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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Catch the Light

I have lately been interested in abstract paintings. I study them and decide what are the things that draw my attention to a particular painting. It is often about color and shapes that are exciting to me.I have seen some in places like the Guggenheim and MOMA in New York that seem like a gimmick that is worth a lot of money but does nothing to pique my interest.
I have been incorporating abstract elements into my paintings lately. This painting is a good example of that. The flowers may seem traditional but I have tried to make each stroke deliberate, especially the background. The subject is still recognizable but with fewer strokes.
I don't want to become too predictable by always painting the same way.Although medicare is looming in about 6 months, I like to stay young!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Spotlight

Some of my favorite paintings have a darker background. I guess the darkness brings out the colors in a more dramatic way. I have  painted  similar paintings this way. I never tire of the way these colors are so pleasing to the eye.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

April Vase

My goal with this painting was to emphasize texture. I have painted these type of flowers hundreds of times but wanted to try something different.The smooth texture of the glass is a contrast to the rougher texture of the wall.It gives the painting a little interest and excitement.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

White Garden

I love color but I also like to paint with a limited palette. White is always exciting to me because it adds a punch of interest to the painting. I planted white tulips at my house this year and they are so good because they really show up in the yard compared to other colors that blend into the landscape. I am always amazed at the different greens in nature. Some beginner artists make the mistake of using green right out of the tube.I most often mix blue and yellow on the palette to get vibrant greens. A way to make a duller green is to add a bit of red, the complement of green. There goes that sneaky color theory again!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunny Window

I am drawn to windows and doors on houses rather than the whole structure. I think this is because I am not fond of drawing things that require using a straight edge. It seems like a kind of art that I avoid. The pots of flowers add some interest to the window and the sun and shadows add some life to the painting. No rulers were harmed in this endeavor.

Glory

A little self promotion. I entered two paintings in our local art league show. They both were juried in and one won an award for best use of color. There were a lot of great paintings entered and I am honored to be included. Most of my paintings are sent out to people that I never get a chance to meet so it was nice to interact with artists and art admirers in person.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Three Peonies

This is another peony painting.I get started and can't stop. The glass jars are a favorite theme of mine; even better when they come in threes. One rule of design that  works well is to have an odd number of objects in a painting.An even number seems to split the painting down the middle instead of keeping your eyes moving around the painting.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Dappled Geraniums

I like to paint from life but sometimes it is practical to take photos outdoors. The best day to do that for me is a sunny day bcause of all the wonderful shadows. Sometimes they become the star of the painting rather than the subject matter. These geraniums were begging to be photographed!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Peonies Please

I feel the same way about peonies as I do about water towers. I know, that is weird! I think it is the way they seem to have the shape that can be held oin your hand; the rounded cupped shape. Of course the water tower can't be held- just in my mind. Peonies are so lush and beautiful, they strike a chord in the viewer. This one is headed to Orlando,Florida in a few days.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

English Garden

One of my favorite things about England was seeing all of the gardens. We saw plenty in London, often more formal. We were lucky to go to the Cotswolds , away from the city. The area is famous for its thatched roofs and idyllic views  of sheep in the fields. The gardens were glorious. They were often with the most unassuming cottages; making the house seem grander than they were.This painting reminds  me of the old fashioned feeling of the English country garden.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Moonlight

I learned in a workshop once that it is a good idea to change colors every few inches in a painting.. This is to keep the painting interesting. I don't always remember to do that but I think I was successful in this painting. I didn't have the idea that it was  in moonlight until I finished painting. That is one of the things I love about painting; there is always room to be surprised.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Raise the Bar

Since moving from Pennsylvania where thousands of tulips were just two miles away from me; I savor every one I see. My husband always plants daftodils and tulips every year for me. It is a great Valentines day present to me. Because it has been so warm, the daffodils are already blooming. The Japanese magnolia, bradford pears and forsythia are also competing for attention. But tulips are always first in my heart.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

FULL SWING

Another take on zinnias! These remind me of a group of friends squeezing in to take a selfie, trying to make sure their faces show up in the picture. I don't think of them as shy, retiring flowers. They are full of self esteem ready to be elected cheerleaders.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Rose

i like  close ups of flowers. The first time I tried it I was intimidated because it seemed so complicated. But I soon realized it wasn't as hard as I thought when I knew that I did not have to draw every single petal; there would be no visit from "the rose police" to arrest me if it wasn't exactly like the actual rose. It then became pleasurable!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

BIG PICTURE

Another important thing in art is composition. I don't always follow the rules; they are made to be broken. But some rules are worthwhile. A painting composition is much more dynamic with some diagonal lines.It has something to do with drawing the observer's eye into the picture plane. That is not to say that I couldn't paint these pots of flowers in a straight line; just that I could do something else in the composition to make it interesting. That could be done with color, value or texture.

POP UP BLUE

Whoever invented the color wheel knew what they were doing. I remember in college doing what I thought were boring exercises using different color schemes. I now know they were very important. This painting has an analogous color scheme. In elementary school language that means neighboring colors. The blues, greens and turquoises help each other out to make a soothing combination.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

By the Book

I do love roses. This simple arrangement seems very tranquil to me; just a few elements to take in.Glass is an obsession with me. I remember painting it for the first time. I was very intimidated but it is like a lot of things in life- you just have to try it. The worst thing that could happen is that I might fail and try again.

