Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Pumpkin Patch

The Pumpkin Patch
Oil on canvas on panel, 7x5, palette knife
This little pumpkin patch was done completely with a palette knife.  It is a little tricky with it's very small size, and the painting of a full landscape instead of a much closer subject.  I love the stormy skies we have had the last three days - it has giving me the opportunity to paint them.  I am heading off to trick-or-treat with the family shortly - so I have to make this a quick post!  Painting number 298 in as many days.  Happy Halloween to all :)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October Hackberries

October Hackberries
Oil on panel, 5x7
I painted this one from the porch as another thunderstorm blew in today.  I love the glorious yellow of the hackberries as the season changes.  The green of the grass and the yellows of the foliage seemed to glow against the dark of the approaching storm.  I started this one with brushwork, using the palette knife as I moved into the foreground.  I was experimenting with creating more depth from the background to the foreground by using both brushes and knives.  The stormy sky matches my gloomy mood today, as I found our beloved black lab down by the road today.  She has been a wonderful dog these last 11 years, and she will be sorely missed.  This painting makes 297 in 297 days.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Trio of Pumpkins

Trio of Pumpkins
Oil on panel, 7x5, palette knife
FINALLY, after three days of cleaning, painting and reorganizing, the pantry is finished.  Oh, how I dreaded that job....even with the amazing antique cabinet waiting to be put in place.  With just a few odds and ends left in the kitchen from the project, I can let go a sigh of relief.  Needing a little art therapy, I started this painting at 10:00 tonight - finishing in an hour.  Besides being fast, the great thing about using a palette knife - no washing of brushes!  Just a wipe and its clean!  This is painting number 297 in 297 days - and halloween is fast approaching!

Monday, October 28, 2013

October Pin Oaks

October Pin Oaks
Oil on panel, palette knife, 5x7
After painting at Lake Quivira, I stopped by the Overland Park Arboretum on the way home.  I wanted to check out the fall color on such a beautiful day!  What a treat to see these pin oaks with their color changing!  Using only a couple of palette knives for this entire painting, I first applied a thin layer for the blocking in stage.  After this, I used thick color applied more heavily.  I have a few small panels - only 5x7 - and I used one of these today.  This was my 45 minute paint in a completely full to overflowing day!  I was up before the sun trying to put some order back into my kitchen, morning class, back to cleaning out the opposite wall for the built in cabinets to be hung in the pantry, to running out to visit with family fresh in town from Australia.  With cabinets now hung, and painting posted, perhaps I can start getting some of the canned goods back on the shelves!  I feel like I gain better control of my knife with each painting I do - you know what they say about practice!  This is painting number 296 in 296 days.  Another late posting.....maybe I can paint and post earlier tomorrow :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Raven at Nightfall

Raven at Nightfall
Oil on panel, 10x8
I bought this wonderful pie safe to put in my pantry - knowing it would add historic charm.  Well, I have spent the ENTIRE day removing all things kitchen from that room, as well as the attached cabinets in that particular spot.  The pie safe fits perfectly - with many of my antique serving pieces on top, and my kitchen is a wreck!  Tomorrow, I will be putting the old cabinets back up on the opposite wall next to the fridge, and hopefully getting the rest of the food back into those cabinets!  This is a horrible job!  The only thing that keeps me going is knowing how much better it will look when all is done.  Painting number 295 today - something spooky :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Path to the Lake

Path to the Lake
Lake Quivira Paint Out
Oil on panel, 12x9
I must make this quick - as I am headed to a reception for the Parkville in Art Event!  This is from today's paint-out at Lake Quivira - it was a beautiful day for painting!  Painting number 294 in 294 days!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Jack-O-Lantern!

