Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Plein aire painting from Puerto Rico trip

Painting on location can be very challenging.  For me, the biggest challenge is that I prefer to sit while I paint, and in a perfect world, I would bring a large table, a comfortable chair, and a cooler with cool beverages.  Of course, I need to keep it simple and light for carrying; so instead, I bring a fold up chair, hold my painting on my lap, and bend over to the ground to get paint from my palette.  I did something different this time, though, and it really helped.  I did a wet wash ahead of time, and let it dry before painting on location with it.  I also found that if I took a photo of the scene, and then drew from the camera image, that I could draw the scene lots more successfully!  Thank you, modern technology!  I did this painting while on a wonderful painting trip with 6 other artists.  There were palm trees everywhere, so I decided to do my abstract version of them.  I'll always remember the perfect sunny day, the sounds of kids on kayaks nearby, and the peace that I felt painting this scene.  A great big "thank you" to Jim Turner, my friend who owns a house on Puerto Rico, and graciously invites me to come paint with many other artists there.  This was our second time there, and we had a wonderful time, escaping the Minnesota winter for a week.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Good News! Missouri National Watercolor Society Show entry accepted!

Just got my letter of acceptance from the Missouri National Watercolor Society 2012 Exhibition!  This painting is of a student, who took my workshop in Thunder Bay, Canada.  She was so striking, that I asked her if I could take some photos and got her permission to paint her portrait.  I didn't mean to get so detailed with the facial features.  Most of my paintings have more simple shapes to form the contour of the face.  But I did like the results, and intend to do lots more paintings of Anne (pronounced Annie).  I made my own collage papers, using deli paper and carved my own rubber stamps for the impression on the papers.  This is mainly watercolor, but also has acrylic and collage.  I learned how to do the collage papers from the Anne Bagby video.  It is one of my all time favorite art videos.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Acrylic painting, Letting Go

Here is the finished painting from my study that I posted on January 24th.  I'm pleased with the simple shapes and the drama factor of this one.  I've been having so much fun painting in acrylics lately.  I use Strathmore Aquarius paper for the large paintings and I paint on stretched canvases for the smaller ones.  I use completely different procedures for the 2 of them.  This painting was one of the first paintings that I liked after going through the dreaded "January artists' block".  I'm having so much fun looking back through all the 30 minute studies that I've done over the last year and a half, and intend to do many paintings in the next few weeks, using the studies.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

New painting, "The Journey"

OK, here it is!  The finished painting, that I called, "The Journey".  It was a struggle to finish this one, but it turned out to be one of my favorites that I've ever painted.  I brought it along to Karlyn's Paint-in last week, and the group really liked it.  In fact, it sold there!!! I love it because it tells a story of my journey as an artist, with lots of inspiration from all the friends in my life.  I try to surround myself with positive people.  No time for negative vibes!  And that tall person right next to me, would be my husband, my greatest support ever, and the love of my life!  I got permission from the buyer to keep it till the end of May, so I'll be able to show it at my open house, and it matches my sister's pillows so well.  I'm going to enter it in a national show also.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Acrylic painting

I'm falling in love with acrylics lately.  I still love watercolor, but only if I can add collage with it.  I'm almost finished with a painting that I started many months ago.  I used this 30 minute study as my model. (done with Tombo markers) I had set the painting aside for several months, due to other things taking priority.  I came up with this idea, that my sister and I should coordinate our art.  She is a seamstress, and makes wonderful pillows and a variety of functional art.  In fact, her business is called Functional Art.  She sewed some beautiful pillows, and I painted a painting to go with them. They are pictured below.  This will be my first coordinating painting!  I'll post it tomorrow.  I really enjoy the process of having fabric as a starting off point for my paintings.  Love the freedom of painting whatever I want, as long as it matches the pillows.  And sometimes, it takes away the stress of picking colors when the artists' block sets in.  Today, I painted with a few friends and we painted from 9:30 till 3:00 p.m.  It was so fun to hear feedback on each other's paintings.  If you don't have a group to paint with, I strongly advise it.  We artists are alone too much of the time, and it feels so good to have friends to talk with, while I paint.  Granted, I wouldn't work well like this every day, but once or twice a month is so good for me!  By the way, my sister's fabric pieces are featured on  Her name is Nancy Klapmeier.  Her link is


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