Thursday, October 12, 2017

Day to Night

Did you know that an artist is so powerful, we can change day into night?   Yes, its true!     This past spring when out hiking, I took photos (imagine that!) of the creek behind my home.    Like it often happens, when I look at the photo later, meh, its not as grand as I thought at the time.  But I did like the composition of the photo; the lay of the land, so to speak.   So I thought this would be a good time to try an exercise I'd been thinking of....

I wanted to use a photo that no longer seemed so worthy,  and making it work in some other way.   I set out to change either the season, palette or time of day.   I did some thumbnails and then put the photo in black n white on my computer so I could concentrate on values, not colors. 

In this original photo, I mainly liked how the creek drew the eye into the landscape.   But being Spring, it was too much of the same green, the trees were boring and the sky completely washed out.  I decided I wanted to add the mood of a moonlit evening, complete with fireflies.

"Firefly Dance"  9x12 pastel  $150.
  Its not easy changing the day to night!  It really stretched my artistic eye, but I think it turned out well in the end.  I will try this idea again in some way.    It could open up many new ideas, letting me add my own 'self' into the paintings rather than just being a copier.    It was just a lot of fun!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

What a Ride!

Yup, I've been awol again...but for good reason!   I was very fortunate to have a visitor for a couple weeks, Ray Ainsworth.   He had been teaching me some long distance horsemanship and decided to come stay!   My horses and I thank him deeply, as his teaching is easy to understand and its a kind way to work with horses.  
We learned so much in such a short time!   He loved our little part of the world and it was fun listening to him almost daily say "oh wow, just look at that!" as we drove around, going to someone's place to help more horses.   An amazing time that won't be forgotten!  Now to put those lessons to use!  

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Plein Air Season!

Some of the paintings from the DeSmet Event.   The one on the far left was my winning piece.
Long ago I'd feel guilty at being outside all day long, and not doing any art or studio time.   But when I did stay in, eww, I want to be OUT!   So plein aire to the rescue!

Plein air...."painting outside from life".   Perfect!   And even better is a plein air event where I can see other's works, talk art and just have a great time painting somewhere new.  

One of my fav's is DeSmet.   This year was great!   I painted 9 pieces total, and one demo on Saturday.   Then the show on Sunday was quite exciting...I shared the award of Artist's Choice with my very good friend Connie Gisi.    She's taken up pastels just recently and her piece was outstanding!   How fun is that!?   We camp together in our vehicles, and our dogs wrestle for hours.   A great way to spend the weekend!

The next weekend had me running like a crazy lady, the 2nd Annual Sketch Crawl in Sioux Falls.   I've never done one of these, and didn't know what to expect.  Fun, that's what to expect!   Another day having a blast with artist friends and my sketching tools.    I was exhausted, as we had 5 hours to do 5 locations (pre-determined by the organizer and gave us maps), then show our sketchbooks by 3pm.   whew!   That was SO not in my norm; I generally go for quiet nature scenes and here I was, downtown amid the hustle and noise, doing urban scenes!   In pen/ink, walnut and black both, plus watercolors.   But it was great to stretch myself in this way, and made for a good nights sleep too!  
the last sketch--just feet into the Falls park!  I only had one hour left!

The 2nd and 3rd sketches
Sketch one and 2.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Back to the Easel

While out riding, I am always on the hunt for reference material--a cloud, a grouping of trees, animals;  just whatever makes me take pause and I snap as many photos as I can.   Nowdays I generally use my phone, as I dont' want 'great' photos anyhow.  

This is one of those days.  I was riding with a friend, and this little spot always catches my eye.   She noticed it too!  

Its the level B road going to a neighbor's place.   As usual, I did change a few things, but had a lot of fun painting it.  It flowed pretty easily and quick, and I think its finished.  It will get a snazzy frame and come along with me to the DeSmet Paint Out in 2 weeks.   
Road to Robbie's; 7x12 pastel   $120

Monday, July 24, 2017

So Much Going On!

