Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Chicken Coop

Summer is quickly passing by and I can say it has been a good one visiting with friends and family who I see only on special times when we can all get together .  Our painting group, the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge, have been very busy too with our plein air activities .

I did decide to retreat to painting inside for a few of the days that were so very hot.  But I was not
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wanting to get too serious about the painting so I decided to add a few more chickens and roosters
to my collections.  I decided to add some collage to add to the texture and color of the chickens and roosters.

Just a little fun until I resume the plein air painting adventures and enjoy the remainder of the summer.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

More Use of the Acrylic Pours

I have really found it a challenge to work with acrylic paint using
the method of pours to see the actions of the paint interaction.
I have found that a lot of these stand alone beautifully while others
work so well as an under painting.

I think this stand alone paint with the golds, bronze and blacks works
well to give texture.  The under painting for the rooster was a pour of
red, blue and white which worked well to give an interesting background
and to have nice color "peek through" on the rooster's feathers.

Have fun with your painting to experiment with
different techniques to see if it works for you!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Celebrate the July 4th

Nothing like getting ready for a celebration and know that the entire USA is doing the same!
Best wishes for all to celebrate safely and to honor all that has made us a great Nation!

Maybe this will get us started in the July 4th Holiday Spirit!

Add another just to get us in the fireworks Mood!

These are some of the acrylic paintings for the Double Line Painters Art Challenge
for this week.

Enjoy the weekend and stay safe!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Art Challenge Continues

This has been a busy week with lots of happenings that kept me from doing too much painting.  I did complete these 3 small paintings for the Art Challenge for the Double Line Painters of the
Blue Ridge.

Our painting group enjoyed seeking painting inspiration  and photographing  at the Peaks of Otter this week .  We found some cool places that was nice with temperatures in the city close to the 90's.  We also loved
eating at the Peaks of Otter Lodge with spectacular views of the Lake and good food too!

I am waiting for some of the oil paints to dry so I can add another layer of color and texture for another challenge for next week's submission.

Happy painting and stay cool!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Paintings for the Double Line Challange

The Potting Shed
Reflections and Sunlight
          These are the contributions for this week (so far) for the Art Challenge.  The "Reflections and Sunlight" is 24 x 18 with a complicated
pattern of water reflections that took time to develop. It ia painted in acrylic and is on a wrapped canvas.

The Potting Shed was painted  and developed to give a guideline for
workshop students to understand the process of developing the layers of the painting.

Painting Without Using Brushes

Sometimes brush work can scare the emerging  artist away from exploring painting for concern of
having the right brush strokes or the "magic brush".  It is fun to try painting with a different approach.
Pouring paint, using plastic cards (old credit cards work great), make up sponges, sea sponges and q-tips can be painting tools.
This is the completed project of a painting which was done using
acrylic paints applied , pouring the first layer and mixing the paints over the surface using the plastic cards.

After the 1st layer dried then charcoal was used to roughly draw some lines to indicate the placement of the building, fields and flower beds.

Additional layers were added with color using sponges .
The artist can use as many layers as desired to develop the painting.  The Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge
will be having a workshop at the Evergreen Lavender Farm in Appomattox, Virginia on June 27th to paint scenes from the Lavender Fields using this technique.  Participants will be given step by step directions to help them develop an individualized work of art with instructions to take home so they can continue their artistic adventures.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Art Was Everywhere this Weekend

This weekend could give you art overload with all the events going in the area.  Roanoke was holding the 2 day art show downtown but there was also another event this weekend in Bedford County which was on the Artisan Trail;  it was the Artisan Fair at  Sedalia.

I attended the Saturday event at Sedalia and enjoyed seeing so many of my artist friends and
individuals I have met with the art events in the area.  The Sedalia event is set in the lovely
scenic area where the mountains and beautiful fields would give subject matter to paint for
a long time.  It is also so nice to exchange ideas and and discuss techniques with other artists.

I brought my painting supplies and worked on the piece that is pictured above.  I finished it up
with just a small amount of work after I returned home.

