Friday, December 9, 2016

The last show of the 2016 Holiday Season . . .

The Lincoln Craftacular!

This is the first year I've been able to do this show and what a night!
People came ready to BUY!
I LOVE my little antique table!
And those boxes and advertising memorabilia always make me clutch my pearls.
Mink Chow - love.
If I had had time to take pics of the crowd, I would have but it was busy from the time the opened the doors at 4:00 to those early shoppers to 9:00 when we all began packing.
Over 80 artists and crafters with an incredible array of work.

I think (I think) I was the only watercolor artist there (woohoo!) so for sure I hope to be invited back next year.

Did I mention that the temps outside hovered around 5? These folks were BRAVE!

So much sold tonight including a few that I have really grown attached to.
I'm never sure if people understand the attachment to and the meanings behind these little paintings.
I hope so.
These have found some wonderful homes.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Surprise snow days . . .

The forecast - light rain, maybe a flurry. The end result - 6" of wet snow. But what a great day to warm up the shop and clear the bench for watercolor playtime.

With flakes falling as big as chicken feathers, staying in and watching the cedars change was enough inspiration to experiment with faded greens and foggy distance. Learning how to pale out the snow and fog is more than just adding water - it's greying out a color and learning value differences.

You know how some sketchbook artists can hold up their sketchbook to show you the lovely scene they just painted? Well, apparently that's an acquired skill. Or maybe my scene was too far away. And photographing with your phone in one hand and your painting in the other, all the while trying to bring the background scene into focus so it all makes sense? Harder than it looks. Trust me. You can barely make out the scene across the road. And the Burning Bush at the end of our drive? Pssshh.

I love this old Mulberry.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Show - repack - show . . .

What a weekend!
Prep and pack for a two day show,
home with the jumbled mess,
and another two day show.
Actually, there is another show in there and in all of the packing,
unpacking, repacking, unpacking, repacking,
the photo escaped.
One more event for the Holiday Season in two weeks.
I only hope that this replenishes the $$$ spent on materials in 2016!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Twigs and leaves . . .

Why oh why does this remind me of the phrase:
Eats shoots and leaves?
These are quick little studies done after a trip to the yard to see 
what's dropped overnight.
Actually, lots.
I hate to see the leaves go but excited to see what they reveal.
It's hard to see through all of that greenery sometimes
and I'm one who enjoys grey days and leafless trees.
Not always. Only in the late fall.
The droppings for today:

Mulberry Tree

Pin Oak 

Elm Tree

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Inktober Day 4 . . .

Inktober : Day 4
Prompt : Hungry

I've chosen just a portion of what I used for the 'hungry' prompt.
An empty bowl.
This sketch has the feel of the political cartoons you see on the editorial page, I think.
Only this portion pleased me - the handle.
The rest was just a bowl.
So now I'm only a day behind. Or two since today is 6 October.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Inktober . . .

October = Inktober
New month, new challenge. 
A pen and ink drawing every day for 30 days (yeah, right) 
and a list of prompts to help spur me on.
Still, once in a while something like this comes along that artists like me are inspired to participate in just to get creative juices flowing.

 Day 1 : Fields here in the Great Plains are being harvested. The cut corn looks sheared like carpet. Little piles of corn that missed the grain trucks are on the sides of the gravel roads. Grain trucks lined up at the elevators in queues a mile long. Here on the prairie is where the work of providing food for the world is done.

Day 2 : The prompt word is 'noise' and leaves constantly dropping all around is the inspiration. On a dry patch of what used to be mud but is now cracked earth is a single leaf from an old mulberry tree. Leaves crackle as they blow across the rough dirt. In short order, the trees will be nearly bare and the ground covered with mulberry, maple, oak, and leaves from all of the shrubs and plum thickets.

Day 3 : The prompt word is 'collect' so I arranged three of my little collection of lustreware bird toothpick holders. I can't resist buying one of these guys whenever I find one (rarely) and I do think they're pretty cute.

Each of these three drawings has reminded me of the lessons in composition, value, and sensitivity in line. Lots more to learn but these challenges are so valuable in the process of art.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Across the gravel road . . .

The beautiful, ever-changing view across the gravel road from our farmette.
This scene moves easily from full on snow in January and February to patchy snow in late winter, pale greens in the spring, tall Big Bluestem in summer months, and the eventual blonding heads turning rusty red when summer's over.
I love every month and season of this view and have been thankful for every year we have lived here that the land is protected CRP, never having been broken.
To think that this is the same field that was burned off in the spring to eradicate weeds and was so soon green again is wonderful to have witnessed.
I will be painting this same scene again with the fall colors and quite possibly a few of the blackened earth during the spring burn.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The last days of summer . . .

The light is different.
The sky is different.
The clouds are different.
Late summer is still warm (hot!) and humidity from the fields is high.
Yet like the ant, you know that you have precious little time
to store things away before there is snow and it's too cold to work outside for long.
These are the days when I want to capture as much of the light, sky, clouds, 
heat and humidity as possible for my winter work.
Like taking out a jar of canned tomatoes in January that were put up in September, 
there will be days that I will need the photos 
to remind me of these beautiful days.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The little green bungalow . . .

