Saturday, July 22, 2006

July 22 - Plein Air Again

"Remnants of the Storm" Tonight was the gallery opening of "Au Naturel", the group show of the Plein Air Artists of Riverside (PAAR), from 6 to 9 pm.  Showing about 50 pieces, it was diverse and yet a collection of very good plein air work.  It was HOT, however, I mean the temperature.  Today it ranged from 108 to 112 in our area with 38-45% humidity, and rotund thunderstorms marched across the skies, thwacking lightning and big winds around like an upset, overweight shopper.
  We dodged one storm on our way in, but ran smack dab through another one to get to the show.  I brought my oils, in my smaller plein air setup, and braved the storm and heat by sitting outside to do a couple little 7 x 5 canvases.  The air was fresh, and although it felt like "breathing soup" (love that line), I managed to do two paintings before the light left.  Today's is the first, showing the clouds and the changing sky as the sun approached the horizon.  Those of you familiar with my color system will know exactly where each color went, and why.  But I broke one rule, and you might see it in the darker values of the clouds.  
  Sold to new collector Charlotte McDavid of Birmingham, Alabama.

Friday, July 21, 2006

July 21 - New Book Out!

Here's a bit of news! I have a new book coming out in August from Walter Foster, which is in kit form with the paints right along with the lessons! I was searching on the web for links to and from my site, and found that Walter Foster has taken six of the lessons from my Horses in Acrylics book and printed this lessons-with-supplies book! Geared for the beginning painter in acrylics, this is a hardbound book due to hit and other art book stores next month. So your daily painting is on the cover of this book--it was a 12 x 16 acrylic, and is SOLD to Lynda Sappington, another author who also sculpts horses who I'm honored to call a friend. You can find out more about this book here. (Opens a new window.)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

July 20 - Aussie Dog Commission Finished

Well, here's Roper, finished and hopefully pleasing the Wood family. If one chooses to do commissioned work, as I do oftentimes, one always has the knowledge that as an artist, you are painting to a memory. That can be really difficult, because  you in your artist-mode look at the imagery supplied see the possibilities based upon your training and experience. Yet in the head of the people asking you to do this is a complex idea of what was, or what they remember, having changed what was to "fit" their own perceptions.   

I enjoy doing commissions, because I believe my abilities lie in being able to get inside the source material, to find the real "life" in the animal (or person). So far, I've been either lucky, or people are too afraid of my reputation to come back and say, "Um, Elin, I hate to say this, but our beloved Pookie's eyes weren't crossed." But they'll always be a first time.

Maybe I get away with a lot because I'm such a loose painter.  Artists whose work is needle tight tend to attract the jobs that we artists like to call "commissions from Hell", because the people like to see every freckle and hair in place. I'd never make it in those circles!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

July 19 - Australian Shepherd Commission

Today's painting is the beginning stages of a commissioned piece, of a beloved Australian Shepherd, owned by Judy and Bill Wood of Canada.  I'm including two of the photographs I'm using for source material, and also making changes depending upon the request of the family for whom I'm painting this.
  I tend to "grope" at this phase, making things out of proportion because in the second pass of this 16 x 12 oil, I'll really find the edges I need, and make the corrections.  Please don't write and tell me the dog's face is all 'wrong"... I'll fix that tomorrow!
  You can see the major color areas at this point, but the painting does not have the "life" I like to bring to posthumous portraits yet.  Tomorrow, if all goes well, it will.
Not for Sale.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

July 18 - Dozing (Appaloosa Horse)

"Dozing" Today we have a little exercise in color, working out some details for perhaps a larger painting,  This tricolor Appaloosa is dozing in the heat of a day, full of the humidity we have been experiencing lately.  It's a 6 x 6 acrylic on gallery wrap, and just seems to ooze that sleepy time of day.  Must be because I'm kinda tired tonight?
  Those of you looking to learn something, note the values.  Take it into a photo editing program and take out the color (desaturate) and look at the values, where the contrast is strongest, the movement of darks to keep you in the painting.  It is also a complimentary color scheme, blue/orange. $100 via Paypal or through my Daily Paintings web site.

Monday, July 17, 2006

July 17 - Downtown Idyllwild

Today's painting is another acrylic.  I really need to switch the taboret around and get back to oils, but oh! I do love the acrylics, too!  This is a little 5 x 7 view down the main street of the mountain community of Idyllwild, looking toward the landmark Lily Rock, same one I painted in different light a few days ago.  I have done this scene on location in a larger format, and it was fun to revisit it with only a rather poor photo I took at the time.  When you have lousy source material, it really takes you to task to produce something more from your core.  I heard a quote today on National Public Radio that sort of fits:  "Sometimes you just have to take the leap and create the wings on your way down."  Doesn't that clearly describe what painting can be?  It doesn't work for tax records, but it can be a lot of fun when you just KNOW you've flown before, to pick up those brushes without a hint of wings, and be soaring by the time the painting is finished.
SOLD to new collectors Bert and Peg Hall of Roseville, California.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

July 16 - Lesson Paianting Finished, "Moonlight"

"Moonlight on the Water" Here is the mid-month lesson painting, all finished now. You can compare the two images right next to one another and see the improvements. With such a good beginning, the second time spent with the work is mostly about edges. The entire painting was painted over completely in this pass, adding interest to larger areas with variations of color and brush work, yet the weight and importance of each transition and edge was considered to maintain the hierarchy of edges--subordination to the most important ones--near the focal point. Adding the lighter green grass between the moon and its watery reflection creates a wonderful feeling of distance and softness to the scene.

Completely out of my head, this 12 x 16 on board can be purchased. $225 (Sale Pending)