Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer Focus ~ working on painting water!

If you've been looking at my blog this summer, you've noticed that I've been taking a course in painting! Its been fun to be a student this summer...as I'm usually in the teacher role.  One of the things we did a lot of in this class was drawing on site - and yes, even some painting on site too! 
When it comes down to it, value (range of darks and lights) is essential to any kind of drawing and painting and that is not different in landscape painting.  So, here are some of my drawings from the beginning of class.  Here we were looking at drawing the values of moving water and still water, while rendering reflections accurately.  Learning to "see" what is really there is one of the things I talk to my classes about continually as they learn to draw.  That's no different in this scenario... learning to see!  Even if its moving!  (It takes a lot of practice!)





After working with drawings, we did value sketches in oil.  In a value sketch, we didn't use color - we worked on just finding the correct lights and darks for the what the scene required.  This was done on site - with an audience at times - as I painted what I saw. 


Finally, after the values are added in correctly, then color can be applied. 
Klein Creek, 8x10 Oil on Canvas

This is my small finished painting, Klein Creek.  You can probably see that we have had a lot of rain and this little creek, which is usually rather slow and lazy was running very fast!  
Please click here to find out more about this painting, that is now in need of a permanent home!



We also needed to do a painting of still water.  There's a small local lake nearby and it was here by Lake Ellyn, that I found that quiet space to create another painting.  The reflections in this painting were quite different from the reflections in moving water (above).

Quiet Water, 12x9" oil on linen panel
That's how this painting, Quiet Water, came to be.  It too, is in need of a permanent home!  Please click here to find out all about this painting, perhaps it would be a wonderful addition to your home!?



 The final assignment of this course was to do a more detailed value study of a water scene and then render it in full color.  Again, looking for accuracy in drawing in the values is very important.


Herrick Lake, 8x10" oil on gessoed panel
And finally, Herrick Lake, was my last painting for this 4 week course.   You can see that the mirror-like surface is what this painting portrays, and that was different than either of the other 2 paintings you see above.  You can also see that green was a predominant color this summer.  With all the rain we've had, our local landscape is quite lush and very green! Green has many iterations, however, which became a challenge to use that color in a variety of ways.  Herrick Lake has found its home!  Please visit my website to find out what other paintings might be available for your home!








Monday, July 20, 2015

It's not too late, but time is running out!

I still need HELP!  
As I wrote last week, I am moving my home and studio in a couple weeks.  So, I'm offering some of my small paintings for just a few short weeks at a fraction of what they usually sell for.  This offer is given so that I have less to pack and move and so that my friends can enjoy some original art! Perhaps this will start or add to your own collection!

Now through July Friday, July 24th. The following are $19.95 each and that includes shipping!! (These paintings usually sell for $90 - $120).  That's right! $19.95 - and that's the full amount*!  See below the images for how to do this!  Each are ready to frame, but some are painted around the edges and framing is optional. The one's that have sold in the last week are now marked sold, but there are still more at this once-ever opportunity! 
* (Please note: Free shipping only within the US - for IL residents, I do need to add 8.25% sales tax, which adds $1.65. Your new total is only - $21.60)


Kitchen art - still life
Top left - Red Velvet, 5x5" oil on canvas
Top Rt - Pepper Plate, 6x6" oil on canvas
Lower Lft - 3 Lemons, 6x6" oil on canvas  SOLD
lower Rt - 4 Amigos, 5x5" oil on canvas


Top Lft - Green Grapes, 5x7" oil on canvas
Top Rt - Red Head, 5x7" oil on canvas
Lower Lft - Red Peppers, 6x6" oil on canvas
Lower Rt- Odd Fellows, 7x5" oil on canvas


Left- Purple Kohlrabi, 8x8" oil on canvas
Right- November Gathering, 8x8" oil on canvas


Botanical and Landscape
Left - Green on Blue, 7x5" oil on canvas   SOLD
Center- Snowy Woods, 8x7" oil on canvas  SOLD
Right- Winter Steeple, 7x5" oil on canvas  SOLD


Left - Hollyhocks, 8x8" oil on canvas   SOLD
Center- Yellow Iris, 6x6" acrylic on panel  SOLD
Right - West Wind, 7x5" oil on canvas


Left - Pink Hollyhock, 6x6" oil on canvas
Right - Iridescence (butterfly) diptych
6 x 13" overall

 Left - Waterlily, 5x7" oil on canvas 
Right - Pineapple Top, 5x5" oil on canvas


Left - Asleep, 5 x7" acric on canvas  SOLD
Right- Frosted, 5x 7" oil on canvas


Left- Undulation 3, 10x8" o on canvas
Center- Agave, 6x6" acrylic on panel
Right- Pink Hydrangea, 8x8" oil on canvas

     Here's how to have your favorite(s) sent your way! Email me:   studio_upstairs@hotmail.com.  Include the title of the painting or paintings you'd like and I'll send you an invoice through PayPal. You can use your PayPal account or a credit card, and you don't even HAVE to have a PayPal account to participate! Then, after receiving payment, it will be packaged and sent!  It's that simple! 

