Friday, April 27, 2012

My Garden Treasures #3

This is another scene in that same area with the rosemary bush in the background.  I toned the huge rosemary bush down of course.  By the way, I did finally trim the bush but it is still huge.  My husband and I picked up this little froggie planter on one of our trips to St. Francisville, LA  The planter next to it we brought back from Mexico a few years ago.  It's a happy little area.  Mama cat is sleeping under the bushes as I painted this.

"Froggie Planter"
(6 x 6 - original oil painting on canvas panel)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Garden Treasures #2

My father passed away 30 years ago at a very young age  of 59 years.  He was part owner in a local men's clothing store in Lafayette, but on the weekends he dabbled in photography, loved to fish and collect antiques/treasures. I have several of his treasures that are special to me and I've been painting the ones in my flower gardens. Here are a few of them:

"St. Jude"
(6 x 6 - original oil painting on canvas panel)

The treasure most special to me is a statue of St. Jude.  My father had a huge devotion to St. Jude, purchased this statue and mounted it in an old tree stump at our home where I grew up. The statue was moved from there when my mom sold the house and it now resides with me.  Hopefully one of my children will give him a home when I am gone.  His feet were broken off in one of the moves but he is buried in the ground and stays vigilant in this spot looking after our home.

"Boy Fishing"
(8 x 8 - original oil painting on masonite panel)

I also inherited the statue of this little boy fishing.  It was kind of special because my father purchased it and the two urns I painted and blogged about previously, from a local restaurant.  The restaurant located on the banks of the Vermilion River near the bridge on Pinhook Road was closed in 1977 and the business reopened at its current location near Broussard, LA.  The restaurant was and is a very popular icon in this area, "Poor Boys Riverside Inn".

"Iron Pot"
(6 x 6 - original oil painting on canvas panel)

Another treasure to me are two old iron pots that I have planted flowers in (I believe my father also purchased these from Poor Boys Riverside Inn).  The pots are so weathered, once painted black and then white and now a combination of both colors and rust.  I didn't paint in the feet on the bottom of the pot in this painting, but that will be in another painting.

Stay tuned, more to follow....

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Garden Treasures #1

I haven't been very diligent in my blogging lately because I have been concentrating on painting.  It's so beautiful outside, I just can't stay inside.  I've been spending my days painting the things that are special to me in my flower gardens.  I have created a series I call "My Garden Treasures".

I am painting some areas/subjects more than once, but I try to paint them a little different every time so each one is always new and original, like the Urn paintings I posted previously.  The three paintings below are all painted in the same spot, some things were left out and others added in to create different little scenes.

I have this huge crepe myrtle tree that is in my favorite bed adjacent to my patio.  There are a few treasures in this bed I have painted and will be posting.  Next to the crepe myrtle is a very huge rosemary bush, that is seriously out of control.  I usually crop it every year but haven't yet this year, I've been concentrating on painting it.  My cats love to hide and hang out in this bed and one of their hiding spots is under this rosemary bush.

"Look Out Little Bird"
(8 x 10 - original oil painting on canvas panel)

This little bird was not showing up enough because he is almost the same color as the ground so I used a wash of naples yellow around him to create more of a contrast.  I've used more transparent oxide red, yellow and brown in these paintings than I usually do and I am very pleased with the results.  After my paintings dry enough I give them a coat of liquin and it brings out the vibrancy of color even more.

"Red Gerber Daisies"

(8 x 10 -  original oil painting on canvas panel)

"St. Francis"
(6 x 6 - original oil painting on canvas panel)

This is one of the little statues I inherited from my Mother's flower garden.

More to follow....

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bird series

I love painting a variety of subjects so I tend to add to my series work as I go along.  I have a bird series I have been working on and can't resist painting a little bird now and then.

"Mama is Mad!"
4 x 6 - oils on canvas panel

Note:  The colors in the background of this little sparrow are using cerulean blue, sap green and this khaki color I had on my palette.  Sometimes when I finish paintings I will combine all the paint together to see what I get.  The result this time was this khaki color green which I mix with the other colors and get this  kind of effect.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Urn Paintings

I have a couple of these old concrete urns that belonged to my Mother I inherited when she passed away a couple of years ago.  My husband was so kind to move these very heavy planters for me and only complained a little.  I planted petunias in them last year and they are blooming again this spring.

Lately I've painted subject matter more than once to study how it develops.  I've painted this Urn three times, every time I change a little something.  It's interesting to me how different but the same they are.

For the #1 and #2 backgrounds I painted with a large brush then layered color in with my palette knife.

"Booming Petunias #1"
(4 x 6 - oils on canvas panel)

"Booming Petunias #2"
(4 x 6 - oils on canvas panel)

The green color in #2 is a combination mix of paints from previous paintings or from other palettes.  I came up with this khaki color and mixed cad orange, cad yellow light and white.

