Tuesday, December 25, 2007

December 25 - Peace on Earth, Enjoy..

One of my favorite songs, sung in two languages. May each one of us work for "Peace on Earth" and I'll be back to the easel tomorrow. Merry Christmas!

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Dec 24 - Much to Enjoy

With this message are images of the new construction on the studio, almost finished now, and ready to share as my gift to you this Christmas Eve. The old entrance to the studio was narrow and dark, and there was a four foot wall right by the door, making getting in and out difficult. All the excavation resulted in this more pleasant welcome. I took these pictures this morning. ..temperature about 58 degrees.

This first image is the new walkway and lamp post, going to the stairs that drop down to the recessed patio. All concrete was stamped and stained to look like the natural granite boulders on the right. The outer studio is the green part, the main house is above that. Yes, those are the puppies!

This is the view looking up the new stairs toward the parking area. We added the used brick trim to continue the look of the house. Before, it was pink cinder block (think prison walls, and they matched the pink paint--arrgh). The stairs curve, and the railing is the same color as our driveway gate. I'm already planting and hanging baskets!
In all the construction, I wanted to keep the natural boulders and enjoy their sheltering presence and the wildlife they harbor.

This next image is looking down into the patio at the eight-foot sliding door that replaced a small window. Great north light coming in now. Installed into the wall next to the soon-to-be-painted door is a lovely mosaic by artist Judy Wood. I have two of her pieces and love each one. I will add more sculptures to the yard and gardens in the years to come.

Here is the view you'd get if you were coming to a workshop, bringing your supplies. The patio opens off the two doors, and the seating walls on the planters will be great for breaks and for lunches outdoors. They'll be full of plants by February's workshop, and we'll have a table and umbrella out there, too. The metal sign near the top of the door reads "Welcome" on one side... and "Go Away" on the other... just a joke!

Between Ron's Honda and the pond, I'm working on a rose garden. There will be between 8 and 12 bushes in it, and by this spring, we ought to have some very fragrant roses growing there. Right now, the fall foliage is reflected in the koi pond on the front patio of the house. (The sand bags are only there because of the recent rains. )
So the upgrading of the yard and studio continues, and all will be finished by the workshops next year. I'm so pleased that this will be ready, and I couldn't share it until it was.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all the best in 2008!

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Dec 21 - Holiday Commission, Landscape in Acrylics

I LOVE last-minute commissions! I am so pleased that I can deliver a painting in a week or less when other artists take months. It has been especially wonderful this year, as my contact list and word of mouth has brought some wonderful folks to my email "door" with requests for paintings for gift giving.
Here is an example of the one I just shipped--a 16 x 20 acrylic of a place that is so very special to the person receiving the present--his favorite place for camping and in the high country with that distinct peak. His wife sent me images, and I pulled the view together (and you know how much I love to paint water!). She was very pleased, and so am I.

And two paintings as last minute Christmas gifts were sold from my ebay store, one shipped to arrive Tuesday, and another to be hand delivered by me this weekend.

So my holidays are busy and full of the real pleasure of bringing visual joy to so many people, while doing what I love, (and must do) to be who I am.

To all my collectors and friends, I wish you a very safe and loving holiday season filled with your most treasured wishes. For me, it will be a quiet season, reflecting on all the wonderful friends I have made through my artwork. Well, as quiet as it can be with two new puppies!
Here's an image of them when it truly IS quiet....
Congratulations to returning collector Frank Barrese of Temecula, California, on his purchase of "Mission Inn Arch" and new collectors Ronny Klemm of East Northport, New York ("Bored" --English warmblood) and Vicki Harris of Lake Forest, California, ("His Favorite View") for their purchases.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dec 18 - German Shorthair Finished, and delivered!

A marathon couple of days in the studio this week... two commissions to finish up, and this is the first. The second is done, too, but I'm waiting for feedback from the folks before posting it.

This is the finished 24 x 18 inch acrylic portrait of "Robi" and I am going to quote for you some of the writings that her former owner wrote:
This pup was singularly responsible for bringing my dad and I back together. Dogs work a sort of magic with him--soften him up. Sounds a bit silly I guess, but my dad accepted the pup and put our troubles behind him. At any rate, his young dog and my young pup became fast friends, so close, so inseparable in fact that even though Robi was my dog, she was happiest with Tarn and my dad. I could never have moved her to Southern California--it would have been unfair to all three.

She was, without a doubt, the oddest dog we've ever had. Until about four years of age, she would not gain much weight. She grew and always had an incredibly shiny coat and healthy gleam to her eye, but her ribs and hip bones always stuck out (despite eating large quantities of food). She was very active (not hyper or yippy or a bit crazy--none of our shorthairs have been as they are sterotyped).

