Friday, September 19, 2014

Adding Birds and More Pretty Pictures


More progress on this 16 x 20 inch oil painting and this morning the birds have been added.  In Tuesday's class, the art instructor suggested that I could change the background if I wanted to brighten up the mood.   He pointed out a tinge of smokey blue that I had smudged on in various places as a possible alternative, but I love the reds with the yellows here too much to change it.  

However, his suggestion gave me an ah hah! would be the perfect color for the birds that are planned for this piece.  So here you have progress.


Speaking of are samples of photo edits again.  I found a new photo app called Photoscape for $1 and I love the colors you can add.  The photo above and below are the same picture with different hues.  I almost expect to see elves tip-toeing out from behind the trees in the above and the one below looks more like Fall in real life.  The original is bright and vibrant summer green.


I have been spending time outside in the yard. Weeding flowerbeds is an ongoing job and such a relaxing thing to do.  I try to stretch while I'm could call it Yard Work Yoga.  That keeps me from getting too stiff.   My camera is always near by of course.


These flowers are not from my yard.  They are from the flower shop.  That big sunflower just seemed to be singing out loud. 

Sometimes when I take pictures, they come out pretty just the way they are so I leave them alone.


Especially when it comes to the sky.  Often, it does not need a filter.  It seems to have its own.


Have a beautiful weekend.

♥ Lisa

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Chairs, Hands, Dresses and Pretty Pictures

I have been painting more chairs.  Available here.

I have also been drawing a little bit in sketchbooks.  Here you can see the old photo used for a reference.  The small sketchbook you see on the right is my sketchbook sweetie book.

A little bit of painting in sketchbooks too.  There was a photo in a magazine of a pretty vase of flowers sitting on a table at an open window and this sketch was inspired by it.


I have also been working on a 16 x 20 inch oil painting on paper...the one with the women and eventually some birds that I showed in the last post.  I spent two days on their faces and the other day I began details on clothing.  It became suddenly clear that painting hands is much more difficult than painting dresses.


I have over 1,000 photos on my iPhone right now.  I take pictures constantly and love to spend time making beautiful edits on them. This is a place in Rochester, New York taken on our recent travels.


This was taken while driving by a farm in eastern Ohio.  I use the iPhone apps distressedfx and snapseed and also the editing tools in Instagram to get these effects.  I am finding that my own photography, especially when these painterly effects are applied can be a really good source of inspiration for paintings.  Of course I always want to put figures in.

A quiet day on Lake Ontario in New York.  These figures were there naturally.  

Have a beautiful day.

  ♥ Lisa

Friday, September 12, 2014

Painting in Progress and a Surprise Gift from a Blog Friend

detail of WIP
16 x 20 inch oil on paper

On Tuesday I returned to Brian Hinkle's art class at Tessera Fine Art Gallery and jumped right in starting this 16 x 20 inch oil on paper.  Using one of my sketches as inspiration, the figures went down quickly.  There will be birds in this piece once it is all said and done.

beginnings of 16 x 20 inch on paper
at Tessera Fine Art Gallery

Here is a full view of the piece.  You can see another oil painting in the background which I have shown recently.  That one is slow-going because I have been really indecisive about color.


I caught this shot the other night of my dog Hurley.  He has so many facial expressions and this one is precious.  Kind of pitiful, but precious.


Speaking of Hurley, do you remember the above photo?  I posted it a while back.

5 x 7 inch painting of Hurley
by Patty Musgrove
Well a couple of days ago I was surprised and so touched to receive the above painting from Patty Musgrove with Listen to the Road.  Patty paints the most beautiful animal portraits and I could not believe she would give me such a gift.  Tears.  Many of them.  Thank you so much Patty.  Life is sad right now after losing my mom and this gift is so joyful and uplifting.

Please click on the photo to view her beautiful brush strokes.  She captured him perfectly.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Monday, September 8, 2014

More Chairs and Notes on the Technique

Chair Number 11
4 x 6 inch oil on paper
available here

Before traveling, I painted these three chairs and they are now dry and in my shop on Etsy.  

Chair Number 12
oil on 4 x 6 inch paper
available here

I have been inconsistent with signing them on the front.  Sometimes it is too crowded in the area I want to sign in, or too distracting, or simply does not show well enough.  I also stopped gluing these to the mat boards because it did not seem necessary since they are so small.  They don't buckle like larger works on paper and they stay flat in a frame without the boards.

Chair Number 13
oil on 4 x 6 inch paper
available here

 About the Process

To make these I prep the paper with various colors of acrylic paint, then apply the oil paint with a palette knife.  I draw the chair by scratching through or wiping away the oil paint to expose the acrylic color underneath.  The third chair here is the best example of how I do these.  The red part of the chair you see is the acrylic paint beneath including that little splotch of blue on the side.  The background, floor, chair seat, chair back and pillow are in oil.  

