Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Mexico Back Road__fall, mountains, building

New Mexico Back Road___6 x 8 oil on linen panel___$190 if you ask first!
Since I am headed for Taos and southern Colorado to do some painting in a few days, I thought I would brush up on painting fall colors. All artists take a lot of pictures, and my personal goal is to paint ALL of mine! :) So this was painted en "Plein Computer Monitor"...sort of like plein air...sort of :)
I am fighting off a cold, and it is gaining ground today...off to bed early!...below is my BUSY October schedule. Come to see me if you can!>

OCTOBER SCHEDULE_________________________
Oct. 3___ A Saturday Demo in Taos at Act I Gallery
Oct. 17 Workshop in Calvert, TX. A mini half-day Plein Air Workshop. Sunrise demo, followed by workshop until noon. Primarily in oils, but all media and skill levels are welcome. Officially starts at 8 a.m. and ends with lunch. $45 Contact Cecelia at grannyc_54@yahoo.com for information and a supply list. http://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#/profile.php?id=1380900702
Oct. 24 Texas Country Reporter show, Waxahachie, TX Courthouse. ALL DAY
Sunday Oct. 25 First Annual Bovine Art Show, Cactus Jack's in Gruene, TX
Oct. 31 All Day Workshop with Austin's PACT. Limit 20 students email me for details vvaughan8@yahoo.com

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Aspen Stand__trees, New Mexico, Colorado, fall

"Aspen Stand" 12 x 4 oil study on linen panel____$190
In a few days I will leave for a "road trip" to Taos, NM. This trip will serve a few purposes, but mainly I will be painting there, and along the way....hoping for fall color, but from what I hear, WINTER is pretty close! This little study was from last year's photos, and I will be doing more this week...getting used to "seeing yellow". Saturday, I will be at Act I Gallery, painting a demo from 11 - 1. PLEASE COME BY and enjoy a visit!
October will be a busy month for me. See my schedule below and try to come join me at one of these events, if you are in the area!
OCTOBER SCHEDULE_________________________
Oct. 3___ A Saturday Demo in Taos at Act I Gallery
Oct. 17 Workshop in Calvert, TX. A mini half-day Plein Air Workshop. Sunrise demo, followed by workshop until noon. Primarily in oils, but all media and skill levels are welcome. Officially starts at 8 a.m. and ends with lunch. $45 Contact Cecelia at grannyc_54@yahoo.com for information and a supply list. http://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#/profile.php?id=1380900702
Oct. 24 Texas Country Reporter show, Waxahachie, TX Courthouse. ALL DAY
Sunday Oct. 25 First Annual Bovine Art Show, Cactus Jack's in Gruene, TX
Oct. 31 All Day Workshop with Austin's PACT. Limit 20 students email me for details vvaughan8@yahoo.com

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Guadalupe Visitor_state 2

Guadalupe Visitor__state 2___30 x 40___ click image to see some detail____available
I posted the "paper towel block in" of this a couple days ago, and last night I posted the detail of the bird. I made a few adjustments to the bird (beak oil change), and some contrasts around the bird. ...The painting is "done", but I already see adjustments in "drama" that I will be working on for the next few weeks. If anything drastic happens, I will post it again...but I am already ready to move on to a new adventure tomorrow!
So, this is a giant cypress tree along the banks of the Guadalupe River, near Gruene, TX. It's a good thing I painted it when I did, because fall color will hit this tree pretty soon! These turn a beautiful orangey-rust color...Hey Chris...you ready???
The water is crystal clear, fed by cool springs...As I sketched and photographed, a group of "tubers" launched "off camera" on the right side. We all grew up as tubers in this part of Texas. It's the funnest thing you can do in the hot summertime. Schlitterbahn, the worlds greatest "toobing" water park, was created by tubers, for tubers, just a few miles from here. vvaughan8@yahoo.com

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Guadalupe Visitor_detail_ egret, cypress trees, river

Guadalupe Visitor_detail___30 x 40 oil on linen....
I will post the finished BIG PAINTING tomorrow, unless I am not happy with it, yet :) If you look at My blog,
yesterday I posted the "block-in" phase for this large work....if you search back a couple weeks you will see various egret studies. The small paintings were "bird tryouts" to see which "pose" I liked....This gesture looked best to me, and today I painted Mr. Egret into the large work...honestly, I have spent YEARS painting small ones every day, and it's like breathing to me! But the large works ...well, they are WORK! My pal Robin Cheers prefers to complete a painting "alla prima", and I reckon I do, too...it annoys me to work all day and not be DONE...BUT...Big ones have more parts...I am getting to like it, too, when I can leave for a few days and come back to the big one and get into it, again! Sort of like a favorite vacation spot you keep returning to....just looking at this small part of the big painting, I already see what I need to work on tomorrow....that stuff in the background on the right is too light :) Are you a follower of this blog, yet? Click to follow and you will find out when I post. Easier still is joining my group. E-mail me to do that, and you will get the art in your e-mail box every day... vvaughan8@yahoo.com

