Wednesday, January 17, 2018

baby, it's cold outside....


The Rio Grande Nature Center

Yesterday, there was a Plein Air Painters of New Mexico sponsored
paint out by Michael Chesley Johnson at the Rio Grande Nature Center.
And it was free to all members!
Except for the $3 parking fee.

We were able to park at a special observation area.

Oh, did I mention is was 30 degrees outside
and very overcast.
IT WAS COLD.

There were 32 people who braved the cold to 
see this artist's demo of the landscape.
Here is some of the scenery:

 I can't wait to paint this!

 Dormant trees are beautiful in their own way.

 Another view


 See the ducks in the background?

 Spent sunflower seed pods

 Michael beginning his demonstration
He lives and works in Ramah, New Mexico.
Dd I mention it was 30 degrees??

 I was enamored with all of the ducks flying over.

 Michael's box and palette.
I think it was hansa yellow, hansa medium, napthol red, 
ultramarine blue, phthalo blue, phthalo green
raw umber and yellow ochre.

 I thought this was so cool.
Ducks flying out - ducks flying in.....

 Making the first marks on his panel.

 Another view of in and out.

 Blocking in the scene


 working...

 Sun was starting to break through the Sandias

 Blocking in some cottonwood trees from another angle.


 Putting in mountain and sky holes

 Mist across the mountains

 Words of wisdom

 Beautiful scene, even at 30 degrees

 Good stopping point.

Tomorrow: What I Learned

Saturday, January 13, 2018

pastoral


Still Lifes Rock

"PASTORAL"
9x12"
oil

My first still life of thee year.

I really had fun with this one!

Something about that turquoise vase contrasting
 the orange-yellow of the lilly.

Gonna keep it short.

More to come in a day or two.

Have a good weekend!

P.S. For some reason, my comments are not coming through.
Feel free to email me at dshadowtail@aol.com until
I get it fixed. Thanks!

Friday, January 12, 2018

granddaughter day


I spent the day with my granddaughters today.
They are four and two.
We had so much fun playing stuff like:
 Doctor Barbie, babies, puzzles,
lots of educational toys that I have,
and just enjoying being together.

We ate Chic Fil A and later I made them a picnic.
This is our ritual - I make a plate full of stuff - 
strawberries, raspberries, bananas, blueberries, raspberries,
kiwi (they won't eat the kiwi because it's kind of sour, 
but they love to watch me eat it to see if my face puckers up. It does!).
I also add crackers and one Oreo cookie for each of them.
I put a blanket over the ottoman and we watch Hey Dugee and eat.


Thursday is our standing day together.
Their mama runs errands and
hopefully gets a little break from their energy.

And boy, are they energetic!

When they head home, 
I usually head to the recliner or the couch with
a blanket and veg out to the Chopped or
Vanderpump Rules.
It's not because I'm physically tired.
I'm mentally tired!

I don't usually plan on doing any painting on Thursdays.

BUT, my husband decided to go to the gym late tonight
so I decided to warm up the studio and paint something.
I rummaged through some recent photos
 I took in Taos and this one jumped out at me:

"TAOS DOOR"
10x8"
oil

This is a photo off of one of the streets in Taos.
I had to shoot this photo while driving (I know, it's wrong).
But I fell in love with the hollyhocks against the turquoise door.
I loosely sketched the scene, then blocked in the big shapes.
Then I just pushed paint around for two hours until I was satisfied.
It's not perfect, perspectively, but it has a
whimsical feel and I like that.
And I'm done for the evening.

 So three paintings down for the year.
Now, to start work on three paintings that 
are calling to me.
One is a commission of two roosters, one is for my brother,
who helped me start this blog back in 2006.
The other is a huge painting for my sister-in-law, 
and I'll tell you about that later.

Note 1: I am enjoying the paintings I'm seeing from our group, 
"LETS PAINT NEW MEXICO!"
They are inspiring and the group offers a send of community
to the artists participating.

Note 2: Life is short, enjoy your family, and celebrate everything.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

the start of the big purge


THE BIG PURGE

I started the house organizing purge today!

This is a brand new year.
I know so many people who have told me that
they're starting to clean up and clear out.
What are they clearing out?
STUFF.

Bunches and bunches of stuff.

Those of you who know me know that
I'm an avid reader.
And when I say avid, I mean um, obsessed.

 I have books everywhere.
In my studio.
In my closet.
Next to the recliner in the living room.
On top of the dining room table.
On top of my nightstand
INSIDE the nightstand drawer.

And these are not just a few books.

Oh, I forgot my granddaughters' books too.
Right now they are boxed in a closet,
but they have to come out soon.
Because we REALLY like to read.

