Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cades Cove

This is a painting that I just finished with in my weekly art class. We work from photos and sometimes non-copywrited material. I get some photos from Wet Canvas, they have a huge reference library of free photos to work with. This took roughly 6 lessons to do. I learned a new technique on this one, we used a sponge to paint in the trees and splattered some of the small close flowerbuds in the foreground. When the picture was finished, I felt like something else was needed, so we added from imagination a little structure.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Plein Air Auburn

Today we went to Town Creek Park. It was overcast, so the sun only came out a couple of times, long enough to find the deep shadows to put into the painting. I struggled with the weeping willow. By the time I was finished, I felt like weeping, but I realize that without the struggle, I won't ever learn anything. This was my first plein air with oils. I forgot to take a pallet with me and had to use a garbage bag to squeeze out my paints on. Thankfully that worked. For the first time I realize, that each of these times I work on something new, I learn. So, I may get off on my own some as well. I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Still Life for painting class

Today I took some stuff to do a still life for my painting class. I decided that I would start painting more from life and get Cheeko's help during class to that end. I started setting up the objects I brought, and learned a lot about placement. I shot many set ups and decided to paint this arrangement. I realized after getting into the painting that I could not accurately convey that I had a vase, pitcher and apple. I think you would agree that I accurately painted the pitcher and the apple but the vase looks like a book? A purple brick? A what??? I suppose if I had chosen a view that looked down on the image more, that vase would look more vase like, but since it was tall, all I could see at eye level was the top and not inside the vase. Should I have cheated and drawn and painted the inside of the squared vase?? I don't is just practice. But it was fun cause I got it done with help from Cheeko in 2 hrs.

Tomorrow I will be painting en plein air at Town Creek Park with the Plein air Auburn group. Hope I can show you what I did.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Georgia O'Keeffe Study

Another study, this time it is from a painting done by Georgia O'Keeffe. Georgia lived from 1887-1986. Georgia O'Keeffe, known for her bold and colorful still-life compositions, was inspired by nature. We see the elements all throughout her work, flowers, driftwood, animal skulls and the infinite views of the desert. Her flower prints, especially, used bright colors as seen in "Black Iris" and "Red Poppy". Her oversized flowers are what Georgia is most well known for. She often painted huge canvases of flowers, sometimes showing the entire flower and others times she would focus on just a portion and paint a close up image of it. Flowers, though, were not the only subjects she used for her giant prints. She also painted many oversized scenes of "the faraway", the affectionate name she had for the northern New Mexico desert.

Here is my study of Oriental Poppies painted in 1928. I am submitting to the blog Following the Masters:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Elizabeth Pruitt Workshop

I went over the weekend to a workshop with Elizabeth Pruitt this weekend and had a wonderful time painting. She is a great teacher and I learned many things. Her florals are so pretty and she makes painting look so easy. I was overcome as I watched her demo because I had never gotten so close to see the brush work she did. I was amazed at how I was able to do this myself. I know I have been painting for a while but this was where I found my confidence. I am finding myself wanting to paint more now.
We did the small crabapples first and that was such a good warmup for the more complicated peonies. We stayed at Sarah Cary's retreat in Royston, GA. As usual, Sarah provided a wonderful experience with a bed and meals each day. I want to go more. And I will. I will go to a Kathie George workshop in Sept.
Here is Elizabeth's link:

Friday, July 3, 2009

Vincent van Gogh Study

As part of my art education, Cheeko had me do a study of a master painting. I had to research and find out what paints were available to that artist at the time of the painting. I had to decide on who I wanted to study and chose Vincent van Gogh. His story appealed to me on many levels, he struggled with art for many years and always thought he was not ever good enough. Added to the fact that he had mental problems made this worse for him as well. He failed in love, he barely was able to make ends meet, of course, Theo, his brother contributed to Vincent so he could buy his pigments. He spent years trying to get by only to end up in a mental institution a couple of times. Poor Vincent, if he only knew how many people would come to love his work. Mine is the one at the bottom. I hope you enjoy.

