Thursday, November 30, 2017

How Can Time Fly

How can it be that December is here and 2018 is just around the corner?  So much fun painting with our friends this year and people to meet at our workshops and shows.  Thanks everyone for all the good memories for 2017!

The weather continues to be good enough that I am out and about taking photos and sketches to work on this winter when the weather is not so kind. I have enjoyed the time inside too getting to work on some things that tend to "fall behind" when summer and fall seem so busy.

County Colors
New art is in Goose Creek Studio in Bedford with some of the plein air pieces from our fall painting trips..  "County Colors" is one of the scenes on the way to Smith Mountain Lake.  I always enjoyed the scenery in this area.

I will be looking forward to some more painting activities and trying new techniques during the winter.
Best wishes for a great and safe holiday season to all.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Playing with Scenes

I have continued to play with the idea of normal (????) scenes of our daily lives with paintings
of people doing the things we all do from time to time.  "The Lunch Bunch" is one such scene which involves collage, painting and texturing to make the scene work
The Lunch Bunch
This was a fun painting to do that gave me an opportunity to use some of the collage painted papers I have previously prepared.  I have made some acrylic skins that I will also be using in future paintings for added interest and textures.  These will work well in either landscapes scenes or the people scenes.

Enjoy trying something new or  unexpected in your paintings.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Looking for Challanges

This has been a busy fall with lots of plein air painting in various areas throughout SW Virginia with the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge so I have spent less time indoors or on the computer . You may have followed some of our painting trips through the Double Line Artist blog and the Facebook pages of One Double Line Artist and Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge.

This past week we have had some rainy conditions so I have been exploring some new challenges inside and making some plans for projects to keep me busy when the weather is not as pleasant as
it is now.  It has been a while since I have worked with the collage paintings since this seems to be
Poppy Party
a "winter time exercise" for me.  With the rainy days here for several days I returned to doing a bit of collage. As you see this is "Poppy Party" which is collage material I painted on rice paper.  When working with the rice paper I used a random placement of acrylic inks which were spaced on the paper and allowed to mingle in colors.  I put the rice paper aside for a couple of weeks after I had applied color to the paper to use when I decided to do some more collage. 

This was just right to use on those rainy days that were somewhat gloomy.  I had under painted a panel with light colors of blue and green and again this had been stashed away until I decided it's

When I pulled the painted rice papers out I immediately visualized poppies.....and they should go on
the painted panel..  What just seemed to make a painting so easily...not always the case.  It was just waiting for those creative juices to kick in!

I also resumed doing some marbling techniques and acrylic pourings which I enjoy doing but are
inside work.  After I finish putting some of these together I will share them on the blog and Facebook.

Most of all....make your painting time Fun, Explore or revisit techniques you have not used for a while.  It keeps the creative juices flowing.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Plein Air Weather Challanges

Our painting group, The Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge, enjoys getting out on a regular basis to paint during the spring to fall seasons usually setting aside a particular day of the week so we can plan and schedule to be free that day to paint. The weather has messed with our schedule this summer with lots of showers on our scheduled paint days but we decided this week to work around the spotty showers and I am glad we did.

It is always an inspiration to paint outdoors and really see the effects of light and shadows on subjects we paint. It carries over to remember these things when we are painting in our studio sites and makes for a better outcome.

Another plein air challenge is to reduce the amount of supplies we carry.  I recently purchased a great little cart which also has a fold up seat that can also be used as an "extra" table to hold those thing you need.  I have worked to consolidate paints using small air tight containers which I place in a case that usually holds lures for fishermen. That allows me to organize and carry more small amounts of paints that I may want to use.  Always looking to make the trip to paint easier and worthwhile.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Ready to start a new Painting

Sunflowers are a frequently sought after subject for paintings.  Either in the field or on the table,
Sunflowers are a lovely subject and our painting group, Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge, may be trying to capture some scenes before they lose their petals.

I have a number of reference photos and use them to develop still life situations when I can not get the live ones or go on site to do the plein air paintings.  A fun subject to paint. I like to use the palette knife to put a lot of texture in the paintings.
A Full Table
I hope we can get out to paint some of these lovely flowers before they are gone for the season.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A New Series

This summer I took a portrait workshop and really enjoyed getting back to painting people.  I do not always want these paintings to be too realistic but give the viewer an opportunity to "see" something or someone that reminds them of something special.
Flowers in Her Hair
 It is fun to do both types of people paintings and keeps me fresh with ideas flowing for subject matter.  "The After 5 Crowd" is a piece to enjoy thinking about those times after work that you might enjoy with friends or a chance to check out those new "tasting sites"
around town.

