What's next, locust?

"Order Up," 24" x 36", oil on gessobord

Last Wednesday the weather was zero. Today it's 65. It's thundering and hailing. Tornado warnings are being announced now. My snow is all gone. It now looks like Beruit outside. Keep an eye out for locust.

Finished up the painting above and named it "Order Up." The kitchen staff in our restaurant were plating up a dinner party of around 50 ppl when this was taken. My husband is in the white ball cap.

Just cleaned up my studio so I can start dinner. Hopefully, I can run back up to the studio to set up some still lifes. Knowing me however, that might just fizzle after supper. You know, full stomach and all. But I hear there's ANOTHER football game on tonight. Boredom may get me back to work.

I am featured exhibiting artist member (for the local gallery) from Jan. 16-31. I want to get a couple more new pieces ready for the show. We'll see.

Another weather alert just came over the radio. I will never have a house without a full basement. Oh, I just remembered...my husband left a couple of hours ago to go hit some balls at the golf course. It's been raining. Where the heck is he? geez

It's coming along....

untitled, 36" x 24", oil on gessobord
2nd day's work

After a really snowy weekend, the sun came out and I got an early start in my studio today. This is my second day of work on the painting above. There isn't a name for this piece yet...just can't seem to get a title to pop into my head. It will come.

I mainly tried to finish covering the surface and didn't touch the faces this week. Mainly, I was concerned with the values and blocking in the objects. I took a lot of the smaller objects out...too much detail. However, the bottle looks a bit on the lean-y side. Need to straighten it up a bit. Hopefully, I'll get this done in one more session.

When that session takes place will be the unknown factor. Both kids (and boyfriend) will be home for Christmas and my studio will turn into a bedroom. I purchased the Aero bed last week. Can't wait to see that puppy inflate all by itself. It's a full size bed and that will take up all my floor space.

Today, I'm finished doing studio work a bit early because I have a committee meeting at the gallery in Dixon at 3 p.m. It's 2:30 now, so it's time to get my rear in gear and on the road.

Happy holidays to everyone.

Ice Storm vs. Snow Storm

the sketch

2nd stage...that's it for today, 36" x 24", oil on board

I vote for snow storm. Much easier to drive in! Last Thursday, Jeff and I catered a local Chamber of Commerce Christmas party at the director's house and it started snowing just as we left our place with all the food to go to their place. By the time we got there it was almost whiteout conditions and we started worrying...like, what if no one comes?

There we all were -- the 5 of us -- sitting there with all this great food and cases and cases of wine and beer. I think we would have been fine if no one came...heh heh. But, almost everyone came and a good time was had by all.

Today we're in the midst of an ice storm that's supposed to get really snarky tomorrow. So, I'll spend another day at the easel instead of driving into Dixon to work.

Speaking of easel, I started on a figurative study (above). It's Jeff (in white baseball hat) and some of our staff plating up a private party in our restaurant kitchen. I don't do too many figurative paintings, but do them occasionally to keep me from getting rusty. I would have gotten farther along, but I decided to make my Italian gravy today and that takes a bit of time...it's called procrastinating about going into my studio.


Preview of Silent Auction
Acrylic on Canvas, 30" x 24"

The painting only took me 30 minutes to finish. I was going to go further, but then I was running the risk of screwing it up...so I just signed it.

I was going to start a new floral landscape on gessobord, but I got really, really hungry. When that happens, distractions occur. My husband went out in the snowstorm (yes, it's snowing again) and brought home fried chicken. Nothing better on a Sunday evening...not even art. I'm feeling much better.

The next painting I will attempt will be a scene of one of my border gardens. This garden lines the front walk to our restaurant entrance. Last summer, we had a rather wet summer which meant everything grew in a luscious way. I hardly had to water much. The scene will have lots of purple cone flowers, tall garden phlox, and black-eyed Susans. Very much a prairie thing....living in the a prairie state...it makes total sense.
My next two days are booked with meetings, but I hope to start it on Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Trying to get back at the easel today

It's Sunday morning in Grand Detour, Illinois and it is a mess outside today. A blizzard started yesterday afternoon, dumped 6 inches of snow, forced many of our restaurant reservations to cancel, and then turned to rain in the middle of the night....ick. At least with a slower restaurant, I didn't have to work...just visit the braves souls who did come in to eat.

So, this morning, I'm working up the ambition to finish my human study that I'm doing in acrylics. The two paintings inside this painting are by John Nolf from the 30s or 40s. It's been a bit of a stretch trying to duplicate his technique, but not overdoing it.

I'll post the completed painting as soon as I finish it! I also have to make a plan on what is next. Jeff and I are leaving next Sunday, 3/4, for a week to visit my oldest daughter in Savannah, GA. She graduated in '05 with a BA in Illustration and she now works for a large civil engineering firm providing design work and such. Being that we own a restaurant and bed & breakfast, we very rarely visit as a couple....one at a time...to keep the business going. But, now we have a really great staff and we trust them to run the restaurant.

I plan on getting lots of good Savannah pics for future paintings....so, now I've procrastinated enough. Time to get off my couch and get painting!

Almost done...mural starting now.

