Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Inspecting the Pony

Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas , 4x4
I am reveling in the simple drama of black and white paint tonight!  I normally object to the texture of canvas, but for this vintage technique - I love it.  Using the white of the canvas for my white, I am only applying Mars black, and manipulating it to bend to my will. Super fun!  I can sleep peacefully with my "creative fix" met for the day! Painting number 1420 in 1420 days. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Checking the Jester

Checking the Jester
Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, 4x4
I love the vintage feel of painting this Santa in sepia!  I mix red oxide and ivory black to get this rich color, and basically work the darks.  I try to not use white at all, except for a little light on the rim of his glasses.   I love this technique, and I've already primed 6 more gallery wraps for more vintage Santas!  By the way, this is the Santa I found on Main Street over the weekend.  Little did he know I would be memorializing him in paint, again and again!   This painting makes 1419 in 1419 days.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Autumn at the Open Gate

I was charging right through that " to do" list today, as the gorgeous weather called to me softly.  Another chore done, the car loaded up for errands, and my tripod practically jumped out of the trunk!  I could no longer resist. I grabbed my new 8x10 Guerilla Pochade, and headed to the old gate.  The light was particularly nice cutting through the trees, so I set up quickly.  Since this is the first time I've used this easel, I had to head back to the house three times for needed supplies!   I think I'll pack it with a Zorn palette, and keep it in the trunk.  I can't tell you the paintings I have missed simply because I didn't have my gear with me!   No more, my friend.  This painting makes 1418 in 1418 days, now back to work!
Autumn at the Open Gate
Oil on panel, 8x10
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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Nutcracker and the Mouse King

Who can resist the Nutcracker and the Mouse King?  I certainly can't!   They are among my very favorites of all nutcrackers - and I am painting them tonight.  The grandsons just left and it is now quiet around here - well, as quiet as it can be with the football game on, and a perfect time for painting.  I was able to prime 8 more masonite panels (which are my favorite) and this one was dry enough to paint on.   I am using one of my new Princeton polytip flat brushes on this - and I really like the way I can use it aggressively, and it holds up.  It may just be a new standard for my acrylic brush set.  Painting number 1417 in 1417 days :)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Shop Santa

I met my youngest daughter and her friend on Main Street for some local shopping after the gym this morning.   Not only did we find some fabulous things, but Santa arrived just as we were leaving - and of course, I had to paint him!  This painting makes 1416 in 1416 days!   Now, I must get ready for game night - the whole family will be here soon!   

Friday, November 25, 2016

Nutcracker Pair

This is turning in to "nutcracker week"!   As we celebrate the holiday with family and friends, I am sneaking in paintings where I can!   I primed several of these wonderful, deep gallery wraps for special holiday paintings, and now I am painting small on canvas.   The weave grabs the paint of the brush in high spots, while resisting it in the grooves.  I now realize why some of my "acrylic" friends thin down their paint so much - you have to or the canvas color will totally show through!  Once coverage is achieved, I can then dry brush over as usual.  These will be cool for my upcoming show, but they certainly take longer than my normal masonite!   Painting number 1415 in 1415 days :)
Acrylic on canvas, 4x4

Thursday, November 24, 2016

King Nutcracker with Scepter

On this busy Thanksgiving day - I have squeezed this painting in, a little at a time!   I started it after the pies were done and the turkey was in the oven.   I added another layer after some of the family went shopping while others puzzled.  After the kitchen was cleaned (for the fifth time) I finally finished!  Now, that most of the family has left, I am able to get it posted!  More company arriving around midnight - maybe I'll start another!   Painting number 1413 on 1413 days :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Nutcracker Drummer

This fabulous little nutcracker has drumsticks and a drum, and lots of character!   I've  had fun with him - his legs run off the bottom and his hat runs off the top of this deep, gallery wrapped canvas!  The great thing about the gallery wraps is that they can sit anywhere,  as they are free standing bacause of their depth.  I think I'll paint a trio for my own house!   Painting number 1412 in 1412 days :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Old Saint Nick

