Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gala Apple Daily Painting

Gala Apples – 4" x 6" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Hello friends,

I am back on my feet and painting again, the back injury has begun to settle down. Yahoo!

Today’s daily painting is a partial view of a larger composition I am currently working on. For this composition I am using natural light which is different from an incandescent bulb that shines directional warm light. When using natural light shadows are more subtle because the light source is diffused and not directional, color choices become more nuanced as the entire color spectrum of natural light does not drown out any colors as incandescent can. I find painting with natural light a greater challenge as I must really see and not make assumptions on light and shadow.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Inspiration - Other Blogs

{Working on the final watercolors of the Awakenings Series}

Hello Friends ~

It is Friday already. How was your week? Mine was pretty good. I am still learning tons in this class (we are now finishing the third week). I enjoyed a fun lunch out with a friend and shared a slice of coconut cake. Yum. I have been working in different mediums this week as my back continues to get better. Hopefully next week I will be back a the easel painting away.

Here are some links I came across this week that have inspired me and hopefully will do so for you.

} Sarah Ahearn's Paper*crown, and she has an Etsy shop.

} Lisa Hebden - I am fascinated by her emotive portraits.

} Sara Winters - She captures water so well and has some great work in progress posts. I find it interesting that her painting ground is a bright crimson. This is new to me and am thinking it maybe something to try.

} Parallel Botany is offering a free wallpaper for your desktop. I really like the calm beauty of the image.

Here is a quote I read early this week and it has been floating around in my head.

"Be guided by feelings alone... Before any site and any object, abandon yourself to your first impression. If you have really been touched, you will convey to others the sincerity of your emotion." Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot

What has captured your imagination this week? Anything special, leave a link in the comments as I would love to learn about it.

Have a wonderful weekend and see you Monday, Liz

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Orchids Drawing

Orchids – 12" x 9" – Colored Pencil on Paper – Etsy Store

Instead of painting today I sat down and drew. This is beneficial for my back and enabled me to explore some. I like having one day a week to explore a different medium other than oil paint. This drawing began as a monochrome drawing following a technique taught in my Friday drawing class. Robert Liberace demonstrated an adapted red chalk method, that uses Berol Verithin pencils (color = terracotta) and shellacked paper. Red artist chalk is close to impossible to locate, so Robert developed a way using these pencils so you are able to emulate classical red chalk drawings. Here is one of Robert's red chalk drawings.

After blocking in the drawing with terracotta the desire to keep the drawing as a monochrome drawing disappeared. Soon I was digging out colors and going to town. I have not drawn with these pencils since architecture school, which I graduated from over nine years ago. I never get rid of art supplies, so it was fun pulling these out of their box playing around with them.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lemon Daily Painting

Lemon on Dishcloth – 4" x 6" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Hi friends,

Thank you for the kind comments regarding my back injury. I did manage to complete a small daily painting today even though my back and sciatic pain is still limiting my time at the easel.

Has this ever happened to you? When not feeling well, does it affect your ability to see and capture color? I think it does for me. Yesterday I tried to paint some, but ended up wiping it down.

For the past few days I have been going on walks due to limited time at the easel while out I have been taking some photos and posting them here.

Wishing you a wonderful Tuesday evening, Liz

Friday, April 17, 2009

Inspiration - Quotes and Links


I feel like sharing some inspiring links and a few quotes with you. It is a beautiful sunny day here.

} I have been enjoying viewing other people’s creative habits

} Anna’s post on Process vs. Product was thought provoking

} Susan Abbott’s Farm Element (in process) post

} and here are some memorable quotes from Robert Henri’s “The Art Spirit”:

“There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual – become clairvoyant. We reach then into reality. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom.”

“If you want to know how to do a thing you must first have a complete desire to that thing. Then go to kindred spirits – others who have wanted to do that thing – and study their ways and means, learn from their successes and failures and add your quota.”

“You as students [of art] should devote yourselves to the power of simple expressions, to do all that can be done and learn how much can be said with the simpler and more fundamental terms."

