A work in progress -- trees on a path

This was a nice Sunday.  Did some contract work for a couple of Facebook clients, did some laundry, actually wired up a painting (that I always put off), Jack did the cooking for supper, and I got into the studio and started a painting.  In fact, I almost finished it.  Sometimes it happens that way, doesn't it?

Earlier this summer, Jack and I rode our bikes on the Mickelson Trail in South Dakota.  There were so many beautiful scenes it was hard to pick which painting to do.  Private note:  Later on the ride, I was mesmerized  by the scenery so much that I rode right off the trail and down a rocky embankment.  That hurt like a son of a gun.

As most of you know, I always paint my gessobord or canvas first red or some warm color.  I don't like starting a painting on a a white background.  After the background is dry, I sketched in the landscape with pencil very lightly and then went over it in a dark paint.  Both the background and the sketching paint is acrylic.  No patience for waiting for the boring part to dry.  When I want to paint, I want to paint now, not in 2 days.

Then, the hard part was -- do I finish it in acrylics or oils.  That took about 45 seconds to decide.  Oil.  Then it was off to the races.

So, here is the painting in stages.  I hope to finish sometime this week and when I do I'll post again.

Have a great week!

"The Last Stand" all wired up

"The Last Stand,"  24" x 48," oil on gallery wrapped canvas, $1200 
This painting was finished a few months ago, but it took me forever to get it wired and ready to hang.  I even named it! 

Last spring, my daughters came out for a visit from Chicago.  We drove through Custer State Park in Custer, SD.  I don't live too far from there and had never gone through it before.  Isn't that the way?  The last people to play tourist are the people who live in the area!

We wanted to see the roaming buffalo and their new babies -- which we saw plenty of.  Along the way, we were slowly driving by this large grassy hill with only one tree on top.  Erin, my oldest, jumped out to run up and I took a bunch of pictures. 

So, that is why it is called "The Last Stand."

If interested in purchasing, please contact my gallery, The Matthews Opera House & Arts Center, 605.642.7973.

I need a new camera

"Tree on a Curve," 24"x48", oil on gallery wrapped canvas

Finished piece.  I really like it, but it's kind of hard to tell because the finished product is a bit blurry.  My good camera has uttered its last click and all I have is my phone.  

Just had a thought.  Jack has a good camera and he does a lot of photography.  Duh.  I'll just have to put him to work.  However, he just finished mowing the lawn with a push lawn mower.  He needs a bit of a rest!

The hill is in Custer State Park in Custer, SD.  Great place to see prairie dogs, antelope, and of course lots of free roaming buffalo.  We went when there were lots of baby buffalo.  This hill just stood apart from all the pine trees and aspens.  

Check out the pictures below of my process doing this painting.  In case some of you are new to my blog, I start every painting with a colored base...normally a cad red or orange or a variation of some warm tone.  It gives the painting a head start and isn't as intimidating as starting with a blank, white canvas.

detail of tree

getting some more color now

Added the tree and a bit more value

here's the red I was talking about

Starting a still life.

Just getting in the groove. A cold, rainy day makes it easier to buckle down and paint. This is from a photo taken last weekend when my daughters visited from Chicago. We were driving through Custer State Park and my oldest bolted from the car to climb the hill that had only one tree.

Still deciding whether to finish in oils or acrylics.

More to come.

Up next -- Winter Art Show

 View 1: Some of the Professional Category...My "Autumn Path" is there.  Can you find it?

View 2: Some of the Amateur Category
View 3: Some of the 3D work from both categories.

Well Saturday certainly was a busy one.  It started off with a women's networking lunch and program at the Seven Grill Restaurant in Spearfish, SD.  Soon after, I went to the Spearfish Arts Center, where I have pieces on display, to help get the 2012 Winter Art Show hung.  Let's see, I got there just before 2 p.m. thinking a few hours would be the most it would take to get this puppy up.  Ahhhh....that was a bit optimistic.  We got the last nail pounded in around 8:15 p.m.  

So, if you're in the Black Hills area next week, stop by.  It's free too!  The show itself is hung in the theatre of the Matthews Opera House (right next to the arts center).  Here is the schedule:
  • Thursday, February 23, OPEN for public viewing 12 pm to 7pm
  • Thursday, February 23rd AWARDS ceremony at 6:00 PM.
  •  Friday & Saturday, Feb. 24-25, OPEN for public viewing 12 pm to 6 pm
Up next, it is our busiest week with our biggest group coming in at The Lodge of Deadwood.  We'll be working some very long days next weekend.  After that, I will be back at the old easel!

Finished spring floral just as fall rolls in...

"First Peonies"
24" x 24"
oil on cradled gessobord

It took two weeks, but I got back in my studio to finish this floral. These are my first SOUTH DAKOTA peonies. It was our first spring in this house and I didn't know I was going to have a nice big peony bush growing next to the fence.

Fall is just starting to show its glorious head in the Black Hills. The temperatures are much cooler in the evening and mornings. The afternoons are still in the seventies and low eighties, but those days are numbered!

Once it gets too cold to play around outside, I'll be back in the studio more often.

I'll be one of the featured artists at the Spearfish Arts Center in Spearfish this coming October. October 7th actually. I finally have more pieces featuring SD stuff. They like that around here.

Back to florals

"Mary's Allium"
12" x 36",
oil on cradled gessobord

It's been awhile since I've done a floral. I don't know why I don't do them more frequently. Maybe spring and summer go by so quickly OR because I no longer have flower gardens. My gardens in back in Grand Detour, IL were a constant source of material.

This floral is comprised of large allium. This photo was taken at my dear friend's garden. A very unusual, but stately flower in the late spring garden.

The next painting will be a still life floral of peonies. Stay tuned.

Despite cowboy season, I finished a painting!

"Yates Shaft Sunset," 30" x 40", oil on gallery-wrapped canvas.

A couple of weeks ago, I started 3 different paintings. Today I finished one of them. It's the only landscape of the three. This view is from my backyard. Can you believe it? Being a girl from northern Illinois, rolling hills are the closest to high altitude I ever got to.

It's been a very busy 2 weeks with work being very busy because of the tourism season in Deadwood and surrounding areas. In fact, I saw my very first rodeo yesterday in Deadwood during the Days of 76 rodeo. Those people are a bit nuts to torture themselves like that, but it was oddly exhilarating also. A woman sitting next to Jack and I gave us the ins and outs of the rules and regulations of the different rodeo events. And the cowboys weren't bad either.

Any way, I hunkered down today in the studio before the heat of the day set in. The picture shown is not really doing the painting much justice, but it's tough getting the right shot in the light I have in the studio.

Next up...Alliums.


If you're in Spearfish area....

Painting #1 being shown, "Laying Down on the Job," 30" x 30" oil

Painting #2 being shown, "216 W. 1st St.," 30" x 40" acrylic

As mentioned in my previous post, I have two pieces entered in the 32nd Winter Art Show at the Spearfish Arts Center/Matthews Opera House on Main St. in downtown Spearfish, SD.

Attendees to the 4-day exhibit can vote for their favorite piece.

So come on by -- you can view the artwork in the Opera House:
  • Thursday, February 10th through Saturday, noon to 6 pm
  • Sunday, February 13th from noon to 2 pm with an Awards Ceremony at 2 pm on Sunday
The weather is going to be in the 40s on Sunday, so that's when I'm going!