Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Baby Onions {Work in Progress}

Baby Onions – 8" x 16" (20.3 x 40.6 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel
For the past few days I have been working on this painting, after several tries to get the rich reds and purples of the baby red onions I decided to try it with a grisaille underpainting. Once this layer is dry I will use glazes to finish the onions and then fine tune the rest of the painting.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Three Apricots {a daily painting}

Three Apricots – 6" x 6" (15.25 x 15.25 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel

The color of apricots is so most beautiful and subtle that when they start to become available in the stores I pick up a few just to paint. I love the matte texture and soft colors, these are also what make them challenging to me as well.

Hoping you have a wonderful evening, tonight was gorgeous in DC, a beautiful twilight and mild warm temperature.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

An Apple {a daily painting} + links

An Apple & Striped Dishcloth – 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel

Hello ~

Yesterday I was pretty busy with painting and creative inspiration, completing this painting and starting a larger still life painting. I worked on it most of my available time today as well. Focus on this painting and the larger one is why I did not share with you any links yesterday. So here are a few:

} Blossoming

} Photos, textures, and doubts

} Front Yard Flowers

UPDATE: I just realized that none of my links were working. Sorry about that, they are now working...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Petunia {a daily painting}

Petunia – 6" x 4" (15.25 x 10.2 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel

Hello ~

A happy flower for today. How is your day going? Mine has been nice full of sunshine and a walk early in the morning.

Have a wonderful evening, Liz

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Three Pears {a daily painting}

Three Pears – 6" x 8" (15.25 x 20 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel

Lately I have been experimenting with different painting surfaces, canvas panels with a medium texture or smooth texture and gessoed masonite panels. The different surfaces enable different paint handling effects. This painting is on a medium textured canvas panel, which makes for softer edges, almost everything is soft because of the amount of paint I used whereas with a masonite panel sharp edges are easier to create and the effort goes into softening the edges.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Musings: On drawing the Figure

An incomplete drawing – terra-cotta verithin pencils on prepared paper
{to mimic red chalk}

Hello ~

I would like to share with you some musings regarding drawing the figure, not all of these thoughts are complete though they sum up some ideas on technique I am establishing for when I draw.

} when drawing the figure always strive to make clear decisive shapes, a strong line is better than a soft fuzzy line that was created because I did not really look, discern, and record in an accurate manner.

} when thinking about what I see, do not think in terms of features, instead think of angles, shapes and distances from one another.

} when laying down decisive marks on the paper it is important to impart my artistic interpretation – use painterly prerogative at all time or the figure may start to lose some of its gesture.

} always look for value shapes. When working in monotone lay in the darks, deepen the darks and then start laying in the mid-tones. The mid-tone shapes help in establishing the subtle muscle and bone shapes within the form.

I think these ideas can be applied across the gamut of drawing media and subjects. So far I have used these premises for charcoal, red chalk, and silverpoint drawings. Personally drawing the figure is a fun and amazing experience, where I constantly have to assess my accuracy with regards to the model, and always there is a distinct outcome with each session.

If you enjoy drawing the figure, be sure to visit Kevin Wueste’s blog for spectacular and inspiring figure drawings. I constantly visit his site when I need a little inspiration and motivation.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Inspiration: Museums, videos and links

{ A postcard and peonies on my desk in the studio}

Hello, before the weekend begins here are a few things that have been holding my attention this week.

} Now that I am making a more concerted effort to draw and watercolor in my sketchbooks, I have been contemplating making my own. Roz first inspired me to think about this option and I have been watching some book binding tutorials on Youtube starting with this one.

} I discovered this collection of watercolor paintings by Nina Johansson {1} {2} {3} I am particulary inspired by her use of pattern, view, and tonal quality in each painting.

} This Friday is the third week of Artomatic, and during the week I have connected with some local artists that are also bloggers all thanks to the open atmosphere Artomatic enables. It has been nice getting to know Elizabeth Seaver, Liz Holm, and Tracey Clarke more this week.

} I also visited the Freer Gallery on the Mall. Finally seeing the Peacock Room and then more Whistler etchings and paintings. The museum also has a wonderful painting by SergeantBreakfast in the Loggia” His ability to capture the quality of light and warm glow of the morning sun, took my breathe away. I want to paint like this!

Have you come across anything especially inspiring? If so please leave a comment and share what it was, I always love hearing what has your attention. Have a great weekend, Liz

Thursday, June 18, 2009

{3} Summer Journal

Watercolor & Acrylic Ink in Moleskin Sketchbook


How has your day been? I hope you are having better weather then we are in the DC area. All I can say is that I am tired of the gray clouds and down pours of rain. Today we received a real gully washer, with water starting to back up into my patio because the drains could not divert the water fast enough. My plants are waterlogged and look beaten down some, I am hoping for sunny days.

Today was also the first time to use some acrylic ink I got last month. I used a crow-quill pin to draw with it and so far I like it. Though it would probably read a better if I had waited for the watercolor paper to dry 100% before drawing with the ink. I was just too impatient to wait.