Get your paint brushes out and enjoy this wonderful time to enjoy plein air painting.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Fresh from the Easel

The Blue Bench (12 x 16 oil)  began as the plein air painting at the VWCC Arboretum but was completed after leaving there  since there was not time to complete it on site.  Due to the strong light component
of the painting, I decided the bench, which was actually gray, would show
better as a blue bench.  This is another of our artist challenge for the 5 Double Line Painters to complete a total of 120 paintings by early October.

For the Love of the Blue Ridge 12" x 24" painting is another painting that began as a plein air painting just a couple of miles from my home.  On that day, the wind became quite strong and
I spent quite a bit of time chasing art supplies which the wind was scattering from place to place.  Finally, after the canvas became a sail and left my easel, I decided to complete the painting indoors!
I was able to get a good start plein air which gives it a bit of freshness difficult to achieve indoors but working with out the wind as a challenge, I made some artistic design decisions which, unfortunately do not show so well in the photograph.

Happy Painting.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Looking Upward
This is painting 3 of the DLP Art Challenge which is mixed media 5" x 7"

Flowers from Randy is the 4th painting of the challenge
which is acrylic on paper size 13" x 10".

I went to the park to paint today but most of my time
was spent chasing the items, including the canvas,
which was blowing away.

Such is the challenge of the plein air artist!

Happy Painting

Monday, May 11, 2015

Double Line Painters Art Painting Challange

This is the end of day 2 of the art challenge with a plein air painting of the Rhododendron
in my yard.  I was enjoying capturing the light and color while the blossoms last.

Painting st the Blue Ridge Vineyards

May 10 was the starting date for the artist challenge that the members of the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge made for themselves.  During this plein air season, the 5 members will be painting daily to complete a total of 150 paintings which will be completed by October 3rd.

We will be participating in various art events during the season and these will be on display for you to see at the event.

We began our painting adventures at the Blue Ridge Vineyards in Eagle Rock, Virginia at a Mother's Day event where we enjoyed the lovely day, beautiful scenes and music.  We enjoyed talking with those who were at the event.  This is the painting that I did at the Vineyard which is a view across
the green fields looking toward the mountains.  I challenged myself to paint a fair sized canvas, 12" x 24", which can be an interesting format but also difficult to capture the light and shadows in the changing light of the day.  Since we had a lot of clouds floating through rather rapidly, it was important to remember what I wanted to capture with this painting.

Follow along and see the paintings as they develop with this challenge and catch a view of all the artist's work on the website ( or the blog at

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Flying Away

Well, I guess I am in the wind...enough that I could fly!  
This spring wind has made my easel, palette and paints fly away
as I tried to paint at Greenfield yesterday.  I was not successful
keeping the acrylics tomorrow I will try with the soft
pastels.  I am planning to do some water scenes at the Cove.
Hope I am not flying in the wind with the birds like yesterday...
I will have my fellow painters joining in so we are like Birds of
A Feather.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Getting Out to Enjoy the Spring Season

It is wonderful to see the buds bursting on the trees into full soft spring colors.  Different degrees of spring for different places.  A road trip was in order for checking out other "Artsy" spots led me up Bent Mountain and on to  Galax, Virginia to check out Chestnut Creek School of the Arts.

The home of the school in in downtown  Galax  inside an old Bank Building, a wonderful renovation
for this venue.  The main area holds a gift shop with very interesting art and crafts and a very friendly staff that shares the history of the school.  Upstairs are galleries and classrooms with large windows that are the dream of every artist with a studio.

The school offers many classes from guitar classes to glass, jewelry making and art instruction.
I am looking forward to returning to the area again sometime this summer to paint the beautiful
landscape and enjoy the plein air experience.

Check out the website for the school ( and stop in to see the school if you are in the Galax area.  It is located in downtown at the corner of Main and Grayson Streets.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Welcome Spring

Even though it was windy, the weather was spring like and I enjoyed the day with a
fellow artist as we scouted potential painting sites in the area.  While the trees and
flowers are teasing us with a bit of color we are looking forward to seeing the full
burst of color which will happen very soon.

Our plein air artist group, Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge, try to take advantage
of the good weather all the seasons but really enjoy the color as the seasons change,
not only painting landscapes but also going into the city to catch the excitement of
the daily business of city life or a different pace in the smaller towns in our area.

