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

Fall Succulents | 24x24in | $200
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 $200.00 USD (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.

 

Bubble Glass

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SOLD (8x8in on Canvas Panel)

I saw these awesome set of glasses at thrift store last week and have been staring at them every time I use them.  Here’s my first attempt at capturing it.  *note: I did not drink the milk after painting it, even though I do paint quickly ::smile::

Sunflowers and Glass…Yum

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Working on a couple commissions before starting my next transformer box for the summer.  These guys know how to make a painter happy – request a commission of the things I already love to paint!

The sketch for the second painting (to go with the first) turned out pretty cool.

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I snapped a during picture to show you all the colors that I saw just in the SHADOWS of this sunflower petals.  It’s all about training your eyes folks.

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I want to touch the second one up a bit so it matches the first better, but here’s what I’ve been doing this last week.  Among other things #momming #artlessons #mowingthelawn. ::wink::

Teaching Still Life(s)

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SOLD (6x8in on Canvas Panel)

We finished the still lifes from last week in lesson yesterday.  The kiddos did great!  I wish I took a photo for you all to see their paintings, alas.  I especially love it when they are proud of what they painted. ::smile::

We covered how to paint shadows and hard / soft edges to make a painting look more dynamic and interesting.  It’s so great seeing them lock on and get it.  I hope they are less intimidated by glass now.

2016 Transformer Cabinet No.1 Done!

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I’ve been excited all day to work on this box!  Today I wrapped up the final side.  My husband pointed out how cool it is that both the hippo and the rhino ‘read’ gray but are in fact a rainbow inside.  Yay color.

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Here are the final images!

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Time to get Transformer No.2 started!!  Unfortunately they can’t deliver that one to my house, it will be painted on site like normal.  Come visit me there!

 

 

Giant Box in my Yard

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My transformer from Friday got delivered to my house Monday morning….here it is!  Under the only big trees we have so I’ll have shade while I paint.

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Worked on the ostrich side today.

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I painted during baby’s nap, but got a little too crazy.  Once my husband got home we chatted through how to simplify this guy.

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Here’s the end result!  Much happier with it.  Glad I didn’t paint this one in front of everyone….just my neighbors ::wink::

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City Hall Live Demonstration

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Here are some photos from the event!  I wish I could have taken photos with everyone I talked too, such great people live in this city.

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My little 2 year old friend helped me with the green in the lower left corner of the giraffe side.  Thanks Lucas!  Keep your eyes peeled for where it ends up in the city when it’s all done.

To finish I hear they’re delivering it to my house!!!  I kind of want to put it outside in the front yard so my neighbors can watch. ::smile::

Aging Garden

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 $35.00 USD (8x8in on Canvas Panel)

I swung by the nursery this morning to stock up on some more flowers to fill some of the gaps that have expired in my pots around the house outside.  While transplanting them I was able to enjoy the maturity the other plants have taken on.  The Coleus we planted in the spring has sprouted little purple flowers and the colors were breathtaking!  I tried to capture that with paint today.

Spending the rest of nap-time getting supplies ready for the live painting demo I’ll be doing at City Hall tomorrow evening!  It’s getting real.

Teaching Glass

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I had just the two girls painting yesterday in my lesson, so we got to take it slow and really analyze color mixing.  They did great!  Here’s a shot of our set up:

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It is always nice teaching kids techniques for painting things because I have to put into words what goes on in my head while I paint.  They have so much extra grace on me.

Side Project

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Today is my only day this week to paint in my home studio while baby sleeps, so I tried some flowers from the zoo trip we did in Minnesota….it needs some work.  But I thought I’d post a painting I’ve been working on the side that might go in my church’s building.

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We have a heart for Old Town.

First Friday Parker Art is live!

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We just rolled back into town yesterday morning after spending the whole last week in Minnestoa with my family.  Never long enough, but alas.

I just wanted to post more information for the live painting demo I’m a part of and the even at City Hall.

HERE’s the link for the event, and HERE‘s the map of the location.

It’s this Friday from 5-9pm.  See you there!  Hopefully I can get lots of painting done and socialize a bunch ::smile::