December 28, 2015

Am I Ready for This?? Another 30 paintings in 30 Days Challenge Coming Up...

Map showing the people from around the world that joined the challenge.

Soooo, I don't really feel like I have the time or the energy to tackle this challenge right now, buy to tell you the truth this is actually the main reason why I joined the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge launched by Leslie Saeta.
I need to have a stronger commitment to paint every day.
Life has been getting in the way a lot. Events, messy house, kids activities, holiday shopping, and a general lack of energy over all.
I have not painted much this month.
I'm very disappointed in my performance in the studio.

I know from previous experience that the 30 in 30 challenge is hard to carry on, but at the end of the month I look back at what I have painted and for some miracle it is always more and better than I thought while I was doing it.

So I signed up.

With one resolution:
To paint every day.
One small painting a day.
One composition, from start to finish, daily.

What a wonderful practice I'll get out of it!

Some (probably most) of the paintings will be meh, but I am sure that a few will surprise me positively.
It's always like that. I think I can't pull it off, and then one day something happens that makes the brush create artwork that makes me smile.
And even if only one painting will come out like that, making me proud, it'll all be worth it.

You can learn more about the 30 in 30 challenge at its official website:

December 8, 2015

Pretty in Red - Rose Oil Painting - This Week's Auction

"Pretty in Red"
6" x 6", Oil on gessoboard

I painted this during a get-together with my friend Lynda. She came over to my studio for a few hours and we spent some time painting and chatting.
I had a big painting to finish, but I decided to start a small painting of a pretty red rose.

In the evening I went back to finish painting the rose and I realized that it was already finished! Amazing. Talking with Lynda I did not "see" how far in the painting I was already, and all I had left to do was sign it.

I love good surprises! :)

November 24, 2015

"Glimpse" Got Third Prize at the "Color My World" Show!

Me next to my painting right after the award ceremony.
Third prize at the Dublin Area Art League annual fall show.

What a wonderful surprise!  I was awarded the third prize in the fine art category of the Dublin Area Art League fall show "Color My World".

Sometimes I paint with other artists, in an open studio environment. Other times I take painting classes. When you are surrounded by painters it's pretty useful to give each other critiques and suggestions. Several times I have asked a fellow painter or a teacher for input on how to solve a problem or make a composition better.
However, I'm particularly proud of this award because Glimpse is a painting that I have completed in my studio, all on my own, without anyone's advice. I don't remember anyone (other than my family) even seeing it before it was done.
It's all my own planning and troubleshooting. And I got a prize for it! :))

At the award ceremony, being the current president of the Dublin Area Art League, I was the one announcing the awards, reading from a list that was given to me by the event chair, the talented Pat Getha. I started from the honorable mentions, up to best of show; when I got to third place I got to announce my own name!  Awkward!  But in a good way. :)

The Color My World exhibit is up until December 11th, 2015
at 5600 Post Rd
Dublin, OH
at the Dublin Rec Center

November 23, 2015

Colorful Walk - Landscape Oil Painting

"Colorful Walk"
Oil on masonite panel
Ready to pop into a 5"x7" frame
A small colorful landscape painting that I did last fall at a local park. I love to paint small when I paint on location, it gives me the chance to finish in a short time.

The colors where so nice and warm, it was a pleasure to paint outdoors surrounded by people walking on the beautiful paths.

November 16, 2015

Enlightened Study, Oil Painting, Skyscape

"Enlightened Study"
Oil on Board

I am particularly proud of this painting.
I took the reference photo one evening after a soccer game; a storm just ended, the sun was peaking from behind the clouds.
I painted this study fairly quickly. I think the fact that I panted quickly, makes it look effortless, and I love that about it. A few weeks later I did a bigger version with a slightly different palette, that's why the name "study".

It's now showcased in the "Color My World" exhibit, with other 60+ artworks by members of the Dublin Area Art League.
The reception for the show is this Thursday, Nov. 19th, at 6:30,  at 5600 Post Rd, Dublin, Ohio.

