Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Proceeds to be Donated

"Fuzzy Wasn't Fuzzy?"
4 x 4 Oil on Gessobord
All Proceeds Donated to the American Red Cross
for the Sandy Hurricane Relief
I am a member of Daily Paintworks, a wonderful site for artists and collectors.  David and Carol Marine own the site and have started a relief fund that is a wonderful idea to help those ravaged by Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy.

If you were thinking of donating money, how about you buy this painting (or any other painting you see on the challenge page or on the new widget on the upper right corner of my blog).  All participating artists have agreed to donate 100% of the proceeds of the sale to a charity to help residents of the East coast disaster.  I will be donating to the American Red Cross and will send you a copy of the receipt once the donation has been completed.

Often times we don't know what to do, but this is a great way you can help.  And all the artists are honored to participate.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pucker Up

"Pucker Up"
4 x 4 Oil on Gessobord
Number 14 in the Scratching the Surface Series
Needed to do a small painting today as I'm preparing for a workshop this weekend in Rising Sun, Indiana.  Sounds like a great group of 16 folks.  Hopefully, I can post some pictures.

I'm a last minute preparer so I'm working on class resources and printing them.  I fly out on Friday and will probably be packing Friday morning ;-)  Drives my husband nuts.  He brought up my suitcase yesterday morning.  Why I don't know....nothing will happen for a few more days.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Apple Saucy

"Apple Saucy"
5 x 5 Oil on Gessobord
Number 13 in the Scratching the Surface series
Reworked on 11/16/12
Was feeling a little jazzed yesterday listening to Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday, along with a lot of other great jazz tunes.  Love the jazz channel on cable, and I also contribute financially to our local jazz radio station, KUVO (89.3 FM)  It's such feel good music!

This series of scratching/sgrafitto paintings has been fun and such an experience of discovery, and I'm so encouraged by all the feedback I've received on Facebook from artists whose work I really admire.  It's my attempt to go beyond pretty to adding energy and life, to leave something of myself with each painting.

"Apple Saucy" is a redo of an older painting, but I'm not going to post the was really bad and looked nothing like this version.  Just a bunch of colors thrown at the board.  Besides I'm starting to look at some of my older paintings as just "not finished".

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pumpkin Redeux

"Pumpkin Redeux"
6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
Number 12 in "Scratching the Surface" Series
Click Here to Purchase Painting
I used an embossing stylus to scratch into the wet paint in the "redeux" painting.
This technique softens the edges, gives texture and line and adds a bit of energy.
How the original painting looked and after I attacked it with a sanding block
and other scratching tools (embossing stylus, craft knife)


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Son of Red Grapes

"Grapes Number 2"
6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
Number 11 in "Scratching the Surface" Series

Original Painting
Titled "Red Grapes"

This is another reworked painting.  Reworked meaning it was sanded lightly with a sandpaper block and scratched with a craft knife.  Then repainted with a palette knife (with a few brush strokes). While the paint was still wet I used an embossing stylus to scratch over the surface of the painting,losing edging and mixing colors.

While there are aspects of the old painting that I was pleased with, I'm much happier with Son of Red Grapes (the reworked painting.)  The lighting has also been pumped up to make it more dramatic.

Tomorrow going to do some more knife painting and scratching on Raymar panel, instead of Gessobord.  Will be painting at home as we are expecting a couple of inches of snow.

Met with a couple of artist friends for lunch to share experiences and critique a little art.  Such fun...I love being an artist.  Am I lucky or what?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

This Time a Sanding Block

Original Painting

Reworked Painting with Sanding Block
Number 11 in the "Scratching the Surface" Series
"Not Eggs-actly" 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
On Exhibit at Randy Higbee Gallery

I really admire the works of William Wray, Bill Creevy, and Dan McCaw.  I am not trying to emulate them so much as be inspired by them.  Trying to dig down and find what excites me in a painting.  There is a certain "something" to their work that speaks to me...maybe it is their personal search for "beauty".

I commented somewhere on this painting on Facebook that I was going through my "grunge period".
My mother and sister were here in September and I took them over to my studio.  The drive over takes us past the waste water treatment plant and the Coors brewery.  I told them I think that is one of the most moving visuals I have seen (right after the cornfields in NE.)  My mother thought I was nuts.  But I love the grittiness/grunge of the scene, the mood, the shapes, the lighting on a somewhat foggy morning with those two complexes wedged in between a couple of foothills.

And so it goes, I'm working to find what that grittiness/grunge, mood, shape and lighting is in my own work that excites me...that I find "beautiful."  As I told a friend via email recently, it may be a short trip or a long journey.  Depends on what sights I see.  Come along for the ride.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Another Painting Scratched Off the List

Original Painting

Reworked Painting
5 x 7 Oil on Raymar Canvas Panel
Number 9 in the "Scratching the Surface" Series
The original painting was an old one that I never really liked.  It was too stiff and dull.  So I picked it out of the "archives" today for a reworking.  Since this was on a canvas panel it behaved much differently than my Gessobord paintings.  I liked the effect, and once I understood what the paint would and would not do on the canvas, I was able to relax and enjoy the process.

Tomorrow I will post some interim pics so those that are interested can see the process.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Reworking a Painting

Original Painting from September

Reworked Painting
"Chasin' the Blues"
6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
Number 8 in the Scratching the Surface Series
On Exhibit at Abend Gallery
You know how some paintings just never get past the "meh" stage?  It's OK but not quite?  That's the way I felt about the original painting from September shown here. 

When I thought about what I was going to paint today, hubby is watching Hunger Games from iTunes, I decided to take an old painting and try the scratching technique on it.  This meant scratching through dry paint with a craft knife, and then deciding what to do from there.

