Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WIP {Echinacea and Bird Nest} & taking a bit of a break, maybe...

Work in Progress {Echinacea and Bird Nest}
Still Life with Echinacea and Bird Nest
{24" x 18" (61 x 45.7 cm) – Oil on Linen}


Here is the second still life I have been working on, it is of echinacea and a bird nest with a robin's egg. The echinacea are from my garden and they are the only flowers that are thriving in my neglected flower garden this year. With the pregnancy I have not been able to keep up with the weeds and mulching that is needed, so only hardy and established flowers are doing well this summer.

The bird nest was given to me last autumn by my loving husband, he found it in the yard when he was raking leaves. I had been gathering bird nests with the idea of eventually incorporating them into some more still lifes, I had really enjoyed working on this painting with a bird nest last summer. The robin's egg came from a nest we had been watching for a bit this spring that a rascally fox attacked one night, I know it was a fox because the nest was in the hedge right outside my window and the night before the nest was destroyed that darn fox was making a racket under my window sill! We left the egg untouched for a week to see if the robin would come back and reclaim it but alas it was abandoned by the bird.

This painting is being completed on very rough linen, the texture is almost that of burlap, so it has been fun playing with this texture and learning how to adapt to this different surface after working on such a smooth texture with the sunflowers.

And as of this blog post I am going to be taking a bit of break from blogging. The pregnancy is coming to an end and I think it would be nice to reserve the option of check out for a bit.

I may stop in and post some drawings or progress on this painting or others,
but then maybe not. So thank you for stopping by and visiting, I do so enjoy hearing from you.

I am looking forward to the start of the adventure of being a mother to a little girl and know it will contribute lots of inspiration to future artistic endeavors.

Have a wonderful afternoon.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sunflowers and Apples {a new still life}

20110709 Sunflowers and Apples 24x18 web
Sunflowers and Apples
{24" x 18" (61 x 45.7 cm) – Oil on Linen}


I wanted to stop in and share a recently completed painting, it actually was completed a little over a week ago however I had a bit of difficulty in getting a decent photo of it.

With the recent high temperature days in the DC area I have been forced to stay inside and paint in my studio versus getting out to paint en plein air, the good thing about this is that this painting was completed and work on another still was begun.

With this painting I decided to apply some of the skills of fine brushwork that I learned while copying de Heem's Vase of Flowers and also applying some of the more loose brushstrokes I have been getting comfortable with because of the plein air studies completed last month and this month. I tried to integrate both techniques, this was helped by working on a very smooth linen canvas and then applying several layers of paint to build up texture and tooth for subsequent paint applications. I think there are some areas that have as many as 10 or more layers of paint, with varying thicknesses, typically the last layer was the most impasto because I was also trying to keep in mind the "fat over lean" rule when working in oil paint.

Have a great evening, and tomorrow I will share with you the new work in progress still life that is on the easel.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Quote on Beauty

"How beauty is to be judged is a matter of deliberation. One must bring into it every single thing according to circumstances, for some things we consider beautiful would lack beauty elsewhere"
--Albrecht Durer

{page 3 of July/August 2011 issue}

This week when reading the current issue of Fine Art Connoisseur I was struck by this quote and thought you may also like to know about it.

My week has been going by pretty fast, however I do not have much to share because going out and painting en plein air is pretty much been nixed as the pregnancy comes to a close and we are having a bit of a heat wave here in DC.

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for reading, Liz

Friday, July 8, 2011

Plein Air Painting: this week's excursions


Here are the paintings from this week's plein air excursions. I know this weekend will be full, so I do not plan on going out to paint.

20110630 Potomac River Series 23
Potomac River Series XXIII - Old Town SOLD
{approx. 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – oil on gessoed paper}

It was the brightness of the creamy house constrasted with the verdent greens of the trees and hedges that captured my attention, so I worked on trying to capture the nuances of the colors and values found on the house and in the trees. I particularly like how Colin Page paints buildings, he manages to capture all the subtle color changes in a wall plain, thus making what could be a simple and boring block of color into something dynamic.

20110630 Potomac River Series 24
Potomac River Series XXIV
{approx. 8" x 12" (20.3 x 30.4 cm) – oil on gessoed paper}

Yesterday we were back on the river, it was low tide and the air was particularly hazy. I have come to love the hazy mornings of the DC region.

Since working on this plein air project of capturing various views of the Potomac River between Mount Vernon and Old Town I have been scouting out other plein air artists that have blogs. Here is a short list of artists I have enjoyed learning more about.

. Colin Page
. Marc Hanson
. Terry Miura

Do any of you have other recommendations? I would love learn about other plein air artists that blog and add them to my daily reading...

Thanks, and have a wonderful weekend! Liz

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Plein Air Painting: Last week's excursions


This week has flown by and I regret that in the evenings I am so exhausted that sharing last week's plein air paintings has not occurred until this afternoon.

The pregnancy is coming to an end and with it I am also trying to tie up loose ends, this includes lots of errands, shopping, cooking lots of freezer meals, and finalizing details of the nursery. Exciting times are ahead, however I am also trying to get as much painting in as possible knowing that I will take some time off to care for the little one when she arrives.

Here are last week's plein air studies:

20110628 Potomac River Series 19
Potomac River Series XIX
{approx. 8" x 12" (20.3 x 30.4 cm) – oil on gessoed paper}

The morning my friend and I went out painting was perfect, the weather and light was best so far since I began this project. The sky was full of dramatic cloud formations unfortunately I did not try to capture them right away when I started this painting, so by the time I got to them the sky had cleared. Lesson learned -- if there is something that really captures my attention, focus on that area first, the other areas can wait!

20110628 Potomac River Series 20
Potomac River Series XX
{approx. 8" x 12" (20.3 x 30.4 cm) – oil on gessoed paper}

Often I strive to paint two paintings when out, and I felt lucky that I was also able to get this one in. Because I had lost the clouds by now, I decided to zoom in on the shore some and to work on depicting trees and atmospheric haze.

20110630 Potomac River Series 21
Potomac River Series XXI - Old Town
{approx. 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm)) – oil on gessoed paper}

We decided that moving into Old Town for our next plein air excursion would be a good idea, this way we can become comfortabel with including some buildings into our skill set. As all of these paintings are studies, I have decided if they really do not get off to a good start, or that at some point they veer off course, I will stop and start a new painting. This is what happened with this study, I realized that I was painting the house, not a painting, so I stopped and started another one.

20110630 Potomac River Series 22
Potomac River Series XXII - Old Town SOLD
{approx. 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – oil on gessoed paper}

This study is my second attempt at painting a street scene. At one point I nearly gave up and started a new painting, however my painting partner encouraged me to keep going and I am so happy she did, because I was able to finish a vignette of Old Town.

So far this week I have been out painting twice and will share the paintings with you tomorrow. I do not think I will be able to get out and paint outside again until next week...

Thanks for stopping by and reading :)