Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lemon Wedges {a daily painting}

Lemon Wedges – 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel

Hello friends ~

I am pretty beat today and hope you had a nice one. It is at times like this that I realize how important sleep is for keeping creativity up. So will I will keep it short.

See you soon, Liz

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lemons & Folds {a daily painting}

Lemons and Folds – 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel

Over the last two weeks I have worked and reworked the lemons in certain paintings. This is because I sometimes get hung up on the subtleties of the colors in the shadows, is the shadow really that green or purple, or a compilation of the two, or maybe something totally different. So today’s painting is also lemons as I continue to work on discerning these slight changes in color and value.

Before completing this painting and the previous one I did some 10 minute studies of each setup on some gessoed watercolor paper. I got this idea from Carol Marine’s blog where she had her recent workshop students complete various 10 minute sketches. Working with a timer really gets the blood pumping and enhances focus. Once I got down to painting the real painting I felt familiar with the subject and had some experience exploring some different variations of how to apply the paint and accomplish what I wanted to.

Lately I have been using cremnitz white more often than the other whites on my palette, titanium white and zinc buff white. So for the drapery folds I decided to only use titanium white and to play with its fluidity.

{10 minute studies}

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pomegranate & Plate Still Life

Pomegranate and Plate – 8" x 8" (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel

In July my friend, Chrish, generously lent me several Moroccan and Turkish pieces of pottery to paint. Over the last few months I have been working on the two paintings with some of the pieces, and then later I created this painting as a gift for her.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mexico Series

{Mexico Series}
A Place in the Sun – 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel

Scooter – 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel

Mexico Cruiser – 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel

These paintings are scenes from Isla Mujeres, Mexico. In June of 2008 our friends, Craig and Yvonne, were married there and S. and I were lucky enough to be invited to join in on the festivities. While there I took tons of photos with the goal of completing some paintings. So far these three paintings and this one are the only ones completed to date.

In lieu of receiving a wedding gift within a year of their wedding, Craig and Yvonne were patient enough to let me work on some paintings for them without a specific time schedule. Thank goodness because I needed all the time it took!

Lemon and Lime {a daily painting}

Lemon and Lime – 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – Oil on Linen Panel

Hello ~

How was your weekend? My weekend went by fast, it was filled with watching movies, trying out new recipes, and working on some different art projects. I was fortunate enough to finish a few paintings which I am really excited about showing them to you, however they are gifts, so I will wait on sharing them until after they have been received.

I also started thinking about getting back into the daily painting thing. The last one was completed on Sept. 7, 2009, and the next day I left for a trip to Texas and when I returned, my focus was on larger paintings. Which was a nice change, working with larger compositions as I was able to fiddle with new ideas and painting techniques. The down side of this change in focus was that I got out of the groove in completing the smaller daily paintings.

During this time off from I spent some time assessing how I value my time and if it would be a good idea to increase the starting bid on these smaller paintings that go on auction. After thinking about it, discussing it with some valued patrons and friends, I realize it is time to increase the prices. This increase will cover my expenses and also the time spent on these paintings, which is necessary especially as I am now a professional artist. Prior to this point my goal with the daily paintings was to just cover the cost of materials, this was not a sustainable system. I want to be happy and excited when working on daily paintings not regretting the time that could be spent on other pieces. I also want my work to be valued, so after much deliberation today’s daily painting will be at the new starting price.

I want to thank you who have supported me so far and those who have helped me in making this decision.

Have a wonderful evening,


PS. I will be back soon with some of the gift paintings.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

An October Afternoon

{Slim napping}


Today was a quite day working on some smaller projects and prepping for the next in the flower series. Below is a work in progress, my friend Peggy named it "Lemons in Sunset".

Have a nice evening, Liz

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sunflowers in a White in White Composition

White on White with Sunflowers – 16" x 12" (40.6 x 30.5 cm) – Oil on Canvas
{Flower Project 2009 – No. 3}

With this painting I was interested in painting a scene that was set in a predominately white environment. Compositions with specific dominate color schemes has been a fascination for me since around 1996 when I took my first art and architecture history class and we studied the Russian suprematist art movement. Malevich’s White on White composition is a painting I often think about, something so simple can also be very thought provoking. The off balance square in a square format, the tension of the tangential corner on the top and near tangent on the right is stabilized by the large negative space of the bottom and left sides.

