Sunday, June 27, 2010

Luz Sobre La Bahia

Luz de la Luna Sobre La Bahía__24x24 oil on linen___ framed for Rockport Art Festival

This painting is being packed up to go to the Rockport Art Festival next weekend. It is another night scene of La Bahia, in Goliad, TX. I hope you will "vote" for the frame you think looks best. See below. One is "warm" with reds, (frame 2) the other has cooler darks with turquoise (frame 1). These are my favorite frame these days...made of special antique tin overlay from those old tin ceilings. The crosses are my addition...Which one looks best? I can't decide...This night sky lighter is than the others I have done at my favorite Historical spot in Texas...yes, I like this place better, even, than the Alamo! It's history overlaps the Alamo, and is even more tragic...Col. Fannin and his men (about 350) were massacred here, after surrendering for their lives. Santa Anna ordered their execution. Some believe their Mexican captors did not want to kill them, but were afraid of their evil walk these grounds, especially in the evening hours is a solemn thing, and I stop here to do that each time I am on the way to Rockport . I am usually alone....this place is NOT the tourist attraction that the Alamo is.

Frame 1

Frame 2

Friday, June 25, 2010

Road Trip

Road Trip___12 x 12 oil on canvas, gallery wrap____$550, i think
I delivered this one to an exhibit a couple of weeks ago. In Austin, Hill COuntry Bible Church Northwest (on 620) has a beautiful exhibit space (several of them!), and some greatly skilled and dedicated artists who bring new exhibits every 3 months...The current exhibit is called "Roads and Directions", and this is my submission. I used a small study from my Bluebonnet spring paintings, and worked it up on a 12 x 12 gallery wrap. That means the canvas wraps around a deep edge. I painted the edge (see below) .
For this show, artists are to write an interpretation of the work. Here is mine, pertaining to "Roads and Directions:
TITLE: Road Trip
The open road is a PERFECT picture of our walk with Christ.
There are places along the way where we can see a great distance. Yet, even then the road seems to vanish over the edge of the earth as it receeds into the countryside. There are curves in the road, trees obscuring the path and shadows of clouds skipping along. Maybe this is why we enjoy the summer road trip!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Morning Overlook

Morning Overlook_____18x18 plein air study on linen panel____$1620, if you were not in the workshop :)
I think this is the last post I will make from my recent workshop in Fredericksburg, TX. It was another "big sky" morning, where the clouds seem HUGE and soft, because they float so low...the summer morning sky is something I remember from my youth, so it brings back those childhood memories for me! We painted this on the last morning, from Bill and Nancy Bush's place. Check out Nancy's work...then check again in a few months...she has a unique style and is one of my favorite artists, because her works are always fresh!
I talked with Bill, today, and I am all set to teach next summer during the same week, June 13 - 15. We will paint during the cool and color of the day, in a unique split schedule (an early morning session, midday break and a late afternoon session each day)...this will provide fun opportunities for sight seeing, shopping or extra studio time. We also can explore the museums and galleries of the area, and there are some good ones! Let me know if you need more info, or contact Bill to register!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pioneer Mule-Workshop Sketch

Mule Workshop Sketch____oil on linen panel
Most of the artists in the workshop set up to sketch this mule, and did well with it! He was right at the entrance of the place, so we set up fast and began to sketch before she moved...Well, she never really moved for a long time, but was content to eat from the pile of hay before's nice when the "model" cooperates!...I have had a LOT of mail about this past workshop...a LOT of great questions, and the main one is "what are your limited palette colors??"...if I were a good business woman I would say "COME NEXT YEAR AND FIND OUT!", haha! But here are my colors: Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson,Cadmium Yellow light, and titanium white. ALL colors can be mixed with these, and there are so many subtle things you can do to get the full range of color from these few!...mix them all (except white) together and you get brown, like the mule above...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Art School Sunrise

