Tuesday, September 30, 2008

White pumpkins oil on canvas

"Not Onions" (I meant garlic) 5x7 oil on canvas board
Today's painting was a struggle piece to keep them from looking like GARLIC lol I think the whiter colors on the foreground piece didn't help. ANYWAY this is my submission for this week's Different Strokes by Different Folks hosted by very gifted and gracious Karin Jurick. Do check out how other artists rendered theirs.

Been busy today but with a few painting daylight left I thought I I'd attempt this challenge that I've been avoiding all week. I didn't really know how I could "contribute" to the photo Karin had. But before I knew it I was sketching out ideas and just decided to paint. Well I'm glad I did! And now my busy evening is about to take over my busy day so ta-ta for now!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Queen Anne's Lace oil painting

"Queen Anne's Lace" 5x7 oil on canvas panel
I painted this to participate in the EBSQ Queen Anne's Lace show. They have monthly shows for their members with subjects from flowers to Spam and Trout, etc. lol! And most are competitions as well, so when an entry wins the top prize, there's a monetary award to win ;) I've been a member of EBSQ since 2002 I believe. When I first dove into the Internet for my art, I wanted to have one place that would be informative and interactive. It was definitely a good choice for me because my interactions with them served as a test lab for marketing situations on the Internet. Through my active interactions with the membership, I was able to equip myself with enough knowledge to brave selling on Ebay and to open my life to BLOGGING. I still always feel that the friends I made in the organization are never far away for a hand when I need it.

Anyway, I discovered QAL when my friend Shirley and I were driving home from painting one afternoon and we passed a field that was generously dotted with these tall umbrella-like white flowers. Shirley told me what they were and said that they were so named because they look like lace upclose and out of the clusters of white flowers is a lone red flower in the center which is thought to be a droplet of blood from Queen Anne fingers when she pricked them while she was making the lace. "Does it really have a red flower?" She didn't really know, so we had to stop the van and she went out and grabbed my a bouquet. As she hopped back in the driver's seat I searched for the red flower and sure enough, it was there :) Cool story! This painting is based on the bouquet I brought home and took quick shots of because they apparently fade very quickly! According to Wikipedia, the USDA has this flower a "noxious weed" because it serves as a pest in pastures. Well I'm glad I finally got to paint, I spent most of the day locating my scraping blade so I could freshen up my palette! Don't you just love wasting time like that?

Wow I wish you could feel that fall breeze coming through my window. Definitely a welcome treat after a warm afternoon we had today. And my bonzai's a grateful too :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Plein air art off the gate with Schmid

"Autumn Glow" 4.5x6 oil on gesso board
Now that's I've finished my charts, I was just itching to use them with for a plein air painting. The charts worked nicely, I saved time trying to figure out the right mixture. And what I like about Richard Schmid's chart is that the colors glow. I know this because when I painted the next piece "Copper Warmth" 8x10 oil on canvas panel (shown here finally scanned). I started out mixing my own take on the still life set up. Then just for kicks I thought I'd borrow dear friend Linda Cassady's Schmid charts. My colors literraly paled and fell asleep in comparison! At that very point I decided I'd have to buckle down and tackle the charts. Actually to my surprise I feel I have a better understanding of the charts and I'd like to create another set. It's not so much because I plan to be completely dependent on them, but more to educate myself and especially my eyes more.

I can't tell you how excited I was about painting en plein air. I enjoy the explosion of information that's before me which is mostly absent from photos. And I think it's good exercise to be decisive I can sharpen my instincts.

Much to my husband's chagrin I brought this old TV cart home from a neighbor's trash last Tuesday. Apparently he drove by the pile and was thanking his lucky stars that it didn't look like I'd find something to bring home. Welllllll as he was pulling in the driveway that evening he saw the cart immediately HAHAHAH! Glad to know I can still surprise him :) But look it was soooo handy for my painting session! And I bet he also loved all the tracks I left on his perfect lawn that morning when I was furiously looking for a good spot to paint. This photo reminds me of Smokey Robinson's song "Tracks of my Tears". Actually composers Robinson, Moore,Tarplin originally were writing the song inspired by me; it was meant to be called "Tracks of my Wheels". And if you believe that, there's also a bridge I want to sell ya!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Local Color the movie and Charles Harrington