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Guadalupe Visitor_state 1

Guadalupe Visitor_state 1_30x40 _the paper towel "block-in"
For small canvases I paint with one brush, often scrubbing the big shapes to cover the white, then subdividing those to craft the painting....
But on the big ones I use a paper towel. I started this by accident (feb 2009) when I showed up for a demo one time and forgot all my brushes. People were there, and I needed to do a demo, so, I used wadded up paper towels....NOW, I use them to start every big painting...toning big areas with the paper towels...Also, it keeps me from "micro managing" the edges at the start of a painting....want to paint "loose"? use a paper towel instead of a brush....at least on the start....I am almost finished with this big canvas, but here is the first-state-paper-towel-version...If I don't hate it, I will post the completed version tomorrow. ..vvaughan8@yahoo.com

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mision School Bell_archway

Mission School Bell__8 x 6 oil on linen_Available at Act I Gallery, Taos, NM
Well, this was one of those paintings I LOVED doing...so it, to me was a GREAT PAINTING (verb-wise)...as I got away from it for a few hours and then came back to shoot it and make this blog post, I can look at it more objectively as a "noun" painting...now, it's ordinary...to me... As I mentioned once before, there are TWO PAINTINGS every time you paint...one is a VERB, one is a NOUN....The two CAN NOT BE COMPARED! I am a very enthusiastic person, so almost ALL of my "verbs" are great paintings! (Because I LOVE THE PROCESS of painting and teaching painting!)...BUT..., I have to be real careful to sit on them a while before setting them free to the shows and galleries....often times I think a painting is good just because I had fun doing it! I think lots of artists do this. We have to step back from the verb and be very critical as to whether the "noun" painting is worthy to show...While photographing this I noticed that many of my paintings are better to photograph with the sun over my left shoulder, rather than right....for some reason the brush strokes don't catch the glare like they do when I shoot the other way....I will talk more on this tomorrow...if I remember

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mission Bells_8x6 oil on linen

Mission Bells___8 x 8 oil on linen___$190 while it's wet!
I cannot name this mission, because I made up part of it. The photo I painted it from was a nice one I took a few months ago in Arizona. I did not plan the composition well, so I added the doorway below and the doo-dads beside it. I NEEDED to , because there was flat, empty space that killed the composition...the lesson here, for you artists is that, unless you are illustrating the official Mission Book, or working on a conmmission for Mr. and Mrs. Mission, it's more important to create a good composition, than to be ACCURATE with the "likeness"... My favorite part is the light on the tower behind and through the lower bell archways...you probably can't tell that's what it is, but it's the reason I painted this one.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Isolated_thunderhead, landscape, storm, Texas sky

Isolated____6 x 8 oil on linen panel____$150 if you are first to ask for it :)
Driving in rush hour traffic a little while ago, there was a BEAUTIFUL "Isolated Thunderhead" in the distant east. I was giving my son a ride home from the auto repair shop, and asked him to shoot a picture of it for me..."Mom, you already have cloud pictures..." It turns out that I had left the camera at home, anyway (first time EVER!), which probably saved an argument. But when I got home, I decided to paint it from memory. It was remarkable to me, because the foreground jasmine (or whatever the yellow flowered bush is) was INTENSELY bright, while the cloud was in the shadow of other clouds, so it had no real contrasts...I am not sure I pulled it off, but it was fun painting from memory!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Distance at Kay's Place_Landscape, hills, cows

Distance at Kay's Place___6 x 8 oil on canvas panel___$150
This one made it home without dirt all over it like yesterday's painting ...My challenge on this work was to keep that hill back there in the distance. In real life the WHOLE SCENE was way in the distance...I brought it forward for a better composition. This is a good way to learn how to paint distance, because it's already "there"...If this scene was really as close to the viewer as it appears, your eye can compensate and SEE more detail in the background....an artist needs to tell the story of more distance, by exaggerating a little bit!
HEY! If you are looking at this on my bLOG, and you want to be among the FIRST to see my daily art, please e-mail me to put you on the Google Group list. I will send you an e-mail first thing when I post new art, and you don't have to go bloggin. Email me here : vvaughan8@yahoo.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Farm Memories at Kay's Place_6x8 oil

