Friday, November 21, 2014

Come Sail Away

Last week Kathy posted some photos of our "chalk" paintings. That was the day Cindy showed us how to draw on black gesso then paint the drawing, leaving the chalk outline. After the paint was dry you could wash off the chalk and it left a black outline.
That was a really fun exercise for all of us. None of us really paint in acrylics that much so it gave us a chance to try a new project with a new medium. I did little sailboats from a photo Carol Schiff had brought in. This is what my painting looks like after the chalk has been washed off. I just love the whimsy that painting in one color and outlining the colors in black creates. In fact I like it so much I am going to give it to my grandson James for his room

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Little Collage

A little collage can go a long way. It can make you smile, remind you of something or someone, be a homage to something or someone you admire. The color alone can lift your spirits.
As I was sorting through some of my artwork for our sale I came across a piece I had done to pay tribute to a long lost and almost forgotten art medium, tea sets. England was in the forefront of this wonderful expression of art, especially a pioneer in the Art Deco movement Clarise Cliff.
Once every home had a least one good tea or coffee service for "company" and like many everyday objects they became more intricate and move beautiful as people had time, leisure and money to spend on common objects. The colors, designs and forms that made the Art Deco Movement so wonderful also made something as ordinary as a cup a work of art.
This little whimsical design is from one such tea set.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Abstracts to Collage to Oils, oh my

One of the best things about being an artist in a group is that you are exposed to so many techniques. Our group is so diverse, with so many interests we are never bored or boring nor is our Art Sale!!
This December 5th and 6th is our famous, yes I mean famous Pieces of 8 pre- holiday sale.
This year for the first time it will be a 2 day event, tied into First Friday in Eau Gallie and continuing on Saturday. We will be at our new studio space at Ralph's Art Supply and he has graciously agreed to us starting our sale on Friday from 3:00 to 8:30 and into Saturday 10:00-4:00.
I love dappling in oils, collage and abstracts of all kinds and will have all of the above for sale at the show and I am only one person.
We always have so much fun meeting some of the wonderful people who support us by purchasing our art, following us on Facebook and our blog.
Here are a few of the pieces I will have at the sale. Please come by, browse, enjoy and say hello.


Hand colored black and white photo


Monday, October 27, 2014


One of the fun techniques that I did some experiments with was working with foil. I really liked the way you could manipulate it with anything that had the ability to leave an impression. You could use everything from a spoon to a fly swatter. All you had to do was press it onto the foil or press the foil on top of the impression.
When I was in Michael's I saw some really interesting pattern presses, before I started this I had no idea anything like that even existed. The "pattern presses" are just small flat pieces of metal with an embossed design on them. They had so many interesting ones that I had to buy one to experiment with. I choose one that had different machine gears embossed on the plate. I also used various acrylics to see how different colors affected the design. This is how it came out.

Foiled Again

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Away, Away

Well here it is the end of October and finally it seems like we will all be back in town again. This has been one of those years for The Pieces. We have all seemed to be involved in lots of traveling, either for pleasure or family, and had some surgeries, either us or family, thrown in.
While I am getting ready for the painter and getting ready for our annual art sale December 5th/6th I have some across some pieces that seem to fit the mood. One of them is this little collage I did last year when so many of us were away.
This piece reminds me of wind in your hair road trips back in the day. I took this photo really close so you could see the collage paper is old maps and travel stickers.

Zoom Zoom Zoom

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Finding Time

Art is not just about going into a studio and creating. There has to be inspiration, enthusiasm and most of all time. Of course it never seems like you have all three at the same time but you can try and be in tune with your artistic side while you are doing other things.
I am in the middle of getting my house ready for repainting. I am clearing away photos, taking down paintings, putting away knick-knacks, while grousing constantly about the whole process. As I was filling another box with "stuff" I realized this could be a great opportunity re-arrange and freshen up.
I started taking photos of my groupings when another thought occurred to me. Why not paint some of my arrangements? Or if not the whole arrangement some of the pieces. I have so many fun little "things" I have collected along the way but I see them every day, which means I don't see them anymore.
Here is a photo of my "Fun Wall" in my kitchen. I realized on this one shelf alone I had several set ups if I wanted to use them.
Hmmm what would you paint?

My Fun Wall

Chickens anyone?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Flower Power

On Thursday I finally joined the group after many weeks away. It was wonderful to be back in so many ways. We were in our new space, which is so sunny and roomy.
It was my turn to lead the group and I chose to bring a set up. I was anxious to see how it would be to paint in the new light. I brought in a few luscious tomatoes, garlic cloves and a small bottle with a few flowers in it. I had spend quite a bit of time the night before getting my paints ready, packing my art bag with all my supplies, deciding exactly what to bring for the set up so, I was anxious to start painting but wanting and doing are two different things. I spent lots of time drawing and redrawing, rubbing out and restarting but it wasn't happening. I did finally get the bottle in the shape and size I wanted but that was it. At first I was pretty discouraged but then I really thought about it and realized it didn't matter if I didn't paint something I considered worthwhile what mattered was that I was here with my friends and I was painting.
Here is something I did last spring, when the muse was still with me.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Just the Bling

Here is the same subject with just the jewelry.  It takes a long time to get deep or bold color into a hand painted photo.  The color is added a layer at a time, wiped and then after some time has gone by added again.  You follow this process until you get the color you want. 
The oils I used were special oils made just for this process.  You also need special additives to mix with the paint and seal it.  All the color is added with cotton swabs, not the ones you buy like Q-tips, but ones you make yourself from pure puffed cotton you can buy in a drug store.  You then wrap the cotton loosely around long slender sticks you can send for. 
I just love the colors on this one.
Donna Vines

Just the Bling

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Shells and Bling

Another favorite subject of mine to hand paint were everyday indoor scenes. Everyday objects next to each other or that seemed very different but belonged together. I like this one because it has the soft shells in it and some razzle dazzle. Both are beautiful in their own way.
Donna Vines

Shells and Bling

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Good Harbor Beach

Looking at some more hand painted photos I thought it would be interesting to post some New England scenes. This is Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, MA. It is one of the most popular beaches in Glouceste, especially with the locals.
One one side you have to walk over a bridge from the road to get to the beach and the bridge goes over a natural inlet that the kids love. It is a shallow, safe place for the little ones to play and the water is not as cold.
You can see the creek on the right in this photo.