"Art School Sunrise"___6x8 oil on linen panel___$190, unless you were in the workshop! ;)
Yesterday's post showed this same sunrise facing the west. Of course this one was painted when the sun first came over the horizon in the east.... I really did not want to put that yellow bit in the center, but I had was there...yellow as you please!!
If you feel like an art student right now, pull up the blog and look at them together. It looks like a whole new palette of colors, but I ONLY USED A LIMITED PALETTE OF THREE (3) COLORS plus white!!! Isn't it amazing that these 4 pigments can create all the VARIETY of a rainbow??...and a sunrise from east to west!!!
This is what you will learn in my to get all this variety with the limited palette, which will automatically UNIFY your painting...It is a wonderful skill, and EASY, so much easier than wrangling 12 or more colors on your palette!...Next year's Fredericksburg workshop will be June 13-15, so let me know if you want one of the 12 - 15 spots, because I am going to keep it small!
(Hey,'s THIS font???)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Warm Summer Morning

Warm Summer Morning__18x18 oil on linen panel__$ 1620...unless you were in the art workshop!

Our second day started before sunrise. The quickly changing light of sunrise can scare a plein air painter, and it's only because things change so fast! I give a lot of instruction on capturing impressions is a big theme of my workshop, and I have lots of tips to help. This is the western view from the art school! If you stay in one of the log cabins there, here is what you wake up to...big Texas landscapes and skies!
As I think about it, now, this was one of my more successful workshops, as far as the student's improvement goes! I know this because no one complained! Everyone turned out at least a COUPLE of great starts...I hope they are feeling as great about the workshop as I am! ...This painting above was not quite done after the morning "start", so I hope to hear from a few from the group...what do y'all think? I hope y'all are working from your "starts" this week, like I am!
I heard from Bill Bush today. He runs the Fredericksburg Artists School, and we talked about next year's date. Here is the date for 2011: June 13 - 15...I will have details as soon as we are POSITIVELY sure, but mark your calendars and join us! Sign up early, because I will keep the class small...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunset for Color

Sunset for Color___6x8 oil study on linen panel__$190, unless you were in the workshop ;)
You need to read yesterday's post to understand the context, but this sunset was painted on the first day of the workshop I just taught in Fredericksburg, TX. ...As the class prepared to paint the FOLLOWING day's sunset, I had everyone pre-mix the sunset colors, using this painting above as reference. One could assume that a new day would bring a totally new sunset, and new colors, too...but summer days in Texas are consistent: hot, bright, humid...I knew the colors would be thee, but the patterns of clouds and distribution of these colors would be new....
In all the many days I painted early or late light at the FARM, no there were never two alike!!!
If this exercise does not make sense, please comment and I will try to explain it better.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sunset at the Art School

Sunset at the Art School____6x8 oil on linen panel___$190 (unless you were inthe class...wink)
This one above was painted on Day 2. For this painting, I had the students sketch the basic landscape BEFORE the afternoon break. They had painted it the evening before, so they knew where the sun would be at sunset.Then they PRE-MIXED a palette full of "sunset colors", using my study from the night before. Our afternoons were hot, so the class took a break then. Folks went in to Fredericksburg to see the great galleries and shops that they are famous for...Fredericksburg, TX is also known for fine dining as well as fruit stands in abundance...and PERFECT timing for this year's bounty! I came home with tons of peaches, berries and tomatos...can't get fat on those, I hear, but I am doing my best to try!
We gathered together again at 7:30pm to set up to catch the quickly changing light...The sketch was ready, the color mixes were on the palette, ready, set, GO!!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pecos Sketch

Pecos Sketch___8x6 oil study on canvas___$190 (unless you were in the class...wink)
Pat was working from my photo taken on the Pecos River near Del Rio, a few years ago. This photo was pretty and dramatic. Since Pat was taking his break inthe studio with me while the others went to town, I showed him a little preview of the upcoming lesson on "pre-mixing" to paint...This color sketch began as about 7 simple shapes of color!....then the shapes are subdivided with as much detail as you want!...SInce this is a small canvas, I did not divide to TOO much detail :)
I will teach at the same place next year and cover some of the same material...but always in new ways! It looks like early June will be my time again! Just in time for peaches and produce! Mark it on your calendar to come if you can!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Abiquiu Start

