September 26, 2013

Studio Plant Still Life - Work in Progress

Still life set up in the studio
Work in progress painting, detail
Today I wanted to do another plant still life painting, but I think I was too ambitious in my setup to be able to complete it in one day.
The previous still life had only one plant, with few big leaves and I managed to complete it.

This time I was at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center again for my three hour session. I wanted to paint a more complex still life and I spent time looking for things, setting them up and all. So of course I did not manage to finish the painting. Ahah

But here is a detail of the work in progress, I'm quite behind, a lot will change.

Blessings to all!

September 25, 2013

Plein Air Painting on the Scioto River

"Bubble Heads"
8" x 10"
Oil on Board

Plein air painting is awesome!  It's like a huge still life with changing light and extra challenges. I need to find the time and courage to paint plein air more often!  :)

This is a study for a bigger painting done in the studio.

Have a happy and creative day!

September 24, 2013

Painting Roses Ain't Easy!

"Wide Open"
8" x 10"
Oil on canvas panel

On Sunday I bought some beautiful roses at a great price. They opened up so beautifully, every time I see them I smile. Ah, the little joys of life!
I thought that painting them would be a fabulous idea, so I set up a simple still life using the prettiest rose.I have to admit it gave me some challenges.
I so admire artists that can paint roses making it seem like a simple task!  My tendency is to overwork them.

When I thought I was done I took a photo and loaded into my computer. As soon as I saw it on the screen I realized there were things I need to fix. It's amazing how on the screen you see things with fresher eyes!  So I went back and added some darks, and here it is. My Monday daily painting. :)

Have a Happy and Creative day! :)

September 23, 2013

Friday's Life Drawing Session With Model


Here in Columbus, OH there is a place where I love to go painting and creating art: the Cultural Arts Center. Since I have small children  I can't take classes when they are out of school, so my good time is the morning.
On Friday morning there is a life drawing/painting session that is awesome. I looove it because the people is very friendly and talented, including the instructor, Susan Ward.
Anyway, this class gets full so quickly that I have a very hard time registering for it, even on the first day registration opens.

With my positive thinking self, when I don't get in, I'm not upset, I think it was meant to be, for some reason I wasn't supposed to be there on Fridays. :)

But for this session apparently that studio is my place to be on Fridays, and I am enjoying so much!

This drawing is from a two-week pose (wonderful for those who choose to paint, a little long for me)  and I decided to experience a lot of first time things:
- First time I use gray paper, not white. 
- First time drawing with charcoal vine (and loved it!)
- First time doing highlights with white Conte crayon.

Since it was a long pose, I took my time and worked the details. At the end I have to say the resemblance to the model is pretty good. That's another first timer. Happy dance!  :)

Here the link to last week's drawing of same pose.

Have a Happy and Creative Week!

September 21, 2013

Experimenting with Color - Still Life Oil Painting with Plant

"Colorful Studio Plant Still Life"
Oil on linen board
This has been a week full of inspirations. :)

On Wednesday I met a wonderful artist, Carol Stewart. She invited me to her studio and we talked and looked at her art. Her work is amazing. She does beautifully complex and colorful still lives. Each of her paintings could be cropped into several smaller well composed still lives; there is so much work and love into each piece. I came home truly inspired.

This daily painting is from Thursday. I was at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center and I setup a still life using one of the interesting plants from the windowsill. I was inspired by Carol's paintings. Also, when I saw the plant it reminded me of an article I read some time ago about Irish artist Bob Lynn, in the International Artist magazine.

I wanted to create a still life with bold colors and a dialogue of organic and geometric shapes.
As a first try, in a very short amount of time, I am happy with the daring and fun result of this piece. Especially because I lerned a lot from it. :)

It would've been nice to work longer on it, especially on the planning part, but I'm on a daily painting quest and had to work quickly.

September 20, 2013

My New IPod App: Lapse It

I have downloaded on my IPod this new app that makes my IPod take photos at a set time interval and then makes a video clip out of it. The name of the app is Lapse It.

I tried it out on Thursday for the first time, and I set it to take photos every 15 seconds.
1 hour and 30 minutes of painting got juiced up in a 20 second clip. The resulting video was pretty bad, you can barely see anything that is going on. But It was a good learning experience.

