Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Getting ready for an outdoor show

The first outdoor show of my season is this weekend, in Breckenridge, Colorado. I bought my own tent this year, after borrowing one from a friend the last two years. I did some research and ended up buying a Caravan tent. It is similar in style and just as easy to use as the EZup tents, but heavier and more substantial. If I did lots of shows I would probably have a Light Dome or something of that type, but they are much more expensive. For less than $400, the Caravan tent should be a good fit for my needs. I plan on two shows this year. The second one will be in Evergreen in August.
This painting will be available at the Breckenridge show. I painted it last summer at a local pond, and as I was painting, fishermen were pulling out fish after fish. I titled it "Good Fishing". It is one of my few plein air paintings. I need to paint outside more, but find it a bit frustrating as the light changes so often. People keep telling me it will improve my painting skills, but I don't see any improvement yet. I should do it more....I need the practice. I throw away or wipe off about three of every four I do. When I get one that works, it feels good, but mostly it is just plein frustrating!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Colorado

This 6x8 oil painting is called "Heading Home" because it is from a photo I took last September as I headed back to Summit County from Westcliffe, Colorado. The road follows the Arkansas river a good part of the way, and in places, has cut canyons that you drive through. It was about 5pm as I came out of a canyon into the sunshine and I had to stop and take photos because the light was so nice. I do this drive every year, and I always look forward to it because the leaves are peaking at the end of September.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Changing Colorado weather

June 13th, and we woke up to snow this morning! It has mostly melted now, but we expect cold temperatures tonight so my tender plants are inside. Typical Colorado! It made me think it might be a good time to post this painting that is titled "Weather Change".

Friday, June 11, 2010

Beaver Pond near Lake Dillon

Those Beavers are busy guys! I rember once camping near a stream, and when we went back three years later the stream had been eaten up by a large series of ponds. The beavers had been hard at work all that time.
This painting was a challenge to myself to use many shades of greens, which can be difficult! The photo is a little cooler than the actual painting. It may be one that people consider boring and never buy, but I liked the way it came out. Sometimes the ones you like best, no one else seems to like enough to buy! And one that you weren't as happy with is the first one to go the week you take it to the gallery. It is strange how that works, and I have given up trying to predict what will sell and what won't.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Finally, summer is here!

Summer in Colorado is fabulous, when it finally gets here. I photographed this flower container in front of a Victorian style house several years ago in Redstone, Colorado, and decided that this would be a good time to paint it. Redstone is a wonderful little artsy, historic town not too far from Aspen and Glenwood Springs, but you find these type of flower displays all through the mountains. Breckenridge and the area I live in have some of the best! Colorado summers are really nice because our temperatures are cool (no AC needed) and the sun is strong, intensifying colors. Everything seems to bloom at once because it season is so short. It is a great time to live here!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A pet portrait

I don't do pet portraits, and I really prefer to paint landscapes. This painting, titled "Littermates" is of two of my cats. They are 14 years old now, and Delilah (the fluffy one) has kidney problems, so who knows how much longer I will have them? I decided it was time to paint them in my favorite pose.
We got Dusty and Delilah as tiny kittens from the local shelter. I had planned on only getting one cat, but took a friend with me who insisted I take her brother too, and I am glad I did. They are Siamese mixes. Dusty looks very Siamese but Delilah is soft and very fluffy. She does have darker tail and ears, typical of Siamese. They have always slept like this, provided Dusty gets in the kitty bed first, then Delilah can join him. If she gets in first, he chases her out, but then lets her back in after he gets the prime spot. She always has her paws around him as she does here. She puts up with a lot from him, but she seems to realize it is a fact of life in her world!
A painting tip from from my sister that I will pass on. Normally I try not to paint with anything smaller than a number 4 bristle brush. It is tough to do fine lines with it though, and a rigger doesn't really give me the control of the line that I want. Adele, now an oil painter, used to be a watercolor artist. She suggested a water color brush that comes to a fine point. I happen to have one and it works like a charm. It allows you to put down that fine line you need for whiskers, and also lets you to make it even finer by cutting into it from the side, picking up paint you don't want. It is absorbent, so with a little turps on it, will take out a line that is in the wrong place completely. I waited until the painting was pretty dry to add the whiskers, and that made it easier.