This is an example of what I am trying to do now. A busy street scene like this and the capitol building could have been something I spent hours and hours laboring over and working every detail. But I limited the palette and simplified the scene and left areas of the initial block in basically untouched. Had I kept working, I would have wrung all the life out of it. That took confidence. Sometimes stopping is the hardest part.
Available at Russell Collection Fine Art in Austin. Opening reception Friday, Sept. 4, 6-8 pm.
Can't wait for summer to draw to a close - and the heat to abate - so I can get outside and paint more scenes like this. I so enjoy painting from life - love the loose edges and open brushwork I get when working from something in front of me. I have to learn to stop then and not go back and tighten up!
"Dog Days" is available at Russell Collection Fine Art in Austin.
I am not framing the large pieces now. I hope they are contemporary enough to float on their own and this way can fit into more interiors I think. And if someone wants a frame, then that is always an option they can decide on later.
It was most definitely easier to prepare the work for this show without all the framing. Still, I sanded the wood edges and waxed them to seal out moisture and protect the wood a little. I like the natural wood look so didn't want to paint or stain the edges.
Ampersand is the best product! I tried some cheaper cradled boards Jerry's started carrying, but they were cheaper for a reason. My husband had to fill corners and glue the board down to the wood frame in some cases. I want to put less money into my paintings, but not use inferior materials. Word to the wise.
Both the large gallery painting and the smaller sketch are available at Russell Collection Fine Art in Austin. The 3x3 (Three Women Three Visions) show opens Friday September 4.
As I logged into my Weebly editor they had a quote from Vincent van Gogh - “I long so much to make beautiful things. But beautiful things require effort—and disappointment and perseverance.”—Vincent van Gogh, The Hague, September 9, 1882, to Theo van Gogh
Early this year, I planned to take the year to put in some hard work to grow, and experiment, and play. I think its the first time in my admittedly shoddy memory that I recall focusing so much on certain aspects of my work. Specifically I worked on brushwork (more open) and lightening up my palette (harder than you'd think.)
Along came the opportunity to have a show with two other wonderful artists at Russell Collection Fine Art - and I really had to kick things in to gear. I believe I have made some good strides.
And while I think I have improved my paintings, what might have improved more is my mental outlook. I have a better sense of what I want to create. I have more confidence. I know that creating beautiful things is a lifelong pursuit and I am allowed to change over the course of my lifetime.
So, I took new work in to Russell Collection that I am proud of - and excited to share. Knowing the work is different from what people may expect from me, but hoping they like what they see. We can't stay forever the same. That reminder comes home every day at 3:30 pm from 7th grade! WOW
On our way back from NOLA, we stopped in Orange, TX to visit the collection at the Stark. Wow. It is so impressive. As is the story of the man who started the collection.
It features a lot of western art, especially from the Taos Society of Artists. I saw two Fechin's in person for the first time in my life. I was bummed that they didn't have more out. But the work I did see was stunning - and so inspiring. I've been working this year a lot on color and values. Trying to lighten my palette. These western artists have a perfect palette to study. They get a lot of contrast by working complements rather than pushing values in their color.
I saw Remington, Russell, Dunton, Moran and Berninghaus among many others. Amazing desert colors, stunning nocturnes and incredible value paintings used for illustrations.
I wish the museum wasn't so far from Austin - I would visit weekly! My plan is to create a few sample palettes of some of the colors so I can reference them for my paintings.
Just got home late last night from New Orleans. It was a whirlwind trip with V....Vaughan. We got in just before sunset on Monday night and hit the streets with our cameras and sketchbooks. V.... created a couple of lovely sketches of a resident trumpeter. I saw him there and painted him two years ago. I had trouble getting my bearings.
I liken New Orleans to riding a horse with a hard mouth and strong will. It should be a pleasant experience, a thing of beauty, but you end up fighting with it and being frustrated and disappointed.
I had better success on Tuesday when we got up early, had beignets and beverages at the Cafe du Monde (they have the best of the three beignet places we tried btw.) We painted some sketches and listened to another musician serenade the crowds. Next we sat along the river front and sketched the mighty Mississippi river. It is truly an amazing river. So wide, such a strong current... carrying all our gew gaws in from China.
Tons more walking. Walked a quieter section, then along Bourbon, then back to our hotel area and got our car and drove to the Garden District. Unfortunately, the cemetery was closed. I had hoped to sketch the tombs in there. But we found a good view on Magazine street and settled in there. Then back to the business district for dinner at Luke. Luck favored me there... they sat us next to the kitchen! We watched the chefs hard at their craft and ate a good dinner and had a delicious cold beer. Much appreciated after the long day! Walked for dessert and then finally a shower and bed!!
I think we crammed three days of stuff into one. The heat wasn't bad really. The sun was too intense tho if you weren't in the shade working. And I probably should eat more than a beignet and a half for breakfast when setting out on such a day!
I think I found it stressful because every where we turned there were homeless people begging or street performers hawking. We were targets - sympathetic looking - and naive, unfortunately. I'm usually more savvy but these people are good at what they do and would have you roped before you knew what happened then you were "obliged" to "donate".
To be continued tomorrow while I put my feet up today. :-)
First, remember I was going to New Orleans this week? Well, we moved it to next week. So MONDAY (Aug 10-12) I will be in NOLA.
Second, I usually think of meaningful things to write on here when I am driving or in bed trying to sleep. Then when I get online, I draw a blank. Such is life and I'm sorry these posts aren't more insightful.
My year dedicated to growth has finally begun to show in my work. Maybe more than a physical change in my palette or application, is a growth in my attitude. And maybe that is the most important thing. I am sort of over trying to please others. Part of me feels my audience has maybe drifted away to look over the shoulders of other artists, and that is ok. Its making me feel more free to experiment and change my style. I paint daily with abandon. When I get tired, I stop. I start at all hours of the day. I paint when an idea strikes me. I work on something until I'm bored, have said what I wanted to say or am tired and then I walk away and start something new the next day. I suppose I will go back over these works before my show in Sept. but I hope I don't do much... the last thing I want to do is whittle the life away.
Above are some close up images of an interior with a dog. I should paint more dogs.
New Orleans Painting Road Trip with V....Vaughan
Three Woman Show - Russell Collection Fine Art
AIS 16th Annual Show
A Painter's Journal
Chasing the light. Capturing life.
Keep in touch
Receive updates about new paintings, books or videos, live events, and special subscriber sales!