Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Watercolor Gourd Sketches

Gourd Sketches – w/c on 120 lb Cold Press paper

I have been pretty unlucky lately… Today I went into the dentist complaining of some tooth pain. Turns out that tooth was cracked. So three hours later I left the dentist’s office in a world of hurt after an unplanned root canal…

This being said, I was feeling pretty awful and did not have the energy to stand and paint at my easel today. So instead I sat in a chair and did some watercolors. It has been awhile since I last painted with watercolor, so I experimented with different techniques and color applications. The top gourd was my first attempt. In this one I started pretty much like I start with oil painting, applying the general local colors and developing from there. The middle gourd was the next painting completed, where I was just playing with colors and color theory. This one was based on the yellow-purple complementary palette, and then I would lay in other colors just to see how they would glaze over the previous layers. The bottom gourd was the last sketch, where I worked with glazes of pure pigment. No color mixing on the palette occurred. I started with a cad yellow in the light areas and cerulean blue in the shadow areas. The later color variations came about laying glazes of different colors, I used some viridian, pyrrol orange, with Prussian blue and quinacridone rose in the shadow.

It was a rather pleasant way to spend the afternoon after the trauma of the morning.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Autumn Maple Leaf & Vase Still Life

Autumn Maple Leaf – 6x8 Oil on Canvas Panel

Yesterday when I was walking around the Adams Morgan area I picked up several fallen leaves that are changing colors. This painting is of one of those leaves gathered; it is resting against a new blue glass vase. I love how the leaf is full of color variations from bright yellow to deep red on a few tips, while still having a few green areas around its veins.

I have never been crazy about the fall, as it means cold weather is on the way, however this year the changes are more vibrant to me and I am enjoying how this deeper sense of observation is improving my attitude towards this seasonal change.

Have a wonderful day, Liz

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pear on its Side

Pear on its Side – 6" x 8" Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

This pear would to stand up, so I gave up and painted it on its side.

Here is a detail photo of its stem

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Artichoke #3 Still Life Painting

Artichoke #3 – 6" x 6" Oil on Canvas Panel - SOLD

After spending some time focusing on the outside of the artichoke, I decided to cut one in half and paint the interior. Because of the multiple layers, this painting could easily become an obsessive compulsive exercise to see how well I see and record verbatim. Instead I decided to keep it pretty loose and to push the colors some for interest. I like the effect, and I feel that this one goes very well with the other painting, Artichoke #2.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Artichoke #2 Still Life

Artichoke #2 – 6" x 6" Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

This weekend I worked mainly on drawing and painting artichokes. I find them to be such interesting objects. I like the geometric patterning of the leaves and how each one has an interesting shadow and highlight pattern.

Here is a detail photo:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Birthday Gift for my Niece Lisa

+/- 24" x 12" watercolor paper & black ink

Yesterday, Steve and I went to visit our neice to celebrate her 6th birthday. This year for her birthday we gave her some art supplies. Some paint brushes, two watercolor kits, and a cute table-top easel that converts into a carrying case for her art supplies. In addition of those items, I also drew a banner with her name on it that she can paint with her new watercolors.

When I was a little girl, I had an aunt that always gave me gifts like this. Looking back I really think fondly of them and how special they were to me. I had this one table cloth that was designed to be colored on, so I think for a year I must have worked on filing in the various line drawings. I do not know what happened to it, probably lost in the very MANY moves I had during my youth as my parents moved the family around to different cities and states... Even being lost, it is etched in my memory as being a wonderful gift, and this was the goal of drawing this banner for Lisa. I think she likes it, as she immediately wanted to start painting it after all of her gifts had been opened.

I hope your weekend was a pleasant one. My weekend seemed to go by very fast, but it was also alot of fun. Take care, Liz

Friday, September 19, 2008

First Try

Artichoke - 6"x 6" - Oil on Canvas Panel
I have three beautiful artichokes, bought just for painting. This is my first attempt at making a completed painting of it. I like it some, however I am going to try again tomorrow and see if I can simplify the painting and make it a stronger piece.
An artichokes is a wonderful object to paint, it is so complex. I did not realize it until attempting to paint one.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

One of my Paintings in a Frame

My friend Kathryn recently purchased a few of my paintings. Last night she showed me the shadow box frames she purchased at Ikea. I really love how it turned out!

Thanks Kathryn for sharing the end results!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Feeling Under the Weather...

Ink sketches of Slim

Typically I rely on my weekends as opportunities to put in a lot of time painting. Unfortunately I have not been feeling the greatest all weekend. At the end of last week I got a flu shot, typically they hit me pretty hard with flu-like symptoms the day of. This year I was blessed with aches and pains for over three days, with tonight being really low...

This is a page from an old sketchbook. All drawings of my cat, Slim.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Red Pear Still Life Painting

Red Pear – 6" x 8" Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Yah-hoo! I was able to grab some time yesterday to make a small painting! It feels like it has been forever… for the past four weeks my painting time was cut in half with work and other business related activities. It feels good to be back in the saddle.

This was my second attempt at painting this single pear. The first one got wiped down. And it really proves that you have to go with your gut on this, as the first attempt was just not coming together. When I did wipe it down, I felt free and ready to face the next opportunity. For me this pear was a challenge to depict the blues and purples in the shadow areas while also making the form round.

