Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Background Story About Jade

acrylic on wood panel

When I painted Jade back in 2013, I used an image of Whistler's Arrangement in Grey: Portrait of the Painter as my guide for color.  However, as you can see  when comparing the image below I didn't stick to the plan as my painting is far more green.  The image of the girl is a loose rendering from a photo of my aunt at the age of 14.  I was not trying to capture my aunt, I just wanted her pose and Whistler's colors, but in the end it did seem to capture her somewhat.

Arrangement in Grey:  Portrait of the Painter
James McNeill Whistler
scanned image from Whistler by Frances Spalding

 I almost sold my painting, but after having it around for a while decided it was best to keep it.  There was just something too special about it for me.  It now hangs in the entryway of our house along with a vintage find and an old photo of my grandparents and other Missouri mining workers and wives in 1930.  My aunt was the one who gave me that photo years ago and I had it professionally framed for my mother who kept it until she passed away last July.  Our new-to-us old house was also built in 1930 which adds to the meaning of this old picture.

The images that greet you at our house

photo detail

My grandparents are the couple on the left, and the couple on the right are my great aunt and uncle I am told, though I never met them.  

The inspiration for Jade
AKA Mary Imogene

Wasn't she a pretty girl?

Friday, July 31, 2015

Around Here Lately

Around here lately I've been painting on 20 x 20 inch canvases...this is just the start.

Reading a Pulitzer Prize winner -  this one is on the bestseller list at Barnes and Noble right now.

Tried my hand at making mushroom bruschetta. 

Sketching and jotting down ideas for paintings.

Beating the heat by spending the cooler mornings on the patio with coffee and book in hand.

Taking long walks along the river.

Making regular time for the studio...even on dark and drippy days.

What have you been doing this week?

♥ Lisa

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