Cantering along!
Look at those ears!

 Hello to you All!!

I've got so much to say, so much has happened lately! 
First, I did it!   I rode a real endurance ride!   On a real endurance horse!   I was honored by a friend who asked if I would like to ride her experienced gelding, Seth.  What a ride, what a strong, forward happy horse!   I was happy this horse was ok just tagging behind my friend on her mare.    I learned more on this one ride than I would've in a long time of simply reading or figuring it out on my own.   A huge, heartfelt thank you to Laura Hayes, and Seth.   This team is headed to Tevis, a very tough 100 mile ride held in California.  Good luck to you both! 

Laura and Seth on a previous ride.
As this event was coming up, I spent much more time riding than painting.   It happens.   Then when I got back to my art, ugh!  It was awful. I struggled.  This shows me how important daily work is.   I had been doing simple ink sketches and one tiny plein air but it wasn't enough.   I needed a kick start!

So,  a couple nights ago I spent a long time, into the wee morn even!, going thru my digital photo stash.   Its been dreadful hot, so I just won't bother with much plein air and I am happy to have all these photos.   After a few hours I had saved, deleted and edited.   I am still going old-school on lots of stuff, and sometimes I still print out photos.    I really like to print them 9-up, sometimes of both the raw and edited versions.   Then it makes it pretty easy to pick out a paper and get working very quick; leaving no room for procrastination!   

For this small work, I had brushed off the previous effort, it was a stinker.   I flipped the paper upside down to visually 'mess up' the image, and started something from my new print out.   Much better!   I was pleased with this one finally, it expressed the mood I was after, its all about the light.    This scene was near my home, while out riding one evening.  
Beanfield,  7x9 pastel;   framed $100.

Monday, June 5, 2017


As most are, I'm getting pretty busy with all that summer brings.   I still want to make sure I get in something artistic, and often! 

I recently wanted to try a fountain pen again.  I've had another but I somehow didn't warm up to it enough and it went dry--then I ruined it by cleaning it improperly.  Yea me.  

So I went looking and found this one that was very inexpensive but had a good rating.  I love this thing!   Its got a metal body and feels so royal!   Its just fun to use, so I've been doing some ink sketching.   Its hot and buggy, so standing too long isn't a good idea; and ink sketch can be PDQ...Pretty Darn Quick!    It came with ink that washes with water, so I'll be switching to another waterproof type (trying Noodlers this time), as I like to put a color wash on after inking.  

I also got my first Moleskin sketchbook.   Its tiny, and I do like the paper.  But the cost makes me feel like it can only be used for 'Official Drawings."   Whatever those are, and when they might appear?   Can't answer that.   Yeah, I have a bit of sketchbook fear.   gasp!    and I actually am more fond of the paper in this tiny Derwent sketchbook.   

I did manage to paint a small piece based on a cell phone photo I snapped while walking the dogs, and memory.   I especially like taking a photo to use that day, that hour!   There is a more plein aire flavor to it, dont' you think?  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Summertime is Busy time!

I always thought empty nesters were just saying they were busy to feel important. Ha!  Wrong again!   I am swamped with things going on.  But all of them good!  Like these...

"Boundless" 10x16 pastel on sanded paper SOLD
A big thanks to SD Art Museum in Brookings.   They accepted 5 paintings for the retail shop and sold one before it hit the wall!   That's how I like it!  Thanks!
They also have a large assortment of my soaps too, so stop in and stock up!

I was able to attend my friend Jan Sohl's artist reception in Sioux Falls.  Fantastic work by a fine lady.  

Piper Art Gallery in Sioux Falls accepted a 3 new paintings, and I also left 2 for the Weathered exhibit in Sioux Falls.  

Whew!   That was just on Thursday!
24x30 Summer Solstice;  pastel
This one is part of the weathered exhibit, along with a smaller painting.  I got a sneak peak and its going to be a great show, stop in to the Center for Western Studies, it'll be worth your time!