Monday, March 31, 2014

Collage of My March Paintings

Collage of My March Paintings

March is almost over!  What a month it has been!  A snow storm after a snow storm. Yesterday we had an all-day-long snow/hail/sleet/rain "deluge", which caught weather forecasters by surprise and caused a major leak in my storeroom.  I am fervently hoping that I saw the last of the snowflakes for the season.

You may have noticed that I painted only nine paintings during a 31-day month.  Why? My artistic enthusiasm has been flagging.  I had to dig deeper and deeper into my old photo files to look for painting inspirations.  It has been a drag.

But no more.  The long-overdue spring has finally sprung!  My garden is about to burst with spring flowers.  Here are some I caught this sunny morning.

White daffodils

Miniature daffodils being watched over by a pig statue!

Crocuses and snowdrops

Hyacinths buds

Goodbye, winter.  Hello, spring!

Friday, March 28, 2014

"Kauai Sunset" (oil on stretched canvas; 12" x 16") sold


Two winters ago, my family spent an idyllic week on the island of Kauai.  Oh, what a week it was!  My favorite time of the day was sunset.  Every sunset at Poipu Beach was more exquisite than ever.  On the last evening of the vacation, my heart ached because I had to leave the paradise.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"Poppy and Larkspur" (oil on linen; 12" x 12") sold


The transparent underpainting for "Poppy and Larkspur"

Reference photo

I am in the grip of the yearning for romantic garden paintings and this winter won't let go. Yes, it snowed again yesterday.  I can't wait to see flowers blooming in gardens, parks, meadows, and just everywhere!  In the meanwhile I had to resort to my photo files to come up with an image that might satisfy my urge.  How about pink poppy and blue larkspur?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"White Garden" (oil on stretched canvas; 12" x 16")

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Take a walk with me in the enchanted garden of white roses, May snowballs, and azaleas.  The air is thick with the perfume of old-fashioned roses.  Time has stopped. Let's linger.

This garden exists.  It belongs to Berkeley Plantation in Charles City, VA.  I had a chance to visit it last May with friends on an overcast day.  Unfortunately, it was getting late, so we couldn't linger.  I took some pictures and left reluctantly.  The air was really scented with the rose perfume.  As you can see below, the right side of the reference photo (I) was too boring.  So I introduced pink azaleas I saw just around the corner.  I am mighty proud of my cleverness!

I also want to show my readers the transparent underpainting of "White Garden".  You can see some construction lines that I used for the drawing.  Why are the white flowers all yellow?  It's because the lemon yellow (hue) is the palest transparent/semi-opaque paint I have.  I work out the design, values, and color schemes at this very important stage.  Sometimes the underpainting, as in "White Garden", is so pretty that I almost feel tempted to stop then and there to call the painting finished!

Reference photo I

Reference photo II

Transparent underpainting

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Eve's Rose Arbor (oil on stretched canvas; 12 x 16")

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Don't you want to walk through the blue arbor gate, heavily laden with the cascading roses?  I can almost smell the enchanting perfume of the old-fashioned roses called "Pinky".  No, I don't live in this lovely house with a rose garden.  It belongs to my old friend, Beth.  Eve in the title is her cute little daughter's name!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

"Bocci" (oil on linen; 7" x 5") sold


"Bocci" is for Kristen.  Bocci was her childhood dog who just passed on at the age of 11 and a half.  He was a white Maltese, with brown stains under his eyes.  He loved getting into the garbage, but hated baths and only allowed Kristen's mom to bathe him.  He was able to jump on his hind legs for tricks for an incredibly long time.  He would play fetch, but give a fight to give it back to you.  He also loved to "dig" feverishly in the sheets if he was put on a bed.  

Kristen had an island counter in the kitchen, and if she were sitting at the counter with her feet dangling from the stool, he would walk under her feet back and forth almost like a little back massage.  Bocci was a quirky and funny buddy, as you can see in his portrait.  He is much missed by his family.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

"Penny" (oil on linen; 6" x 8") sold


"Penny" is for Jackie, who commissioned the painting for her mom's birthday.  Penny was part Lab and German shepherd, and possibly greyhound as well, because she was skinny and fast. She was an active and adventurous dog.  She loved Vermont, where Jackie's parents have a place.  Penny would run around, explore the pond, and get lost in the woods.

Penny loved turkey.  She would get some meat from the turkey whenever the family had it for dinner.  One time they left a turkey carcass in the garbage can and left the house for a party. When they came back, the garbage can was still latched and upright.  However, Penny somehow got the carcass out and had a party of her own with the leftover meat!

She loved sleeping with Jackie's parents.  When she got too old to jump on their bed, they slept for months on a mattress on the floor.  In the reference photo for the painting, she was on her own dog bed, in which she never really slept.  That's the place Jackie's mom would say goodbye to Penny everyday when she left for work and still says goodbye when passing it.

Jackie shared many more stories about Penny, who was her childhood dog.  They grew up together and went through their awkward stages together.  She hopes that her mom doesn't cry when she sees the portrait.  I hope Jackie doesn't cry either!

Friday, March 7, 2014

"Big Sur Blue" (oil on stretched canvas; 12" x 16")

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I don't know why, but whenever I think of the color blue, Big Sur, CA is the first thing that pops into my mind.  As I wanted to paint a "blue" painting, Big Sur is what I came up with.  Although I visited this beautiful place only once, I still dream of the intense blues of the Pacific Ocean from Big Sur! Obviously, I am not the only person who loves Big Sur.  All the previous paintings have been sold!

"Big Sur Wildflowers" (oil, 10" x 8"; sold)

"Big Sur Moment" (oil, 11" x 14"; sold)

"Big Sur Blue" (oil, 5" x 4"; sold)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"Passionate Poppies" (oil on stretched canvas; 12 x 16")

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Imagine coming across a field of red poppies.  Your heart leaps with joy!  This is a painting to blast you out of the winter doldrums and the first one in my second series of paintings of 2014. I bet you are now wondering about the first series.  Here you are.

Collage of My First Series of 2014

Do you know what inspired me to work on the first series?  I happened to have nine 8" x 10" stretched canvases.  So I looked for the subjects that might look good in that format.  Lol. Which one is your favorite painting?  Mine is the one in the middle!

Seriously, it is good to have a series going.  For an artist, one of the hardest things is coming up with what to paint.  I lose sleep over the issue.  Really.  I am now onto the second series of 12" x 16" paintings, a bit larger than my usual sizes.  I get to stand up while painting.  It's going to be all about color.  "Red Poppies" is the red painting!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Collage of My February Paintings

Collage of My February 2014 Paintings!

How do you like the collage of my February paintings?  Quite a mixed batch, don't you think? Which painting is your favorite?