Saturday, 20 December 2014

fumbling to the still life! last garden stuff - 6x6"

I have decided that I simply must get better at still life..............not that I don't like doing them, but I was always so bad at controlling light on the set-up and framing them. Well, I bought Carol Marine's new book "daily painting" and saw that I could order something called the "still life stage" for a reasonable cost - so, I did. It arrived this week and I immediately set it up (very easy) as I was finishing the Christmas commission - this is my first attempt so I thought I would post it even though it isn't very good. What amazed me is that I was able to totally control the light and frame it at the same time! The reason I have wished to attempt more still lives is because I want to broaden my ability to mix reds, yellows and other colors that don't occur when I paint landscapes outside. I can't tell you how much fun I had doing this little thing (and I didn't even feel cramped by the size - a first). The next time I post, I will mention the company that makes the "still life stage" (left the info at the studio). Oh, and the veggies are some of the last things from my garden.......I had a zillion poblano peppers!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

busy, busy, busy!!

I have been pretty busy working on a largish commission with multiple figures that has to be done in time to ship it for Christmas so I haven't been doing much new stuff to post (don't feel comfortable posting a photo of the commission). I did the small plein air (8x10") right before I left for TX and began the other one (24x18") around the same time. I hope to get out late-day soon since I love this winter light and it is pretty fleeting. It has actually felt like winter here with temperatures at the freezing level most days!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

red brick - 14x18"

Sorry about the poor quality of this camera's acting a bit weird and the light was terrible. I am back from my 10 days traveling to and from Texas to visit my daughter (and help her with some wedding prep). My plan was to paint along the way (I took 3 days) and then paint there as well. I knew there weren't too many daylight hours but I wanted to try. The weather was pretty awful - in fact, every time I wasn't driving, it was pouring! The Saturday prior to Thanksgiving, there were so many flash flood alerts that all of our phones were sounding alarms all day. It was so wet that I couldn't even really take photos................I was pretty happy to get home and pick up the brush! This building is in Savannah GA and I got this great view one day on my way home from Dick Blick (art store).

Friday, 7 November 2014

cotton and home!

A couple of things..........the above plein air is 16x12" and was done on site in St. Matthews SC at my neighbor's family's cotton farm. It was a little gloomy and I didn't finish but I got lots of photos, spent hours looking and have a real concept for how I want to paint the cotton portion of the painting. I am hoping to works out!

This is the 10x20" painting I began before I left......I made pretty good progress today after having to spend much of yesterday doing boring things like going to the Toyota dealership (for hours) and getting my hair cut. I leave for Texas in a week and am planning on traveling through northern Alabama and Mississippi and painting on the way. Since I have no idea of what I will see, I don't know if this is practical or not but that's my plan.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

a bit of a series in 2x1 format

Just a couple of things..........I am (honestly) nearly done with this one. It turns out I did a lot more work on it than I had anticipated. I got involved in the structure of the wave and wanting to get the highlights to my satisfaction. It is now so incredibly wet that I had to put it aside.

This is the same little girl with the same pink tube (a different wave) and I wanted to do a vertical this time. I just began this one today so I haven't gotten very far yet and I lost the light quite early today. I am going to have to get some blinds for the windows in my studio because the angle of the sun comes in and distorts everything no matter how I arrange things. 

I will be traveling this month so my posting might be somewhat erratic. The first trip is quite an area in western SC to my next door neighbor's family farm. I am going to paint & take photos of rural SC as well as gather some cotton stalks (a long story unrelated to painting) and he will be a good guide & it was nice of him to offer). About mid-month I will be leaving for Texas to help my daughter prepare for her wedding. I am also planning on taking my time and painting along the way but I really don't know what to expect! I'll be home before Thanksgiving but am excited about seeing different parts of the country and painting along the way.

Monday, 27 October 2014

a real quickie - 16x12"

I did this in about 30 minutes in the late afternoon..........I find that using an old, paint-encrusted panel relieves my anxiety about "wasting paint." I have gotten a lot better about this neurotic mental tendency by playing games like this with myself! The glare on the painting illustrates just how much old paint is underneath. I was feeling trapped in the studio the other day, it was beautiful but beginning to be late afternoon and I simply had to get out; so I did. Not perfect but doing this made me totally happy.

