Monday, February 27, 2012

Red Poppies

I've been playing around with palette knife backgrounds lately.  I've often used my knives to put in highlights and accents, but rarely do I paint the whole painting with a knife.  I struggle with this because I want to fix everything.  This little painting is a 5 x 7 painted in oils on canvas board with palette knives...

"Red Poppies"
(5 x 7 - oils on canvas board)

Collage Background Birds #2

I'm still working with collage backgrounds. I chose decorative papers with nature and floral patterns, cut out some of the flowers and tore some of the edges. I wet the paper and applied it to a 5 x 7 canvas board using Modge Podge. Once the background was dry I applied acrylic raw umber to make it look old. I then drew this little female Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeding her young and painted them in oils. I felt the background was a little distracting from my focal subject so I add the blue in around Mama and babies. I then antiqued the edges again but this time using oil paint (raw umber + liquin).

"Ruby-throated Hummingbird & Babies"
(5 x 7 - oils on canvas board)

Purple Martins Are Here!

I noticed this week the Purple Martins have returned and are making their nests.  I love Springtime!  This is painted in oils on a 5 x 7 canvas board.  I put the birdhouse and background in with a palette knife.  I love to paint loose but struggle with it.  I want to fix everything.  Then I painted this little female in.  Looks like she is claiming her spot...

 "Returning Home"
(5 x 7 - oils on canvas board)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Collage Background Birds #1

I've been keeping the left overs from the paper I use on my Fashion Diva series and decided to make a collage of those papers for the background of this little bird. I cut out and glued onto a 5 x 7 canvas board and antiqued in acrylics to make it look old. Then I painted this little bird and antiqued the corners in oils.
Let me know what you think...

"American Woodcock"(5 x 7 - oils on canvas board/mixed media)

Fashion Divas

I've added 3 more girls to my "Fashion Diva" series.  They are really fun and addicting!  I was watching television last night and had to laugh out loud because I would stop the show and rewind to check out a hairstyle or an outfit then freeze the frame while I drew it in my sketch book.  I have a couple more in mind, but I'm not going to say until they are done.  Check back for more Diva's to follow...

 (8 x 10 - oil on canvas/mixed media)

(8 x 10 - oil on canvas/mixed media)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Blogging Tips

I'm really a newbie at blogging, so I've been researching/studying on what is out there.  There are many resources out there and one I like is from the Social Media Examiner website.  It talks about the 21 Dangerous Blogging Mistakes (and How to Fix Them).

Post a comment here and let me know what you think....

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

More "Fashion Divas"...

I've been adding to my "Fashion Diva" series and have produced 4 more since my initial post. These divas are painted mostly in oils but I consider them a combination of oils and mixed media because I collage decorative paper on the canvas for background, painted in the girl and any shrubbery or trees, etc. in oils and antiqued the piece in either oils or acrylics.  Let me know what you think....

(8 x 10 - oils on canvas/mixed media)

(9 x 12 - oils on canvas/mixed media)


(8 x 10 - oils on canvas/mixed media)

(8 x 10 - oils on canvas/mixed media)

Happy Mardi Gras!

I live in south Louisiana and today is a local holiday, Mardi Gras. The terms "Mardi Gras" or "Mardi Gras Season" refer to Carnival celebrations beginning on or after Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday.  "Mardi Gras" is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday. Popular practices include wearing masks and costumes, social balls, dancing, sports competitions, parades, etc.

 I've painted a "Mask" series that is right in step with the local theme this time of the year.

"Cat Mask"
(12 x 12 - oils on canvas)

"Maple Leaf Mask"
(11 x 14 - oils on canvas)

"Green and Gold Mask"
(11 x 14 - oils on canvas)

"Purple and Gold Mask"
(11 x 14 - oils on canvas)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bird Series

I've added another addition to my "Bird Series".  This little guy is a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, commonly found in North America. 

"Ruby-Throated Hummingbird"
(6 x 6 - oil on canvas board)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sister-in-Law Fun!

I often visit with my sister-in-law Joanie, who is also an artist.  We love to discuss art, share ideas, techniques and visit local art exhibits, but we have never painted together.  We got together this week to set up a new blog for her.  After the blog preliminaries were completed, we decided to paint together.  We collaborated and came up with an idea we both loved.  I'm sure Joanie will be posting her completed piece on her new blog soon.  I'm sharing the two I completed thus far.  More to follow...