Some things I learned making this first time clip:
  1.  I have to find a way to get a better view of the canvas. Unfortunately I don't have shelving behind me, so I have to be creative finding something that can support my IPod.
  2. The light is on the way!  I did dot realize how much the light was in the picture, and it blinds the camera.
  3. 15 seconds is too long, next time I'll have smaller intervals of time between photos.

Incidentally I was painting the small painting that I did not like, so maybe knowing I was "on camera" made me somehow nervous. ;)

September 17, 2013

On with the 30/30 Daily Painting Challenge: Strawberry Still Life

6"x6", Oil on stretched canvas
What I love about making daily paintings is the variety. Since the paintings are smaller and finished in one day (that's why it's called daily painting, duh!) I get to paint a lot of different things, and every time I can choose if I paint from photo, from life, or plein air.

This strawberry was from life, and I got to find out that it's not as easy to paint as it may seem!  But that was part of the fun.
I ended up watching a couple of videos on youtube about painting strawberries, and I have to say it helped a lot. In particular they made me see how important the little seeds and the reflections are to make it look "strawberrish". :)


September 16, 2013

A Cucumber Model - Daily Still Life Oil Painting

5"x7", Oil on canvas panel

So proud of my garden fruits!
Despite the low care I was able to provide this year, I'm picking all kinds of goodies every day. Rewards have been much higher than expected! I must have done things right at the beginning of the season to deserve so much forgiveness.

This guy had the fastest career ever: from hiding in a leafy bush in my garden to modeling for a portrait, in five minute!  :)

I lost count of how many daily paintings I have done, this must be number 14, I'll have to double check. I believe I am a couple of paintings behind in my 30 paintings in 30 days challenge, but it does not matter. All I know is that I am painting almost every day and I'm learning so much with each single painting.

Happiness can really be found in front of an easel. :)

September 13, 2013

Work in Progress - Life Drawing

Model Drawing - work in progress
During my 30 paintings in 30 days challenge, some days I'll have to draw instead of painting, especially on Fridays when I go to a 3-hour life drawing session - very hard to get in, always full, but this time I made it, yay!

Today I went to the first class of the Life Drawing session, and this is a two week pose, which means the model will come back next week and she'll sit in the same exact pose, wearing the same expression. So I'll have the opportunity to finish this drawing next week.

Preliminary sketch of model done in about 30 minutes.
In this life drawing class the model poses for a periods of 20-30 minutes with breaks in between.
In three hours we usually get three, max four periods of posing, which is not a lot, really.

In the first period I did a preliminary sketch, to get my hands warm after a long time without drawing models, and to test the lines of the composition.

Then I started the drawing using a medium new to me: charcoal vines. I wasn't sure how I liked it, because it's so soft and gets dark pretty quickly, but I really enjoyed drawing with charcoal vines!

There is still quite a bit to do on the drawing, I'm looking forward to next week's session!

September 12, 2013

Being Thankful Is the Best Feeling - Thankful Ending, Oil Painting

"Thankful Ending, study"
5"x7", Oil on canvas panel
Feeling thankful is a very powerful emotion. As it is important to feel thankful all day long for all the little blessing that we have - starting from those we give for granted like being alive, being able to walk, being able to see, etc. There are even more reasons at the end of the day to look back and find the positive, be thankful for whatever good happened that day.

The sunset in this painting reminds me of the powerful sweet feeling that I get when I succeed to feel thankful at the end of my day. Isn't that a great way to go to bed and get ready for a new day?

 PS: I'm thankful you stopped by! :)

September 11, 2013

The Importance of a Positive Attitude

"Spring Beauty"
Oil on canvas panel

The comment that I get the most from people (apart from "you have an accent, where I you from?") is that I am always cheerful. This to me is the best compliment. :)

"How can you stay so positive in a situation like this?"
"I admire how you always manage to focus on the good"
"You smile a lot"
"There she goes finding the positive"
and so on.
It can be worded out differently, depending on the situation, but the bottom line is that I am a positive and cheerful being and people notice it.

Honestly, I never understood the importance of this until few years ago.  I thought seeing the positive, trying to put myself in other people shoes before judging, finding humor in everyday little snafus was normal. Apparently not.

It struck me at one point how much easier it is to be negative, to dwell in criticism and negative thoughts.
I learned to stay away from those kinds of people as much as I can.
Especially those that blame others for all their misfortunes.  Complainers and blamers get automatically on my "better-to-avoid" list.