What art I have art still in the prep stage so I will show you my other art which is cooking. I mentioned in a previous post that I was experimenting duplicating PC Chang chicken wrap. Well after two hours of chopping and mincing onions, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, shitake mushrooms, garlic, ginger root and crumbling dry chile plus finally chopping chicken breasts into smaller than bite sized then sauteing them in hoison and soy sauce (I didn't use sugar but sprinkled healthy cayenne powder), I was plenty happy with my result and was even more delighted that it passed the husband test once he served himself a couple of lettuce wraps and experienced the fresh crunch followed by an explosion of flavors from the ingredients. Pictured here are just the chopped vegetables. I hand chop because I don't have a food processor and also because I enjoy chopping. It's like laying my colors on the palette before a painting :)
Today I had the pleasure of grating fresh Parmesan block and chopping with my Braun Handblender. To my surprise it worked! I made PESTO! And I stayed true to using only fresh ingredients so the basil leaves were from the garden (my neighbor's lol!). And OH MY GOD!!!! It is DELICIOUS! Thanks to my dear friend Hillary for her recipe which I cross checked with Martha Stewart's who also has the recipe! I do believe that next time I make this, I will revert back to hand chopping so the basil will make my hands smell very Italian rather than the container :) Man, it was like watching a kid liking the blender after making cookies - I loved the flavor! Then I saved the majority of it in an egg crate and threw them in the fresher so I can have pesto anytime I want. I picture it on melba toast with chopped sundried tomatoes and maybe some goat cheese, on veggies, on baked chicken breasts and of course on pasta!

Now I was chatting today with yet another nationally known local artist Charles Harrington. I want to congratulate him for being chosen as one as not only one of the artists for Arkansas 2009 calendar but the Arkansas Governor's Mansion also purchase his piece and made it the cover! Please click on the image to see the beautiful piece of art by Charles. I am a proud owner of a giclee on canvas of this painting. I get such a thrill when my taste in art gets a nod from the art community. I do love to paint and I also love having other artists' works on my wall to inspire me. Charles has also written a book for Northlight "Acrylics, The Watercolor Alternative" and a couple instructional videos as well.

And it's not released yet but fellow artists and art enthusiasts, I'm excited about this movie which opens early November called "Local Color" Based on life of artist George Gallo whose love for representational art will simply embrace you. All I can say is, THANK YOU plein air art fever, thank you Richard Schmid and other great artists and supporters of plein air art, and daily painters, you all have kept the fire burning for representational art. I mean I love abstract and other contemporary art that are less representational, but nothing really touches my soul like flesh on flesh like a good piece of discernible (lol) imagery created by a wonderful marriage of inspiration, skill and imagination.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Richard Schmid and Different Strokes #3

"At The Bus Stop" oil on canvas panel 5x7
You should go visit "Different Strokes from Different Folks" blog hosted by Karin Jurick. I wasn't sure I had the time this week but fun renditions are so much fun I had to jump in the wagon lol Who else would be fun to encounter at the bus stop but Forrest... or someone who might be like him and maybe he'd offer you a chocolate?

Well today I watched a highly respected local artist give a free oil painting demo. This is Jack Hetterich, he's 83 years old and paints daily. I wanted to say ouch! ouch! when he finally got up from his seat after being in the same position for 1.5 hours! But he was painting a landscape from memory which is an admirable gift for any artist.

Richard Schmid chartsI'm pleased that I've finally finished my color charts based on Richard Schmid's teachings. I have been using color charts since high school. For this reason I am very selective who I want to incorporate into my routine. For this I'm very excited to have accomplished these charts because it took FOREVER! I'm so thankful I don't have a dog or cat to worry about because I have to lay them all over the place to dry! Pictured here is just a portion of what I did.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Family Oil Portrait commission

"Kelsey with Great Grandma" 11x14 oil on canvas
This is a portrait commission from a client from North Carolina who has been a few times a return client. The client wanted to make sure her Mom's favorite lamp was also in the painting :)

Anyway, this post is really about children. We don't have kids but it doesn't stop me from being protective of the ones I am exposed to.

This Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 is the deadline for "Protect the Children Act Bill 1738"

  • Authorize over $320 million over the next five years in desperately needed funding for law enforcement to investigate child exploitation.
  • Mandate that child rescue be a top priority for law enforcement receiving federal funding.
  • Allocate funds for high-tech computer software that can track down Internet predators.
Go to www.senators.gov to find out who your senators are. You can either, call, write, FAX or email to urge them to vote YES on the Protect the Children Act Bill 1738.