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Annual Studio Sale at the CAC

For the second time this year I will be participating in the Annual Studio Sale at the Cultural Arts Center.
Last year I just LOVED being a part of it, the place was full of artists and art lovers, the energy was sparkling and positive.
Many people did their holiday shopping there, what a wonderful things to give art as gifts!

Come over and check it out, very nice art sale! Not only paintings: ceramic, fabrics, jewelry, sculpture, and much more.

Fri Nov. 20, 5-8 pm
Sat Nov 21, 10-2 pm

At the Cultural Arts Center
139 W. Main St.
Columbus, OH 43215

November 15, 2015

"Color My World" DAAL Fall Show Reception this Thursday Nov 19th, 2015

After my solo show (THANKS again to all of those that came to see it!!) and a few more exhibits in Dublin, OH, during the month of October, I am now busy with a couple of more events.

"Color My World"

Dublin Area Art League (DAAL) Fall Show

This exhibit by members of the DAAL is now on display at the Dublin Rec Center, at 5600 Post Rd.
Some amazing artworks have been submitted, with great variety of styles and showcase of skills. Stop by and check them out!

Reception and award ceremony will be on 
Thursday, November 19th, at 6:30. 
Dublin Rec Center, 5600 Post Rd, Dublin, OH.

Come on over, meet the artists and enjoy the art. Light refreshments will be served.
The show will be up until December 11th.

Coming Up Soon
Color My World:
Artists reception and award ceremony
Thursday 19 November, 6:30-8:30 PM
CAC Annual Studio Art Sale:
Friday, November 20,
5-8 pm
Saturday, November 21,
10 a - 2 pm

November 14, 2015

"Glimpse" - Oil Painting

Oil on Canvas

Every year the Dublin Area Art League (DAAL) has a fall show. It's time for another great art exhibit!

I entered two paintings, and Glimpse is one of them. I love this painting. It's from a photo that a friend posted on facebook one day that he went biking in Italy. The moment I saw it I knew I had to try painting it!

The reference picture, photo by Gianluca Lazzari.

The "Color my World" show is judged, prizes are awarded, artwork is on display for several weeks in a high traffic location... what's not to like??
Entry categories are digital and non-digital fine art.
$530 in prizes will be awarded on Thursday the 19th.
If you are local, you may want to join us for our reception and award ceremony: Nov 19th, 6:30 pm at the Dublin Rec Center, 5600 Post Rd.
Of course this is Dublin, Ohio, not Ireland, just in case you were wondering

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November 2, 2015

Tuscan Bales - Acrylic Landscape Painting

"Tuscan Bales"
Acrylic on Canvas
Available at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center Art Store

Hello, and happy winter everyone!
I don't know how it is where you are, but here in Ohio snow falls, temperatures drop, and time flies in winter. I can't believe I haven't posted since the Holidays!

Nevertheless, things have been happening and brushes have kept swishing even if I wasn't at the computer much, and did not post many updates - I actually did post some updates, but only on my facebook page.

So here is one of my winter babies: Tuscan Bales. Working on this painting made my days feel a little warmer, and looking at it now makes me want to roll down that hill, and smell the hay, which is a great feeling, especially when I look our the window and I see only white, cold snow everywhere. Not much smell in the snow either. :D

I had fun painting it, The challenge with Tuscan bales has been trying to create some texture and incorporate bright colors. I like the way it turned out!
Here is a more detailed shot of the bales.

"Tuscan Bales" by Robie Benve, detail

Thanks for stopping by!
Have a wonderful day, and be safe out there!

October 21, 2015

Believe in Life - Oil Painting

"Believe in Life"
Oil on Canvas

Sometimes it feels like winter inside.
Some days are harder to live.
There are seasons in our lives when all the fun seems far, far away, and our world seems dark and cold.
Those are the days to NEVER GIVE UP.
Life is creeping withing.
Have faith.
It'll be better.

It's not really that bad, it's mainly your perception of it at this particular time, in these circumnstances.
Believe in life.

The miracle will happen, as it always happens for the trees in spring.

October 2, 2015

SKY HIGH - My First Solo Show

My First Solo Exhibit!
at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center
1-30 October 2015

My first solo show, and I am so proud of it! Who would have thought that this day will come?
Yeah, maybe I did wish it was coming, but it came sooner than I thought. Yay me!!!!