I'm hoping each and every one of these will find a great home! (Don't forget, they can also make a great gift!)   I'm not painting these smaller sizes much anymore, so this is a great opportunity for my friends and a big help to me!     First come, first served! But the offer expires on July 24th! 
Thanks!! 


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Lakeside - Herrick Lake

Herrick Lake, 8x10" oil on gessoed panel
©2015 Helen Read 

SOLD

Herrick Lake is a lovely little lake and surrounding park near my home.  As I wandered around it, looking for a place to paint, I ran across an interesting sign post stating that this is one of the very few natural lakes in our area created by a receding glacier.  I think that made it just a little more interesting, though I wouldn't have known it by just looking at it.  
As you can see, the water was absolutely still; like a mirror reflecting the underside of branches, the surrounding trees and, of course, the sky. And, the dead tree seemed to set all of the green off in just the right way.   This little painting is now looking for its new home! 
 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

More Work and More Water


My class on painting water has this one more painting to finish... And amidst packing up my house and studio, I'm working along on it.  I am trying to have it in its final form in the next few days - before I completely tear the studio apart like the rest of the house!  Moving is chaos!! 

I'm feeling pleased with the woods on the far shore - but the most difficult parts remain - water and all its colorful reflections.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Moving! Studio bargains!!

I need HELP!  
I am moving my home and studio in a few weeks.  So, I'm offering some of my small paintings for just a few short weeks at a fraction of what they usually sell for.  This offer is so that I have less to pack and move and so that my friends can enjoy some original art! Perhaps this will start or add to your own collection!

Now through July Friday, July 24th. The following are $19.95 each and that includes shipping!! (These paintings usually sell for $90 - $120).  That's right! $19.95 - and that's the full amount*!  See below the images for how to do this!  Each are ready to frame, but some are painted around the edges and framing is optional. 
* (Please note: Free shipping only within the US - for IL residents, I do need to add 8.25% sales tax, which adds $1.65. Your new total is only - $21.60)


Kitchen art - still life
Top left - Red Velvet, 5x5" oil on canvas
Top Rt - Pepper Plate, 6x6" oil on canvas
Lower Lft - 3 Lemons, 6x6" oil on canvas  SOLD
lower Rt - 4 Amigos, 5x5" oil on canvas


Top Lft - Green Grapes, 5x7" oil on canvas
Top Rt - Red Head, 5x7" oil on canvas
Lower Lft - Red Peppers, 6x6" oil on canvas
Lower Rt- Odd Fellows, 7x5" oil on canvas


Left- Purple Kohlrabi, 8x8" oil on canvas
Right- November Gathering, 8x8" oil on canvas


Botanical and Landscape
Left - Green on Blue, 7x5" oil on canvas   SOLD
Center- Snowy Woods, 8x7" oil on canvas  SOLD
Right- Winter Steeple, 7x5" oil on canvas  SOLD


Left - Hollyhocks, 8x8" oil on canvas   SOLD
Center- Yellow Iris, 6x6" acrylic on panel  SOLD
Right - West Wind, 7x5" oil on canvas


Left - Pink Hollyhock, 6x6" oil on canvas
Right - Iridescence (butterfly) diptych
6 x 13" overall


Left - Asleep, 5 x7" acric on canvas  SOLD
Right- Frosted, 5x 7" oil on canvas


Left- Undulation 3, 10x8" o on canvas
Center- Agave, 6x6" acrylic on panel
Right- Pink Hydrangea, 8x8" oil on canvas

     Here's how to have your favorite(s) sent your way! Email me:   studio_upstairs@hotmail.com.  Include the title of the painting or paintings you'd like and I'll send you an invoice through PayPal. You can use your PayPal account or a credit card, and you don't even HAVE to have a PayPal account to participate! Then, after receiving payment, it will be packaged and sent!  It's that simple! 

I'm hoping each and every one of these will find a great home! (Don't forget, they can also make a great gift!)   I'm not painting these smaller sizes much anymore, so this is a great opportunity for my friends and a big help to me!     First come, first served! But the offer expires on July 24th! 
Thanks!! 


Friday, July 3, 2015

Quiet Water

Quiet Water - Lake Ellyn, 12x9" oil on linen panel 
©2015 Helen Read
$245.00 
ready to frame 
(Please add $20.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)




Water! --- We've had much of it this spring and summer!   The lakes are full, the plant life is thriving, and perhaps, if you listen for a moment, you may hear the sound of bullfrogs, fish jumping, and crickets singing.    I have been working on painting water in its many personalities this summer.  The reflections of the surrounding environment make it an ever-changing and very interesting subject matter.  The water in this setting was mostly smooth and quiet, with just a hint of ripples which can be seen in the reflected surface.  

