Thursday, July 30, 2015

Metal, Cool Circles

I love working in metals. This one is especially beautiful because the warm copper color flows through the cool colored I layered on. Sometimes the simplest designs are the best when working in metals. Is one's sold. 

Reconstructing Alice Premier Tomorrow Night!!

We are SUPER proud of our daughter, Melody.  Tomorrow night is the premier of the first show that she has written, chose and edited music, choreographed, auditioned dancers, directed - EVERYTHINGED!

Come out and enjoy this super-talented cast.  You might even enjoy the sets that a particular artist painted!

You really need to come and see this very unusual interpretation of Alice in Wonderland.  It will astonish you. Get your tickets now!

The Continuing Saga of...(creepy music playing...) 'The Desk Top'

Here I am again at my desk.  Use that thing a lot.  Every day.  And sometimes a person just has to put her feet up.  My feet are up at this particular time because I'm celebrating a background well finished.  Have big plans for that background.  Do you see anything in it yet?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

You Need My Art Classes!

I still have room in my HIS Classes Art 1, Art 2, and High School Art. Now is the time.

My Training Center classes are pretty full, but there are one or two open spots in my Art 2 and High School Art classes. Let me know; we are almost ready to begin!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Commissioned Work - Almost Done

Feeling very satisfied tonight.  Finished a commission on a five foot by seven foot canvas.  Sorry, you don't get to see a picture of this one. It's a black and white, something I generally don't do, and after someone else's style, which is difficult.   Any other person's style is always more difficult than your own.  After all the work I've done on it I have really grown to love this painting.

All I have left now is to let it dry, then it will need some tweeks according to the patron's desires.  At that point, it'll have to dry some more, then get its coats of varnish.

In the meantime, I am exhausted!  After a week of prep and background work, I spent the entire day working on it.

Looks good and I am happy.  I think tonight I'm going to relax and have someone read me a story (Audible, I love you!)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Another Painting Sold - Birds on a Wire Series

Sold another painting!  This one I really love.  Well, I guess I love them all.  They are me.

This will require a wee bit of pre-painting background explanation.  A couple years ago an exhibit came to the MFAH - Picasso in Black and White.  That title did not thrill me at ALL.  As you can likely tell from my paintings, I'm a color kind of girl.  However, I felt beholden to go, so I picked a day and toddled innocently into the exhibit.

It blew me away!  Expecting small pencil and ink drawings on paper, I couldn't have been more wrong!  We had a huge exhibit of large canvases, not in all honesty black and white!  I had planned on breezing through the show and then making a scheduled workshop downtown later that day.  Five hours later I stumbled out onto the pavement in a daze.

Missed the workshop - who needed it anyway?

What he had done was covered his canvases with color.  Arbitrarily (maybe).  Then he painted out the negative space (background) and left thin lines of color describing his subject.  All else was the negative space he painted, which was usually white.  Wow, was I inspired! 

Looking back now as I type, I think, 'Inspired?!'  Yeah, I guess so!  I've been pretty much painting in this manner ever since!

This is how I painted my birds.  I filled the background with color - shades of blue, textures and designs, and gold.  Once that was dry, I began to paint the negative space, in other words, everything BUT the birds and the wires they are on.  That way the background showed through in all its glorious colors.  I LIKE it.

That exhibit really changed the way I paint.  All you need to do is look at my paintings since then to see that.  So... I give you, my birds:
 Here's the complete painting. I really just love it.  I particularly like the way the whites are thicker and more opaque down on the left bottom corner, and thin out more toward the top right so you can understand what's going on and get a better hint of what's underneath.

The bottom two pictures are cutaways of the larger painting so you can see more detail.

 You can see in this first cutaway that there is more than just white here - that would be boring!  Can you see the little hint of pinks?

If I remember correctly, I think I added a bit of yellow into the white as well up toward the top.  These go a long way in warming up the painting.

Next time I'll show you another of my paintings in that series that is still for sale.

Thanks, Picasso!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Reconstructing Alice: Showtime! Part Four

Reconstructing Alice, Part Four
These pictures show finished work.  I've added highlights and lowlights and some small detail.
 This first picture has horrible lighting on it, but you do what you can when you're painting and people are dancing.  We all kind of just work around each other.  Anyway, you can see that I've got the highlights done, with some minor highlights on the buildings above the flourescent light (which of course won't be on during showtime.)

The second picture shows the work I did above stage.  Lots of drippy, dark work, and few highlights there, to deepen the mystery for this dark show.

Get your tickets at:

You will be glad you did!

Reconstructing Alice, Part Three, Painting Sets

Here I am painting the very back wall of the stage for Reconstructing Alice.  This incredible show, written, produced, directed and choreographed by our daughter, Melody, will debut July 24 and run for two weekends.

Get your tickets at:

You'll be glad you did!

This often happens when you're painting on top of a ten foot ladder - the thing you want to paint is just inches out of reach!  I think this is definitely helping me overcome my fear of heights!