I look at the photos and I think "that's my work, in a gallery, and it looks great". There are many reasons for me to feel proud today, here are some.
  1. I have been able to create a body of work that stands together, with a theme and a flow. Considering how I like change and experimentation, this is quite an achievement on its own. I can't even cook the same recipe exactly the same twice, I like to tweak and change, improvise. The trick has been finding a subject matter that I really love: skies and sunsets, and how they influence the landscape. That never tires me. Plus the paintings are all a little different, even being connected by a thread.
  2. Of the five years that I've been painting, this last year has been the one I feel I made the biggest steps forward. I can see the progress in my work, and I truly believe that it's due to the increased pace with which I paint. I have been so prolific in this past year! I have painted landscapes en plein air, figures, still lives (my usual mix of things) AND I have been working on building the body of work for the Sky High show.
  3. Having the show as a goal provided me the motivation and the deadline that I needed. Often I need an extra push to avoid procrastination and being sidetracked by all the things that go on in life. Knowing that I was going to exhibit my work this October, for anyone to be seen and critiqued, gave me that extra adrenaline that kept me painting longer hours, sometimes until past midnight if the day was too busy to paint.
  4. I think the exhibit looks pretty good. For being a self taught beginner painter, I'd say it looks terrific! And that makes me happy. There, I said it. I am happy!

"Sky High"
 Sky High sums up the way I feel, pretty much.


Yesterday I gave a talk at the Cultural Arts Center about my artwork. I really enjoyed sharing my story and my artwork with the audience. I was nervous about it, in fact I did not advertise it much, but it turned out to be such a wonderful experience. A big thanks to all of those that attended.

Me during the Art Talk at the Cultural Arts Center
Photo by Lynda Guenther

I used to be terrified about speaking to an audience. Ten years ago this would have made me sleepless and stomach clenched for days. Now, I am still nervous, but somehow I managed to look calm. Several people told me I did not look nervous at all, how wonderful and amazing is that?

Sky High and Thankful.
That's the feeling.

September 29, 2015

Today's Painting: My First Self Portrait

"Self Portrait"
Acrylic on canvas

Cool, my first self portrait!  :)

A few times I tried to pint myself looking in the mirror, but boy is it hard to keep the same expression. AND I found out I look terribly serious when I paint!
So after a few failed attempts in the last year or so, today I finally decided to paint from a photo, and it has been MUCH easier.

I did this today in short and hurried time periods between kids activities and errands, a true daily painting, started and finished in an afternoon (with many breaks).

I have to say the breaks helped me getting back to it with fresh eyes, they actually made it easier.

Overall I like it.
Does it look like me?  I'm not sure, I'll have to ask my family, they'll usually tell me exactly how it is. : )

September 23, 2015

Scioto River - Daily Painting En Plein Air

"Scioto River"
Oil on Board
This is one of my daily paintings for the month of September. 30 days of painting, even though I will not end up with 30 artworks, because some days I am working on bigger pieces - I don't actually get to finish one a day.

I really enjoyed painting this landscape, for many reasons. Here are a few:
  1. I love this location for plein air, it's at Scioto Park in Dublin, OH.
  2. I was able to cover a 12"x12" completely with paint in a relatively short amount of time, which means I am becoming more confident (thus fast) in my painting decisions.
  3. The day was just gorgeous: sun shining, light breeze, birds everywhere, including a blue heron and a bald eagle (for real!). The magic of painting outdoors: you get to experience and appreciate the surrounding nature.
  4. I had fun rendering the rocks and the water with paint. Both are always a challenge, but I embraced it with positive attitude and I liked the results.
I was just able to take a photo with my phone before selling it to a lovely collector on Saturday morning, still wet.  So happy she liked it, because I liked it too.

September 21, 2015

Painting with the COPA at Fresh Thyme Grand Opening

As member of the Central Ohio Plein Air (COPA) I was invited to paint at the grand opening of a local farmer's market store "Fresh Thyme". What a wonderful event!
The store staff is lovely, there was live music, a chef competition, balloons, free samples, great sales. A great environment to paint, full of the positive energy I love so much.