"Farm Memories at Kay's Place...thanks to Photoshop!" 6x8 oil on linen___$150, dirt included...see below
I painted at a friend's place today. Kay Butler owns Cactus Jack's in Gruene, TX...GO THERE!
Her place is the farm of my dreams!: views of distance, great open space and skies, a beautiful pecan bottom and a river running through it...sigh....some day I hope to be back onthe land, so keep your eyes open for me, y'all!!!...So we painted for a little while, and I painted the view across Kay's road. Then, when putting it into my wet canvas carrier, I dropped it and of course it was before photographing it. The image below is the REAL,UNCENSORED VERSION. The one above is thanks to Photoshop....not to worry, though! When "dirt happens", just wait for the oil painting to dry and it will flick right off! Till then, I say the painting has character, and the dirt is free with purchase!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chapel in Taos__8x6 oil on canvas panel

"Chapel in Taos" ___8 x 6 oil on canvas study___$190 if you ask first
In a few weeks I will be in Taos, New Mexico for a visit to "my" gallery, Act I Gallery. I'll be there to do a demo and then I guess I will hang around to paint the fall colors, if someone twists my arm hard enough!...I painted this chapel yesterday from a photo I took a few weeks ago when we were there....I have been curious to see what y'all think of it, and watched my email for comments all day. I had assumed that no one liked it, and was almost bummed, till I just realized I did not post it yesterday after I finished it! oops! I really needed to redeem the Brownwood demo painting, and re-posted it instead. So there! I am hoping that these cottonwood trees will be bright gold when I am there in October! Maybe I will paint the gold version, too!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Drought Breaker_16 x 20

"Drought Breaker" 16 x 20 oil on linen panel, a BIG demo...FINISHED...
I posted this on Saturday, after creating it as a demo for the Brownwood (TX) Art Association. I hope some of you who were there see a little bit of difference from the "almost finished" demo I left you with! Plus, when I first posted this, I misspelled "drought", and I had to use a bad photo. It was so dark and rainy that day, I could not get a decent shot. Lesson: ALWAYS use spell check and ONLY great photos of your work (ahem..)
Brownwood is over 100 miles from my home in Round Rock. You have probably heard about our rains here the past few days, and it poured on me all the way there. The landscape looks like this there in that part of Texas, and the sky brewed all weekend with refreshment for our farmers....ahhh!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Painting From Studies_a demo, 16 x 20

"Draught Breaker"__16 x 20, state one demo, oil on linen panel___available after a little refinement

I drove 150 miles through driving rain to do this demo for the Brownwood Art Association. What a great group showed up! I was VERY honored, because it was a PERFECT DAY for these artists to stay home in a dry, cozy studio ...these are my favorite days to paint!!! It is still raining, the Round Rock (literally) on the Chisholm Trail through my town is 2 feet under the RAGING waters of Brushy Creek...and Texans are giddy! All the tanks (ponds) are FULL!!!

Now, about this painting:...I used to feel like I was cheating, because the painting happens so fast when I work up a small study to a larger canvas. But nowI figure that it's no different than the graphic designer who must wrangle several versions of "mock-ups" or rough art as they design, before settling on the final version. (I did this for years, in my "old job"and have file cabinets and computer files FULL of layouts with rough art...because whatever elements weren't used in THIS design could be used in THAT design...so I kept ALL the studies!)....BUt, as a "plein air - daily painter - instructor" I find that my "rough art" is the little paintings....sometimes a little one HAPPENS to be well composed and "worthy" of a large canvas, so those are the ones I work up in the studio, using the small one as reference....the good thing is, I can sell the little studies at little prices!...Kevin MacPherson compares painters to musicians saying "Painters are the only ones who can sell their rehearsals!"

Upcoming Workshop: February 5-7, 2010 Fredericksburg Artists School

Friday, September 11, 2009

New Rain, New Moon_12 x 12 oil on gallery wrap

New Rain, New Moon___12 x 12 oil on gallery wrap canvas__AVAILABLE at Bienvenidos! a multimedia art exhibit next week. Please scroll to bottom to see your invitation!

