Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Random sketch of a door...

Graphite on sketch paper 80lb.

For the past few days I have been feeling like I am on a treadmill on the steepest slope setting, going faster than what is in my typical running pace...

This being said, unfortunately I do not have a current painting or sketch to upload. This pencil sketch was completed a few years ago when I was trying to decide if I prefer sketching with a mechanical pencil, lead holder, or a regular pencil. So this drawings was completed with 2B & 4B leads in the various methods. I have since decided that when using graphite, I prefer using a lead holder and selecting my lead hardness from the various Turqouise leads available. I like how with a lead pointer one can get a super fine line, and if you twirl the holder while drawing a line, the point can stay for awhile. I also like the sustainablity of it, I only need one lead holder and a container with the various leads.

Later this week I will probably post some more sketches and thoughts, I just cannot guarantee any new paintings for a bit. I am working on building a website and some other "back of house" projects that require time and effort, they just do not show visible results with postings on this blog. Please be patient, and I expect by the first week in September all the end of summer goals and tasks will be completed and I will be back to making paintings and postings.

Thanks, and have a great Labor Day Weekend! Liz

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Frieze Painting V - Peaches Still Life

Frieze Painting V - Fresh Peaches – 7-1/4” x 20” Oil on Linen Panel

This weekend I only worked on this painting. As I prefer to paint from life, I was racing against the shelf life of these peaches… I am feeling really tired right now, so I cannot articulate what it is I like about this painting or what motivated me to paint it. Proof that this weekend was a fun and intense painting experience…

I will elaborate more later… Have a great evening! Liz

Below are two detail shots of the painting:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Live Concert on the Capital Steps

Sketchbook w/ sepia ink fountain pen

Tonight Steve and I attended the last open air concert of the season on the Capital Steps here in Washington, DC. This concert was preformed by the US Army Concert Band "Pershing's Own".

It was a perfect night for it: great weather, lovely music, and a wonderful view. Above is my sketch of the National Mall from our vantage point on the steps. This summer flew by, there were several occasions when we had intended to attend the concert, however life and other things would always got in the way. I am very happy we were able to catch the last preformance of the summer. They have several other activities throughout the year, however these open air concerts are my favorite. Listening to great band and concert music and viewing the Mall from a great work of architecture, helps me recognize the values and benefits of living in Washington, DC, (in my opinion the most wonderful place in the world...)

Have a great weekend! Liz

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fresh Picked Peach Still Life Painting

Fresh Peach and Salvaged Tile – 6" x 6" Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

This is one of many peaches picked from a “pick your own fruit” place we visited with our friends Evie & Jon from this past weekend. Steve and I had a great time catching up and relaxing.

For this painting I experimented with my new round synthetic bristle brushes. It was fun learning use to this new shape. Sometimes I would look down at the brush and realize that I had “shaped” it into a more filbert-like point, instead of reveling with the pointy-ness of the round, oh well, with time I will learn to be comfortable with them…

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Egg Still Life

Egg on Wood Crate – 6" x 8" Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

I am working out in my mind a new larger still life composition (16 x 20 inches) that will include eggs in it. Several months have passed since I last painted an egg, so this painting was practice to get back into it and to investigate the level of detail and finish I will incorporate in the larger painting. Again I worked predominately with sable brushes, all cats tongue filberts by Escoda. I just ordered some round synthetic brushes to experiment with, so I expect my next few paintings will be completed with the new brushes. What is your favorite brush brand and what type of shape do you prefer?

Thanks for dropping by, Liz

Friday, August 15, 2008

Three Peaches Still Life Painting

Three Peaches – 6" x 6" Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

This was my second attempt at painting only with sable brushes. It was another adventure in painting wet-in-wet ~ observing, learning, interpreting and then trying to capture what I have interpreted as the essence of these three beautiful peaches. For that is what I am always trying to do, capturing the spirit and essence of something, I never strive to just record something, I have a great camera for that… Instead I look to see how I can convey the passion and interest I have in the object/scene to others in a convincing manner.

This weekend, Steve and I are taking a much needed mini-break from our hectic summer schedule. We will be visiting our friends Evie and Jon on the eastern shore of the Cheasepeake. Evie is a very talented artist, here is a link to her website, I met her last year when I was taking a Sunday class taught by Ted Reed. She was the best in the class so I made a point of standing next to her to crib from her and learn all that I could. The added benefit of this weekly close proximity is that I got to know her as a friend.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Arte Y Pico Award

On Wednesday, August 13th, I received a wonderful email from Patrice Wall sharing that she selected my blog as one of the five to receive the Arte y Pico Award. I feel very honored knowing that my musings and paintings may brighten and inspire others!

Here is a description of this award:

Arte y Pico Award Origin
The designer of the award puts it like this..."The Arte y Pico Award has arisen from the daily visits that I make to many blogs which nourish and enrich me with creativity. In them, I see dedication, creativity, care, comradeship, but mainly, ART, much art. I want to share this prize with all those bloggers that entertain and enrich me day to day. Doubtlessly, there are many and it will be hard to pick just a few.”

The Rules:
1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award through creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogger community, no matter of language.
2. Each award should have the name of the author with a link to their blog.
3. Award winners have to post the award with the name and link to the blog of the person who gave them the award.
4. Show these rules and the paragraph (above) explaining the awards origination.

