Monday, December 31, 2007

December 31, 2007 Fog Comes in on Frozen Cat Feet (study/

This morning's walk revealed another amazing light. The yellow sun fighting through a frozen fog was my treat. Unfortunately (or maybe it's fortunately) I had forgotten my camera so I had to play the memory game. It's hard to see but I even used my silver pastels. The scene made me think of one of my favorite poems.
Fog by Carl Sandburg
THE fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

December 30, 2007 Skyline Drive, Halfway to Heaven

I finished the biggie.. finally. This one will be in my show in February. I wonder if anyone will buy a painting this big. I wish I had walls that could handle a painting that will be close to 5 feet wide when framed! I love the feeling of space and atmosphere in this one. The Shenandoah Park is an amazing national treasure.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

December 29, 2007 Sunrise on the Hill

Color harmony was my goal for this one. To do that I pre- selected my palette so that I wouldn't be lured by the sirens of color.

Friday, December 28, 2007

December 28, 2007 Moonlight Beach

What is art without out PEE (play, enthusiasm and experimentation) ? Nothing, right? So today that was my goal. I began with a watercolor under painting of a photo taken on Moonlight Beach (love that name), California. I painted with my fingers and towels using only 3 colors. Next, I took out my pastels and some Golden liquid matte medium. The medium allowed me to mushy blend, blow dry and then scratch on top. Fun.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

December 27, 2007 California Hills

Today I worked from my small painting, dated the 23rd, and a photo. I worked hard in the watercolor under painting to keep a dominant color, the alizarin crimson/rose. Then the question was, how can I make the light glow but still maintain the dominant color? It is always good to take away all the "sketches" and finally begin to work only from my head. It is only then the painting begins to get strong.
It is so good to be back in the studio!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

December 26, 2007 Kensington Field in Snow

I am not sure if this is really legal. Knowing that I would be overloaded one day, I painted a "spare" to use at another time. Today was the day. We traveled back from California, a long trip due to delays and lines. So rather than paint I am off to bed. So here is the "spare," a quicky of the field at the top of the hill. It looked so peaceful. This is another "en plein car" painting (as were most of the ones in frosty California.)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

December 25, 2007 Midas Tree on Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! Last day here, with not much time to paint so I drove back to the "midas trees." Have a wonderful Christmas and thanks for your interest and support of my work!
All the best,

Monday, December 24, 2007

December 24, 2007 Frosty Field with Glowing Orange Trees

The light this morning was something else! A huge full moon was setting, the fields were covered with a light frost and the mountains glowed their rose/ purple. I have admired this field with its orange/ gold trees since we arrived. The photo doesn't show the painting as beautiful as it is. This is my favorite painting I have completed in California, so far. The trees absolutely glow. Leave it to complementary colors.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

December 23, 2007

So what is the dominant color out here? I have decided that a rose color is in everything ... whether the violet in the distance or the deeper version dusty rose in the foreground. These are the organic farms near Valley Center. I LOVE the landscape here. It is such a challenge to paint such a huge space on such a small panel ((4x6.)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

December 22, 2007 Frosty Morning (without the snowman)

Sunny California was frozen this morning. Frost covered the grass and the puddles were ice. What a beautiful sight it made at sunrise! Dominant color is what I am thinking about now. Each painting needs it so that it can feel harmonious.

Friday, December 21, 2007

December 21, 2007 Midas Trees

The sun is out and it is very cold. (I even had to paint with my fingerless wool gloves on!) Here there are places called Vista and Belle Vista and it is easy to see why. This is early morning and the air is crisp and clear. I love the way the intense gold of the trees played against the deep purple shadow of the mountain.

December 20, 2007

I am in sunny California...except it's not sunny. Today has been cool and overcast, but the light is amazing. In fact everything is. The landscape is something else. This is early morning on a mountainside near my Dad's place in Oceanside. Hazy mountains that drop down to valleys filled with orange topped houses. I think the trees are medrona. I am posting a day late since I could not access internet.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

December 19, 2007 Before Darkness

I had to get up very early this morning in order to have time to complete a painting. I still have to teach a full day of school (since it is Wednesday) plus immediately after I am off to sunny California. But, of course, the blog must go on. This is the river; but this time it is early evening. You know that wonderful time of day day when the light is a greenish blue and darkness is enveloping everything. It is just a moment, no more. It was like this as I drove home last night. That light was the inspiration for this painting. As I painted I kept my recent mantra in my head, "less is more."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Decmber 18, 2007 December Morning on the Potomac

I tend to go "hog wild" with color. This painting went through several metamorphoses; blue cools to burnt sienna warms, alternately leading the way. This color is from my memory as it is way too cold to plaint outdoors this morning (below 20.) How does one paint color air, yet warm light.....this is my interpretation. Can you feel it?

Monday, December 17, 2007

December 17, 2007 The Lowell Stream

Today was one of those days! I worked on a painting of the river and wiped it out. Yuck! Then I noticed out of the corner of my eye that this painting (a big) one kept staring at me. I began it in April, but was never able to really resolve it to my satisfaction. Finally, I had an idea. I think it is done. As Richard says, "Value is the workhorse but color gets all the glory. "

Sunday, December 16, 2007

December 16, 2007 After the Storm, D.C.Skyline

It was still pouring when I drove downtown. I was hopeful that I could at least paint from inside the car with the windshield wipers on. As I pulled into a parking place, the rain stopped and the clouds puffed . The sky was beautiful. Here is the view looking toward the Washington monument. The Potomac River and the sky are the stars of this show as the tell tale monument watches like a sentinel.
P.S. I keep thinking of Whistler's river paintings.
P.P.S. Unfortunately the picture quality does not truly show how rich the color is in this painting.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

December 15, 2007 Beach Plum Path

I usually do not paint structures and I don't think I paint them well. But this one was a little beauty that I couldn't resist on Goose Rocks Beach in Maine . The beach plums were blossoming. So it was fun to play with them to subtly direct the way through the painting.