Robi was our only digger. She did dig a few holes in the lawn, but stopped that quickly on her own. Instead, she was prone to burrying things in the couch. The two dogs got a selection of milk bones and pig ears in the evening time. Robi would take each one and run off to one of the couches, where she would wedge it down between the cushions with her nose. If there were blankets in the way, she'd dig at them with her paws until she could shove the treat where she wanted it. She'd then dig up her little hidden treasures later that evening or the next day for a snack.

Robi was a good hunter with a good nose. She was keen to retrieve and a good swimmer. Although, she was always far more content to hunt very close to my dad, while Tarn would range out farther and cover a lot more ground. Tarn was often the first dog to find a bird. Robi would honor Tarn's point every time. She did this instinctively without ever being trained or taught to do so.

In terms of dimensions, Robi was small for a shorthair. She was about 35-40 pounds at her normal weight and around 28" at her shoulder. She often wore a guilty look, though she was very rarely in trouble.

In her last year she had moved with my dad and Tarn to the Isle of Man and then to Alaska, my dad's permanent residence. In August, my dad was entertaining some company that wanted to do a lot of salmon fishing. On a scouting expedition, my dad let both dogs out on the side of a country road. Both dogs have been around their fare share of traffic and cars--they are traffic safe. It was one of those fluke things where Robi just got out on the wrong side at the wrong time and a car just happened to be right there, coming out of a blind turn. The car hit her without having time to break. My dad was just crushed. He performed CPR on her for 10 minutes, but to no avail--she passed away quickly from massive internal injuries. (End of quote)

I'm sure you can see why I had to paint Robi. Stories like this one make my painting journey such a poignant one. The painting is now in the hands of Summer and Shawn, and it will travel north to Alaska next week, as a present to his dad. Here's a photograph of the painting when they picked it up today. Yes, these two also shoe my horse!

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dec 13 - Commission for Christmas

I'm off and running on a 24 x 18 commission to be delivered on the 16th. It is a German Shorthair named Robi, who was co-owned by a father and son, and who was tragically killed this past year.
I've owned German Shorthair Pointers, and know how loving and silly they can be, and how very "birdy". So it is fun to revisit the breed in this acrylic painting.
Here you see the rough lay-in of the structure and position of the dog, in a characteristic pose, over the underpainting which is composed mostly of Quinacradone Burnt Orange and Ultramarine Blue.
I did a small sketch from images provided by the son, and read his words on how the dog behaved. I haven't decided yet whether or not to put the dog on a familiar couch, or put smaller composite pictures in the negative space of aspects of this bird dog's life. The painting will tell me what to do when the time is ripe.
I'm also working on another commission, which needs to be sent out Monday. Busy! I'll share that one with you soon, in a couple of stages, so you can see the mountain landscape come together. I love making paintings for people that bring moments back to them! I don't think there is a better way to depict a moment in time than through a well-executed painting...so much of the artist's hand and the "life" of the moment comes through that is difficult to capture in ordinary snap shots or digital imagery.

On the Maine painting, I had several wonderful suggestions, and will be working on that one after these two commissions are put to bed. But no boats on the water...sorry!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dec 11 - Well on it's way - The Maine Coast lesson

Oh, drat! Somebody get me an egg timer so I can stop before I get too far along on these lessons! I just picked up my brushes and started working on the fun of painting the textures in the foreround, and look how it got away from me! I could have made three steps in this area, but the brushes and the joy in creating it captured me!
Maybe it is the Christmas spirit, but all that red and green made me enjoy the process so much.
I will tell you that the beginnings of all that texture were created with burnt umber and thalo green, deep in the shadow areas. Then with a large, 3/4" brush, I put in the major colors of the upper layers. On the right, it was a mixture of white, thalo green and sap green, and then across the middle ground it was yellow ochre added to that mix. Finally a third pass over those big blobs of color, using a small brush to create the illusion of detail.
What fun to paint this way! Brushwork, certainly, and watching the warm colors appear in the lighter areas, and yet still maintaining that feel of a slightly overcast day.
Is it finished? Not yet--no signature. I'll post it when I'm truly finished with it. What do you think I will do with it from this point? I love to hear what you're thinking!
And the colors... Go great with the bathroom! Har de har--painting to a bathroom color scheme--who woulda figured?
Next will be an 18 x 24 commission of a German Shorthair Pointer dog... in time for Christmas! Busy, busy!