Friday, 24 October 2014

edge of the wave - 20x10"

I got interested in doing some figures again! It's actually been pretty cool (temperature-wise) here and the painting outside has been wonderful but the inevitable pull towards variety has pulled me back into the studio. At any rate, this one has flowed and is nearly done.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

late day - 12x10" plein air

This is a study that I finished in the studio.......I've been trying to get out to paint later in the day. This is no small feat since I tend to get up pretty early and usually go out in the morning, returning to paint in the studio in the afternoon. Habits are hard to break but this time of year with the sun setting early makes that a lot easier...........I don't have to wait until 8:00 when my eyes are just too tired. 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

time flies!

I was pretty shocked when I realized how much time it had been since I posted..........especially since I've actually been painting a lot. It has more to do with the way I have been painting - Instead of concentrating on studio/completed things, I have been working outside and not worrying too much whether I finish something in a day or have to wipe it down. The top, unfinished plein air (16x12") is an example. This spot is about 30 miles from my house and I totally love painting there.....the light and the tides change quite quickly so doing a painting at that size pretty much ensures more than a day's work. I did go back 2 days later and found that the height of the water was reflecting a completely different light pattern. I will keep this one in my car so, it will be available the next time I paint there or the conditions seem worth making the trip.

The bottom picture (also 16x12") is completed.............I returned to the spot for 2 days and then finished it in the studio from memory. I'll try not to let time get away from me again this month!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

a couple of things......

I have been out painting plein air nearly every day in the past two weeks......the top photo is 16x12" and not yet completed. I have often been spending 2 days for the larger outdoor paintings (especially if the location is close) so I need to get back to that site again. The bottom painting is 12x10" and was done mostly on site. I was kind of happy with it but then decided I could make it better....and I did. This is the first time I can really say that that has happened so I guess the tons of hours I have been spending is beginning to pay off! 

Sunday, 28 September 2014

seaside road - 16x12" plein air

How nice to be done with the pressure of preparing for the show and just being able to go out to paint with absolutely no thought of anything but really painting. This one took two days due to the recent weather (which I have loved).....downpours and lightning make me pack up though. I haven't fully resolved the bottom portion but should be able to do it in the studio without much of an issue. Right before I left something bit my ankle and it is now swollen - serves me right for bragging that bugs never bite me......just last week!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Post reception

I'll try to get some better photos of my show when I have a chance to get back to the gallery again. The reception went really well, the food was good (as usual, I over provided) and lots of people came. Family was visiting and just left on Monday....I promptly came down with a bit of a cold and did little but laundry and napping yesterday. Feel better today and plan on getting out to the studio today. The weather has changed in the past week and it is cool and rainy instead of steamy - I have a sweatshirt on for the first time in months.

Monday, 8 September 2014

portrait of a tree - 12x10"

I fell in love with this live oak as soon as I saw it on a side road near my's in the middle of a large field that is owned by Seaside Farms, a large agricultural enterprise. I took photos of it during the spring because the surrounding field was impossibly green and the sky was an awesome pinkish-orange. I had determined to go back and paint it plein air as soon as I could but when I went back last week, it was just a pile of trunk and branches in the middle of the field! I don't know if the company cut it down or if it was struck by lightning during the past summer but I resolved that I would always return to paint something that I felt such a strong connection with as soon as I could and not get distracted by other things I wanted to paint. So......I decided that I would paint it anyway from the photo - I actually closed my eyes numerous times while painting this just to remember the day when I first saw it!

Friday, 5 September 2014

edge of the storm - 16x12"

It has been a very stormy day today.............went to the lagoon at Hunting Island & things really clicked despite the fact that I got rained on pretty heavily about mid-painting. I think I am beginning to truly like Ray-mar panels even more than canvas for outdoor work.....glad I stuck with them long enough to discover this. 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

An update & a plein air (12x10")

It's still pretty hot here but I've become pretty accustomed to it and am really enjoying being outside for the most part. This morning it looked like we were going to get a big storm - as you can see from the clouds in the top painting - but they dissipated and it's now cloudless with little promise of rain. I am nearly finished with the "crabber" 18" square painting but thought I would post an update.....I'm pleased with the quietness and solidity of it (what I was attempting to do). Hard to believe it's September again!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Happy Labor Day!

