Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sparks of Light


Wander a whole summer if you can. Thousands of God's blessings will search you and soak you as if you were a sponge, and the big days will go by uncounted.   (John Muir)





You are the Sunshine of My Life, detail of 40 x 30 painting





Sun Hat, 16 x 8

I saw her at the pool on Sunday and had to do this quick study
(after a surreptitious photo)!





Summer is here...the light is incredible...AND, as we leave tomorrow for an Italian painting experience with many good friends,  
I am so appreciative of it all, and the surprises to come.  
A re-boot is in order, and here it is just in time! 

This art life just gets better and better....






Summer Table, 40 x 40







Yellow Peonies, 12 x 9










Monday, April 20, 2015

Dreaming Along


"Listen to the color of your dreams,"
The Beatles 
(Tomorrow Never Knows)


Lots of travel the past month -- so much fun and re-charging too!  With extra time to think outside the studio, I have been transforming my goals as a painter as well.  Why  not?  I am painting for ME now, feeling my way into the subject, no longer worrying about the subject itself.  The subject is the starting point -- for my dreaming and fun while at the easel. 

Most importantly, I am learning to paint what I like and hope that others will like it too ...instead of trying to anticipate what the unknown "others" might want!
It is truly exciting to be able to refine and re-imagine this painting dream -- that what keeps it interesting, non?
 

Below are some recent paintings:

Points of Light, 12 x 9
Small study from a photo



Brand New Day, 12 x 12
Painting below is based upon this small one, done from a life set-up.




Rose Colored Glasses, 40 x 40




Set Up Photo for painting below-




Surprising Liaisons, 24 x 24



 Tender Mercies, 12 x 12
Study from life set-up, and inspiration for large piece below.



Sometimes When We Touch, 48 x 36


This is an exciting week here in Atlanta -- lots of very prominent national plein air painters are coming in for the Olmsted Plein Air Invitational April 22nd - 26th; then the next week the Portrait Society of America annual conference will be taking place here as well.  I plan to be inspired by it all and to have some fun too!!  







Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Path Lights Up




It's OK, 12 x 9



Choosing Joy, 12 x 10



Winter Sun, Paris, 16 x 12



Dance Team, 12 x 9



Let It Shine, 36 x 36



Spring Fever, 24 x 24



At the Quinlan, 18 x 14



Sandy O, 16 x 8, demo at Naples Workshop




Busy times lately -- so glad spring is making an appearance - the light is inspiring to me already...  on that note, I have taught a couple of terrific workshops, one of which was in Naples, FL, at the perfect time to escape the cold in Atlanta!  
Then back in the studio: painting, painting, doing much revising, revising, and over-thinking. 

After times such as these, though, often a breakthrough can follow -- fingers crossed!  As one of my painting friends just said to me... clear out the pipes,  release the self-judgment,  allow the clarity to flow.  Amen to that.

Of course, seeing the Clyde Aspevig paintings at the Booth Western Museum in Cartersville, GA, can tend to make one dissatisfied with one's own efforts.  He has an exhibit at the Booth until May, and Clyde himself was there last week for a gallery talk and painting demo.  Lots of painters were on hand, and of course, and we all had lots of fun!


A Master at the Easel



Below are a few of the Clyde Aspevig (www.clydeaspevig.com) pieces on display that blew me away-- the lighting, the skill, the composition, the honor paid to even the simplest subject -- amazing!











Whoa...




Monday, January 12, 2015

Choices




“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are,  far more than our abilities.”  J.K.Rowling



Oh the decisions we have to make as painters...constant choices on everything! 

What to paint, how to interpret, how to express the message with our tools...if one takes time to actively think about ALL of it, it might be impossible to paint.  Luckily, as we start with the first marks, the dialogue between the painter and the canvas begins, and the painting seems to call out for what is needed.

AND, with oil painting, if one idea doesn't please, it is easy enough to change it!  But that's a decision too.... 

I have been playing with paintings lately, trying always to simplify, and often changing my idea of what it means to simplify-- is it a brevity of strokes, a simple background, lots of negative space, or one simple idea?  The choice each day may be different, but that's what makes this journey worth taking, non?