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Dec. 9 - Lesson Continuing, Acrylic Maine

Oops! A day slipped away from me, but it was certainly a busy one! We opened our home and studio for a holiday gathering of friends, family and artists on Saturday, and I'm now recovered enough to write again. All the guests who were strangers mostly to one another wore name tags with their first name, their affiliation to Ron and I (Aikido, Artist, or something else) and some added an interesting fact below that. Conversations abounded as folks asked questions upon viewing the name tags. "Oh, you're a gardener! Where is your garden and how big is it?" "Endurance riding? Can you tell me about that?"

I cooked for two full days prior, and most of the food disappeared! Bruschetta, cookies, tropical fruit cake, fudge, meatballs in sauce, deviled eggs... whew. We still have beer, though.

So, on to this painting! The 16 x 24 inch format is clearly visible now with the sky, water and distant headlands painted in. Those of you boot campers (prior workshop attendees) know that this entire section was done with the cool palette, using mostly the "big three" for the sky and water. I used burnt umber and ultramarine mixed into the sky mix to create the headlands/islands out in the sea. The entire area "lays down" because of the use of the cools.
Although the canvas looks almost divided in thirds at this point (Ack! Bad design!) the weight and angulation of the lower area for the vegetation will carry the painting when I get to it. And that will be very soon!

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Dec 7 - Lesson! Acrylic Painting Beginning

OK, it has been toooooo long! Lesson time! I've been thinking about each one of you this holiday season, and want to gift you at least two lessons before the new year...

This is an interesting canvas size--it is 16 x 24, not your usual 16 x 20. I had a couple of frames of this size made up some time ago, and I'm doing a painting for myself.... imagine that! This size is the 2 x 3 ratio that one usually sees in 24 x 36 canvases.

Ratios in canvases are interesting in any event... we have the square 1:1 ratio, the 3:4 and 2:3 ratio, and the 1:3 that results in really looong canvases (or tall ones if it is 3:1). Finding the right ratio for the subject matter is important to me as an artist, because when I design within that space, I am influenced by the initial concept, and I then grab a canvas that mostly works with that structure. Trying to fit a concept into a canvas that isn't conducive to it is a scenario for frustration. Thus the guidance of a sketchbook to work through the best design before beginning! If you're interested, you might go back in the blog to see the whippet painting that is on a 1:3 canvas (12 x 36) which lends itself to the long, running stride of that dog breed.

Now this lesson canvas is destined to hang above the towel rack in my guest bathroom, and the subject is the coast of Maine. I've been thinking about this painting for a while--most of the past month--and so it is almost finished in my head before I lift a brush. I'm curtailed in my colors to match the bathroom (oh dear!) but that won't affect me until later in the painting. I may have to soften somewhat the concept to fit with the gentleness of the (ulp!) deep pink and gray-green and gray-blue of the colors there. But that's later.

For now, I started this acrylic with an underpainting of Quinacradone Burnt Orange and Cadmium Orange to get rid of that white canvas. Then I sketched in the design with burnt umber and ultramarine blue. I have a high horizon line to focus the viewer on the foreground, where I'm going to be having a riot of fun with acrylic texture to create the vegetation on the coast of Maine. Tomorrow the lay-in of the sky, sea and clouds.....

Other news, the two puppies are deeply entrenched in my heart, and have adjusted to the routines around here. They bring me such joy at their lively puppiness! (Now, just as a note, can you see the DESIGN in this photograph???)

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Nov. 26 - Interior, University of Redlands Chapel

During the fires last month, when the air quality in Southern California was "Hazardous", artists were painting "en plein aire" on the grounds of the University of Redlands as part of their centennial celebration. On one of those afternoons, I went inside the chapel, to get a view of the light and space from the balcony. Sitting up there, I listened to first a flutist, and secondly an organist, come in and play to an empty house. The acoustics of the building are spectacular; listening to the chords and tone of the Casavant Opus 1230 organ rising to the rafters lifted my spirits as well as my brushes! This is an 18 x 24 inch acrylic on board that showcases the stained glass, the stage area and the organ on the left. Both the grand and baby grand pianos were on the platform as well.
I used mostly my earth colors (burnt umber, yellow ochre, and burnt sienna) to facilitate the unity of the interior, then pulled out all the stops to create the luminescent windows above. The contrast of those pure colors against the muted earths inevitably pulls the viewer to the beauty and glow of the stained glass.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

November 13 - Demonstration Snow Scene for Corona Art Association

Last night I was the guest demonstrator for the Corona Art Association, in the town just west of where I live. A very nice group of artists came out for the evening, and many I hadn't seen in a while (Mary!). I painted this 16 x 12 acrylic during the demonstration, starting with a toned canvas panel on my new Easyl.