Such a sweet little house.
I shouldn't call it 'small' since I've never been inside and it isn't mine,
but I know the neighborhood and the homes are darling.
Quaint, cozy, perfect.
This bungalow belongs to a friend who asked me to paint it in watercolor when I had time.
I finally had time.
I have two photos of it - one winter and one summer.
The summer house has 4th of July bunting and is beautiful and lush.
But there was something still about the home after a snowfall.
Tight and grounded. Clean and composed.
I love this setting with the pretty green against the grey skies, the hinted-at shapes 
of the trees and foliage.
She loves it and I can't wait to see it framed and in her home.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

It is finished . . .

After several incarnations, I believe this painting is finished.

From photos taken from a neighbor's farm, I enjoyed the usual struggle of color, balance, detail, but I believe it's finally 'there'.
With a few more touches, off to its new owner.
Here's to completing work.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Watercolor on canvas . . .

The beta test.

Challenged with creating two unique pieces for a fundraiser, I decided to try a new technique with an old medium. Well, not so old really. Just one I am familiar with.

All artists were given one or two 8x8 canvases on which they were to work in any medium to create work that would be donated for auction at The Crossing Arts Alliance in Brainerd, Minnesota.

I really enjoy working in watercolor and was wanting to try the canvas prepped with watercolor ground to see how watercolor reacted with it. I have to say that while it was fun and gave me different surface than the cold-press 140gm paper, it was like painting on chalk. The paint seemed to soak up quickly and I lost vibrancy. It would take more glazing to achieve the depth of color I'm used to. And if I left it for a while and came back to add another layer of color, the watercolor tended to bead up. If I am wrong that this is how it reacts in a typical fashion, then I simply need to do more and keep practicing.

Overall, I'm happy with the results and will give it a go on other materials.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Work in progress . . .

This is one project I cannot seem to get far enough away from to critique my progress.
Taking a photo is the perfect way for me to judge those weak areas.
I seem to have them here and I'm trying to find solutions.
Not always easy to do.
Work in progress.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A special project . . .

It's the hardest thing to put the first stroke of paint on a blank canvas.
I always start with such timidity but once that color changes from ground to atmosphere,
I'm headed in deep.

This is a special project for a friend who loves my expansive landscapes.
They have a gorgeous section of land not too far away from me and she wants a piece that she can hang high on the wall. That gives me permission to use big blocks of color and be more impressionistic in application. Not much detail. But that's the best part of impressionism and abstraction. Freeing.

One thing for sure.
Taking pictures along the way give you the perspective of backing away far enough to see how it's all coming together.
First photo after clouds were added.
I noticed how lopsided the composition was with the clouds too distracting.
Beautiful, but distracting.
I feathered them out and added balance in another cloud shape to the left.
Now to tone down the drive and the rise of the hill a bit.

Monday, July 11, 2016

It's that time of year . . .

Yep, time to stock up on pics of all of my daylilies so I can stay busy with painting and colored pencil work for the next 11 months. So here you go:
A gift from a friend, this one has no name. One day I will come across one like it so I can identify it.

Friday, July 1, 2016

America's Heart . . .

The land of the free and the home of the brave.
Independence Day 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Lazy . . .

Tell the truth.
Is it lazy to spend a summer morning indoors deep in watercolor?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Summer gauze . . .

I saw the word 'gauze' used to describe the early morning haze in their photograph this morning and it gave me pause.
That's exactly what summer days are - layered in gauze.
From early morning through the humid summer heat - all shrouded in gauze.
Yesterday I took up the brush and sprayed my palette and made the decision to use a different color than the typical cobalt or indigo for summer sky.
The sultry heated haze was pale yellow making the distant trees golden.
Even the greens are muted when clouded with heat shimmer.

Friday, June 10, 2016

These little gems give me pleasure . . .

A severe lack of words today coupled with a desire to post work.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

June . . .

A new month - a renewed beginning.
I am finally organizing my work so I can post new work on my BigCartel shop site.
This is the hardest thing for an artist, I believe.
To take time every day to photograph and market their work.
How will the world ever see these sweet little works if I don't make time?
New month - new attitude.
It's all out there.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Soldered glass watercolor pendants . . .

All ready for one of my favorite shows this Sunday.
Art & Soup benefit for the Visiting Nurse Association in Omaha.
I have packed 50+ watercolors and 20+ oil paintings and these.
I had so many little pieces  of watercolor paper left from cutting paper to the right sizes for bigger works that I hated throwing them away.
I started painting these little paintings - 1" square to 3/4"x2" - and suddenly I had a pile.
What to do?
My darling friend Rachel Two Dog Pond gave me a one on one lesson.
Lucky me!
So $200 later for equipment and gorgeous rolo chain, here we are.
Ready for their first showing tomorrow.
Good luck to me!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Friday, February 12, 2016

Before the snow goes away . . .

One last chance to play in the snow before it all goes away.

The Cub on skis

Ed finds the Honda 50 and snow irresistible.
But unmanageable.

Which reminds me of this little beauty from two years ago.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Blizzard of 2016 . . .

And the obligatory 'snow pics'
causing so many to post on Facebook that they have snow
where they are, too.
So here you go.
It begins.
No big deal.

Hurry April.