Recently I sold a painting I did a few years ago. The person found me through my Wetcanvas post of the work and loved it. It was such a thrill to read that email, just to know it had been “unearthed” there and she liked it that much! I hadn’t thought about that painting in some time and even had trouble finding where I had stored it. Seeing it again made me want to paint that scene again; it’s one of those I mentioned that were drawn and ready to paint. I liked what I did the first time and suddenly I hesitated to paint it again. I didn’t want to exactly replicate the original painting, but I did still want it similar. So, here at the top is my newer version of Split Rock Lighthouse in Minnesota. Very similar to the old one, mostly a little softer colors; just for comparison sake, below is a photo of the first one I painted.
I’ve worked and worked, on top of a Costco and grocery store shopping trip and the normal everyday chores and cooking, and still no painting is finished. I wish I could figure out how to paint decently and yet faster! I have three works in progress, one very doubtful, one more drawn and ready to paint-and only 5 more days left to the challenge. On top of that, I have only finished and posted 22 paintings. Can I get 8 done in 5 days? Doubtful, but I’m still going to do all I can to achieve that goal. Whether or not I do meet the goal, I have by far painted more in the past 23 days than I have ever before and that’s something to be proud of!
Since I have nothing completed to post, I’ll share another couple of paintings from the eight I painted in September. The first one was, in fact, the first painting I did for the September challenge-mostly because it was also the Wetcanvas September Watercolor challenge. I like the way it came out, especially since I know next to nothing about boats… The second is, if I remember right, the seventh one I painted; it was done en plein air in my back yard on a beautiful, sunny day. It was one of those days when, knowing winter wasn’t far off, you can’t resist being out enjoying the nice weather while it lasts! It is an image of one of my dying summer plants on the deck, fall color very evident.
Rather than go to my sketch group, I spent a good portion of Saturday in my studio. I did make progress, finishing two paintings and readying another two. In fact, for about an hour I was only two days behind on the 30-30 challenge-and then it was midnight and back to lagging behind by 3 again. At least I’m maintaining consistency!
The crab painting is loosely based on a photo my daughter, Kristan, took when she was in the Galapagos Islands. I have had that reference pic for a few years and have planned to use it. I’ll just say that, while that was my inspiration, I took full advantage of “artistic license” in doing this. I think it’s a fun, colorful little painting.
The one below was actually completed before the crab and I hesitated somewhat before posting it. I experimented a great deal with this and, while it didn’t turn out well, it taught me a lot! And isn’t that what this painting challenge is mostly about? It was rather out of control, so I just kept experimenting with different methods and finally had the gist of the reference so figured I didn’t need to do any more damage to it! The bottom line is that, while I’m not very pleased with this painting, it’s one of my 30 paintings and I couldn’t not use it! Consequently, I’m posting it here also.
“Worcester Cathedral” – experimental Day 21 painting
My old banner collage has bothered me since I have been active on my blog again. It was fine when I started this in 2012, but it was time for an update. I have redone it with some of my more recent paintings as well as keeping some of the previous ones.
From left top, then left bottom: Mirabeau Springs Waterfall, Mission Dolores (in San Francisco), Who’s There (Eurasian Eagle Owl), On the Savanna, Abbey Reflections, Bird of Paradise; Rose Bouquet, Moo Selfie, Deserted and Pretty in Pink. While not all are 2015 paintings, none are very old and I feel it is now more representative of my current art.
This is the painting I was working on Wednesday night when the computer began misbehaving. I had almost finished the grassy background and was debating how to approach the turtle when the problems began. I worked on it Thursday to the point of almost done, then took care of the finishing touches Friday night. I’m happy with the result and I hope you can actually see that it is underwater. It’s obvious to me, but then again, I painted it!
I found this reference photo on Wetcanvas more than a year ago and, wanting to try my hand at painting a horse, I downloaded it. With the challenge this month, I decided to finally try; I drew and had a small start to the painting and then had no idea how to proceed. So it sat in my studio where I had to see it every time I was there. I studied and studied it and finally decided two days ago that if it was ever going to happen, I had to just do it! Much to my delight, I finished this painting a few hours ago! With my very limited experience painting animals-and never a horse before-I was pleased with the horse, but what to do with the background… Then I just suddenly knew, did it and, while I’m fully aware it’s not perfect, I like it! That is such a good feeling, especially when it’s a subject that caused almost overwhelming fear after I thought I had ruined it at first!
This 30 in 30 challenge is about so much more than just painting regularly. I cannot believe how much I have been branching out on subject matter as well as figuring out how to fix something I thought was not salvageable. I am so glad I am doing this and even if I don’t quite achieve the desired 30, I will have painted more than ever before and learned so much along the way!