Friday, December 14, 2007

December 14, 2007 Shenandoah Stream unfinished- 3 days later still

Today I just wanted to work on this painting; therefore I couldn't focus on anything else. It was one of those days.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

December 13, 2007 Key Bridge Twilight

Lately I have been reading about Whistler. He was an outspoken critic of everyone and everything. Funny enough, he didn't like JMW Turner. He ridiculed Turner's outrageous 'sun paintings.' "Who would paint the sun?!?!" Whistler, instead, paints the moon. His small landscapes are quite amazing, most have three bands of color, with very subtle transitions. There are many in the Freer Gallery, downtown. After a critic referred to his Girl in White as a symphony he began naming his work by musical terms: overture, symphony, composition. I like that idea.
So this one is for Whistler. He makes it look so's not!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

December 12, 2007 Twilight by the Stream

What happens when you use the same sketch to develop your painting and only change the palette? I decided to make a magical twilight of blues and greens. I think I like it better than the first.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

December 11, 2007 Unfinished Shenandoah Stream

I began this one with a one color under -painting last night. I decided that since the color essence was made up of the complementary colors, golden yellow/orange and purple, that maybe the golden green of the leaves and pinkish purple of the rocks would be set off by a magentaish/purple. We will see. This morning I restricted my work to just a small selection of nupastels so that I wouldn't go in a color frenzy, which, of course is my favorite thing to do. Big shapes and dramatic light.

When talking with a writer friend of mine, Louellen, I realized that my blog has helped me in so many ways. Most importantly the idea that painting is like breathing and if you want to breath (paint) from deep inside, you practice, tenacious, steadfast. Then the deep-insides emerge and fascinate you. It's like everyday is full of presents that I can imagine the day before! Cool, eh?

Monday, December 10, 2007

December 10, 2007 Fog in Early Winter

I went to the National Gallery yesterday. I needed to see the Turner exhibit again. This visit I spent time looking at other paintings as well. I noticed how many painters used the dark/light "trick." Pretty much everyone from Caravaggio to Courbet used it. They were all studio painters, with some studies outside. I never quite looked at it that way. So this morning I worked with an older black and white sketch of a branch of the foggy Potomac. No written color references, so I was free to interpret. Just the joy of making a place.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

December 9, 2007 Snowy Path

I did two "vitamins" today to make up for yesterday.
The question, in painting, how much is too much and what is not enough? With this painting I tried to play with exactly how much I need to put in to give the message. Think Turner or Inness. I really like this one.

December 8/9, 2007 Potomac Morning

Back in the saddle again. My mouth is getting better and I am not sleeping all the time.
This painting I began outside this summer, but never was able to finish it. Now it has the right amount of distance and that summer twinkley (is that a word?) river.

Friday, December 7, 2007

December 7,2007

No painting surgery instead. I was hoping I would wake up, but I am still somewhat incoherent and light in my head. Tomorrow.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

December 6, 2007 Daybreak after the First Snow

I couldn't wait to get up and walk this morning. The air was cold and the streets icy. The sunrise was more subtle and serene due to the presence of this new blanket of snow. The crescent moon was hanging near the trees. Winter couldn't be better.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

December 5, 2007 Cherries

Cherries on the table. It snowed today and I needed to work a full day at school... so you get cherries. Go figure....
The day was white and gray. I can't wait for tomorrow morning. I must get up and walking at sunrise. I can picture it now...colors on glistening white snow. I hope it all freezes tonight. I LOVE the way that looks on the trees!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

December 4, 2007 Metamorphosis of a painting

I am at a place where I am not quite sure what to do next. Therefore I think I may put this on the back burner for now until I am sure. Any ideas?

December 4, 2007 The Bed Guardian

So today is my birthday and I decided could paint whatever I wanted to paint. Flishy- Flash , my eighteen year old cat is absolutely beautiful. In the sunlight her fur dances with light. I didn't want to turn into a "cat painter" so I refused to use her as a model, after all, I AM a landscape painter. (right?) But today when I woke up at 3:30 and went straight to the studio I knew I could paint whatever I wanted. So here she is. I tried not to sentimentalize her, instead work with basic complementary colors and shapes.

Monday, December 3, 2007

December 3, 2007 Metamorposis of a painting

Now is when the juicy stuff starts. I took out the foreground rocks so that there is only one star....the mountain. The building of form is complete and now I get to search for the "ahhh effect." Maybe I will go visit the NGA to see some Hudson River painters. They KNOW distance and space like no one else.

December 3, 2007 Potomac Late Afternoon

I began this one on site at the Potomac River and I have been looking at it for a long time now. Today I knew what to do so I finished it. Distance and light...that's the concept.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

December 2, 2007 Metamorphosis of a painting

The front mountain is taking shape and prominence and the back mountains are beginning to glow with their own distinct shapes (rather than be a line in the back... something you get away with on a smaller scale.) I have begun to flatten the
valley as well. Frederic Church's beautiful landscapes are on my mine now. I think I need to go to Olana.

December 2, 2007

How do you make things GLOW? For answers I decided to look to my pals , the Hudson River painters, Turner, George Inness and of course, Richard McKinley. Simultaneous contrast is of course the key, right Richard? This one was taken from a black and white sketch. Keep working. I feel like the 7 dwarfs..hi ho hi ho and off to work I go.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

December 1, 2007

This one is taken from the painting I did in November. I changed the palette and made a daybreak scene. Time for bed now.