Friday, July 24, 2015

Sleepy Scenes and Their Inspiration

acrylic and ink on paper 9 x 12 inch
available here

Last year I painted these imaginary bedroom scenes in my sketchbook and this week they came to fruition.  When I sketch rooms like this, I sometimes draw inspiration from catalogs like Pottery Barn or some other place like that.  If my memory serves me, the above scene was inspired that way, but the painting below was 100% made up.  You may be able to see the difference in the drawing that is there, I know I can. 

 Lately I've been very inspired by a huge stack of interior design coffee table books that I bought at a local used bookstore sale.  The sale was $5 for a sack full of books, however it was a plastic grocery bag and I chose big hardback books.  You should have seen my bag!  It almost didn't make it out the door!   It was tearing as I walked it to the register and I felt like a kid trying to get away with cheating, but they said it was still fair to stuff it full the way I did and out of the store I marched with my bargain books and a happy grin on my face.  I think I made it home with about 10 beautiful coffee table books.  Happy me!

In a Red Bedroom
acrylic and ink on paper 9 x 12 inch
available here

After spending quite a bit of time looking at my new books, I was really in the mood to revisit my sketches to see what I could do with them.  In both of these I started with a very bright yellow and orange underpainting.  I was tempted to go over these with some oil paint and maybe cold wax, but they both came to a point where they looked finished, so I stopped while I was in a good place.  

Have a good weekend everyone!  Thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Think and a Little on How to Do It

mixed media on board 6 x 8 inch
available here

I need to go to the grocery store, but the rain wont' let up.  I'm not complaining though because yesterday I was whining about the heat we've had and how dry things are getting.  So the rain is welcome, but I still need to go to the store, and going to the store when it's pouring is just no fun.

And that's what I think.  :)


Something to share with the mixed media painters out there...after you paint your piece say with collage and acrylic and pencils or something along those lines, finish it off with a glazing of oil color. I did this one with a thin yellow glaze.  I used walnut oil medium to make my glaze. It's basically enough oil to coat your entire piece and then however much color you want in it.

  Once the glaze it is dry (it took mine a week because it's humid here) you can varnish it with a thin coat of Dorland's Cold Wax Medium. That will take some time to dry too. The oil glaze under the coat of wax varnish gave it beautiful texture and a lot of rich color.  You could use other brands of the cold wax, but the Dorland's is more buttery and easier to use as a varnish than say Gamblin.  

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Could-Bes

The Could-Bes
before and after
mixed media on linen 6 x 8 inch fixed to board
the after version is available here

I started this small painting a few nights ago and when it was finished I posted both of these photos on my Facebook art page asking which version everyone liked best...Before or After.  Most said after.  It was interesting to read the comments of the people that liked both versions for different reasons.  That's how I feel about it too.  I like both, though I feel the second version is more in line with my style.

How about you?  

Have a blessed weekend.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Flowerbeds Inspire Flowerpots

Flowerpot with Yellow Background
acrylic and ink on paper 4 x 6"
available here

You may remember that last spring I created a new flowerbed in our backyard.  It is doing really well, but not quite in full bloom.  Actually, it is the Morning Glories that I am anxiously waiting for.  Those sweet blue flowers that pop up almost daily like blue popcorn.  If and when those turn up, I will show you pictures of the whole flowerbed.  For now...these little flowerpot paintings are all I have to offer...inspired by the flowers that have bloomed and the ones I hope will come.

Flower Post with Gold Background
acrylic on paper 4 x 6 inch
available here

Flowerpot with Light Blue Background
acrylic on paper 4 x 6 inch
available here

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Painting and Scenes from Travel

Slippers in a Pink Room
acrylic on panel
6 x 8 inch
available here

  My husband and I just returned from a one week road trip to Rochester, New York.  We spent a lot of time with family there.

Prior to New York we were in Texas, so we have seen a lot of country and slept in a lot of different places.  I feel like I could sleep for a year now.

I need to be brief, but please enjoy some sights from our trip. New York is very beautiful.  

artists painting on the Erie Canal
from a sailboat on Lake Ontario
a scene from Honeoye Lake

Letchworth State Park is known as the "Grand Canyon of the East" and it was a sight.  I was born in New York and had visited there many times over the years, but this was the first time in this amazing park.  We want to go back and do some extensive hiking.

Stone steps at Letchworth State Park
Letchworth State Park
Waterfall from the Genesee River
Notice the people in the waterfall picture and you will have an idea of the size of this fall.  The mist always gives a rainbow on sunny days.  Truly magical!  

Letchworth State Park

After leaving New York, we took a slightly longer route home to Louisville, Kentucky to stay at The Inn at the Park.  The inspiration in such an old place is abundant and I always find myself thankful for digital cameras...I can just snap away.  It is places like these that lend a lot of inspiration for my room paintings.

the Presidential Suite at Inn at the Park
The dining room at Inn at the Park
Just before breakfast at the B & B
Inn at the Park

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Spending the Week With Julie

Julie Ford Oliver
teaching at Tessera Fine Art Gallery
Wichita, Kansas

What an amazing week it was spent with my dear friend and artist Julie Ford Oliver.  She arrived safely in Wichita last Monday, and a whirlwind of fun, laughter and learning started the second she stepped off the plane.  We did so much during the week and I will try to just highlight our week for you.

