Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I've been very neglectful of this blog, even though there's been so much art going on in my house. Things always get a little hectic before the holidays, and we've had the unexpected trial of dealing with a burst pipe that soaked the inside of our garage. As I'm rushing to prepare for a 2 week trip back east, I'd like to leave you with some photos of this Christmas chair. It was commissioned to be a Christmas present for a 7 year old boy in Reno. I love the throwback theme, even though it's not exactly PC. It was a little trickier than I expected to find reference pics for this project! You may remember seeing this chair mid-stripping in an earlier post.
I hope you all have a great Christmas/Hanukkah/Winter celebration!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Sun is Cold.

The tradeoff for a sunny winter day in Seattle is the bitter drop in temperature. Watson and I braved the cold this morning to romp around at the Westcrest off-leash area- a trip that was more than worthwhile since one of his best girlfriends Lucia was there for him to play with. 
When I couldn't take the cold anymore, we headed back home for a day of painting in the warmth of home. I worked on my fifth small floral for the group that will be shipped to California mid-month. My goal is to have 6 paintings dry and framed, with more that will be dry enough to ship after the holidays. Today I was inspired to paint these yellow flowers with abstract filtered sunlight in the background.
Here it is in the early stage:

Quick break for coffee and to admire mums in the afternoon sun:

The finished product: 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Flower Power

Wow- Early October is the last time that I worked on an oil painting, well before our glorious trip to Maui. Since I returned to Seattle I've been so focused on printmaking, and I also felt a little burned out after the SeaMonster mural, as fun as it was. I'm lucky enough to have the opportunity to sell some small floral paintings at a gallery in Northern California (details to come once my work is on the walls!) so it's time to get back in the swing of things. I'm painting with the palette knife on 5"x7" canvas boards that I'll frame when the work is dry. Photographer and friend Doug Davenport has generously e-mailed me a ton of reference photos. For now I'm picking from the florals, but I can't wait to revisit the others soon to paint some of the incredible wildlife, landscapes, and waterscapes that he sent. After struggling with two florals, I finally feel like I've reached my stride with my third attempt- this red flower that I painted today:When I paint impastos, I try to paint everything at once with no drying time for the painting. If I try to rework it while it's drying, the paint often becomes crumbly in sections and turns into a big chunky mess. I have let a painting dry completely before working further (Montmartre and Ushidoshi are two successful examples of this) but the wet-on-wet smudges are what I really love about painting with the knife. It's tricky to do this without the paint color getting muddy. My trick is to wipe off the knife after every stroke to keep the colors pure. The paper towel ends up looking like a little work of art in itself! I just cropped a section of this photo to make a new banner for the Etsy store that features my canvas paintings: