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.

3 Canvases started today


"Alium" starting out.

"Clouds" in it's earliest stages.

"Clouds" about 50% done

Beautiful day in Lead today (pronounced "lEEd.")

Sketched out 3 different size canvases. One large landscape and 2 florals. Once they were all blocked in, I started laying in the color of the large landscape...a sunset scene taken from a photo I took from our back yard.

Also, Frank, our black pug, decided to keep me company the whole time. He's a bit of a snorer, but good company.

Oil Painting Worshop finished!

Class is nearing the finish line.

Judy is giving it a final look-see.

Saturday was my one-day intermediate oil painting workshop. We did a landscape together. The class was small, but lots of fun. Lots of witty banter throughout the day.

I don't have many pictures because we all got involved in our work that frankly, I forgot to pull out my camera until near the end!

I will post more later.

My next workshop is this Saturday, 1/23, and will be the Intermediate Oil Painting Still Life session. There is still room for students. Sign up here.

It's a blur...

"Driving Home," oil on gallery-wrapped canvas
12" x 24"

For being unemployed, I'm awfully busy. But I'm doing stuff that's actually interesting.

Getting a lot more painting done. Not posting much because, well, it is Christmas time and some folks wouldn't be surprised, would they?

Today I did finish a smallish landscape in oils. Kind of a fun painting. Forgive the photo. I finished this around 3:30 and the light in my place gets a bit wonky and causes glossiness on parts of the work.

I took this photo when I was driving north from Peoria after a food show I attended (for my place of previous employment). Took some back roads and the light was just starting to get low. Surprised I wasn't pulled over because my car tends to weave when doing drive-by photos. As with most of my work, I covered the canvas in cad red first to create a warm glow through the following layers of paint. You may see some of that read peeking through.

I will be posting this on my etsy art shop page and on my website. Be sure to stop by both places as I have updated them. On my website, I have added a new section called "Workshops/Classes." My upcoming classes are now listed.

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 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.

Painting, Demo's, Classes....

"Autumn Layers"
24" x 30" oil on gessobord

Got in my studio a bit earlier than I normally do on a Monday. That's because my butt is behind the eight ball on several projects coming up. So, the painting above was completed first. I hung it in the hall outside my studio and it looks like it always belonged there. Until I sell it!

On Wednesday, 10/3, I am speaking and demonstrating for an artists' group in Oregon, Illinois. I've picked to demo in acrylics because I can probably finish it in the one sitting. It will be a fun simple fruit still life. I went to (sorry) Walmart yesterday to pick up some fun fabrics and fruit for a bunch of still lifes. The demo still life will also be one of 5 that will be used next week for the "Guest Artist" program at Reagan Middle School in Dixon. Each class of kids will be doing one of them. So the still life will be doing double duty! This is just sketched and underpainted to get a head start.

Just below are two stages of the next landscape. It will also be an oil on gessobord, same size. The subject is a waterway (Pine Creek), with some Angus cows at dusk. I got pretty far along before I realized that I was hungry. Supper awaits! Homemade garlic mashed potatoes, Swiss steak, and biscuits. How's that for a fall supper?

You'll have to wait for my cows to appear more fully. Until next...

What to do next....

Just finished a painting I started last week. It's a 36"x24" acrylic on gessobord. It puts me in a bit of a spring frame of mind. The color is a bit over-exposed at the bottom of the painting, but professional photographer I am not!

My dog, Annie, was whining just as I was finishing up. Spring fever must have been on her mind (mine too) as the weather warmed up by 1 p.m. to around 58 degrees. Now, that may be chilly to some of you, but it's darn nice when the sun is shining. Although, only 6 days ago it was 75. It's a wonder no one around me has pneumonia.

So I took the dog on a quick walk while trying to think of what should be my next subject. Probably a still life. Still lifes seem to come natually to me and more landscapey things are out of my element a bit. Don't know why. I seem to struggle a bit with landscapes, but seem to sell them all right.

Well, I must get back to my studio and get some sketching done...then I think I'll roast a chicken!

Back in the saddle, so to speak

After a couple of false starts this morning, I started another painting. It's a floral landscape border, 36" x 24", acrylic on ampersand gessobord (2" deep cradle). We have about 3 acres of property and have many perrenial flower beds. This particular one, lines a sidewalk that leads to our restaurant entrance. Last summer was a nice rainy season and the flowers seemed to bloom with no attention.

I started with a magenta-ish base. Sorry for the was impossibly sunny when I started, then dropped 20 degrees and became very gray out. Spring in Illinois........

I blocked in the darkest darks and started with some of the lighter lights

Getting more values in.

Starting to get near the end. I need to correct the background values. Kinda weird right now. Also, I had a spotlight on for this last picture because the weather caused my natural light to the color has a bit of a yellow cast to it.

Our trip to Chicago was so nice yesterday. It hit 73 degrees, sun was out, the Art Institute was cool...Millenium Park was bustling...and there was lots of green beer available. Jacob received his award for winning the state art poster contest. Look how proud he is (below) with his teacher, Debbie Thompson, my buddy.