Monday, February 6, 2017

School House

I found this old photo at a flea market in Maine years ago. It is of students and teachers obviously posing in front of a schoolhouse somewhere probably in New England. It gives a glimpse at what the social structure was at the time.Some of the students are barefoot and in overalls. They must have been the rural farm kids. Some others have nice clothing and shoes; perhaps they are the town children- sons and daughters of the banker or merchants.
My cousins went to a one room schoolhouse for part of their schooling. When my family visited my aunt's family I went to school for a few days in the little school.the teacher taught all 8 grades and did it very well.I went to a suburban elementary at the time and certainly not accustomed to such a small place but it was a great experience.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Great Delta Tour

I went to New Orleans a foggy morning a few weeks ago. While there I went with some friends on the Great Delta Tour of the swamp and delta area of the river. We had a knowledgeable tour guide who was also a bird expert.Although it was a foggy morning , we were able to see a lot .
This is a photograph of the area that I added a filter to make it more interesting. I hope to use it to make a piece of art work.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Out in the Country

The South is a great place to be in the winter but payback comes in July and August. I lived in a rural area early in high  school. In the summer I would take a 2 mile walk to my Uncle's country store. The store had a wood stove  and one of those drink boxes where you put money into a slot and you slid the coke bottle through a track. After it was full, they emptied the container of bottle tops out onto the ground outside the store. The bottle tops became a great paving material.
 The painting above is based on memories of what I saw on the walk to the store. I tried to show the warmth because on some of those days the heat shimmered just like on a desert!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Marrakesh Express

I painted this a while ago and it is now living near New York City. After I finished painting I was thinkng of a title and the name Marrakesh Express came to me. The reason is that it looks more exotic than a typical flower painting--- not your grandmother's African violets. The title is the same as a song written by Graham Nash and recorded by Crosby, Stills and Nash in 1969. Their music is even more relevant today.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Change of Pace

when I visited London I noticed that these flower stands were found all over the city.Even though there might not be a lot of green space, the flowers offered up a bright spot. Instead of what you might see in a garden setting the metal containers add a bit of rhythm and repetition that make for an interesting composition. It is a good thing it is camera ready because I don't think they would have liked me going in and rearranging for art's sake!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

SELECTION

I have been experimenting with using texture in backgrounds for my acrylic paintings. I have a large(12x16) geli plate that I can cover with paint using a brayer.I then place things on it like bubble wrap, stencils, etc. to create texture. I place the plate onto the canvas and Voila!- interesting patterns. This painting is a contrast of smooth and rough textures.

Call it a Day

I like to mix the modern with the old fashioned. Although the subject matter appears to be from a by gone era, the fact that it is on a modern frameless canvas brings a little edge to the painting.The good old days were romantic but I have read about what it was like to walk on unpaved muddy streets, not to mention the contributions made by the horses! I will take my roses any old way.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

SECOND NATURE

Zinnias are the all-time favorite "happy flower."The combination of all the variety of colors is breath taking. A perfect contrast is the cool silver bucket.
I am leaving Ocean Springs, MS. today to go back home. I have spent several days with my group of friends That I have known since elementary school..We went to the Walter Anderson art museum yesterday. He was from an artistic family of painters and potters. He often took a rowboat out to Horn Island and stayed weeks at a time studying the creatures and plant life found there and then translated them into paintings.
you are not familiar with him; look him up. His work is a treat. This is a photo of a room in a community center that he painted for$1 many years ago.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Violet Phase

African Violets are one of my favorite flowers. I think it is the texture of the leaves and blooms; very velvety.This composition seemed to have an abstract feel to it.This is in contrast to the old fashioned nature of the flower which has a reputation for being a "grandmother" plant.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Oak Leaf Hydrangeas

My parents had huge Oak Leaf hydrangeas planted at their home in Mssissippi. The beauty of these plants is that they have tremendous staying power. After their summer blooming of snowy flowers, the dried blossoms  stay as an elegant reminder of their beauty. Then as fall comes along the leaves turn beautiful colors to rival even the most majestic tree. A definite more for your money purchase.
 I am in Ocean Springs, MS this week visiting with friends who go back to elementary school. That is a long time for some people born in 1952 and 1953. We have a wonderful time together and  feel 18 again as long as we don't look closely in the mirror!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Beauty Follows

The colors in this painting are some of my favorites. I had done a textured background prep for this painting and the texture shows through the flower  shapes and vase.I think it makes the painting much more interesting; a little  mystery added.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Choice Blooms

This was one of a series that I did of the same vase of flowers. I have found that if a subject does not excite me the painting of it won't either. The little bits of lime green with the pinks and purples were compelling enough to paint it several times. This one is headed to Syracuse, New York.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Interior Memo

my husband planted tulip and daffodil bulbs yesterday. I know that seems late to some who live in other parts of the country but it works here in the Upper South. The weather has been unseasonably warm and the ground was not cold enough to plant the bulbs. We have planted in January the last several years and have had beautiful flowers every spring. Today we had a snow so the timing was perfect.
I like these yellow tulips combined with the blue and white pitcher. Very Dutch!