P. S.  Please let me know what you think...

8 x 10 oil on canvas/mixed media

8 x 10 oil on canvas/mixed media

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bird Series Continued

I've completed 2 more birds in my bird series. These are also 6 x 6" oil on canvas board.

The first is these two cute little Robins.  Love how they are admiring one another.

6 x 6 - oils on canvas panel

The second is a Red Headed Woodpecker.  Having fun with this tree.

"Red Headed Woodpecker"
6 x 6 - oils on canvas panel

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bird Series

While drinking coffee this morning, I looked out into the backyard and noticed my cat stalking a bird. It was a robin, a signal Spring is near. I made sure the robin was safe from being "kitty breakfast"and went to my studio. "Inspired", I pulled out "Stokes Field Guide to Birds" for reference and ended up with these two little paintings.

"American Robin"
Oils on 6 x 6" canvas panel

Add Image
"Eastern Bluebird"
Oils on 6 x 6" canvas panel

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mini Florals

I painted these little mini 4 x 6 floral paintings on canvas board this afternoon. I'm very happy with the way they turned out. Fun!

And this is my palette when I finished...LOL

Until next time...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Plein Air Easel Setup

I've been contemplating upgrading my portable plein air easel for awhile and was very tired of fighting my French Easel. The other day when my French Easel bit me (accidentally slammed my finger in the canvas holder slide), was my final push. I've been researching/pondering and finally decided on an Open Box M easel, case and tripod setup and ordered at the beginning of this month. I'm very excited and can't wait until it comes in but I will have to be patient because it can take up to 4 weeks to arrive. Hopefully it will arrive when the Spring weather does....

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I've often been asked as an artist "What is your style?" This is a loaded question for me.

Merriam Webster defines style as "a distinctive manner of expression" or "a particular manner or technique by which something is done, created or performed"

Wikipedia quotes Eric Fernie in "Art History and its Methods", regarding visual arts style as a "...distinctive manner which permits the grouping of works into related categories."

Wikipedia also says that "By changing the way they paint, apply color, texture, perspective, or the way they see shapes and ideas, the artist establishes a certain set of "rules". If other artists see the rules as valid for themselves they might also apply these characteristics. The works of art then take on that specific "style"."

In quoting all of that, I feel like an artist's "style" is their thumb print, handwriting, feeling and/or collection of what that person has experienced in life. We are all different and have all gathered different experiences that make up who we are and thus influence how we paint. Every time I watch another artist paint, take a workshop, etc. I gather something that I may or may not use one day in my painting technique.

Do I have a style? Yes I do, but I would like to think of it as "Maria's Style".

Happy Painting!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Still Life Artwork

As promised, I am posting the completed artwork I have been working on. All of the paintings are in oils. I don't typically arrange still life setups to paint. I usually paint from a photo or from my mind/imagination. I can say I am pleased with the way these turned out.

This painting (11 x 14 - oils on canvas) was started at a friend's house and completed in my studio. Painting away from my studio was fun, but I neglected one crucial part of painting outside my home, my camera. By not taking any photo's I was forced to complete the painting from memory.

This painting (11 x 14 - oils on canvas) was setup and completed in my studio at home. I was able to leave the still life setup until completed.

This painting (12 x 12 - oils on canvas) was setup in my studio also, but I moved the setup to complete another project and had to finish it from memory. The picture does not do this painting justice. I love the old world feel of the background. The little vessel on the right is a gravy server I mad in pottery class and the lemons are from the tree in my back yard.

This painting (9 x 12 - oils on canvas board) is a plein air painting I did with a friend last week. We spent most of the day painting in her neighborhood. We had a great time and in the process met a few of the nice people in her neighborhood who stopped by to check out what we were doing.

This painting (11 x 14 - oils on canvas) is another mask painting I created, from a photo of a venetian mask. I've been painting a few masks lately and this is one in the series.

This painting (12 x 12 - oils on canvas) is another completed this week in my mask series.

Last week was a very productive one for me and had a great time painting. I have a busy week this week and hope I will be able to find time to complete a couple of more pieces I am working on.

One of the pieces I am very excited about is the third in my "flower girls" series. The first two in the series were "Susan" and "Daisy". These two paintings are posted on my website ( The next one will be "Lily", more to come....

Have a good one!