On December 3rd, I will be painting a live Santa at GotArt Gallery in Lee's Summit from 3:00 to 5:00.  I will have several Santa paintings as week as 10 miniatures showing for the Holiday Show opening December 1st.  I am using only my black and white acrylics and a dry brush technique for this one, which is so effective when doing portrait work!  This painting makes 1412 in 1412 days :)

Monday, November 21, 2016

Royal Nutcracker

Tonight, I come to my easel late, after dinner and clothes shopping with Michaela.  I pulled up an old Christmas story on my audiobook, and began painting while it played.   I love listening to these books while doing anything from gardening to housework, and sometimes while I paint.  There is something to be said for disengaging the brain and just letting the inner artist take over!   This very regal nutcracker, complete with sword and crown, belongs to a childhood friend of mine - and she had generously shared her collection with me!   Thanks, Julie!   He's a beauty with his fancy attire and props - and he's my 1411th painting in 1411 days :)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

November at the Elms

Tonight finds me sketching in my marvelous handmade watercolor journal with pen and ink.  After staying at The Elms last weekend, the hotel has been on my mind, wanting to be rendered.  It is a challenging subject, as the building is vast and intricate, and I am working from photo reference.  I SO prefer to be standing in front of my subject!  Once I get the drawing where I want it to go, I decide whether to add watercolor or not.  I love the thick, textured handmade paper, and it seems a waste to not apply the watercolor.  I use my tiny travel set of pan watercolors with my new brush pens - and I love them!   The colors are opaque, instead of my usual transparent palette, and the pens are certainly different from my high dollar brushes, but I still love the way this set up uniquely works.  These paintings are not for sale.  I think I will finish the book in its entirety and then decide to keep it or sell it.  It is going to be so much fun to see these pages unfold!   Painting number 1410 in 1410 days :)
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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Skier and Soldier

Thanksgiving begins early around here - with the arrival of Michaela, home from college!  I try to have all the chores finished, so I can spend more time on the fun stuff!  Tonight, I go no farther than Michael's nutcracker collection for my still life set up.   These are large nutcrackers, one antique, the other more modern.   I didn't realize until tonight that the old one has real fur for hair and beard, and carved eyes!   I will be looking more closely as I shop the antique stores this season!   I really do love painting these charming characters!   Painting number 1409 in 1409 days, now it's time for more family fun :)
Acrylic on panel, 5x7

Friday, November 18, 2016

Gently Flowing

When I first walked down to the edge of Mill Creek, I was mesmerized.  I am always attracted to the water, but this place is amazing.  In fact, I painted three large paintings down in the creek before I climbed back out!   The water winds over the large slabs of rock, which span as far as I could see in either direction.  This was the weekend of the Independence Paint Out, and it was sheer joy to spend it with our gracious hosts, painting such a glorious private estate.  This painting makes 1408 in 1408 days :)
oil on panel, 18x14
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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Autumn at Cedar Creek

It seems like an eternity since I have been down to Cedar Creek.  I have only been one other time, and the color is so different today!  A few golden leaves remain, but most of the color is past it's prime, showing more of the browns and deep siennas.  The bright green honeysuckle, just beginning to turn gold, was the perfect compliment to all the earthy tones.   I had to step carefully from one rock to another to pick my way over to my painting spot.  It was much harder to find my way out as it grew dark!  I very nearly fell in!  That would have been a "plein air first"!  Another gorgeous day for painting - maybe the last for a while.  Painting number 1407 in 1407 days :)
Oil on panel, 20x10
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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Autumn Light on the Path

What a gift this beautiful weather is to the plein air artist!  The weather has been unseasonably warm like an extended summer.  As I am busy getting the house ready for the Thanksgiving company, I am also slipping in some plein air time!  I really wanted to paint large today, but that was not in the cards today!   Too many chores, never enough time.   The autumn shades seem to glow against the fresh green color of the mown grass.  I really need to get a few more brushes, as I am now "making due" with some of my more worn brushes.  I have them split up between easels, and was skimping on today's set up!  Next thing you know, I'll be picking up sticks from the ground to paint with!   Painting number 1406 in 1406 days :)
Oil on panel, 10x8
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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Bend in East Fork