If you have a chance be sure to visit the echoes flickr group, there are some wonderful and inspiring summer images shared there.

Have a good day, Liz

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Orange and Dishcloth {a daily painting}

Orange on Blue Striped Dishcloth – 8" x 6" (20 x 15.25 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel
After working on the Kitchen Series, painting draped cloth is a pleasure. This painting started out as one with half a loaf of homemade bread, and then as I was wrapping up the bread part I realized it just was too drab and brown, so I switched out an orange. I like to have something bright as the focus of a painting.

{2} Summer Journal

Watercolor in Moleskin Sketchbook


This morning I spent some time in the Haupt Garden at the Smithsonian on the National Mall. I have been there several times but never with the intention of sketching and absorbing, so today’s experience was rich in sounds, smells, and thoughts, with time speeding by. I love how when working on a drawing or painting, time no longer is important, instead other senses are asked to step up and be present.

Have a wonderful afternoon, Liz

Monday, June 15, 2009

Slim's Feather {a daily painting}

Slim’s Feather – 4" x 6" (10.2 x 15.25 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel

Slim, my kitty likes simple gifts. She especially enjoys playing with feathers, so when I am out and about any fallen feathers are brought home to her. This feather is hers and she let me paint it today :)

Slim sunning herself this afternoon. She is an indoor kitty and is allowed outside only if she is on a leash, so she puts up with it rather well.
Have a nice evening, Liz

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Peony Bud Daily Painting

Peony Bud – 6" x 6" (15.25 x 15.25 cm) – Oil on Gessoed Panel

Peonies inspire me to slow down and to take the time to really understand them. I love the variation of colors on the petals, how the protective outer petals have a deep rose edge that slide into a rich green. The stems are somewhat fluted, this gives them strength while also staying very slender.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Inspiration: Summer is...

Cloud Studies – 8" x 8" (20 x 20 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel
Hello ~

Has your week been inspiring or has anything caught your attention this week that you would like to share? I cannot say there has been any specific moment this week when inspiration truly struck, though there have been moments of peace, excitement, and satisfaction. And I guess these moments would count as being moments of inspiration, don’t you think?

Here are a few links:

} This photo reminds me of nostalgic images of summer

} I made this drink yesterday for lunch, yum!

} I am getting inspired by what summer is to other creative souls

And here is a quote that makes me want to go out and investigate life more, "An artist is an explorer. He has to begin by self-discovery and by observation of his own procedure. After that he must not feel under any constraint." Henri Matisse.

Have a wonderful weekend, Liz

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Artomatic - Meet the Artist Event

Two Pears and an Apple – 14” x 12” (35.5 x 20.5 cm) – Oil on Canvas
Available for sale, please send an email for information.


This Saturday evening is the official Meet the Artist Night at Artomatic. If you or a friend live in the DC area please come down and say hello! Here is additional information:

Where: 55 M Street, SE, Washington, DC. There is paid parking ($6 flat fee)below the building or take the metro to the Navy Yard stop, the building is right above the metro stop.

When: June 13, 2009, 5:30 - 9:00pm,
I will be on the second floor meeting and greeting people during that time.

Please email me if you have any other questions.
Hope to see you! Liz

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Green Pear Daily Painting

Pear – 6" x 6" (15.25 x 15.25 cm) – Oil on Gessoed Panel

A few weeks ago I was reading about sharp and soft edges in paintings in my favorite book right now, Harold Speed’s The Practice and Science of Drawing. Within days of reading about this topic I visited the Titian, Tintoretto, and Vernese exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and saw Titian's Venus Anadyomene, where the entire horizon was entirely diffused though it did not take away from the perceiving the edge of the sea to the sky.

With this painting I specifically chose to investigate the affect of diffused edges, painting a larger proportion of soft edges and deciding on only a few areas of specifically sharp and defined edges. I wanted to see if this would help create a greater sense of atmosphere and depth, I will play with this idea for a while to see where else soft diffused edges can strengthen a composition.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Peach Daily Painting

Peach – 6" x 6" (15.25 x 15.25 cm) – Oil on Gessoed Panel

Peaches are a favorite subject of mine, the variation of colors, the graying affect of the fuzz, and the not quite round form provide endless opportunities to explore. The investigation and discovery of painting is what makes it such an enjoyable occupation. I feel like I am growing and deepening in my knowledge of perception every time a new painting is begun and finished.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lemons and Rice Bowl Still Life

Lemons and Rice Bowl – 7-1/4” x 17” (18.5 x 43 cm)


Most of Sunday afternoon was spent completing this painting. It was set up to use only natural light and being that we are scheduled for some cloudy days ahead I was eager to complete it with a sunny outside, the same lighting conditions for the first few phases of the painting.

In other news over the weekend I found out that the 2nd floor of Artomatic was reviewed by Kevin Mellema of the Fall Church News Press in the Northern Virginia Art Beat column and my work was mentioned. This is my first experience receiving press, and it is kinda exciting. Here is the article.

Have a wonderful afternoon, Liz

Here is a detail of the rice bowl.

