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).

 detail

detail



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.

detail

detail

detail

Me 

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

Friday, March 6, 2015

Sketchbooks and Nigel's Flannel Pajamas

sketchbook
oil

As I continue my painting of Nigel and his parents, I have been working in my sketchbooks as well.  Thoughts of spring are obvious in the above oil sketch.  Our new backyard is tiny compared to our old one, which has me thinking of some intimate touches that could be added to emphasize our new cozy space.  I can't wait to see what grows there already so that I can add more.  I am no green thumb, but I do love to plant and take care of a garden.


sketchbook sweetie
graphite

 I am trying to get back into the habit of sketching in my sweetie book (tiny moleskin) at night.  Good habits always seem to get interrupted, however if they are truly good, I try to bring them back.  This habit is good...it often offers inspiration for my paintings.  


detail of oil WIP

The Nigel painting is still in the works.  In my art class we had some discussion on how I could title this painting.  As I mentioned earlier, it is inspired by the song Making Plans for Nigel.  However, there is a gray area on whether I can use the same title or not.  There is all the business of copyrights and intellectual property to consider.  After our discussion about it, my instincts tell me I can use the name Nigel in my title, but I need to reword it somehow...like Plans for Nigel or Nigel's Future or What is Best for Nigel (which would be a spin-off of the song lyrics).  What do you think?

This week I focused on small details:  faces...hands...mom's dress...dad's clothing...


detail of oil WIP
...and some flannel pajamas for Nigel (still in the works).

I hope you have a beautiful weekend and get to stay in your pajamas a lot if you like that sort of thing.  Thank you always for all your wonderful comments and visits.

♥ Lisa

Friday, February 27, 2015

Color and Light for Nigel, Sketches and Studio Scenes

WIP detail
 This week I have continued on my quest to paint light in the Nigel painting and it is coming along slow, but sure.  I am trying to paint light coming from the lamp on the nightstand as seen above.  There will also be light coming from the hallway fixture as seen below.

WIP detail

My art instructor helped me in class this week and this morning I began reading a chapter about color and light in Richard Schmid's book Alla Prima.  I purchased it two years ago even though it was kind of expensive.  It probably appeals more to classically trained painters, but I knew it would be a go-to resource for me over the years, which it has been.


Color and Light chapter in Richard Schmid's book Alla Prima

 In the photo below you can see I shortened the arched doorway after my instructor suggested it, and now the parent figures stand in the boy's room rather than being detached (see previous post).  I am not sure I like it this way because I originally wanted the parents to be outside Nigel's door vs inside.  However, now it makes more sense as far as drawing purposes go.  From the beginning I have struggled with how to arrange this scene so that the parents are equally as important as the sleeping boy, but have it also make sense architecturally.

There is still much to do.   There are more shadows and light and fine details to come.  I am using glazes and cold wax, which means it has required a lot of time to dry in between sessions.


WIP 20 x 16  inch oil on cradled board

So while the painting is drying I have been doing things like straightening up my studio...


Studio
Studio

sketchbook sweeties
graphite

and sketching in my tiny sketchbook.


sketchbook sweetie
graphite and pastel

sketchbook sweetie
graphite and charcoal

I hope you have a beautiful weekend.
Thank you for following.
♥ Lisa

Friday, February 20, 2015

New Painting in Progress and the Song That Inspired It

WIP
oil on cradled wood 20 x 16 inch

This past summer while cooking dinner, I was listening to the Nina Simone station on Pandora like I usually do, and the song "Making Plans for Nigel" ( the Nouvelle Vague version) came on.  I swayed and twirled and cooked and listened, and as I did a vision of a young boy and his parents came to mind.  I saw basically what you see here in the beginnings of this painting...the boy in his bed with the covers pulled over his head...a tuft of hair sticking up (eventually)... and his parents standing outside his door discussing his future.  Nigel has hopes and dreams of his own, but his parents know what's best, don't they? Or do they? I sketched this scene out that evening and the ideas of painting it have been dancing in my head ever since.  I'm excited to finally be working on it.

I don't believe this is the true meaning of this song, but it is what I saw when I heard it.  My challenge for this piece...the challenge I am giving myself...is to paint light.  I see light coming down from the hallway light, onto the parents heads and faces, and spilling into the room.  The relation of the doorway and the room of course isn't right, but it's the only way I could get this down with my limited drawing skill.  It's the light, the characters and the overall atmosphere I care about.  I am not sure I can succeed with painting light, but I am going to give it a try.

Wish me luck.




Below is the Youtube video of the song.  Enjoy and have a great weekend!