Sunday, December 23, 2012


To All our wonderful friends and family.....we wish you the very best...

with love, Tom and Barb

"Just a Scuff"    8x14   oil       

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Berries Galore    30x23   oil

I wanted to try a "cool" color palette.  I've been working in predominantly warm colors with the last few paintings. These colors caught my eye and I wanted to see how they would work in a painting.  It's such a different feeling than the warm color palette paintings. 
Hope you are caught up in the Christmas season and feeling the cheer and goodwill!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

White Pitcher with Yellow Roses   20x16  oil

As Christmas rushes towards us I find more than ever the time I can escape and get lost in painting is a wonderful rejuvenator!  I've not been very "on top" of the Christmas traditions this year...It will be the first year without my boys home for Christmas morning in almost 30 years!  They are busy and Adam is out of state for the Holidays.  It's ok but somehow the traditions seem less significant to me.  Still I don't want to lessen the importance of the season, the true reason for Christmas and the wonderful time of connecting with those dear to us.  I have simply stepped back from the bustle and decided to make it a quieter celebration!  I think I might paint!  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Red and Yellow Roses     17x22  oil

I used a little palette knife on this painting.  I haven't worked with a palette knife very often but had so much fun with it, I think I'll do it again!  I laid down the body of the work with fairly thick brushwork and then as a last step I took my knife and scraped and flattened to create some texture.
Thank you for viewing my art!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

 This morning I went in search of flowers to paint...the florist was closed and Meijers had a lot of really awful "glow-in-the-dark" colorized flowers that I think are just gaudy.  Anyway, not something I wished to paint!  I settled on a small bouquet of red roses. I had so much fun with the larger one last time so I decided to go with that size again.
Red Roses and Green Grapes   24x30    oil

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I took on a real challenge today!  Not only is the canvas pretty large...24x30, but I also worked with a very different color palette for me.  I wanted to express these soft hydrangeas with a color palette that would be neutral enough to keep the mood very restful.  It was fun to attempt the challenge!  I hope you like what I have done with it!

Soft White Hydrangeas   24x30 oil

Monday, December 3, 2012

Geranium and Persimmon  7x11 oil

Another quick study.  Just practicing at seeing color, edges and composition.  I like the color and edges but the composition has too many similar shapes...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Today I tried a painting challenge from a group that I belong to AMO Painting Challenge...Each month they suggest a new challenge and you can upload your paintings to the site.  Mostly it's just for fun, but also as an opportunity to stretch your skills.
This month's challenge is Painting with no more than 100 Strokes......pretty touch to do, although it would be easier with a smaller canvas and a simpler subject matter.  I might try another one with that in mind.
100 Strokes, painting challenge

I decided to keep moving on this painting to see where it would go without the restriction of the number of strokes used.  About 1000 strokes later this is what I came up least now you can tell what it is!
The Bird's Nest     8x8  oil

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Cactus    20x16 o/c

Yesterday I struggled with this piece.  I started it in the morning but I hadn't slept well the night before and I just could not concentrate.  Nothing was going right and I was really impatient.  After a few hours I gave it up and  took a seista.....:)   I came back a couple hours later, picked up the brushes and completed the painting.  It is just amazing to me to see how important your frame of mind is to your painting.  It is "fun" to paint, in a matter of speaking, but it is hard work too.  Hard work that requires a lot of focus.  A bit like golf, maybe.  Not many artists are born with a "silver brush", (to coin a phrase) in their mouth.  It takes hard work and real dedication to become good at it.  I'm still working at it.
Thanks for viewing my art!  I appreciate you!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sailboat Platter     24x20   o/c  $1200
The Cotoneaster berries were still hanging on!  I removed the wilted ferns from the last set up and used the berries to create a nice sweeping design element.  This painting took a couple of days to complete but I really like the way the soft colors just draw you in.  Hope you like it too!

The Randy Higbee 6x6 show is online and ready for presales!  Check out the incredible art!  There are 620 6x6 paintings and everyone of them is beautiful!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fall Cotoneaster       o/c 24x24

I love winter berries....they are so bright next to the subdued tones of the late fall foliage.  I had to scrounge around pretty good to find anything left alive in my gardens but there were a few berries and some late season ferns that when put together made a beautiful arrangement!  I love the intensity of color in this one...I hope you like it too.

I feel so privileged to have been accepted in the Randy Higbee 6x6 Show in Costa Mesa! It is a great show with some truly amazing artists. I am very excited about being a part of it!
Creamer and Saucer o/c 6x6

Asters in a Cup o/c 6x6

Eastend Gallery, Plein Air Event Marshall, Mi.
My painting "Viburnum Berries" found a home!  Thank you!

plein air in Waukenau Nature Center
Viburnum Berries  o/c  20x16

Monday, November 12, 2012

I had an incredible weekend with the American Impressionist Society. They had a four day symposium in Indianapolis with some of the best contemporary artists around! It was a thrill!.... and a great learning experience. Watch for future paintings...maybe you'll be able to tell the influences.;)
I was so impressed by the generosity of spirit of these superb artists. They amaze me at how much they are willing to give, and how much they HAVE to give! They are truly genius in their craft. It is wonderful to listen to the level of their knowledge and the maturity in their philosophies. There is a reason why they are the best at what they do...they have worked hard to earn it.

I met so many artists and made many new friends! Thanks to all those that made it possible!