Abiquiu Start___16 x 20 study on canvas
In my Fredericksburg workshop today we started the day before sunrise. Later in the day, I demonstrated how I lay out or "block in" all my larger works. This image above is a 16 x 20 "start". I used a photo of mine, taken last year near Abiquiu, NM...Georgia O'Keefe country. I begin the larger works by using a paper towel to sketch the big forms and wipe in the values....I will "finish " this one soon....All week long I will post the demos and lessons from the workshop.
Let me know if you want to plan ahead for a similar workshop next year at tbout the same time of year.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pig Giggles

Pig Giggles___a sketch in oil on linen panel___
My workshop class spent another morning at the Living History Museum at the LBJ State Park in Fredericksburg. We did MANY 20-30 minute sketches of the farm animals and buildings. Rather difficult since the animals were moving around a lot today. Yesterday we used our pencils and we sketched with brushes and canvas...This might be the first picg I have sketched/painted from life...he was trying to climb into the feed trough, to hog the food. (pun intended :)...below is a shot of most of the group. Just as I shot this, they started laughing because the pigs were making some unusual pig sounds...
Tomorrow we meet early for the sunrise....yawn!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer Shade

Summer Shade___6x8 oil on linen___$150 workshop demo
ItalicI am teaching this week in Fredericksburg...Today featured a typical summer day in Texas...bright warm sunshine (OK..."hot" sunshine), plenty of those puffy clouds delivering shade across the landscape and the constant sound of cicadas. This was my afternoon demo for the group, and all we had to do was step onto the porch to see it. The views are beautiful, here...I spoke on drawing this morning, handed out some "goodies", fielded lots of thoughtful, smart questions and we even enjoyed some of Fredericksburg's famous tree-ripened crop in years!'s a good, small group of 8, and several came from out of state. (Leigh, from Illinois said our cicadas sound different from her cicadas...) I am loving this!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Light on the Way

Light on the Way___12x12 oil on canvas____$550
I prepared this art for an exhibit at Hill Country Bible Church. The exhibit is called "Roads and Directions" and opens next weekend.
There are 4 exhibits a year here and each one is WONDERFUL and full of variety. Each piece of art comes with an "Artists Interpretation"...Here is my interpretation for this painting:
On a dark path, there is little temptation to stray off course,
or to proceed with the lights turned off!
The dark unknown has a way of keeping us close to the light.
There is a certain comfort in staying ONLY in the place illuminated by the headlights.
Though it is only a short distance, it is all we can see. Our walk with the Lord is much like the path at night. Yet we can FULLY trust that if it is His light shining on our path, we are going the right way.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Yucca Doodle Do

Yucca Doodle Do___8x6 oil on linen panel___$190
Tomorrow I leave for my workshop in Fredericksburg. I will be teaching a great group there and I expect to be able to post some of the studies and maybe a lesson or two!
This rooster was painted from a photo taken in Luckenbach, TX...the last time I taught in Fredericksburg....I heard that the peaches are being picked there, now and that this is a banner year for them....I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dancer- Sand HIll Crane

Dancer-a Sand Hill Crane___8x6 oil study on linen panel___$190
I hope you have enjoyed the "break from my almost daily postings of art. I am working hard on my museum show, and preparing for a flurry of posts about my recent trips through the Great Plains...these two go together! The museum exhibit will be at the Great Plains Art Museum in October of 2011...what seems like a long time from now will come on me in a hurry, so I am immersed in my studies, sketches and writings about this is a painting of one of my favorite Plains residents: the Sand Hill Crane. Really, the cranes are "temporary residents, spending a few weeks along the Platte river as they fly north in early spring.
There is still room for a couple more painters in my Fredericksburg, TX workshop next week...PLEASE let me know if you want to come. It is OK to sign up at the last minute!MOST of the participants have signed up in the past couple days...what's the deal, y'all? :)
We will be working on Monday - Wed, with an optional day on Thursday. The days will be packed full of painting, sketching and studies to make you a FASTER painter...and we'll have great chat times with other artists...
The class is small...only about 10 or so, and I will NOT have more than 12, so you willl get lots of one on one time!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Gila Woodpecker

Gila Woodpecker__8x6 oil on canvas panel___$ thorns!
If you stand still in the desert, you can see lots of things !
I was not standing still on purpose, but had paused in a place near some saguaros, just to rest and feel the hot sun (I actually LIKE hot sun!). I had my camera already up to my face, and was just standing there when I noticed this Gila Woodpecker hopping around on the nearest Saguaro cactus....Got some great photos before he flitted away, and painted from one today...Here it is, with some info about the bird, below. If you are at ALL interested in birds, check out the BEST bird site I's at Cornell University!!