I used a burnt orange color to get rid of that white surface, choosing a warm color to offset the dominant cool colors to come. The design was drawn without reference from memories of snow scenes I've seen in the past. Although I didn't take "in process" steps as a lesson series for you, I will do my best to explain how it came to this point.

First, I used the cool pill box colors entirely for 98% of the image. I laid in the large darks where the pines and spruce trees were to go, and also using that mix of burnt umber and ultramarine blue, the water area.

Then the rest of the canvas was covered with varying shades of the three ever-useful sky colors: Ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson and yellow ochre, lightened with titanium.

Controlling the opacity of the mixes was important, so that underpainting shows through as the layers became lighter. I wanted that translucency of frozen water to convince the viewer of the layers of snow.
After the break (the Corona Art Association is to be commended for the great hospitality--I didn't need dinner!) I came back and "finally" opened the warm box, where I used cadmium orange tinting the titanium white for the final sunny areas. Holding off the accent areas until the final colors are put in helps keep the rest of the painting interesting. Then those highlights become the "plink" to finish it off.

Many artists put too much importance too soon on that "plink". Far better to have a really good painting, and then add that "plink".

On the home front, we came back from Chicago with "Onslow!" Puppy breath and happy wiggles... Here he is with our old German Pinscher. He's about 6" tall. She's 16".

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

November 3 - Moonlight on the Chapel, U of Redlands

Original acrylic, 8 x 5 inches, on board. One of the nice things about painting on location is the freedom one has to interpret what is "out there" and make a decent expression of the mood, the effects of light, and to add one's personal statement.

"There I was, painting on location, with about a dozen others in the same area...." Each one of us painting a familiar scene, yet uniquely our own end result. Me, on a sunny afternoon, decided to change what was in front of me to a moonlight scene. With the Color System, all I did was close the lids on four of the pigments, and paint away, keeping my values fairly close to one another, and focusing on the focal point's facade to convey night time.

Here's the actual view during the day, to give you an idea of how much freedom I expressed in changing the time of day and the composition. Being able to move away from "what's out there" to my own artistic expression is the most freeing thing for me as an artist. No longer constrained to the limits of photography, or on location sites, I can begin to exercise my unique vision in pigment. What does it take? Miles of canvas, a willingness to make mistakes for the purpose of learning, and belief in one's ability to have a fresh vision on ordinary subjects. And miles of canvas. Did I already say miles of canvas? Oh, senior moment! Miles of canvas. Paint. Paint more. And then paint more. No shortcuts in this business, sorry!

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Friday, November 02, 2007

November 2 - University of Redlands Browsing Room

Here's one of the acrylic paintings I did as part of the Centennial Celebration of the University of Redlands. They had almost 100 plein air artists painting around the campus for a week--unfortunately during the wildfires when the smoke was so bad that we had advisories to "stay indoors". I took that to heart and went to the Hall of Letters to one of the most unique "classrooms" on the campus. Lined with bookshelves, it also has two stained glass windows that were installed in the 1950s, which depict a knight and a prioress. Home of senior seminars, and many a student presentation, HL213 is now forever captured on canvas. It is a 12 x 16 acrylic on board, and when the Dean whose office is in that building saw it--she bought it!

It also won an award at the opening reception, judged by John Budicin, past president of the Plein Air Painters of America. Nice to know that there is some flexibility in what we paint "outdoors". And I was able to save my lungs for another day's painting later in the week.

Here's a photograph of the painting, on the wall at the showing of all the artist's paintings, complete with ribbon. I had two of them, both sold, and both in this image. Can you guess which is my "other" painting?

The word is back on the Three Dogs painting: "Elin,it is beautiful!!! We are so excited about it and can't wait to hang it in our living room..I especially love the way the yellow lab looks. I think she stands out because she is looking at the viewer. I didn't think about that aspect when we were planning the portrait. All three of them look simply divine! Well done Elin!!"

Now I can rest. Thanks for letting me visit with you!

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

November 1 - Three Dog Commission Finished!

It has been a long time for this painting, and not my usual time frame, but this one is now 95% finished, and I've sent out this image to the collectors for their comments and (hopefully) approval of what is done so far. I'm pleased with it!

It is an oil, 30 x 50 inches, and has kept my studio out of order while I painted it on the wall. My Hughes easel has been in the middle of the room, and it pouts there while I walk over to the wall to paint. It is good to be able to see the finish on this one and to share with you the plein air paintings tomorrow and this week that have been waiting for this commission to finish!