 "Booming Petunias #3"
(6 x 6 - oils on canvas panel)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Palmetto Island Adventure #3

Okay, so I went back to Palmetto Island State Park to the same little spot to paint again.  Besides the wonderful relaxing sound of the water flowing through the little weir, I think its a great study for me to paint the same thing multiple times.  It's so interesting to me how the same subject changes every time I paint it.  There were no human visitors in canoes this time, but I did encounter a couple of visitors.

When I arrived on location a small snake was sleeping among the rocks with this huge bulge in his side.  He had evidently just eaten and was not interested in me, thank God.  After his food digested, he took a nap then slipped off into the water when I was not looking, oops...

My second visitor was a very curious little alligator, about 4 feet long, who would swim up to about 20 feet away from me lurking and watching.  When I would get up and walk to the edge he would submerge and try to hide.  Then he would swim down further away and come back again later to watch.

I used slightly different colors this time by using more of an Ultramarine blue + Alizarin Crimson (on the blue side) mixed into my background.  I think this gave me a slightly deeper depth of field.   I also used more transparent colors this time, leaving out the sienna and umber.  I'm very happy with the vibrancy of the browns.

"Hidden Creek #3"
(8 x 8 - oils on canvas panel)

I've also included the previous two paintings I did of this spot if anyone wants to see the comparison.

 Hidden Creek #1
Hidden Creek #2

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New Orleans - 3

As I was walking from the Riverfront back into the French Quarter in New Orleans I noticed this person off to the side sitting in the clover flowers near the railroad tracks.  He wasn't looking at me when I photographed him, but I changed his perspective.

(8 x 8 - oils on masonite)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Orleans - 2

I'm continuing to paint from photographs taken in New Orleans.  It's only a two hour drive from here so I have quite a collection.  The last time I went, I found myself taking lots of pictures of buildings, doors and balconies.  This is one of the balconies I took while visiting.

"Aqua Balcony"
(6 x 6 - oils on masonite)

Art Catalog

I have to stay organized with my paintings so I created an Art Catalog which is a necessary and comforting thing to me.  My Art Catalog is hand written and kept in a binder.  I think this works well for me because I am able to carry the binder with me.  I have plans to upgrade my system in the near future by placing it on computer in an Excel Spreadsheet with a printed copy for my binder.

Here is my process:
1.  Index -  I created an index list of numbers and as I complete each piece it gets the next number in sequence.  This index list has 3 columns (number, category and title of painting).
2.  Category Notes - Every piece is subdivided into a category (floral, landscape, abstract, etc.). Under each category page I list the information and notes about the painting I want to remember (index number, title of the painting, size, medium, date completed, price listed, photo on the web, etc).
3.  Back - The back of every canvas panel and masonite board is painted a dark color.
    a.  Red dot - A red dot sticker is placed in the upper left corner with the category letter and catalog number  (ex: L-1004)  This piece is number 1004 and is a landscape.
     b.  Label - Each label contains the title of the painting, size, medium, date completed and my name.
     c.  The back of stretched canvas pieces are not painted, but they receive a red dot and a label.
4.  When a piece goes to a gallery, I indicate in red on the category notes page.
5.  When a piece is sold, I indicate in red on the category notes page that it is sold and to whom.

For me setup, organization and documenting my Art Catalog was time consuming but I keep it up every day and it is no longer invasive.

If any of you have any suggestions and/or tips you would like to share, I would love to hear from you.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Palmetto Island Adventures

Friday, my husband and I headed for Palmetto Island State Park to enjoy the outdoors with plans for me to paint and my husband to fish, relax and read.  We nestled in at this sweet little cut which is located at the end of a canoe trail with a weir.  I loved sitting there because the waterfall in the weir was so tranquil.  The day we were there must have been a very good one for the canoe rentals because we encountered several people who paddled down the trail and were turning around at the weir.  They were all very excited to tell anyone who would listen stories about the alligators, snakes and birds they were spotting on their adventure.

"Hidden Creek #2"
(8 x 8 - oils on canvas panel)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Quirky Birds

I often draw at night, but lately I've been drawing these quirky little birds and decided to paint a couple to see how they would turn out.  These are painted in acrylics on canvas panel.  My photography is not great, so please forgive the photography.  Let me know what you think....

(4 x 6 - acrylics on canvas board)

(4 x 6 - acrylics on canvas board)

I purchased 4 x 6 canvas panels from Dick Blick and I find them really rough.  The canvas tooth is rather large.  I've added 2 coats of gesso and sanded between applications.  This seems to help.  I think next time I will probably pick a panel with a smaller canvas tooth.
With acrylics I usually like to use a synthetic brush with a firm snap.  I found one I like accidentally.  I  was in Michael's one day and looking at their brush selection.  I picked up an Artist Loft brush to feel the snap and there it was.  I took it home and tried it out and it worked out very well for me.

Monday, April 2, 2012

New Orleans - 1

This past weekend I pulled out some photos I took in New Orleans and decided on one to paint.  Besides the old feel of New Orleans I love all the little alcoves with restaurants and private courtyards.  This was a little restaurant on Royal Street taken before lunch time.

"Early Lunch"
(9 x 12 - oils on canvas board)