Monday, July 25, 2011

The "HEART" of My Garden by Susan Jenkins

This is the Heart in my garden and made by Susan Jenkins. She is an artist of many talents, but has recently been making these ceramic hearts with china bits and pieces which she specifically cuts for placement. My heart even has a special ladybug she made and fired from a section of scalloped plate. I have this nailed to the post by my back door for all to see and I treasure it so much. Thank you Susan! If you would like to see her other work go here to here etsy shop. To see her blog and paintings go here.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Current Quilt Frenzy!

I really needed to take a break from painting for several reasons. First, I really needed to clean my house. I really needed to weed the garden. I needed to work on my etsy vintage. I really need now to finish this quilt. I'm going to Germany to see my daughter, son-in-law and baby Max in two months. This quilt was to be a present to all for Max's first birthday, which has now come and gone. So I would really like to get it finished before and take it with me. Yesterday I rigged up a high table with plywood and saw horses to lay out the quilt to baste all the layers together. I had a small umbrella to keep a little cool, but the day was still hot.  The basting is all done, so now I begin the quilting. I still need to cut the grass. I still need some food in the house, but, being the chore I loath the shopping...I will put it off until I'm really low on cat food and coffee. But I'm wanting to paint real bad now with a few days away from my easel.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Christmas in July" 8" x 8" oil on panel

Guess I'm continuing with the Christmas balls. They so went with the flower with a nice contrast of the green cup in the middle. At first after painting and squinting to see it, the colors and shapes, to me, looked a bit like barkcloth. I did use a new surface, which is the Ampersand with the gessoed surface. But now I'm excited about trying the Ampersand with the clay finish....even smoother than the previous. I love when the paint just slips and slides around on the surface in the beginning stages of a painting.

This one is called, "Bud, I think Junior Fell Out" oil on a canvas panel. This is the first time I have painted this blue pot. It's really large, so it held (sorta) the big sunflower blossoms. So I had to use big brushes with the large scale of things and didn't want to get hung up in the little details. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

"The Great Escape" 10"x10" oil on canvas panel

What a surprise to throw in some shiny Christmas balls during one of our hottest days. I like the way that each ball acts as a mirror to everything around it. Fun to try and I plan to do this again, but with varying sizes. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Sunflower with Dots" 10"x10" oil on canvas panel

I bought a bunch of sunflowers at the market the other day. I love the shape of the flower. I was searching through my flat file for a piece of colored paper to use as the background of the painting and came across a pastel drawing I did of dots, mainly to test this new paper. I had fun doing the dots and getting reacquainted with my pastels. Why not use this as the background? So, that's where the dots are coming from. I think the sunflower looks a bit weird with just the one leaf, but I wasn't thinking about it too much at the time and just painted what I saw. Looks a bit weird to me.  I do have another sunflower to post and painted the flowers again today.
 I've got myself backed into a corner with re-examining what my priorities are when I approach a painting.  I think that I'm not putting enough thought into the planning stage, because I'm just so excited to begin that I just stumble right in. I believe that design should be my first issue that I tackle, then my color palette... But then sometimes I look at my shelves with my still life things arranged and just want to dive in and paint "THIS"!...then try to make it work somehow. I remember in painting classes being disciplined to paint something I don't really want to, learning to go beyond my desire and tackle the academics of painting head on....not to get wrapped up in the sentimentality of the things. But at home, I'm the boss, and I want to do what I want to do and, not necessarily, what would be best for my skills training. Sometimes I find it beneficial to set up problems for myself to tackle in the beginning. But then I find on most days everything is a problem in the beginning. I'm daily struggling to "find myself" and my "voice" through my painting. Isn't that enough? I know the best thing for me to do is practice and to practice everyday. On good days I SEE everything in brushstrokes. What a way to travel through life. Huh?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Oatmeal Cookies" oil on masonite

I've been working since the winter on this painting. There's always a first when painting.....raisins out of the box. I had fun with the arrangement of the objects, but had a little trouble getting the whole setup to "glow". The blue in the background helped present a stage against which the objects were on exhibit. Jars of honey are always a plus in a painting for me. Honey cannot help but glow.