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Monday, August 29, 2011

Nocturne painting-en plein air

The nocturne paintings of Frank Tenney Johnson are a beautiful depiction of the wild west under a moonlit night.

My friends and I went to Balboa Park last night to attempt our own version of a night painting en plein air. This was my second attempt. The first experience was quite miserable, trying to paint an ocean and cityscape under moonlight. The problem was that the moon decided to hide under a cloud the whole time, and there was very little visible. A better solution was to paint something with its own light source.

My friends found these booklights from Barnes and Noble for our set-ups. They are light weight and put out a lot of light.

I painted a 6x12 oil on linen panel.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Doll Party painting step by step part 4

Slow and steady wins the race they say...and I am really putting that phrase to the test on this painting.
The blocks and roses in this area are close to a finish.

I am trying to get everything covered so I can get into the layering process.

Finishing an area wet-into-wet is appropriate for certain textures. For other textures, a slow build-up of paint is better. There is lace on the large dolls dress that is best painted in stages. I will photograph these layers and post them. Painting lace is similar to painting glass, except it has more textural opacity. I begin the area for the lace by painting the dark values and colors that are under the lace. There is a deep ochre and rust stain in those areas on the dolls dress.

Stay posted for the next update on lace painting.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Arizona whirlwind trip

Erik and I took a very quick trip to Arizona last week. We left on friday and returned on saturday. We visited the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff for a Navajo event. The museum is a beautiful work of art itself-of local rock and finished with lovely Indian works of art. The front entrance boasts a great Bettina Steinke painting, too!

This rapid trip was for photo reference of the Navajo peoples. This young dancer did an amazing basket ring dance, weaving these hoops through his arms and legs.

Our return brought us through the Prescott area. We stopped at the famous Palace Saloon for lunch:

When the town burned at the turn of the century, the drinking patrons in the bar managed to rescue the 1870's wood bar. They brought it outside and finished their drinking while the town burned. Gotta have priorities!

The weather was wonderful, and a great summer destination travel spot.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Shades of Summer-dahlia bouquets

Here are the recent pickings from the garden. I have had better success with growing dahlias this year. It seems that the deep shades do the best in my yard. I ordered about a dozen types from Swan Island Dahlias in the spring.

Large multi pink bloom:

I like the "ball" dahlias:

A strange sweet pea perennial is going strong, it starts out a rich deep purple pink and fades to pale lilac:

Pale peach and pink "cactus" dahlias:

If you have not tried dahlias before, you are missing out! Dahlias were originally brought into the states as a food source-their tubers are potato-like. Some did not like the taste, but loved the flowers. The Victorians went crazy with hybridizing different types of dahlias, producing more varieties than found today. I pair my tubers with roses, and plant them in pots. Just feed and water, and the rewards are wonderful. Every shade but a true blue can be found. The flower types range from tiny pom pom balls, to giant 14" and up "dinnerplate" blooms.
They last a long time as a cut flower, and in the yard, blooming up to the first frost.