Thursday, February 21, 2019

Limited palette colors

A calm winter day and an opportunity to paint with Jacq Baldini in Niagara Falls Ontario was a welcome Plein air day. 
This is the barge that came loose 100 years ago which triggered a frantic rescue to the two men on board. They didn’t need to hurry as it still hasn’t gone over the Falls. 
My palette shows the small selection of colors I needed on this winter day. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The next two paintings in January challenge

I had a lovely holiday centerpiece that had seen better days but some of the flowers were still lively. I pulled them out and scampered in the yard cutting fresh greens for this one. It’s on black canvas, 12x9 "White and Red Mums"
This is small only 5 x7 but I used a palette knife instead of brushes. The paint is thick and wet, it will be a long time before it dries. "Sweet Onion, Sweet Pepper". I should use the painting knives more often. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

The third week, Stradaeasel challenge

"Eggplant Reflections" 9x12
After some success last week I have foolishly tried another larger composition. The little ones were going well, but, big picture equals more work and time. I do like this but it took me all day. I’m astounded how the dark eggplant skin absorbs and reflects colors.

1/14..  "Goose and Blue I needed a little break and worked small, very small with the trio of assorted eggs I have in the studio. It’s only 2”x2”.
1/15.  "My Peaches" 12x9 oil. Painted them, opened the jar, and served peach shortcake. Creating the glass jar was a lesson in careful observation.
1/16. Halfway through the challenge. "Oh. The Garlic is in the Studio" 3x3. It would have been a whole garlic bulb but one of the cooks here required a clove. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Strada Easel challenge continues

Packing up Christmas, a few items caught my eye. Whether it was nostalgia or an interesting shape, I set a few things aside and left the last storage box open a little longer. 'Big Man at Christmas' is a push puppet, you press the bottom and Santa collapses and it is a favorite of all ages.
The Elf on the shelf figure is plastic, he has a box that can be filled with a few pieces of candy. Doesn’t every home deserve a mischievous elf?
Ideal Shoe is very old, and I’m not sure who wore it. It's soft leather and a high top so I’m guessing it’s a mid century baby. We have a collection of baby shoes that hang on our tree. Tiny, they join the other ornaments in proclaiming memories.

1/4 "Big Man at Christmas" 7x5 acrylic
1/5. "Packing A Surprise". 7x5 acrylic



1/6.  "Stick Your Tongue Out" 5x7 acrylic

These are mid century or earlier baby shoes, high tops made with soft soles and leather. We have several baby shoes with our ornaments and they are welcome memories on our tree every December.

Interviewed and published, Creative Mornings Buf


Creative Mornings is an international movement to bring speakers and ideas to audiences in hundreds of locations around the world. I have been attending Buffalo's monthly presentations for two years, meeting new people, finding organizations and groups that make our city a better place and being inspired by volunteers and selfless citizens.

I was interviewed as the person of the month on the subject of chaos. The whole interview is on their website but here is an excerpt on how I deal with chaos that was published on Instagram by CMBuf. 

The second week of the challenge

Suddenly, the challenge got difficult. I am searching for a subject daily as it requires observation and painting from life. I had these eggs in the studio from a failed painting that seemed like a good idea. It was time to give them another chance and I chose 5x7 watercolor paper and acrylic paint. Better than my first attempt last month, but these eggs are not leaving my studio until I’ve captured them to my own satisfaction.
A trip to the market and I now have models to look at and choose from. I carried several vegetables up on a napkin and dropped them on the table. A little fussing and I thought I had a good composition but it turned out to be quite ambitious for the time I had left to paint. I may go back to this when the challenge is finished as I see there needs to be more unity between the background and foreground. 

"Vegetables". 12x12 oil


1/9.   I love this! Suddenly my brushes are doing what I expect!
"This Painting Smells Like Strawberries" 9x12 oil

1/10.  "Mailbox is A Distraction" 7x5 watercolor and ink
On this day I worked in the gallery so I drew the view out the window. I’d like to see that mailbox get straightened but it is attached to a crooked concrete slab. I was stunned by the number of signs at the Pearl/Linwood/North intersections in Buffalo. There were more street signs than I included here.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The strada easel July challenge

The Strada Easel company sponsors a challenge to paint from life every day in January, if an artist posts a new picture daily, they become eligible for a new easel. Is there an artist anywhere that isn't intrigued by the prospect of new equipment?

Because I bake and party and decorate and host and travel during the end of the year, I purposefully stop painting for 5-6 weeks. I still sketch and draw but the paints are packed. Getting back to painting is easy because I've been thinking about new projects. To get back in 'shape' I decided to try the challenge. Years ago I did a painting a day for a month and it was rigorous and time consuming but well worth it. My skills went up a notch and so did confidence. That's my goal this month.

1/1/2019 Two handed Balance 4x4
1/2/2019 Too Small 5x7
1/3/2019 Defying Gravity 8x6

Grand Island library exhibits Niagara Falls paintings

 Sometimes it is serendipity to be in the right place at the right time. I was asked to fill the display walls at the public library in Grand Island and decided to show Niagara Falls on every panel. 16 different paintings of the magnificent Niagara hung there for the month of December. 


Another Art Award!!!!


The December through January 'Artists and Friends' exhibition at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center is always a friendly and fun reception.

It is an open juried event and I have been blessed again with an award. I entered 4 paintings, all were chosen for the show and remain in the gallery until the end of January. When an artist enters an exhibit there is glory in having work selected for display but sheer elation when one of their paintings wins an award. 

The painting that won, 'Winter Shadows' was a last minute choice as I had already shown it at Buffalo Arts Studio but put it in because my Niagara Falls friends probably had not seen it. The Buffalo Art Association judge, George Grace, had given it a Merit award there. It is rare that I show a painting twice.

I figured if one of my pictures would be selected for a prize at the NACC (hoping, hoping!) it would be the new Niagara painting I had entered. What do I know? Every judge is different and a painting rejected in one place can win Best in Show in another place. 

I painted it last winter from my dining room window and would like to make another from the studio window. Alas, no snow and no shadows. Maybe next week.


Winter Shadows, 11x14 oil on board, c.2018