I also looked at the current Plein Air Magazine today and found an article on one of
the people who influenced me to stick with painting plein air.  Kevin Beck is a very
talented pastel and oil painter and a wonderful instructor from the Boone, North Carolina
area.  If you have an interest and opportunity to take a workshop with him you will
come away with lots of motivation and a love for painting.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Ways to Create Texture in Paintings

March is showing a pleasant side today and it is really nice to see the sun and warmer temperatures.

I decided to do a bit of work in the studio, finishing up a few new art pieces, and putting the
varnish on the canvas.  This piece is semi-abstract landscape that I used some of the techniques
we experimented with in the Abstract Workshop with Joe DiGiulio .  While I have used the gel medium, gesso and molding paste with my acrylic paintings, I had not used these for a while
so it was a good reminder of this technique.  It was really useful in this painting when I was developing texture for the rocks.  The mediums were applied after one layer of acrylic underpainting.
The medium was applied in various spots over the canvas.  No specific reference was used for
developing the rock formation.  After the mediums dried I dripped, painted and sponged various
colors, letting the dried mediums catch some of the paints and blend colors .  After this layer
dried I added some more design to the rock formation.

This is an interesting technique to use with the acrylic paints.  Give it a try sometime.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Blasting Snow Thoughts Out To think of Spring

          Enough Already!!!   Three snowfalls in 2 weeks is causing me to spend more
        time shoveling snow than in painting.

I did manage to get a bit of studio time to paint some thoughts of spring,  I titled
this one Spring Dances in Pink.  I am looking forward to soon seeing the beautiful
blossoms of spring that will lift our spirits.  Hang in folks.....March starts Sunday
and can spring be close behind?   I sure hope we get a mild March since we
did have such a snowy February.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Painting With Joe DiGiulio

I just returned from an abstract workshop with Joe DiGiulio at the beautiful Sunset River Marketplace Gallery in Calabash, North Carolina.  It was a really enjoyable opportunity to
explore more of the nonobjective abstract art.

One of the most valuable things I experienced was the exercise of completing a painting
on a full sized sheet of watercolor paper in 30 minutes or to paint 3   9" x 12" sheets in 15 minutes
and be pleased with the outcome.  This intuitive exercise makes the brain take over and logic to
go out the window.  A great way to break the painter's block and get a start on something really
good on that white canvas.

Joe DiGiulio also pairs with Sterling Edwards to have a great workshop together in Dobson, North Carolina.  Although I have not taken the Dobson Workshop, I have attended 2 workshops with Sterling Edwards at Sunset River Marketplace and this was a good opportunity to find approaches to abstract art that suited my interest. I find these 2 artists present very good workshops for those interested in the many approaches to the abstract art experience.

Winter Fun in the Studio

Winter weather has stopped me from getting out ...lots of snow and roads not yet cleared.  Rather than skate across the ice I decided to finish some projects in the studio and to think about spring.

I have enjoyed viewing the web site of an intuitive abstract artist from Colorado to inspire me to try some new approaches to art.  These are just a few of the paintings I have worked on in the studio
during these snowy days.  I love the feeling of the freedom to explore what paint will do on paper, canvas or board.  It is also a great time to experiment with the mediums that can be used on these surfaces with the acrylic mediums.  These are things I often do not have time to do during the summer months when I am plein air painting.

Hope you too will enjoy some studio time exploring art techniques.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

SPCA Best In Show Art Event

It is getting closer to the annual Roanoke SPCA Best In Show art event at the Taubman Art Museum in downtown Roanoke, Virginia.  It was really interesting to see some of the selected subjects the artists have featured for their art subjects for the event.  When I went to turn in my art for the show
I saw some really creative artwork.

I really enjoy seeing the student art work each year as well as the professional artists presentations.

Hope to see you at the Reception on Friday Night February 27th at the Taubman Museum.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Think Spring

Is anyone else as tired of winter as I am?????   Although my area has missed most of the snow and ice , I yearn for the warm breezes of spring with the burst of color from spring flowers.

At this time of year, I have difficulty finding landscapes that I enjoy painting plein air even when
the temperatures are moderate enough to go outdoors to paint.

My solution is to imagine, review sketches and photograph's to paint in the studio and enjoy
the color of spring.  It won't be too much longer before this spring dream becomes reality
and we can enjoy the beauty of all things new!