Of course, some folks enjoy the traditional paintings of individuals.
These can be interesting.

Just remember to keep painting!
The After 5 Crowd

Friday, July 28, 2017

Golden Garden

Today's Painting challenge was to rescue a canvas that I used in a plein air painting that just did not go the way I wanted.  The colors in the initial painting
were just too dark and did not seem to be worth spending more time working so
I put it aside to use later.

Today, with the rain falling  was a day to paint inside so I worked on this redo.
Using the palette knife I applied colors and worked the florals on the canvas.
I am glad I decided to rescue the initial painting and make something I liked more.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

New Art on the Easel

With the heat and humidity, it seems much nicer to paint in the good ole AC rather than plein air although I have been doing a bit of both.  It was enjoyable to play with color and design with the "Open Bar" painting.

Plein air painting in Clifton Forge at the School of the Arts was a really enjoyable trip last week.  There were lovely gardens behind the School of the Arts as well as across the street at the outdoor theater.

Painting in both settings makes for an enjoyable summer!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Paintings on the Easel

I have been looking for different options to paint plein air with things other than "green" .  I have plenty of brooks, streams, woods and mountain paintings so another mix of colors and views are something I wanted to do .

Buildings and shapes, colors and figure shapes became the fun focus for some recent art.  Everyone goes town and country so variety is nice to
provide creative ideas.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Brushes Optional!

The Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge are preparing for a "No Brushes" Painting Workshop
to be at the Evergreen Lavender Farm on June 24th.  This will be the third year that we have enjoyed the beauty of the Lavender Farm and share the enjoyment of painting there.

The unusual aspect of our approach is to avoid painting with brushes !  Why do we do that?  It is interesting that for the newer painter the use of brushes can be intimidating and reduce the flow of
creative juices!  Even the experienced artist who uses brushes often complaint that they
feel they are to "tight with their painting".  So what do we use if not brushes?
Try a piece of plastic card (an old credit card) or pieces of mat board to spread the paint/  Use
sponges ,  plastic wrap or pieces of a plastic trash bag to apply paint.  This works extremely well for
trees, bushes and "dabs" of color in the piece.  Use the edge of a credit card for the straight lines.
How about using some of the "fuzzy pipe cleaners" to apply paint to the figures.  We also made stencils for some of the items in the painting such as the arbor, chairs and chairs with figures to help the painter who wanted to use them.

The paintings above are 2 of the samples of the paintings we will be using for the workshop.
Art without using brushes is a fun and creative approach to painting which allows the participant to create and have an unique painting at the end of the workshop.  No two paintings are alike!

If you are interested in the workshop check the information on the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge Facebook page for additional information.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Big X 5 Art Show

Today is the day we hang the art work for the BIG X 5 Art Show with the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge.  It is  interesting and  a challenge to work on 48" x 36" canvas.

 To plan the painting and get a perspective of my painting theme I started on a smaller 20" x 16" canvas to make decisions on color, placement and options before going larger.

Unless you have a large area for painting and an easel to accommodate the larger size, planning is essential for the large format.  It may also limit the space you have to work on other pieces of art.  These may be some issues you need to consider.

I started the BIG one several months before it was due to be in the Art Show.  This reduced the stress level of having to "hurry" to get everything finished on time.  It also gave me plenty of time to assess the direction of the painting process, put the completed painting away for a while and then take it out to see if there were things that I needed to adjust before varnishing and completing the backing.
This seemed to really make the painting work and the entire process went smoothly.

The Meet the Artist Reception will be Friday, May 12 from 5 PM until 8 PM.  The Big x 5 Show will be at Goose Creek Studio and Gallery during May and June.  Hope to see you at the reception but if
you are unable to make the reception, stop in to see the art from the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge during May and June.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Upcoming Events

Spring events have me painting outside getting ready for shows and events.  I will be joining other artists from the area in Lexington, Virginia for Art on the Green which is scheduled for
Saturday, April 29th from 10 AM until 4 PM.
The show is at 140 W. Nelson Street/intersecting with Jefferson Street.

The Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge will
be hanging their BIG show in Bedford at Goose Creek Studio and Gallery in May.  Each of the artists have met the challenge of completing
a painting on a 36 x 48 inch wrapped canvas.

We are looking forward to displaying the work in the front Gallery Space.  Come to the Meet the Artist Reception on the 2nd Friday Art Walk on May 12 from 5 PM until 8 PM.  The art will continue on display until July 8th.