Sometimes challenges are challenged… I’m having computer problems in my studio tonight and cannot currently paint since I use the screen for my references. I’ve got things running to fix the problems and hopefully will be able to work on things soon. Years ago when I got my first small, used laptop computer, I stopped printing everything and started drawing and painting directly from the screen image. I really hate being stalled with my painting and yes, I could use my old method and print from the other computer and get to work. I guess the real issue right now is that I’m pretty much out of the mood after the frustration of fighting with the computer for over an hour. Just one more day to catch up on for the 30 in 30 challenge.
In the meantime, I thought I would share a couple of the (only eight) paintings I completed for this same challenge in September.
With three new paintings begun and drying – and exhaustion taking over – I left my studio last night. I drew and did the under-painting on two that I’ve had in my head almost since the beginning of the challenge. Since the two that were sitting there ready to paint didn’t appeal to me last night, I went with plan B.
This is my experiment with watercolor and a zebra “portrait.” In working on these 30 in 30 paintings, I’ve come to realize that I truly enjoy the challenge of working on animals/birds. Perhaps I was in a rut and needed to branch out with less familiar subjects. Whatever it is, I’m loving it and this painting was fun to do! I may even try another zebra in a different style before this challenge ends. So, what do you think of this one?
I did not manage to get any painting done on Monday at all. Some days are just like that no matter how hard you try to get into your studio! I am there now, after midnight so technically Tuesday. Rather than post nothing, I thought I would share the painting I did for my printed 2014 Christmas cards. I have always liked snow globes and my older daughter, Ginni, particularly used to just love them. So, this year was a snow globe painting to honor her and just because it was a fun subject to do.
I participated in the Wetcanvas Christmas card exchange again this year, a really wonderful project. There were 13 of us this time and you get cards from all over. This one had several European artists participating, a couple from Canada and the rest of us in the U.S. In 2013, I simply sent my printed card to all who were a part of the exchange. This Christmas I hand drew and painted eight other cards before I had to complete my card to print for friends/family. Those printed ones made up the difference, sent to the rest of the participants. As space allows, I may share more of those other card paintings, but here is my main painting and the one I’m most proud of.
To update this post-midnight painting session – I drew two new ones and have three new paintings started. Nothing completed, but progress nevertheless…
Oops, I forgot to publish this last night, so here’s that post…
I did it – I got one more painting finished before Sunday ended! In doing so, I also completed another painting to post for the Facebook group, “Paint Colorful Birds for Fun” weekly challenge. As with the owl, it’s a fun thing to do and yet another way to get inspiration for the 30 in 30 challenge. I must spend some drawing time now for the challenge since I’ve used almost everything I had ready to paint. So many ideas, but what will be next???
“Mission Dolores” in San Francisco Day 14 painting
I am so pleased that I have completed one painting yesterday and two today. If, by some miracle, I could finish the one that’s almost done before today ends, I’ll only be 2 behind-oops, when today ends, it will be the 19th and I will still be trailing by three… Darn – I thought I was making progress!
This one is from a photo I took when we were in San Francisco in 2010 and I have meant to paint it since then. I love the light and shadow; it seemed an obvious choice to make it a monochromatic painting. Drawing it was more than a little challenge, with all the posts and those angles and steps. It’s so nice to not only finish a project, but be truly happy with it too!
Well over half way through January already and I just posted my day 15 painting. Obviously I’m not making progress on catching up as I had hoped to do over this long weekend. I do know that I am enjoying this “enforced” daily painting so much though!
The reference I used for this painting is from a Wetcanvas photo reference library photo posted by “Teddi” from Hawaii – the post says “This red and white hibiscus is known locally as “Candy Striper”.” I couldn’t resist this beautiful flower since I believe that hibiscus is probably my favorite flower. Or is it a daffodil…or an iris…or a rose… Yes, I think hibiscus, not only because it’s so beautiful, but also because it just looks tropical-and I LOVE tropical! I do have an awesome rose in my back yard called “Candy Stripe” too.
I love my handling of the flower and I did have a beautiful background started – and then I ruined it. I have done all I can to save it and I’m still very unhappy with it. That’s especially bad when I love the main subject! But I’m afraid to overwork it any more, so I declare this painting finished-unless at some point down the road I can think of a better solution to the background. You just never know…
Yay! I finally got another painting done! As I’ve said, it can be a time struggle, but I am still very determined to complete 30! This one was a lot of fun and is based on a reference photo I got from somewhere probably 8-10 years ago. Apparently this was the right time to use it. Since I love to garden, this seems very fitting for me-related to flowers, but not flowers this time!
