Sunday, March 31, 2013

Me and My Shadow

I love the Daily Paintworks weekly challenges, but somehow I don’t get around to them before the next challenge arrives – must get better about that!  This challenge is called “The Meaning of Spring” and about how everyone has their own unique thoughts that come to mind.  

Tulips are all about spring, but they are extra special in this house as we have a tradition of searching  high and low to make sure we have a bunch on March 1st and on the first day of spring.  Gets us through the winter!  This little guy is the last one standing and well aware of the fact that his shadow is larger than life. . . .

Daily Paintworks Launch!

It's Official
I just signed up for DPW.  Tomorrow this painting will be pulled into the DPW gallery and auction if I get everything right.  Even though they make it quite simple, there’s a lot that has to be set up and organized.   Look for me under Quick Search, By Artist at:

This is one of the first paintings I did after attending Carol Marine’s workshop earlier this year.  I returned home relaxed, enlightened and ready to start my new journey.  The water lily seems to be doing the same.  Looks excited too, don’t you think?  I sure am.

6x6" Oil on Canvas Panel

Fingers crossed and wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Holy Mackerel, Seriously!

A week or so ago in the Damage Control post, I mentioned a wonderful afternoon painting with fellow artists at a beautiful farm in Middleburg Virginia.  What I didn't mention was WHAT we painted.  You guessed it, fish!  Fun, exciting and more than a bit interesting painting fresh fish under high intensity lights.  I hope the barn has stopped smelling, the cats have calmed down and the horses have stopped neighing “eeewwwww!”  Such gracious and tolerant hosts!  Not sure if I’m happy with how the fish painting turned out, but heck, I did it – mackerel pike is what they are called.  They are as beautiful as fish get – svelte, silvery and look so alive.  You have to paint quickly or the tails start curling upwards.  This, in fact, is my excuse for the fish on the top that seems to be airborne.  LOL. 

Mackerel Pike

A dear and very talented artist friend handcrafted the 6x12" panel - even more fun when everything is long and skinny.   

Well enough fun for today - I'm off to have my wisdom teeth out tomorrow, so it might be a few days before I'm back to painting.  I bought a batch of yellow tulips to entice me - after all, I have to submit a painting to the next DPW Challenge - The Meaning of Spring by Saturday.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Weekly Challenge - Fridge

Well it has taken me longer than expected to finish last week’s DPW challenge – What’s In Your Fridge.  The weekly challenges (link) are inspiring and for you artists out there, it is free to join and post to this part of the website.  These are true Vidalia onions carefully tucked in the fridge until the moment was right.  A few years ago I painted them on a large canvas and thought, “I know how to do that" but the big Alice and the small Alice seem to be at it yet again.   Just can’t seem to get my small back on.  To aggravate the situation further, I decided it was time to finish some of my larger paintings and spent the day on that. What am I thinking!  Focus girl, get back to the loose free-style small paintings you love and learned about last January.  

Vidalia Onions - Fridge Challenge

Who knows what tomorrow will bring - I, for one, am excited to find out!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Alice in Wonderland - Part Two

Painted this one during a three-day workshop last summer called The Art of Painting Flowers.  I have never seen so many flowers in one room and the workshop artist put together several amazing setups for us to paint.  Learned quite a bit in a very short amount of time. 

This was so much fun to paint because I had a 10 x 30” canvas with me just for such an “emergency”.  I was able to capture the whole set up.  Beautiful sunflowers and hydrangea that look like they are just waiting for the call to action into a beautiful arrangement.  How fun.  

Is It Summer Yet?

Hey Alice, I guess it's time to go get small again!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Alice in Wonderland

With prompting from an artist friend, I’m entering a show in Falls Church VA.  A bit out of the ordinary now that I’m painting small.  So Alice, I guess we better get big!  Luckily, I happen to have a few favorites that I’m willing to share and hope they find a new home.  It’s nice to have the joy of creating something and then enjoying others having it for their own.  The parting is still a struggle that never seems to get easier. I don’t have a photo of the second painting, but will try and post it tomorrow. 

