Thursday, March 18, 2010

CMAM Tea cup and Daffodils

"Margaret's Basket" 8"x10" oil on canvas
( scanned inside the frame because it's still wet)

This my contribution to Alice Thompson's Calypso Moon artist Movement. This month's subject objects we collect. We were instructed to show 2 items we collect but the day I was getting set up to paint my piece I was surprised by my neighbor along with her visiting granddaughter who had a handful of freshly cut daffodils for me. I am a regular beneficiary of my neighbor's happy garden but occasionally it's so I can visit with her favorite visitor who is a walking inspiration to me. But let me talk about this painting first...

What do I collect? Majority of what I collect is for my art's sake. So it's art supplies, still life props (cups, vases, scarves, pitchers, metal things, etc.), and even admired artist's works. In this piece I chose a couple objects from my still life props collection. A small glass vase which used to be a perfume bottle but the dipping glass has disappeared or broke from having been packed a few times. And a delicate and unusual bone China cup. Originally I wanted to depict red things I collect because I tend to gravitate toward red nostalgic objects. I chose the title because I bought a basket from a local artist who makes such sweet baskets (and makes them very well!), and I remember picturing it with daffodils inside so I had to give Margaret Alter credit somehow :)

I painted the still life in one day so I'm particularly gratified that I painted what I saw in my head! Painting flowers tend to stress me out because they overwhelm me and I always feel like I need to HURRY UP!!!

Early the following day (yesterday), I was due at my friend's house for a group painting session. Well my neighbor's grand daughter was there too! She is such an amazing girl at 10; mature and so innocent and definitely intelligent. She is blind but I've forgotten her complete diagnosis. I met her when she was rollerskating about 4 years ago in her grandparents' driveway. She also rock climbs but her real passion is horseback riding and she's been winning awards already! Anyway, rather than paint still life with my friends, I decided to attempt an impromptu portrait of her and try a limited palette. I knew it was a bad idea especially when she discovered the chair she was sitting in was a rocking chair! LOL It's hard enough to photograph an active kid and the donut and fruit juice didn't help. Well I didn't really do as well as I hope but it's not as bad as I feared I suppose. And I did resort to taking photo of her and popped the memory card in the laptop for the rest of the session while we tried to make sure we didn't neglect her presence. She even read excerpts from Harry Potter for a bit which I enjoyed because I love HP. All in all a day well spent with good friends!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pink for Spring!

"Pink Bunnies at Spring" 12x16 oil on canvas
I laugh each time I see this painting :) I don't think I've ever painted anything this pink but actually I HAVE! Click here for evidence. But what's really sweet is what inspired this painting to begin with....

For Valentines the husband surprised me with a delivered beautiful spring bouquet! He's frequently brought me home handsome flowers because he probably gets a kick out of losing me for a few hours or days when a flurry of photography sessions follow while the bouquet travels from various parts of the house catching natural lighting then studio lights. I bought the bunnies from the gallery, they were made a fellow artist Shirley Peshek who is also one of my most favorite people :)

This bouquet however was painted from life. They were obviously quality picks because they lasted longer than any bouquet I've had the honor of receiving. My admiration and respect is quite intact for artists who paint beautiful flowers. It is so challenging and humbling for me to paint them because I get lost among the multitude of petals thanks to my double vision. But thank goodness I wasn't painting hydrangeas which happen to be one of my more favorite flowers!