Now with the new construction on the outer studio, with a new eight-foot tall sliding door letting in north light, I'm so excited about the upcoming workshops here! The February one is full, but there's a new one in March that still has space.

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Podcasts of many of the daily paintings are now available on iTunes and YouTube! Just put in my name for a search.

Monday, October 08, 2007

October 8 - More from Paint the Aspens in Arizona

Although I might be back home again, I still have such wonderful memories of my time camping at Hawley Lake, and painting the beauty that is the White Mountains of Arizona. I have already marked my calendar for next year (first full week in October) and plan to host a three-day Mini Color Boot Camp before the official event! What a great way to learn to paint that glorious color.

The painting (left side) came about after the storm up above Escuadilla, and was painted in the camper. I used a small 5 x 8 inch canvas, and used many of the fun additives to give the surface additional texture. There are glass beads and fibers underneath the paint layers, and I also used palette knives to apply many of the color areas. And, being an acrylic canvas, it was dry enough to varnish and frame before day's end.

What better place to spend the end of that day though, than at Hawley Lake? The spot where I chose to park was surrounded by water on three sides, and very quiet and mysterious after nightfall. There was only one other camper in the entire area, and that made for a dark night! However, a good bonfire with the scavenged wood from the other camp sites light the night, and I sat with guitar and sang to the stars. Musta chased all the night birds away, ha!

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

October 7 - Diptych in Acrylics, 12 x 24 inches, aspens on location

Here's the acrylic 12 x 12 diptych which was/were the first paintings started at Escuadilla Mountain. I taped them together across the back, and drew in the design of what I saw (see yesterday's image of Gwen and Suzanne painting to see my view). I wanted each one to stand on it's own, even tho' they were painted to be a duo, to hang together. They are gallery-wrapped, painted on the edges, which are 1.5" deep. Right now both are in the Joyous Lake Gallery in Pinetop-Lakeside for this month's show.

The process was to paint the largest shapes, in three major values (dark, middle and light) establishing the basic value plan in the inherent colors. Then breaking down each area into smaller and smaller bits, using either lighter or darker values to make each shape more interesting. For example, the aspens were laid in with a mid-value of sap green and cad yellow and white, and then subsequent layers came in to define the lighter and darker areas.

When I turned around in my seat, I could see behind me to my camper. That's where I took shelter as we literally ran from the lightning from the thunderhead that appeared so quickly. Sure doesn't look like it in this image! I just love the darks under the aspens, and those light trunks. Paintings in all directions!

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

October 6 - Aspens at over 9,000 feet!

Original acrylic, 14 x 7 inches. Using those acrylics in the pill boxes with the felt in the lids is working so well, I have no desire to even get out the oils for this trip! On Wednesday, Gwen, Suzanne and I met up on Escuadilla Mountain to capture the absolute beauty of the changing color of the aspens, and we weren't disappointed! The sun would break through scudding cloud masses, and my camper's oven was cooking the pot roast for the campfire gathering that night. Then the weather changed to lightning and thunder, and we beat feet for cover. I had done this painting as the second endeavor for this area, and finished it safely dry at the camper's dining room table.
It sold to an Arizona collector on the opening of the gallery show yesterday, so "I'm a happy camper" (truly!)

The photo below (on the right) is of Suzanne and Gwen looking at the scenery.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

October 4 - Still in the White Mountains, with Acrylics!

The first morning after arriving at Hawley Lake, I awoke to mist and cool weather--portent of the rain that was to come later in the day. What to do but pull out the acrylics and paint the picnic table and the view across the lake!

This is a gallery wrap 9 x 12 and I'm looking at it sitting on the dashboard of my truck==the greens are more vivid than this image conveys...Now, all you folks familiar with the Color System know that 99 percent of this painting was done with the cool boxes. Do you see that areas under the left end of the picnic table? That flash of burnt sienna is what makes this painting work. OK, it breaks a rule, but sometimes that is what makes painting so much fun!

I've painted three more, but will have to wait until I get the photos in the computer. Now it is starting to rain again, and I need to get out of town and back to the lake before full dark. Here's a snapshot of the lake from my camping spot--with the evening clouds reflected. See you soon!

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

October 3 - Arizona and Aspens!