I thought I would post a couple of plein air things today in the spirit of "working".........I don't usually exhibit them and often don't really "finish" them since I do them for the experience/learning and find that I tend to mess them up when I try and make them suitable for sale.  The top painting also shows how I used an old frame to hold a small canvas (8" square) firmly in my soltek easel which doesn't accommodate small sizes very well. I did the bottom 14"x11" this morning at the entrance to the beach down the street from my house on Coffin Point. 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Pulling up to the dock - 18" square

About halfway done with this one............a crabber pulling up to the dock at Eddings Point Boat Landing after a trip out to check his traps. Since I am nearly completed with all of the prep work for my show, I felt like I could get back into new work. I went painting plain air yesterday morning and began this in the afternoon.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Upcoming show

I have been busy finishing things and framing things (and associated tasks), haven't posted much. This is the postcard for my upcoming show with the dates and location. Would love to have you come to the reception at the Beaufort Art Association's Gallery on Friday evening, September 19, 2014.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Tiderunner completed - 30x24"

I have been finishing things for my upcoming show.......another one that was nearly done since spring!

Friday, 1 August 2014

French Quarter Renovation - 22x22"

I have finally finished this painting after setting it aside for several months.....had even ordered a frame for it months ago.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

green line of the marsh - plain air 12x10"

It is simply worth it every time that you go out to paint.....even if there is a heat warning or an imminent thunderstorm. We had a heat warning on Monday and it was totally oppressive by 8:30 in the morning but I went anyway. When I got to the boat landing it was hot but there was a breeze of about 20mph. and it was wonderful! The humidity made the landscape seem more solid somehow (without diminishing the color which it does sometimes)...........the water was at my back when I painted this and I focused on that tiny little stripe of green/coolness that appears between the horizontal tabletop of the grasses and the vertical of the trees!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Horse island View - 14x11" & some birds - 12x12"

I really love bird groupings and have been experimenting with them....this is nearly done but in all the heat, even the M. Graham oils I use have been getting sticky really fast; so, sometimes I have to wait a little to finish something because it's not wet enough to do wet into wet but too sticky to work as if the paint is dry. That's what happened this afternoon.

As long as I am painting by 8:30 or 9am, I can usually get in a couple of hours outside.....any earlier and the humidity is awful (it seems to increase overnight and then level off before the heat hits) - plus, the mosquitoes are still feeding. I've been trying to get out at least four times per week since it makes me so much happier than working in the studio! Horse Island doesn't really look much like an island and I was actually standing on the low conduit-style bridge to get this view.....there are a few wild ponies wandering about and every once in a while I see one!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Gay Fish driveway - 14x11"

I  live less than a mile from this spot - Gay Fish Co. - and routinely paint the boats and water but have never parked across the street and painted this view before. ....for some reason, it appealed to me this morning. I had to finish it back in the studio because the bugs were fierce! I was wearing this little bug repellant device (a fan sort of) and covered the rest of myself with "OFF deep woods" but they were still driving me crazy by flying into my face.

This 20x16" is based on a photo of a little girl I took years ago.......I did a square format painting (which sold) of her on sand but decided to try her again with some ocean around her. It's just too hot to leave the studio after noontime.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Russ Landing plein air - 10x12"

I finished the above painting this afternoon (24x12")......I had put it aside to dry thoroughly so I could finish the masts and some details and then the studio renovation happened so I am just getting back to it.

Went plein air painting in the morning at the Russ Boat Landing on Hunting look across the Fripp Island Inlet to Fripp Island itself....Fripp Island is restricted to residents and I have only been there once. I liked the light this morning and wanted to get out and paint rather than work inside. It wasn't terribly hot today and there was a breeze.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

cupcake airstream - 12x12"

Got really, really close to finishing this today but an enormous thunderstorm hit, the lights flickered, and I quit. It was as dark as night and branches were falling on the studio roof (they were pretty small but sounded big). I saw this cool trailer/vendor while I was visiting my daughter in Austin and have wanted to paint it ever since so I decided to do it.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