I had planned to paint something else, but when I set up my easel next to the salt water taffy display, I couldn't resist to challenge myself to paint a cellophane bag of candies. Not as easy as it may seem... I think I did pretty good for being "alla prima", wet on wet, and painted while conversing with the wonderful customers and staff members. (photos below)
Selfie at the painting event
I was in the great company of
Tom Rodgers painting the produce display

Bill Westerman

Candice VanSchoyck painting pumpkins

My bag of salt water taffy painting, almost done

September 11, 2015

"Magenta" Sunset Oil Painting - and the Daily Painting Continues...

Oil on board

I am painting every day, I promise!  I just fell behind with the posting. :)

This is the painting from a couple of day ago. I did it quickly and with light heart, and I like the result, very "a la prima"  :)) I had fun toning the board magenta and letting the color come through.

This small painting will be part of my solo show at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center this October.
Coming up soon!!!  Sky High!

September 6, 2015

Daily Painting #6: Summer Blooms - Painting of Poppies

"Summer Blooms"
Mixed media (oil and acrylic) on board, unframed

This painting has been an experiment, with the purpose of troubleshooting a problem.
First I painted it with acrylic paint on a very smooth gesso board. The smoothness made the paint slide everywhere, showing too many transparencies. Even with several layers of paint, it still looked like there was not enough and the painting was not finished.

So I thought I could try painting over it with oils. In fact you can paint over acrylics with oils, though you can not paint with acrylics, which are water-based, over oils.

Oils are thicker and more buttery, and they solved the problem of the thin look. I am happy with my solution. :)

I may do more with this mixed media technique! In fact I have another painting similar to this one (same composition but flipped horizontally) that I did with acrylics, and somehow it looked more finished. I may go over with oils on that one too, so they match.

Also, I wanted to give the credit to the artist that inspired this painting with her beautiful flower paintings.
Thanks to Nancy Medina for the inspiration!

September 4, 2015

Featherlike - Oil Painting of a Colorful Cloud at Sunset

Oil on masonite, framed

Here is my painting for today, a thin and colorful cloud that seems to have been sparsed by the wind.

Sometimes I have a hard time coming up with a title, but this one has been in my mind from the start.

Featherlike will go to the group of paintings that will be in my solo show in October (I know, isn't that awesome??) at the Cultural Arts Center: Sky High.

Here is a preview of the card for the show:

I'm very excited and a little nervous about it... my very first artist reception!

September 3, 2015

Plein Air Painting: a Cityscape

Me and my work-in-progress cityscape
Today I went to a local park thinking I was going to paint something natural, like this side of the park

The scene I thought I was going to paint from
But I was taking a class, see, and the teacher did a great demo on the busy cityscape across the street from the park. I did not want to paint it. The busy scene did not inspire me.
At first, that is.
Then I actually took a photo of it and realized that cropping out all the junk, or some of it, it looked ok.
So I decided to give it a try... and so I did my daily painting of a cityscape. Hurray for my challenge-embracing self!

Unfortunately the painting served as landing surface for my supply bag in the car, and when I got home the paint was smooshed around in parts.
So I did not take a photo of the final painting, but I may be able to mend it tomorrow and post it.

The cropped scene that I painted

September 2, 2015

Christ the Redeemer, Oil Painting

"Christ the Redeemer"
Oil on Masonite

As I am working on bigger paintings today for a show that is coming up, I am posting a painting that was not actually completed today, but I hadn't posted it yet.
This is going to be in a show starting next week: an exhibit of works by members of the Worthington Area Art League, and I am submitting Christ the Redeemer and my Autumn Walk.

There is going to be a reception on September 13, from 2-4. I'm looking forward to seeing all the artworks and meet the artists.
The Church at Mill Run is at 3500 Mill Run Drive, Hilliard, OH 43026

Left is how it looks framed.

The other painting that I'm submitting to this show is a large acrylic landscape:

"Autumn Walk"
Acrylic on canvas

September 1, 2015

Day One of the 30 in 30 Challenge - Sunny Waves, Oil painting

"Sunny Waves"
Oil on canvas

And here it is, day one of the September daily painting challenge!