And I also have all of the 
"clear your clutter" books.
All of the popular ones.
The Art of Tidying Up or
something like that.
And The Art of Letting Go by Peter someone.
Just two of many.

Anyway, I am determined to start cleaning out and
keeping only those things that I really love or
that have sentimental value.

SO, I have a dilemma.

I just jumped back into work day before yesterday
and I am trying to make sure I have time to
work every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Tuesday is acupuncture and therapy.
Thursday is granddaughter day.
Saturday and Sunday are free for anything that
comes up or painting.

How am I going to do this big purge? 

I CAME UP WITH A PLAN!

I will fill 2-3 (aiming for 3) boxes of stuff
to take to the thrift store or throw away.
EVERY DAY.
Today I started in my closet.
Mainly with books.
I FILLED FOUR BOXES!

Should I be ashamed that I have so many books?
Nah, books have taught me so much and
helped me become who I am today.
But I really don't need to have so many.

I'm not posting any pictures now - 
I will post when I have finished cleaning my closet.
It will be a thing of beauty.

After I filled my four boxes, 
I went into the studio with the idea of blogging.
But I smelled the oils and they drew me
to sit down and start sketching.

I chose a photo of Abiquiu
because I dearly love that place.
It literally takes my breath away driving
 down those roads heading to Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch.

Here is my scene and my sketch:



You can't hardly see the sketch because I wipe it
off with a tissue as I go, 
so I have the thinest, lightest sketch possible.  
I like the lines blurred.
It's like squinting I guess.

Here is the side by side:


There are aspects of the original image that I like and dislike.
I don't love the flat straight-across plane where
the foreground meets the trees.
So I changed that up a little.
I loved the background layers of mountains.
But I didn't want to take the time to  get it perfect.
It will have to do...
I love the hills in front of the mountains.

But. man, I had a hard time with them.

I think I am impatient and maybe more precise
sketching would help, but I just don't want to do that!

So here is the finished piece photographed under 
so-so studio lighting.

I titled it "JUST BREATHE"
because honestly, that scenery just leaves me breathless.

What places take your breath away?







Monday, January 08, 2018

adobe shadows

2018

"ADOBE SHADOWS"
8x10"
oil
A floral scene from Los Ranchos, NM
Flowers against warm adobe

I am happy to have the first painting of 2018
under my belt.
It was so hard to get started!
I warmed up the studio. 
Than I ate lunch.
Then I watched one of my shows.
Then I straightened up the stuff on the dining room table.
Then I came in and checked my email.
Then I checked my favorite artists' websites and blogs.

I totally realized that I was procrastinating.
I haven't painted anything except ornaments
since before Christmas!

But I did start and it is just like riding a bicycle.
You just go by rote:

Put on the lights
Put on the gloves
Get the paints out on the palette
Get out the Gamsol
Get out the kleenix
Get out the wipees
Get a small paper plate
Put some acrylic paint on it
Very loosely sketch your scene 
Check your email one last time
Go to the bathroom
Go outside and pet the dogs
Have a snack
Sit down and stare at the panel on your easel

NOW GO, YOU MORON!

As you can see, I finally went and it felt so good. 

This painting is Challenge 2018-1 on our group,
"LET'S PAINT NEW MEXICO!"
We have a facebook page and a blog.

To check out the blog, click here.
On facebook, type "let's paint new mexico" into the search box.
Keep an eye out for our group exhibition this fall!

Okay, now that I have one painting done,
I want to do a million more......



Sunday, January 07, 2018

back to work and a look back

Back to Work
And a Look Back

Tomorrow is my first official day back at work.
I got through the holidays, had a week for a break, 
and am ready to settle down and get going.

I am posting the paintings below for myself.
To get me inspired.
To show me what I have done and
what I am capable of.
To get me motivated to dive in and CREATE.

It's harder than it sounds.
Some people think being an artist is easy.
"Oh, all they do is paint all day."
"They don't have to work if they don't want to."
They can paint in their pajamas all day."

To be honest,
  the artists I know are the most hardworking people.
Some paint between keeping full-time jobs, raising kids, 
having no support, and no money.
BUT THEY KEEP GOING.

It's the creative force that drives them.
And me.

So I am posting paintings I've created
that have really made me happy.
I look at some of these paintings and think,
"Did I really do that?"
HOW?
"Was I sleepwalking and went into the studio 
and these creations just popped out?"

Because I like them.
I feel like these were some of my best moments. 
So here they are:




 I was out on location and forgot my brushes,
so this is all palette knife, including sketching.

 I love everything about this little gem.

























































Okay, I think I'm ready to go,
how about you?

Whatever you choose to do in 2018,
you have a WHOLE year to do it!
A WHOLE YEAR!

Make the most of it!

AND, please tell me which painting you like the best 
and why.
You name will be put into a drawing for a free painting 
this February.