What an awesome time! Here just two weeks ago I was on the other side of the country in Georgia, painting beauty there, and now I'm high in the White Mountains of Arizona painting the aspens. This is a 12 x 36 acrylic, done on location, and is the second of several paintings I've done this week.
Camping at Hawley Lake is wonderful--the nights with the elk bugling through the night, and the stars thick and bright.
I'm online for only a moment in Eager, Arizona, thanks to the kindness of a computer store owner. Not much in this small town, but LOTS of kind people!
Back to the lake tonight, to host the campfire for the other artists, and singing by the lake with great friends.
I wish all of you were here, but know that I'm thinking about you high in these mountains. I'll write again when I get near another place to connect.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

September 26 - Amicalola River Rock, this time in oil

Now, if you check back a couple days in my blog, you'll see that I painted this image once before--in acrylics! This is an oil version, done to demonstrate morning light as it falls on an area of the Amicalola River in Georgia, and those of you "Color Boot Campers" will recognize why it is so obviously morning light!

The subject lent itself to instructing on how to convey time of day when one doesn't have the sky to help out. And of course, it also validates why one's source material should not be the determination of which color to use! Notice the difference in handling the rock face in sunlight between the two paintings. This 12 x 16 oil is now in the hands of Mary Pless, of Dunwoody, Georgia.

And also here's an image of the wonderful facility at Fay's for workshops! We're all working away at our easels, and there are halogen spotlights above each table! That's Sue (retired art teacher from Florida) on the left, painting moonlight in her inimitable style. The reproductions on the walls are Richard Stone Reeves' work. And all above the horse stalls below! No "roughing it" here!

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Monday, September 24, 2007

September 24 - Paintings from Georgia and... Puppy!

I'm just now getting around to posting the work from the Georgia workshop. It's been a full week, accented by the arrival of one of those airport colds when I came home--nasty stuff, and being under the weather glued to a tissue box meant I could only scan the web for.... what else? A rat terrier puppy, like Lizzie. And tenacious as I am, I found many.

The one that just stole my heart for a myriad of reasons is a short-legged, type B Teddy Roosevelt terrier, and "Onslow" will be coming back with me from Chicago in November. Of course I need to share his picture with you!

Now that the puppy news is out of the way, let me say that the workshop in Georgia was WONDERFUL! I'm coming back, looks like the second week of May of next year to do a reconnaisance mission to get those Boot Campers back on track, and add a few more Boot Camp Masters to the ever-growing list. You might mark your calendars and contact me if you'd like to be on a waiting list for the official announcement.

I'll post pictures from the workshop in tomorrow's email (thanks Fay!), along with another painting. Oh, yes, the "Bessie" oil above was done as part of the lecture and demonstration for the evening, almost sunset light, and is a 5 x 7 oil. It's in the hands of new collector Cheri Burchard of Dawsonville, Georgia.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

September 9 - Amicalola River Watershed, 9 s 12 Acrylic

Here's my first demonstration painting for the Color Boot Campers in Georgia this evening. I hadn't lifted my brushes since leaving California, and was so itchin' to get to a painting by today (three days later) that even before the folks came in for the evening's welcome, I was at it. The result's a 9 x 12 acrylic of a section of the Amicalola River where we were yesterday, and I'm pleased with the outcome so far. I may work some more on it with the light of day, however tonight was the welcome and orientation for the week ahead. The hustle and bustle of the new arrivals and the warm welcome by all was delightfully distracting. A wonderful group of artists are here, and the next five days will be challenging and full of laughter.

Very satisfying to see the acrylic paints in their pill boxes make it successfully in my checked luggage. No leaks and still loads of wet paint!

Now here's a picture of one of Fay's terriers, Lizzie, who is making my stay at the farm more dog-happy. She's adopted me and was my nighttime companion, easing the missing of my own beloved "Q" who is waiting back in California.

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September 9 - Georgia on my Mind, Workshop!

Life is wonderfully good right now.

Imagine if you will, an early morning in September, in the piney woods of North Georgia, on the back of a good, 17-hand horse headed out for an early morning ride. All of that is what happened for me this morning, and here's a photograph of me on "Sister" --now I hope you can see that she is a white mare, because the flash of my grin may blind you a bit!
I'm in Georgia, on the Sunday beginning a week-long Color Boot Camp tomorrow, along with my hostess Fay, doing a welcome this evening for 12 attendees. I'll be posting my demonstration paintings for all the Color Boot Campers out there who want to see more examples of how the Color System works in this light.

In this photograph, you can see the Georgia mist rising--it was a glorious morning!

Again, thank you for allowing me to come into your life a bit. As I close, here's an image of the some the trail we traversed... beautiful.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

September 3 - Last of the Maine Paintings, I think...

I have been busy, busy, busy! Freeing up time from the daily effort to produce a painting has given me opportunities to create in many ways. I've been doing the podcasts for iTunes, and have the first month of daily paintings online--October 12 through November 10, 2005, and will have the rest of the month up and running by this weekend coming up.

