"God's art [Creation] speaks of Himself, reflecting who He is and what He is like."
Francis Chan

Monday, September 26, 2011

Update on Work in Progress - Texture!

In my last post I gave you a glimpse of some of the first steps in a commission piece that I am doing.
This week I began to focus in on the seed head of the flower.  I really wanted to add lots of texture to it so I turned to the palette knife to apply hundreds of dollops of multi-colored paint.  
 The client that I am working with mentioned that they really loved the orange popping up here and there in the original painting that this one is based on, so I made sure to add lots of tones of reds and oranges. What I love about this is that some of the paint that I am using has a transparent tendency that will catches the light, especially as you move around the painting.   Below are some close up shots (double click on them to see them enlarged) that give an idea of the texture that is beginning to appear on the canvas...

full view of work in progress
At this point, the dollops that I currently have on there need to set up before I add an more layers, so next I will turn my attention back to the petals and background.
It is looking like I may have a week or so more worth of work on this one - maybe by next week I will be able to post the completed painting.
Until then...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


              I posted last week that I had been working on bigger project (35x35) simply called "Red".  I put the finishing touches on it over the weekend and am pleased with the final painting.
             I started this project about a month ago with a couple of things in mind.  First of all, I was thinking one night about the ocean - waves crashing into each other and the power behind those waves.  I got a picture in my mind of someone standing in the middle of those waves and how the waves would encompass them when they crashed together. I suppose because I am a floral painter - the waves immediately took on "petal" form in my mind.   I had also been thinking about the color red -  how it has such power. It  really speaks of strength and passion.  And for me red is not so much about passion of the lustful kind, but more so of the zealous kind - really believing in something and being passionate about that belief. As a Christian, I, of course,  always associate red with the blood of Jesus and the powerful work that was done on the cross on my behalf.  I know that might be a turn off to some people - but that is who I am and what I am about and it has a huge impact on my life, including my art.
           Those two ideas, the all encompassing waves and the color red, really started to meld in my thoughts and I tried to somehow capture the ideas with paint.  I didn't really have a plan, which is unusual for me.  I just started painting red.  My son asked me what I was painting and my answer was - "not sure yet."  He asked if it was an abstract (also unusual for me).  I looked at the few stroked that I had painted and said, "Yeah, I guess...kinda...sorta..."  Now I was way out of my comfort zone. I mean, I know I am still kind of painting a flower of sorts.   But I was more trying to paint an idea - which isn't really something I have done a lot.
close- up
                                                                              As the painting progressed and I thought more about the first images that I had had in my mind, I began to see a connection there.  It very much tells a story of my life: God's love - powerful, even dangerous, like these red petal "waves", crashing into my life and encompassing me.  But these "waves" ended up being a flower, therefore it is delicate, even nurturing, holding carefully some unseen object.  Again, such a picture of the love of God in my life -  I very much feel  the sense, always, of being held.

               It is interesting sometimes where a painting starts and where it takes you.
               You just never know...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Work in Progress

  I met a really nice couple last week at the Swamp Fox Art Sale who really liked a small coneflower painting I did about a year ago.  They loved the colors, the unique angle of the flower, they even had the perfect spot for it - if only it was larger.   I let them know that painting a larger version would be no problem!  I also promised them that I would include update posts on this blog to keep them posted on the progress.
  So here it is, in about what I am thinking is about step three in a seven or eight step progression.  I just started laying in the brushwork for the flower head, which will have lots of texture, and am working on  the angles of the lines in the petals.  They requested more of an eggplant color for the petals so I am working on toning it down, while still trying to maintain the brilliance of those rich colors.
   More updates to come later...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Back in the Swing of Things

    I feel like I am getting back into the swing of things and getting some time to paint!  Over the weekend I finished up my close up of a cockscomb (above) that I wanted to do as a thank you for the lovely couple that I told you about in my last post, who gave me a tour (and painting time) in their incredible garden last week.  I had done the study plein air with the plans to do later what is most comfortable for me - close ups - using one of the huge cockscombs that they had let me bring home with me, as a reference.  The unique texture of the flower was a blast.  It is so different from the smooth flowing petals that I am used to painting.
Some of the largest cockscomb flowers I have ever seen!

    On another note, I had a great art sale last Sunday at the Swamp and Fox Festival in Marion, Iowa.  Thanks to all who came out and stopped by to say hello!  It was really nice to see so many friendly faces.  I met a nice couple there who liked a small coneflower I had done about a year or so ago, but would like it done bigger.  I am always up for pulling out the big canvases.  I just started this commission yesterday on a 30x40 canvas.  I will keep you posted with updates as it progresses.

    I am also getting close to finishing up another big one that I have been working on for a while, just for fun.  I am super excited about it.  I am waiting to post pictures until it is completed, but I will let you know that I got this picture in my mind one evening of a more abstract nature and set about immediately to capture is on canvas.  I had decided on the title before I even put the brush to canvas: "Red".  
     It should be on here by next week. Until then...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I'm Back.....

    I know that I have been MIA for awhile.  In fact, I have not posted anything on this blog for a month.  It isn't that I haven't been painting, although that has been sparse of late, it's just that, well, I can sum it up in two words - school started.  Starting in early August, I am usually up to my eyeballs in homeschooling prep work that really takes up a lot of my time.  Of course those first few weeks of school can be a bit overwhelming with getting used to new schedules and trying to stay organized with what each child has going on.  But we are a few weeks into it and I am finding a bit more time to actually paint!

   I enjoyed an afternoon outside last week (the kids had no school!) going to the home of a wonderful local couple who had purchased one of my paintings last December (The Red Scarf ).  They invited me over to see and spend time painting in their expansive gardens. I also got a tour of their beautiful Victorian home.  It was such an inspiration.  The walls were covered almost floor to ceiling with about sixty years worth of original art work that these art lovers have collected.  It was warm and inviting and I felt like I had stepped into a magazine.  Unfortunately, the photo I took in their home didn't turn out too well.  But take a look at the lovely scenes I spent the afternoon painting form their garden...

   The painting at the top of my post is my plein air study of "cockscomb".  They are lovely flowers that I got to bring home and have some drying in the sunshine as I write.  I also started a close up painting of  one yesterday.  I'll keep you posted on that.
  It is amazing what a day of inspiration does for you!  After the month of feeling like I've been basically buried in books, it was great to get out and get inspired.

  On another note, any of you locals out there - stop by the "Swamp Fox Festival Art Sale" at the Lowe's Art Center in Marion on Sunday from noon to seven and say hello!


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