Thursday, 26 June 2008

4th Step on Peonies!

I am so sorry this is a little late but my computer just plain made terrible noises and so shut down until someone could check it...when someone finally came it just was the keyboard. Eveidently lightning had done something to it and now I am just fine with my new one! Whew! I was beginning to wonder what to do!
So here is the following snap of where the painting is as of a few days ago. I am continuing to find the shapes and fill in the local color and values but will leave alot of detail value work to the end. That is when I like to really punch in a few more darks. The peony in the lower left is being made up as in the photo it was so dark I could not see I just started putting petals on top of petals to make a couple of nice shaggy ones for variety. They will take alot more work I am afraid to get them to sit back under the white one. Hopefully in a few days I will have the next step ready. Summer brings friends, company and summer cabin people up here so I do get sidetracked some but still find time to paint a little everyday.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Third Step on Peonies

I have been working on the peonies some more and hope to post soon with the next step as well. In this step you can see I am beginning to block in some background. I am going lighter in areas allowing for any negative painting I might choose to do in the next step. Sometimes just getting in some darks helps one evaluate the values in the work you have already done. I never want dark near an area I might want to prime with water as it would bleed so I am pretty careful about that.
Some of you may be wondering about my colors. I am using Daniel Smith Naphthamide Maroon for most of the flowers and adding just a bit of Quinacridone Rose in places. The background brown has been made by mixing the Maroon with Sap Green. I often make my browns by using the pink or red I am using with Sap Green and get a nice brown that is unifing with all my colors.
Now on to the next phase!

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Updating Peonies

I am slowly progressing with the Peony painting. I cannot believe how long it can take sometimes but I have also learned that patience does pay off so I am hanging in there. I think that I am going to really love this one so I want to be careful not to hurry something and then regret it. I also took a close up of the white peony so you can see how I work. I have a map in my drawing that will ensure I capture that lovely flower with all it's petals.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Plein Aire Painting

For some time now I have wanted to take the time to learn to do some plein aire work but never found the time. While I had all this company however, I would wait for people to rise in the mornng and decided to use the opportunity to give my son-in-law a lesson even though I had not done it myself! For me the most interesting thing was the water and since we were going to paint for only an hour, I got my sketch in and started with the water. It worked well but I think all my years of layering helped greatly in achieving this. Since I took this jpeg I darkened the background a little more. I did this when I decided I would give it to the lady who lived in this cabin when I first moved here. She no longer is able to live here at the lake but I took her to lunch and she was thrilled with it. I really had fun and learned alot. I believe I will do more of this now as it was such a joy to be loose and not worry so much about the details. I love detailed work but sometimes I just need a break I guess so maybe I have found a new love! We will see. First I have to find the time to do it! Ha!

Peonies and Norwegian Collections Paintings

Well! Finally! Company has left and I am working on 2 commissions that need to be done...hopefully everything will go normal from here on out! I will keep you posted as they advance and if you have questions I will try to answer them.
The first is a grouping of peonies. The hardest part is over as drawing all those petals took forever! I believe that is harder than lace sometimes however, you can put a petal most anywhere but lace has to be pretty accurate to the perhaps lace is technically harder but it was a challenge on the peonies as well. I thought I would try something different and try to establish this darker area first...I never do that because I fear bleeding back into areas that I wish to keep clean. We will see how it works. These darker flower heads are in areas where I will not be washing glazes too much so hopefully they are safe!
The second painting is of Norwegian furniture, dishes and textiles from the 1800's. I was asked to document just a small part of a very large collection. This is hard as it is a collection and requires some accuracy but I still will make some painterly choices as an artist. I like color and will not change my style so hopefully when it is done they will still like it!
We have been getting alot of rain with the company and the gardens are over run with weeds. I cannot keep up with the bird feeders either. They seem to be so hungry but the April blizzard we had killed alot of insects I guess so I feed them faithfully. I will also have to post a picture of all the pet chipmunks that are here. I have been feeding them organic peanuts and now you have to be careful where you walk! Some see them as pests and I suppose they can be but I enjoy them along with my large grey squirrels. It seems some days it is a zoo I am running! Ha!
Hopefully I will keep up with this better for you this time! Sorry about the delays but life happens and I do not want to miss out on anything! Life is to be lived!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008


I am so sorry that I have not kept up here! There has been so much going on. I was in Springfield, Illinois teaching. Made it there in time for the earthquake. My dog had to be put to sleep. I had a commission to get reference work for which took about 4 visits. I will post that and the update for the peonies when I get a day of sunshine! Here in northern Minnesota it has been cool...and I guess it was just over a month ago or less maybe we actually had a 2 day blizzard! Three foot drifts of snow and hundreds of dead birds. It has been hard on the wildlife and believe it or not...all the trees have not yet even leafed out! So we are very far behind.
I have company which is pretty common here on the lake in the summer. I will try to get a picture of each painting where it is and keep you better updated now as company leaves this weekend and I have to get busy painting!
I hope everyone has stayed well...Janie