Friday, November 17, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 76

Another variation, meh.  Getting to 10 may be harder than I thought!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 75

You know how when you have something glaringly wrong in a painting and you don't even see it until someone comes up and says - oh there is a cow in your river, and you see, yep, right there in the water a perfect cow shape you never intended or saw until someone said something and then you can't unsee it?

I did a watercolor at a Plein Air event, that I framed and displayed it, and right there is a big old arrow pointing to the corner.  It's driving me nuts and why didn't I see it before you ask?  Two reasons, it was misting, rainy and cold while being painted and my watercolor paint was not drying at all, which if the opposite of what normally happens, and I was so pressured to produce something for the event, I neglected to plan I just started right in, no thumbnail, no prep.  And now I have a painting that drives me nuts.  So, I am going to use it as an underpainting and the composition plan for the next 5 variation series, sans the gigantic pointing arrow!

This is after I did pastel over the top.  Pretty much an epic fail.    I would of been better off not trying to fix something with the pastel, and flipping the paper and doing a fresh underpainting and more pleasing composition.

Here's the watercolor before cropping (See what I mean about the arrow?  Yikes!)

Monday, November 13, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 74

Another variation on the same Marla Baggetta reference photo and interpretations.  I started with a red and orange watercolor underpainting.  I went a bit too crazy on the color, but am viewing these as study explorations.  I would like to apply this approach to some other compositions.

Variation 5

2017 Daily Painting Day 73

OK I have to say this is very fun.  I am mainly experimenting in color and mark making with the pastel.  I promised myself I would do 10 variations of this reference photo and painting of Marla Baggetta's.  Today  I planned to try to recreate what I did yesterday with an underpainting of the complementary colors to see how it changed it.  But once my underpainting dried I kind of liked the flip in colors, so just went with it.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 72

At first I wasn't sure why she suggested copying her paintings, but as I am working through her variations of the same subject you start to get a sense of some of the design choices Marla Baggatta made in you series of 100 variations of the same subject.   I con't plan on reproducing all 100, but it is an interesting exercise, even to try with your own reference photo/thumbnail where composition and values are already worked out.  Maybe if you did reproduce 100 variations, a person would really enhance the abstraction and mark making.

2017 Daily Painting Day 71

Another Marla Baggetta variation study.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 67

Trying out an exercise from an online video with Marla Baggatta.  The first one is a  "Paintalong" where you follow along with her.  The four little pastels are from reference photos,  and are cloud exercises....  so this being Iowa and all, this week I plan to do a cloud series, we get lots of clouds.  It's harder than you would think to give them form, depth and an airiness.  She said don't be afraid to push the color, so I did.  Perhaps a bit too much.

2017 Daily Painting Day 66

Well, my studio has been re-organized, I have a new pastel storage system I am trying to MacGuyver together in transit and should be able to get that assembled in another week.

In the meantime, I am working on a pet portrait commission and have it mostly completed and awaiting feedback from the owner.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 65

I spent last week at a Plein Air event in Dubuque, Iowa called Bluff Strokes.  It is by far one of the most uplifting and inspiring weeks I have spent this year (and this is a year that included the International Pastel Conference that was awesome!)  I think this inspired me because I saw work from artists I painted with several years ago when I was first starting back in learning to draw do incredible pieces!  It was encouraging to me that I really could improve and got me thinking, focused and really reenergized about creating art.

I feel like I have been playing or dabbling at many different mediums, directions and approaches, by just being a professional student.  I guess I am ready to focus on what interests me and to see if I can improve and do work I would be proud to display. (which was not the case last week).  But instead of that fact depressing me, it was OK, because it helped me make some key decisions about my art.

I came back and finished these pieces two for a drawing class at Drake, and was really stressing about how far behind I was on my homework, and how unmotivated I really was to work on them.  So that was decision #1.  I withdrew from the class yesterday.  Sounds like failure, right?  But it was a weight lifted off me,   because I really want to work on producing some work in two key areas, pastels and watercolors.   I just want to direct my time and energy to producing at least 10 watercolors and 10 pastels over the next year and 1/2, that I would not mind showing because I am happy with them.

So I am cutting back on classes and starting to be more disciplined about focusing my efforts.  We'll see if this pays off.

So my first effort this week was to reorganize my studio and start my outstanding commission, an oil painting of a beloved pet.  I am excited to get these projects completed and to move on.