Jack-O-Lantern!
Oil on panel, palette knife 6x6
I have stepped back into "crazy town" tonight!  After a FULL day of shopping with my youngest daughter, we got home late - getting a late start on my painting.  With this one, I picked the opposite color to lay down first of whatever area I was blocking in.  The reason for this strange approach is that the opposite colors should make the "real" colors pop like crazy.  It is challenging to lay those colors on top of the others without completely neutralizing them.  This is the first jack-o-lantern I have ever painted - so of course, I have to pick the new, crazy palette knife way!  Haha!  This is painting number 294 in 294 days - maybe I'll do some fun, spooky pieces leading up to Halloween :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Palette Knife Pumpkins

Palette Knife Pumpkins
Oil on panel, 8x6, palette knife
I am going experimental today with these darling pumpkins!  Armed with my newfound palette knife knowledge - I am laying down paint in the most curious ways!  It is a lot like learning how to paint with a brush for the first time.  The way I hold the knife is critical - and  the gentle way of leaving paint on top of other layers of paint - without digging into those layers is all important!  It is so exciting to play with these knives - although it feels very awkward!  I am thinking of adding one palette knife painting a week until I am as comfortable with a knife as a brush!  Painting number 293 in 293 days!  One week away from 300 :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fishing from the Dock

Fishing from the Dock
Oil on panel, 8x10
Lake Minnie Bell, MI
I have a "fishermen" theme going on this week - this is my second one in three days!  There is something so relaxing about fishing.  One with nature, there is nothing but time to soak up all the stillness and beauty around you.  I love the noises of the water - the crickets, the fish, especially the gentle sloshing of the water against the dock - SO peaceful!  This painting is from the lake home of an old friend - with a glorious, bold sunset bouncing off the water.  This was one of those days where I started painting, only to be interrupted by errands and appointments.  Starting again, planning to be home shortly, I didn't even put my paints away. I simply left everything out, thinking I would be back to it in 30 minutes.  Three hours later, I arrive back home to finally finish my painting.  And, I truly thought that I would be able to finish a second one today!  Without daylight, I'm afraid the colors are not true in this photo.  I'll have to take another in the morning.  This is painting number 292 in as many days.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Path through the Pasture

Path through the Pasture
Oil on panel, palette knife, 12x9
I took this super fun palette knife workshop today with Melanie Nolker.  Oh my gosh - it was exhilarating!  These wild and crazy colors are way outside my comfort zone!  A few new ones added today were manganese and prussian blues, and yellow green.  I liked them so much, I plan to make room for them on my palette.  There is just something so exciting about trying new colors and techniques!  I painted this whole thing with one palette knife.  Melanie was an excellent instructor - I'm so glad I took this workshop!  This is painting number 291 in 291 days.  Maybe I'll paint some pumpkins using this technique!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fishing at Sunset


Fishing at Sunset
Oil on panel, 8x10
An amazing lake scene with a little sunset fishing is my subject for today.  The much loved home of a friend, this beautiful place begs to be painted.  A composition of memories shared and time well spent, this painting is a study for a larger one.  The sunset sky lends drama to this landscape, casting wonderful colors on the lake.  I hope to get the companion piece to this one finished tomorrow.  It will be fun to see how they work together on the wall!  This is painting number 290 in 290 days :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pumpkins in the Patch

Pumpkins in the Patch
Oil on panel, 10x8
I just love to see pumpkins growing on the vine!  Even more than that, it is so fun to grow them.  Their beautiful orange color absolutely pops in the landscape.  The bright, cheerful color matches my bright, cheerful mood today.  This morning, my dad sounded stronger than he has in a month!  So glad to see the progress - and I wasn't sure I'd hear him sound that strong again.  I had some wonderful news yesterday about an upcoming project - and with all the awesome things going on in my life this weekend - it has been hard to keep my feet on the ground!  Painting number 289 in as many days.  I wonder what wonderful gifts are in store for tomorrow :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Michaela and her Guitar

Michaela and her Guitar
Graphite on bristol, 9x12
Just a quick post for today, as I am headed out for the annual "Shroedderfest" celebration in minutes!  This is a more classic rendering of one of my favorite photos of my youngest daughter, playing her guitar, with one of my favorite mediums - graphite!  This is artwork number 288 in as many days :)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pumpkin