Send a link my way in the comments. What is inspiring you?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Forelle Pear #4 Daily Painting

Forelle Pear #4 – 6" x 4" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Here is the last pear of this series, and it was completed predominately with round brushes. This week of actively trying new painting techniques and working through the process has been good, in that I think I am starting to get the swing of using the rounds. There were times during this series when I wanted to go back to my comfort zone and pick up a bristle filbert paint brush (on Tuesday I did just that). Though by setting the parameters with each daily painting a new comfort level has been achieved and that was the goal.

This week I have been reading on Heather Smith Jones’ blog about her thoughts on creativity here and here. These two posts have been meaningful for me as I am personally working on how to balance all the art projects floating around in my head and the constraints life sometimes imposes.

Since Sunday I have been working on a 16 x 20 inch painting and this daily painting series. They have consumed my days, standing at the easel for long periods of time and when taking breaks still thinking about them. On a mental level this week has been wonderful however it has overworked my back. Where my existing back injury has flared up and yesterday I had to see my physical therapist. She encouraged me to slow down. Bittersweet advice as I really want to paint. Tomorrow I am planning to find other ways to be creative and help soothe the back injury so next week will not be hindered with sciatic pain. It was Heather’s posts that reminded me that creativity comes in ebbs and flows and it is okay for the experiences to not be what you expected. How some areas feed others.

I am curious, how have you found balance in your life and creativity?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Forelle Pear #3 Daily Painting

Forelle Pear #3 – 6" x 4" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Hi ~

How is the weather where you’re at? Here in DC it has been gray skies and rain since Monday. It is starting to get me down some. It is great for the trees and plants, but it is hard to be motivated to go outside.

Today’s painting was completed again with the synthetic rounds I have been experimenting with this time using larger sizes than on Monday’s painting. Today I used mainly a size 5 and sometimes a size 3, where previously I worked with sizes 0 &1. When I was painting on Monday I began to wonder if the size of the brush also affected the “stiffness” of the brush, which then in turn influences how paint is laid down on top of previous layers. Well with this brand it does make a big difference! I was really surprised and because the tip is quite fine, laying down small details is still possible when using a size 5.

See you tomorrow and let's hope for sunny skies! Liz

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Forelle Pear #2 Daily Painting

Forelle Pear #2 – 6" x 4" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Here is the second pear of this series. With this painting I returned to using my typical brush, a filbert bristle. I use Maestro2 because they are longer than most other brands, so they are springier. Sometimes I will also use Isebey’s Chungking Bristle, these are more firm and have their uses. What I like most about using bristle brushes is that the springy and flexible tips allow for great ease of mixing paint on the canvas without the fear of lifting up the previous layers of paint. This may also be a result of the filbert brush shape. This is what Harold Speed says about filberts “a fine brush to draw with, as being flat it paints in planes, and having a rounded top is capable of getting in and out of a variety of contours.”

Monday, April 13, 2009

Forelle Pear #1 Daily Painting

Forelle Pear #1 – 6" x 4" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Hello there ~

Today’s painting is the first of a series I am working on where the subject matter is similar (all forelle pears) and I am alternating what type of paint brushes are used. My goal with this is to get more comfortable with the distinct qualities of the brushes I have and to learn what works best in for different situations. This first painting was completed using synthetic round brushes (the same brushes used for the Sunflower painting).

Have a good evening and see you tomorrow with another pear painting.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sunflower Daily Painting

Sunflower – 6" x 4" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Hello Friends,

How was your Friday before the Easter holiday? The weather was nice here in DC. Today I got to paint this sunflower, a gift from my husband. It has been awhile since painting one, and it was such a joy. I feel as if sunflowers are the most cheerful and friendly flowers out there, made up of bold yellow petals and a warm brown center.

With this painting I decided to paint most of it with my round synthetic brushes, which is something I do not often do. A week ago I was reading a book by Harold Speedwhere he described the way each brush type handles. For rounds he wrote “where there is a sharp point the central hairs are much longer, and consequently when the brush is drawn along and pressed so that all the hairs are touching the canvas, the pressure in the center, where the long hairs are situated, is different from that of the sides. This has the effect of giving a touch that is not equal in quality all across, and the variety thus given is difficult to manipulate.”