The painting for you today is one I did with acrylics, showing noonish light, and it is from the Somes Sound area in Maine. This is mostly palette knife, and done to clean out the acrylic boxes before coming back home. I really laid it on thick! It is being shipped back to Gail Ribas, who is in charge of the Acadia Workshop Center, and she will be adding it to her collection! It measures 9 x 12.

I received the Harness Tracks of America auction catalog in the mail yesterday, and one of my paintings is featured on the cover! The auction is online here, where you can scroll down and see my painting bottom center. There are many beautiful works of art to view. I have two paintings to ship to this fund-raising auction in October. I have lot numbers 22 and 83, and have to say the color sure stands out compared to others.

Five more of my paintings are in Maine at the "Dog and Pony Show" at Skyline Carriage Museum, on Skyline Farm. One already sold opening night, and I have hopes that perhaps the rest will not return. All are from the Daily Paintings and it was as if I were packing up old friends! The catalog of the show is downloadable in pdf format here.

Friday it is off to Georgia, to teach the full workshop in Dawsonville, so I've been getting my materials ready and preparing to leave for just over a week. I have to make lists of chores that need doing while I'm gone.

One more bit of news--my web sites have gotten so big that it was time to put a search tool to find paintings on them. And you can search them now! It is now so much easier to find pages with the art you're seeking, and I'm using it too, finding work when a collector purchases a painting so I can mark it sold. Please find that search link on the lower left side of every page! It searches not only the current site you're on, but the other two as well.

Welcome to another new collector, Jacob Cohen of Rockville, Maryland, who purchased not one, but two cat paintings ("Cat Blue" and "Black Cat") from the ebay store. today. Thank you!

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If you need to email me directly, please click here. Sorry about the blank email that came your way a few days ago. Accidental on my part.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

August 29 - Plein Air from Maine Workshop Week, Oil, 12 x 9

The change in my life since reluctantly ceasing the daily paintings has been enormous, and all positive. Today I met Juliet Harrison, an equine artist with a camera, who came up to my studio today. She is out visiting relatives here in California from her own state of New York, with her family. We ate lunch in the outer studio, and I showed her around the place at her request. Her son Jackson loved the goats, especially wanting to meet Vincent. I should have taken more pictures, as it was fun to see excitement all over the place and how much Vincent van Goat loved the attention.

The weather has been beastly hot and slightly humid, and over 100 temps are hard to bear. Especially for the workers taking out and rebuilding the new entrance to the outer studio, where I'll have my February workshop. It will be great to have a proper entrance and patio for the workshop. Looks like that will be President's Weekend, Friday night through Monday, so if you want to be considered for a slot, please email me. I have a list.....

But I'm off to teach again, heading to Georgia in September. Twelve excited soon-to-be Color Boot Campers await my arrival. We'll be sited at the farm of a friend of mine, and it will be fun, fun fun! I'll send more and write more then. This past month has been a mini vacation for me, and it renews my energies to create more new work! Here's one from the workshop in Maine, we were painting Somes Sound and this is the demonstration piece for the late morning light. I can feel the wind in it! 12 x 9 oil, available for $255.

It's GOOD to be back!!

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My video podcasts are available through iTunes by searching on my name!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

August 22 - A Maine Dream 5 x 7 Acrylic

IT is so much fun to layer acrylics and revisit Maine! Here's a small painting packed with messaging about acrylic usage. Take a look at the right side above my signature to see the trio of layers there. The first was the warm underpainting, done with Quin Burnt Orange, and then the two layers of color, the next done with a mix of Ultramarine and Alizarin, and white, and then the final layer, done with a mix of the ultramaine again with white. This last layer was laid down with a palette knife for additional textural interest. Because the two upper layers are done with the cool palette, they contrast nicely and vibrate with the warm of the burnt orange that toned the canvas. I call that sparkle, and it isn't about the white sparkly bits on water!
This painting will be up on my ebay store in a day or so for $100.

But not today, because Alberto and I are working on a cage for the new momma hen with her nine (so far) chicks! Fun to have baby chickens again. While I went to Maine, no one collected the eggs so she started setting. Yes, I'll post a picture once the cage is done and she and "the kids" are safely away from ravens and the like--they are so cute!

You can see the entire blog here.

And I'm putting the entire daily paintings on iTunes. You can search on my name to find me. One-minute episodes--I'm finishing up October of 2005 today. An RSS feed will allow you to subscribe outside of iTunes--go here (opens a new window).

