Her Majesty completed

"Her Majesty," 24 x 24, oil on board

She's all done. Worked on her today. This one was harder than I planned on. I don't like to use small brushes very often and this painting forced me to do that. Painting more loosely is my goal and the during the last half of working on this piece I was married to keeping things crisp and tight. But, the composition pushed me to do that. If I had not cropped into the subject so tightly, I could have painted more loosely. I still like her though. She's one of the fine old farmhouses just outside of Dixon, Illinois (northwestern illinois). Debbie and I took a farm hunting/picture taking drive around May this year and snapped a bunch of images just as the sun started to get low in the early evening sky.

Debbie and my daughter showing joy over free sample beverage.

Jeff and I met my sisters (3 of the 5), my beautiful daughter, my mom, brother-in-law, and of course my bff Debbie in Chicago to see Wicked yesterday afternoon. My sister, Judy, was the ticket getter and we met at her place and went to a nice lunch at an Italian place not far from her and then we caught a couple of cabs to the Ford Oriental Theatre. The play was wonderful. I wish I could hold a note that long.

My sister, Judy, showing joy over Pinot Grigio at lunch.

The evening was beautiful and we decided to take the el instead of cabs because my mom said she had never taken the el before. So we did. It was fun...yeah, it was! We got back to Judy's and had a little wine, watched the end of the Indiana/New England football game, and raided Judy's shoe closet. She was cleaning it out to make room for more! We're helpful that way.

Then we hit the road back to Dixon. Home by 9 p.m. A really nice day. Slept late this morning and got into the studio a bit late, but who's watching?

This weekend I'm attending an "open" oil painting one day workshop with Michael Gerry. We can bring our own subject to work on and not be in a more traditional class. I haven't done one of these in a long time because Saturdays are normally out for me because of the inn and restaurant. Nov. is slower in that area and I'm taking advantage of it! I'll probably do a still life.

Studio time scarce these days

"Her Majesty," 24" x 24" oil on gessobord (unfinished)

Getting into my studio these days has been a problem. Fall brings on more activities that pull me away from the easel unfortunately.

This past Sunday, while the Bears were being absolutely pitiful, I did get into my studio to work for a couple of hours on the painting above. Adjusted some values, and tightened up some of the lines. Although I noticed as I was prepping this photo for today's post, that the window on the lower far right is still not right. That's why I love oils. Once it dries a bit, I'll go in and adjust it a bit. Really don't want to spend a lifetime on this and make it too fussy. It's not meant to be an architectural study.

Today, I'm getting packed to go to on an overnight to Galena, IL for an IEZA (Illinois Enterprise Zone Assoc.) event. I helped with the development of their website earlier this year (and continue to maintain and update it), so one of their members invited me to this function. Doesn't hurt that the member is my best friend's husband. Thanks John.

So, we'll be back in Dixon VERY EARLY due to Debbie's a teacher and I am supposed ot be assisting in a video shoot for a local client. It's my first time doing that, so we'll all have to be good monkies tonight in Galena. Just in case, I'm taking my BIG jar of Advil. heh heh

Oh yeah, almost forgot. Heard through a little birdie that Debbie, Arin, and I might be getting another mural project. Will hear for sure in a couple of weeks. Lots of work, but very rewarding!

Starting on Her Majesty

Step One...red cad underpainting with quick sketch painted in.

Next step and end of day 2...blocking in colors. Where there is red showing is where I need to paint.

Started a 24" x 24" oil on board with red cad underpainting. This farm house is somewhere out in the country around here. Debbie and I took a drive in the early spring during the evening looking for interesting barns/buildings/landscapes. My memory doesn't allow me to remember where exactly this was. The painting right now is about half done. The windows are all cock-eyed and stuff, but accuracy wasn't my main goal today. That will come later.

I only got in a couple of hours of work today. This past August Debbie, her daughter, Arin, and I participated in "The Mural Project" with 4 kids in the juvenile probation system. They were looking for new ways for juvenile offenders to work off their community service in more productive ways. We all created a 10' x 20' long mural of "magical trees."

Today we were invited to a reception honoring all of us and the kids. It was very nice. Rumor has it that there are more murals in our future. Cool.

Then Debbie and I and our husbands went to Kelly's in Sterling for some tasty food and a couple of beers. Hit the spot.