I chose The Seated Zouave to do my study. Vincent first did a study in 1888 which was different from The Seated Zouave which I chose. Read what Vincent said in a letter to his brother: "I have a model at last.. a Zouave.. a boy with a small face, a bull neck, and the eye of a tiger, and I began with one portrait, and began again with another; the half-length I did of him was horribly harsh, in a blue uniform, the blue of enamel saucepans, with braids of a faded reddish-orange, and two yellow stars on his breast, an ordinary blue, and very hard to do. That bronzed, feline head of his with a red cap, I placed it against a green door and the orange bricks of a wall. So it's a savage combination of incongruous tones, not easy to manage. The study I made of it seems to me very harsh, but all the same I'd like always to be working on vulgar, even loud portraits like this. It teaches me something, and above all that is what I want of my work. The second portrait will be full length, sitting against a white wall."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Workshop Painting

As I promised, I will share the critique with you. Here is the finished painting, but I cannot determine one of the typos offered in the critique:
I think you could be a little more varied with the edges, and a little closer with the drawing, but you did a really nice job on this. It looks completely convincing and has a nice style to it too. The pitcher is fantastic! You really did a great job jumping the values and getting a feeling of noth (what the heck is that???) volume and reflection in there. My only criticism is really just keep an eye on the drawing, check it over and over, and trust your edges to go a little softer from time to time - it really will aid in the overall feelings of roundness that you want.
Well, this workshop was a lot harder than the first one I did with her but I learned a lot more. Painting glass and ceramic, sliver and wood, transparent olive oil and solid garlic...then to add to it a foreshortened knife. So you can see she packed a lot into the workshop. I really like doing this.
So, I am off to create my Plein Air Auburn blog. I could not find any outdoor painters already painting in Auburn so with the help of a watercolor instructor I met, we started a group. Details to come...

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lisa Gloria Workshop

This is day one on the still life workshop. Most of the time spent was to do the drawing, paint mixing and underpainting from the hi-res photo emailed after paying the modest $45 fee for a 2 day workshop over the internet. I am a pretty fast painter but had a harder time with the color mixing stage. I think that I got my colors too dark because I was trying to keep up.

We did have a break at which time I got a call from my husband who was playing table tennis. He was in the emergency room after getting hit with a ball flying at him over 100mph! His playing partner took him and he thought the injury was not so severe. I worried about him for the rest of the workshop, which made me want to hurry through to get finished. We did go to an Opthamologist after he got home to have him checked out. He will be ok but he has a severe subconjunctival hemmorhage which makes him look pretty spooky. Today he does not feel too good but he went to the University to make up an exam for his students.

The good thing about Lisa Gloria's workshops is that you can go back to them to catch up, remix paints, etc. because the workshops are recorded and you can go back. I think she said they were also downloadable to your computer. Not sure about that though. Here is her website:

Here is the first days work and the photo we are working on. She also offers a critique, here is mine:
Looks good! Drawing is spot on. Transitions are a little harsh but they will be painted over so you can work on it next time. I see what you mean about the edges - Well... if you went softer like I did, went for that out of focus look, you'd see a differnet kind of paint emerge at the end. You'd get to pick and choose what parts were in focus or not, how detailed something was. It would look a little more "real" than something that was uniformly detailed because our regular experience, unlike photographs, picks out only a few things to really look at.
This is a great first day, looks like day 2 is going to be really good!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Gloria Perkins Workshop

I enjoyed very much painting again with Gloria, she has such a loosey-goosey style that is hard to match stroke for stroke because she goes fast to leave us with less chance to muddle around after we lay the paint in. We worked 3 days and came home with 3 framed paintings. I especially love the way she brings frames so we can frame our little jewels. Here they are, I am going to post all three of them instead of doing it a day at a time.

There was a woman sitting next to me that taught painting to students in an art league in her home town. She helped me a lot of times when I did not understand how to do something. Sometimes you think you know how to do something and realize that huh? Why won't mine do that? Lucky me, I had someone right next to me that could show me how to do it...not that Gloria would not show me, but it was nice to have someone right next to you that could show you.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Valley Farm

We did a study of the Valley Farm by John Constable. This one is 22x28 inches and took us 2 days to paint. Bill Bayer did the instruction on this. It was fun to do. I had to chop off some of it to make it straight and not show the frame, but most of it is there. I want to paint this one again and see if i can do it by myself.

