Sunday, August 28, 2011

"Dragonfly on Lotus" (oil on linen; 8" x 10") sold


Reference photo

Two weeks of family vacation and a few days of recuperating from a bad cold put me out of action, but I am back! I hope you who live along the East coast are doing all right despite the Hurricane Irene.

Since I haven't painted for a while, I decided to go easy and do something simple--a painting of a single lotus flower and dragonfly.  If "Dragonfly on Lotus" looks familiar, it's because I have done another painting of the same subject ("Lotus and Dragonfly").  I apologize for repeating myself, but on my defense, by the time I was finished with it, I was all sweaty and had to lie down for my exertions.  I promise to do better next time!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Lone Lotus" (oil on linen; 12" x 9") sold


Reference photo

Back to the water lily pond at Green Spring Gardens Park in Alexandria, VA.  I have a collector who loves my water lily/lotus paintings and asked me to paint several for his family.  It's always nice to be wanted, so I said yes!  His original request was to paint additional versions (i.e. copies) of "By the Lily Pond".  I did it once, and decided twice was enough.  How can I copy myself on and on, really!  I had a friend who sold a painting at a gallery but ended up doing two more copies of the painting because it was so popular.  I regret that I teased her at that time, because I was now doing exactly the same thing.

Instead, I decided to do a series of new paintings of these majestic flowers; I never get tired of them.  I have faith that either my collector or some other persons will like them enough to buy my creations.  Art is my job, but I want to enjoy the art-making process as long as I live.  It shouldn't become a drudgery, something I have to do pay the bills and send my child to college, and so on. 

By the way, I am going to take a break from blogging for a short while.  I have been working non-stop since last July when I launched my website.  Time to have some fun with my family.  See you in a couple of weeks!

Monday, August 8, 2011

"Sunflowers and Happy Bee" (oil on linen; 9" x 12") sold


Reference photo

On to way to Lancaster, PA to pick up our daughter at camp, my husband and I stopped by at the rest area in York.  Instead of going in to use the facilities, I dawdled, captivated by these sunflowers.  I was the only person taking pictures of these cheerful flowers; other people were obviously more sensible than I!  Sensible or not, I was as happy as the bee on the flower on the right.  Whenever I find the reference material for future painting projects, I feel like I hit the jackpot.  How small things in life please me!

On the technical note, compare the photo above with my painting.  The photo's colors are predominantly cool yellows and greens; my painting is dominated by warm yellows and violets.  I did that on purpose, pushing the yellows toward the sun and contrasting the yellows with the complementary violets so that the painting would pulsate.  Besides, I love using pure colors out of the tubes: cadmium lemon, yellow light, and yellow medium.  They are toxic--never to be touched or, god forbid, digested--but no other synthetic paints can replace them.  They simply glow.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"Golden Girl" (oil on canvas; 18" x 18") nfs


Some paintings I do to sell; others for entering juried shows.  And there are paintings just for myself.  "Golden Girl" belongs to the last category.  The girl who is holding something in her right hand is my daughter when she was ten.  She had just found a piece of sea glass and was showing it off.  We were at Glass Beach in northern California.  Yes, Glass Beach--I didn't make it up.  Apparently, there used to be a bottling factory nearby and lots of broken glass made into the beach, hence the name.  The time of the day was obviously the sunset.

Reference photo

I had this girl when I was almost 40.  She was my dream child come true--healthy, happy, affectionate, and bright.  She just became a teenager this summer, and well....  She has changed quite a bit since I took the picture above.  Although I wouldn't change anything about her for the world, I still miss her when she could sit on my lap, be a flower girl, and pose for the camera gladly.  I miss those days. 

So I painted "Golden Girl" to remember my daughter at the age of ten, just as I painted her when she was a preschooler.  She was about three when she posed for a photo in a rose garden in Portland, Oregon. Of all the beauties I saw that day, she was the prettiest in my eye.

"Pretty in Pink" (watercolor, 17" x 12") nfs

I will probably do more portraits of my daughter, perhaps as a young lady, definitely as a bride, and hopefully as a new mother with her baby.  I am thankful for my family and my ability to immortalize their likeness in paintings.

Monday, August 1, 2011

"Sea Caves of California" (oil on linen; 9" x 12") sold


Reference photo

Some vacations are more memorable than others.  The trip to California three years ago was one such happy memory maker.  There was a family wedding, which was held at a beautiful vineyard in Napa!  Visits with family were special enough, since we don't get to see them often as we live so away.  But one additional week spent just with my own family in the glorious light of California keeps generating a painting after another.  I must go back to California!

As I am focusing on water in Bobbi Pratte's landscape class this summer, I decided to paint from the above photo taken somewhere in northern California.  (You know how it is--after a while, you don't remember exactly where you took the pictures.)  The picture doesn't show much color in the sea caves because they are in the shadow; but I can see many different color changes in the water itself.  In the distance, it is cobalt blue.  As the waves approach the sandy beach, it changes from cerulean blue to a blue tinged with ocher.  The wet sand looks lavender.

I like the design too.  Three concentric waves all point to the sea caves, which I painted with warm, dark paints.  Sometimes I don't have to do anything other than just paint as Nature took care of the design for me!