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Showing posts from January, 2013

An "Omenous" Morning

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I'm not a superstitious person, although I was as a child.  In fact, I probably would have been considered an obsessive-compulsive, as I believed that if I wore certain things, or lined my dolls up a certain way, good or bad things might happen.  Thankfully, I've grown out of that stuff.

We live in a rural area, although we are close to civilization.  This means that once the freeway sounds die down at night, we get to hear an abundance of owls.  My mom once informed me that hearing an owl means that someone is going to die.  I explained to her that we hear them every night, and we were still here.  If anything, the owls were a blessing because they helped keep the mouse population down, and less mice hopefully means less rattlesnakes.  This is typically my reaction to such beliefs.

I'm not above the occasional attack of foreboding, though.  Our usual favorite market was out of bread yesterday, so I went around the corner to a market I'd never shopped at to see if th…

Time to Play!

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"Afternoon in the Park" 9 x 12 Chalk pastel on flat canvas Click here to view large/purchase I'm looking for new homes for some daily paintings, so I can make room for new ones!  Stop in and view my ebay listings.

I've been reading a lot of blog posts on marketing, and there seems to be a constant tension for artists between staying within a defined style and experimenting. 

I agree that it's important to find your own voice as an artist, and that your collectors will appreciate  your recognizable style.  That said, the thing I enjoy most about painting is trying new things, so it's hard for me to personally stick with one style, technique, or subject matter for too long.

The painting above was created in a day, and was an experiment with chalk pastels and water on flat canvas.  If I'm going to mix chalk and water, I usually block in my drawings with pastel first and then begin working in the water to blend the lights and darks.  I wanted to try somethi…

It's Definitely Work.

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I got a little carried away with this one, and it's on fairly small canvas-- a painting of a boat that we used to walk by quite often at the harbor in Oceanside, California.   Oceanside Harbor is right next to Camp Pendleton.   If you live anywhere near a military base that houses marines, you know what "Oorah!" means.

I began the piece with a blue chalk sketch on a piece of flat canvas, and blended the chalk with water to give it a bit of a watercolor feel.  Water helps stick the chalk to the canvas, eliminating some of that annoying dust and also replacing the potent can of fixative I sometimes break out in case of emergency.  It's best to use a watercolor brush and have a paper towel handy if you want to lift out some extra highlights, and keep the canvas absolutely flat as it dries.

I meant to go for a more secondary color scheme with greens, purples, and a bit of orange, but the blue dominated the painting (as it did the reference photo), so I kept the colors d…

A Hot Mess of Water Lilies!

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So, every time I take great photos to paint later it turns into a learning experience for me.

We took a little day trip in September down to Balboa Park in San Diego, California.  There wasn't much left of the water lilies after some recent vandalism (a bunch of geniuses decided to have a water gun fight and ended up destroying the lilypond).  It was a strangely hot day for downtown San Diego-- part of a series of heat waves that dogged me throughout the last months of my pregnancy.  I was thrilled to get some pretty photos while down there, particularly of the lilypads and turtles.

I love to paint water, but I forget how time consuming it can be.  There are lots of layers involved, and I ended up using fixative as I layered in the lights and darks in this piece.  I also didn't anticipate how difficult it is to depict those peaceful, floating lilypads.  After a couple of overhauls and many tweaks, the final result eventually emerged. 

One of the things that helped was lookin…