Gila Woodpecker
A conspicuous resident in the deserts of the Southwest and Mexico, the Gila Woodpecker is a characteristic bird of the saguaro cactus forests
Cool Facts
• When a pair of Gila Woodpeckers excavates a nest hole in a saguaro cactus, it typically does not use it for several months. Drying time is required for the inner pulp of the cactus to form a solid casing around the cavity.
• The male Gila Woodpecker forages mainly on the trunk and main branches of saguaro cacti, while the female concentrates on the periphery and diseased areas.
Habitat: Deserts
Found in deserts that have large cacti or trees suitable for nesting (especially saguaro cactus), dry subtropical forests, riparian woodlands, and residential areas.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Waterfall and More Arizona

Waterfall on Rough Creek__10 x8 oil on linen____$250

I painted this one during my fall trip to Colorado. I am posting it now because I haven't painted in a couple of days. I found this one in my "unframed" box of works that I took to the art show in Prescott. I remember painting it on the Rough Creek trail. Close to the end, you can see the waterfall up the way...I HATED this work after I did it, and filed it away when I got home. THIS is a PERFECT example of something I teach: There are TWO paintings every time you pick up a is a noun one, a verb. The artist MUST not confuse the two!!! NOW, I LOVE this work, after being away from it a few months, I can see it with fresh eyes :)

For the past 2 days, I have been touring around Arizona with my daughter... We enjoyed Prescott, Jerome, Red Rock Crossing, Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, Flagstaff, Tucson. Phoenix, the Saguaro National Forest, and Grand Canyon...The people of Arizona are terrific, and we felt TOTALLY SAFE there...
We hiked down into Grand Canyon and somewhere near the bottom my boot blew out! YIKES!!! I rigged something by taking apart one shoelace, and started back up the trail, asking eeryone I passed for duct tape...If it werent for a certain well, equipped hiker, I'd still be down there! I taped up the blow-out and saved some tape "just in case"...2 hours laer, we made it out, but I had to climb the trail "flat footed" to minimize stress on the boots...I am sore, now, but smarter!

Grand Canyon wear and tear...mydaughter wore the boots on top - one soul separated at the heel, the other at the toe. My boots are on bottom - see duct tape? And the other one lasted till I got to the top...BARELY!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Cowgirl Quick Draw

Cowgirl Quick Draw__14 x 11 oil, sold at auction, Phippen Museum Western Art Show 2010
Sunday afternoon was the second Quick Draw at this recent show. We had an hour to paint and frame a painting. I chose an image to work from which I painted last summer as a demo in a workshop. I used the same reference and since I worked so fast I chose to not try for a "likeness", so it doesn't look like the model...this would be a "generic cowgirl"...(but it looks familiar, eh, Marla??) sold for a good price to a very happy patron!
On June 14 - 16 I will teach a "serious" workshop in Fredericksburg, TX. The focus is on DRAWING and Drawing to paint, and working quickly to get the "Impression". For three days we will capture "starts" on smaller canvases, work with color during the cool parts of the day and work in the studio on drawing lessons in the heat of the day. I promise a great improvement in your drawing direction...this will be a great "workout" for three days. You have the option to stay for a 4th day to finish a few of your starts. Or, you can stay and do new starts There will be lots of critique and a few demos so you can see how it's done.
Contact Fredericksburg Artists School if you want to come...It will be a small class, and you can sign up at the last minute if there is room. Let me know if you sign up!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Piano Man

Piano Man___8x6 oil on linen panel___$190
While in Prescott, I attended church with my friend, Sandy. THere was a special music presentation and I was captivated by it...bsides a geat message for Memorial Day, the stage was lit particularly nicely set up...I couldn't get it ff my mind, so I painted this from memory later in the day....
Then today, my daughter, (who met me in Prescott and is travelling home with me)...and I. went to GRAND CANYON!!! We had a great hike!
I have a funny story about that tomorrow...but I am exhausted right now...