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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Shells and such...

Conch Shell, approx 4 x 5" watercolor on paper

This little painting came about as a result of an inquiry about some note cards for a gift shop. I've been working with some ideas and this is one of them! It's small... but I like the watercolor media for this subject matter! Seemed to make sense. I would like to do at least one more in a similar style. Check back to see what I come up with!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Coneflower portrait

Coneflower, 5x7" Oil on canvas

This is the finished painting that I posted the start of last week. I like the composition and the abstraction that comes from showing a common object close. This one went pretty quickly (other than waiting for paint to dry), and I did it as a preliminary for a larger painting I plan to start in the near future.

I hope to have some additional ones to show you soon!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday thoughts

Fall Approaches - experimental landscape - Oil Pastel on paper
approx 9 x 12"

This Sunday morning, I'm posting an older painting (about 2006). This one experimenting with color and how color evokes feeling and emotion...pushing color to the limits of what is believable and playing with the relationships between color. This one is done very much in the style of Wolf Kahn - whose work. if you haven't seen it, is full of energy and emotion!

This one speaks to me of the verses in the Bible that tell of God's care over the earth.... not just care, really - but his overseeing with attention and abundance. (from Psalm 65)

"...You formed the mountains by your power ... You quieted the the raging oceans with their pounding waves....You take care of the earth and water it, making it rich and fertile. The rivers of God will not run dry; they provide a bountiful harvest of grain, for you have ordered it so. You drench the plowed ground with rain....You soften the earth with showers and bless its abundant crops. You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance. The wilderness becomes a lush pasture, and the hillsides blossom with joy...the meadows are clothed with flocks of sheep, and the valleys are carpeted with grain."

I find this to be reassuring. We live in a world where fear has asserted its influence - particularly lately, fears about global warming and environmental destruction. A lot of doom and gloom, much of it based on poor scientific method and a media that has a cause and has charged itself with telling us what we should think about almost everything. Its subtle (sometimes), but fear casts its spell.

While I believe that as inhabitants of this beautiful earth, we do have a responsibility to care for it wisely - I also believe that it is ultimately God's earth and that He who created it has not walked away from it or from us! He is actively interested in and involved in His creation. That should give us reason for relief!

I hope this painting reflects some of the abundance of God's provision for our earth. I hope it gives the message that he is still taking care of this world. I hope it evokes a sense of pleasure in the explosion of color and the overflow of God's hand to us through the land. I hope it gives some balance to the fearful messages of earth's demise that are all around us!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Long week - new small painting underway!

Coneflower - first steps

Well, it has been a long week. School started again - so, this week has been intensively trying to learn names and faces and get classes started and all the paperwork that goes into getting a new semester of school functioning! Needless to say, not as much studio time! But, hopefully next week will yield a little more time for doing the things I really want to do artistically!

I love the design that shows in this flower! Notice the seed head and how the seeds look like little orange points of light. They aren't exactly randomly placed either! They follow a pattern of rows - but kinda on the diagonal. Its things such as this that speak loudly to me that there is a Master Designer that has designed and created the world in which we live!

This is just a start on a new preliminary painting - 5x7" oil - which is really a small study for a larger botanical painting I want to start in the next few weeks. I have begun this one with a photo from my neighbor's yard, then a compositional study with paper and pencil. Finally, beginning with washing in a few thin layers, but trying to keep the seed area (where orange shows) light and transparent, so that it is reflective. I'll post my progress over the next few days. We'll watch it develop together!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Pink veined petunia!

Pretty in Pink, 28 x 18" Oil on canvas

I've finally completed this larger painting. My photography of it is only so-so... it seems a little over-exposed on the left. I'll work at getting a better photo.

I'm pleased with the outcome. The color of the flower is very intense - and I had to keep adding more color in order to try to match that of the actual flower. I wanted to create the wonderful abstract-ish qualities of the veining without looking contrived. It took many layers of glaze to get it, and you (hopefully) can see some undertones of purple in the pink!

