Saturday, April 14, 2018

collage lemons

My sister Barbara has been living in Spain for the last two years.  She lives inland from the coast about an hour and a half.  The terrain there is a lot like Tucson Arizona.  It has some hills, trees, dessert and the temperature is just about the same with warmer days and cool nights. 
One of the things she loves about being there is the lemon groves.  She has one right next to the house she is living in.
I created this sunny little collage for her to take back with her just to make her smile.  I used a photo from a painting I had done of lemons.


Saturday, April 7, 2018


This 9x12 painting is from one of our challenges.  We were to paint a black bird without using any black.  I was o.k. with the original but when I looked at it for a few more days I realized I really wasn't happy with it.
I wanted the bird itself to be bigger, to be rougher, to be more unformed and feathery.  I really didn't want a tight bird painting but a loose, suggestive one.  So, this is what I came up with.
He is fuller, looser and has an attitude.  That is what I originally missed.


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Abstract Collage?

When I do a collage I have a specific subject in mind and the collage comes out looking like that subject.  This time however I decided to do a landscape.  When I was working on it I concentrated on one area at a time and it was only when I was nearly finished that I stood back and really looked at the whole picture.  The piece looked like the photo but yet it didn't?
Hmm I think you have to decide for yourself.  Does it look like a marsh scene with a sky, trees and bushes, marsh, water and water with a cloud reflection or does it have a much more abstract feel to it?
If I didn't tell you what it was what would you think it was?

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Coffe with creamer please

I love painting landscapes but set ups are so much fun.  I am pretty lazy about them though.  I usually fuss around forever trying to set something up and am never happy.  It is so much better if someone just says paint this!
I painted this at an Elio workshop.  He always has several pieces in a set up and I usually pick a few things or an area I like and paint that.  For me the simpler the better.  At the time this seemed a simple set up but the creamer has a difficult shape and position.  Also the creamer and mug were white so all of the color had to come from the background and table cloth.  I used as much shadowing as possible to keep it interesting.  It turned out to be one of my favorite pieces.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Wheatfield with Crows

I have interpreted the Pieces of Eight challenge this month a little differently.  I used Van Gogh's "Wheatfield with crows" as an inspiration for two reasons. First so many people know it and secondly I have always been fascinated with the way you can paint a squiggly line in the sky and it is suddenly a bird.  Everyone who sees it knows it is a bird, yet it is just a V shaped line.
I decided to try Wheatfield as a collage.  I used a lot of busy papers because that is Van Gogh to me.  Motion, movement, color.  The birds are not black but are musical notes and written or printed paper.  They fly through the air carrying messages of song, love, hope.

Wheatfield with Crows after Van Gogh
Notice the busyness of the paper.

All of the crows have a musical or written message on them.

The original is below the collage. Notice that the colors are transposed.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Alcohol Inks

One of the best things about art is that it has many forms and mediums.  I came across a medium new to me called alcohol inks.  They were so much fun and quite a welcome change from oils or collage.  I found the experience frustrating but very freeing.  You really cannot control much except for the colors you use.
The paint has to used on a smooth surface so it slips and slides.  You can control where it goes by moving the tile or using alcohol to try and direct the flow.  Sort of like herding cats.  I really enjoyed it once I realized that most of it was out of my hands.  It was fun putting colors together than trying to guess what I had created.  You can also use stamps or anything else you have lying around to give it interest.
Here are three very different tiles.

I used a music stamp on this tile.

This tile reminded me of a landscape with trees and water.

This was just pouring and moving the tile around.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Block by block

 I love taking photos of buildings of all kinds, especially older ones with lots of angles, interesting rooflines, in different stages of upkeep and repair.  So, I was intrigued by this old church in an old Florida neighborhood.  It looked like several buildings were put down and then attached to each other.  I couldn't help think of a child's set of wooden blocks. 
 I have a hard time translating all the wonderful nooks, crannies and lived in character that I see in buildings onto my canvas.   I usually paint farm houses, out buildings, sheds, or barns that are not the main focus of the painting.  I decided to just paint the wonderful shapes and see what happened.
The church was all white but I liked the idea of having each section a different color just to see what kind of vibe it would give off.
The result isn't to everyone's taste but I am happy.

Block by Block