Monday, September 25, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 64

This morning, I tried to apply Ann Abgott's approach to color to a painting of my own using a reference photo I took at the botanical center.  Punching the colors to this extend does give a bit of a commercial art, graphic quality to it.  This was done quickly and messily - I have ordered some higher quality paper and may revisit this composition in a more studied and careful manor in the future.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 63

Today my friend Dianne and I repainted the photo that was used in day 1, to see if I could tell Dianne the steps of the approach we used.  We also worked on making a green card using our blues and greens.  I did repaint the Botanical Center painting to see if I could rework it more successfully.  Once again it got away from me.  I need to go back to better planning - especially in watercolor!  I went bolder in the darks, but not sure I improved it.

Friday, September 22, 2017

2017 Daily painting Day 62

Tried watercolor at the Social Irrigation event last night.  What was I thinking?!  Obviously did not plan sufficiently and it got away from me quickly,  I have a vision in my head, so if I get my "chores" done for today, I am going to try to repaint as I desired and will post it if I fond a way to get what I want on paper.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 61

Day 3 of the workshop.  Today we turned transparent paint into opaque.  Not my favorite look.  Very fun to go so colorful.  My bikes got a little out of hand....

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 60

Day 2 workshop assignment.  Using an enhancement photograph of the instructor we glazed, then overlaid shadow shapes in clothes and figures.

Monday, September 18, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 59

First project from my 3 day watercolor workshop.

2017 Daily Painting Day 58


First project in Class at Drake.  We had to draw a still life - after 5 minutes we had to move to right and rotate the piece counterclockwise and redraw the view the previous person drew.  We did that 5 times then had to return to our origin piece and try to make it work.

It was challenging.

Monday, September 4, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 57

When you are riding to Waterworks Park from West Des Moines you are in the hot sun beating down on you as you ride in the open across the levees built to protect Valley Junction from flooding.  Finally you pop over a bridge and turn to the right.  As you turn, you see a beautiful canopy of trees creating dancing light and shadow patterns on the trail.  You get this incredible wave of beauty and cool relief all at once. 
Green Canopy on Bike Trail 

2017 Daily Painting Day 56

For my dear friend, Diane Sass who selected the location for this painting and the one for the next post.
Wildflowers by Blue Heron Lake

2017 Daily Painting Day 55

Amana Fresh Paint Painting 4.  If I hadn't of had to leave,  I was liking the start of this one, but oh well.  Valuable learning lesson for me.
Amana Lily Pond

2017 Daily Painting Day 54

Amana Fresh Paint painting 3 - Yuk again!  Got a little carried away with the pink and it was so thick I just had to stop and let it dry some.

2017 Daily Painting Day 53

Amana Fresh Paint painting two.  yuk!

2017 Daily Painting Day 52

Painting 1 at Amana paint off.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 51

Back at the Botanical Center tonight.  It was very pleasant, but around 7:30 the water lilies started closing up as the sun was sinking - so only got one painting completed.
Lily Pond 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 49

Portrait of Jane.  Not the best likeness as my measurements are off.   I was trying to apply some of the color techniques that I learned in the Albuquerque portrait demo and workshop.    Am glad I am taking a drawing class at Drake in the Fall.  I think my work can really benefit from improved drawing skills.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 48

OK - how do my painting friends produce such good work at Plein Air events when the temps and humidity are approaching 100?  I have a hard time when painting and the weather is challenging, not to have it creep into my work, and derail it and just make me not able to focus.  

Tonight we were back painting at Social Irrigation at the Botanical Center.  Neither are my finest effort.  I got hot, and a little dizzy from the heat while working on the first one and things kind of went downhill.     Even though I moved to shade and a seated position, I think I was too far gone to pull it together.
Before the Crowd

From the Shade

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 46

Well, I have forgotten everything I once had begun to learn from Mary about portrait drawing.

Big three are values, measurements and skin tones!    As I look at this there is something terribly awry with her left eye highlight.  Will attempted corrections another day and re-post if any improvement, smile.

Monday, July 3, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 45

Plein air group met at the Urbandale Demonstration garden today.
Urbandale Garden

Friday, June 30, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 43

My second effort at the Botanical Center last night.  Perhaps a little too much going on?  Where exactly is my center of interest?  I think I have several areas competing.
Waterfall Feature

Thursday, June 29, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 42

There was an event called Social Irrigation at the Botanical Center tonight.  Several artists were invited to Plein Air Paint in the gardens during the event.  You could get pretty spoiled, they brought us cold water, chairs and when I finished one and decided to start another, they helped carry my art supplies.    A live band played, it was great!

Tree Shadows

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

2017 Daily Painting Day 34

Practice exercise applying Marla Baggatta's approach using a reference photo from the video,  much harder when all greens.  Try this 50 more times and I might have something