Even though I paint in a representational manner often the modern and abstract schools of art and architecture will inform my ideas for a composition.


As an aside, I often do not realize how reliant I am on certain tools to create a single blog post. Last night and this morning I could not get Photoshop to save files, it kept having a program error, so this morning three hours later after uninstalling and reinstalling Adobe Creative Suite I am able to complete a blog post with a saved jpeg of the painting! I am relieved to have my programs working well now. Without technology life would be so simple but not as fun because I would not know the wonderful benefits of blogging.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing the day with me,


Monday, October 12, 2009

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial – 8" x 16" (20.3 x 40.6 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel

Here is the oil painting of the Jefferson Memorial, it was all painted in plein air over three sessions between 10am and 1pm. The quality of light as it struck the marble structure and how the shadows were cast was really important to me, I wanted to capture the golden pink tones of the sunlight sides and the cool purple and greens of the shadows.

I am finding that painting buildings with oil paint is a much more challenging endeavor than working in watercolor. It all has to do with the finessing of edges, not getting to many hard edges except where it is important and also getting the perspective correct. I also wonder if working on a larger canvas would help, to have more room for the more fiddly details. Here is last year’s painting of a nearby view.

Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary and I am taking off the day to spend with my love. This morning I made a banana nut loaf to have something special over breakfast.

Thanks for reading today :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

DC Sketchbook Entries

I want to thank you for all the kind comments and emails supporting me through this time of concern over my most precious Slim :)

My husband, S., has over the weekend has been helping me see the small steps of improvement in Slim’s condition which will hopefully continue to progress. During this time I have been focusing more on working in a sketchbook, something that is permanent and is going to be kept together, and something that is more informal than working on canvas. It is a personal journal of filled with images of DC and items gathered from walks. Once a week I go into DC with the specific purpose to observe and record.

{acorns and leaves found in Dupont Circle}

{Jefferson Memorial from West Potomac Park}

{the oldest cherry trees @ the tidal basin}

I like many others that live in the DC region; I am not a native of the area. I have always considered myself from Texas and still have roots attaching me to the San Antonio area, however I have now lived here for over nine years and am truly starting to consider it home. I am beginning to value the differences of the seasons and the scenery, and I absolutely love the variety of cultural activities found in this region. This sketchbook journal is sorta like a love letter to the area, identifying what it is that makes it so special while also strengthening my ties to it.

As the time goes by I will continue to share some of the entries on this blog, and I am hoping that some larger paintings will also result from these informal investigations. Tomorrow I will post one such painting, once I get a good photo of it.

See you soon,

Friday, October 9, 2009

A little down lately...

{Slim napping in one of her favorite places}


You may have noticed that there has been reduced posting last month and so far this month, this is due to my overall funk and concern for my kitty, Slim. She is eight years old and last month we found out that she is pretty ill. A lot of my energy has been dedicated to taking care of her and trying to find some balance. She really means a lot to me and I am pretty worried as we are trying to solve the mystery of what is causing the condition.

As you can see she still is pretty agile as she is able to jump up to her favorite spot, move around, play, and overall be her normal self. It was only when talking with a friend last night about Slim’s condition and my friend’s thoughtful observation that I seemed pretty stressed about it that I realized how much I am. Thank you Marie for helping me see and feel.

As we continue to monitor Slim, I feel confident we will figure it out and find a way to take care of her so she will have several more years in our life. I will also try to find more balance and direction with my art, staying on track with some projects I am working on and get back into the grove of everything. As today's drawing class is canceled I am going to focus on organizing for winter and maybe cooking a nice meal. Extra cleaning and picking up always helps clear my head and regain some focus. Maybe I will be able to salvage some inspiration and work on a new painting I have in mind.