Our Painting Group is also planning 2 workshops for later this summer.  Check the website for the
Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge.Com  or the facebook page of the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge for additional information/  More from this blog later.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Art on the Green

I have always loved the beauty of the Lexington, Virginia area and have visited there a number of times but I have not participated in the Art on the Green Art Show .  This year, scheduling seemed to be a positive to make this trip and I am looking forward to this event.  It is scheduled for Saturday, April 29th from 10 AM until 4 PM.  Three of the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge will be participating as well as a number of the artists I know well from the Smith Mountain Lake and Roanoke area art events.
The Color of Sunset

Here are a couple of the paintings that I will be bringing to the event.
The Color of Sunset is a plein air acrylic started on site in Botetourt County and then completed after I returned home.
The Social Event

"The Social Event" was a painting I did in studio which was an exercise in imagination and color.  Just an enjoyable artistic exercise!

I am still in the decision making process for the choices I will make on art to travel to Lexington.  What really makes choices difficult is that I enjoy painting a little of everything....plein air or studio
or just experimenting with our painting friends.

I am looking forward to seeing friends I done often see and meeting new folks.  Please come by Hopkins Green  (corner of Nelson and Jefferson Street ) in Lexington to see
the art and artists.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Spring Sensations

Today was the day for hanging the art for the Spring Sensations Art Show at 2nd Helpings Gallery in Roanoke.  It was a great opportunity to show off some of the paintings we had worked on during the winter.
Just a Sample of Some of the Art

This is a lovely space to show art and to work with the great people who make the 2nd Helpings Gallery work successfully as part of the network for supporting the services of the Rescue Mission.

With the opening of the Spring Sensations show the artists will be painting at 2nd Helping Gallery on Saturday April 8th, from 1 PM until 3 PM. we will look forward to seeing friends stopping by to take a look at the artistic  creations, enjoy the Cafe and have fun searching for those unexpected treasures in the Gallery Shops.

With the arrival of more opportunities for good painting weather we will be heading out to paint the lovely scenes of spring and find all types of things to explore.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Spring Sensations

It has been a busy but fun time planning for the "Spring Sensations"
art show with the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge which we will be hanging this next week.  There will be a Meet the Artist Reception on Saturday, April 8, from 1 PM -3 PM at 2nd Helpings Gallery in Roanoke.  Come and "talk Art" with us while we paint at
our easels!
We will be giving away note cards to one of the people attending the reception.  Come and put your name in the basket for the drawing for the cards at the Reception.

The Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge is a group of 5 Gals who have been painting together for a number of years.  We enjoy sharing our creative ideas, plein air painting and attending/presenting workshops together.  One of the best things that has developed from the experiences is the friendships that we share with each other and the people we have met along the way with our painting adventures.

Hope to see you on April 8th.  The Spring Sensations show will be up at the 2nd Helpings Gallery
Through June.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Some Storage and Framing Tips for Pastel

Quick Set Up
When painting plein air it is important to have a simple and quick set up so you can capture the scene and light before there are too many changes in the scene,  Pastel is a dry pigment which makes this easy.

Since this is a dry pigment care must be taken to cover and secure the painting in transport.  I usually tape the pastel paper to a solid
backing.  Then when I am ready to travel I can use the more expensive glassine paper secured snuggly over the pastel painting but I have also found that I can use the deli paper secured with tape or clips on small paintings.  Sam's Club has a great deli  paper which is not waxy that works well for me.  Once the painting is covered securely you can stack other secured paintings on top of each for storage.  The main concern is to avoid smearing the pastel but I have had no problems transporting the paintings and storing them until time for framing,

Pastel paintings do need to be framed under glass and with off sets to protect the painting.  Clear off sets can be used to separate the space between the painting and the glass.  Using the clear off sets, the painting does not require a mat.  If you are using other types of off sets such as matte board or foam core, a mat will be needed.

There is some controversy in framing with glass placed and tightly sealed against the pastel. This is seen in some areas of the country where there is little humidity and less chance of mold growth under the glass.  I have tried this technique with no problems arising but I watched the surfaces for well over a year to see how successful this technique in framing could be used.

It is nice to have some options to use when framing pastels without mats  but you should be aware of problems that can arise.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Getting Ready for Painting those Spring Flowers

Our painting group is getting ready for a "Spring Sensations" art show at 2nd Helpings Gallery and
Don't Call Me A Weed
that means getting some of those spring flowers on canvas. We will be painting at 2nd Helpings during the opening reception on April 8th from 1 PM until 3 PM.  Stop in to see us.  Our "Spring Sensations" will be up from April 4 through June 30th.

