Guarding The Bikes

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 $30.00 USD (8x8in on canvas panel)

Ugh.  Today was a frustrating painting day.  I hate those.  I have to tell myself that it’s all part of training my eye, but it sure puts me in a bad mood the rest of the day.

I thought this dog looks so sweet sitting by the bikes waiting for his owner to come back.

Here’s a sketch just to loosen myself up.

San Diego Ship

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SOLD (8x8in on canvas panel)

My mom is in San Diego currently and sent us siblings these awesome photos she took of this ship in a harbor there.  I was a bit intimidated to take it on, but was also so struck by her photos!  Doing these small paintings help get rid of that fear to even start because if it doesn’t work I can chalk it up to practice and what did I really lose?  In this case I think it really worked!  Also, so much fun.  I love painting all those little negative spaces in the wires everywhere.

Thanks Mom.

Floating Fish

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SOLD (8x8in on canvas panel)

Did this for the Fish Challenge on DailyPaintworks, in half an hour!  Baby’s nap was coming to an end and I knew I had to paint fast.

I’ve been doing some research about the science of the color wheel in preparation for an art student I picked up; I was so inspired by the split complimentary combo of colors!  I’m looking forward to playing with that idea and teaching her all about it.

Enjoy these bright colors on this dreary winter day.

Hippo Spotting

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 $30.00 USD (8x8in on canvas panel)

Guys.  It took me three paintings till I finally painted something I liked!  Talk about being rusty.  Sheesh.

I am really digging this painting.  In the photo reference the water was a lot more choppy, buy I calmed it down a little to show off those yummy greens.  I love the shapes in hippos so much lately and might try to do this guy again on a larger canvas.

My slightly-younger-art student (14 but feels like talking to a 25 year old) wants to learn more about the science of the color wheel > so I did some research because I need to learn more about it myself.  For this week for us I found a fun challenge on the DailyPaintworks website challenging us to use the Split Complimentary color scheme, look forward to seeing those this week!

Neutral Practice

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 $30.00 USD (8x10in on stretched canvas)

I started lessons with a new friend.  We’ve painted together before, but this is more instruction than we usually do – feels different.  Today was just a warm-up-get-back-into-practice-day, so we stayed small and chatted through the whole thing.  I’m still feeling rusty, but today felt one step closer.  I just need to paint sometime that’s not a lesson, so I can screw my hear back on.

Grazing Fog

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 $160.00 USD (20x20in on Stretched Canvas)

My young student came over today for an art lesson and we both decided we had the post-holiday-rust going on.  Our paintings just weren’t working, our eyes were un-trained and nothing was coming easy.  A very cool thing to connect with a 10 year old on by the way.  Alas, the two of us agreed to paint again later today > so here it is.  Painting no.2 for getting back into painting shape.  There are things I like about this and things I don’t, but hooray for stepping up to the easel instead of sitting on the couch watching Netflix, amaright?

10 year old student and I also chatted about some things we’d like to work on in our painting this year.  She wants to get better at painting glass objects and metal objects (huzzah!  Something I can actually teach someone).  And I’d like to try applying the atmospheric perspective (where things far away appear blurry or foggy)  Here’s a painting that I recently discovered that inspired this desire:

See how the buildings in the background are painted lighter?  It’s a lot harder for me than it looks!

The other thing I want to try is painting water scenes like this:

I like how the blue sky reflects in just a little area like this.  So far my problem is just finding a safe picture to use to paint from.  I think I’ll have to wait till spring and try to take my own.

And this feels like a similar technique to the atmospheric thing, right?  It seems that I just need to train my eye to see and create the right colors – that’s all painting is really.  Teaching you eye to see. (The two above paintings are done by Carol Marine.)

Anyways, that’s my reflection over aspirations for the new year in painting.  Enjoy watching the growth.

2016 Favorites

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 $40.00 USD (8x10in on canvas panel)

My last painting of year, and I just snuck it in.  Because of the sickness that swept through our family this Christmas, we ended up staying home from a conference we planned on going to – so I got to paint!  And for some reason all I was inspired by were some selfies of my friends that I saved months ago.  ::shrugsshoulders::  It felt a little rusty, but I had more time to focus and make the right colors this time – and it was so nice to feel paint on a brush again.

Happy New Year!  Can’t wait to see what I paint next year.  Here are some of my favorites from 2016:

#Selfie

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$30 USD  (8x8in on canvas panel)

Baby was sick today, so that meant a long nap!  I started this face over the summer as a demo for painting faces – I love emphasizing the colors in the face so that’s how she got so purple ::smile::

Anyways, today I decided to finish it!  In ten minutes…it was the end of nap time.  But it felt good to get paint on my hands.  This will probably be the last one this year > family comes this weekend!!

Also – got some good news about a mural I will get to paint this summer in Old Town, get excited.  More details to come.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas.

Conference Room No.2

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NFS (36x48in on stretched canvas)

Finished covering it paint! (see previous post).  Hopefully they all look good together in the same room.  There will be 3 giant paintings total so get excited.

