Thursday, January 31, 2013

15 Paintings in 15 Days (and one to grow on!)

On Tuesday I finished my 15 paintings in 15 days challenge
(Half of this challenge: 30 Paintings in 30 Days)
But it was such a pleasant, balmy day on Wednesday I had to get outside. 

Normally I'm not thrilled to paint on overcast days but Carlson's book on landscape painting has given me a fresh appreciation for even (and especially) gray days. More on that later.

Here's a step by step of the piece I painted.
This is a very different process than when I paint larger, more detailed works.
With the larger works I have a clear idea of how the painting will look when completed. With these I'm making it up as I go, seeing what the paint will let me get away with... and I have little idea how it will turn out. 

I moved some of the trees closer to the mine ruins to narrow the "frame".

I applied paint & scraped it off with my palette knife multiple time during this piece.

Gotta get that bright yellow/new wood support beam in there. (Ugh.)

Must tone down the red! 

Gray Day
12x9, oil

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

15 Paintings in 15 Days (day fifteen!)

It's the LAST DAY of my 15 paintings in 15 days challenge
(Half of this challenge: 30 Paintings in 30 Days)

I don't have much to say, except I can't believe I did it!

I learned so much from this little exercise and I think I grew in decision-making, confidence and my love for colors and shapes. There's a good chance I'll keep it up, although I do need time to work on my larger pieces. I have a 12x16, 18x24 & 36x48 waiting to be attended to.

If you live in the Richmond/Midlothian area stay tuned for info on ways to view my artwork.
1. Cafe Caturra (Midlothian location) in middle-Feb to April.
2. A two woman show with the very talented, Carter Stuart, at For Art's Sake Gallery.

Also, stay tuned to some blog posts on my process in the creation of a few of these 15/15 paintings.

6x6, oil

Sunday, January 27, 2013

15 Paintings in 15 Days (day thirteen)

It's day thirteen of my 15 paintings in 15 days challenge
(Half of this challenge: 30 Paintings in 30 Days)


Last Standing
8x6, oil

They've chopped down so many of the big, beautiful trees in the area. This one is the last standing along this stretch of road of it's age & height. I wish I could paint this one again. Without other trees surrounding it to help block the wind and weather, it is in reality quite a bit scrawnier looking than how I represented it here.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

15 Paintings in 15 Days (day twelve)

It's day twelve of my 15 paintings in 15 days challenge
(Half of this challenge: 30 Paintings in 30 Days)

A few years ago there were these three ducks -- a golden-gray, a white, and a brown and white spotted with a blue beak -- that made their home at a lake in Midlothian. They were inseparable. There was a large flock of mallards living on the lake. These three were always on the outskirts of the flock, trailing behind or off to themselves. Like the tree ugly ducklings. 

Only one is still living, at lease as far as I can tell. He's joined the larger flock.

I wish I knew their story. How they came, why they were so close.

An Unlikely Trio
6x6, oil

Friday, January 25, 2013

15 Paintings in 15 Days (day eleven)

It's day eleven of my 15 paintings in 15 days challenge
(Half of this challenge: 30 Paintings in 30 Days)

In my years of painting I don't think I've painted a single snow scene until this week. 

It's a tricky thing. Trickier than I thought. All the rules (really there are no rules in painting, but there are some guidelines that typically appear in atmospheric/landscape situations) go out the window. Like the rule that the sky is usually the lightest value. Absolutely false during a snowstorm. :) 
I've loved all the snow during my 15 in 15 challenge. I've learned so much.

This painting was from yesterday. I painted two paintings yesterday to get ahead in case I had to miss a day this weekend. I didn't paint this one outdoors, but I did stand out there in the snow (it was actually snowing in this scene. I did not paint the flakes. One day I'll be good...) at 9 am in the 20 degree weather for a while studying the light and colors with my eyes & taking photos. I definitely should have worn gloves.

Conifer Fields
12x9, oil

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

15 Paintings in 15 Days (day nine)

It's day nine of my 15 paintings in 15 days challenge
(Half of this challenge: 30 Paintings in 30 Days)

All these 15 in 15 paintings will be displayed and for sale early February through April at Cafe Caturra in Midlothian. There will be other Midlothian paintings as well as many familiar locations in VA.
I don't have an official hanging date from the cafe manager, but I'll post as soon as I hear.

7x5, oil

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

15 Paintings in 15 Days (day seven)

It's day seven of my 15 paintings in 15 days challenge
(Half of this challenge: 30 Paintings in 30 Days)

Even though the holidays are over I wanted to paint a few more "festive" pieces. 
Midlothian-ers, want to guess which Christmas tree lot this is?

Tree Lot
8x6", oil

Sunday, January 20, 2013

15 Paintings in 15 Days (day six)

It's day six of my 15 paintings in 15 days challenge
(Half of this challenge: 30 Paintings in 30 Days)

Another Midlothian landmark. This recently constructed structure is an full scale (I think) model of a coal mining headstock, constructed on the actual site of one of the coal shafts. The photo I painted from was taken while the area was still under construction, hence the plastic fencing in the foreground.