You might remember my study for this one, painted a few weeks ago. click the link to see it and compare the study to the new painting. The new one is much bigger at 12 x 12. The gallery wrap canvas is one with thick sides which are painted. It can be hung on the wall without a frame, for a more conemporary look. I prepared the new one for the show mentioned above. Please come if you can...there is some fabulous work by great artists in ALL MEDIA. See the art used on the invitation for a sampling of some typical art at this show. http://vvaughan.blogspot.com/search?q=bienvenido+rain
Tomorrow I will be painting a demo in Brownwood, TX for their art league. It has been a few weeks since I did a demo or taught, so I am REALLY EXCITED! My plan has been to paint a larger work of a great Texas sky...but if I feel inspired differently tomorrow, I could paint ANYTHING!...See you there!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Morning Warmup_study_8x6 oil on linen

"Morning Warmup" 8 x 6 oil study on linen panel_____$190 when the big one's done!
THe past few days I have posted studies of birds. One of them will be added to a large painting I am working on. So, after these bird "tryouts", I think I have decided to use this one...maybe. I REALLY like the flying birds, but you'll see...this one might fit the scene better.
Speaking of tryouts, the football tryouts are long over and the games are under way. We had our "Friday Night Lights" tonight for Round Rock Dragon Varsity Football. A VICTORY! My son is a Junior Quarterback...a starter on the A-Team JV, but so far he has been playing on varsity as our #1 QB had some surgery. BOY, these kids bounce back fast! The #1 guy was back tonight, but my son got to play, a little bit , too. Funny how exciting the HOLDER for the extra point can be when he's your son! Last week my young holder got his name mentioned in a feature article of the Austin Sports page...his first media coverage! Maybe you read it: he was the guy who was pressured into an incomplete pass on the two point conversion which would have won the game...ah well...they failed to mention that he had to snag a snap that nearly went over his head and saved the day earlier in the game...it wasn't as meaningful as the "miss"... durn media!

Some Things You DON'T Paint

A photo by V....Vaughan.....one I will NEVER paint.
Well, I was gone painting today...and it's one of those days I didn't get home in time to photograph my work in the sunlight...my preferred method. (I have lots of thoughts and recommendations about shooting your artwork...I am FINALLY successful - enough - at it, but learned a lot of hard lessons along the way....I CAN HELP...let me know if you want me to post some of these thoughts :)
Since I can't post today's painting, I will post some of the photos I will NEVER paint. ...
As I browsed my bird photos last week, looking for a bird to put into a certain painting, I ran across this one. It's a beautiful egret in an awkward pose. It's weird looking because the bird looks like he's standing on the water, his head is up in a funny way, his wings look funny, and looking at it makes me laugh......don't paint awkward things, that make your viewer feel weird...no matter how accurate, or cute!
The photo below, was staged. A couple of students lined up in the field in such a way that one of them looks like a tiny little artist poised on the end of the other artist's paintbrush. ...The lesson here is, never paint objects lining up in awkward positions...even if they lined up in real life! It happens a lot that something will touch the horizon: a fence post, the cow's back, the top of the tree, or roof-line....even if it's TRUE in the photo, don't paint it! Where they touch stops the viewer's eye! Hope this info encourages you ...Email your comment! vvaughan8@yahoo.com

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Bright Egret_6x8 oil study on linen_and a lesson!

"Bright Egret"__6x8 oil study on linen panel___$190
I think I need to put a bird into a painting I am working on...I will show and tell why, later, but for the next few days, I am trying out some different birds...see yesterday's blog post. As I work on a BIG painting this week, I have some thoughts for you artists out there...On Brushes...

I HATE shopping, but I NEED art supplies. So when I go to Artisan in Santa Fe or Taos, I snap up everything I NEED and am always tempted by other great deals... (I re-named them Arti-SINS, because of all that excess!)...BRUSHES....I ALWAYS buy a new brush or two. Now, I am not into all the "gadget" brushes, like those rubber wedge brushes or the...OK, I bought egberts once...but I prefer standard, fine oil painting bristles...preferably natural bristle, Robert Simmons.... Sometimes I get home with a new one I TOUGHT was a bristle and it ends up being a synthetic. The "Silver" is one I HATE!... and the Connoisseur, too. Now, for small paintings, I use only one brush at a time, and scrub and clean it between colors, and am VERY ROUGH with them...so the Connoisseur #6 or 4's HATE ME! They curl up on the fringes (just one or two hairs will curl and flip)...I HATE THAT, and vowed to never get another one. But today, while working on a big painting with 5 brushes in my hand, all loaded, I noticed I had a "favorite"...lo...it was a #10 Connoisseur, pure synthetic filbert....I had to think this through, but the difference is the way I paint...On the big ones I do not scrub on the canvas with the brush (I use paper towels for that, but that's another lesson). I have been using lots of color thinned with a medium (for now) and put down the stroke and leave it...so there!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Surveyor_6x8 oil on canvas panel

