Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hello Spring - SOLD

I live on a lake and when I see the first baby ducks swimming by my pier, I know that Spring is on the way.  Swimming for children, going for long boat rides, canoe trips and fishing expeditions are just around the corner.  The days are longer and packed full of fun and memories.  This little guy let me know the fun is about to begin.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I'm A Redhead -SOLD

   The birds are coming around now and this one inspired is painted on a 6" x 6" 1'1/2 inch linen canvas.  Does not require frame... Spring is in the air. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Red Bird in the Pines- SOLD

Red bird sitting in the Pine tree.  6" x 6" 1 inch wide stretched linen


The challenge on Daily Paintworks was to paint what is in your refrigerator.  This was hard for me on many levels.  Number one, as many who know me well, know I do not have much in my refrigerator so the options were limited and number two I really hate to paint things that do not really interest me.  I did find one lime that was cut.  I tried to paint the plate it was on but quickly realized I just could not get it right.  I tried using some of Julie Oliver's fracturing technique, if you are unaware of Julie's wonderful style of painting you can see it here

 and her ArtByte explaining the process her

  My attempt does not even come close to her wonderful way of painting but it is a fun concept and I found I even liked painting what was in my refrigerator.  '

This painting is available for $40 by email at

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Painting and the Meaning of Color

The second year I attended the Art Colony I was in the workshop of Patt Odom.  Patt  paints in acrylics and oils and also is a master of collages.  I consider her a "painterly painter". 

 You can find her  work here  

I learned a lot from Patt about the personal side of color preference.  She provided us handouts on color that explored the meaning of color as expression in painting.  This was not really a new concept to me (the fact that it is natural for different individuals to prefer different colors) but I had never consciously thought about it while planning a painting.  The referenced material gave a description of each color and how that color related to the individual who preferred it according to character and personality studies.  It was noted that blue, red and green are the colors most people prefer and in that order.  Red is positive, blue tranquil and green a balance between the two.  The book excerpt went on to say that if you like red, the interest of your life is directed outward.  Through red the human spirit finds release for it's more impassioned emotions.  

Additional colors are each described along with their relationship to emotions. (Unfortunately, I could not find a reference in the handout to the particular textbook but if anyone is interested in obtaining a copy of the material I have, please email me and I will scan it to you.)  Patt taught that color and form should be worked hand in hand with the painting.  Shapes have expressive qualities that relate to color.  Again, I had an "ah ha" moment.  I should not try and paint each stroke the very same as in painting a real house but to try and make the viewer feel something the artist feels.  The feeling being more important than the visual subject.  An article by Charles Movalli entitled, "In Praise of Painterly Painters" was included in the handout and I found it very good.  In the article the author said Sargent searched for the brushstrokes that gave the most expression with the least waste of energy.   In addition the author stated "the brushstroke is like a piece of the painter's handwriting".  

Another way this was stated by Patt was that movement creates LIFE and brushstrokes create motion and livingness.  Patt's work reflects motion and movement and Life.  She makes the paint the "star", at times, even leaving drips of paint in the finished work.  In an effort to create more life in my own art, I learned to use BIG brushes.  That was a hard lesson, and still is at times.  I also learned that the way to become a better artist is to paint, paint, paint.  Patt stated that there is no bad art but there is unlearned art. To illustrate this, one can use a ladder to explain the process.  It is determined by how many steps you have climbed on the ladder.  All artists are somewhere between the first and last step.  We should all be striving to climb the next step.  One step at a time!  You never arrive; you are always climbing.  My goal is to continue to climb.  I hope this blog post helps you in your climb as well.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Color and Value in Painting