The autumn shades this year are very gentle.  I  love the way the sky was reflecting on the surface of the water, creating those wonderful pops of blue!  Knowing I will probably not have a good shot at strong fall color, I approach my scene as I do all others.  I simply start blocking in the masses, with their subtle shifts in color.  The landscape unfolds naturally, and the color emerges.  I do not try to push it, I'm simply letting it happen.  I'm trying to be mindful of my edges and the brushwork.  Painting number 1405 in 1405 days :)
Oil on panel, 10x8
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Monday, November 14, 2016

Autumn Comes to the Creek Bed

I have wanted to go to The Elms Hotel for years, and we finally had the chance this last weekend!  It is such an amazing place!   This place is steeped in history, with a full spa, pools, hot tubs, restaurant, cafe, tavern, and the wedding reception was in the grand ballroom, which was so beautiful!  This stream winds through the grounds, and the morning light was breathtaking!   It occurs to me that this would be a wonderful place for a destination workshop - so I am already mentally adding it to my growing list of places to teach a workshop!   This autumn painting is the 1404th in 1404 days.  Boy, am I ever loving this warm weather!!
Oil on panel, 10x8
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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Flag Bearing Nutcrackers

What started as a pen and ink sketch at Thursday's Art Mob event, is now an acrylic painting.   I picked two of the three I had sketched, and out them down by negatively painting them with the background color on the panel.  During this phase, the shapes of the nutcrackers emerge.  When I use acrylics, I use them straight (with no water added) with an almost dry brush technique.  This allows me to layer the strokes, creating a depth with the rich pigment.  My favorite acrylic paint?  Well, right now it is Liquitex heavy body, but it was Golden for many years.  I have so much paint - I  wonder if I will ever be able to use up all the tubes of acrylic in my cabinet!  This painting is the 1403rd painting in 1403 days  :)
Acrylic on panel  5x7

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Mission Nutcrackers

I found some wonderful nutcrackers at the antique mall the other day - and in my tiny window of painting time today, I am painting them.   I pulled out the acrylics for this one.   Anytime I switch it up to another medium, there is a little "reaquainting time" that has to occur.  It had been months since I've been in the acrylics  - and it took me longer than usual to warm up to my old friend, acrylic!  I'm in the swing now, and an already contemplating another rendezvous!  Painting number 1402 in 1402 days :)
acrylic on panel, 5x7
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Friday, November 11, 2016

Nutcrackers for Sale

I am "drawn" to nutcrackers!  These are the first I've seen for the season - and they demanded my attention!   I found these three lined up on a shelf, and I took out my favorite fine Pitt pen and got to work.   With only 30 minutes to draw before meeting the others in the cafe for lunch, I worked fast.  As I finished my sketch, I checked my watch for the time before grabbing my watercolors.  Darn!   It was time to go, no time for adding color today!   Now I'm wondering if I should add color or not?  Maybe I should just do one in oils, or acrylics?   This handmade sketchbook is SO special!   I may never go back to ordinary again......!  This painting is the 1401st in 1401 days :)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Ship on a Shelf

What a fun day this has been!  I have a new handmade watercolor sketchbook with deckled edges - and today is my very first entry!  Using a new tiny pan of watercolor paints (recommended by a friend)  and new watercolor brushpens, I armed myself for a morning of painting inside the Mission Antique Mall.  I've never used any of these supplies, so it was quite an adventure!  I first wandered around for an hour before picking a subject (I was so distracted by the antiques!)  and then, I sketched the ship out with my India ink pen on this fabulous paper.  It took me a minute to realize that I had to actually squeeze the pen before water would come out, and then it was right on to mixing my paints.  I finished this one and sketched out another, but alas it was time for lunch in the cafe - and it was wonderful!   A day well spent!  This painting is the 1400th in 1400 days!  It must be all smooth sailing from here :)
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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Autumn Color on East Creek

