TOO MUCH INFORMATION!!

Or the day my head blew up

In my quest for constant and never ending improvement I sometimes get too much information in my head. One day, as I put brush to canvas, my head blew up.

It all started when I was unhappy that my painting had gotten too tight (it wasn’t that way in art school and college!). It may be skillful but not very expressive. So I looked to artist’s whose work I admire—old masters as well as currently working artist—to learn new techniques.

I took a workshop, watched some videos, a tutorial, read some books and magazines. After working for years with the colors I used in college I tried a whole new brighter palette and was I having some success. I learned some looser brushwork techniques. I keep going.

One artist uses more colors; one uses a limited palette; one uses 3 colors plus white. One tones their canvas, another does not. Etc.

One day painting, the information was all in conflict in my head. That was the day it all started swirling around and my head blew up. I had to stop, light a candle, meditate, and begin again.

Let’s just try ONE thing and see what happens. Let’s think about just this ONE thing and if it works, fine; if not, fine.

And “Fresh Flowers” came out way better than I expected. Not as loose as I’m working toward, but I pretty much like it. What do you think?

Fresh Flowers
“Fresh Flowers” 10×8″ oil on panel

Garden Wonderland

Master Gardener, Patty Thayer, has turned her yard into a garden wonderland, with paths, plants, and colorful flowers at every turn. A large deck plus small spots to sit provide areas to relax and refresh. The garden is embellished by the work of Artist Blacksmith, Doug Thayer (Patty’s husband).

To see Patty’s work or Doug’s work visit: http://www.thayerhouse.com/index.html

Our plein air painting group was invited to paint in their garden again this year. Deciding what to paint is the most difficult part. The flowers were incredible, blooming everywhere. I chose the steps to the deck where this ceramic blue lantern joined in the color celebration.

“Blue Lantern” is available at Daily Paintworks: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/711253

Blue Lantern
“Blue Lantern” 8×6″ oil on panel

Lake Living

Everyone loves the water, to be near it if not on it.

What is it? Is it the sound? The waves or the movement? The way the light dances on the surface? The mystery of what lies beneath?

I love the reflections, and the light and distorted images of whatever is near. And there is always life around water—flying over it, jumping in it or out of it. And always a breeze. And I love to paint it.

Available at Daily Paintworks: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/696692

Lake Living
“Lake Living”, 8×6″ oil on panel

The Color of White

“There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one”

—from “The Red Flower” by Harry Chapin

“White Rose” available at Daily Paintworks: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/692077

White Rose
“White Rose”, 8×10″ oil on panel

By Any Other Name

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” —William Shakespeare

To enjoy the fragrance as well as to get lost in these shapes and colors is almost more joy than my brush can handle. Indeed the looking and seeing is a big part of painting for me. The name of the thing—not at all.

Getting it from my head into paint…well… that’s a whole ‘nother challenge.

From my recent show, “Yellow Rose”. Available now at Daily Paintworks: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/690691

Yellow Rose
“Yellow Rose” 8×10″ oil on panel

I Get by with a Little Help from My Friends

Part 2

I took photography in college but now I mostly snap pics on my IPhone. I can compose my shots in the camera giving me good reference to paint from later. Painting outdoors is great, but as I’m painting one thing I see a dozen more things around me I want to paint.

I have friends who are photographers and who are generous enough to allow me to use their photos from time to time as reference for my paintings. They have more patience than I do to get some fantastic shots. This “White Iris” was shot by my friend, Deb Drew Brown, which I turned into paint.

Available at Daily Paintworks: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/689337

White Iris
“White Iris” 8×8″ oil on canvas 

I Just Can’t Contain Myself

If ever there were a flower bursting with joy it would be the peonies growing behind my deck. When I first moved into this house they were growing on the side of the house. Who could see them there? I moved them right outside my back deck where I can see them from my desk and they have flourished.

I have invited other artists over to paint them, as I just had to share their beauty. I feel like there is a garden party the whole time they are in bloom. I cannot paint them enough.

I present to you “Bursting Peony” available at Daily Paintworks: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/685548

Bursting Peony
Bursting Peony, 6×6″ oil on panel

Who Doesn’t Love Their Dog Raise Your Hand

I thought so. If you have a dog you love him or her to death. He’s a good boy; she’s a good girl. (So don’t ask them that anymore; just tell them already!)

My last post, the dog portrait, got a lot of attention AND a commission to paint another dog portrait, Lucy. What a beauty she is.

I love to paint; it is a joy. It’s like when you “throw the ball for the dog” kind of joy.

Painting a commissioned piece is a bit more stressful I find. It’s more like “sitting there with the biscuit on your nose waiting to be told, ‘Ok'”, kind of fine line between pain and pleasure.

So in the end I do my best see what happens.

Here is “Lucy”.

Lucy
“Lucy” 8×10″ oil on canvas