Conference Room Color

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NFS (36x48in on stretched canvas)

My husband gave me the task of creating some art for their conference room at the office.  A company of 8 grown engineers, you can imagine the lack of color in that office ::smile::  I was excited to take on this project.

My initial attempt was completely random abstract….but I soon discovered I’m no good at those; I need a reference photo and a value pattern already established.  So I tried again using the succulent bush I’ve been having so much fun with lately and went a bit more loose and free with it.  I wish I would have taken a picture of the first attempt so you could see how much better this works.

And I’m already excited about the next one:

The commonality each painting will have is the same shades of blue – I’m hoping that’s enough to make them harmonize.  I went to the landfill last week and snagged all the shades of blue I could find.

Happy December!

Montana State Bird

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Finished this Christmas commission today.  Hopefully the gift receiver doesn’t see this post ::smile::  I struggled with this technique – where everything is blurry in the background and sharp up front.  Other artist blogs I have followed have taught me that things closer are darker, so I applied that.  Honestly, the colors weren’t what I was initially envisioning, but I think I like the purply back ground shapes.

Things learned.

Winter Succulent Done

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SOLD (24x24in on Stretched Canvas)

Okay, so I couldn’t wait till tomorrow to finish it, here it is!  I was nervous to finish it at night with different lighting, but I think it turned out well.  I might touch up a few things tomorrow once I see it in the daylight, but I was too excited to get it up here.

Here is Summer and Fall too:

Fall Succulents | 24x24in | $200

Fall Succulents | 24x24in | $200

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Winter Succulent

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A few people have asked me lately if i’ve painted anything new – and usually this doesn’t bother me too much because God’s helped me have grace on myself with the baby at home.  But today I decided to do something about it.

We finally got snow here last week, and I managed to snag a picture of the succulent bush in a wintery scene to continue in my all seasons idea.  I didn’t get to finish it today, baby is taking shorter naps these days, but here’s my progress:

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I’m really thankful for the practice using whites I did a few months ago, it is coming in handy for placing all these different shades.  Knowing the end result would be lots of gloomy greys, I did the initial sketch in red-orange in hopes of warming it up a little.  Liking it so far!

I wanted to get this one started soon also because AKINZ is having a winter show and called out for art from local artists.  So if you’re in town look out for that next month!

Teen Girl Painting Night

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As mentioned a few posts ago, the painting night with some teen gals from church was last night and we had a great time.  Each time I do this I’m so inspired by the color combinations they come up with.  They handled the freedom of my teaching style very well too!  Really glad it happened, and really glad it’s over, I was nervous all week!

My demo painting is a bit bland this time, I get so distracted watching them paint I forget to really think about mine.  Maybe I’ll embellish it this week sometime.

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Art Lesson Sketches

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My little “student” is 11 years old now!  This girl is getting so skilled in mastering her drawing.  I wanted to post some things we’ve been sketching lately because I’m just so inspired by her subject choices.

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We sat outside a couple weeks ago, because it’s been so nice out!! – and drew some dried up leaves.  A great challenge for anyone.  Look at all the colors we pulled out of them!

 

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This week she came over and said, “I want to draw something I’ve never drawn before.”  How can you not admire that courage.  Dogs must be on my mind lately as the Christmas dog commissions are coming in – but we have a mutual friend with a Boston Terrier, so we pulled up a picture and sketched that funny face.

Kool Aid and Painting

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(Available through email.  16inx20in on canvas panel)

Next week I’m walking some teen girls from church through a painting and kool-aid night.  I love doing these sorts of things with groups, but I also struggle with how to teach the two different personality types that I see – the ones who love the freedom to choose their own colors and shapes, and the ones that NEED the step by step instruction or they stress out.  In the typical wine and painting class (I’ve sat in on 2 now I think in town) but they have all the paint you’ll need arranged on a plate, they tell you step by step how to paint the display painting, and it’s all broken down very simply.

Now I know this is what people usually need the first time they sit down in front of a canvas…but this is just not how I instruct.  My group sessions like this usually start out really bumpy and chaotic as the gals are stressing which color to pick – because all I say is, “sure, try that one, see what happens.”  And they don’t typically like that. ::smile::

But by the end of the night, and we’re on the final touches and people are getting the hang of it, they tend to relax > and usually enjoy the thing they painted.  Each “class” I learn something new, so hopefully things will go smoothly next week.  I practiced a display painting today and did a little “self instruction” as I went to make sure I’m at least clear and confident for them.  I’m taking the coloring book approach.  Crossing my fingers they’re okay with flowers.

Documenting the Fall Colors

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I remember being inspired by the dried out Hydrangeas across the street all winter last year, so this time when I noticed them I snapped a few photos.  We actually ended up outside during my art lesson with G last week because of the wonderful colors my neighbor had in her yard.  The dried browns, dark greens, light purples, and bright reds just called to me.  Here’s what I have sketched out so far.  Right now it’s lacking a focal point.  Upgrades coming soon.

Maybe I can eventually capture my neighborhood changing through out the seasons!  What a fun series idea.