Read more about the headstock and the new amphitheater here.
Midlothian Shaft Headstock
5x7, oil

Saturday, January 19, 2013

15 Paintings in 15 Days (day five)

It's day five of my 15 paintings in 15 days challenge
(Half of this challenge: 30 Paintings in 30 Days)

More of one of my favorite painting subjects -- the Midlothian coal mine ruins.
This one is obviously from a photo. My husband and I went running through the Coal Mines Park and it was topped with beautiful snow today.

5x5, oil

Friday, January 18, 2013

15 Paintings in 15 Days (day four)

It's day four of my 15 paintings in 15 days challenge
(Half of this challenge: 30 Paintings in 30 Days)

After eight days of rain and clouds Midlothian woke up to snow and glorious sun this morning!
Funny thing about today was that it still sounded like it was raining all day. It was only the melting snow dripping off the trees. Happy, happy day.

This little piece was so much fun to paint.

Again, to the Midlothian folks, any guesses on where this is?

Snow Day
10x8, oil

Thursday, January 17, 2013

15 Paintings in 15 Days (day three)

It's day three of my 15 paintings in 15 days challenge
(Half of this challenge: 30 Paintings in 30 Days)

So, today I wanted to wrap myself in a heated blanket while I painted, but that would not have turned out well for the heated blanket.

Here's what I got between working on larger pieces & racing against the non existent sun light. I'm quite done with these cloudy, rainy days.

Jan 17.
Trail to the Light
9x12, oil

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

15 Paintings in 15 Days (day two)

It's day two of my 15 paintings in 15 days challenge
(Half of this challenge: 30 Paintings in 30 Days)

It rained all day today. 

It's suppose to rain all week. 

Oh joy. 

I went to Foodlion to buy more daylight bulbs. That helped. Only slightly.

Jan 16.
As They Go By
8x6, oil

Another one of Midlothian Turnpike. Any guesses where?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

15 Paintings in 15 Days (day one)

A few artists I know are participating in a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. When I first heard about the challenge I disregarded it -- I'm way too slow of a painter! But I often take an hour before starting a large painting to do a small scale "rough draft" painting to work out the colors and composition and loosen up my hand/arm/eye.

So, fifteen days in I have decided to join the challenge. I might not finish. I might skip a few days. But here's my declaration of intention to paint 15 paintings in 15 days.

I'll call it my 15 in 15. Of course. Let's see how this goes....

Jan 15.
The Tree on the Bend
8x6", oil
This is another Midlothian vista. 
It's not an easy one, but question to all Midlothianites: any guesses on where this tree is?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Progress: Wilton House Museum, Side View

Another of the Wilton House Museum and part of a three-peice commission of various vistas of the Wilton estate.

I really like the lines in this piece. The elements (building, pathway, chimneys, tree trunks & bushes) arranged in this manner direct your eye to travel through this scene so directly. I like when I can frame a subject within a composition like this (i.e. edge of the red brick building, tree trunk, chimney & sidewalk framing the yellow house.)

And the summer greens are just delicious. I was trying to capture the reflective light on the house -- a warm invitation to enter. This was such a fun piece to paint.

20x16, oil on canvas

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

December Dusk

Last week I posted photos of this painting in progress...

...and asked for guesses of the painting location on facebook.

Those who guessed Midlothian Turnpike in front of Sycamore Square were correct!
There is something about the lighting of the trees & shops at Sycamore Square in December that kindles that festive, Christmas excitement.

December Dusk
Sycamore Square, Midlothian, VA
16x16, oil on canvas

Monday, January 7, 2013

Wilton House Museum

Richmonders, have you visited the Wilton House? Gorgeous 260 year old plantation home overlooking the James River. The house was host to some of the founding fathers and other elite travelers of years past as they traveled through Richmond.

Wilton House Museum
Richmond, Virginia
24x20, oil on canvas

This piece was part of a three-painting commission I recently completed. Stay tuned for photos of the step-by-step process of one of the other pieces from this commission.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Happy New Year!

I want to start out 2013 with a few seasonal paintings. I love the cold light of winter, the simplicity of color, the barren branched trees and that I don't have to wake up quite so early to see the sunrise.

One draw back to this beautiful time is the lack of daylight. I work pretty much exclusively by the light coming in our large sunroom windows. It can be pretty frustrating when I'm just getting to the "good part" in a painting and the sun sets & my light is gone. I'm hoping to invest in some good full-spectrum lights that will allow me to paint more in the evening.

All that to say, I was hoping to post a completed seasonal painting that I was working on yesterday. Sadly the sun set & I didn't get to finish the piece.

I guess you'll have to check back to see the final. :)
Here are a few shots of the painting in progress:

Here's the 5x5 inch "study" painting. I was working out the composition (general shapes, sizes and placement of the objects) & values (how light or dark the objects are in comparison to each other).

 This is an 18x18" canvas. Here is the first layer of color over the brown underpainting.

More definition to the shapes using the blue of the sky & brown.

Adding in the greens. 
(The wet paint strokes on the tree caught quite a bit of reflection. It looks a bit goofy in the photo, but it's all I have for now.)

Adding in the warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows) & the reflections on the sidewalk. 


If you're familiar with the Midlothian area you may recognize this scene. 
 I'll post the location when I post the "final reveal" next week.

Until then, any guesses on where this is? 

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