{1} Summer Journal

Watercolor in Moleskin sketchbook

Good morning,

Through the summer I am going to keep a journal of all things that represent the season. This is in collaboration with the echoes Flickr group. Echoes is a blog by four talented mixed media artists, Heather, Emily, Alicia, and Rachel.

I am looking forward to the summer and all it will bring.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

First Plein Air of the Year

The Plains – 8" x 10" (20 x 25 cm) – NFS

Happy weekend!

How has your weekend been? Mine has been pretty busy.

Yesterday I went out on a drive west of DC with my painting gear with the intention to visit the farm we purchased a CSA share from this summer and to do some painting. After visiting the farm, I drove into The Plains, VA to scout out a painting spot while there I took some time to be a tourist and visited some of the shops. There seems to be a nice art scene there and two shops were especially nice. At ZigZag I met Roberta Jeffries who had created some beautiful prints that were on display, the store had some nice pottery and art from local artists. Her daughter, Fleming Jeffries, also has a print studio in town. Then across the street I visited Live an Artful Life, where Linda Neel was in the shop, she is the owner and also a textile artist.

After being a tourist I found a view from a Baptist Church parking lot overlooking rolling fields and painted away for the next 2-1/2 hours. The first plein air painting of the year always means a lot to me. I’m not sure why so much emotional involvement with the first painting of the season, but each year the first one captures feelings that I feel balled up in my chest every time I look at one. And today I feel the same way looking at this little painting.

Today I have been working in the studio on a still life, it is getting near completion. Soon I will post about it. Until then, have a wonderful afternoon, Liz

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday Inspiration: Links & Artomatic


Happy Friday and best wishes for time well spent during the weekend. The clouds and thunderstorms are slated to go away today, and I am hopeful the weatherman is correct here as I am planning on going strawberry picking tomorrow along with visiting the farm where we will be receiving our CSA veggies this summer. I am planning on using this opportunity of traveling west on I-66 as a means of scoping out spots to do some plein air painting in the upcoming weeks.

Here are some blog links from this week I want to share with you:

} Making the Mark had a good one on 10 tips for working en plein air

} a beautiful blog I found via the Dear Ada blog

Artomatic 2009 is up and running here in DC. There are 8 floors of art on display and 9 floors total dedicated to the visual and performing arts. Lenny Campello wrote this about Artomatic and his opinion of taking in Artomatic: “I got tired going down from Level 9, but there was so much on Level 2 that was good, that I'd recommend that one does not overlook that floor .”

Therefore I am starting with some artists on Level 2:

Mary Bowen Chiu – she has some beautiful monotypes, all inspired by Ezekiel 17:8 “He transplanted it to good soil by abundant waters, that it might bring forth branches, and bear fruit, and become a noble vine.”

Samuel Scharf – he completed a cool installation piece

Geoff Ault – his photographic images are exception, unfortunately he does not have a website to link to, so if you can be sure to visit his wall.

Susan La Mont – her expressive paintings evoke a sense of emotion and depth. Lenny wrote this about her.

That is all for this Friday, have a wonderful weekend, Liz

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Peonies Still Life

Peonies – 11" x 14" (28 x 35.5 cm) – Oil on Canvas

Hello friends,

I am so happy it is June. The weather has been just gorgeous, with the sun being warm but not too hot, with enough of a breeze that I can keep the windows and patio door open and the house still staying cool. Last week I planted some Cosmos and some have already started to sprout, the other herbs and flowers are taking their time, but I am patient.

While enjoying the weather I have also been having some fun in the studio and I finished my peonies painting just in time because after I took my lunch break today, half of the petals fell off the front flowers. Phew!

When the weather is sunny and pleasant I always feel I am more productive. Does the weather affect you positively as well?

Have a wonderful afternoon, Liz

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Peony Daily Painting

A Single Peony – 6" x 6" (15.25 x 15.25 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel

Whole Foods is probably the best source for interesting flowers in the region. Mondays after attending my Awareness Through Movement class I sometimes drop by a Whole Foods to see what flowers are in to paint. Last night it was peonies, I love these flowers and when we get a house with a yard, I am going to plant them, until then I rely on Whole Foods. As a side note, I have always mispronounced this word, saying “pee-o-nee” instead of “pee-un-nee” the correct way, now I have learned the correct way and am working on changing a very old habit. I wonder if the pronunciation is a regional thing.

After painting this single flower, I started a painting of a bunch of them, I will post it once it is complete. Have a good evening, Liz

Monday, June 1, 2009

Lemon Daily Painting

Lemon – 6" x 6" (15.25 x 15.25 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel

Today I worked on this painting in the morning as a warm up before working on a larger still life begun over the weekend that also has lemons in it. I find as time goes by I get more and more interested in capturing the nuances of color and value. Lemons are particularly interesting in that the shadow side is dark, with hints of purple and green in it, though the reflected light in the shadow shape is lighter in value but kinda vibrant in color, not desaturated like the rest of the shadow area.

Have a great evening, and thanks for dropping by, Liz