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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Here's what I've been working on....


unfinished - Hosta Leaf 18 x 20" Oil on canvas

I have been working along these last 2 days on this new painting. I actually took the reference photo for it and loved the abstract shape of the leaf as it twists - also, the light shining on and through it was beautiful as well. This is a much larger painting that my usual daily paintings... which I've been wanting to get back to! So far, I'm happy with where I'm going on this! Its very O'Keeffe-ish looking in style, don't you think?

Theres' (obviously) more to be done. I'll show you more soon!

The photo is cropped tightly, but is taken of the painting on its easel. Fortunately, I was able to crop most of the studio debris out of the photo - but that is the reason it looks to be not quite square on the corners!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Plums of summer


Plum, 5x6" acrylic on illustration board

Here is another in my set of summer fruits. (Pear, peach, cherries, plum) Some of the fruits were done earlier this spring. This one was fun - and a little challenging - to work with a sense of reflectivity and layers of color. While many plums are a very dark purple, there is much more than that going on in the color....many undertones, which give it a sense of reflectivity. Also, plums often have a matt area of light blue on the skin.... and then just some spots of actual reflected light. I have tried to see these things with my eyes and not my brain - and faithfully put them down. You might be interested to know I'm not an artist who uses black pigment. I don't even buy it! If I need something that looks like black, I mix it from other colors. I like the results - the brain reads it as black, but there is color happening within the "black". Even though this is a "black plum" as marketed in the store, there is no black ... even in the gray stem, it is all mixed from colors.

There will be an "unveiling" in a few short days (I expect) of what I am planning to do with these small fruit illustrations. I'll keep you informed!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A yellow cat! in a very different style....


Yellow Cat, 8x8" Acrylic on Canvas

Well, here we are! something just totally different....
I wanted to try something completely different. It seems to be important, as an artist, to explore and experiment. I actually enjoy doing that - and usually end up with something really different than usual. Sometimes I like the results, sometimes I don't! Maybe that is what growth is all about. I'm not sure how this will translate to my more typical work. We'll find out.

What you can't see too well here in the photo is the border, which is sort of a neutral violet color with a metallic bronze added. It is painted around the edge as well. I like this style because it is very free and expressive. Not a lot of attention for details - but the big picture, so to speak.... a sort of emotional response to the subject.

Well, hope you enjoy something a little different. I will have something else to show you soon that is more in the traditional style! (waiting for paint to dry!)

You can find out about the availability of this painting by clicking here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Its not summer without cherries!


Cherries, 5 x 6" Acrylic on illustration board

Here is something like some previous paintings I've done a few months ago. My intent is to do another fruit painting and then make the 4 designs into a set of note cards. I'll keep you posted on that!

Working with paint on illustration board is interesting! It isn't really designed for that - so, where you put the paint is where the paint stays. It is much less "forgiving" than watercolor paper. But, it also has such a smooth surface that the finished painting has a very nice result and the detail can be done very precisely!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Seeing the panels upclose


Left panel - 14 x 14" Oil on canvas


Center panel, 14 x 20" Oil on canvas


Right panel, 14 x 14" Oil on canvas

This allows a little closer view of the 3 paintings. I am not 100% happy with my photography efforts - (I'm still learning digital technology). In person, the colors are a bit more intense and warmer.

However, this gives a better view of things than seeing it as a grouping!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sunflower Triptych is Done ... or almost done!


Sunflower Triptych, Oil on 3 canvases measuring 14 x 48"

The set of 3 is finished ... for the most part. It may need a few more touches, but basically, this is it! What I have hoped to accomplish here is a sense of the presence of the flowers (the color is a little more intense in person than you see here). The presence is accomplished, I think largely because of the size of the flowers and the expanse of the 48". But also, I hoped to achieve a sense of light and glow behind the flowers. I had thought of using gold leaf somehow - and have now re-thought that idea.

What you don't see here so clearly is that there is quite a bit of warmth to the yellow in the flowers. I got that through the use of some cadmium reds added to the several colors of yellow that I used for the flowers. I feel that I learned quite a lot as I made this painting. I'm pleased with the outcome.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Drawing for a FREE original oil painting!!


Win an original oil painting -- find out how!!

Cockleshells, 5x5" Oil on Canvas

An offer too good to refuse!!!


I'm working to build my email list this summer... and one of the best ways to do this is through personal introductions. I've tried to make this a win, win, win situation.... by creating a drawing for an original oil painting from my studio.
You may enter the drawing now through the first of September!

There's more information about the drawing (image of the painting included) and how to participate on my website, which you can link to here:
Helen's Website

If you have not already subscribed to my Google Group, you may do so at the right side of this site. Please be sure to send me an email to let me know that you did so, and you will be entered into the drawing. Please be sure to check the website (link above) for information about how to enter more than once!
Please be assured that all information entered is completely private and will never be shared!
Helen's address: studio_upstairs@hotmail.com

I look forward to your participation! Maybe there is an original oil painting that will soon be hanging on your wall!



