Thursday, October 24, 2013
Useless Bay Coffee Company in Langley is the local and visitor hang out. Each morning around 9:00 a.m. the "regulars" start to gather. During sunny weather they gather outside, during cold times they go in. As in coffee klatches all around the world they discuss personal issues and solve the world's problems. This painting was a pleasure to paint. I could feel the sunshine and the contentment as I applied the paint. For some reason this painting was on my easel for a long time. During the Summer I was painting outdoors a lot. So when I was in the studio I would study this composition, make small corrections, put on a few strokes of paint. I think I prolonged it because I enjoyed it so much. The Ray for the Day is "Morning Cup."
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
I could just as easily name this one "Another Blissful Afternoon." 3 other painters and I went North to Ebey's Landing, an exceptionally beautiful area of Whidbey Island. The grasses and weeds were lovely shades of gold, lavender, green. The water was blue. The sky was pink and blue. The mountains and the mist in the background were magical. To top it all off it was not too hot, nor too cold. Every once in awhile it was a little windy. But hey! The day was perfect and the views in every direction magnificent. I was entranced. I don't often paint real landscapes. I have to say I enjoyed it immensely. What a great excuse to stand in a field and stare at beauty. The Ray for the Day is "Ebey's Landing."
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
This Summer I have made a pledge to myself to be outside as much as I possibly can. I have discovered (or rediscovered) that painting outside is pure bliss. It is like sketching, only with oil paint. It's a real two-fer. This sweet scene is in the backyard of my friends Faye and Truman. They were painting somewhere else on the property while I was here. I am most productive when painting with or near other painters. I realized this a few years ago, and it is a major reason for sharing Studio 106 with Faye and Barb. It turns out I don't even have to be able to see them. Just knowing they were there and working felt like company. Creative telepathy?
Friday, June 21, 2013
I know this is a rather odd painting for me. It is a part of my Langley Inside Out series. I walked into Big Sister one day (a Langley clothing shop) and while I was talking with the owner she reached over and plucked something from my scarf. "What is this?" she asked. And then she answered her own question: "It is a cat's whisker!" How did she know? She collects them. She put it in a small clear envelope and labeled it with the name and breed of my cat, Arthur. I was charmed. I took her photo and couldn't help painting this. Probably more importantly....I learned so much while painting this picture that I keep it up in my studio to remind myself of the brushwork and use of cools and warms, edges, light, value and the use of color spots. A lot to ask from one slightly odd painting. The Ray for the Day is "Cat's Whisker."
Monday, June 17, 2013
This is another of my "Langley Inside Out" series, interior scenes of buildings in Langley. This is where I stand to wait for my coffee when I am at Useless Bay Coffee Company, a very popular local hang out. I bought the support panel one day just because I liked the size and shape of it, and have been waiting for just the right composition to present itself for that format. While waiting for my coffee it appeared to me. Inspiration can strike at any time, right? Like most painters I find myself composing paintings all the time. Everything I look at becomes an imaginary painting. Most never get to the canvas. But some do. As is the case with The Ray for the Day "Double Tall".
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
On day 2 of the Qiang Huang workshop I painted this little still life. I used a palette knife and thick paint for the orange slices. I often use thick paint with a brush, but it was so satisfying spreading that paint on there like butter. Also I'm not used to painting so small, but I really enjoyed focusing all of my attention on this little 6" x 6" panel. I look forward to doing more small ones in my studio. I have been painting more than I have been posting. So I should be getting a few more larger pieces posted in the next week or so. There is so much life out there to live it is hard to get around to everything all the time.My Interiors of Langley series is coming along really well. Stay tuned! The Ray for the Day is "Two Slices of Life".
Recently I spent 3 days in a painting workshop with Qiang Huang www.qhart.com/, a gifted teacher and painter. I am so lucky to live near Whidbey Island Fine Arts, an art school that brings exceptional artist/teachers to our island. Whenever I need an infusion of inspiration there is always an excellent workshop nearby. Qiang's (pronounced Chong) classes were very well organized, and loaded with helpful information. I think one of the more valuable things I practiced during these 3 days was to paint more slowly and thoughtfully, to spend more time looking and choosing hue and value. I have been able to hold onto that somewhat since the workshop. I need to remind myself everyday. Sometimes I get rapture of the paint and just start whacking away. It's fun, but I have to make a lot of corrections. This is the first little still life I painted in the workshop. The Ray for the Day is "An Apple a Day".
Saturday, May 11, 2013
The latest in my series "Langley Inside Out" is this colorful scene depicting the window at Good Cheer, Whidbey's thrift store. Pretty much everyone donates here...and everyone buys stuff here, so sooner or later you will get your own stuff back. Everywhere you look in this store there is a still life waiting to be painted. My challenge here was to show the warmth of the sun streaming through the window onto the goods on display. The Ray for the Day is "On Display".
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
The Star Store Basics always has a display of these cheery, colorful teapots in the window. They always make me smile. "Shadows are an opportunity for beautiful color" is a painting principle that wanders through my mind sometime during every painting. That was certainly true in this one. I don't think this photo (taken with my iPhone) does the shadow colors justice. Take it from me...they are beautiful. The way to darken a hue is to add either it's complement or analagous colors. In this case I added the darkest analagous color, and then just a whisper of the complement. I feel the shadow colors in this painting for the Langley Inside Out series are quite successful. The Ray for the Day is "Short and Stout".
