course a good nap is always welcome. I went googling for some other cures and found a website with some exercises that really helped my current session of eye strain. I don't know about the acupuncture section as I haven't tried any of it but the simple exercises of looking all the way to the left, right, up and down was an instant improvement, and I wanted to share just in case anyone else is guilty of overtaxing their eyes.


Sunday, January 04, 2009

Beach Umbrella

6x6 on stretched canvas - $50


Saturday, January 03, 2009

Art Supply Savings

Did you know that Dick Blick often offers coupons on their site for when you place art orders? I use the coupons in conjunction with a rebate site like Mr.Rebates or Ebates to save money. Dick Blick usually offers bulk discounts on things like canvas, too. Every little bit helps when you're a starving artist.

And in case anyone's looking for sources for packaging supplies, I usually buy my boxes or cardboard pads to make boxes from Uline, packing peanuts from eSupplyStore, and I usually resort to searching eBay for bubble wrap. But if anyone has a better source for anything, let me know!


Thursday, January 01, 2009

December's Painting Giveaway Winner

The winner for December's painting giveaway is Sheri D. in Coral Springs, FL. Thanks for entering everyone! I've decided to continue to do my monthly painting giveaway through 2009, so keep checking in for when I post my next giveaway towards the end of January for your chance to win a small painting. From this point on all giveaways will be posted about in this blog.