July Heat

Just a couple of updates on things I have been working on - both are 20x16." I totally changed the background of the  beach scene - this painting is designed to be an ad for my upcoming show and I wanted a large area to lay copy over. I wasn't happy at all with bare beach and a top rim of beach trees at the top.....realized that as long as the values were quite close in the majority of the painting, it should work in a similar fashion.  The man reading the paper is pretty much done - stopped myself from doing picky little "ending things" and will now let it dry. The real heat is definitely here! Even when the temperature is only 93, the heat index says it feels like mid-day painting outdoors for sure! I kind of love it though.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

reading in the sun - 18x14"

Sorry about the glare but I worked pretty late today & decided to post anyway since I have had a bad summer cold for the past few days and did little else but sleep and blow my nose. I must say, having a fever when it's 93 and humid is no fun. At any rate, I woke up and felt much better this morning and couldn't wait to get to the studio, began this one and it flowed.

Monday, 30 June 2014

fishing in the mist 12x12"

I have to add a couple of fishing poles (hence, the title) once the paint has set up a little more....this is a scene from the lagoon at Hunting Island.

Friday, 27 June 2014

hot day - 20x16"

I am getting close to finishing this one and plan on using it for my PR for my upcoming "Featured Artist" Show at the Beaufort Art Association......I needed a painting with a large enough emptyish area to superimpose copy over. 

I often forget if I have posted a painting that I have finished.....mostly because I feel guilty about posting too many "updates." So, here is one I finished a while's 16x12".

Monday, 23 June 2014

first week of summer

Well, it's the first week of summer and I am enjoying my studio immensely! I realized that I have been spending way too much time moving supplies around and setting things up during the past year (unable to avoid)......the unfinished studio was susceptible to temperature extremes and had somewhat inadequate light. It is great to be able to leave everything in place and not waste so much time adjusting things. Anyway, here are a few things I have been working on during the past week. This picture is a study for a possible larger painting I have in mind.....just color and composition ideas (it's 8x8").

I started this one at about 9am this morning (14x11") and was beginning to make progress but..........the tide went out, it stared to rain and the boat left! Three strikes for sure. I'm going to go back tomorrow if the weather conditions are right and see if the boat is docked at the same spot.

I am working on this 20x16" in the studio and hoping to finish it in the next day or so.......

Thursday, 19 June 2014

plein aire in the heat! - 12x10"

When I got in the car about noon, the temperature read 95 degrees! I can understand why lots of folks don't paint outdoors much in the summer around here......didn't really feel it till I got in the car and learned the actual temperature. The clouds were great, though, and you don't tend to get them unless it's hot.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

small stuff - 8x8"

I have decided that I am going to do a whole bunch of little paintings for a put them first anyway. I need the immediacy right now. So, I did a little one this afternoon and am about to begin another one. It's a real treat to know I can work wet into wet and finish all in one sitting.....not like there was any reason why I couldn't yesterday. I suppose I was a little stuck!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

studio renovation!!!!!

I am ecstatic!!!! My son was here last week and did a great job turning a 12x14' shed into an actual studio......the dingy back sides of the plywood siding framed with 2x4s are now finished walls. The ill fitting solid door is now a set of French doors and I have two windows. I have been using the building as a studio prior to this but it was pretty grungy and hard to work in if the weather was extreme. Eventually the exterior will be shingled and the floor will be done.......maybe something with the ceiling but I'm not sure yet. At any rate, I have not done much painting the past couple of weeks because I needed to organize, clean everything out and store it - then had to make decisions about what to move back in and move it. The seagulls (12" square) is the first thing I have worked on in the new space. Other paintings which need to be finished are on the's so nice I didn't want to leave yesterday. 

Saturday, 31 May 2014

thunderstormy - 12x10"

I did two plein air studies yesterday..............I am totally sick of working inside so I have decided that I should work outside for at least a portion of each day if I want to remain sane! In getting ready for my studio renovation (next week), I realized that I had a zillion old panels I could reuse so I could feel better about not "wasting materials." At any rate, this was done on a panel that has been painted over several times - I think I caught the mood/color of the day pretty well. I tried to work outside this morning and watched a storm come at me so fast I did not even have time to set up twice...........gave up, went home and paid bills instead!