Yesterday afternoon, I met with a couple who have ties to the Alderson Cemetery, at that secluded location.  I have not been there in years, and when I had gone, it was through dense woods in the dead of winter.  In search of the old foundation of Lucinda Alderson's homestead, we walked through woods and cornfields.  During this adventure, I found some amazing painting spots!  The creek is banked by rocky bluffs, and winds beautifully through the wooded landscape.  Who knew I would make new friends and find such beauty in the woods this day?   Painting number 1399 in 1399 days :)
Oil on panel, 7x5
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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Red, White and Blue

As I settle into watching the election results, I have gathered together a few of my friends for a little still life.  Since I have many wine glasses, the combinations are endless!  I didn't have long to wait to vote, and am happy I was able to do my civic duty.  Grandma Bessie once told me, if you don't vote, you can't complain!   This painting is the 1398th painting in 1398 days :)
oil on panel, 5x7
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Monday, November 7, 2016


This sweet little kitten has certainly been a challenge!  I have babied her like no other kitten, just to get her healthy.   She has finally turned a corner and is improving every day, so, today I paint her!   Once skittish, she now revels in attention and is constantly too close to paint!   As she settled down, I "ignored" her, so that she would stay at a distance that I could actually paint her from!  This quick painting is loose and rather wild, and is my 1397th painting in 1397 days :)
Oil on panel, 7x5
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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Morning Light on the Barn

I jumped out of bed before the sun, and walked through the vintage town of Red Oak II with an eye on the horizon.  As the light started to spill forth, scene after scene caught my eye.   "Paint me!  Paint me!"  This was one of those scenes, and the light was perfect!  Autumn was just beginning to kiss the foliage, and the winding road was the perfect lead in.  There is simply a timeless beauty that surrounds this place, and it is a joy to take it all in as I paint!   Painting number 1396 in 1396 days :)
Oil on panel, 10x8
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Friday, November 4, 2016

Light on the Hay Bales

Oil on panel, 12x9
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With just a little time left before I needed to get back to town , I decided to quickly capture the pasture.  As I started, there were trotters in the landscape, but as with all animals, if you don't get them down quickly, they leave!   I used loose, impressionistic strokes to get all the colors down, and then time was up!  So, this one is quick and fresh, and my 1395th painting  in 1395 days :)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Light on the Barn

This timeless barn scene was right off our porch at the Dalton Gang house.  The porch light gave me enough light to work with from the yard, while looking at the scene before me.  I never use artifical clip on lights when painting nocturnes, I just don't like the strong, blue light they shed.  They interfere with the way my eyes translate the colors of the illuminated objects in the landscape.  It was so warm and peaceful as three of us painted this place - and a glass of red wine added to my comfort!   We started later than planned since we couldn't pull ourselves away from the bluegrass gospel music at the Salem Country Church, but it was totally worth it!  Music, fellowship and the nostalgic beauty of this place - who could ask for more?  This painting might be one of my favorite nocturnes!   Painting number 1394 in 1394 days :)
Oil on panel, 10x8
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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Autumn at Eagle Point

My first trip to Eagle Point park was so enjoyable!  Autumn is beginning to show some color on the trees, and the gray day was the perfect atmosphere to show it off.  This park overlooks the Mississippi River, with fabulous views of the surrounding vistas.  I wish I had more time in Dubuque to paint!   There are so many wonderful paintings waiting to happen here!  Painting number 1394 in 1394 days.
Oil on panel, 12x9
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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November Sunrise

I walked down the stairs to let out the dogs, and the most glorious sunrise was pouring over the horizon!  Without any time to spare, I threw on clothes and grabbed my paints - determined not to let this moment slip by!  A sunrise painting develops very quickly.  There is no sketching or planning, only the laying down of the colors before me, as quickly as possible.  I never know when the color is at it's peak, until it turns that corner and begins to fade.  It is always a slap dash to the finish, and then I set those brushes down!   Painting number 1392 in 1392 days :)
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