Sunday, April 22, 2012

Watercolor Seascape And Recommended Art Books

"North Shore Surf"
5" x 7" watercolor study

In the past I painted many watercolors of a variety of subject matter, even street scenes with people.  I prefer oils and do my best work in that medium, although I sometimes paint in acrylics.    However, I enjoy other artists watercolors more than I do my own   :-)      There is one watercolor book I highly recommend for those artists that love to paint flowers and that is "Glorious Garden Flowers in Watercolor" by Susan Harrison-Tustain .

I paid $22.99 for this book (softcover) in 2003 and the price since has skyrocketed .   If you check on Amazon  a new paperback is now $125.74 and used ones start at $59.94 as of today.   Amazon does have the hardcover edition available .... new $158.80 and used from $30.00 as of today.     However, it is a wonderful book for the more intermediate artist, although beginners can learn from it as well of course.   Susan Harrison-Tustain also has some excellent teaching DVD's out there.    

For those artists who paint landscapes, I recommend "Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting" by John F. Carlson.  It has been in print a long time with the first copyright in 1929.  As a teenager I found this book in the library and I literally devoured it and constantly poured over it as it has lessons on perspective, design, light, color, composition and more.   It taught me a lot.   My very first oil painting was of a landscape. I was living in Germany at the time with family and that was where my love for the landscape was born.  Around the early 1970's I purchased the book and still have it in my possession.    The only drawback is most of the photos in this book are in black and white, but that can be a good thing because it teaches you values. Carlson believed that if all your values in a painting were correct, the work would look good no matter what colors you used.   You can also find this book on Amazon and it is very inexpensive.

I am busy working on a still life painting right now .  Please check back soon and Mahalo for visiting with me  today.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Work In Progress - Forget Me Not- Stage Two

"Forget Me Not"  
Work In Progress - Stage Two
12" x 16" Oil 

This is progressing just fine and perhaps next time I work on it I will finish this painting.  The teacup has forget-me-not flowers on it and the yellow rose is known as the Peace rose.  When I lived in Texas I owned this rose along with about 50 others which thrived in my yard. I posted the "Stage One"  of this painting on April 9 and here is that photo again below.

Stage One

Just for fun, here is a picture of me and some of my roses around 1997 or so.   

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Color Red

"Perhaps blue, red, and yellow strike the mind more forcibly from there not being any great union between them, as martial music, which is intended to rouse the nobler passions." - Sir Joshua Reynolds 

"Tropical Delight"
12" x 16" oil on gallery wrap canvas

I have to admit it, red is my favorite color.  Red represents beauty in many languages and cultures.  I read somewhere that the color red increases enthusiasm and gives a person energy.  Supposedly,  red can also increase blood pressure and heart beat.  Maybe all that is why when I use a lot of red in a painting, it just seems to flow and I have lots of enthusiasm for the work.   Or maybe,  I just love red....period !   ;-)   Below are some more of my "red phase" paintings.

"We Four"
6" x 12" oil on canvas

"Seeing Red"
6" x 8" oil on canvas on panel

"Tomato Sandwich Half"
8" x 8" oil on canvas

I told you red was my favorite color !   Did I mention I use to have a red station wagon?  But that is another story.     

Friday, April 13, 2012

Descanso Gardens Flower Cart

"Descanso Gardens Flower Cart"
8 x 10 Oil on panel

This is fresh on the easel today and what a joy to bring it to completion.  I just felt like completing a smaller painting today instead of working on one of my larger works in progress.   I am sure I will be painting more garden pictures soon, rather than and including ones of Descanso Gardens which is in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California.  Those are primroses in the flower cart and spring flowers, including tulips, around the cart.

Monday, April 9, 2012

From Albuquerque Window to Still Life (Works In Progress)

Albuquerque Window (Old Town)
Work in progress  16" x 20" oil

This one is off to a good start; still have a lot of work to do on it as you can see from my reference photo below.  