Dot Turnipseed Svendson is a master teacher of color and values.  While studying 
under Dot, I learned the true importance of values.  Dot stated that 80% of painting is
correct if value is correct. She opened my eyes to the need to place my darks first 
in a painting and then add the lights and to always keep your colors clean and your
values correct. We spent a lot of time mixing colors and comparing values and these
exercises were invaluable.   Another major lesson I learned from Dot was that there are
usually 4 planes to a painting:  (1)  the sky is the lightest, (2) the ground is next in
value (3) slanted objects next value and (4) uprights are the darkest.  During Plein Air 
Painting, Dot encouraged us to write down what we were feeling when we found a
scene so that we would remember when completing our painting.  For instance, was
it a grey day, sunny, warm,  did we feel peaceful, etc. and try and incorporate our 
feeling into our painting.  Dot referenced Carlsons Guide to Landscape Painting by 
John F. Carlson.  In his book, Mr. Carlson states “We have heard a great deal about
“simplicity” and “elimination” about “design” in painting, but we have heard little
about the how or why of it all.  It is easy to say to a student, “see nature simply” but
that means nothing to him. It is a difficult task to explain logically why or how he should
see it simply.  It is not a question of helping him to paint it simply, but rather one of 
helping him see it simply.  If he sees it simply, he will readily find a way of painting
it simply.”  Dot “sees” the painting simply and is able to tell a story without overloading 
the viewer with details.  I find that when I study with someone as great as 
this teacher I do not always come home with a finished painting but I use the opportunity 
to experiment, learn and listen  to her critiques and then I try to incorporate what I
have learned into future paintings. 

I attached an example of the four planes here that I did in the workshop.  I apologize that 
the quality is not very good but she stated it was a good example. 

You can find Dot's website here:


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Learning How to Paint

I started out at the University of North Alabama years ago as an art major but somehow 
left that first love and became a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.  In the last 10 years I
have gone back to my first love and have spent time trying to grow and become a better artist.
My goal is to be able to paint every day.  That is not happening at this point as I continue to
be employed as a Perinatal Clinical Specialist and that job keeps me on the road (or in the air)
most of the week.   I do try and visit art galleries in each city I visit if the time allows and I
find this a very wonderful educational experience.  I have also had the privilege to study with
some amazing artists over the years who have influenced me in so many ways and I feel
like I have gleaned a certain thing or two from each one.  My goal here is to try and record
the top  take-aways from each one.  

I am very fortunate to live in a very artsy community on Lake Martin in Alabama.  Each year
the Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Colony hosts a 5 day event where the attending artists can 
attend classes with one of the visiting instructors.  You can find information regarding 
the Art Colony here   One of the first artists I studied with at The Colony
was Randy Moberg.   (You can find many of his paintings in   J. Alexander’s restaurants.)
Randy is amazing. On his website you will find this comment that truly describes his work:   

 "I express ideas using colors and shapes to create images 
that cannot be otherwise described".  

His style opened my eyes to Impressionism in a new way and freedom in painting. 
His paintings were very large and when I walked up close to them, I saw only patches of 
color and light, as I moved back across the room I saw Jazz Players and Portraits and
Scenes .  This sparked something in me that I fell in love with – the ability to allow the
paint to speak without being so “tight and structured”. I also recognized that he had a gift.  
I watched him work and he never seemed to have a plan (maybe he did in his head) but I 
saw him throw color on the canvas and walk back and assess it and it seemed he waited
for the canvas and paint to tell him what he was painting.    I really did not paint anything in
his class that I feel worthy of showing here.  It seems I am so focused on learning new 
things in each workshop that I tend to "experiment" during class and then try and incorporate
what I have learned in future paintings.  However, I feel like my experience in
his workshop created a new journey for me. 

 You can check out his paintings at

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Dinghy - NFS

I am a member of The Complete Artist group created by Richard Robinson.  This is the first entry I have submitted to one of his workshops that he offers each month.  The workshops allow the artist to view a demo by Richard, select a photo to paint from and then enter the photo into a contest and also the opportunity to receive critiques and comments from other members.  Some lucky participants will even have their paintings critiqued by Richard.  This was a fun, learning experience and I look forward to participating again.

This 8" x 10" oil on canvas.