Pumpkin
Oil on panel, 8x6
That Canadian front has moved through, and our balmy days of the 70's have now turned cold!  The trees have really started showing their fall colors and pumpkins are everywhere!  Normally, I would paint the whole patch - foreground, middle ground and background.  But, tonight, I am up close and personal with this beauty!  This was super fun to paint - the first of several seasonal paintings.  I think I may just put this one in my bathroom!  It is always fun to change up my painting routine by stepping outside the box!  Painting number 287 in as many days.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

October Sunset

October Sunset
Oil on panel, 6x8
Today was a wonderful day to be outside!  Gentle breezes, warm temperatures, I spent the whole day working in the flower beds.  With so many flowers, things can get out of hand if I am not constantly in them....and they had gotten a bit out of hand!  I have so many gourds this year - truly a bumper crop!  I spent some time cutting many from the vines that have already started to dry.  As a bonus - I found a couple more zucchini and another cucumber in the beds.  I tuck these garden plants into my regular flower beds amongst the many perennials, and I just keep finding their gifts!  They will find their way into dinner tomorrow night.  On this painting, I am playing with the soft colors of sunset on trees and pond.  I much prefer to paint early, rather than late - but I just didn't want to waste the daylight.  I will need to take another photo of this in the daylight, though.  Sometimes, the incandescent lighting changes the colors from the original.  Well, this one makes 286 in as many days.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Autumn Creek

Autumn Creek
Oil on panel, 6x8
It is a scary thing to "drop" fallen leaves into perfectly glazed water.  It is a one-shot deal, if I mess it up I must scrape off that paint and start again with the water.  Which, by the way, never goes on as cleanly the second time.  I can't remember ever even trying this before, it is just not worth the risk of messing up the water.  Well, today was the day.  This is a small piece, the leaves were dropped all over the ground - and certainly in the water.  So, starting with the edges that wouldn't show as much......I started dropping in those leaves with my "almost a stick" brush.  Once the stroke is dropped, the cardinal rule is to NOT touch it again.   I am actually pleased with their appearance, they give the illusion of sitting on top of the water naturally.  Although I am letting this one rest for the day, I still think it needs some work.  Maybe a little diffusing of the middle background colors......and I need to vary the trunk widths more.  But, I am tightly booked the rest of the day - so I will tackle these items tomorrow.  I may even find more that I want to change!  This is my 285th painting in as many days.....not too far to the big 300!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Oaks of Autumn

Oaks of Autumn
Oil over acrylic on panel, 8x6
Today, I am having fun with the texture of autumn foliage.  I have a favorite small brush that I have scrubbed down almost to nothing.  With what is basically a liner stick with no hairs left, I have scooped up paint and applied it with a slanted stroke - not even brushing the panel with the tip in most cases.  It allows me more freedom than a palette knife, due to the round shape.  I had first painted this in acrylic, and painted over almost the entire surface with oils.  The dried up creek is past the back of our property - and one of my favorite places to explore as a child!  Painting number 284 in as many days :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Highway 51 Farm

Highway 51 Farm
Oil on panel, 8x6
Each day, my mom and I passed by this farm on Hwy 51 from Elmore to St. Charles Hospital.  It has a timeless beauty, looking much as it did a century ago.  Each morning and each evening, it offered a little pastoral peace for moments of our drive.  We drove mainly through the countryside, until we were quite close to the hospital.  Everything is so spread out in rural Ohio.  I haven't been up there this time of year before, and it was nice to get to see the changing of the seasons.  I am so thankful that dad does a little bit better every day, and  I hope I don't have to drive by this barn again any time soon!  Painting number 284 in as many days.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sweet October Light

Sweet October Light
Oil on panel, 8x6
Today was such a warm, sunlit, October day.  The walnut leaves are turning yellow, and the others won't be far behind.  The grasses in the pasture are a gorgeous golden and sienna.  A perfect day for capturing the last hooray of summer.  One day soon, the cool winds will creep in and the painting won't be so comfortable.  So, on this day, I am "making hay while the sun shines"!  We are going to dinner soon, to further enjoy this day.  Painting number 283 in 283 days :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