We got a booklet to do this with all the paints, mixes, underpaintings at different stages and the final picture. Because of copyright laws Bill could not show the original, so in essense, we had a study of a study?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Trip to Nashville

I went to Nashville, TN to paint for six days and had a lot of fun. I came home with 5 paintings all of which I will post. I went to paint with the group of painter (teachers) that Johnnie Lilliedahl gets together for an annual national atelier. We work in the old masters method of limited palette, transparent underpainting and an opaque overpainting at the end.

I loved doing the landscapes the best they were a lot of fun and easier for me to do. They were taught by Bill Bayer from St. Louis, MI. Bill is quite funny and hauntingly honest about his life. If you have a chance to lookI am including his link

We worked with John Constables images and did studies of his techniques. Here is my painting.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lisa Gloria Workshop Day 2

I finished my painting but since taking the photo, discovered an error in painting the spoon which I will fix. Sometimes you are concentrating so hard on painting, you literally cannot see the forest for the trees! But, I am gonna post the finished painting after correcting the spoon. I will probably have some corrections to make when Lisa gives me feedback as well.
She gave me feedback on the first day which told me to soften my edges and darken the apple flesh. I am not sure I accomplished these items. She did say that I did a good job with the color underpainting and keeping the layers thin enough. The size is a 6x8 in canvas on a panel. I love painting on panels. You have that board that is stiff behind your canvan and for me it is easier to control the paint.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lisa Gloria Workshop Online

Today from 11-2pm I took an online workshop with Lisa Gloria. She used USTREAM with some sort of camera setup to do live streaming video...fabulous idea! She sent a color high resolution photo of the still life we would paint and a transparency of the contour drawing to check your own drawing, but alas, I drew mine on by tracing the transparency instead of using a good lesson in drawing...but, I can paint this again on my own. We also get a dvd of the painting sessions...I have been following her blog for a while and found her Art Studio Secrets to be very interesting as well as informative.
Those of you interested in art will find many useful tips in her blog and she is an interesting source of art news, esoterica, facts, fiction, etc.

Today we did the underpainting with raw umber to pick out our darkest darks and lightest lights and those in between. We did the color underpainting and hopefully if things dry enough, we can do the color overpainting tomorrow. Here is what I did today.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Red Plums

The red plums are my first subject of painting a still life, and can I see my drawing errors, yes, pics posted side by side, so I will refine and do a set up of the fruit and paint them on a 4x6 cotton panel. I will post my progress as I go along. My goodness, I thought I was seeing them better than that...
One problem I keep encountering with my drawings is that the tooth of the paper keeps filling up with graphite and clumping. It is hard to get my darks in without resorting to embossing and I am unsure if I should do that.

I have painting with Cheeko tomorrow and will take one plum to her to see if my idea of using Diox. purple, alizarin crimson and indian yellow for the fruit is on the right track...cannot wait to get started...

Those light lines you will see in most of my drawings are sight lines that I use on a viewfinder to help me get the drawing on the paper better...did it work?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snowy day March 1

We woke up to snow this morning and it is coming down heavily. Fortunately the snow does not stick to the streets as we have been warming up down in the south. I could not resist taking a picture.

Posting 2 drawings I did yesterday. One is a ceramic figure of a chihuahua. I hope to paint this one with watercolor. The other is a colored pencil drawing of a Hyacinth. It smells so good, I have been watching it grow. Thought it would be a good subject to draw but was overwhelmed with the flowering part, so I did the best I could to suggest the flower.

My photos of my drawings have to be the worst! I have to take them to the photoshop editing area and change the contrast because I have trouble with the lighting, the flash goes off and bleaches out the colors and contrasts or it has a fuzzy out of focus image. I need to work on this aspect, so any suggestions are welcome.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I have been taking drawing classes in the hope to improve my painting. My teacher is Cynthia Mask. She has been doing a great job with the class and has inspired me to do more drawing, so I have been practicing much more. I am finding inspiration in just about everything, learning to "see" as an artist is fun because once you start seeing differently, everything before you becomes a challenge.

My friends Millie Greene and Judith Gibson went drawing at the Auburn Cemetary yesterday. It was a quiet day and we sat for a couple of hrs drawing the monuments. I loved it, it was such fun to see how to make those lines behave. Of course, more practice is needed but I am off to a start.

My graffite jar is a new purchase, I found and it is the color of graffite, so I bought it so I could draw it. Hopefully I can paint it in the near future.