Celebrating 10 years of Art in Falls Church  – DECADEnt All-Member Show

April 5-28, 2013.  410 S. Maple Ave. Falls Church, VA 22046

I love this painting because of the strong contrast of the bright, warm tulips against the cold, dreary window – you can just feel Spring getting ready to erupt.  BTW, the photo is accurate, it's painted in the Macchiaioli (Italian) style that was a precursor to French Impressionism.  See, something to learn every day!

Ah, Spring Time

Back to getting small again - working on the “barn” painting from last Sunday – still too early to ask about it. . .  not sure if it’s going to survive, but will take a few more stabs at it later this week.  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Damage Control

Where does the time go?  I have to get better at posting consistency.  Hopefully made up in part with painting day yesterday.  Fixed the daffodil nightmare from last Thursday’s class, repaired the silver creamer damage (see Friday March 8), and painted some beloved radishes.  In class, I learned that if something goes off the canvas, then something else should as well.   The daffodil’s just would not cooperate with the 6x6 panel, so off the canvas we went – how liberating!  The radishes were jealous, so I said – off the canvas with you as well!

Today was special in that I visited another beautiful farm in Middleburg Virginia.  I’ve met a few more classmates closer to where I live, but this lovely lady comes all the way from Middleburg to take classes with us.  We painted in her very modern “barn”.  It actually is a working barn with horses, hay, cats. . . .  However, this barn also had a full-scale kitchen, office, exercise room, “the works” and two gorgeous, but camera shy, cats. 

So here we go with the paintings – I’ll spare you the details about what we painted at the barn for now.  Quite different and challenging.  BTW, if I don’t bring it up again – don’t ask!    Will work on it some more tomorrow, and hope for the best. 

Pushing Up and Out for Spring
Daffodils are just now coming up here and these didn't want to stay in their box!

Silver Creamer and Pink Roses
Enjoying the calm background so creamer can take center stage again.

Radish Club
I love everything about radishes - touch, taste, subtle highlights. . .
and yes these have already been eaten!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Bright Path Challenge

Last Sunday in my Art Club GC post, I mentioned that my challenge to them was to do one of the Daily Paintworks challenges.  Here's mine from (oops) last week.  I plan to do one each week until we all meet up at my house in late April.  A bit of a conundrum, as they all signed up for my blog and now will get a sneak peek!  Maybe I’ll have to hold one back. . .   I painted a similar scene a few years ago, and it was fun doing it again with a few changes. 

Last Run of the Day

If you received this post via email, click here for link to my blog 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Practice, Practice, Practice

Had a blast today!  Bought an amazing garlic and decided it was a perfect time to re-do one of Carol Marine’s exercises. The panel is divided into 4 squares so now we’re talking 3x3".  You then have 10 minutes to paint each block, allowing changes to background color and subject position.  Stressful fun!  Additional inspiration provided by the colors of Spring. I couldn't get over how the reflected light from the paper showed on the garlic - then again it was a beautiful, sunny day.  


This was another practice.  I have not painted grapes, but really wanted to give it a try. Multiple issues here, but will keep at it.  I am taking a class on Thursday evenings and next week the topic is grapes!  After seven weeks of painting flowers, suddenly it's grapes - Why does this keep happening to me?

Premonition Grapes

Last week's art class set up (Silver Creamer and Pink Roses).  Decided to darken the background, but still not sure it works.  hmmmmm...... 