Sunday, April 28, 2013
One of my many favorite things about living in Langley is that I can walk to the Clyde Theater. I can see the show, have popcorn, most likely run into friends, and all for $7.00. How lucky is that? I just love the Clyde. So for my Langley Inside Out series, this subject was a natural. Of course my challenge was to show the very bright light inside the booth and the cool night air outside. I have to admit I took a few tips from Edward Hopper. The Ray for the Day is "One Adult Please".
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
For some reason I don't often post sketches. I don't know why, because I actually sketch quite a bit. I did these two sketches yesterday, on the second day of an overnight trip that 6 of the Whidbey Island Sketchers went on together. It was hilarious, creative, fun, delicious and just plain great. We took the train to BC, walked to the Aqua Bus, rode it to Granville Island and spread out to sketch. I fell in love with the Aqua Bus' and we used them as our main form of transportation. I could not resist sketching one. While doing that sketch the sun was shining and a busker, Joshua Minsky, was singing right to my soul. My pen began dancing to the music and that sketch is my favorite of the trip. My second favorite is this little pie shop, Ala Mode, inside the market. There was a lemon meringue pie. Right there. My mother's favorite food. What could I do? I sketched and savored and thought of my Mom. I'm being struck with this writing how my senses are heightened while sketching. I'll always remember the sun, the breeze, the voice, the hubbub, the flavor. The Ray for the Day is "The Sketchers go to Granville Island".
Monday, February 18, 2013
One sunny day lately I ran around Langley taking interior photos while the sun was streaming in. Some of these shops are so artfully put together that they are still life paintings just waiting to be done. This display at the Chocolate Flower Farm on 1st Street was begging to be painted. This was a joy to paint. Once in a great while a painting just kind of falls out of your brush. This is one of those. Of course I had to fuss a bit about values, but not so much on this one. I also feel I used fewer brush strokes to say what I wanted to say. The little jars and bottles are just a a couple strokes each...a light side, a dark side, a lid. You can look at details in these paintings by clicking on the image when you are looking at them on the blog. An artist friend of mine said "you can almost see the dust motes". I love that comment. The Ray for the Day is "Chocolate Flower Farm".
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
A popular Langley cafe and used book store, The Commons, is the perfect place to begin my new series, "Langely Inside Out". All three of us at Studio 106 have been very industrious during this beginning of 2013. We crank up the music and get lost in our paintings, taking breaks only for a bit of critique or a quick lunch (during which time we talk about art and stare at our paintings and do more critique). At the end of the day we often pour a bit of wine and do more staring and talking. For me it is the perfect set up. The challenge in this painting was of values and of cools and warms. I wanted the cool outdoor light to come into the warmth of the room without cooling down the room. It is always surprising to me how dark the value of white wood can be when it is back lit. I cannot think "white woodwork", I have to think shape and value only. It took awhile, but I got it.The Ray for the Day is "Common's Conversation".
Sunday, February 10, 2013
This playful acrylic painting was made from a photo I took in Mexico of an owl in a collection of folk art owned by a friend named Annie. Apologies to Annie and the owl, but I had to shorten the legs to make the owl fit on a 6" x 6" panel. I also added the little blue bird to make the composition more pleasing. I painted this to help cheer up a friend of mine who recently had surgery. She has a small collection of Oaxacan folk pieces, and I thought this would fit right in. It wasn't intended, but it looks like the blue bird of happiness is about to fly up Hooty's nose. This is a playful diversion from the series I have begun for my 2014 calendar which I am calling "Langley Inside Out", paintings of interior scenes from Langley buildings. I have completed 3 of those which will show up in the next few days. The Ray for the Day is "Whatta Hoot!".
Sunday, January 6, 2013
We thought last night was Langley Art Walk, but then we discovered that the galleries were all taking the first half of January off so no one was open but Studio 106 and Whidbey Art Gallery. We had sent out our notices, so we got some food and wine and set it out and decided to paint, imagining there would be very few guests. We were painting away and people began to arrive. Much to our great surprise we had a full house most of the evening. Some guys started singing, Talia was there with her violin and she played. Many new people were there as well as our regulars. It was a full on party. Meanwhile, I started this painting, vowing I would mix each stroke separately, get the right value, put it down and not paint over it. Of course I wasn't able to continue all evening, so I went back today and finished. For the most part I stuck to my vow. I love how the colors are bouncing all over the place. The Ray for the Day is "Peter Piper Picked....".
Saturday, January 5, 2013
It's the first painting of the New Year!!! Happy New Year everyone! It feels like a brand new beginning to me and I can hardly wait to see what will fall out of my brush. This evening is Art Walk here in Langley and the theme for Studio 106 is New Beginnings. I love painting raw eggs and broken shells. You may see more of them here. So I need to get to the studio and meet my muse, and also clean Studio 106 up a bit for the evening visitors. Whatever your new beginnings are I wish you well with them. The Ray for the Day is "It's a New Day!!" (Somehow I want to add "Hooray!")