I have considered doing all kinds of different themes for this challenge, but at the end I ended up painting what I love: a cloudy sky at sunset, with the bonus of being at the beach. :) Gotta paint what inspires me.

The photo is not the best, will update when paint is dry.

Good night!

August 29, 2015

I Signed Up for the September 30 paintings in 30 Days Challenge!

Woo Hoo!  I did it! I dared to sign up for the 30/30 challenge again, despite the fact that this period of the year is the busiest and craziest.  Or maybe that is exactly why I signed up, because without the challenge commitment I may end up not painting on most days, due to life taking over my schedule.

Anyway, I'm in!

Exciting and scary at the same time.
I'll try to complete 30 (small) paintings in the 30 days of September. However, if I really can't manage to do it, I know that even with a few missing pieces, it'll be a great opportunity to get my painting muscles exercised. It can be only a positive thing for me.

If you want to sign up as well. or only check out what's all about go to Leslie Saeta's Blog or to the registration link. You can see the map of all the people that signed up. I think we are thousands!  So far I'm the only one in Columbus Ohio, unbelievable!

Here are photos of a couple of my previous daily painting challenges:

August 22, 2015

A Wonderful Day at the yART Event!

Me setting up my booth at the yART 2015

What a great day.
I worked hard to get ready, setup, and organize, but it was all worth it.
I partecipated in the yART, a small local art fair, a low key event for which you don't need a fancy booth and all the shananigans that some bigger art fairs require.

Nevertheless I had a nice setup, and I made quite an investment in frames, to have everything looking professional.

My amount of work was multiplied by the fact that I also coordinated the adjacent booth, belonging to the Dublin Area Art League, that recently has kindly elected me its president. Getting the two things going and organized have taken some effort, but at the end I was overwhelmed by the great response from the members, the wonderful artwork that has been turned in, and the amazing look of the DAAL's booth.

Dublin Area Art league booth at the yART

Of course I need to share the credit with the volunteers from the art league that made today happen. They have stepped up and help, many even without notice.

Karen English and my son volunteering at the Dublin Area Art league booth at the yART

And there I was, sitting in my booth, looking at the art lovers passing by. I smiled. My smiled was getting bigger. And bigger.
How amazing is this?  I was thinking. How did I get so lucky? Being here, showcasing my artwork, talking to friendly strangers about my art, and surrounded by amazingly talented and humanly enchanting artists, so very supportive to each other, all so excited about his opportunity.

A lovely day. We couldn't have asked for better weather.  No worries about where my kids were, because they were there, volunteering at the booths. I even sold some of my art!

Happy does not even start to define how I felt. Grateful, ecstatic, thrilled get closer.

Now I am tired, but it's a good tired that will make me sleep well tonight.

: )

August 1, 2015

Just Mowed - Plein Air Oil Painting

"Just Mowed"
6"x6" Oil on board

Sometimes, when I go out and paint on location with a group, other painters are surprised at the small size of my board. A 6"x6" looks quite small on an easel (and even off the easel, lol)
But painting small is a wonderful way to give myself the opportunity to finish the painiting in one sitting, on location, taking fully advantage of the limited time available.

I usually am productive for a couple of hours tops, then I need to take a break. If I'm with a group I love to walk around to see what everyone else is painting.
That gives me an extra boost, because I have some excellent painting companions, and their work can be very inspirational.

After two hours a 6"x6" is very close to completion. So the break provides a "fresh view"upon my return, and I am able to better see what's needed as far as finishing touches.

If I paint a bigger size board I often end up going home with what painters ike to call a "good start", quite far from being completed.

Sooo, all of this to say that "Just Mowed" was painted en plein air at a local park, while I was with a group of painters. That day we were actually all taking a plein air class with the very talented Joe Lombardo.

June 12, 2015

Waterfalls at Franklin Park - Landscape Oil Painting

"Waterfalls at Franklin Park"

I recently completed my third session of plein air classes with Joe Lombardo, the first session being last spring.  In these classes we go to a different park each week, Joe does a demo, then we all paint and he comes around and provides constructive critique. Joe has really pushed me to paint faster and loser, two things that I always strive to achieve.
A couple of weeks ago we went to Franklin Park, and behind the Conservatory there are these nice waterfalls. However, running water is not easy to paint, an I usually dislike most waterfall paintings I see, be mine or other people's. There is always something "off" about them.
At first I thought I was going to choose another subject, but then I said to myself "what the heck, I'm here to learn, I should embrace challenges".