New Dark Background
Muted Background

Starting the reveal – sending blog link to local classmates.  Always amazed at how different we all are, but so very connected through art – it’s like having an unexpected best friend. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

DPW Preview

Click to visit my blog

I’m excited to be meeting a former boss and friend for lunch today – we haven’t seen each other for quite some time.  Since I haven’t gotten my act together to join Daily Paintworks yet, I thought I would put some of my other work in this post to show him.  These will probably be the ones I will put up for auction – a little preview!  Feel free to leave a comment at the end of this post.  Thanks

Apples Under Arrest

Wonderful Day, Delightful Night

Raspberry Light


My Valentine - NFS

On the easel - Silver Creamer and Pink Roses

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Art Club GC

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I'm sure I'll be mentioning my wonderful Art Club from time to time, so I'll start introducing them and keep you posted on our "meetings".  I’m not a club person, but this has been an amazing delight. The very first meeting was June 20th 2008 - after we all met through art class.  The four of us try to get together once a month at each other's homes.  At first to paint, but decided it was more fun to eat, drink wine, talk art, and relax.  Oh, and each host offers up a challenge painting that must be completed before the next meeting.  This one simple thing has helped us all keep painting even when life insists on interfering! 

What's really fun is we are about as different as can be from one another, yet our shared love of art has bound us together.  It's hard to describe, but to me, almost like traveling to another country.  For a few hours I get a mini-vacation from my life into their worlds.  Today was to GC’s (maybe someday I’ll explain the host initials), beautiful horse farm.  A lovely drive through open fields, cows grazing, meandering streams, 100+ year old cabins, wineries, polo fields, and grand estates running right up to the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

The challenge was to paint a fox (see yesterday’s blog), these gals did a wonderful job.  I should have taken a photo – it would have made this post so much better!  I’m hosting next month, so they will get to come to the “big city” aka DC suburbs. . . .   My challenge to them, do one of the Daily Paintworks challenges.  When they come to my house next month, we’ll do the photographs and make them post!  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Miniature Masterworks Show

Live an Artful Life Gallery in The Plains, Virginia is hosting a "Small Works of Art" show from June 19 - July 7, 2013.  How can this be that suddenly small works of art have become so popular in my "neighborhood".  Two paintings can be submitted.  Tomorrow I'm meeting up with my art club (more on that later), I will let them decide which two of the three I should select for the show.  Feel free to submit your comment / vote!

My Sweet Clementine Handpicked from an Asian market for its crown of leaves cascading over a beautiful, bright Clementine. 6 x 6" oil on RayMar smooth cotton canvas panel.  


Blushing White RoseSingle white rose with a pink center – reminds me of a blushing bride. Lavender background evokes femininity, nostalgia and romance. 6 x 6" oil on gessoboard.  

Morning Fox Given this is serious horse country - fox hunting is hugely popular.  My art club challenge was to paint a fox, so I just had to do it.  It is one of two foxes on our doorstep one morning, romping around together.  A fun pair, this one loved to pose for the camera. BTW, Vienna, VA is closer to the big city of Washington DC than fox country - go figure.  10 x 8" oil on gessoboard.  

Okay, Here We Go - The Journey

A few days ago, I announced to my small "family" on Facebook that I was so happy and feeling . . . . . . .  okay, I'm finally going to say it . . . . . .  an Artist!   I was super-lucky to get into Carol Marine's January 2013 workshop in San Antonio Texas and returned home super-charged to get painting every day (er, a couple of times a week at least).  The tiny 6x6" canvas panels are so liberating.  

On my way back to Vienna, Virginia I posted the following collage of workshop paintings on my Facebook page.  The hot chilies with crazy colors (bottom right) sold right off the posting! 

The next amazing thing that happened was a local artists' studio and gallery sent a call for art featuring small paintings.  Well, I just happened to have a few of those. . .  Entered three new paintings into the show and the apples above.  Below is a photo from the Leesburg ArtSquare Petite Perspectives splash page.  How fun to see those apples in the first column (middle). Attended the Artist's reception on Friday 2/8, over 50 artists and 300+ paintings submitted.

I promise my blog entries won't be this long going forward - catching up on my journey so far.  Hope you enjoy my travels.