I am an oil painter living in S.E. Pennsylvania. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Day 8 of the 30 in 30 - High Summer Perch

 Good Sunday Morning. As this week begins, I am posting Day 8 of the 30 in 30  with another garden painting.   My family decided we were going to have a garden this year, after 4-5 years letting our garden plot go fallow.. It has been an enormous amount of work, but has given us an enormous amount of satisfaction and of course produce.  And a wonderful result has also been the time I've gotten to spend with my husband and children as we work in the garden   A few months ago, I found an old but very pretty chair sitting out for the garbage, and immediately knew it would find a home in my garden.  This vintage beauty may not be needed anymore as an inside chair, but I had a need to sit and rest after harvesting and a pot of very prolific portulacas were in need of a perch.  We also installed a few bird feeders near the garden and I always see all manner of little feathered friends perching on the fence and this chair.  I have been enamored with this chair and finally had to paint it.  I hope I've done this old girl justice!

High Summer Perch, 10"x10", oil, to purchase click here

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Day 7 of the 30 in 30.. One week in & Brother Bjorn :)

 It feels good and kind of homey now that I'm a week into this 30 in 30.  And following suit, Brother Bjorn came to visit me in my studio, as a companion painting to yesterday's Uncle Urso. This guy doesn't have a story yet, other than it feels like he should live in the Swiss Alps for some reason... Mostly though, he was an experiment of white on white, and a trial of a hat on a polar bear. I do like, however, that Polar bears symbolize endurance and black eyed Susans symbolize motivation. Feeling like both of these attributes are so needed exactly right now, as we slog through this new world of cataclysmic change...endurance to keep on going and motivation to try even harder.

I wanted to achieve a soft and subtle feel and kept my tints all close in value.. also a challenge for me.  I am always tempted to go bold and striking in my paintings, but have recently been striving to go subtle and whispering.  I'll strike a balance eventually!

Brother Bjorn, Oil, 10"x10", to purchase click here

Friday, August 7, 2020

Day 6 of the 30 in 30 - Uncle Urso's Silk Hat

Uncle Urso has had this hat ever since I was a little girl.  He sometimes takes it off and pulls special treats out of it for his nieces and nephews, and even once pulled out a rabbit!  It is made of silk felt that is worn through in places and he always tucks a flower under the ribbon. No one knows how old it is (or how old Uncle Urso is for that matter) but he wouldn't be Uncle Urso without that hat. ♥

I've painted a few bears in the past year and it all started when I had a reoccurring dream about bears that would suddenly appear wherever I happened to be in my dream.  Once down at my Grandmother's (who doesn't live there anymore), once in an office building roaming around the cubicles... then in a park that is near my childhood home.. They were trying to tell me something, obviously, and the only thing I knew to do was to paint them.  I had the hankering to paint another bear (or 2..).  After I painted this guy, the snippet of a story I wrote above started to take shape.. I wonder who the little girl is, and why is his hat so special...

Uncle Urso's Silk Hat, 10"x10", oil

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Day 5 of the 30 in 30 - Under Cover

5 days into this challenge and my mind is ticking away with new ideas.  I set out to explore painting techniques and mediums in this painting, and believe it or not, the subject matter was a bit secondary.  I did want to paint another animal stacker and, the umbrella is, in my mind, the most important aspect of the subject, hence the title... but really, I was super concerned with getting a soft appearance while staying loose, playing with a subtle color palette and again trying out a Zinsser under painting. So far, the challenge has been a lot of fun because of all the experimentation. :) It is also interesting to note how difficult it is to not paint in the style I usually paint in!  I generally paint alla prima, wet into wet with very loose strokes and with paint that stays workable for the duration of my painting session.  This new style I'm experimenting with is more of a dry brush technique, applying many thin layers of pigment to achieve a softer more atmospheric effect.  Very different and definitely a challenge..   And while the stacked animal subject was seemingly secondary as I grappled with technique, I loved painting each one of these critters.  The horse especially was a joy to work on as I love his graceful gesture.