Julie Ford Oliver teaching her fracturing technique
Tessera Fine Art Gallery in Wichita, KS
 The fracturing workshop was a big hit with all the artists that attended.  Many were there with the hopes to loosen up on their technique and Julie's fracturing helps do just that.  Most were working with oil paints, but there were two artists that worked in acrylic.  We were mesmerized watching Julie paint her demos and truly in awe of her natural knack for color.  She made it all look so easy, but it really isn't.  I was glad we had three days to work at it.  

Julie making the rounds with each artist
Tessera Fine Art Gallery in Wichita, KS
 We spent time at our easels and Julie made the rounds to help us along.  She limits the number of attendees in her workshops for this very reason.  It's important to her to give individual attention so that everyone can walk away feeling they have really learned something.  Her teaching spirit was such a gift to all of us.

Lunch break
 The class went from 9 am to 4 pm for three days...though we went later every single day.  We took much-needed lunch breaks each day.  It is exhausting to engage your mind in such a way for so long.

Our class minus two
There were eight students one day and seven the other days of the student could not attend all three days.  We had a blast together and of course everyone adored Julie like I do.  

oil on canvas
about 5 x 7
 We all painted an imaginary cup using the fracturing technique.  I lost my fracturing lines in this one, but I was happy with the colors.

oil on canvas panel
9 x 12 inch
 We each also brought an old painting that we wanted to fix.  My backyard painting was the first painting I ever did in oil.  I worked on it for a while, but it still is not finished.

oil on panel
6 x 6 inch
   Julie advised all of us to "stop right there!"  at one point or another on our paintings...some listened...some didn't.  There was a point when this rose looked better and Julie advised me to stop.  But being the poor listener that I am, I just kept on painting and almost ruined it completely. 

vase of flowers
oil on panel
6 x 8 inch
 I listened on my vase of flowers.  :)

river scene
oil on panel
 The above painting was done on a panel primed with bright pink.  Julie gave us all pink panels to paint on and the exercise was to allow some of the pink to show through.    It's a pretty neat effect.  Who would have thought?

 living room
oil on panel
6 x 8 inch

My living room painting was my favorite of all the paintings I did during the workshop.  I love that you can see the fracturing in it and the light in the windows turned out well.  Values are something I am working on right now, and Julie is big on values.  It is very evident in her work.  

Flint Hills
photo taken by Julie Ford Oliver
 The workshop filled the bulk of Julie's visit, but there was time to play also.  One afternoon we took the 1 1/2 hour drive on highway 177 to the Flint Hills.  Julie said it looked a lot like parts of England, which is where she is from.  We saw the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve which is the only national park in Kansas.  On the way we stopped near Matfield Green (population 47!) and looked at all the wildflowers blooming.  We saw beautiful farms, barns, bridges, buildings and even saw a cowboy rounding up cattle.  It was a real day in Kansas for sure...filled with green grass and big blue skies.  Then we finished the day with dinner at the Grand Central Hotel in Cottonwood Falls.

Wichita Wagonmaster tour boat on the Arkansas River
  Julie's visit was during Wichita's annual Riverfest so we saw the tour boat going back and forth one evening as we walked.  We watched a couple of movies too...About a Boy and Miss Potter.

sunset near the Arkansas River
For those of you that already know Julie, it won't surprise you that a sunset like this one makes her pretty happy.

Me and Julie
on our last evening
 We really had such a beautiful week, and I don't feel like I've done it justice in my writings here.  Julie has an abundance of energy like me, so we click together very well.  I loved learning from her and listening to her stories about art and life during the week.   She has a wealth of information and knowledge tucked into her pretty head.    My only complaint about the week is that it went way too fast!

I am so grateful for Julie coming to visit us, and for teaching her workshop here in Wichita.  It was a gift to have her here and I know I speak on behalf of everyone else in the class.  They are already talking about her coming back.

I hope you all are well.  I will probably take a break from blogging.  There are paintings dancing in my head and I need to focus for a while.  I will still try to pay some visits as I am long overdue to see what you have been up to.

Happiness to all of you!

♥ Lisa

Monday, June 1, 2015

Guess Who's Coming to Wichita

watercolor on yupo

Last year you may remember that I took a trip to visit Julie Ford Oliver in her hometown of Las Cruces, New Mexico.  It was a very special time spent with her...a time of friendship, art and healing for me as I had just lost my mother.  During my visit, I invited her to Kansas any time she could make the trip and today she arrives here in Wichita!  I have been so excited about her visit, I just cannot express how much!!  During her stay, she will also be teaching her amazing and sought after fracturing technique at a three day workshop located in the classroom at Tessera Fine Art Gallery.  The class filled up right away of course and everyone is really looking forward to it.  

I cannot wait to see this beautiful person again...her arrival is literally hours away so I had better sign off and do some tidying up around the house.  I will post about our week after she leaves on Saturday.  Have a great week everyone!  

Julie Ford Oliver