Wednesday, February 19, 2014

El Mariachi

Going through some old stuff recently, and I remembered that I've been meaning to paint this for a long time.....several years. This is 12" x 15" oil on board.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Happy Anna's Birthday, aka Valentine's Day

The Amazing Reese and I had a simple Valentine's day, yes, full of love and contentment, but simple. We happily rented a redbox movie, Austenland -- very cute, and surprisingly enough, got McDonald's to go. I can't remember the last time we had McDonald's. I'm pretty sure it was years ago when we were on the hunt  for the teeny beanie baby surprise in McDonald's happy meals. With four young daughters, we had a lot of happy meals in a relatively short amount of time, and I think we just sort of burned out on McD's. Last night, Reese and I were both so hungry that we scarfed down our burgers, after which we reasoned that if we were both that hungry that it took us 2 1/2 minutes to eat, then we didn't deserve to eat at a fancy restaurant for Valentine's day. Last year, we went to Brennan's -- my absolute favorite restaurant of all time -- and had lousy service. Brennan's is still my favorite restaurant, and we've gone there in the past for lunch on Valentine's day with great success, it's just that they were much too busy last year during dinner service to pay us any attention. So, I guess in typical over compensating fashion, we went in the complete opposite direction this year. It worked just fine for us, plus the burgers and fries paired really well with a nice bottle of red wine. Long, rambling story, but there it is.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tree in Botanical Gardens in San Miguel

Besides figuring out what to paint, which is an enormous undertaking, the next biggest challenge is, besides covering the entire canvas with paint that resembles the vision I have in my head, cleaning my paintbrushes. Last week, because I was trying to work through several paintings, cleaning paint brushes got to be very cumbersome, and the painting that I did on Thursday, the Tree in Landscape, was done entirely with a palette knife, which, of course, made cleaning the brushes that day super easy, as there were none to clean.

Today, I started out with the palette knives just putting colors where I wanted them to be. Then I worked for a while with a few round tip paint brushes. I usually love using the round tip brushes because they so easily swirl and twirl the paint, which is what I like to see in my work. However, today it all seemed so tedious. So I started painting with my fingertips. It immediately reminded me of being four years old and in kindergarten again. The control achieved with my fingertips was pretty much exactly what I wanted to accomplish with this painting. There are a few tweaks here and there that will likely be made, and clean up is easily done.

This painting is 20" x 24" oil on linen.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Green Vase with Philodendron

One of my biggest challenges as an artist is trying, for the life of me, to figure out what to paint. Especially with my newish self imposed painting a day challenge (I didn't paint yesterday), today was no exception. I searched the house and yard (in between all the rain) for a considerable amount of time, just looking. The best idea I had was to paint a still life -- too shloshy to paint outdoors. (Is shloshy a word?) Often, with a still life, I rearrange some furniture and arrange the items just so to get the composition and lighting correct. But the day was getting away from me, so I grabbed this estate sale vase from a shelf, and placed it on this particular window sill in the art studio directly in front of the easel that looks out to the neighbor's brick wall. Without a ruler as a guide because that would have entailed another search and rescue mission to who knows what corner of the house to find it, this is eyeballing the angles. This is 12" x 14 1/2" oil on canvas.

On another note, with all of this shloshy weather (there's that word again), poor, sweet, adorable pet Tilly didn't get a walk. She's a little (a lot) on the wiggly side.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Little Boy Playing the Piano

Well, I'm not quite finished with this one -- still have a lot of details to suss out -- but the gist of the image is done. It's a sketch I started over a year ago -- just haven't been inclined to work on it until now. It's 16" x 20" oil on linen, but remember, it's not finished....I don't think. We'll see.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Tree in Landscape

12" x 14" oil on board - Tree in Landscape

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Window in San Miguel

As a family plus one Spaniard, the only time we made the journey to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico was in 2006. All seven of us piled into the Suburban and drove for two days to get there. We rented a little house on the hill and immersed ourselves in all things Mexico. We shopped in the local market everyday. We walked everywhere. We ate the best, real, authentic Mexican food I've ever eaten in my entire life. By the end of our week, I was even dreaming in Spanish. I loved it!

Window in San Miguel is very typical of the type of architecture that is all over the town. This painting is from a photo that I took on one of our many walks. Maybe we'll go back there some day. I hope so. It's an absolutely charming place.

Window in San Miguel is 11"x 23 1/2, oil on wood.

Camellia in Vase

While I'm not promising to paint every day for the next 21 days, I'm not saying that I won't. This is what I painted yesterday. It is a 10 1/2 x 11, oil on board -- Camellia.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Doing Something

Sad to say, it's been two and a half months since I've painted an actual painting. Yes, I've been busy with other things, but that seems like a weak excuse for not pursuing this artistic life. I'd like to make a promise to paint for X number of days in a row, or something, just to kick start an actual, legitimate painting regimen. It's something I did back in 2008 -- 21 days of painting in a row -- the idea being to start a healthy habit. To think of it now, though, it seems like too much of a commitment to add painting everyday to an already full life. But if I don't do something, well, I'll do nothing, which is not good. So, even though I'm not promising to paint for 21 days in a row, I am deciding to do more than nothing, which is something, even if it's as still yet undefined. So, here goes something.  This landscape is 11" x 28" oil on board.