This painting is ready to frame and is now looking for its permanent home!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Still Water


I think I'm mostly done with this one now.  I've had many interruptions and lots of rainy weather.  Also, I've needed to make a few adjustments to color and value. It's still drying - I'll make the scan soon and post it with all necessary information! 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Moving Water - Klein Creek

Klein Creek, 8x10" oil on canvas 
©2015, Helen Read 
ready to frame
$180.00
(please add $20.00 shipping in the US,  IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax) 



This has been a very rainy spring and summer time!  In fact, I can't remember a year that rivals this one for rainfall!    Consequently, the streams and full and flowing fast!  This little creek that isn't too far from my home is now more like a small river, moving swiftly!    I was particularly interested in depicting the movement of water, and also how the light and shadows played upon it.  In some areas it was quiet water, in some areas it was moving with quite rapidly and with froth and foam.
The colors of the water changed as well, from a muddy brown in the sun to a cooler reflective color in the shade!  All so interesting to the eye and a challenge to capture!  

More water!!

Literally!!  Rain, rain, rain .... And paint, too! 

This is a still water painting - I'm still taking the painting class - which is not quite complete (foreground!)  it's a little larger - and getting this done with so much rain has been a challenge!  


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Still water - working on reflections


I feel a little overwhelmed!  Light and reflections change constantly - and so do the values.  I'm working along on this - but I feel as if its 2 steps forward and 1 step back.  I guess that's slow progress!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Adding Color


Many interruptions this week... Rain a lot of the week, and some urgent personal issues that have required attention.... But, I have managed to get out and work on painting - and start adding color to this from last week.  I have more to do - its only about half done - but it's a good start!  

Friday, June 19, 2015

Moving water




I'm about a week into my online painting class.  We have been learning a lot about optics and what we are seeing with reflections in still and moving water.  This is today's work.... An oil sketch really just recording values rather than color.  

This was a very fast stream - muddy, churning, bubbling! I stood on a bridge looking down upon it as it rushed underneath me.  Let me just say, painting water has proven to be quite a challenge, particularly moving water!  Perhaps I will put color to this - I think it has promise for something more than a sketch! 

Monday, June 15, 2015

The hard work of - seeing... The presence of Glory!


Some plein air drawings with notes from the last few days

Now that school is out - I get to be a student!  I started taking a class in painting water a few days ago - and we are working plein air (meaning working from observation, not photographs).  The first assignments have been to do drawings focusing on value changes that we see in the landscape and and in the reflections.  We've also been delving into a text which is more than 100 years old written by a Scottsman.  The first few chapters focus on the physics of reflected light.  It has been challenging, to say the least, and it has required quite a bit of re-reading and taking some notes to let it all soak in. 

So, I said that the act of seeing is hard work!  And it is.  Seeing what is happening in the surface of still water is challenging enough.  It's, after all, a fluid surface.  The way things reflect depend on the angle of view, the light, and the distance between the shore and where the distant object starts.  And the value and color are somewhat altered in the water too.  Understanding the laws of optics and observing them in real life make for much more complete understanding.  And capturing that on paper is work!  It requires diligence and persistence.... its hard work!   The way things are reflected in moving water is even more challenging!  What you see one moment will be different the next.  The way light is reflected is much more complicated, the way objects are reflected is also more complicated.  The work of observing and recording that is more intense and more exhausting! 
I'm not complaining - just reporting on the origins of these little drawings (which are really only very rough value studies to see what happens with watery reflections). 

But all of that has also led me to another observation; this one of a spiritual nature. The beauty of the natural world is also a reflection.  It is a reflection of the absolute glory of the Creator!  One does not sit in silence while observing nature --- far from it!  What I am taking great joy in as I observe carefully is the background chorus of birdsong, the jump of a fish, the extending ring of ripples, the feel of a light, cooling breeze, the smell of water, the scent of blooming trees, the variety of colors, the cast of moving light...  It is all of creation exuberantly participating in God's world.  And being there, myself, observing - recording - enjoying is also participation, and it brings me to celebrate His worth!   
                                                                    Ps. 24:1 --  The earth is the Lord's and everything in it! 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Arbor Path

Arbor Path, 16 x 12" Oil on canvas
© 2015 Helen Read 
$385.00 
Ready to frame 
(please add $20.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)



Finally, this is complete.  Its taken awhile, as I had to finish this school semester and close up my classrooms in the middle of it's progress.  It has been a journey in some ways.  I've learned a lot along the way.  This one presented an intense amount of work with the color green, of which there are countless possibilities of this 1 color!   Also, it required working with the idea of shadows and sunlight and working with bright patches of sun and less bright light spots.

I continue to work on my understanding of landscapes and how to depict the beauty of God's creation with accuracy and also with a sense of poetry.   I learn something new with every painting I do.  I sense that there is always more to learn - that we, as artists, never learn everything there is to learn! 
   
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