Friday, February 28, 2014

Painting at Shows

If I have the space, I like to paint at my art shows. There are a several reasons I find this effective.
1) It is a good lead-in for conversation
2) It gives me a chance to explain my wet-on-wet technique and my underpainting
3) Often people will come back to my booth to see how much I have painted
4) I find it puts people at ease as if I am inviting them into my studio
5) It gives me a good excuse to sit-down (I use a high director's chair so I am at eye level with people walking up to me)
6) It is a unique chance to sell the painting. When one has seen a piece in progress, one can become more invested in the final result.

This last show, Safari Club International, I brought a piece but had very little time to work on it. Usually I would have started with the water. In this case I started with the tundra swans, just working on their shadow areas. The rest I finished when I returned home.

Detail of painting
You can see my raw sienna/burnt sienna underwash on the birds. I think it works particularly well in this case to let it "shine" through from underneath.

Take Off
8" X 30"
Original Oil

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Start of my Day

Before I get back to sharing my paintings and works in progress, I wanted to share with you part of my daily routine.
First thing after getting dressed, we walk the cats. Yes, we walk our two cats. They seem to really enjoy exploring the hillside each morning with us.
This morning, we were a bit dubious they would be as eager, considering the 9 inches of snow on the ground. Not only did they both go for a nice walk but they ended up chasing each other through the snow!
View from our west side yard this morning

Scratch, our male cat

Pebbles, our female cat


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Safari Club International 2014 Convention

My blog has been a little light since the beginning of the year. That is because I was working some really long hours to get ready for the Safari Club International 2014 Convention in Las Vegas, Feb 5th - 8th. With 120 linear feet of wall space, it was a huge undertaking.

The show was a success. Thank you to my new patrons and thank you to my collectors who continue to add my art to their walls.

husband Jim starting on the lighting

My booth just before the show opens
part of the inside of my booth

the outside of my booth from the other side
the wonderful 8 foot long sign
Safari Club International and the SCI Foundation
made and hung for me.
Stay tuned for a look at some of the pieces I finished for the show and what I am currently painting.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

the Next Generation

At Christmas I offer to give painting lessons to my three older nieces. This has been going on for several years and has evolved into an exciting tradition.

Each girl spends time going through my reference and selects her subject. This year they used prepared gesso boards. As they have in past years, they draw a grid on the board and on their printed reference and hand-draw their subject. Each year they need less and less guidance from me.

Once they finish drawing, just like me, they do a turpentine value wash with burnt sienna and raw sienna.
Amanda                                       Katie               Audrey

Amanda working on her turpentine wash

Amanda's Bee-eater with wash

Audrey working on her turpentine wash

Audrey's turtle with wash

Last year, Katie did not have a chance to finish her piece. Rather than rushing, she wisely opted to finish it this past Christmas. With the "headstart" she had, Katie could work on the details she wanted to have in her piece.

Katie ready to finish her owl from last year

My nieces continue to amaze me. I thought they did well painting Christmas 2012, but that was nothing compared to Christmas 2013. They needed no help making their grid, little help in mixing colors, and were anxious to get to their paintings. While I worked on my piece, I'd hear, "Aunt Linda, can I get some more VanDyke Brown?" They've learned the colors I use and make good use of their palettes.
I'd check on their progress and sometimes give them my "one more thing" suggestion. "Looks great, but one more thing. Have you looked at the proportion of the beak in your reference?" or "wow, love the color, but one more thing. What if you were a little messier in the coral?"

Katie and Amanda did not stay with us for as long as they usually do. A cold also took Amanda away from painting for a day. Like her big sister, Amanda decided not to rush her painting. She has such a beautiful start to it. I can't believe how incredible she did the eye! This is going to be a stunning piece.

Amanda, age 13, Bee-eater in progress

Katie really captured the mood in her Great-horned owl! She should be very proud of her painting.
Katie, age 14        original oil painting      Great-horned owl

Audrey had the most time to work on her piece. Good thing as she had picked an intricate subject in water (one of my favorite things to paint.) Up until the last day, she was working to finish her piece. She did a fantastic job and there is a wonderful  feeling of depth in her painting!

Audrey, age 13      original oil painting       Green sea turtle