October Afternoon

October Afternoon
Oil on panel, 6x6
I had this painting planned out in my head early this morning.  I got out my paints, had everything set up, but by the time I finished my workout - it was time to take my youngest daughter to work.  Right after, we attended the funeral of a family friend.  It was very sobering.  Beautiful, but sobering.  After busying myself with countless other activities, I looked again at my panel.  I didn't want to paint.  I no longer felt like it.  Life is so fragile, our days are truly numbered.......and again I looked toward my landscape.  I took out my paints, and started laying in the colors.  The light and shadow emerged as the autumn leaves developed.  Today was sad, but the truth remains - make the most of every moment, we are not guaranteed another.  Painting number 282 in as many days.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Roses on the Lawn

Roses on the Lawn
Oil on panel, 8x6
Life is made up of all the little moments.  A really special hot cup of tea, hearing from an old friend, shopping and a little girl time with my daughter, and looking out to see these roses right off my front porch - all moments that made up today.  I am painting small today, since so much filled my day!  I am painting on canvas - which I rarely do.  The texture is a bit too regular, even with a little texture applied - but I am just taking that ball and running with it!  As my dad's health goes up and down, I am truly enjoying these little moments where all else is right in my world. Painting number 281 in as many days :)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Illinois Farm

Illinois Farm
Oil on panel, 12x9
The midwest farms are simply glorious during harvest season!  The leaves are not yet turning in southern Illinois.  Many corn fields stand tall and yellowing in the fields.  Indeed, it is corn in the fields behind this cluster of barns on the rising hill.  Some of the grasses have turned to gold and reddish, set off beautifully by the fresh greens.  All have just been thoroughly washed by the passing downpour.  I don't paint many of these skies, but I sure do like the drama of them.  Painting number 280 in 280 days.  I think I'll paint my roses tomorrow - they are bursting with blooms!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Autumn Path

Autumn Path
Oil on panel, 8x10
As autumn approaches, I am so inspired to capture the colors of the season.  Experiencing the onset while up north, I find myself pouring through the photos and putting them down in oils.  It is so easy to jump right to the bold colors, but I am working instead on creating the perfect cool canvas to feature the reds and yellows.  Most days that I was able to get out in the daylight to photograph, it was very overcast or downright raining.  Therefore, most all of my reference has this atmosphere built in.  The turning leaves, still clinging the to their branches, will soon fall and blow away.  Autumn is fleeting, and the days to paint in it's glory are few.  It is perhaps shorter than any other painting season.  All it takes is a day of strong winds or a quick storm blowing through, to strip those lovely trees bare.  I am hoping for a very long autumn - to paint until my heart is content.  This is painting number 279 in 279 days.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Early October

Early October
Oil on panel, 10x8
The leaves are already turning in northern Ohio.  In fact, all through Ohio, Indiana and parts of Illinois, leaves were turning and dropping to the ground.  I took photos every time I went outside - and all the way back to Missouri.  This painting is from one of those locations.  I wish I had brought my paints with me, but I had not.  Next time, I will bring them even when I don't think I'll be able to use them.  It seems so long since I've been out painting the fall foliage!  I am really looking forward to capturing this season as it unfolds.  This is painting number 278 in as many days.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Rush Creek Serenade

Rush Creek Serenade
Oil on panel, 16x12
Parkville in Art
There is something so soothing about setting up beside a creek to paint.  The slow movement of the water and the hum of the insects create their own song in this wooded Rush Creek.  The walking trail leads me along one side of the water, while another trail walks up the other side.  This gentle creek joins the Little Platte just a bit further down from here.  There is a beautiful pasture beyond these trees that I painted last year.  That painting sold, so I hope to paint another this fall.  This is my 277th painting in 277 days.  A painting like this simply restores my soul.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Autumn on Augusta Shores Lake