The entire back of the stage is now pipes, graffiti, torn-down posters and... what are those... nuclear waste signs?  Whatever they are, they will enhance this dark show.  I'm excited!  Be sure to get your tickets before they sell out!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Second Post, Continued Theatre Work, Reconstructing Alice

Now I've moved to stage right.  Stage left is mostly done, except for a few minor details and some cleaning.  I'll post it all when I'm completely done.

Last session I did the sunset and bridge, city skyline in the background.  This time I did the gear wheels.  That's all.  It takes a long time to get everything laid out - that's the left-brain work.  The right brain work comes right at the end, and doesn't take long, and is of course the most fun.  All said, laying out the gears took 90% of the time.  Painting them took 10%.

The wheels I laid out using a tape measure and a piece of charcoal. Holding the tape at center point, I stretched it taut and circled around with the charcoal.  The holes in the gears were various whatevers I could find plundering around the theatre... drink lids, paint cans...

In theatre, you're a slave to the director, of course.  She wants the upper corner of blue darkened, so I'll find some blues and purples and fade that sunset out into darkness.  The entire thing is lacking highlights as well; one of my favorite parts which brings everything together and makes people go 'oooohhh, aaaahhhh!'  Unfortunately, that part is the shortest!

So... what's left?  Highlights on stage right, a bit of work over the stage, darkening the sky - this IS a scary show... and small, picky artist detailing.  Maybe some fog. Should take me maybe three or four more hours.

Oh!  Small sideline - I'm glad I'm alive!  I had the ladder in the corner and was waay up high, reaching as high as I could, and my head was right next to the speaker.  There's the key phrase, 'right next to the speaker.'  The dancers had been working without music and were ready for the run through with music.  BLAST!!!!! Right in my ear!  Almost fell off that ladder.

One of the gear circles up in that far unreachable corner is also a bit mis-shapen.  I think I'll leave it that way.

New Commission Work

Finally!  I'm doing a commission with some big canvases, and it took them quite a while to be built and shipped.  This is what I found at my back door. :)

It took me almost an hour to simply unpack them, and find a couple boys to get them inside.

And now, the fun begins!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sets Painting for 'Reconstructing Alice' at Applause Theatre

 Spent the day painting sets for our daughter's upcoming show, Reconstructing Alice.  It was a lot of fun painting as I watched her leading the dancers.

We are SO proud of her - she wrote this play, auditioned everyone, is directing and choreographing and, well, everything else!

She wanted sets to be gothic steampunk and dark.  I had only three hours to work today, so worked at top speed!  Definitely had to overcome my fear of heights for this one! Made good use of a very tall stepladder!

One of Melody's students helped me paint the blue background up top, which saved a lot of time.  We added the mauvy-purple color just lightly, and I ripped off the buildings really fast with a sponge-tip squeeze bottle brush.  Love those things!

The next layers will be more darks, clocks, gears and fog. :)

This last picture shows one side of the stage.  I painted in the sunset and then just barely began a touch of some buildings and an old bridge.  There will be a lot more on top of this - remember, it's just the first layers.  Going to be a great show!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Tiger Painting, Part Three! For Sale to Good Home

Here he is!  Done!  I love him and count him as a very obedient temporary pet.  Because he is for sale! $800.00, and the size is 22" x 28".

I really love the way the silver is glowing through on his left side.  These little details in backgrounds make all the difference in the final painting.  I love the blue drip down the other side, just adding some nice texture and interest.  His nice, pettable nose is glowing with blues and violets.  As you can see, I worked with comps all the way around.  Non-artists, what this means is that I laid down colors opposite on the color wheel on top of the colors previously laid down.  These 'compliment' each other, like peas in a pod.
 This first picture I took last night.  It is identical to the second picture, but that was taken in the day time.  I put both in so you could see how differing light effects the painting.I like them both.

The bottom three show closeups of differing portions of the cat's face.

Still needs a name!  And needs a home, too!  He will eventually hang in the DaVinci Artists' Gallery for $800.00, plus tax.  If you purchase him out of my home, I can give you a discount.

Tiger Painting - Part Two

Here we're getting closer to done.  You can see that I'm working all around the painting at once, laying down color and unifying everything.  You will also note the tiger I've got stuck on top of my easel - a grand old king.  Funny looking at that fine fellow possessed me to do a young 'un.  It was actually inadvertent, but I realized I didn't have room to develop his jowly mane, so I went with it.  Maybe this young one will say 'Buy me, I need a home,' instead of the king's 'I want to eat you.'  Who knows?

I haven't posted about 'The Artist's Desk' for a while, so decided to pop this one in as well.  Now you can see what it looks like when I'm working on a painting.  Strewn with lion pics from... where else? ... the internet.

