Sunday, August 19, 2012
Mr. Great Blue Heron is watching the people and viewer's of the painting are watching him...hence the title, "Bird Watching."
This commission was a fun collaboration with my client. Her input: "lots of beautiful blues, a portrait of the Great Blue Heron that often visits down by the water, and my family hunting for seashells in the background."
The more I paint birds, the more fun I think they are. I have a photo of a particularly cocky seagull staring me down in San Francisco that might be fun to play with one of these days!
36"x48" oil on canvas
Sunday, June 3, 2012
As the sign says, "Ringa da bell!"
Our family is so busy, sometimes I think we might as well have a bell to ring in our own kitchen for the food that goes out the door as takeout. If I make it, it tends to be healthier, but when I'm painting, everyone's on their own!
As you walk into the door of Schilo's Delicatessen in San Antonio, a long, sleek counter invites you to come in and take note of all the tasty offerings available for dining in or taking out. I loved the contrast between the old set of scales and the modern, shiny meat slicer. Personally, I've only ever eaten in because I go for the atmosphere as much as the food, but I imagine locals appreciate that they can get their food on the go and avoid the crowds.
Wish I had a piece of that pie right now...and some root beer.
"Schilo's To Go"
10"x14" oil on canvas
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Sunday, March 11, 2012
This was a new experience for me, painting birds - at least in such detail. When I accept a commission, it's fun to have the opportunity to paint something I probably wouldn't think of painting on my own. I knew absolutely nothing about pheasants so I immersed myself in learning about them as I didn't want to make the mistake of painting them or their habitat in error. Introduced to North America from Asia, pheasants are a widely established game bird. I had no idea the variation in their feathers and colors. Thankfully, I was able to obtain two taxidermied specimens to view while I painted. That was a huge help. Symbolically, pheasants in art have represented eternity and redemption along with their peacock cousins.
"Pheasant Brothers" 16x20 oil on canvas
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Perusing my blog posts from 2011, I see that I did not do a very good job of posting a majority of my artwork. This may be due to the fact that 2011 was a year of experimentation for me as I returned to my old stand-by pencil, played with watercolors and pens, dabbled in digital media, and finished off experimenting with mixed media and acrylics.
Who knows what 2012 will bring to my art, but I will try to keep you better informed. Maybe I will feel brave enough to show you some of my more experimental work! I am hoping to find a way to offer prints in addition to the original art and commissions that I am creating.
As always, I humbly thank you for your encouragement and allowing me the privilege of sharing my art with you.
Top: "Pom Buddies" 11x14 oil on canvas
Below: "Bucky" 11x14 oil on canvas
Saturday, October 8, 2011
When I visited Montmarte in Paris, way back at the age of 18, I could never have imagined that one day I would be painting it as a commission. You just never know where life will take you!
And when my client's fiance took her to Sacre Coeur one evening, she had no idea there was a proposal coming as they stood at the front of this beautiful cathedral and he asked her to marry him.
Sigh. So romantic.
And I (moi!) had the honor of creatively capturing that momentous occasion.
"C'est à partir de toi que j'ai dit oui au monde."
- Paul Éluard
It was beginning with you that I said yes to the world.
- Paul Éluard
It was beginning with you that I said yes to the world.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
This current "play" is actually a little piece that I started for fun early in the summer. I've also posted the preliminary work so you can see how a painting gets started. A departure for me, this is acrylic on heavy gessoed paper. It was a challenge to work with acrylics the same way I work with oils because they both behave very differently.
Originally, I had intended to paint a picture of the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco a la Monet. I got sidetracked though when a friend offered me his photos and after picking one out, I found that when I enlarged it, there was a little boy taking part in the traditional tea service. So I scrapped Monet and did MJ instead, creating my own version, redoing the scene and the little boy.
I was just telling a friend the other day that I don't think I could ever settle in to painting just one thing or one style. I love being an artist - I can be a gardener, an architect, a cowboy, a traveler, a naturalist, a child, a florist...the world is my inspiration!
"Tradition and the Tea Ceremony"
11"x14" acrylic on gessoed paper
Saturday, April 2, 2011
The village of Chimayo is located just north of Santa Fe and is known for its church which was built in 1816 after a crucifix was discovered buried in the dirt. El Santuario de Chimayo has a long and interesting history (you can read more here about it's history) and is often referred to as the "Lourdes of America."
I have had my reference picture for this painting for several years now, but it wasn't until I was able to visit Santa Fe this winter and walked through several galleries, admiring the use of colors that I finally understood what I wanted to portray with my Chimayo painting.
I could've painted it exactly like my photo - a truer visual representation - but it was more important for me as an artist to capture my feeling of New Mexico, it's culture, it's local color. I'm so glad I did, because this was a lot more fun!
El Santuario de Chimayo
16"x20" acrylic on canvas, private collection
Saturday, February 26, 2011
It's been awhile since I've completed another addition to my "Journey" series. As my family traveled by car to California, we were delighted to see snow on the approaching mountain range and I snapped a photo of Interstate 15 on the way into Barstow. Historically, Barstow is known as "a jumping off point for immigrants entering the state" during the Great Depression and was made famous by John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath.
As I painted, it brought to mind a painting done by my father (posted here and one of my very favorites) - his interpretation of what was either Interstate 10 (most likely) or I-40 on the way to California. The cars represent our family's multiple moves to and from California along with a plane in the sky which I like to think symbolizes the many miles he logged on airplanes in between moves. He always preferred travel by car.
Lots of good memories were made traveling back and forth on those highways. I hope my own children will treasure similar memories from our travels. To my delight, my son recognized my painting right away and said he could recall that exact point on the road. I hope he meant it, but maybe he just wanted more money so he could go get a hamburger at McDonalds :0) !
"Road Through Barstow"
24"x36" oil on canvas
Sunday, February 6, 2011
"All of nature proclaims His glory" (Psalm 19:1)...and for bird lovers and others, the indigo bunting may be viewed as one of nature's visual crescendos.
A friend, and avid bird watcher, generated much talk when she posted a photo of the indigo bunting that took up residence in their backyard this past November and is still visiting them every day (!)
As an artist, nature inspires me in a way that nothing else does. When I saw her photo, I knew I would paint it, I just wasn't sure how or when (which is what happens with many of my initial inspirations - they come to fruition on their own time and I've learned not to force it).
How do you do justice to an indigo bunting?!
This year, I plan on playing with some new types of media. Oil remains my priority, but I look forward to taking some creative adventures with watercolors, acrylics, colored pencils, digital art...sky's the limit!
And what better place to start than with this little guy? (You may see him again!)I'm grateful for people (my friend) who share what inspires and delights them in their daily lives, and I thank you for allowing me to share my own delights with you, here, on this blog.