Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hattie's Rake Makes the Flowers Happy: The Inspiration and Process

Hattie's Rake Makes the Flowers Happy
oil on 16 x 20 inch paper

The Inspiration

This past Spring I did a lot of yard work.  I raked every inch of our backyard hoping to aerate the lawn and of course clean out the flowerbeds.  The hard work paid off because the grass became lush and green, and the flowers perked up with joy.  And as if all that raking wasn't enough, I went crazy and performed a brick patio facelift...pulling every brick up and replacing them in a more pleasing way.  Of course all this backyard activity sparked  a sketch in my sketchbook sweetie Moleskin and then ultimately this painting.  A self portrait?  Not really.  But it was very inspired by my own backyard.

 I wish we really could grow sunflowers just off the patio, but it's too shady to do so.
Below are some up-close pictures for you.  I plan to mount this painting to a hard board once it is dry and then it will go to Tessera Fine Art Gallery to hopefully find a new home.


detail

detail

detail

The Process

This has been in the works for quite some time.  It went through many phases and then all of a sudden it looked done.  Just like that.  I had planned to experiment with texture, but somehow getting the composition just right took over my process.  At one point there was a large tree trunk along the left side of the painting, but I painted it out and things just seemed to work from there.   Also, the sunflowers were at first just three circular shapes in a row (very boring), so I changed those to give them various heights and ultimately some movement.

 I used Daler-Rowney Georgian Oil Paper, which comes in pads. It stayed nice and flat the whole time I painted which surprised me because this is not a top-of-the-line brand.  I did not tape the edges down, I just held it in place with a clip at the top of a large wood board. I thought the edges would curl and was pleasantly surprised when they didn't.

Color Palette (various brands):
Ivory Black
Titanium White
Titan Buff
Prussian Blue
Cerulean Blue
Naples Yellow
Yellow Ochre
Burnt Sienna
Vermilion (Hue)

Favorite color combos in this piece:
 Cerulean, titan buff and a touch of ivory black for the sky...I love a moody sky.
Vermilion and titan buff makes the prettiest soft pinks.
Burnt Sienna makes everything look like the earth.

Mediums:
walnut oil
mineral spirits
Gamlin Solvent-Free Gel


Have a beautiful rest of the week.

29 comments:

  1. This is so beautiful, Lisa. Thanks for the colour mixing details. I have not thought about mixing those colours with titan buff.

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    1. Thank you Fuzzie. I use the titan buff in place of titanium white quite often because it really tones down the colors. It's also gorgeous with bright yellows.

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  2. Love this painting! And just think you got a beautiful backyard and a painting out of all that hard work! HA!
    Love seeing the colors you use -- some of my favorites!

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  3. Wonderful! I love the little painting I purchased from you!

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    1. I am so happy you love it Janine. Thank you for saying so. Have a nice weekend!

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  4. Gorgeous, Lovely, Awesome painting, Lisa.

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  5. so you are using the M. Graham walnut oils? I love that they are not so smelly as linseed oils Also LOVE the solvent free gel from Gamblin. So proud of them that they came up with that formulation. Now I'm waiting for the to come up with a completely toxic free Gamsol alternative. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying acrylics for the first time ever. Oh that fast dry.....

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    1. Thank you Joanie. I am not using the walnut oil paints, just walnut oil medium. My paints are of various brands. My favorite brand so far is Richeson Oil Shiva series.
      http://www.richesonart.com/products/paints/richesonoils/richoilsmain.html
      They are wonderful and the colors are really nice.
      Yes...the fast dry of acrylics! I was a prolific painter when I was working in all acrylics. Oils not so much. But this week I started an acrylic painting AND a really thick oil painting. I just love all of it. :)

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  6. hello my friend... i love those pink and red flowers *so much*! and those leaves against the sky... and that chair is chair perfection...

    love..

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  7. Isn't art fun? Reality and fantasy can join hands and make a painting anything you want it to be. Love the fact you added the sunflowers and the lovely chair to the brick patio.

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    1. Hi Elizabeth...art IS fun and it's also life-saving. Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your kind visits.

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  8. The skin tones on Hattie are really lovely. I would love to see a field of sunflowers somewhere and paint that. I am not good at fantasy paintings as you are; I wouldn't have a clue for fantasy!

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    1. Thank you Carol and I am so happy you noticed her skin tones because I worked very hard to get it right.

      I think that if you can paint a building, a garden, a figure, or a single flower (which we know you can), then you can paint fantasy. I would say the only difference is that you just place these things anywhere you want them on the canvas. :)

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  9. Absolutely beautiful, Lisa. Wonderful details...

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  10. I always say this .. Ok now This One is my favorite! :) I LoVE it! in the garden .. my space .. you have to put forth the work to have the delight!
    I've always wanted a brick patio .. {I just need to put forth the work.. ha ha}

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    1. Hi Lisa and thank you very much.

      Yes...brick patios...a lot of effort....but so worth it!

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  11. Her face! It's a whole different level...really penetrating eyes. And of course, working in the garden...in a Gown! So great:) Laura

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    1. Hi Laura! Thank you so much! And is there any other way to garden other than in a dress? :)

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  12. I am sure this piece will find a home!

    Getting outside, even to work, is certainly inspiring. I bet there are more ideas in the works:)

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    1. Thank you Libby! Yes...more ideas ahead (I hope).

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  13. So beautiful Lisa ;o) I am happy all your hard work in your back yard paid off ;o) Big Hugs ;o)

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    1. Thank you Stacy...oh fellow artist and worker of yards. :)

      xo

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