Colorful Pup

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I got to paint a dog portrait for a friend last week.  These scruffy, hairy-eyebrow dogs are the most fun to paint! They have such character, and this one in particular had so many colors I was able to pull out of him.  Check out this face-

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Glad I was able to squeeze him in before the end of the month.  I find I’m painting less these days, but when I get the itch I can make something happen.

Fall Succulents

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NFS (24x24in on Stretched Canvas)

Is everyone else as moved as I am by these fall colors when you walk outside?  There’s been an obvious theme in my paintings lately too.  So. Good.

I’m grateful I had a chance to finish this painting today, and I am loving the colors…again!   This is the same bush I painted earlier this summer-

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But look how different the colors are in just a month!  So great.  I might just have to try painting this plant every season.  I get to paint all my favorites with this subject; branches, tiny negative space shapes, and random patterns!  I may have a new favorite.

Another Go

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Welp, the guilt got to me again.  So I sucked it up and took another look at some pictures I took of the same succulent bush at the end of our sidewalk (that I did earlier this summer) and stood in front of the easel and went for it.  I had fun so far and do like the turn out.  But baby’s awake now, so more tomorrow!

Fall Foliage

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SOLD (8x8in on canvas panel)

Woah.  It’s been about 2 weeks since I’ve painted anything on a canvas….whoops.  I think I just needed a break to try some other crafts.  But today was the day, and the yellow aspens and Colorado blue sky were calling for some paint!  I enjoyed the simplicity and colors for this one.

Serving the church

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One of the children’s ministry rooms is getting a re-vamp and I got to help!  Another friend painted this wonderful mural of a forest on one of the walls and other artists in the church are going to fill it with animals.  I was afraid my style was too different (but I guess that’s what a collaboration is all about, huh) so I put bees all around the room.  Nice, easy, quick job.  My favorite.

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If you look really closely you can see the ‘flying trail’, it was hard to capture so far away.

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I kind of want to do this in my kiddo’s room too.  So cute.  And so not intimidating, which is how my studio is feeling these days.  ….Just waiting it out…..

Sketching Something Different

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Sometimes a Bible verse puts a picture in my head and then I’ll try to paint it.  It rarely works out, but since it has been a while since I’ve painted something (again!) I thought I would just roll with my latest verse inspiration.  Here’s the verse:

“God’s angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray.”  Psalm 34:7 (The Message)

A bit literal I admit, and I don’t so much love the outcome of my sketching.  But hey!  Chalk it up as practice.  I think I’ll stick to still lifes.

Stop and Stare

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SOLD (9.25x11in on Wood)

The day got a little mixed up with appointments changing, but I got home and still had an hour and a half left of baby’s nap.  I ran around the house praying for inspiration and grabbing items and threw this still life together as quick as I could because I had that feeling where if I don’t paint today I’ll lose all my skills.  It’s an artist thing.  I’m really pleased with the result, and can now breathe easy.  I can still paint.

Prints for Sale

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Due to a missunderstanding I now have two of these original Orange Lace prints available.  Click the button or message me for details.

 $20.00 USD (9x12in on Watercolor Paper) Print No.1

 $20.00 USD (9x12in on Watercolor Paper) Print No.2

Transformer cabinet No.2

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Wow, it’s a week into September already!?  This month is really busy for us, but I did manage to get to the second cabinet and throw some color on it to feel like I did something.

My parents come to town this weekend to see a concert with us.  Maybe I’ll bring them by to watch the baby while I work.  Hooray grandparents.  Thanks to my mother in law for staying at our place while baby slept today.

Here are some shots from today.

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Barely There

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sold (8x8in on Canvas Panel)

It’s been too long since I’ve sat down and painted something that wasn’t a commission, or a transformer cabinet, or anything with a due date.  So today I scheduled nothing during baby’s nap except painting…and maybe baking.  I typed “creature” warily into morguefile‘s search engine (I have a piece due for another project that might fit this category so I thought I’d start there) and scrolled till something might look inspiring.  This is dangerous because I can sometimes get lost scrolling and then lose all enthusiasm to want to paint, but alas.  This lizard photo popped up and I gave it a whirl.  I enjoyed all the light purples and had fun emphasizing the blues, greens, pinks and oranges.  The photo did that cool thing where the head was all in focus and the rest of the body was blurry- a tricky thing to establish in a painting, and something I can always get better at; but there it is.

Next week I’m doing a fun abstract lesson as the final project with my 3 kiddos I’ve had all summer.  I had globs of paint left over from this lizard so I threw it on a canvas to maybe prep it for that lesson.  Always a good exercise if you don’t want to paint but feel like you should – just throw paint on something.  Most of my favorite pieces come from happy mistakes.

Heart for Old Town

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(36x48in on stretched canvas)

NFS (yet)

My church’s building has a big wall they are hoping to fill with a painting of a view of Old Town (Fort Collins).  I started this early last month, just throwing paint on for fun and then lost interest.  But recently I showed it to the friend who asked for it and he asked when he could have it.  So I threw on some last details that would drive me crazy if I had to see them every Sunday (and days in between ::smile::), and voila!  I think we can call it a wrap.