Autumn on Augusta Shores Lake
Oil on panel, 8x10
sold
As I record each day of this painting journey, I realize new truths from time to time.  I have always been a "happy" painter.  I can paint all day long when all is well in my world.  Since I have painted for so many days in a row, I do not want to break the habit - even when things are not so well in my world.  This past week, I spent much of it in the hospital with my dad, who suffered with stroke like symptoms.  With the dawning realization that things may never be the same, I looked to my drawing for soothing and relief.  I could not control what happened around me, but I could control my pencil..and the paper.....and the image emerging.  It was SO hard to pick up that pencil and paper the very first time - I did not want to do it.  I actually thought, "Who cares if I continue this?  I have better things to worry about."  But that's just it.  My worrying did not change a thing.  But, my drawing changed me.  It helped me relax, gave me a better perspective on what I was dealing with.  It gave me strength.  Gratefully, my dad is so much better, and he is completely himself again - though very tired and weak.  This is just a quick one today and my 276th painting in as many days.  I am looking forward to many good days ahead.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Early Morning Barn

Early Morning Barn
Oil on panel
After a 12 hour drive today, I am making this a quick post.  This is one of my favorite styles to paint - and one commonly found dotted along the Missouri countryside.  I passed SO many wonderful barns all through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri - and took photos of as many as I could!  One day this week, I'll have to go through them and pick out a few more to paint!  This is my 275th painting in as many days.  After waking at 3:00am, I am SO ready to get a good night's sleep!

Friday, October 4, 2013

For a Song

For a Song
9x12
I started a large painting of this image some time ago.  I was working in acrylics at the time, and the background was a very dark criss-cross underpainting.  I had bought some new acrylics - which I wanted to work with on the next step, and I just didn't get to it.  So, when I knew I would need to get some reference material together for an extended trip from home, this was one that I wanted to work on.  Using this as a study, I am playing around!  All of the pencils I use regularly are watersoluable - which means I can simply take a brush to any areas and move it around with a little water - as long as I don't spray it with a fixative.  This is a little crazy, but my youngest daughter likes my crazy work - and this one is for her!  Working on this gives me some fun new things to try on the large painting that I fizzled out on.  Sometimes, all I need to do is change things up a bit to get excited about a piece that has grown stagnant.  This wild and crazy piece is my 274th one in 274 days.  Perhaps I will work ahead for tomorrow - as I may well be on the road all day!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Walking Stick

The Walking Stick
Graphite on bristol, 9x11
Michael was walking along a deserted stretch of Lake Eerie, where the once beautiful Maggie Marsh wildlife sanctuary is in Ohio. With limited funds, the park is now just a shadow of it's former self.  The last time we visited, it was full of visitors and people enjoying the beach and boardwalks. This more rustic, untouched area held it's own charm - more natural.  I was able to snap a photo and have kept it in mind for drawing or painting one day.  So, today I draw as Dad rests comfortably.  This is the 273rd artwork in 273 days.  I do wish I'd brought my paints.  The leaves are starting to change, and graphite simply does not do justice to the colors of fall!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cat and Lollipop

Dad has come home from the hospital today - and we are all so relieved!   Mom is out running errands,  so I am sitting with dad as he sleeps.  The Internet is out, possibly due to a failing router, so I am posting entirely from my phone.   This crazy cat is our little "Wesson".  We had a piñata for little Alastair's birthday,  and once open, Wesson grabbed one of the lollipops.   He then proceeded to pull the paper off and lick it!  I think he is more human than cat!  He also likes to jump on the shoulders and head of everyone,  paws repeatedly at the eyes of sleepers, and generally causes mayhem wherever he goes!   I never know what he will do next!   This is artwork number 272 in as many days.  This piece is graphite on bristol and measures 8x10. With all this peace and quiet,  I may just start on tomorrow's piece :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Horses at Play

Horses at Play
Graphite on Bristol, 10x8
Today has been a MUCH better day while at the bedside of my father, in the hospital.  The pronounced improvement in Dad's health has us all letting out a sigh of relief.  These two arabians were in the front pasture nuzzling when I was able to take this photo.  Drawing with graphite is so therapeutic to me.  I can just sit and relax, letting the pencils do all the work - while my mind wanders.  It is so natural, that I don't even think about what I am doing, I simply do it.  This is artwork number 271 in 271 days.