Here is a sample letter to send that Oprah.com has published. The Sample Letter

Unfortunately I've witnessed some of this sort activities online when I first started to explore the Internet chats. And I can't believe how one easily falls prey to people with ill intents. I ended up playing "Mom" to those I've become aware about until it just became no fun to socialize online any more because I couldn't really help them effectively.

Just like the real world, the Internet is particularly dangerous to those who are new to its possibilities. This bill will help pave some new directions to help protect not just the children but also the rest of us who wander through the infinite world of this new dimension.

But I also do wish every computer, and Internet cable would come with a manual for adults on how they need to pay attention to the young ones and get more involved in their lives so they know who the children are associating with and be aware of their environment because we can't expect the government or the teachers and priest or ministers, etc., to do the job that should be implemented and regularly done at home.

Ok that's my contribution :) And before I go off to experiment if I can duplicate PF Chang Restaurant's lettuce wrap chicken, I now leave you with something autumn and delicious!

"Mangoes (study)" oil on canvas paper 6x6

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hillary's Oil Portrait and silk art

Erika Nelson oil portrait"Hillary" 16x20 oil portrait
Hurray I have successfully pulled my bestest friend into the blogging world! This is a portrait I did of her, my dear Hillary Miller, when were still in college circa (cough cough)... oh excuse me I've had this terrible cough for months! ANYWAY, she has quickly gotten the hang of it as evident of her contribution to Daily Watercolors blog . Her very own blog will begin Hillary Miller Art Works to develop quickly especially because I've now put the pressure on her lol Which by isn't fair because she does a lot of outdoor shows with her gorgeous, and I mean GORGEOUS hand-painted silk scarves! Check them out here Hillary Miller's Silk Tallit and other Scarves They are very soft and silky and can be made to order from floral to landscape designs, etc. Of course watercolors and silk scarves aren't all she does. She paints in oils, acrylics and does pottery among other things. Plus she is has taught art in colleges and in her own studio. Maybe she will give us a tour of her lovely studio some time :) She's a busy girl, in fact, in a couple days she will be leaving for Palo Alto show in Northern California.

Does anybody happen to know what master painter or "his" painting I've thrown Hillary into?

I'm here, busy in the background working on commission and some color charts. But keep checking up on those blogs I usually visit :)

Hope you're enjoying the fall weather! I think some plants are getting a little confused between some cool weather and sunny ones we've been having so a few plants are blooming like our giant redbud tree.

I sign off with a sample of Hillary's custom painted silk scarf (seen here with a matching pouch).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Long Walk Home oil paiting

"Long Way Home" 5x5 oil on canvas
This is my new piece for the fundraiser in case my politicians actually sell. This is fresh off my easel this morning. Supertramp's song "Take the Long Way Home", played in my head while I painted it. I think she's returning from a wedding and she's mumbling to herself about being a bridesmaid for the 14th time and this time 5 people actually teased her about never being a bride LOL! Can you see all the exclamation points on her head? :)

I can't believe I actually finished my contribution to Different Strokes by Different Folks this early in the week. But I responded to Karin's image of Rehoboth Beach in this more nostalgic manner. If you think the woman looks familiar it's because I borrowed her from Sorrola lol See? It pays to know your art masters!

My dear little Red Vicki Lou had this test game on her blog and I think it's so cool! I scored 23. And I was a little flustered that it was low but to find out my age range scored from 0-1409! So low was good ;) THE ART TEST enjoy!

Off I work at the gallery today, I'm extra pleased I finished a painting this morning YAY me!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Reluctantly I list

WELL I was looking at my calendar the other day and I came to realize the fundraising auction I painted my political portraits for isn't happening until November 8th - which is after election. And that just spoils all my fun :( How am I supposed to have my personal election after the fact? SO today I've decided to go ahead and list the on Ebay. Today I started new 5x5 painting for the fundraiser lol

I haven't listed there for many months which is inadvisable practice if one wishes to attract their usual crowd. But let's just give it a go shall we?