Friday, November 2, 2012

My painting, "Roses on a Tin Cup" is up for auction to benefit Hurricane Sandy victims. Please, go to the auction site and place a bid now! All proceeds go directly to the benefit! Thank you so much!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The flowers in my gardens are almost done for this season.  There are a few Mums left, but even those are getting pretty straggly looking.  I Found enough to put together this set up and added the fruit for some color.
The Bunny Bowl       16x20 o/c

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Yesterday was a beautiful day to go plein air painting!  PAAWM had their regular scheduled paint out and this time I was able to go and the weather was perfect!  The location was at the home of one of the plein air artists.....24 acres of woods and water!  There was no limit to the painting options.  I haven't painted a landscape in a while.  I've been focusing on the still lifes...but it was fun to get out and do a landscape again!  The owner of the property is Joy, so I named the painting, "Place of Joy".  Seemed appropriate.
Place of Joy      20x16  o/c

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mums and Little Green Tomatoes     20x16
Another painting based on the minimal colors used in the set up.  This time shades of white and tones of green.  It was hard to create the "daisy like" mum flowers so that they were accurately explained without being too defined.  More experience with this will help me work a little more confidently with it.  Thank you for taking time to view my painting!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I tried something a little different in yesterdays painting in regards to color harmony.  I've been studying other artists color choices and thought I'd try a very limited color range on this one.  I rather like the neutrals but I feel the red is a bit too similar throughout.  It has been a good study though.  The neutral tones appeal to me, I think I'll try this again with something other than the red.
Red Mums in a Green Vase   20x20

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A similar color scheme as the painting I did last tuesday.  I lightened the overall values in the piece.  I used different kinds of flowers, but so many of the fall flowers are yellows and golds.  I had a few Zinnias left from the garden and they added some real vibrancy to the focal point.  The copper tea kettle was fun!
Zinnias and Marigolds           20x24  o/c

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Apples and Yellow Mums       24x30  o/c

I really focused on this one!  It is the largest still life I have done in a very long time.  I wanted to paint these mums but a smaller format just didn't seem to be making the statement I wanted them to make.  It was very tiring...I wanted to bring it as close to completion as I could while the paint was still fresh and workable.  I may decide that it needs some more work once I've stepped back from it...but I feel very satisfied with what I accomplished in a days time.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

This painting was a bit more involved than the smaller studies I have been working on recently.  It is 18x24 and was worked on over the course of several days.  I framed it in a very nice looking "beaten black" w/gold accents.  I tried pushing the atmosphere and exaggerating the soft edges.
Autumn Joy Sedum              18x24  framed o/c

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Roses revisited...sometimes I find that when I look back on a painting I realize it just doesn't come off as well as I thought it did!  I have to decide then whether it is worth the time invested to try to "fix" it, or if it is just one for the scrap bin.  I felt this painting had something worth saving although it required some really major changes.  I cropped it from a 16x20 down to an 11x17, isolated what I felt was the strength in the piece and then began the process of basically repainting the painting!  I'm glad I took the time to find the painting that I felt was hidden under all the elements that just didn't work.
Here is the revised version and I am much happier with it!
Roses in a Little Purple Vase          11x17  o/c

Friday, September 21, 2012

ArtPrize is on!  The big art event in Grand Rapids started this week.  I'm thrilled that I have sold 2 of the grouping "A Season in Flowers".  All pieces are framed individually and for sale, although they cannot be taken until after the ArtPrize event is over on October 7th.  Please, if you are down to ArtPrize stop by City Art Gallery and check it out.  It is a wonderful Gallery, kind of off the beaten path but worth the effort. There are 37 ArtPrize artists exhibiting there.
I was interviewed this week by West Michigan Woman Magazine.....
Check it out!!
West Michigan Woman

Art as a Constant Companion

Thursday, 20 September 2012 14:59

(0 votes)

Art as a Constant Companion
The opening of ArtPrize may have been yesterday, but the season of creative expression started months ago for artist Barb Schilling. With a dozen blank canvases and paints of varying hues, Barb painted the progression of spring and summer as flowers opened their petals in her garden. Now, all who visit the City Art Gallery at 1168 Ionia can see what she sees in her yard everyday, and that is a beautiful thing.
Barb started dabbling in art early on in life, then had to put the hobby on the back burner to pay the bills. She didn't stray too far away though. By day, she works atFrames Unlimited in Grand Rapids doing art restoration. On the weekends, she gets lost in painting.
"It's almost like going into a meditative state. You really do get lost in your own little world when you're painting. A lot of times, I truly forget to eat I'm so focused on what I'm doing. I become unaware of everything else around me," Barb says.
barb at saugatuckSometimes she goes for twelve hours without breaking the hypnosis. For someone who has a home and immense garden to maintain, not to mention a full time job, Barb says she'll use any spare time she has to dive into her world and create.
Barb uses the unique alla prima painting style in which she works layers of wet paint into each other to blend and form depth in her work. This is one of the reasons she works non-stop, so that she can complete her vision for the piece before the paint dries.
"You continually are painting while the paint is still fresh and wet. You can blend and wipe it out and keep continually pushing and pulling the paint because when it's wet, it's pliable," Barb says.
This is Barb's third year of participation as an artist in ArtPrize, an event that the Northeast side resident says gives artists the unique opportunity to share their work and their visions with a broader audience.
"There are so many people out there that you would never be able to connect with, that would never see your work otherwise," she says. ArtPrize "brings a huge amount of interest and revenue to the city, and it gets people who otherwise would never even think about it to connect with art. It gets them interested in it and talking about it."
Check out Barb’s ArtPrize entry at the City Art Gallery, or click here to add it to your online collection.
Written by: Erika Fifelski is West Michigan Woman magazine's editorial coordinator. She was born and raised in West Michigan, and after a brief stint on the sunrise side, she's home and loving it. Erika enjoys gardening, vacuuming, and discovering new ways to live sustainably and support local businesses. Photos provided by Barb Schilling