Under Cover, 11"x14", Oil

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Day 4 of the 30 in 30

Good morning! I'll hop right to this one... :)  About a month ago, the image of 3 wolves came into my head and wouldn't leave me alone. I had to paint it... It was a painting of healing and strength, 2 things I was needing to contemplate.  After painting that painting, I immediately had the image of 3 hares come into my head, and like the wolves, they aren't leaving me alone either.  And that is how this painting came about. I'm not sure what these guys represent, or why some images just won't leave me alone, but the number 3 is very important in art.  For instance, if you have the choice of having 3 items in a still life or 4, which do you think most artists would choose? To read more about the ubiquitous number 3, check out this article.  
I have also been experimenting with mediums lately and in this painting, I used an oil based primer made by Zinsser and tinted it with my oil paints to do an under painting.  I know, this may sound outside of the box... but I am in the mood to play and have read a lot about artists' love for Zinsser.  I've experimented with it before and do agree, there is something about it worth exploring.  Plus I am looking to achieve a certain atmospheric effect that the zinsser underpainting seems to benefit.. 

Splitting Hares underpainting

But the Zinsser has a very matte finish, and I didn't quite want that.  So, after this dried (in about an hour - the zinsser dries fast!) I coated it with my medium (linseed oil, stand oil and gamsol) and finished it off. Now that I look back at this earlier stage of the painting, I wish I would have kept some of the looseness, but on the other hand, I wanted the rabbits faces to have more realism. Here is the finished painting :)  

Splitting Hares, 10"x10", oil, 
to purhase, please click here

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Day 3 of the August 30 in 30

 Good morning!  Its day 3 of the 30 in 30 and things are getting real.  Just kidding… but this one was a real hoot to paint!  You may know I have a thing for stacking objects in my paintings – any number of things and often things that don’t typically belong together, and certainly not stacked on top of each other.  But oddly I’ve never stacked a bunch of farm animals until today, and farm animals are actually a more common group of things for artists to stack..  Today was the day for me to give this one a whirl. To explain a bit about my 'stacking thing', I originally started stacking 2 dissimilar things because I was exploring the concept of creating a visual story. The things you put in a painting are going to talk to one another, so to speak, regardless if they are related or not. I wanted to see what kind of story would be created by putting together seemingly unrelated objects.. and have had a lot of fun in the process!  These guys were a bit of a tame diversion for me since they all have the common denominator of being farm animals.. but it was still fun to figure out how to balance them and the composition and then of course to paint them!

Vertical Farm, 11"x14", oil on gessoboard
to purchase, please click here

Incidentally, did you know that the tradition of stacking animals in folk art started with the story “The Town Musicians of Bremen" written by The Brothers Grimm? In the story, a donkey, dog, cat and rooster find themselves having to scare away some robbers by standing on each other’s backs.  If you want to read the whole story, check out this website.  I’ve always loved folk tales for their whimsical imagery… and now I’m thinking I may need to paint a rooster on a cat on a dog on a donkey… 😊  While poking around for stacked animal lore, I found a picture of this awesome statue by Gerhard Marcks depicting the Bremen Town Musicians located in Bremen, Germany. 

Monday, August 3, 2020

Day 2 of the August 30 in 30

What a glorious way to start August.  I am so happy that I dove into this challenge and am doing it!  Today's painting is an example of some experimentation I have been doing with backgrounds and painting techniques.  I really enjoy artwork that has an atmospheric and moody tone to it and have begun playing with this idea..  "Elephriend" evolved from this sentiment.  I built this painting around colors and textures, painting the background first, which is opposite of how I often go about a painting.  I typically paint the focal points and subject of the painting, starting with the darks, and get all of the 'things' in the painting blocked in before I even touch the background.  But it was important to me that I pay special attention to the background in this painting.  After getting the feel I was looking for,  I then used the same colors from the background to paint the elephant, which helps to provide harmony and a sense of unity.  Of course, the elephant needed a friend, so I added a happy little corvidae, hitching a ride on her back. :)  I hope to experiment more with the methods I used here during this challenge, because, after all, that is part of what the 30 in 30 is all about... experimenting, playing, learning :)

Elephriend, 10"x10", oil on gessoboard, $225
To purchase, please click here

Don't forget to check out Russ's progress!  Yesterday's painting is beautiful... a peek into his latest trip to Maine.  You can find his work here: www.russellslocum.com

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