Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Flower Petalers and How the Move Went

The Flower Petalers
mixed media on cradled wood panel 8 x 8 inch

Hello friends!  I am back after a chaotic couple of weeks of moving to our new house. I have taken some time to paint, but not too much.  Above is my newest finished piece.

 The move went well for having been settled in the old home for 15 years.  You accumulate a lot of stuff in that amount of time! I should have counted boxes as I am sure the number would have been impressive.  Oh my!  

Anyways, you would probably like to see photos rather than read babble, so here you go...


Above is my favorite picture.  It captures the beauty and some of the character of this old house we now live in.  It was built in 1930 and comes complete with glass doorknobs and drafty window panes.  We absolutely love it. 


My studio is really really great.  I have lots of storage and it even has a sink in it because the previous owner had a manicure business.  The light coming from the north and west windows makes me want to be like a cat and lay on the floor basking in the sun.  


This is the view from my west studio windows.  I think I am going to have to paint every one of those houses at some point.  They are so pretty...and HUGE.  Our house is quite a bit smaller than those.  


This is the best part about our new's in Riverside and there is so much to see in this special area of town.  The river always inspires...


it's a great place to see Christmas lights on foot...


and ooooo and aaaaaahhhh at how they reflect on the water.


And now that we live here I was able to walk less than two blocks the next morning after a beautiful snowfall the night before...


and see this park blanketed in white...


and the footprints of the locals...


and chuckle at how the geese just hang out in the streets.  Do you see them?  They are everywhere in this neighborhood.  They cross the streets (and take their sweet time), hang out on lawns, walk up the sidewalks.  They squawk and honk at each other like they are discussing plans for afternoon tea.  

This evening I made pumpkin bread and plopped into this chair to write to you all.  It's the same chair that started my art journey years ago...the one I drew just for the heck of it.  The same funky pillow is there too.  And you may also recognize the painting on the wall, Candela's Light.  

My family said that our furniture looks like it belongs in this house and that my paintings are like I was painting them specifically for this house.  Maybe they are right.  I wonder how long we will be here.  We are told we are only the fifth family to live here, which we found amazing.  The family previous to the family that sold it to us was here 36 years.  I can't imagine staying anywhere for 36 years.  But who knows?

Have a beautiful weekend.

♥ Lisa

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Bittersweet Goodbye to a Place Called Home


Dear Backyard, I will miss you. I will miss the sound of your trees. I will miss the abundance of bird species you invite, the deer that graze, the squirrels that play, the bunnies that startle the daylight out of me when I garden, the space you provide for boys to play. I will always remember you. 

We are moving this weekend...away from a home we have had for more than 15 years and this little letter was my Instagram post today.  This is the view of our backyard from the kitchen door and it is what I will miss the most when we leave.  I stood in this place many times, watching our boys play, checking on the dog and the cat, taking photo after photo of birds, snow and fallen leaves.  Our backyard has always been a haven, a special place where family and friends have gathered.  I've even painted there on so many beautiful days listening to the cottonwoods in the wind.  Did you know they sound just like the ocean? 

Yes, I will miss this place.  However it is time for a change.  

We are not venturing far; same city, different house, different yard, different neighborhood.  

The area we are moving to you have seen.  I have spent hours walking there, and have shared many photos taken there.  I've painted scenes based on it too.  

 Passed the Yellow Pine Tree
acrylic on canvas panel 16 x 20 inch

Bitting's Charm
mixed media on canvas panel 10 x 14 inch

And along the way on my almost daily walks there, I looked and searched for the right place for us to move forward.

It is called Riverside and as you probably have guessed, it is an old neighborhood nestled near the Arkansas River in our city of Wichita.  There are so many places to walk, ride bikes, canoe, kayak, and watch sunsets. It really suites us well.  I am both sad and excited at the same time.

I will return soon once I climb out of the mountain of boxes!
Wish us luck.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Cooperators Redo

 The Cooperators (New Version)
mixed media on canvas panel 16 x 20 inch

I have always thought I would never change a painting after it was called finished.  As it goes though, never say never. 

The trees in the first version of The Cooperators looked like Christmas trees which was not the intention. Plus, there was an overall darkness and glare going on throughout the painting that just bothered me too much. I had used silver paint and also brown ink.

 Now that it's on the computer screen, there seems to be too much green going on. There is also too much space between the figures now without the different heights in trees.  And honestly, I prefer the original pink sky vs the brighter one.  That was from happy mixtures of browns, silver, rose and magenta.  One thing I am happy about is that the figures faces didn't change and that was important to me.

The Cooperators (Old Version)
mixed media on canvas panel 16 x 20 inch

How about you?  Have you ever changed a painting?  

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Completed Commission and All About City Paintings

 Commission Painting
36 x 24 inch oil on canvas

The above painting is the commission painting I mentioned a few weeks ago.  It has been delivered to the birthday girl, which is my sister in-law.  My brother wanted to surprise her with one of my city paintings and requested a city with her in it based on a photo of her as a child.  In the photo her dress was flying straight up in the wind. A precious scene! It was actually taken at Niagara Falls, but in art we get to tell the story any way we wish.   