Please see the my oil paintings of Senators Obama and McCain on Ebay starting bid each at $55.00 Oil on canvas 5x5x1.5 Here we go X0

Click here to purchase

Saluting America

American Figure 20x26 oil on canvas
This was a live model, I don't know why she had a cowboy hat on lol Perhaps the end of the photo shoot so it was just silly moments.

This is an oldie from 2003. A painting I sent to my dear friend Leanne's husband Mark who was serving time in Iraq. It's kind of a silly painting of course, but I just wanted to send him and his barracks companions a little cheer in their rough environment. Thank goodness he is home now and will not be going back overseas after all, he will be serving from the US which is even better.

Anyway, this is Erika's way of saying I am remembering September 11, 2001 when the world as we knew it changed forever. I keep in my meditation those we lost and those who personally lost someone. I also keep in my thoughts those who are currently serving and those who have served. May we all see brighter days in our horizon really soon. For now I wish you all peace.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Karin's Different Strokes by Different Folks

"Waiting" 4x6 watercolor on paper
I am participating in a weekly paint-from-photo challenge that fellow blogging artist Karin Jurick has recently started . This first challenge is from a photo of her late studio companion Jack who is very loved and very missed. Please go see the amazing results we now have at Different Strokes by Different Folks. I've just emailed my image so it may not be published yet when you go there. I'm impressed with the variety of art that happened, especially the creative designs people came up with. I'm hoping I will be influenced to become more creative in my response to painting photographs. As my first attempt, I've depicted Jack quietly wagging his tail while he waited for that unquestionable signal that Karin is putting her paintbrush to rest and they are about to go out and play or go for a walk. Goodness how on earth do you paint a wagging tail in watercolor???? If y'all don't buy that, we can pretend they are doggie treats by his tail - it could happen! :)

My blog reading today led me to big blush moment when I realized my dear little Red Vicki Lou Ross had dedicated a blog post to me! Goodness, I have no idea who she was talking about, I think she wrote it late at night and was probably sleep blogging or something hahaha No- THANK YOU and Love you Red!

For the rest of the day I'll be finishing a commission oil painting... or maybe I want to do an oil still life. So little time, so much to paint! Have a nice day!

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Brillante Weblog Awards!

I was greeted this morning with an award that brought one of the biggest smile I've ever had on my face! Theresa Rankin, an art maven I admire first as an artist and immediately as a woman and friend, has chosen my blog as one of her Brillante Weblog awardees! Plus I love her as she actually visits my blog and comments! But I hope you click on the link to witness her wonderful art and her big heart!

Fortunately I now have the opportunity to hopefully bring as much sunshine and cheer to 7 of the many blogs I read regularly by humbly awarding them. My list of awardees is no doubt longer than 7 as I think blogging about art is a very generous gesture on behalf of the artists because it cuts into our precious painting time and opens our studio to strangers. But I've gatheresd so much from fellow artists' through blogs from the way they negotiated certain complicated scenes or medium, their business habits but most of all these people are very talented and they know it thus they are justified in pursuing their craft. Well without much ado here we go...

Daily Watercolors
I created Daily Watercolors blog and invited several watercolorists I know to co-author entries with their latest and greatest works. This blog gets my award for the authors' continuous onward move to create amazing watercolors in varying sizes and styles. I've collected art from most of these artists.

Intricate Art
Leanne Wildermuth is one of my most enduring Internet friends and we still haven't met! I've watched this amazing trouper self learn ANYTHING and in a matter of short time turn her latest skills into major bucks! Leanne paints just about anything and now she's also a master web designer. I really am holding back as I want to say more. But suffice to say she rocks! I have a collection of her art.

Spewing4thArt Lori Rase-Hall's blog name tells you something is cool about it. This woman exudes art. Everything she does from painting, knitting, cooking, gardening and photography spews art! I don't know how she does it, I suspect she sweats art too hahahaha! Check her out, colors and eye candies galore! I have a collection of her art.

Belinda Del Pesco
I love Belinda's work because her watecolors are unique. She is a successful artist who works in several media, especially prints which I'll have to add to my collection. I love that she also visits my blog and comments, truly a very beautiful and sweet person.

Mark Satchwill Mark is a wonderful portrait artist I've befriended from UK. His works continues to amaze me because of his dedication to the human figure depicted mostly to small format 2.5x3.5 inches and 4x6 inches watercolors. I also very much admire his talent and devotion to his craft! His works are well accepted on the Internet.