Two birds, one stone… Not that I advocate stoning our bird friends! It all started Monday morning, while I was emailing members of Spokane Watercolor Society and then answering the numerous emailed questions I received. I suddenly realized that I had overlooked an important detail or two regarding our upcoming 2015 SWS Member Show. First, I had forgotten that because of the location where it will hang, there is a theme to this show – nature. That means that the painting I had planned to enter, a cityscape, doesn’t fit the theme. No problem-I have all these paintings I’ve already done this month which include some florals and two animals, so I can just frame and enter one of those. Oops, that won’t work either because the minimum image size is 8″x10″ and all of these are only 7 1/2″ wide or less. Oh my… So, emergency painting time! I did get it drawn and ready to paint, so that’s progress. Now, referring back to “Two birds, one stone,” I can also use it as one of my 30 in 30 paintings! Now I just have to paint it!
In the meantime, I’ll share one of the pictures I completed in early November. This was the October monthly watercolor challenge subject on Wetcanvas (yes, I was a few days late finishing and posting it). The subject is a photograph of a Florentine School statue in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight near Liverpool. It was another real challenge to me, as I’ve never drawn and/or painted a statue before this one. I also have little to no experience painting people. I enjoyed it so much and am pretty happy with the outcome.
Challenge pretty much says it all for my painting last night! I tried something different and, while it’s not so bad that I won’t post it, it also didn’t work out very well. I do like parts of it… And it’s always a learning experience to try a different technique, subject, media or whatever else is new to an artist. I must have learned something from tying this!
What a fun project this was! I have never tried to paint a cow before so this was yet another learning experience. This reference just grabbed me! I must thank and give credit to the photographer, Raido Holm, for his imaginative camera work. I found the image on a Facebook page called “Artist Reference Photos,” where all are copyright free; you just must agree to credit the photographer.
So, I have now managed to paint and post eight, tying my previous “record.” I have begun two others and, now that I found that FB page, I have all kinds of fun new reference photos to inspire me. In addition, in looking through a number of my own pictures on the computer, I keep seeing ones I have meant to paint (sometimes for years)! So, no excuses-I just have to make the time! I love the challenge and am definitely feeling a sense of accomplishment! Practicing my art is such a happy pursuit!
“Deserted” Day 2 painting “Calla Lily” Day 3 painting
I have mentioned several times that I need to catch up with the month-well, I guess I should also catch up with the paintings I have not shared here. Day two was fun, as I love anything “beachy.” I enjoyed day three too; of course I did – it’s a flower! And last for this grouping, day 5 is from a beautiful rose bud reference – I love the rose, but the background could have come out better. But sometimes when a painting is finished, it’s all too easy to see what someone else wouldn’t notice. I love coming back to something a while later and looking at it with fresh perspective. I usually find that I like it better than I originally thought I did.
It was obvious to me that I already have a bad case of “spring fever.” Winter – here – has been fairly mild and easy so far, but it’s also dark, dreary and everything is brown or gray. I have need of sunshine, green things and lots of beautiful flowers! Painting number seven – surprise – is a floral again. I love flowers-looking at them, growing them, smelling them. They make the world a much more beautiful place. I think that Bird of Paradise is a very fascinating flower, almost alien looking compared to other more typical flowers. Not that it has anything to do with spring-or even summer-where I live, but it’s a bright beautiful flower!
I am pleased that I’ve already managed almost as many paintings as I did in September. However, now I’m looking a little for more inspiration. Today all those ideas that were in my head a few days ago seem to be missing. I really should have written them down. A few years ago I started carrying a tiny notebook in my purse and made notes whenever something struck me as a great painting idea. I still do that, but often at home I think I can rely on memory… But I do now have five more drawn and ready to paint (only 1 floral for now) and I just finished, photographed and posted (on the 30 in 30 Challenge page) this painting. Still nowhere close to catching up with the month though!
Making progress… I have completed my sixth painting and have number seven in progress. I feel good about this, as I only managed to finish eight pieces when I attempted the September challenge. I should be able to top that this weekend and it’s still the first third of the month! Mostly though I’m just enjoying the time in my studio and actually practicing my art more than I usually manage.
Yes, I also see problems with “Old Blue.” I really struggled with the front tire. Even in my reference photo it looked smaller because of the angle, but in the painting it appears even more off. I measured and redrew numerous times and never did get something I was really happy with. That aside though, I like what I have done here-and it’s a reminder to always make sure the drawing works first!
Day 8 has long since dawned and I still only have five paintings done for the 30-in-30 challenge. They’re all quite small – 1/8 watercolor sheet for the most part (7 1/2″x 11″). Still they take time and I simply don’t normally work very quickly; small seems to be the only way for me to accomplish this. I now have four pieces ready to go, one with a quick underpainting done.
Above is my first post of the challenge. I had actually started the process in December and finally finished this painting right after the beginning of the year. I love Christmas and I had such fun with this one!