No Cars Allowed in Brooklyn
acrylic on canvas panel 11 x 14 inch

She loves the city and has always liked the way I paint them.  She really wanted the above painting No Cars Allowed in Brooklyn,  however my older sister "borrowed" it once and I never saw it again.  It now resides in her home, but who can argue with their older sister?  :)

Funny story:  No Cars Allowed in Brooklyn was an early painting and I had actually tried to paint a scene from a photo I took in New York City, but the two trees I had painted looked like they were in the street and I didn't know how to fix it.  So I just painted in more trees and gave it the title.
Like I said, we get to tell the story any way we wish.  :)

Big City
acrylic on canvas 16 x 20 inch

Above was the very first city painting I ever did.  I drew my inspiration from a video I had seen on Youtube, but I don't remember the who, what or where, I am sorry to say.

Commission painting
mixed media on canvas 30 x 24 inch

And while we are walking down memory lane, there is this painting, another commission piece from last year.  This one was started with scrapbook papers for the buildings and then painted.  It's a technique I used before...

Scrapbook City
mixed media on paper 12 x 12 inch
2011 sold this piece.  I planned to do more of these paintings with scrapbook paper because there is a depth to them that I really like.  Time, time, time...always an issue.

Olive City
oil on paper 9 x 12 inch
2014 sold

Painting cities is a great way to explore color in a simple way.  I say simple because it is just a lot of painting squares and rectangles.  You can explore brush marks too as I did in Olive City

Brooklyn from a Boat
oil on paper 9 x 12 inch
2013 sold

I also love to paint cities as a way to revisit them as in Brooklyn from a Boat.  This always brings me back to that boat ride my husband and I took around the entire island of Manhattan.  Happy memories!

City Beneath the Pale Sky
mixed media on panel 9 x 12 inch

Usually my cities are from my imagination though, my favorite way to paint.  This one got a little crazy in color, but there was something that just said to leave it as is.  I think I see many more city paintings in the future.  When there is time of course.

Whether you live in the big city, or in the country, or in between, I wish you a very 
Happy Thanksgiving!  Thanks as always for your friendships, your comments and for looking!

♥ Lisa

Monday, November 24, 2014

New Autumn Paintings and Our Son's Concerto Concert

Yellow Farm in Autumn
mixed media on panel 5 x 7 inch

When our son moved to Texas, that of course meant driving back and forth for visits and that is how this series was born.  I have done four paintings now inspired by some photos I took while driving by farms and fields.  The fall colors vary quite a bit, and even though they are not a New England "WOW", they are subtle and very lovely.

Alvera Ranch in Autumn
mixed media on 5 x 7 inch panel

I did find some tiny brushes for the tiny faces, just some cheap ones from Michael's that I have not used yet.  Detail brushes never last long, especially with acrylics.

At times I exaggerated the color quite a bit.  You can see how I put the composition together here, drawing inspiration from my own photo and from one of many vintage photos given to me by Patty. (Thank you again Patty.  I us these photos a lot, especially when I sketch in my books.)

Speaking of Texas, this is a photo from a concert at UT Arlington.  Our son is in the master's music program there and won a recent contest for a place as a soloist in a concerto concert. That is him playing piano in the photo.  It was so beautiful and we were so proud of him.  Tears, tears, tears.

Below is a video, not of him, but of the piece he played...all by memory.  I can't even remember my age sometimes.  For those of you that love classical music, this was the only piano concerto ever written by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov.  It is a beautiful and dynamic piece with slow and poetic movements and blazing fast parts.  It is truly a treat for the ears.  I hope you will enjoy it.

Have a beautiful day.

Friday, November 21, 2014

On a Warm Day in Autumn

On a Warm Day in Autumn
mixed media on panel 5 x 7 inch

This is another small painting inspired by our recent road trip between Kansas and Texas.  The pretty farms make you want to stop, plop a blanket down smack-dab in the middle of a field and have a picnic.  That won't be happening though because it turned really cold, even in Texas.

Thank you for all your nice comments and helpful tips on the last Autumn painting.  These are fun to do.  I really need some better brushes though if I am going to keep on painting these tiny faces, so I plan to find some this weekend.  What are you doing?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Three Autumns Past

Three Autumns Past
mixed media on panel 5 x 7 inch

We took a road trip last week between Kansas and Texas and this was inspired by the land that is flat and the trees that are few, where food is grown and cattle graze. 

I used a vintage photo as inspiration for the young woman and my own drive-by photo from the trip for the landscape.  I should add that I used these very loosely as you can probably tell.  Her teeny tiny face was pretty hard to do.  I think I need a smaller brush even though I used a size 0.  Do they make a smaller size?  I've looked but I can't find anything smaller.

I hope you had a good weekend!  See you soon with another landscape-inspired painting.