This is not my best photography; either that or the window was really that slanted   ;-)
I am also working on a still life, photo below.

"Forget Me Not"  Work In Progress
12" x 16" Oil

The teacup has forget me not flowers on it and will really take some time to paint.   It is one of my favorite teacups in my possession.  I intend to paint a series of teacups in the future.

I have three other paintings I am working on in addition to the ones shown here.   Please check back again soon for completed works.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Take Me There! (Places To Visit And Paint Before I Expire)

Been there, done that!  But I want to go back again to these Cathedral Rocks at Sedona, Arizona, and take more photographs and maybe do some plein air painting in the area.   This particular photo was taken by my ex-husband  (who is still my friend) when we made a trip to Sedona while we were still married.  Somehow my photos of the area are missing and any excuse to go back to Sedona will do!  I lived in Phoenix for five years, so I have visited Sedona numerous times; one can never tire of the beauty and the stunning red rocks there. 

"Contentment In Wyoming"
6" x 6" oil on canvas on panel

"Take Me Back" (Wyoming)
6" x 6" oil on canvas on panel

Wyoming is another state I would love to visit again, particularly around Jackson.  Also, I have never been to Yellowstone National Park even though I was near there.   It would be heaven to photograph that park and its wildlife.   Yellowstone is America's first National Park, established in 1872, and is located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.  For a link to view webcams of this park, please click here

Glacier National Park is on my must do list as well.   It is located in the Northwest corner of Montana and has over 700 miles of trails.  For webcams of this park, go here

Yosemite National Park would be a dream to visit.  It covers about 1200 square miles and is about 4 hours from Sacremento, California.   I was near there as well a few years ago, but never made it to the park.   

I lived for a few months in Seattle, Washington, and was awe-struck by the magnificance of Mt. Ranier.  However, I never made it to the park area of Mt. Ranier ;  just viewed the mountain from the Seattle skyline.   That would be a fantastic place for me to visit and take reference photographs.  I understand there is a wildlife park near there as well that would be a "must-do" for me.

If any of you have photographs of these areas you would like to share with me, it would be most appreciated.   Also, you could commission me to paint on canvas from your favorite photograph.

It is true that I live in Hawaii, a paradise with its own unique and beautiful scenery, so you may wonder why I want to travel to so many other places.   Just for the fact that I love to travel and see new sights; it is quite inspiring to me as an artist.   There are other places I have been (like Taos and Sante Fe) that would be wonderful to visit again as well.  

Currently I am busy working away on 3 new paintings; please visit here again soon!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

African Violets And More African Violets

16" x 12" oil on canvas

The above painting of mine is of a chimera african violet which sold to a member of an african violet club who hyberdized  this particular variety.   A few years ago I did a series of paintings depicting various african violets in still life set-ups which told a "story".   

"The Agony, The Ecstasy"
12" x 16" oil on canvas

This painting tells a story about the artist Michelangelo:  the african violet's name is "Michelangelo" and the book is about his life.   I had a wonderful time setting up these african violet props and of course painting them.   It is about time I paint some more african violets.   If any of you african violet lovers out there would like to commission a painting of your favorite violet (or any other flower, for that matter) please feel free to contact me.    Below are some of my photographs of violets I have blooming in my studio at the present time.

This is an "oldie" and a great favorite of mine, Maverick's Faded Jeans.  I need to put down some new leaves to start some babies of this plant as this plant is rather old and I only have the one.   

The above two photos are of the african violet "Salmon Ella" , a new favorite of mine.  It is not a true pink or a red, but truly a salmon color.   I have babies of it I need to re-pot like right now.  

Watermelon Bay
Semi-miniature by Lyndon Lyon 

I hope to paint some of these before too long,  but at the present time I am working on some larger, major works.  Maybe I can squeeze in a small african violet painting as time goes on.

Thank you for viewing my art !