I try to stay pretty much with one fairly big brush in my work to get that sense of immediacy.  I caved to temptation, as you can see here I've got three brushes in use.  It was for the eyes.  That part is the one spot that needs to be absolutely perfect so I give it a lot of care.

Stay tuned for part three to see my final fine fellow! 

New Painting - Tiger - Beginnings

Hello, Wonderful People,
Today I'm going to show you the beginnings of one of my new paintings - Tiger.  I know, original naming.  If you have a great idea on what to name my colorful feline, let me know!  But first, let me lead you through the steps:

First I laid down lots of warm colors.  Maybe HOT colors!  This time I added in some silver, because I want it to glow.  Here you can see the beginnings of the tracery of my first marks.  If you look closely, you'll see a light blue - first I drew out the entire cat with my light blue LYRA watercolor crayon.  There's a good reason for this - they're erasable.  Not exactly erasable, but if I squirt it with water and rub, it magically disappears.  This is a good thing when you're working on proportions.

Once everything is tight, I go all around with - this time it's black - acrylic paint.  You can see the beginnings up top, on the ear and top of his head.  You'll note there are black lines throughout the painting already; I dug those into the acrylic paint whilst still wet. 

I couldn't stop myself to take pictures, so the bottom one is far advanced.  I had gone all around with black, tracing over all my crayon marks, and begun to add the complimentary crayon marks wherever I wanted.  I'll generally do the eyes pretty soon into the work, because the vacuous look does not inspire me.  Once I get the feeling of those eyes looking at me, the rest is just gravy.  Look for my next post to see the finished piece.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Paintings Sold

Three paintings done since my last post and two sold already.  More about that later.  For now, I am going to BED!  Buenas noches!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

New Owners for My Tuba Painting

Made delivery Friday night of my tuba painting to the couple that commissioned it.  They are thrilled!  I'm glad it's going to a good home, because I'm going to miss it.

I'm thinking about doing an entire musical series, but in front of that I've got seven commissioned paintings to do, maybe eight.  I'm halfway done with one, and MUST finish it and begin work on the next one THIS WEEK!

Who on earth said summers are slow!?

Maybe in January I'll start on those saxophones, flutes, clarinets and trumpets.  A man at the gallery Friday night told me he'd be glad to let me photo his guitar collection.  That would be a great start!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

New Owl Painting - Needs a Name

 I've been teaching classes in our home all summer and giving studio tours.

During my layers class, I did a demo and decided to draw an owl.  Generally when I'm teaching, I don't spend much time on the demo because I want the STUDENTS to be the ones producing art.  What that means is that I don't give my art much care and simply dash it off.

Well, this time, my little owl, which I did on a ...probably 6"x8" canvas board, turned out to be a little cutie.  He was such a fine fellow I thought, "I could paint an owl..."

And that's just what I did!

This background has been sitting in my studio for a while just waiting for the moment, and this was the moment!  Usually I will do a bunch of backgrounds
and have them hang around and converse with me for days, weeks, or even months, before they get to be 'the chosen.'

So... the first picture you see up top is my outline, black paint still wet and gleaming.  The orange lines you see are the tracery of my watercolor crayon.  If I start with watercolor crayons, I can erase my drawing mistakes by simply squirting it with water and rubbing it off.  But when I get it laid out, I enjoy leaving the crayon marks because they're a clue as to how I put the project together.

Next step, the eyes, of course!  I decided to give him one glowing yellow eye, and one more subtly yellow with some darks in the shadow. I had
 deliberately positioned his right eye over a very light, almost white patch of the background so it would be particularly stand-out.

Following the eye treatment, he got a nice feathery flutter of greens, yellow-green to blue-green, with some blues tossed in to pull it all together and unite this pantheon of bright colors.

More watercolor crayon.  Ahh.... Lyra watersoluble crayons, hire me to speak your voice!  I will tell all of your luscious, smooth application, the delightful laydown and the saturated color.  You made them specifically for me?  Yes.  Sennelier made the big fat oilsticks for Picasso, Lyra made the luscious crayons for me.  I'm sure.  Yep.

At any rate, I'm now
 working my way around the painting with the crayons adding complimentary colors, brightening up the close colors and pulling everything together

I'm really liking the honeycombing of paint I did in the background and lay down colors in those areas that are close together on the color wheel to pump up the brightness and make those areas sing.

After I got them singing, I got the crayons back out and added some complimentaries to pull that honeycomb pattern out a bit more - it seems that this owl just needs to shout.  I really like the jaggy red lines, morphing into abstraction as you go down to the bottom.

There are very subtle differences between these
last two shots of my owl.  I can't even tell you what they are.  I did make some very subtle changes, but they're too minute to point out.

Do know that my real fine fellow's colors lay somewhere between these last two photos.

So... is he angry or just on the hunt?  Is he maybe just being owly?

I don't know.  All I know is that I like him, and now I have to give him a name.

He's 24" x 30", and will be in the gallery next month.

If you want to visit him, you can find him there.  The link to our gallery is below.