Monday, July 14, 2008

Very Small ...


Orange Lily, 3.5 x 5" watercolor/acrylic on canvas

Very small watercolor.... shown here with the suggestion of a matting around it. The color of this lily was so vivid. It demanded to be painted!

Dedicated to my son, Travis - who sent me flowers last Thursday ... just because!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Green Grapes


Green Grapes, 5x7" Oil on canvas

You can tell its summer time! Which means there is a lot of great subject matter for paintings.
This was fun to paint - and went relatively quickly. Green can be tricky though - to get just the right quality of the color where it is needed.

Please click here for information on the availability of this painting.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Finished - Zinnia


Yellow Halo - 7.5 x 11" Watercolor/acrylic on paper

Yesterday's post was the beginning of this zinnia.... today, I've added the color to the petals and it is finished. What I really like about this is the sense of dimension that is accomplished with the use of values. And.... I also really like the interior detail that is represented here. Did you know that within the center of a zinnia there is this little tiny ring of small flowers that form a type of halo around the center? I don't think I did ... but it is so intriguing that these little surprises wait for the viewer to notice! To me, that is just a little gift of our creator! And, who knows what else we can see when we take a moment to look beyond the surface! The abstract shapes of the shadows still attract my attention as well! Who knew all this could be waiting on a form only 3 inches or so in diameter!?

For more information on the availability of this painting - please click here.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

3 Things to mention....

First .... a watercolor in progress:


This will be a Zinnia - approx 7 x 11" watercolor on paper

Notice the power of value! You can only see a little bit of this flower - more than half the image isn't painted at all yet - but - you can see the shape and form of the flower quite clearly. That all has to do with the lights and darks, really. Also, I love the abstract shapes of the shadows ... to me this is a very intriguing image for its clearly seen, yet often overlooked elements! I'll be posting more as I get more done. (One little aside ... I worked on this last night while the new kitten was prancing around! At one point she jumped on the paint brush of blue right as I was about to apply it.... Didn't notice until this morning that her little white toes are quite blue!)

Second - the Sunflower triptych is nearly done! Yay! It is currently drying - and I'm pleased with what I've gotten so far. I figured out today that it is about 864 sq. inches of painted canvas... no wonder it has taken awhile! Anyway - I hope to be able to post final shots of it soon - one ongoing issue is the need for a digital camera. That would make photographing so much easier ... (yes, my daughter has one - but sadly - the batteries need to be recharged. Before that can happen, she has to find the charger ~ it may be quicker to get my own!)

Lastly - I am also working on another small oil painting. As it is finished within the next few days, and it dries, I'll be posting it too!

Lots going on here! Keep checking in! :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

1 Year Celebration!


Woods, 22 x 15" Oil on Paper

Today marks 1 year. A year ago, I began my daily painting project... my commitment to paint every day. For the most part, I've been successful in following through and just doing it! But, there has been so much more than the satisfaction of keeping my commitment! My spirit has been renewed in many ways as well! Not just by making art - though that is in itself quite rewarding, but also in getting to know (via this venue) so many of you and reconnecting with old friends.

Its good to look back once in awhile - maybe in preparation for looking ahead! Here is what some of this past year has held for me as I took a leap into the unknown!

* Over 7400 visits have been made to the blog I started on 7/6/07, which you are now reading!
* I've painted 72 small paintings this past year (no, not one a day as some artists do... but several a week!)
* I've painted at least 8 larger paintings (I need to count!)
* There's been a gallery showing of my art.
* I've enjoyed regular email and internet correspondence with many people from around the world!
* Some of my work has been sold as I've learned to market by internet
* I've gained a lot more knowledge about myself, my work, art in general, other artists, marketing ... all of which is so valuable!

Yay!! Thanks so much to all of you who have been so encouraging, who come back again and again to look at what's going on in my studio, and who have become important to me in many ways! I'm looking forward to another great year! Who knows what's in store?? It will be exciting to find out!


Links to the daily paintings of the past year:

July - December 2007

January - July 2008


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A change of pace!


Blue Kitten, 6x6" Acrylic on canvas

OK, I know - this is nothing like you've seen me post before... and the truth of the matter is, this is something completely different than I've done before. I was interested in trying a nearly monochromatic approach to a subject. and also interested in working with values being represented by a color. (My subject is the newest member of our family, a new kitten.)

So, here you have the outcome. Interesting, I think. It was fun to do something entirely different. By the way, my small audience watched her portrait being done - and attacked the canvas a few times. She is now wearing a small dot of paint next to her ear!
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