"Surveyor" 6 x 8 oil study on canvas panel $150 soaking wet!
This big egret must not have seen me on the river bank, because he flew by slow and close. I liked that he seemed to be surveying the surface of the water, because sometimes he flew so low that his wing tips nearly touched the water. I painted this from the photo I took. I ALWAYS have my camera around my neck! If you have taken a workshop with me, you have seen me at my sunrise demo with the camera hanging into the paint, practically! ...The painting lesson here is a bit of a "broken rule" for oils, which is USUALLY to start with the dark colors. (The rule is "Dark to Light...Thin to Thick"). I started with THIN, but thin LIGHT colors and I put the darks over them, THIN, still....THEN I put the thick whites in at the end...then a few more darks, because I messed up an edge...then more lights...then more darks...then....SEE? it's OK to break those "rules".

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Back Door at Concepcion

"Back Door at Concepcion"___8 x 6 oil study on linen panel__$190 unframed and wet!
More from the San Antonio missions! Along with my painting studies, I have been reading books and studying the missions of the southwestern USA. What great stories in history...stories of America! I Love them!...I think I mentioned a while ago that we discovered a family of SKUNKS living in our garage. We keep one garage door crackes a little bit so the cats, Duster and Velcro can come and go, and since our back fence is the edge of a big ranch, we have all kinds of wildlife tromping through: deer, fox, owls, armadillos, etc...but the skunks found a place to nest in our garage. We discovered them a long time ago (guess how...phew!) but they only made a stink once or twice, then we thought they were gone...but lately we see them all the time at night and in the early pre-dawn...they eat the cat food and...GET THIS...they use the cat's litter box!!!! My husband and I suspected it for weeks (because the cats never use it, but suddenly it was being "used", and something was different about it....not "skunky", though...just different :) Well, yesterday my husband saw one of the little ones using the box!...I never heard of a litter-box-trained skunk, but we have three!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Luz de Espada_16 x 20__old, so it's SOLD

"Luz de Espada"____16 x 20 oil on linen...painted in 2005 0r 2006, so it's long gone...
All my little mission studies this week stirred up conversation with blogger fans of the San Antonio Missions. One friend said her favorite mission is Espada. It is one of the two at the south end of the Mission Trail and sometimes gets overlooked, because most visitors start at the north. I painted Espada a few years ago, so I dug up this photo to share. This was a larger work, 16 x 20 but was derived from a study like the ones I posted last week.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Mission San Jose_6x8 oil on linen panel

"Mission San Jose_6x8 oil study on linen panel___$190 unframed and wet! click image to see detail
The best restoration of all the San Antonio missions. I could paint here all day! San Jose means "Saint Joseph"...
I have a monitor problem, and had to edit this photo by "feel"...if it looks dark and muddy to you (like it does on MY monitor:), that's my fault! The original is really nice! Here is an endoresement: TigerDirect.com is an AMAZING web site full of all kinds of computer and digital related things. Thanks to my friend Eric, I bought a little video camera, some SD cards (4GB for $5....REALLY!), and other things I REALLY needed. Besides the amazing prices, shipping is FREE and they update you on the shipping almost every 5 minutes! I ordered on Monday and got my goodies on Wednesday...FAST!...guess it's time for a monitor...

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Palm with a Mission_Concepcion_8 x 6

"Palm With a Mission"_at Concepcion___8 x 6 oil on linen study__$190 click image to enlarge.
My trip to the missions last week yielded a bunch of nice photos, but I worked this study up from a Daniel's photo! What you think, kid?...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

San Jose Panorama _ study_ 4 x 10

"San Jose Panorama _Study_ 4 x 10 oil on linen panel. Click for detail...$190 unframed, $250 framed
When I visited the San Antonio Missions the other day, it was HOT...about 103 that day. (Texans are making sport of all this heat now...just 3 more days of this and we will have broken the all time record for number of days over 100 in a year! woohoo!)...Some of the living quarters in the wall around this great mission have been restored and inside these thick walled rooms, it was only about 85-90 degrees...MUCH cooler than the outside air! These rooms weren't restored last time I was there, so I was REALLY excited to see the changes! I think this is the most painted mission in San Antonio...it is simply beautiful. One time I was visiting and there was a wedding. OFTEN there is a Mariachi Mass going on...I have a really neat frame for this painting. Let me know if you want to see it framed.