Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Family on Summer Vacation

A Family on Summer Vacation
oil on panel 12 x 9 inch

The vintage photo that inspired this piece  was the same photo I used to paint Mother Daughter in Blue, Brown and White.  Initially my attention was drawn to the woman with the girl on her lap, and as I painted I sort of grew attached to the whole group of people, feeling compelled to paint them as well.


 I am assuming they are family, but I am not sure about that because the photo simply says Grandpa at Long Beach.  It must have been a cool day, as they are dressed in coats and hats in the photo.  I always think of southern California as warm and summery place.  Perhaps on the day these folks were there, it was not...thus the long faces.


The color palette was also blue, brown and white (ultramarine blue, burnt umber and titanium white to be exact).  In the mother daughter painting, I used raw umber rather than burnt umber.  The raw umber makes it more green and the burnt umber is much more warm.  

I wanted to keep things loose, not get too fussy with facial details or any detail for that matter.  I wanted visible scratches and interesting lines too.  It came together in the end, but it was challenging  because of the number of people in it.  

the inspiration
1935 photo reading "grandpa at Long Beach"

I feel as if I know them now.  Isn't that strange?

Have a great rest of the week! 

♥ Lisa

Friday, April 17, 2015

Three Still Life Paintings, A Portrait, A Sketch and Scenes from Riverside

This week I painted three still life paintings.  It all started with this jar.  My aunt had it in her apartment and when I commented on how it was pretty enough to paint, she gave it to me.  This is the way of the elderly in my family.  My grandmother used to say at every single visit, "now when Granny croaks, be sure and take that music box" or "that vase", etc.  I'm not kidding.

Terracotta Keepsake Pot
acrylic on paper 6 x 6 inch

The scan of the terracotta pot came out very yellowy, but it is actually olive green. 

Carafe With Two Cups
acrylic on paper 6 x 6 inch

 The carafe painting was inspired by an espresso machine ad.  Go figure.  It is how my mind works.

Clay Pitcher With Two Roses
acrylic on paper 6 x 6 inch

The clay pitcher was a gem I purchased at an estate sale near our home. The couple of the estate owned 7 houses and the sale was the compilation of those homes. The husband passed away 4 years ago and the wife was planning to settle in one of the houses with hired caregivers. This clay pitcher was one of the beautiful gems I found at the sale. I wish I knew its story and from which of the 7 houses it came. 

Young Mabel Musser
acrylic and ink on paper
4 x 6 inch
Young Mabel Musser was inspired by a vintage photo that had Musser and also Harrisburg printed on it. The photo was not dated, but looked to be around early 1900's.  This sort of thing always leads to a google search and in that search I learned there were several prominent "Mussers" living in Pennsylvania.  I found an interesting family photo while searching.  So I picked the youngest girl in the photo (who was named Mabel) and voila!  I had a title.  

sketchbook sweetie
graphite in a tiny Moleskin
My art instructor loaned me his book titled From Van Eyck to Bruegel:  Early Netherlandish Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art  and I love to do sketches from this book.  The above is my simple pencil sketch of Gerard David's Four Heads (about 1495) which is a "metalpoint over traces of black chalk on prepared paper"...whatever that means.  All I thought was that it was beautiful.  Not the head in the upper right though.  That one is plain scary.

That is all I have accomplished this week artwise.  I am still pecking away at my 9 x 12 inch oil painting of six people.  I have only been working on that one in my class though, which is why it is not done.  Soon!  The above paintings are in my Etsy shop if you are interested in purchasing.

Scenes from Riverside This Week

Forget-Me-Nots on the riverbank

These are photos taken on my daily walks.  I still walk two to four miles every day and my love for this activity is renewed with our new surroundings and this lovely, vibrant season.

Arkansas River on a gorgeous Spring day

I hope you have a beautiful weekend!  Thank you for visiting!
♥ Lisa

Friday, April 10, 2015

Chair Paintings, Edouard Vuillard, Montana, and Home

Chair Number 19
collage and acrylic on paper 4 x 6"
We got back from Montana on Easter Sunday in the evening and had a great time with our son, daughter in-law and grandson!  I dived into painting when we returned. I am still working on the oil painting with the six people, which I will show you once it is done.   I painted these two chairs the other day.

Chair Number 18
collage and acrylic on paper 4 x 6 "

Below is a scene that was inspired by Edouard Vuillard's painting called  "Thadée Natanson at His Desk".  I wanted to use a similar color palette and the title "Natanson's Wife" seemed appropriate for my piece. 

Natonson's Wife
mixed media on paper 6 x 6"

This is the book I have.  I think I bought it used on Ebay for cheap cheap.

The page that inspired.
These paintings are all available in my Etsy shop.

Scenes from Montana and Home

In Montana we did everything...played, hiked, cooked, shopped, dined, soaked in Lolo hot springs in Idaho, camped out and made s'mores over a campfire.  We even got to watch 20 smokejumpers do their practice jumps at the smokejumper base in Missoula.  It was so interesting to watch and our son was there to explain everything to us.  One poor man landed in a tree!  He wasn't hurt, thank goodness, but it was easy to see the dangers of the job.  This mom just tries not to think about it.

Montana is so gorgeous.  When we went last year, it was blanketed in snow.  In fact, so much snow that they had trouble landing the plane, but not this time.

The trees are enormous in places and the hiking is just the best...inclines, lakes, trees, waterfalls. The smell of the pines!!! Oh my goodness.  It's so different from Kansas.  Kansas is very flat.  We have the Flint Hills nearby, but that is all as far as elevations go.

