Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017

6" x 6" Show

The Fairfield Arts Association is having their annual members show. The format this year is 6" x 6". You can exhibit 4 and it should be interesting what the artists will come up with. Mine is a single stand alone piece.
6" x 6" acrylic on canvas

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Oil Painting and a Couple of Travel Mugs

An artist once asked the watercolorist Wendell Mohr, "When will I start making money at this?" He replied, " Who said you will make money?" To which the artist asked, "Then when will I be famous?" To which Wendell replied, "When you see your work at a yard sale with a price tag on it, then you have secondary market value."

Selling art is often a matter of finding the right venue and I think I kind of know what to avoid. Then sometimes against my better judgement I will offer to sell someplace where I know it will be underappreciated. A friend and patron who has purchased and commissioned several paintings from me asked if I would donate to a fundraiser to be held in a bar. I reluctantly agreed and picked a painting that I thought would appeal to the crowd. Well they put my walnut framed painting in the silent auction paired with 2 travel mugs and a minimum bid of $20. Someone bid $10 probable thinking that was what the travel mugs were worth and I don't know what they thought of the painting. The limited edition plates in the live auction brought more. My friend bid $50 on my painting/travel mugs. I think she then got her daughter to place the next bid at $70. I wonder if she will buy another painting from me or wait for a fundraiser.

One Spotted Me

I had to edit the original photo by taking the background cattle and moving them back and left. A lot of the cattle around here are mixed colors. It makes for interesting colors as shown by the one in front whose color resembles that of a Weimaraner dog. That was the challenge. Also notice the cow's head is in the center of the painting, my choice. Like Bob Ross said, "If I paint something, I don't want to have to explain what it is." In other words I don't know how to explain the composition.
12" x 9" oil on baltic birch panel.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Plein Air at Starker Lake

This was painted plein air then edited from a photo. Painting with friends on a cold day hoping to catch some fall colors and I pick a scene with evergreens.
10" x 8" oil on baltic birch

Friday, November 10, 2017

Watcher in the Woods

The weather is getting colder but the landscape is colorful. Wednesday I had a chance to get out but failed to create a painting; just wiped off the panel, went home and painted this from a photo.
12" x 9" oil on baltic birch.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Pile of Pumpkins

I am still playing with watercolor on gesso. This time using India Ink. The india ink was applied with a watercolor brush pen to give me the ability to vary the lines. I will then spray with clear Acrylic. I need more practice on this especially control of the india ink brush pen.
10" x 8" mixed media watercolor and india ink 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Running Rabbits reverse order

If this looks vaguely familiar, it is a previous reference with the rabbits reversed order. Working with Photoshop I can move the rabbits around. It also relies on a little prior experience painting rabbits since I am not that great at taking photos. Also just for fun colors
12" x 6" oil on baltic birth panel

Thursday, November 2, 2017


Using left over paint again for a just for fun painting. This was from a photo I took a long time ago. I liked the way the light hit the high points. A local Arabian horse owner let me come and take photos, pre digital, of his horses. He was even kind enough to run them around the pen for action shots. I wonder if he would be open to let me take pictures again.
8" x 6" oil on baltic birch panel

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Fun with Paint

After working on a couple of paintings I had a little paint left on the palette. Cleaning up the pinks and blues by using the them on rabbits and grass. Still having burnt sienna left helped with the darks. 
12" x 6" oil on baltic birch

Had some time to go out to Wilson Lake to practice. 
6" x 6" oil on canvas panel 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Painting What You See

Painted during Bluffstrokes inside Monk Kaffee Pub in Dubuque. This was a lesson in painting what you see versus what you think you see. This is a mannequin not a person. I struggled to put aside my previous knowledge of human anatomy and stick to what is in front of me. I think I should have softened the transitions and made it stiffer. A good challenge would be to take a photo of a real person next to a mannequin. 
10" x 8" watercolor on panel.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Appleberry Orchard

Appleberry Orchard has some young trees dripping with heavy apples planted close together. 
10" x 8" oil on panel

