Saturday, May 22, 2010

May 22 - New Commission First Sketch

Time for a new cover commission, and the first sketch is here for you to enjoy. This cover will be the second in the Star Sons series by Lynda Sappington. She's quite an author, as well as artist, and a good friend. This cover will go through several major changes, but the initial sketches are to iron out the major issues of position and "feel" of the cover. I'm doing my own aikido weapons training, so am really pleased at their sword positions. I want their poses to be authentic and deliver controlled power. A little drama won't hurt, though!

The two boys introduced in the first book are grown into young men now, and are continuing their lives associated with the magical world. My first cover featured the phoenix, which was a major player in that story. In this second book, the pair are now assuming the major roles.

Here's her first book, which is available through many sources. My cover is more brilliant than this reproduction, and that painting is in the author's hands now.

On other news, I'm dealing with some sadness about a dear friend going through some life challenges. It's hard when one cares, and yet cannot do anything to make a difference. All we can do is tell them we care, and hope they'll know we are giving them our best hopes. We'll all face our own mortality in due time, so how these people live to theirs is a lesson for us. My friend is an amazing woman, one I'm proud to know.

Next week I take three paintings to San Diego for the Women Artists of the West show at the Wieghorst Museum in El Cajon.

You can see my entire blog HERE.
My workshop schedule for 2010 is HERE.
Color System information can be found HERE.
If you need to email me directly, please click here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

May 22 - How about a Workshop? And the name!

The Ocala, Florida, workshop was a great event in a grand locale, and I'm please to share with you the photograph taken by Maggie Weakley's husband--pro photographer, you can see his fabulous work here--of the ten people who participated. And of course, there is Sparky, hamming it up.

There has been an incredible response to my need for a name for the newest addition to the Two Trees household! Thank you all. A list of names, and creative they are! I looked over more than fifty naming options, and cogitated on it for a full day, and the choice is made.
Here are some of your creative offerings: (I'll never lack for a dog's name again!)
OhNo 'cause I'm positive that's what whoever cropped her ears said.
...she is a looker like "Vana White" on the game show and a lopped ear...Vanagogh
Hobo...Bardot...Margo (also Margeaux) ...Bravo...Aiko
Shiloh (really "pup"ular)...CoCo...Calypso (almost picked this one)
Artisimo...Koloh...Arrow.. Halo...Duo... Mio...Timo...
and perhaps thirty more great suggestions. Even "Shadow", but I couldn't bring myself to name a dog after the Tibetan Mastiff pup I lost last January. Too painful. So Willow it is!

Donna McCullough came up with Willow first, although Cheryl Pass, Judi Evans and Mary Lou Roberts also suggested that name.
Donna's email arrived first, so she'll be sent her choice of DVD as a gift for helping name this lucky rescue. And I thank all of you caring hearts who love the rescues. What a grand community of wonderful people! And it made my job so much easier.
Willow settling in...

You can see my entire blog HERE.
My workshop schedule for 2010 is HERE.
Color System information can be found HERE.
If you need to email me directly, please click here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 20 - At Lucy Heyming's Garden

Yesterday I painted at the Heyming gardens, a certified wildlife habitat, and it was lovely. A large estate with all the amenities, including this watercourse and bridge. I was there in the early evening, and set up in the shade of the mature trees to look back at this heavily side-lit scene.

There is a diagonal composition going on, with the sculpture being the focal point, yet the bridge demanding more attention initially with all the nearby colors and contrast of values. One sees the sculpture because of its human form, so my intent was to combine and balance the two spots of interest with suggested directional lines. Can you spot them?

Here's the first of two new additions to the "estate" at Two Trees (ha, with me as the sole gardener and manager, "estate's" a laughing idea!). She's about two years old, and someone really did a botched job on her ear crop. However she's a gem in both personality and conformation. I used to show dobies back in the early 1980s, and can see how well she's put together. Amazing what people throw away. And she needs a name, so I'd love to hear from you on your ideas of names with the "oh" sound at the end of them--it's my tradition to name female Dobies with that end--in my past here was Cleo, Widow and Evoe so many years ago, and now this new girl. Send your suggestions! If I pick yours, I'll send you your choice of one of my Color System dvds. Let the games begin! Nameless wonder needs a name.

You can see my entire blog HERE.
My workshop schedule for 2010 is HERE.Color System information can be found HERE.If you need to email me directly, please click here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 18 - The Primavera Oil at the UCR Gardens

This 9 x 12 painting just fell off my brushes in about an hour as I painted "en plein aire" at the UCR Botanical Gardens on Sunday. The image from yesterday's blog post was my view--and of course--artistic license creates a totally different "feel". '

Painting quickly and knowing where to put those dots and blobs of paint is primarily due to the Color System. I didn't scrape out one iota of this canvas!

Interesting, I felt as though I was painting a younger version of my folks on the right--it happens. So much of our lives are tied up in our memories, that the many people who walked through that spot melded into versions of my own family. The chefs, Miguel and Sarah, were pleased that their booth was featured in this work. I know I enjoyed their cuisine!

I'm liking the confidence of my work now, the ease with which I can take a horridly complex scene and turn it into something interesting for the eyes, without feeling rushed or too tied up in the details. Today I paint the gardens of a friend of mine, Lucy Heming. I'll be heading over there later this afternoon to catch the evening light!

On other news, there are two rescue dogs assuming the place of Seiko--adjusting to the routines, learning the priorities (no chasing of sheep, chickens are not dinner, small dogs are to be respected; and no, those cats will never come out to be playtoys). Fortunately, at least one has a great mind. The other is aloof and constantly "on point". I'll post pictures tomorrow. I'm back to three sheep, too, since the shepherd came and took the other four he owned back home. The grasses and weeds are definitely less now!

This original 9 x 12 oil is available for $250.

You can see my entire blog HERE.
My workshop schedule for 2010 is HERE.
Color System information can be found HERE.
If you need to email me directly, please click here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

May 17 - Back Home Again, and Right Back Out

Home and right back out on Sunday to the Annual "Primavera in the Gardens" event at the University of California Botanical Gardens with my brushes. This is the annual fundraiser for the Gardens, and my paintings have been featured on the promotional posters for the last two years. I donate the original for their fundraiser.

It's a high-end restaurant and winery gala with silent auctions and beautiful weather. For example, the chef in the first booth pictured below (the one I painted--coming tommorrow) was serving scallops with glazed Maui onions with dark chocolate sauce. Amazing taste sensation, and I already love scallops! Raspberry sorbet, raw green pea soup, honeydew melon soups--wandering through the booths was my reward for being a fast painter, and oh my! It was GOOD. My painting from last year was auctioned off and brought a good price for the organizers.

I'll get a good photo of the one from the paint out and post it tomorrow, since it has been cool and completely overcast here on the West Coast and I've been doing needed yard work. Such a change from what was just a few days ago! The painting above is the 9 x 12 acrylic I dd during the event last year.

Now it's time to sort out and settle in, knuckle down and focus on the list of things to do this month and this year. Only one more Color Boot Camp for 2010, but it looks like I'll be back for more on the East Coast next year.

You can see my entire blog HERE.
My workshop schedule for 2010 is HERE.
Color System information can be found HERE.
If you need to email me directly, please click here.