Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Floral Painting Series

Love in Any Language
Pink Rose
Original Oil on Canvas
12 x 12 x 1.5
No longer available
I began this series earlier this year - well, actually the first was painted last year, but I didn't realize it would become a series then.  I had purchased a square canvas, 12 x 12, with deep sides and decided it was just the perfect ground for a close up painting of one of the pink roses from the garden. The painting received many positive comments, and before long an entire series developed from that experience.  There are countless varieties of flowers with infinite color combinations so this series should keep me fascinated and busy for a long time. I love, love, love, painting color and light,  love painting close ups, and find myself wondering if I am in heaven when I am working on them.  Well, part of the time, anyway.  Every painting has its "difficult passages" -  that is what artists euphemistically call those times of absolute frustration when you are ready to tear the piece to shreds or take it down to the river and drown it.  It is during those times when as an artist you just have to grit your teeth and keep going until you see the light at the end of the tunnel. But even then there is joy because you are living your passion.

Though I have been painting flowers for years, this format just seemed to click with my close up viewpoint. While the style is realistic, the composition tends to be a bit abstract, so the look can be either modern or traditional and they aren't intended to be framed, so that is one less hassle.  At this point there are two sizes: 12 x 12 for the smaller, rounder blooms and 12 x 16 for the more complicated shapes.  It makes them easier to design, ship, store and much less complicated to pack and display for art shows and fairs.  And people can mix and match them for a great arrangement.

All the flowers in this series have found good homes: two iris, two roses and one amaryllis.  I will be hard at work on the next one as soon as I figure out what it will be.  I have been blessed with lovely gardens through the years - great flowers to paint and photograph.  The pink rose, above, was done from photos I took in the garden, the white rose below from a Valentine's Day bouquet.  The iris used to grow in our garden but we lost it during an especially wet spring a couple of years ago.  When we find this particular color again, we will replace it.

All of these, as well as a white iris and a scarlet amaryllis have been purchased, so I guess it is time to be painting more flowers.   Wonder what the next one should be...

Love in Bloom
White Rose
Oil on Canvas 
12 x 12 x 1.5
No longer available

Light Play
Oil on Canvas
12 x 16 x 1.5
No longer available

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wildlife Art Big Cats African Lion

The Lion Sleeps Tonight
African Lion
Pastel, 9.5 x 11.5

Remembering Cha Cha, the African Lion at the Blank Park zoo in Des Moines who passed away recently at the age of 16.  He was majestic, playful, courageous, fierce, truly awe inspiring, and quite photogenic.  Everyone, both the staff and the public, loved him but like Aslan, the great hero of Narnia,  though he was "good - very very good, he was not a tame lion."  And that also is why we loved him.

This pastel is matted and ready to frame, I have listed it on Daily Painters, Art Helping Animals and Chisholm Trail Art and will offer it for sale in my Facebook store whenever that gets up and running.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Resurrection Day Dance

This is my favorite You Tube video.  On April 4, 2010, over 1,300 young people, all of them members of Faith Church celebrated Resurrection Sunday in Budapest, Hungary.

Wishing you all a glorious Resurrection Day!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Good Friday Painting

Crown of Thorns

This painting was inspired by the second stanza of an old hymn, "My Jesus, I Love Thee,"  I first painted it many, many years ago and have been asked to paint it over twenty times since.  It has always been a labor of love and this seems like a good time for me to share it again.  The words of the hymn are printed below, with my special verse in bold print.  The words may be considered a bit outdated, but the meaning behind them has not changed.  I hope it speaks to you as it does to me.

My Jesus, I Love Thee
  1. My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
    For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
    My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
    If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
  2. I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me,
    And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree;
    I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
    If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
  3. I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
    And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
    And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
    If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
  4. In mansions of glory and endless delight,
    I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
    I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow,
    If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
 And yes, I know He does seem to be smiling.   I like to tell people it is because He is thinking about them - about you! -  and looking forward to being with you in Heaven forever.   Don't let Him be disappointed...

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Black Horse Oil Painting

Black Arabian Horse
11 x 14, Oil on canvas

I attended a Arabian Horse show at the state fair and was pleased to see that a number of them were black or near black, as I had rarely seen them in this area.   They are absolutely gorgeous and dramatic to watch, but a challenge to paint, as is any animal with a black coat.   "Black" as it comes out of the tube of oil paint appears somewhat flat on the canvas, no matter which hue you use. Can you believe there are different colors of black - ivory black, lamp black, intense black to name a few - but in oil paint at least I rarely use them, and never straight from the tube.  Over the years I have experimented with different mixtures but eventually settled on the blues and browns for blacks with depth and interest.  The "lights" in this painting are a mixture of ultramarine, burnt umber and white, the mid tones are the same with burnt sienna and a little less white added, the "darks" have little or no white added.  Occasionally I will add a smidgen of black to very dark passages, when nothing else seems to provide the depth I need, but very, very sparingly.   The game changes when you start using acrylics which don't work at all the same as oils.  And pastels,  of course,  are not mixed at all but they can be blended very carefully.  All of which are topics for later posts.

This painting is oil on stretched, wrapped canvas, all the edges have been painted and no staples show.  I have found that people prefer to purchase paintings unframed, so that they can chose what fits their decor, lifestyle and budget.   Unframed artwork is easier, cheaper and a whole lot safer to ship.

Have a great day, and say a prayer for those who have been hit recently by the devastating storms.  We have lived through a couple of them,  though none as devastating as those we have been seeing over the past few weeks.  My heart goes out to all those affected.