These little things can be tricky because the oil painting is wet on wet, and on a very small surface.  This is another reason for the inconsistency of signing them.  It is impossible to sign them with a paint brush because they are so small, so the only way to sign it is to scratch in the signature which may or may not show up well.

Painting these has been a great way for me to explore color and also a good exercise in thinking ahead.  I always have to consider the color of the acrylic that will pop through. It dictates what oil colors are chosen.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Where Have You Been?

I have been away on a road trip.

We headed northeast through the Flint Hills of Kansas, then Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and New York.

We ate lunch on Lake Erie.

We marveled over early signs of fall near Kalamazoo, Michigan.

We spent most of our time in the western part of New York...about one hour from Niagra Falls...visiting my family.

We watched sunsets on Lake Ontario and walked on the pier under the stars.

We dined near the boat docks.

We visited a sweet carousel of the past.

We walked the trails in Corbett's Glen.

And got excited at the lushness of it...and the smell of it.

We enjoyed walks in quaint neighborhoods.

We felt jealous of George Eastman...the founder of Kodak.  He actually lived in this house.  Does anyone really need all that space?

Really jealous.

We celebrated Labor Day picnicking at Hamlin Beach. We didn't feel jealous anymore.

We watched the skies a lot.

We visited family a lot.

And posed for pictures a lot.

There were some quiet moments...

...during a lovely visit at the DuPont Mansion in Louisville, Kentucky...a detour we took on the way home.

We had the whole mansion to ourselves! It is their slow season. Now George Eastman would be jealous of us. :)

We took in one last Louisville over the Ohio River.

We stopped by a very famous place to horse racing enthusiasts (just to say we saw it).

Then we clicked our heals and headed home to Kansas.

It is true, there really is no place like home.

I hope all of you are well.  See you soon!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Spending Time With Julie Ford Oliver

watercolor on Yupo

I met Julie Ford Oliver through blogging two years ago and if memory serves me right, we had an instant connection.  I fell in love with her exquisite and highly technical paintings and she seemed to really like the stories in my art.  She often offered praise and insight that fed my desire to continue to paint.  Like any artist, I sometimes question my skills, my subjects, all of it really, and it has been the seasoned and experienced artists like Julie who come along and lift me up and help me push forward.  Through our numerous emails, I not only had come to appreciate having a mentor, but had made a dear friend.

So long story short, last Spring Julie invited me to come to New Mexico to paint with her at her studio. After losing my mother in early July, this invitation became something I felt I really had to do. So I packed my bags and my paints and headed to Las Cruces. 

The week was FULL of happy moments.

New Mexico
Like walks in the desert.

White Sands National Monument

Riding down the sand dunes on a sled!  Wee!

Pasture in Lincoln Forest

Visiting Julie's friends in the mountains.

New Mexico skies

Marveling at the frequent changes in the sky.

Stormy New Mexico sky

Sunset in New Mexico

 Watching the sunrise and sunset.  Each one was different.

Old building in Mesilla, New Mexico

Walking around looking at blue doors and wonderful New Mexico architecture.  

Blue garden gate
It was like walking into a Julie Ford Oliver Painting!

Julie Ford Oliver in front of her studio
Then we headed for Julie's studio where she teaches.  

oil on 8 x 8 inch canvas

I painted on black canvas for the first time.  It makes it so easy to outline the seemed to really help with the drawing  The little blue vase is one of Julie's still life objects...I just had to paint it. 

oil on 10 x 10 inch canvas

Julie talked a lot about design and use of color...I tried to think about both in the above piece.  The above drippy marks are from a wash with oil and mineral spirits.  I let them be, so the white is raw canvas showing through.  We thought it looked neat, so I left it that way.

oil on 9 x 12 inch oil primed linen

All the vibrant colors of New Mexico obviously inspired the above piece.  I didn't have time to finish it, but I was happy with where it was going.  Oil primed linen is nice to paint on.  It seemed to grab the colors off the brush more easily than gesso primed canvas.

I had two other paintings, a pear and a cityscape, but the photos are too blurry.  In those I visited the use of color again and did some negative painting which was pretty fun to do.

Julie Ford Oliver and me

The week was amazing.  It was so full of beauty....the landscape...the incredible people I met...the food...the art...the sunsets...the warm sun...the rain.

But the best part was Julie.  Hands down.  Julie.  A gem of a lady.

 Julie is a mega-talented artist and a sought-after teacher.  Her paintings have been published in books and magazines and have sold world wide.  She won't tell you any of this though...she is quite humble about it all. If you don't know her art, do yourself a favor and  visit her here. I highly recommend her very inexpensive fracturing technique video.  It is what gives her art that special it's been broken and put back together.  Kind of like this past week did for me...I was broken...and now I am a little more together.

Thank you, thank you Julie.