So I scratched and scratched with my trusty little craft knife which showed the white of the Gessobord underneath.  Didn't find that aesthetically pleasing so I made a glaze of burnt umber and walnut oil and wiped the painting down.  That helped but also took off some of the old paint as I was wiping it down.  So I repainted with my palette knife - the blueberries.  Then I started adding color and depth into the apple using my palette knife and a paper towel.

The result is the reworked painting "Chasin' the Blues".  Much happier....and now I'm off to find some old paintings I don't like anymore!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Autumn Red

"Autumn Red"
5 x 7 Oil on Gessobord
Click Here to Purchase this Painting

Last painting for the week...

I started this one by toning a Gessobord panel with cadmium orange pigment, letting it dry for a couple of days and then painting my subject matter over the orange.  It's a subtle different from the plain white Gessobord underneath on my other paintings.  Gives it kind of a glow.

Number 7 in my "Scratching the Surface" series started last week.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Peter, Peter, PumpkinEater

"For Peter"
Number 6 in "Scratching the Surface" Series
Click Here to Purchase this Painting

The nursery rhyme "Peter, Peter, Pumpkineater" kept going through my head as I was nearing the end of this painting.  Thus the name "For Peter".  I could just see him peeking out from the back...yes, I have a wild and creative imagination.

I found myself being a little more conservative today with the scratching .  Not sure why, so might have to just go crazy tomorrow.  Each piece is a learning experience, and I'm still learning how to photograph these. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Scratching the Surface Series

"No 5" in "Scratching the Surface" Series
4 x 4 Oil on Gessobord
On Exhibit at Abend Gallery
Going to explore the sgrafitto/scratching technique for a while longer, so it now becomes a series "Scratching the Surface".  I've had such good feedback from these paintings, that I want to see what else I can do with it.

They are a bear to photograph, but I'll be back in the studio tomorrow (with JunieB...yeah!) and I'll see if they photograph any better there.  They really are warm and subtle in person.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's Called Sgraffito

"Memory of Pears"
6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord

"With My Compliments"
6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
On Exhibit at Randy Higbee Gallery
The pears were painted on Sunday and the peach with blue bowl on Monday.  I'm so excited about this new approach.  (My only complaint is that they are hard to photograph.) 

I've been doing some research, coming across a word I faintly was familiar with, sgraffito.  It's the Italian word for scratching, and can be as simple as scratching through wet paint to expose the gessoed board underneath...which is what I do.  Here is a link to sgraffito techniques in paint.

Texture has always intrigued me, and appears in my colored pencil, pastel and even fiber art.  So it's no surprise that it has found its way into my oil painting.  I love what the scratching does for edges and providing an atmosphere for the objects to "live" in.  One of my artist friends said it has the feel of a distant memory. I'm all over that!  ;-)

I'm experimenting with white Gessobord, value study underpaintings, and can't wait to try some colored Gessobords and a few other tools to create texture.

The pears sold about 10 minutes after posting them.  That's a new record for speed buying, I believe.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Scratching with a Palette Knife

"Scratching Out a Living"
6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
On Exhibit at Randy Higbee Gallery
Yesterday, I shared my painting, "Overhead" that I achieved with using a colorless blender in fairly thick paint.

Today, back in the studio, I tried a similar approach.  I had a 6 x 6 underpainting that I started months ago.  The burnt umber pigment had been dry for ages and I couldn't find my reference photo, so all I had to go on was a memory of the set-up and the value study underpainting.

I wanted to change the color of the cup so I painted it a similar color to a crock I have which I love painting.

I put paint the Gessobord and then scratched it with the tip of my stiff palette knife, added more paint, and scratched some more.  I really like the look of the texture. (If you follow my art approaches, you will know that I love cp, in pastel and now in oil.)

While this has a different look than the pumpkin, its achieved by starting with a white Gessobord vs an underpainting of burnt umber on Gessobord; and by the amount of paint applied.

This approach seems a lot less like painting and more like sculpting.  Very fun!

Thursday, October 4, 2012


6 x 6" Oil and a few other things on Gessobord

Yesterday was alone time at the studio.  My studio mate, June, lost her mother over the weekend and has been tending to those things that need to be tended to when someone passes. 

I had painted this little pumpkin, fairly successfully, on Monday.  It sold the same day.  So I was going to change the perspective and lighting and paint it again.  Oh, so wrong!  It just was not happening, and I was getting sort of pissy.  It was close to being done, but not anywhere close to where I wanted it to be, so I wiped out the pumpkin and started over.  Second pass was bringing no more to the table than the first pass.  I was almost out of time and the options were scrap it or do something fun with it. 

I opted for fun.  I was looking for my palette knife when I spotted my pastel pencils. Then my eye fell on my colorless blender pencil which I use to sign my name.  I started drawing on the painting with both.  Then I got bolder and did some scraping and scratching.  Now I was starting to get rid of my aggressions.

This is the finished product which left me energized and much less agitated!  I really like the texture.  Next time, yes-there will be a next time, I'll keep my colors a little cleaner and let the scraping process mix the colors. 

The name of the painting? "Overhead" subtitled, "A change in perspective".

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Little Painting, A Little Pumpkin

"Little Pumpkin"
5 x 5 Oil on Gessobord
I had a dream last night that I was in Paris, having an argument with someone.  I knew that I would be OK if I could find a place to paint.  In my dream I was on boats, on mountains, in cafes and finally found an art studio.  I woke up, quickly threw on my jeans and t-shirt, stopped at Starbucks and got myself to my little studio.  Ahhhh, much better!