I decided to give it a try.
A photo of me at Franklin Park while painting the waterfall.

To make things a little more challenging, I used a new gesso board, much sleaker than the usual ones I buy, and at first I struggled making the paint stick to the surface, it was "sliding" everywhere. After the first thin layers it got better, thicker paint was easier to apply over a base coat.
It turns out I actually liked the resulting painting. I think it's true enough to the scene, and painterly enough to make me happy.

Overall a successful painting experience!  : )

June 11, 2015

Rolling Fields at Walnut Woods - Oil Painting

"Rolling Fields at Walnut Woods"

In Ohio it's pretty rare to find hills or mountains. So when I see places with clear terrain lines or a hint of hills, I get very excited about painting them.
Walnut Woods Metro Park is one of the few parks around Columbus that offers some nice terrain lines, and I painted this piece on location, a day in early spring, with a few strokes added later in the studio.

I realized that that happens a lot to me: finishing a plein air painting in the studio.
Truth is, it's hard for me to completely finish a painting on location. Part of it is due to the fact that most days I run out of time and I have to run home to get the kids from school.
But to be completely honest with myself, I have to admit that my brain needs a little detachment from the image, I need to see it after a break of time, with fresh eyes, and then I can really see what needs to be done next.
Sometimes when I see it again after a break I can "see" that there is nothing to be done, the painting is finished. Those are happy moments, but not the norm. Usually a fresh view let's me see exactly what needs to be finished or fixed.

Thanks a lot to my friend Stefania for purchasing this painting!

June 4, 2015

Field of Poppies, Landscape Oil Painting

"Field of Poppies"
Oil on Gessoboard

Red, a powerful color. It can really set the mood, and it's a good, vibrant, joyful mood.
: )

May 31, 2015

The White House at the Corner - Urban Landscape Small Oil Painting

"The White House at the Corner"
Oil on gesso board

Two weeks ago there has been the 12th Annual Historic Dublin PaintOut, and I was one of the organizers.
I knew that between setting up things and handling some of the registrations I wouldn't have much time to paint, so I thought a 6"x6" should be small enough for me to handle easily.
However, I did not consider the possibility of my kids' piano recital being scheduled exactly on that day. But it happened.
I only had a very short amount of time to pick a spot and start the painting. Then I had to leave for the recital. I planned to come back and finish later, but it started pouring, and the recital (wonderful by the way, they both did a great job!) ran longer than usual.
So, I ended up not entering a painting into the competition that I had worked so hard putting together. Not even a tiny 6"x6".

However, despite the weather, several of the participants were able to enter their finished work, and most of them were amazingly good, and big!

I finished my paintingin the studio the day after, trying to stay faithful to plein air painting style, quick and fresh, without many retouches.

I really liked that cute side street, with the white house at the corner. I may go back and do more similar ones, there are so many beautiful corners in Dublin, OH!

Thanks for visiting!

May 22, 2015

Changing Season - Landscape Oil Painting of Fall Colors

"Changing Season"
Oil on gesso board

Last fall I spent a nice Saturday morning at Highbanks park, painting with a group called COPA (Central Ohio Plein Air). The group is open and friendly, and every Saturday they go to a different outdoors location, paint until about 11:30, then have a critique. I don't make it very often, but when I do I really enjoy it.

As I was saying this painting is from last fall, but it was not quite finished that day, I still had a few areas of paint to fill when it was critique time.
I took it home and did not work on it for a while. Part of the reason is that I had a reference photo, but it's not the same.When you see the landscape in person it's so much better! And going back was not appealing because it got REALLY cold and all the leaves had fallen.

So I had no choice but work from the reference photo and finish it up. The pavilion roof gave me some trouble, the color it was did not fit in well with the painting so I tweaked it and tweaked it until it made sense. Now I am quite happy with it. :)