Here is a detail photo:

One activity that has kept me from painting as well is that I am going through several new books that were generously given to me by my mother-in-law, Susie. Her mother was an art teacher in Montgomery County for several years and had collected a wonderful library of all sorts of books related to art. Later this year I will share some of my favorites with some book reviews, for now I wanted to share a photo of my kitty, Slim, and how she has chosen to appreciate the new books…

Brillante Weblog Award

This week I was honored by a fellow artist blogger, Theresa Miller, with a Brillante Weblog Award. She had nominated me along with seven other artists. I am very grateful for the kind act and the thoughfulness behind it. Thank you Theresa!

As part of the award, I will now nominate seven artists I highly admire and enjoy viewing their creations:

All awards have their rules... the "Brilliant Weblog Award" is no exception. I'm excited to pass this award on. You are all truly "Brilliant" artists and bloggers.

Rules of Acceptance:
1. Put the logo on your blog

2. Add a link the the person who awarded you.

3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.

4. Add links to those blogs on your blog.

5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

6. Participation is entirely voluntary (of course!).

7. Have fun...honoring the bloggers who inspire you regularly.

CONGRATULATIONS...to a fine group of artists who inspire me to paint and to continue participating in this wonderful and supportive art web community!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunflowers and Pears Still Life Painting

Sunflowers and Pears – 24” x 18” Oil on Canvas

Its finished! About year ago I painted another sunflower painting, “From Garth’s Garden” which included some sunflowers and a tomato he and his wife, Martha, had given to me as a gift. It is one of my favorite paintings, and I use a part of it as my blog banner. With this painting finished, it is hard not to make a comparison to judge where painting skills have improved and what may be my next step to explore. I believe the skill I have gained the most since last year is patience.

That is patience to slow down and look. Patience to think about the subject in front me and to think about how to paint it, instead of just acting. This year has been a lot about practicing to see. And being willing to allow myself to take the time to observe, by nature I like to be active. I feel better about the day if I am able to check off a whole slew of items on a to-do list. So slowing down, and willing myself to take the extra time has been something of a challenge for me. Though I feel it has been very beneficial, and I recommend to everyone to take just a moment to pause in the next few days and see if life has gotten a bit more colorful and interesting.

New Personal Blog

Earlier this week I began a new blog that will be mainly of personal photos and random things thoughts that are not covered in this blog. Here a link to it http://elizabethfloyd.blogspot.com

I walk to work in Georgetown about half of the time and I always have a camera on me, so I record random patterns, views, plant life that I think is visually interesting.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

This Blog is 1 Year Old Today!

Today is the one year anniversary of this blog! It has been such a rewarding experience. I feel as if I have learned so much from the constant commitment to keep painting and posting on a regular basis. Painting on a very regular basis has been great however I believe it is the people I have interacted with online that has had the biggest impact on my life, thank you for making this year such a wonderful one!

Sunflowers and Pears – 24” x 18” Oil on Canvas

In recent posts I have been sharing with you that life has been busy and that painting time has been scarce. This is because I am still practicing residential architecture on a full time basis and sometimes project deadlines take additional time. Two projects that I am in charge of had to go before two different architectural review boards this week. I spent close to 10 hours attending hearings and presenting the proposed designs to some very determined boards that do not favor change, whether or not the design is subtle and respectful to the historic districts they are located in.

Today was a real joy, as I have carved out time to paint. This painting is in process, and it combines some of my favorite still life items: pears, flowers, and interesting drapery. I hope to complete this painting tomorrow, if not maybe later this coming week. I will post the final result.

Thanks and have a wonderful evening. Liz

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sketchbook Entry

Cache sketchbook with Sepia ink fountain pen

Yesterday I found myself waiting to meet with a friend. Where I was waiting had a magazine all about the 30 Days of Fashion. The first page was practice with contour drawing, which I love doing, I especially love David Hockney's contour portraits. And then the other page was a close up of the model's face practicing with different types of hatching.

I really admire the artist, France Belleville, of the wagonized blog and how she uses ink and hatches. So being inspired to improve my hatching, I have been experimenting with hatches in my sketchbook lately...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

View of Potomac Landscape Painting

View of the Potomac – 8” x 10” Oil on Canvas Panel NFS

I am still working on art “back of house” stuff and two large paintings. So blog posts have been slim. Fortunately my husband, Steve, brought home this painting from his office. I completed this landscape painting last year and never posted it on this blog. Seeing a painting after a long while is like receiving a gift from an old friend. Welcome home again!

Since moving to the DC area over eight years ago, I love the views of the Potomac River and the dense trees that pervade the area. During the summer the landscape has these great hazy prospects that emphasize the rolling terrain of the region and the sweltering heat. So the light is diffused and somewhat grayed out. The quality of light is changing now that we are moving into the fall. Humidity is reducing and the light is sharper. Casting stronger shadows and saturating the views. Saying this emphasizes I really need to get outdoors and paint, instead of just thinking about it and describing it. Well, if this weekend goes well, maybe all of my chores will be completed and my larger paintings will be far enough along to head outside…

Have a great evening! Liz