On the same line, my favorite art is happy, cheerful, and not-so-serious; it has to surprise me somehow. With all the respect for realist painters and all the amazing artists that paint with subdued colors, only rarely that kind of art excites me. I love loose brushstrokes, unexpected colors, playfulness, and smart composition. (One day I'll paint like that, I promise!)
'naff said, have a wonderful ad cheerful day!

September 10, 2013

Sunflowers Can Get Mad Too! - Daily painting #8

"I'm not talking to you!"
6"x6", Oil on stretched canvas, unframed
Hello world, this was my daily painting from yesterday that I could not post because of a squirrel. Apparently he thought it was a good idea to have fun with the electric lines, and managed to leave us all in the dark - and with no internet!
So I'm posting the painting today, while today's painting is started but not done yet.
Ah, the hard life of an artist!  :)))))) (honey, that's for you if you are reading this, lol)

These two sunflowers seemed to have an attitude going on, I couldn't hold a smile while I was painting because I was imagining all kind of silly reasons for their temporary grudge. Here is to a fast and fun reconciliation! :)

Nice and hot outside, hope you are all enjoying this fine day!

September 8, 2013

Small Oil painting of Roses

"I'll See You Tomorrow"
6"x6", Oil on canvas panel
I'm practicing painting roses once more. I love painting roses, and I'm trying to be looser while having fun with it.
I'm pretty pleased with this one.

The best part is that I was able to do a daily painting today too, despite being a busy Sunday!  :))


September 7, 2013

Still Life From The Garden, Daily #6

"Proud Mama"
6" x 6", Oil on canvas panel
Today I picked tomatoes from my garden with my daughter and we decided to sit down and paint a few. I completed this small painting fairly quickly, though, thinking about it, even if it seemed a short time it was probably a couple of hours, at least.

I was a little intimidated at first by the shadows and the reflections, but I think I was able to make it look pretty similar to the idea I had in mid, so I'm quite happy with it. :)
Now it's time for dinner... say bye bye to my models. :)

Happy painting!

Field of Poppies - Landscape Oil Painting - #5 daily painting

"Field of Red Heads"
Oil on canvas panel

I was born with red hair in a region where I was a very unique case, and I did not live it very well. Maybe because of that I love to see fields full of red poppies. Or maybe it's just because they are so pretty. :)
Anyway, this is my first painting of poppies with oil paint.
And #5 is done!  Time to go to bed.

September 5, 2013

Daily painting #3

"Inspiration From The Heavens"
Oil on board

This landscape made me think of how even in a dry everyday routine there is always special things I should be grateful for. I may not see them if I look only at eye level, often the real value of things is above and beyond what we can see.
In this case the show is not around the viewer, but above. Sometimes if I can't see much going on in your life I have to pause, look up, and have faith.

Clouds are one of the wonderful things in life that I would spend hours watching move and evolve in the sky, with their beautiful shadows and lights.
These clouds have been particularly challenging for me to paint because of their colors and shades and because it's an oil painting, and I'm still learning how to paint wet-on-wet.
I started this painting last week, but I have worked on finishing it most of today, so this is my daily painting #3.


September 3, 2013

Vibrant Tree #7 - Second Daily Painting

"Vibrant Tree #7"  SOLD
6" x 6"
Watermedia on stretched canvas
Today I changed genre, and opted for a colorful and fun quick-stroke painting using a technique I really enjoy: I dip a large flat brush into paint colors and I let the paint mix on the canvas, without pre-mixing the color.
I started from a orange-tinted canvas, and I let the background color peek through. The result is fresh and vivacious (I think).
I sure had fun painting it. :)

September 2, 2013

The Elephant Period

"Want a lift?"
Watermedia on canvas panel

My daughter goes through phases of being crazy about a specific animal, we got the kitty, doggy, ladybug, turtle, mouse periods - and more - but we never had the elephant period... yet.
Her birthday was two days ago, she turned to be the fantastic age of eight, and she made sure people knew she was in her "elephant loving period", so she received 9 elephants. Thank goodness they are not too big and they are veeery cute. I have to say her friends have great taste when it comes to elephants. :)
The heard of elephants my daughter got for her birthday.
So to break the ice for the 30 in 30 painting challenge, I decided an elephant was an almost due choice. lol

And here he is, a cute little fellow so light minded that he floats and the poor balloon does not. - Sure the string may have something to do with it, but don't tell him, he really thought he could fly.