Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Holidays!

"A Path For A Poet"
Oil On Linen 11x14

This is a piece I did for a friend who, you guessed it, is a Poet! He and his friend go on a 50 mile hike each summer along the North Shore in Northern Minnesota. It was important to him to have this painting done as a surprise for his hiking pal as a gift. It was fun to play with all the textures in the grasses and the depth of the darks.
Happy Holidays!
Well, the last time I checked in was November. Time does fly! December always seems to just zip by with all the holiday excitement. It's such a magical time with kids!
It's been a busy month in the studio finishing up classes for the semester and finishing a couple studio pieces I've been working on for a while now. I love this time of year for fresh starts and new goals ahead for my painting! January is now one of my favorite months. I seem to get quite a bit of painting done and am REALLY looking forward to it!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Full Week of Teaching!

- Plein Air Workshop at Arcola Mills June 2008-

I like this photo, I think it's funny. I made everyone line up to do a study of a white building in light. We don't 'normally' stand in such an orderly fashion! The funny thing is that inside was big 'executive' board meeting going on inside, I wonder what they were thinking. . . .

It's snowing here in Minnesota and absolutely beautiful outside. This week was full of teaching! Monday and Tuesday I taught my regular weekly classes and Thursday and Friday I held a 2 day Still Life workshop. I am completely and fully inspired and impressed with the art spirit of the painters in the studio for those two days. There truly is an uplifting spirit being around others with the same passion as you. As a painter we spend much time alone at the easel, of coarse. I love my time alone with my paints and brushes but I am SO incredibly grateful to be able to share what I know so far in this journey as a painter with other inspiring artists. Painters are wonderful people to be around and as much as they say I give to them, I feel they give me more, it's an amazing circle of great inspiring energy. So here's to the people in my two day class for doing a great job and truly being there to become better painters, not just to 'make pretty pictures'! :)

Okay, so I know this is no longer summer. However, after the recent studio workshops, I was inspired to share photos of the 5 day summer 'plein air' workshop I teach every June on the St Croix at Arcola Mills.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fall's Last Hydrangeas

"Fall's Last Hydrangeas"
Oil On Linen 20x16
Thankfully, I cut this bunch just 2 days before our first hard frost. I especially love the rich colors of the plants at the very end of their season. These are cut from the same bunch I did the last hydrangea piece from. Amazing how the color changes! I absolutely loved the warmth and color vibration these were radiating and wanted to capture that warmth in the light of the painting. I like this cool blue vase and it was a nice contrast to all the warmth. My students are wondering how many more times I could possibly paint the same vase. . :)
I'm having a hard time breaking free from it (as I'm sure you can see in my other still life work:) - truth is, I just really like it! I may venture onto something new in the next piece. . . .
we'll see. . . . . . I do actually have others. . .
These are clearly not the easiest flower in the world to paint, maybe that's why I like to try? When painting these I was trying to keep in mind the underlying structure of the flower mass and am constantly asking myself if it's in light or in dark and then get the average masses in right away before I begin to note the temperature changes within the mass - color, that's the fun part! This helps me to not get overwhelmed by all the billions of little petals. This painting went pretty well besides the exception of fighting the C12 single primed linen, I don't like the single, it just seems to suck up all the paint! Back to double!
Here's what's going on in the studio right now:
I'm always so torn between being outside painting in the early fall or working on a still life piece in the studio. I try to work back and forth between landscape and still life. It seems to keep me on my toes for sure. Currently I'm working on a 30x24 landscape piece in the studio from a study done a few weeks ago. It's about 94% finished. . . . . I need to get away from it for a few days before I can make any 'rational' decisions on it.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Summer Hydrangeas" 20x16 Oil On Linen © 2008

How can you not paint the end of the summer's Hydrangeas? I could hardly resist my hydrangeas in the back yard. Hard to believe I've waited this many years to take the time to paint them. I promise myself every year that 'this year I'll paint them'. So I finally did. SO beautiful, and SO much more challenging than I (again) anticipated. The idea, to paint the millions of little petals without painting each little petal!

"Co-op Vegetables" 12x16 Oil On Linen Panel © 2008

My painting Co-op Vegetables was recently juried into the Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional show. The show opens Friday Oct 17 through Saturday November 15 at Richland Fine Art in Nashville Tennessee. The painting was one of the featured pieces in the October 2008 issue of American Art Collector magazine in an article about the show.
"Arrangement In Italian Pitcher" 20x16 Oil On Linen Panel © 2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Arcola Moment

"Arcola Moment" is a special piece for me. It's a piece I did to prepare for a painting demo I was to do down at Arcola Mills on the St Croix on June 20 of this past month. It is not new for me to paint the river. The more I paint it the more drawn I become to it's ever changing dynamics. And it's not unlike me to paint the same spot again and again. The more I paint one spot the more challenging it becomes to me. I am always completely amazed at the ever changing moments one place can hold. It's mysterious and challenging to me to document these moments with paint. It is NEVER the 'same place'. That's the beauty as I see it. We've had quite dramatic and frequent changing effects with the fluctuation of water levels this past month, so I painted it, several times! This piece was the first of several I did of this 'opening' on the river.

The White Pine Festival is a week long event that features some of the countries finest musians and poets, and for the first time ever, they added a visual artist to the mix, me. Some of the featured artists were the Miro Quartet, Skip James, Roger Bonair-Agard, Marie Howe, and Cynthia Gustavson. It was SUCH a treat to spend time with these amazingly talented and passionate people! Quite the rich experience! Pretty Good Company, huh?! It was refreshing to know, as artists, we're all after the same thing. We study the ones who did it well, we pass on selflessly what we know, we honor the classics, we strive for authenticity of our craft and we continue to have faith that we will do it better tomorrow.

As we all know, painting is not exactly a 'performing art' like some of the other lovely forms of art, even though watching a painter paint, is one of my favorite things to do. My part of this event was to do a 'plein air' painting demonstration of the St Croix River from Arcola Mills, a place I frequently paint near my home. The public could purchase tickets to watch a painting from start to finish with time for some 'art talk' afterwards. Besides doing demos for my classes, I have not ever had an audience when painting before, I was a bit nervous. I had to remind myself I was just painting, I do it every day. Once I started the painting, I was just painting and it went very well. The energy from the people was amazing. I had to keep reminding them to breath. I could feel them holding their breaths waiting for the next stroke. Pretty neat.

So, this is the first of several of this particular opening on the river. More to come. . . . . .

Sunday, June 29, 2008

New Blog, In the works! Stay Tuned!

I'm currently building my blog. Please stay tuned!