Good Harbor Beach

Saturday, July 12, 2014

I am going to Massachusetts for a visit in a week or so. One of my goals when I am up there besides visiting family and friends and eating all those local treats is to take lots of photos. I love going on photo shoots when I am there. It is a great excuse to just drive around and re-acquaint myself with the ocean, marshes and rugged coast line.
Years ago one of my favorite things to paint was black and white photos. I loved the old post cards and portraits from the turn of the century that were hand painted. They had such a wonderful hazy glow to them. They always looked liked they were someones dream of how a place should look. I still have a few of the ones I did. This one is in Rockport, MA. These cottages overlook the ocean and as we used to say, "Next stop England".


Friday, July 4, 2014

Experiment I

 I have been experimenting again with abstracts. I found a wonderful workbook at the Library called The Artist Unique: Discovering Your Creative Signature by Carmen Torbus. I liked it so much that I check Amazon to see if I could buy a used copy and they had it for free if you have a Kindle!! That is a great deal. Happily I did upload it.
This is one of the exercises from the workbook. I used gesso, gel, texturing tools
(aka a plastic fork and credit card), some old sheet music and acrylic paints. Once I collaged the sheet music on I decided to stick with black and white. The enjoyment of this piece is seeing how the paint reacts to the surface. It run, puddles and settles in all the nooks and crannies. This was a fun exercise that made me want to try again with different textures and colors.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Can you guess?

I have an itch to do some more collageing and have been organizing my supplies and checking out some collage websites. While I was browsing I thought about a project we had done a few years ago with a local quilting group. We each teamed up with a quilter and did a piece to correspond with their theme and quilt. My quilter did a Christmas piece so I had to come up with something using her theme and colors. Instead of painting I decided to do a collage, somehow it felt more quilt like. I did this piece and I still have it hanging in my living room. I always loved the colors and the subject, I really like round things. See if you can guess what it hints.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Mmmm good

I saw a cute little gem of a move last night that I liked very much called Chef with John Favreau. Make no mistake about it this is a movie dedicated to the art of food. Buying it, preparing it, cooking it, appreciating it and last but by no means least, eating it. This movie was written, directed and acted by people that show their love of family and life through cooking, serving and savoring food. Alas, I am not a foodie but craved a Cuban sandwich or anything with lots of ingredients after the movie was over.
After seeing this visual homage to all things edible it made me think about how many paintings I had done with food as the main "ingredient". So, no matter how you eat or think about food you can't deny it is pretty to look at and fascinating to paint.
Peppers and Pears


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

New again

Seeing the wonderful paintings that Carmen and Carol did for CFAI Juried Show inspired me to look through my photos and see what I might have that I haven't seen for awhile. Something to inspire me and get those creative juices flowing again.
While I was looking through my photos of New England, No. Carolina, the beach etc. I came across some photos I took of an Old Masters Show we had done. There right before me was my painting of "Tahitian Women Bathing" after Gauguin and "Starry Night" after Van Gogh. It was such a kick to see these and remember how much fun we had doing the "Old Masters" but also how difficult it was to imitate a great painters style. Even though we were painting freehand it was almost like painting by numbers because all of the colors and parameters were laid out for you. You had to be very exacting.

Tahitian Women Bathing  Paul Gauguin

Starry Night  Vincent Van Gogh


Sunday, May 18, 2014

How can anything that seems so simple be so hard. Bowls are one of my favorite things. I love their roundness, their color, their design, their shape, the way they feel....ahhh, they are just cute. I thought I would set up several bowls and just paint away.
First of all setting up several bowls and making them look interesting takes on a life of its own. Not everyone likes bowls or finds them endlessly fascinating, I know it's hard to believe but I have heard rumors and secondly you have to take lighting and composition into consideration. o.k. after several attempts, opinions, suggestions, changes and false starts this simple arrangement was agreed upon.
That was the easy part. Round is hard!!! Their are lots of nooks and crannies to deal with, depth and shadow and lots of curves, oh dear. I had a lot of help with this painting and it is still not finished but I do love looking at it, not only because of the subject but because it reminds me that when I wanted to throw in the towel on this one I got a lot of support to keep going. thanks ladies.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

step by step

One of the important lessons I am relearning is that a painting does not just happen. Most painters don't stand in front of their easels, start and complete that painting at one sitting. Even people like myself who have painted before forget this. We are so intent on what we are doing we forget to stop everyone once in awhile, stand away from our work, see what it looks like from a distance, how it will look to others when they first see it. Another important step we forget is to take a break once in awhile, think about what we are trying to accomplish, turn your painting if you are having trouble, see it from a different angle.
These three photos are of one painting taken at different times. It is sort of a progression to show what I started with, then walked away from and then came back to. The last painting is the final one, I am happiest with it and like the colors and depth.

first pass


try number 2


final painting?????

As soon as I posted this I saw changes I would like to make.