It is this quality of round brushes that keeps me from using them very often. I accidentally smear paint when I am going for a more light touch. Today I particularly choose to use round brushes to work on painting with a lighter touch and to use the tips of my brushes. I think more practice will be necessary, but it was nice understanding why the round brushes have been a challenge in the past and to work on a solution on how to use them to their best ability.

I love it that painting is all about exploration and the experiences gained from trying. Have a wonderful weekend, Liz

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Open Life Drawings

Tonight I attended an open life session here are a few of the drawings

15 min. - conte crayon on newsprint

5 min - charcoal on drawing paper

30 min - charcoal on drawing paper

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Blueberries #2 Still Life

Blueberries #2 – 4" x 6" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD


Today is turning out to be a more organized and calm day. After yesterday’s craziness I decided to reduce the number of tasks by three on any given day. So for now on, I will write out my dream list, and then cross out three. This way if I complete all on my list I can always go back to those that were removed.

Here is another blueberry painting, it was fun doing the first one, so why not try again. The color palette of this painting is a bit of a complementary color palette (blue and orange) with the background being a very creamy white to heighten the blues of the berries. This afternoon I found these interesting photos of blueberries on Flickr – 1) Giant Blueberry, 2) Blueberries, 3) Blueberies Close Up, and 4) Blueberry. Did you know that blueberry plants are so colorful? I didn’t.

Have a great evening, Liz

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Blueberries Still Life

Blueberries – 4" x 6" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Today was a fun and frenzied day, which started with getting up and completing this painting. After which I worked some on a self portrait in charcoal. A personal goal I have for this month is to complete 5-6 academic quality drawings, and as drawing myself in the mirror requires no model fees it seemed like a good start.

It is an interesting exercise drawing yourself, at first I started to feel very self conscious of all of my features. By the end of the drawing session it was just another face to try to capture accurately and thoughtfully. Tomorrow I will start to work more in fine tuning the drawing and then developing the shading and highlights.

The frenzied part of the day was that I wanted to complete all of my art goals while also getting a run in, cooking dinner, and completing some house chores and in the evening attending my Pilates class. Sometimes I feel like it is just not possible to complete everything I set out to in a single day. I think this is something to work on. Now that I am no longer working in the architecture firm, “work” is not an excuse as to why something did not get completed. Time management is all my responsibility.

Have you ever had to deal with this? If so how did everything settle down and get done?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Strawberry Still Life

Strawberry II – 4" x 6" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

My friend Maria suggested that I start using standard frame sizes for my daily paintings, instead of the 6" x 8"s I always use. So with her advice I investigated it further and decided to start painting some of my daily paintings on 4" x 6"s.

This is the first painting completed in what is now my new studio space, once our dining room. I have not yet gotten everything squared away, but I am now set up to paint. Once things all are in their place and are no longer piled high on my desk, I will post photos of the space.

Have a great evening! Liz

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Travel Sketchbook & Passion for Painting Award


How was your week? Last week tagging along with Steve on his business trip went well. I got to meet some of his colleagues and their wives. During the day, I took tons of photos and posted some of them on my other blog and flickr. While away I was able to sketch a few times, below are the entries made in my moleskin sketchbook.

This was the mountain view from our hotel room.

A restaurant in Albuquerque

Waiting to depart New Mexico for DC

While I was away, Trish Siegel nominated me for “A Passion for Painting” award. Thank you Trish for the honor!

The recipient of this award must share seven things he/she is passionate about, and then pass the award on to seven others (who are free to participate or pass). Here goes … Seven things I am passionate about:

1. Eating and cooking healthy food, avoiding preservatives

2. Simplifying my life while adding time spent with friends and loved ones.

3. Following blogs that are not directly related to art, such as: Absolutely Beautiful Things, Chez Larsson, and Orangette

4. Swimming laps

5. My kitty, Slim

6. Morning time spent with my husband, Steve.

7. Working on my art career

Now the seven artists to watch and be inspired by:
Ester Wilson
Stacey Peterson
Jeff Hayes
Ambera Wellman
Kevin Wueste
Heather Smith Jones

Now that the weekend has come to a close I am looking forward to beginning the new week. I will start the week off tomorrow painting. Stay tuned for a new daily painting and thank you for dropping by. Liz