Don Gray I've recently just started to visit Don's blog. I love his art because he responds to sceneries pretty much as I do.. now if only I could paint like he does too lol! His sense of humor is always a part of his posts and I'm such a sucker for a chuckle or two! I also very much enjoy his warm interaction with his readers.

Karin Jurick Karin's work is highly successful and well accepted in multiple venues. Her works have graced some very important publications in the art community - all for a good reason. She is a consummate artist who doesn't seem to rest and is always creating and having shows. Recently she developed a blog where she challenges or invites other artists to paint from her photos she will post weekly. I will be participating in it please check out this link Different Strokes From Different Folks

Rules of Acceptance:

1. Put the logo on your blog
2. Add a link the the person who awarded you.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.
6. Participation is entirely voluntary (of course!).
7. Have fun...honoring the bloggers who inspire you regularly.

Standing ovation!!!! *Applause* I have other very talented and inspiring artists on my list in the sidebar of my blog plus non-art blogs. I list them proudly because I enjoy visiting them. Thanks to these artists, I can visit them in their art lives at will and they all serve as my daily art vitamins, they all inspire me! Thanks again Theresa! ~erika

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Raising McCain with oil paints

Just like that, yesterday's beautiful day was gone. I was pouring down rain today. It rained so heavily that it was as if someone had curtained us off from our neighborhood. Here's another look at my roses from yesterday's photo shoot. The lower roses are some from our garden. They are so fragrant and breathtakingly inviting to paint but... I have deadlines *sigh*

Today was date day with the hubby. The rain had pretty much stopped by the time we decided to get moving. We went to the mall (our 2nd trip there since it was built 3 years ago). He ran to Borders and I got my haircut. Then we met at PF Chang's for our late lunch.

There were having a summer art festival to which I was invited to participate. But being in wheelchair helps to make up my mind pretty quickly about not putting myself through the torment of doing short stints that require so much physical HELP while in the meantime I watch my work get a little more beat up through transport. Usually I'm so tired of the whole preparation that it's another challenge to keep a happy face on all day, also because I'm worried about my deadlines and what I'm not painting at the moment. Nope, montho-long exhibits or seasonal changes of display in the gallery is about my size.

We decided to head home after checking out each tent and visiting with fellow artists. Some were pleased, some disappointed, some glad to have recovered fees. No complaints about the rain.

Anyway, here are senators McCain and Obama by yours truly in 5x5 oils on canvas. I decided to not crop off any of his head like Obama because not option looked right to me. Now I can resume back to my commission portraits :) I must admit I struggled not to end up painting Steve Martin while I painted Senator McCain LOL!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Barak Obama Positive

Barak Obama
"Obama" 5x5 oil on canvas
I think I'm done... I really need to paint McCain quickly for the fundraiser deadline. This is from camera, I'll post a scanned one later if it looks better or if I modify the portrait again.

Today is a beautiful fall day *cringe* did I say FALL??? DOUBLE *CRINGE* you know what comes after fall??? It's enough to bring tears to my eyes that's soaking up this beautiful crispy day. I woke up to opened window, compliments of my sweetheart and it really put an exclamation to my day! So, even though I woke up with a pounding headache and a lousy feeling of flu symptoms, I popped some vitamin Cs and aspirin and chugged some water so I can keep painting. :)

Last night my hubby brought home 2 dozen long -stemmed roses! And I mean BEAUTIFUL! It's all I can do not to want to paint each color for a specific still life!!!!!! But I know I have other paintings on the burner as well GAH! Deadlines and lovelines - story of my life!

For now I leave you with Senator Obama next to my roses :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The making of Obama

Barak ObamaI'm off to a good start with this piece I am donating for an arts center fundraiser. It's a 5x5 oil portrait of Senator Barack Obama. ... he's emerging there though not quite all there yet. I will probably do one of Senator John McCain too just so I can have my own little "election" during auction lol

My husband and I recently switched areas in our office. And I haven't gotten the momentum to get settled yet. I look forward to being able to use my scanner again. I tend to want to document my work when it's dark enough so I can't paint comfortably anymore. Unfortunately without a scanner it also means I can't take a decent picture either.

Well at least it's light enough so I can stare out the window and watch the rain for some meditation....