Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon   12x24"  oil on linen

Who knew the Rose of Sharon flower was shy about being painted?  I hardly was an hour into the painting when all the blossoms started closing up!!  So while I did work from life, I had no choice but to use my experience with flower painting to complete this painting.  Working from memory and knowledge.  It was more challenging than I had planned when I picked the flowers this morning!  Oh well, chalk up another learning experience!
I hadn't painted grapes in a while..that was fun. 
I used a bit of painting knife toward the end to create some texture.

Thanks for stopping by to visit my blog!


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Irises and Nectarines

Irises and Nectarines  18x24  oil on linen

These huge magenta purple irises deserve to be expressed with drama and impact!  They are stars...no quiet little wallflowers here.  The orangish/peach shade of the nectarines juxtaposed next to the magenta sings with impact.  This whole painting is bold from the color palette, to the strong brushwork, to the activated composition.  But, then sitting quietly just a bit back of the flowers is that surprising little creamer...delicate and subdued.  
I feel that it is a dynamic painting but then I love the irises and I love the color purple.  I guess I might be a little biased.   :)
Hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Star Gazers

Star Gazers  8x12  oil on linen en plein air

This is another plein air painting from this past saturday's wet paint event in Douglas.  This was such a treat to paint because while I was standing at my easel the wonderful scent of these beautiful lilies was filling the air.  It was early in the morning.  The dew was still on the grass, I had my cup of coffee and the robins were searching for breakfast all around me.  How delightful!
I love the way these lilies arch so gracefully and their stamens reach for the ground or sometimes look like they want to find the sun, curving up so delicately!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Potted Geraniums

Potted Geraniums
Potted Geraniums   9x12  oil on linen en plein air

What a beautiful day it was to be outdoors!  Yesterday was a Wet paint event in Douglas, Mi.  Artists came out to paint the local sites and then in the evening the public was invited to come in and purchase the wet paintings.  It was a picture perfect day and great fun!  Here is one of the three I did for the day.
Thanks for visiting my blog!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Trumpets and Hummers

Trumpets and Hummers  oil on linen   14x24

I love birds and have been wanting to put one in my still life for a long time.  I just never seemed to do it.  Today I did!  Hummingbirds are the sweetest little things, but they are territorial and can be quite aggressive.  Spunky little critters.  :)
I had so much fun painting this painting.  I hope you enjoy it!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Favorite Pitcher

A Favorite Pitcher
 A Favorite Pitcher 18x22  oil on linen

I tried a little different color palette with this one.  I usually use Ultramarine blue and transparent oxide red to create my "blacks", but I wanted to get away from the reddish hue with this painting so I used Pthalo Green and Alizarin Crimson with a touch of Transparent red for the darks.  It was a nice color for the darks but I need to get a green that isn't quite so intense.  Once you start laying down the Pthalo it doesn't take much for everything in the canvas to start becoming contaminated with the color.  A little more experimentation is in order!  Well, there's my excuse for doing another painting!  :)


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Phlox Bouquet

Phlox Bouquet   18x26"  oil on linen
Progression:
I've had many of you ask for a record of a work in progress so today I took several shots at different stages of this painting.....I hope you enjoy seeing the steps!  :)


  1. The Block in....I do not always use exactly the same approach for every painting but on this one I decided to block it in using vine charcoal.  It gives me a little more control over the composition and drawing before I begin laying on the paint. 

2. Laying in some of the background areas and masses of darkest value. 

3.  Continuing the block in with some color of the objects working from the darks and working with transparent colors to keep shadow areas "full of subtle variety".

4.  Starting to create volume in the forms by adding middle value and beginning to layer with more opaque color.

5.  Most of the canvas is covered now.  I have to start making judgements on where to soften and where to add more detail.  Sharp edges, soft edges.  Looking for the areas of detail that will lead the viewer's eye where I want them to go.   

6.  Here you see as the details are being played with.  I like to give enough information to describe the flowers, but not too much or the painting loses its vibrancy. It is a continual add and subtract, harden and soften process until I feel satisfied with what the painting has said.

Hope you find this interesting and perhaps educational.  No two paintings require exactly the same steps.....each painting needs to be looked at as it's own individual work.  You must allow yourself the freedom to let instinct flow.  Listen to that inner voice, and don't be afraid to be bold!






Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Apricot Daylilies

Apricot Daylilies
18x24  oil on linen
I blocked this one in using the negative space around the objects.  By doing this I helped to avoid that idea we have in our minds eye about how a flower is supposed to look.  Instead I closely watched the shapes and created much more interesting flowers.  This set up was predominately dark so I also found that I could cover most of the canvas by blocking in the larger masses and leaving the lighter objects for later in the process.
I really loved the flowing composition and wanted to keep the brushwork loose to keep that sense of casualness.  Like the flowers were just kind of falling all over the place in a sort of "controlled" abandon!
  Thanks for taking time to view my painting!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Red Velvet Lily

Red Velvet Lilly   16x20  oil on linen

Besides being beautiful these lilies also smell incredible!  Every year when they are in bloom the entire side yard smells of it's wonderful perfume!  Wish I knew how to capture THAT in a painting.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

News From Barbara

Keeping in Touch........
Well, apparently we have survived the winter of '14! ( Does anyone in Michigan still have snow in their backyard??)  :D :D

I do hope this note finds you all in good health and prospering!

It's been a very busy Spring for me and I wanted to share some of the highlights with my dear friends and family : 
I have been very privileged to have been invited to several competitive events and shows this Spring!  It is such an honor to receive recognition from your peers and to have your work hanging next to such talented artists.  I am humbled to say the least!
     
The Sailboat Platter  20x24
Astromelia Phlox 24x20
Spring's First Irises  16x20

In February I was accepted to two National events hosted by
Jack Richeson Gallery
Three of my paintings were published in the 
"Still life and Floral 2014" catalog.
While, Fall's Fire and Grand Hydrangreas 
traveled to Wisconsin to hang in the "Small Works Show"
Fall's Fire  12x12
Grand Hydrangeas  11x14
March brought some very exciting news when "Bucket of Sun" was included in the article "Painting Flowers & Gardens From Life", in "Plein Air" Magazine!
Bucket of Sun  11x14
  
AND
NOAPS featured "Daffodils at Tea", in their March blog...I think everyone was ready for flowers after the long winter!!


April I was invited to show with 6 very talented women artists at the ICCF Spring Floral Show.  It was a wonderful show and there was an interesting panel discussion with the artists to give the public some insights into the varying perspectives of different artists!


May and June seem to usher in the majority of the local and regional competitive events in West Michigan. I was so fortunate to be accepted to show in a few of them! There are so many exceptional artists that participate in these events. It is a great opportunity to share your work to the public and so much fun to "hit" the scene with all the receptions and gala events!
Geisha Roses  19x25
Awarded "The Vie da la Rose Flower Essences Award for Excellence in Floral  Depiction"
Festival of the Arts
  1. 86th Regional............  Muskegon Museum of Art
  2. West Michigan Area....Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
  3. Festival........................Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts

While each and every one of these events have been a sincere pleasure and honor .....the one event that for me has been the greatest personal achievement is the recent acceptance to 
Oil Painters of America
Regional Show in Cincinnati, OH
This is one of those "bucket list" opportunities!  :)
I am so excited about this event!!
Big Yellow  12x18
Big Yellow will be heading to Eisele Gallery for the September show
oil painters of america