Red Scarf, 10 x 10




Red Bow, 10 x 10











Alex, for my dear friend Bob, 10 x 10




And oh, so often














Wednesday, December 3, 2014

White Out


“White…is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black…God paints in many colours; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white.” — G. K. Chesterton 





Perhaps someday I'll pass through this phase of liking really high-key paintings!  Right now, I continue to push the paler shades of white, or is it the "Whiter Shade of Pale?" 
As one will often hear at my workshops, "white isn't really white --  neighboring colors always influence what the viewer sees as white, so avoid using white straight from the tube!" 
That being said, Gamblin has a wonderful discourse on the various properties of white paint - you might want to check this link:  http://www.gamblincolors.com/newsletters/getting-the-white-right.html

Below are a few recent experiments in creating a pale yet strong balance, my ongoing challenge!


Softly Yours, 16 x 8




Intriguing Possibilities, 16 x 20




Quai d'Orsay, 16 x 12





Shimmery, 30 x 30



Morning Sun, 16 x 12





Annie in White, 22 x 15




Well, and it IS the Christmas season, so a white package is in order, non?  So much appreciation and love for the supportive and positive friends I've made this year in the painting community! 

Rock It! 6 x 6







p.s. below is a wall I saw yesterday at Huff Harrington Fine Art in Atlanta, combining a lively abstract and a couple of my "whites" over the fireplace...the "Huffingtons" can surely hang artwork in a cool way!!






Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Small Works Time, Etc!

Below are some recent small pieces, done as demos, or for fun, or for Small Works Season, now upon us!  I enjoy doing small studies, yet find even the simplest subjects are often challenging, and also great exercises in refining, paring down, adding and subtracting, all of it!  


30 Minute Class Demo, Nashville Workshop
16 x 8


30 Minute Class Demo, Atlanta Workshop
16 x 8


Little One, 22 x 16


Popsicle, 14 x 11


Subtle Patterns, 9 x 12



Simplicity, 12 x 9


So Many Thanks, 16 x 12


Windowsill, 8 x 16


Provencal Village, 14 x 11


Dianne's Roses, 12 x 12


SO glad to be home, with some painting time, family time, and cool weather.  The quest to become a better painter informs each day in so many ways... and I'm ever appreciative of the people who join me on this amazing path!



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Comings and Goings

September was a wonderful month, with of course, the magical painting trip to Provence, at the lovely French country home of Ann Huff, called Les Murets. 

So many thanks to all at Huff Harrington who coordinated our over the top experience!  
Seven painters accompanied me this year; we spent a week creating, talking, shopping, having un peu de rose, all of it... just a terrific group!
  

Below are a few snippets of the comings and goings....

Well, this is the perfect phrase, non?  
(Photo taken in the village of Cassis, on the Mediterranean)




Quick Study of Gordes, 9 x 12





Toutes les Femmes, with Gordes in view



Below are samples of the lovely studies done by this year's
Provencal Painters......


Isle sur la Sorgue, by Carol Cotten Smith




Confit Pot and Roses, by Julie Harris



Cassis Harbor, by Dianne Williams





Cliffside Beach, Cassis, by Dianne Harrison





Les Figues, by Helen Farson




Fenetre de Provence, by Laine Francis





Snippet of her watercolor Travel Sketchbook, along 
with her oil sketch
of Confit Pot and Roses, 
by Faye Phillips






Au Revoir, Provence !



Then upon my return, I had the great pleasure of traveling to Jeanie Smith's Studio in Nashville, TN, to teach a 2-day Painting Studies of Children Workshop..... Another great and very talented group, who taught me a lot!!  (check out www.carolcarmichaelpaints.com to see her delightful paintings and posts from this workshop)
  


Below are a few studies that I did before or right after the workshop... I'm at Atlanta Artists Center this weekend with the same format, and am so looking forward to that one too.


Soccer Girl! 16 x 10




Fancy Dress, 16 x 8





 And finally, a couple of small Parisian studies done after my return from France, inspired once more!


Busy Corner, Paris, 12 x 12




Shimmering Skies, Paris, 12 x 12



Truly, La Vie Est Belle...