QUICK REMINDER! Don't forget about the email/Google Group sign up. The free painting will be given away on Sept. 1st. There is still time to get yourself and/or your friends into the drawing! Details on my website. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A New Set of Note Cards! Fruits of the Spirit

The front of one of the note cards - close up!

The set of 4 notecards - featuring the fruit paintings shown and the qualities of
love, joy, kindness, patience

After a lot of work and readjustments, I have finally finished a new set of notecards featuring the 4 fruit paintings seen above and the idea of the Fruits of the Spirit, which are mentioned in scripture. Each of the 9 spiritual fruits are written in the form of a border around the paintings (love, joy, peace, gentleness, kindness, self-control, faithfulness, patience, goodness) and the top of the border simply states, "A tree is known by its fruit..."

As I worked on these this summer, I was struck again by the wisdom of scripture! We, like trees, are people known by the way we live our lives. I know I would much prefer to be the kind of person who lives with these qualities, and most people would agree that it is better to live our lives with people who have these qualities as well! Without the presence of a Good God in our lives, it is difficult to do so, though! These are the qualities of God himself!

This set of cards includes the 4 designs seen above (a set of 8 - 2 of each design) with envelopes, for $10.00 (plus shipping $3). (IL residents add 7.75% sales tax).

For purchase information, please click here.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Its coming along!

The progress continues!

Hopefully you can see the intensified colors in the flower and how it is progressing. This weekend was filled with the near catastrophe of a crashed computer... so I got much less painting done than I'd hoped. I guess these things happen to everyone, but a major computer crash creates panic and a complete rearrangement of schedule to get things repaired. Fortunately, it was something that could be repaired rather than replaced ... And through it all, I realized how poorly I've backed up all my data! Since its repair, I've been backing things up and also trying to replace some important things which did get lost! Also, this is my last week before school starts next week - so there are plenty of last minute things that are now taking up time.... but I will continue to paint - even if a bit more slowly! I hope to show you the finished painting above in just a few days!

Friday, August 8, 2008

The newest new thing in progress!

I have a beautiful veined petunia growing in my yard ... and the veining is so visually interesting, I thought that making it into a larger magnified painting would really be interesting! This painting is 20 x 24". The composition is slightly diagonal and in this first image, I'm trying to get the shapes correctly placed and get the relationship of values down.

The earliest stages of this new painting - blocked in with shape and values beginning.

More refining has been done - although much more is still to be done!

Some background color has been added, although it is still quite flat and honestly, very uninteresting. Of course, the background should not overtake the subject of the painting - but - this is a truly boring background! So, more work needs to be done.
Also, the colors of the flower and the values within it need to be intensified too.

I've continued to work on this - so I've already done some of what I'm suggesting here. More is needed still - and I'll post an image soon so that you can watch what happens!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Summer Bouquet

Bouquet, 6x6" Oil on Canvas with Gold Leaf

This is another experimental piece ... even though the subject matter is similar to what I've been doing. For this one, I applied some small areas of gold leaf after the painting was completed. It is hard to see in the image because my scanner doesn't pick up well the metallic color and the glint it gives. But its there (look in the top corners, and also for details in the flowers at the centers). After applying the gold leaf, I painted a thin layer of liquin over it to secure it and keep it from being so fragile. I think that worked very well.

The continued experimentation with new ideas, new materials, new methods gives the artist an inexhaustible wealth of possibilities! When I work with new ideas or ways of doing things, it makes me realize how I have only scratched the surface (barely) of knowledge and how much room there is to learn and grow!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Undulating Leaf

Undulation (Hosta Leaf), 20 x 18" Oil on canvas

Yesterday, I returned from a few days trip to Texas ... and I couldn't wait to get back to the studio to complete the work I'd started before leaving! I am happy with the results of this one. It is larger - 18 x 20", and it has some very visually interesting shapes and a sense of movement and undulation. The colors are green and more green! But, hopefully you can see that there was a bright and shining sun hitting and penetrating the leaves making the colors very intense and yellow in places. The background is very minimalistic. It is not black! It is a mixture of colors and the undertones are quite visible in person. This painting will join some of the other larger botanical works I've been doing this summer as part of an intended exhibit!

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