While some of the spring beauties are showing off with their spring colors the weather turned a bit cooler this last week and, trying to recover from the "winter bugs"  I decided it would be in my best
interest to stay indoors and paint some of those beauties I had captured with my camera last
summer.  Good practice for the days when we do get out to paint.

Sometimes the blooms \of the common weeds in the area make some of the floral beauties just found on the roadside.  Lots of choices for painting during the spring and summer months.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Returning to an Old Love

On of the first painting love affairs I had was to use the soft pastels for plein air painting.  I was so fortunate to have painted with a great group of artists in Coastal North Carolina both in studio and plein air.  Our main medium at that time was soft pastels which were easily portable and great for creating plein air scenes without delay so it was easy to capture the light before there were changes.

Plein Air Painting in February
After moving away, I found that there were fewer artists in my new area that painted with pastels, and favored the use of oils and acrylics over pastels especially for plein air painting. Unfortunately I also found that
sometimes the medium was misunderstood by artists, framers and the general public.  Too many people looked at the almost pure pigment and disgraced it by calling it chalk!

Soft pastels can render unique effects that can not be achieved by other mediums although most pastel artists may determine that oil comes the closest to obtaining that presentation.

Pastels provide immediate gratification with color and paint application.
There is a down side to the soft pastel use...primarily in storage to prevent  damage to the painting and special considerations for framing which is under glass and with off sets to preserve the art.

Easy transport of paints for plein air.

I have also found that I can adapt my pastel painting from the plein air setting use as an "underpainting" if I decide I do not want to frame under glass. While this turn the painting into a mixed media rather than a pure pastel, it gives me options on what works best for a particular painting.

In later blogs I will share information I received when I attended
multiple workshops and IAPS Convention about the pastel painting and framing .

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sometimes You Can't Wait for Spring

By the calendar it is still very much winter but when the temperatures reach the 70's, there are trees budding and flowers blooming it is a real early spring like  weather treat.  Although the colors are not as vivid as it will be when full bloom occurs, it is interesting to see the colors of late winter.
Judy gave me a call and we ventured out to some lovely fields in Botetourt County
to paint and enjoy the warm weather.

Judy is working with acrylic and painting 2 panels.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Playing with the Paints

I was between painting projects, but had a little bit of time before moving on to other chores, so I decided to play with some of the gelli plate papers I had worked with recently.  I picked up one that I thought probably had no use except as collage.  The colors were a mix of splotches of black, white and red which had been applied in no order on the sheet.  Honestly that may have been one of those
"catch the color sheets"!

After looking at it for a while, trying to decide whether to toss it or try it.......I decided I could always toss it after I tried it if it was a lost cause.

I had been thinking about working on a "critter" painting, using a reference from some photo's I had saved.  In looking through the stack of critters, I came across one of the sheep photographs I had taken on a trip some time ago.

Looking at the red, white and black mess of colors on my paper.....I started to see wool...sheep...
and they started to talk to me.  Using the negative painting technique carved out two rather strange sheep critters.  It was a fun exercise and I decided they were a fun piece to keep!
What do you think?  I call it "No Black Sheep Here"

What ever you do.....enjoy it.  Life is to short not to have a bit of fun!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Expanding the Good Parts of a Painting

During the winter  it is not always the best time visually to find those "wonderful scenes" to paint because everything looks gray or the weather is just not suitable for plein air painting.  I like to take some of the time to look at  paintings that I already had started/or had made a very simplistic to determine if I was still happy with the outcome or did I want to rework the piece.
While "A Path to the Clouds" suited my mood and I liked the
simplicity and cloud movement,
The Color of Sunset
after studying it a bit and remembering some lovely sites where I
had painted, I decided to let the painting talk to me.
Yes, it did talk to me, let me use some of the 
wonderful color of the original painting
as an underpainting....but it
changed course and was a 
delight to see the transformation
into another work of art!

Never give up on a painting or
fall too in love with something
that just might become better
than the original start of the painting.
A Path to the clouds

Monday, January 30, 2017

Creative Partner Support

This past week Goose Creek owners, Patrick and Mitchell, hosted a meeting of the creative partners
who participate in the Bedford gallery activities.  Over the 7 years that Goose Creek Gallery has been in Bedford  Mitchell and Patrick have been strong supporters of downtown Bedford businesses, the artists and art events in the area fostering the appreciation of creative opportunities for the community.

