To really keep up the continual process of discipline with my painting, regardless of the motivation of commission, show presentation, or lectures, it is important to work… as often as possible but weekly at the very least. The more I paint, the less I am subject to the trap of painting only when I feel motivated to, and the better my skills become.
View from the middle of a Midwest cornfield a good bit after sun’s rise.
One of the most important parts of this whole process is that I continue to remember it is not about whether the final painting is perfect but about what I learned along the way. It is also vital that I enjoyed making it.
What is not important is if it is liked by everyone or that it “wows” anyone. Even less important is if it sells. Commerce has it’s place, of course, as does popular opinion but I must continue to paint regardless of the natural ebb and flow equated to either of those effects.
I give you my latest work, a 24″ x 36″ oil on canvas of early morning over a typical Midwestern cornfield. I do hope you enjoy it, and thank you for following my work.
This young man was a wonderful sales apprentice for this vendor.
I haven’t been free to work in my studio very often these last couple of weeks. Life balance is always a challenge for an artist – to find the time to spend at their craft and still work at a full-time job and have social activities. As with anything, when there is an ebb and flow in one part of our life we shift and allocate time to another important part. Yesterday I was able to sit down and finish this painting.
This is the third painting that I started at the Kalamazoo Trade Show. It is a playful little illustration of the vendor display across the isle from me in my room in trader’s hall. The young man who was helping this vendor was delightful and made me think of all of the apprentices who learned at the shoulders of mentoring tradesmen in the 18th and 19th century. Best wishes to Delbert, my fine model and period apprentice.
This second painting looked a little more done when I brought it out but I didn’t like how dark it was overall, so I spent some time yesterday bringing up the highlights.
This was a walking trail in western Pennsylvania that had big boulders everywhere.
Each painting I do now is chosen because they have some element in them that is a specific challenge. It might be a particular color palette, a tone, or something like water, architecture or rocks.
For the most part, I take my own photos to do my paintings from. Part of the reason I insist on doing that is that I don’t need to worry about copyright. If I use an image someone else has taken then I must always ask for permission, often formally in the form of a written release to allow me the freedom to sell my final work. The other reason I use my own photographs is that they are literally triggers – reminders of something I experienced. They reflect a moment or emotion I saw, experienced, felt, smelled, or want to remember. Hopefully that direct memory helps me pass those experiences on to you more effectively.
I hope you enjoy this capture of the Rocky Path. Now, on to the next painting.
I had a great weekend at the Kalamazoo Trade Fair where I worked on two paintings on Saturday and a third one on Sunday.
From the cool shade of the shoreline birch, a view of Turtle Island.
I love painting and talking at a public event like that and couldn’t be more thrilled that I was able to produce several works to a point of mostly done.
When I am in such an open venue as that I start and stop painting while I talk to each person – something I love to do and is the main reason I paint on site.
The split concentration often keeps me from focusing on the problem solving part of pulling a piece through to completion so I bring the paintings home and look them over before signing them. Usually I see a few things I am not happy with and sit down and put a little time in fixing. The trick is being free to sit down and paint and these last couple weeks I have been too busy to do that.
This first painting was relatively close to done so all I needed to do was clean up a few places where there were awkward details. Done now, I offer you the View of Turtle Island.
Now, off to finish up the next painting.
After the last post, where I mentioned I would be revealing a picture of the ram that I painted last weekend, I realized that I did not have a category for subjects that were not landscapes, for example.
So I launched a new category in the store that covers animals and flowers and still life and some of those other things that I will be painting that don’t fit in the other pages. The first painting housed there is, of course, the ram shown here. Enjoy.
My display from this last weekend at the Echoes of the Past Trade Fair at Oshkosh.
I had a great time painting and talking about art this weekend. It is always gratifying to hear what people have to say about my work – it’s uplifting and informative.
There were 6 paintings at the show this weekend that were painted in the last two months and in the newer style. Having them all in the show made it especially useful to get reactions.
Even more helpful was the ongoing feedback as I worked on a painting on site. The ram in the foreground was the painting that I did on Saturday and it turned out to be a perfect demonstration and conversation piece. You can find a larger image of the completed work in the new gallery, Flora, fauna and extras.
It is almost time for the second public event on my calendar this year and I wanted to let you know, as promised. It is called the Echoes of the Past Trade Show. As you recall, my scheduled events tend to be mostly Historical Trade Fairs (indoors) in this first quarter of the year.
My space at Oshkosh Trade Fair in 2016
This next event is one week from now in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. If you are free and in the area, I encourage you to come see another fine aggregate of artisans and craftsmen sharing their fine wares and sharing historical knowledge.
I will have my art on display and plan to have all of the new works that I have been showcasing here on my website mingled with the pieces you might be more familiar with.
Event Name: Echoes of the Past Trade Show
Dates: Feb. 25 & 26, 2017
Hours: Sat. 9-5, Sun. 9-3
Place: Sunnyview Expo Center, 500 E County Road Y, Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901
The event is open to the public, admission $5.00 for adults, children under 10 free.
Food available on site.
Come out and join us for for some February fun. I will be delighted to see you!
Trying to capture the sun on morning frost.
Sometimes I find myself afraid of trying a radically different color pallet for fear of failure. When I realize I am avoiding something because I am afraid, I make myself face that fear.
Sometimes the resulting paintings work out and sometimes they don’t. This one was fun to do although it posed the challenge of using intensely raw blue and white as a reverse to catch the look of late morning frost. The look shouts cold.
I used the browns as the only warmth and the essential contrasting color for line. All in all, I think it was a successful learning experience and with that, a good painting.
Back to work.
The show in Saint Charles was a huge success and I saw so many people that it felt like it was a well established event already. I am happy for the folks who launched this new show. I know how hard this is to do.
New 16″ x 20″ called St. Croix sunset.
My new works were well received and I painted quite a bit, although there are those who say I do more talking about art than putting brush to canvas. All in all I am happy to have a venue close to home for folks who aren’t in a position to travel to see my recent work. Now I am looking forward to my next show, the Echoes of the Past Trade Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
With that in mind, I put a new canvas up on the easel when I got home and started a painting of a sunset I enjoyed with my husband this past summer in St. Croix, Wisconsin. I loved the soft, rhythmic sound of the waves as the wind calmed, and the way the light played off of the water. This piece has been fun to paint and I am feeling more confident with my style all the time. Let me know what you think.
I am lining up events at various venues that I thought I would share with you. My scheduled events tend to be mostly Historical Trade Fairs (indoors) in this first quarter of the year. The first event is in two weeks in Saint Charles, Illinois.
If you are free and in the area, I encourage you to come see a fine aggregate of artisans and craftsmen sharing both product and historical knowledge. I will have my art on display and because it is a first annual and in a new area for me, I plan to bring some older work and some newer pieces. Come out and join us for for some January fun.