Me and light and massive trees in Lolo National Forrest, Idaho

Lake Como in Montana

After our trip to Montana, besides painting, I been working around our house.  We have lived in our new home for four months and I have been anxiously waiting for Spring so that I could get into the yard and start making it our own.  It is also time to get serious about putting rooms together.  You have to live in a space for a bit to figure out where things need to go.  I have rearranged furnishings in various rooms dozens of times trying to make spaces more functional with an easier flow.  Kind of like a painting...it finally comes together. :)

Freshly planted pansies in the back yard!  

Our dog Hurley who was very pleased the run was moved to the sunroom

What are you doing lately?

Happy weekend to you all and thank you for visiting.

♥ Lisa

Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring is Here...Some Photos and Thoughts About What it Brings

 It's Time for Spring
mixed media on paper 4 x 6 inch

Spring is here at last.  It has been a long winter and it is a relief to see color again.

 Sketchbook Sweeties
graphite in pocket Moleskin

It is time to dust off the bicycle and ride, to sit on the patio and read.

acrylic sketch on paper 9 x 12 inch

Winter had it's moments of quiet inspiration.  There are things about winter to love.

Neighborhood walk in Riverside

However, when the color returns and the birds sing, the heart just seems to lift.

Blooming Bradford Pears downtown near Tessera Gallery

Spring brings new offerings...new hopes.

8.5 x 11 inch sketchbook  acrylic 

Spring is the time to wake up from the sleepy slumber.

 detail work in progress...oil on 9 x 12 inch panel

I find myself wanting to paint more.  To explore new techniques...new colors...new, new, new.

current state of my wall at Tessera Fine Art Gallery

I have been thinking a lot about my art...what has worked well and what hasn't and where I want to go from here.

Girl in a Birdcage Dress
mixed media on 6 x 6 inch paper

No real profound thoughts about it though...I just feel really thankful deep down in my soul for so many blessings.  The blessings of family, friends, nature and art to name a few. Too many to count really.

So while the flowers are blooming, I hope you have many blessings too.
I will see you in a week...we are off to Montana to see our oldest son, daughter in-law and grandson.

♥ Lisa

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mother Daughter in Blue, Brown and White & Some Changes in Online Venues

 Mother Daughter in Blue, Brown and White
oil on panel 9 x 12 inch

This was a great study for me.  The limited palette was just what the doctor ordered to push me forward a bit.  I have already started a second, this time with all the people in the vintage photo (see previous post).



News About Changes

I changed things up a bit on how I sell my art online.   I do not combine my small paintings, works on paper, drawings and art studies with my more refined paintings anymore.  I think my pricing will make more sense this way.  I am now offering the minor works and prints (eventually) on Etsy and my more refined paintings on Big Cartel...those paintings where I set out to do something grand. Now whether or not these paintings are indeed grand is a whole different discussion, but you see my point.  :)
Anyways...the links to both places are in the above tabs at the header, or click here for Etsy and here for Big Cartel if you cannot see the tabs on whatever device/browser you are viewing this with.  I still have work at Tessera Gallery here in Wichita, but those paintings are not listed online anymore. I hope these changes make sense to everyone.  Please let me know if they don't!  

I think that's everything.   Happy rest of the week everyone!

♥ Lisa

Friday, March 20, 2015

What Ultramarine Blue, Raw Umber and White Can Do

detail of WIP

My friend and amazing artist Julie Ford Oliver once told me about the artist Carolyn Plochmann and the beautiful book A Charmed Vision.  I bought the book as soon as Julie told me about it and I have looked at it often, it is one of my favorite art books.  There is a wonderful black and white image in the book called Mother and Child and it inspired me to do a painting with minimal color and interesting lines and strokes.  This has been a great exercise for me because I would like to improve how I paint shading and light, plus I am intrigued about how certain lines and squiggles can add so much to a painting.

The photos of the feet and hands are just details of the 9 x 12 inch piece.  My instructor in the art class that I am taking suggested three colors...a blue, a brown and white and I chose ultramarine blue, raw umber and titanium white.  This morning, as I was working on it, I accidentally used prussian blue and now their faces have a very green hue...oops.  I can fix it!

detail of WIP
First layers of 9 x 12

Above is the entire composition after beginning it in art class.  It is much further along now.

Below can you see the source of inspiration?  Is that not the sweetest child?  She looks as if she did not want to take a picture. And mom's hat!...(or is it grandma?).  As I look at this wonderful old photo, I am thinking at some point I would like to paint all the people in it.

the inspiration 
Happy weekend everyone.
♥ Lisa

Friday, March 13, 2015

What is Best For Nigel

What is Best for Nigel
oil on cradled board
20 x 16 inch

Nearly one month later, Nigel is finally complete!  As I look at the image on the computer though, I see areas that need tweaking.  One place would be the legs of the bed.  I shortened them so that they do not touch the carpet, but it needs another layer or two of paint.  I may add more to the books too...and the wallpaper...and the carpet...and, and, and.  If you are an artist, you know how that goes.

Overall I am thrilled with the outcome of the light in this piece, which was my goal.  I looked at some paintings with light (thank you Gary Everest), read Richard Schmid's chapter on light in Alla Prima and I had some help from my art instructor, Brian Hinkle, during class.  This was such a challenge for me, and I want to try it again and again with different color palettes.

The title was a bit tricky too since this was inspired by a song.  After lots of discussion and consideration, What is Best for Nigel seemed a good fit without crossing copyright lines.

Below are some detail photos of the painting.





Our youngest son and his wife are visiting this week while on spring break, so my sweet daughter in-law was around to take this picture yesterday.  It has been so great to have them here.

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend!

♥ Lisa