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

August 16 - The Three Dog Commission, progress

I'm very pleased with how this LARGE painting is coming along as I continue to cover the canvas with another layer, and obliterate the underpainting (which still peeks through yet minimally in the sky and background areas). Doing oil layers on a surface this vast means I have less blending opportunities and it brings to the forefront my skills with acrylics in mixing and adding the covering layer.

The gods have miles to go before they are finished, but I am more pleased with their general "sense" of dogginess at this point. During this painting session I was not concerned with them. I hope you'll compare today's painting with the earlier version on July 17 (in the blog).

On other news, I'm starting some new adventures--not the least of which is podcasting the daily paintings--putting up the entire two years of work on iTunes. Alberto is starting that project, and I'm recording the audio so you can see the paintings and I'll be talking about each one--embellishing the minimal text I'd written on the days they were painted. Each podcast will be just one minute long. But there will be several hundred you can get on your iPod or share with friends. I'll let you all know when this the released.

You see, I do have a bit of time to work on other projects now while I paint!

Congratulations to John Ottaway of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, on his addition of the Keeneland painting "Keeneland Morning Overlook" which he found in my ebay store.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

August 13 - Maine Light, 12 x 9 Acrylic

Ah, such nice memories I have of the fog and coastal ocean, especially when I exist here in 100 degree dry heat of August in California, sun baking the ground. However, deep in the cool depths of the inner studio, I'm painting away. I'm in oils again working on the three-dog commission again. It is going well. The scene to your right is one I did while thinking about all I'd seen and experienced while on Mt. Desert Island, and it is in acrylics with sand texture under it, and layers of the blue/orange complementary colors I so love. It is also backlit, which adds another dimension to the experience.
I'll be putting this one on my ebay store within the next day or so. It will be available for $275 unframed, plus $5 shipping within the United States.

For folks who have attended a "Color Boot Camp" with me, there's a new Yahoo Group set up to talk about the System and to ask and post questions. Kathy Sweeney is the owner, and welcomes all artists who have or are learning the Color System. You can find out more about it by clicking here.
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Thursday, August 09, 2007

August 9 - Bass Harbor, Maine Acrylic on GOLD!

How fun it is to revisit Maine with the lovely results of being there and painting on location and in the great studio of Acadia Workshop Center! This is a canvas that came back with me in my luggage, and barely fit as it was just as long as the bag with little to spare! An acrylic, this 8 x 24 inch gallery-wrap is the view from Bernard over to Bass Harbor. What makes this acrylic painting so interesting, is the underlayment is GOLD! I was inspired by the medieval religious paintings I showed the students in the Power Point presentation on Wednesday night, and so used gold as the underpainting for this canvas. The veils of blue, rich purple and earth tones that cover the resultant luminescent layer are just wonderful to see, and looking at the jpeg is not nearly as good as seeing the veils of glowing gold that are in the original. I will be using this in more paintings!

I reluctantly part with this painting for $350 plus $7 shipping to the lucky collector who uses Paypal first.

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Interested in Elin's newest DVD? Acrylic Painting - Fast and Loose!

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Monday, August 06, 2007

August 6 - Maine Revisited, Acrylic 9 x 12

Ah, summer in Maine! On the second day of the workshop, I took the students out to paint on location just a stone's throw from both the ocean and the central location for the "Color Boot Camp". The goal for this painting was to focus on values, and the all-important six value plans in the paintings. I demonstrated this one, painting in acrylics, and included the beaver lodge in the lower middle part--the local wildlife! The fog was coming in and out across the water, and the wildflowers were blooming like gangbusters!

This painting is already in the hands of Carolyn O'Connor, from Washington Grove, Maryland.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

August 1 - Maine and the Workshop, I'm back!

Flying out of Boston last Saturday at dusk, I was on my way to Acadia Park, Maine on this twin prop D1900 plane--everyone had a window seat--all five of us! This is a view of the sunset and downtown Boston over the wing of the plane.

I am now just about as far as it is is to get from California, enjoying every moment of my week while I teach my workshop. It is wonderful and cool, painting is ongoing, and the colors are falling off the brushes! A great group of artists, and a wonderful place to be an artist and to teach a workshop. The Acadia Workshop Center is located on the ocean and also on a pond, water everywhere. The first day the students and I painted the large pond, complete with beaver lodge, and then the following day we were on the ocean at the place shown below. I have some nice paintings and will share them with you in the following days. It has been wonderful to take a break from the daily paintings and just enjoy being an artist.

I'll be back in California in a few days and working on the large dog commission, and seeing Vincent van Goat again!

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