Welcoming through either the front or back door!
It is always a pleasure to sneak in the back door to say hello when we are in Bedford, check out all the beautiful art offerings and chat with the owners and visitors in  the

It is always exciting to see some of the creative ideas that the guys have for framing any and everything.

Be sure to drop in...they are at the end of Depot Street just a block from the court house.  It will make your day.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Whimsical Barn Yard

One of my favorite memories of childhood was the opportunity to visit my grandparent's farm.  It was a time when "free range" was the normal for the chickens and roosters roaming around the yard and farm buildings.  I would chase after the chickens and the rooster would chase me.  Helping
Grandma feed the chickens and find the eggs in the mornings was a grand chore for a girl who grew up in "town".
Big Red

 Maybe that is part of the thing that draws me to paint the chickens and roosters. In addition to the fond farm life memories, it is a subject that you can enjoy adding a bit of whimsy  with collage to your painting and get the "unexpected" rooster texture and colors.

Different backgrounds and colors for the rooster can match where you want to display your "artistic" rooster.  The painting can be done on wrapped canvas if you don't want to have it framed or you can go in multiple directions in framing to really make a grand statement.
Recently the guys at Goose Creek Studio and Gallery  in Bedford framed one of my roosters and the presentation just amazed me!

Regardless of how you approach painting these barnyard critters
just have fun and enjoy the process.  Seeing these grand fellows will bring a smile to your face regardless of the gray weather of winter.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Heart Choices to Paint During the Gray Days

Sometimes winter gray brings more time for the artist to catch up on more painting in your studio or painting spaces but unfortunately, the gray day can also make you yearn for the sunshine and diminish those creative ideas.
Where do your ides come for inspiration?  Do you make heart choices....painting the composition
that engages the senses and fast track you to the human emotions?  Your senses  strengthen your creativity and imagination. Sight is the most powerful of the senses, making the visual elements, color and composition tools for the artist to use.  

When you are painting plein air it is easy to let the visual overwhelm you with so many choices. Perhaps during the studio time you can use the memories of those plein air experiences,and in some instances photographs to supplement  the visual memories to make some different decisions in your painting process.  Think about the reasons you were drawn to the subject you are painting.  Can you help the viewer see the emotional connection?  Are you painting what you love?  If you are, it can give you great satisfaction and joy.  You will see the sunshine even on those gray days.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Thinking about Boats

The Red Boat
Even though it is January, a break from the cold and snow this week
with the warmer weather made me think about the enjoyment of painting water scenes.

For more than 20 years, I lived on the east coast of North Carolina and saw so much beauty in the waters of the rivers, wet lands and ocean.
Oriental, North Carolina is called by many the sailing capitol of North Carolina. Our plein air group enjoyed the opportunity to visit the marinas to paint the boats or sit on the porch of the Bean to photograph
and paint the commercial fishing boats.

In fact, I painted so much water and sky while living there on the coast
that when I left for the mountains, I was not sure I ever wanted to paint boats again.  Water and sky scenes, however, continued to be favorite subjects.  Now after being away from full time living on the coast, I decided it would be enjoyable to paint those boats again!  So I decided to combine the beauty of those sail boats and the mountains as a tribute to the love of shape, color and subject while painting.

Patiently Waiting is a reminder that all of the water lovers and boaters are
waiting patiently for the return of the boating and watersport season.
Nice thoughts to keep us going when the colder days of winter return.
Patiently Waiting

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Starting A New Year and the Winter Season

It has been a whirlwind few weeks with the Christmas and New Year holidays for everyone.  I am sure you were all busy doing the usual tasks as well as all the extra's that fall into the schedule.

Now that 2017 is here we can take a deep breath and use our
winter studio time to prepare for upcoming events, try new techniques in painting and try to develop a :game plan" for the new year.
One of the first things I did was to evaluate the art that I currently have on hand, decide if I was satisfied with that work and if not, could I do something else to the piece to make it a better piece.  If not, I tried to learn from the piece
what I could do with the next best painting to have a good result.

I also think it was helpful to catch up on organizing my work space, refining my inventory listings
and removing those things that tend to clutter our space when we get too busy to think about
those things.

I found that after I did some of those things I was actually to enjoy getting the paint out and
did not feel I had to rush  my creative process .  So.....I hope I can maintain the organization a bit better this year so I can really enjoy all the painting opportunities.

Happy New Year and may it be a great year for art!