Until next time, have a nice weekend.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sugarbowl and Dahlia Buds Still Life Painting

Sugarbowl and Dahlia Buds – 10" x 8" (25 x 20.3 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel
{Flower Project 2009 - No. 2}

Available through my Etsy Shop

One of the reasons I started the flower project is because painting flowers really requires a rigor in studying small distinct changes in color, value, and shape, something I want to develop further. Betty Edwards says in The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain that when one engages the right side of the brain you lose track of time and the ability to focus on shapes, values, and relationships increases. It is when the left side is dominant that one fatigues quickly of these activities and it limits your ability to draw or paint in a realistic manner.

Over the summer I have made the commitment to move more towards a representational style of painting, with smoother transitions and a keener sense of value and form. I still admire the impressionistic style of painting and love how they are full of energy and color, I am hoping to develop the skill of handling paint where I can use strong brushstrokes alongside the more delicate and controlled painting of realism.

With this painting I really wanted to go into detail overdrive, seeing if I could harmonize the complexity of the dahlias with the embroidered tablecloth and the sugarbowl. Conceptually I also shortened the depth of focus of the painting to the foreground and middle-ground, while the background blurred to an indistinct edge between the vertical and horizontal surfaces. The color palette is also predominately a complementary color palette of red and green with large areas of neutral tones.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dahlias with a Mexican Platter Still Life

Dahlias with a Mexican Platter – 16" x 12" (40.6 x 30.5 cm) – Oil on Canvas
{Flower Project 2009 - No. 1}

I started this painting the day after Susan Abbott’s workshop finished, a little over two weeks ago. The setup started out with the dahlias I had picked up at the farmers market in Old Town. While the backdrops and accompanying items were chosen for the colors. During the workshop we had a color exercise where we selected complementary color pair and then the neighboring colors of this pair, playing with warm and cool color choices. This painting is a play off of the magenta/violet of the flowers and the complementary color yellow that appears in various areas of the painting. I then selected greens and blues to be the second most common colors that connect the two complementary colors.

For the first three days of the painting I only worked on the flowers, as they were changing fast and would soon wither. After the flowers were pretty much developed I then focused on working on the other areas of the painting trying to incorporate all the lessons learned from Danni’s workshop. The biggest bit of insight I am still getting used to is the need to slow down and absorb what I see and take the time to really work to capture the image without overworking it. It is a fine line and I also have to fight against some levels of impatience as I want to get to the finish line, so I have been having to let go some and just enjoy the process of each brushstroke and new evolution the painting took as I would refine different areas.

After all it is the journey and the present that mean so much.

This is also the first of the 50 flower paintings I set out to complete in 12 months.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Inspiration {No. 19}

{my growing acorn collection}

I have been thinking about drawing this week, and the various methods and styles people use to capture the world through line and mass. Here are some of the blog posts I have visited to get some thoughts moving...

} Nina Johansson's People in Airports - I love the way she creates a boarder around her sketches

} Ester Wilson's Blankets - Her ability create depth and folds through hatching is wonderful

} Via Algarviana, Dia 5 (2) - the use of gestural and cross contour lines that form the tree is simple and captivating to me

} Kevin Wueste's Three Chalk Drawings - the tonal qualities of the drawing are beautiful

} Geninne's Cosmos are wonderfully simple and graphic

} I like the thick lines and use of color in these sketchbook entries

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Reworking a Painting

Treasures from Afar {reworked version}
18" x 24" (45.7 x 61 cm) – Oil on Canvas

This week is flying by and so far nothing is in the proper state to really share, so here is a painting I have been reworking some {here is the previous version}. It has a new background, some new layers of paint here and there, and it is almost finished - I am going to work some more on the lemons and the small bowl with green leaf pattern.

I am pretty excited that it is now October, which has historically been a good month. I am working on a few things and soon will be able to share them, they are not quite where I want them to be before revealing them. Tomorrow is also the second drawing class of fall term with Robert Liberace, this quarter we are working with the terra-cotta verithin pencils {which mimics the classical red chalk drawings} and silverpoint, a medium I absolutely adore and need to practice more.

See you tomorrow, Liz