Sundown Mountain Resort Dubuque

Tuesday during the Bluffstrokes plein air event was cold with intermittent rains in the morning and possibility of  rain in the afternoon. At the first light of day I took off for Asbury Road where I was told there were great vistas. After a failed painting I headed back to the Convent Suites with the intention of painting downtown. Gin was still there nursing a cold. When I told her about the great views along Asbury Road she asked me to show her the way. The road goes past Sundown Mountain Resort. We pulled over when Gin suggested we could paint there if we ask. They groundskeeper even offered to open the lodge so we could paint from the balcony. We had a beautiful view and place to warm up. When the rain hit hard we could go inside. Gin took a pic and sent it to a friend to brag. I remember the place back in the 70s when my husband and I took his teenage brother with us sking. He skipped school and told us his mother was OK with that. She was not, but he had a great time and was grounded.
16" x 12" oil on panel

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Rocky Bank at Wilson Lake

Yesterday afternoon I sketched some of the residents of the one of the local assisted living homes. I did not get model releases so no pics. Wish I could share as I loved the interesting faces with lots of character. Sunnybrook sponsored the art center's current exhibit, so the art center director and I entertained the residents for an hour and a half as a thank you.

I had enough time after that to run over to Wilson Lake to paint. I liked the abstract quality of scenes like this pushing the limit of color with the red. 
8" x 10" oil on baltic birch panel.

Monday, October 16, 2017

University of Dubuque and other plein air paintings

Brush Strokes plein air event this year was a wonderful experience. The sponsors and volunteers did a great job. I am so honored to have been a participant.
This is the Heritage Center on the campus of the University of Dubuque. I had a hard time finding a place to park that was not restricted. This view was from a residential street that had a sign saying students and faculty of the DU not allowed to park, so being neither, I parked there.
14" x 11" oil on panel

Wednesday was a rainy day and we were allowed to paint interiors. Paul's tavern is a great place to eat and paint. This is a watercolor on gessoed panel with india ink. I spray an acrylic varnish over it.
8" x 10" watercolor on panel sold

Dubuque has several beautiful murals downtown. This is Michelangelo's David painted during the nocturne.
9" x 12" oil on panel

This one sold. I took a photo with my phone, not the best image. This is from the quick paint. Under the bridge is a good place to paint on a rainy day. 
12" x 9" oil on panel sold

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Practice commission

Working on a commission, I will paint several images to get one I am happy with. The proportions are off.
11" x 14" oil on canvas 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Grazing on a Summer Day

Final painting

I was playing with mixing mediums. This started as watercolor on gessoed panel. After it was dry I brushed it as lightly as I could with Acrylic Glazing liquid. The Acrylic glazing liquid can be used to extend drying time with acrylic paints. I painted acrylic into the glazing over the watercolor. The problem was the glazing did disturb the watercolor. I may try airbrush medium in a spray bottle.
10" x 8" mixed medium

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

And the Winner is...

Paintings from today on the bank of the Skunk river. This probably would be underwater if we had regular rain. The access is seldom used and they chained off the camping area now. It has been a nice place to let the dogs off the leash to run and play in the water. I hope chaining off the camping area is not a sign of things to come. I encourage people to use our public recreation areas.
10" x 8" oil on panel

The winner of the Color Match contest is John Preston. John got 6 out of 8 which in my contest close wins. Looking at the paintings myself I noticed that 5 and 6 probably can be interchanged..so John wins. Also no other takers. The 5 and 6 paintings makes me wonder if a lot of my paintings would have almost the same colors. I don't have a set palette, although I often keep burnt sienna and ultramarine on my palette. I have played with replacing them with Burnt Umber and Prussian.
 The answers are:

On my palette for 7 I added pthalo green because mixed with Ultramarine it makes a nice teal.

I added Cerulean Blue to my palette for the sky with a bit of Ultramarine for the top area.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Color Match

I often take a painting I admire off the internet and match the colors in Photoshop. This post is a fun game matching the color samples to the paintings. I would have preferred some of the painting I admire but that would be a copyright issue. So match the color samples to the painting. Who ever gets the answers first in my comment section wins a new Sheaffer Prelude fountain pen. I like to use these fountain pens for sketching. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wilson Lake Trail

This seemed like a good idea at the time, a spot of light on the trail. Not too long after I set up the mosquitoes started in and I stuck it out long enough to rush through. I ended up with 4 bites on my face alone. This reminds me of a friend who bragged about the nice pastel box her husband made for her to go plein air painting. When I mentioned going out that weekend she said it will be too hot for her. I don't know if she ever went out.
6" x 12" oil on panel  

This was not as bad. I guess standing in the sun has it's advantages.
12" x 6" oil on panel