My selections:
I subscribe to almost 80 feeds in my Bloglines reader, so this was extremely difficult to narrow down and decide who to share this award with. This being said, I decided to create two categories of award winners, one for blogs that are painting focused and the other for artistic blogs that to me is more about inspiring me into being a more creative person. Here is my list:

Painting Blogs:
Jeffery Boron of Artist Jeffery J. Boron blog
Susan Carlin of Susan Carlin's Art Journal blog
Kelly MacDonald of Kellye MacDonald's Daily Paintings blog
Carol Marine of Carol Marine's Painting a Day blog
Sarah Sedwick of The Daily Painting Project blog

Creative/Inspirational Blogs:
Marisa Haedike of Creative Thursday blog
Heather Moore of Skinny Lamix blog
Stephanie Levy of Studio with a View blog
Christine Mason Miller of Swirly Girl blog
Ale Balanzario of With Blueberry Heart blog

Some of these blogs I have interacted with via comments while with others I have not, though I rely on these blogs and many more in keeping me inspired and energized with pursuing an artistic career path. I am thankful for this opportunity to showcase and highlight their positive impact they have on my daily life.

And again, Thank you Patrice for nominating me!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Peach in the Middle - Still Life Painting

Peach in Two Bowls – 6" x 6" Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

Sometimes my paintings just begin as experiments, and as the experience progresses it becomes a final painting. I have had the white bowl for a few months, and have used it in previous paintings, and the blue-green bowl is new. They were stacked on my shelf and I liked the proportions of them being nested. Then I also wanted to paint my yellow peaches again as they were getting to be on their last leg of life. So this organic nature of creating the composition occurred, however it is the manner that I employed in laying down the paint that was new to me.

This painting was completed with only using sable brushes, something very foreign to me as I love using my bristle brushes. Danni Dawson always encourages her students to handle bristle brushes for all types of painting methods, so typically I paint 98-99% of all my paintings using bristle. Most times only my signature is completed with a sable. However this past week I have been visiting and reviewing Duane Keiser’s blog and website. His work inspired me to try something else out and to see if I can capture a more refined level of detail. So this painting was my experiment. It was really a lot of fun, it used up a lot more mental energy than I expected, and the rewarding result was that I have now begun to gain a new skill in handling paint. One of the things I love about paintings is how it can drain me of all of my energy - mental and physical - and still leave me refreshed and wanting more once I step back and view a finished painting. Does this ever happen to you?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Wood Crate & Radishes Still Life

Radishes on a Wood Crate – 6" x 8" Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

Over a year ago, I picked up this wood crate on the side of the road. At the time, I chided myself for taking it home, as it was partially broken and blue paint scuff marks were all over the bottom. Well, it has really been a good find, I use it all the time in the studio. I have even become fond of the scuff marks and in the past few still lifes, they have found their way into the paintings.

With this painting I was really fighting nature, as the leaves of the radishes started out pretty crisp and fresh but within 20 minutes they were wilted. I eventually had to prop them up some. Luckily the light shining on the radishes themselves did not affect their flavor. They were super yummy in my dinner’s salad.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Two Anaheim Peppers Still Life Painting

Two Anaheim Peppers – 6" x 8" Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

This is my first time to paint Anaheim peppers. Several times I have had the intention of painting them; however they ended up part of dinner all the previous times they were in the house. Several times Anaheim peppers were purchased for recipes, but the individual peppers were selected from the grocery store bins because of their picturesque form.

In this painting I really liked how they curve of the two peppers complement each other. I pushed the gray background cloth to a violet to emphasis the greens in the peppers. These Anaheims were more dark green then the usual yellow green. I really liked how the wrinkles and ridges of the peppers created interesting shadow shapes and highlights.

As an aside, these peppers packed quite a punch in the taco meat I cooked. I know that the heat of a jalapeño pepper is directly proportionate to the temperatures when it is ripening. Does anyone know if this is true with all peppers?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Green Pear Still Life

1 & 2 make 3 – 6" x 8" Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

For this still life I departed from my typical lighting method of being from above and somewhat directional. For this composition I positioned the light low, to cast long shadows. The way the shadows group together on the back wall was a happy occurrence, with the pears being grouped as a single and a duo. Color palette wise I utilized the purple and green, to also establish a color tension.

This weekend when visiting Fawzan Barrage's blog artEzan, I noticed how he copywrited his paintings, even with the copywrite notice on the bottom of this blog page, it seemed like a good idea to start implementing this. So in photoshop I recorded an action that automatically creates one for me. If you get a chance, please stop by his blog, as his oil pastels and watercolors are just beautiful!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Watermelon Still Life Painting

Watermelon Snack – 6" x 6" Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

Watermelon is my favorite summertime fruit, though to me because of its sweetness and texture I almost categorize it as a dessert. For my taste, when watermelon is really chilled it is almost like eating gelato.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tied Up Radishes

A Bunch of Radishes – 6" x 8" Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

After having fun with the square composition, I decided to try my hand with a rectangular one. These radishes were interesting because their shapes differed so much. In this bunch there were egg-like shapes to odd oblong ones with bulbous ends.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Three Radishes Still Life

Three Radishes – 6" x 6" Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

A lot of the time my still life compositions occur as a direct result of what I fancied in the grocery store. For this painting I had purchased a bunch of radishes for salads this week and before cutting them up to eat, I decided to paint them. I really like the round shapes and the long stringy root that makes the negative space interesting.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Another Frieze Painting, this time of lemons

Lemons in a Row – Frieze Painting IV – 5-1/2” x 12” Oil on Linen Panel SOLD

This painting is another long linear composition, where I use these Frieze paintings as a means to experiment and learn about paint handling techniques other than the alla prima method (meaning completed in one setting) I typically employ.

For this painting I worked over an extended period of time, often waiting for layers to dry to a certain level before moving on. The technique I utilized most on this painting was the affect of glazing. I applied both glazes derived from opaque pigments to transparent ones. The transparent pigments were often easier to suspend in medium, and would flow lightly and evenly over the canvas. Where the opaque pigments required more medium, and would catch and hang onto the uneven paint surface. I really liked how each provided a different effect that deepened my painting experience.

Thanks, Liz