I had a couple of hours to work on my human study today. Wish I had one hour more, but I had to get to Dixon to pick up Debbie and go to KSB Hospital to start our 3rd, count 'em, 3rd, mural on one of their stair wells. We do this with several of her art students. Fun. Today we sketched out several of her kids' paintings. The subject is Funny dogs, Happy Victorian Houses, and Crazy Cats.

We picked around 10 to work from and sketched them on the walls. The walls are cement block and kind of hard to paint on, but we've done it twice before....we can do it again.
Tuesday we'll start the painting in the afternoon. I'll post pics of the sketches tomorrow. My pasta water is boiling and I'm really, really hungry. Just a snack bag of Cheetos this afternoon. Only goes so far!

Still working on it!

Here is the same figurative study I started this past Monday. These pics are still from Monday, but I got my camera back (don't even ask where I found it) and took a couple more shots of the work I did after the intial uploading. One is kind of full size, but I didn't bother with skewing it before cropping...the other is a closeup. This scene was from the gallery in Dixon last summer. There was a silent art auction fundraiser going on when I took some pics and just found them on my PC. Maybe the title will be "The Auction." Still thinking on it.
Last night was another art show opening at the gallery (The Next Picture Show), a one woman show, for Fran Swarbrick. It also was the 3rd year anniversary for the gallery. The turn out was great. It also was snowing...again. Same as the opening night 3 years ago. Weird. The gallery is non-profit and allows looking for new members. Our board is really great. So nice to have people on board who GET IT and show enthusiasm and positive energy.

Well....I've hung around too long at home. Need to get to the inn and get some restaurant/inn work done before staff start popping up. If you're ever in the Dixon, Illinois or Grand Detour area of the world, check out our place for a great dining experience (Colonial Rose Inn). Yep, just had to plug the main business. Haven't done it in quite awhile.

Painting, laundry, vacuuming....

Another cold day, although it's warmed up to 24 degrees. I guess that's more of a heat wave. We had a bit of snow last night and are forecast for more tonight.

Still, it's better than upstate NY!
Can you say, "Spring!"?

This past Sunday, Jeff and I went to Chicago to see my youngest daughter. I ordered a MacBook Pro laptop from Apple and she picked it up for me. I've never had a Mac before. This little puppy is beautiful, but not much is on it yet.

Last Thursday, I left my digital camera at my friend's house and it's still there. So the picture of the painting above is from the camera built into the laptop.
Today I worked on the figurative study again. Decided to go with acrylics this time. I use fluid acrylics. They just seem to work better when doing larger areas quickly. The painting is actually further along than showing because I worked for another hour or so. It shouldn't take me more than another day at the easel, unless I get distracted. That happens a lot.

In fact, I just cleaned up, put in a load of laundry, vacuumed the place, and planned tonight's dinner....anything but paint. Why I feel guilty spending the whole day painting is beyond me. But if Jayne doesn't make a plan (especially about food)...then nobody eats. And I tell ya, right now my dog is looking appetizing!!

Getting out and about

future painting, 30" x 24", oil on canvas

Today will be busy with meetings and design work. Jack and I (my boss from Affinity AV, a web design firm) are going to Fulton, IL (on the Mississippi River) to meet with a potential web site customer...we're just in the talking and getting-to-know-you stage. We were to go yesterday, but we had a snow storm that made traveling rather dicey. Sun's out today and the world is a beautiful white! It's even warming up to 12 degrees today!

When we get back, I have to put my graphic design hat back on and work on a new Memberbship brochure for The Next Picture Show gallery in Dixon. Oh yeah, and another show postcard. My mind is starting to get that loud buzzing sound again.

In the next couple of weeks, my friend, Debbie, and I are planning on starting our 3rd mural at KSB Hospital in Dixon. We'll be working with some of her 5th and 6th grades students. Keep an eye on this blog to see the progress of this project.

The picture above is my next canvas for a figurative study. So far I have it sketched out. I'm still working out the composition bugs....stay tuned.

Signed off on 2 paintings

Pear Trio on Silver Tray
11" x 14", oil on Ampersand Gessobord (deep cradle)

Waiting for Change
20" x 24", oil on canvas

God, it is so COLD today. I'm not EVEN thinking about leaving the house. We reached a high of 3 degrees...windchill...don't ask. The weather gives all of us Bears fans something else to think about. What a waste of beer.

So, this afternoon I finished the 2 oils I have been working on. I'm prepping another canvas now for a 24 x 30 figurative oil. I'll sketch it out tonight.
Throwing in a picture of my dog, Annie. She'll turn 10 next month. She's a Pisces just like me! That's why we get along so well. Also, she doesn't talk back, listens to everything I say without interuption, and she has absolutely NO LAUNDRY!

Figurative study is almost done

I think I'm near finishing this figurative study. It's coming along pretty well. It's 20 x 24, but now I wish I had done it on a larger canvas. Oh well, the framing will cost less! Also I worked a bit more on the pear still life on gessoboard. I found a picture I took last summer during a silent auction at the gallery. It should make a great figurative/human study and I will start that painting on a larger canvas. Stay tuned on that one.