Arts Illiana ‘Masks’ Exhibition

I was happy to have two paintings accepted for the current ‘Masks’ Exhibition at the Arts Illiana Gallery, Terre Haute, March 5-May 21, 2021. The first one I painted is a self-portrait, although I am so masked that it could not truly be called a portrait!

We flew to Albany, NY twice in Dec 2020, first to visit a sick relative and then to attend her funeral. I wanted to have a rest on the flight, so I put on my eye mask, and then thought this was peculiar–my face was now totally covered! With some experimentation I was able to take some selfies with my phone and painted from these after we returned home.

Flying 2020, 8 x 10 ins, Oil on canvas panel

Apple Candles

8 x 10 ins, oil on canvas panel

Every year at Thanksgiving (November) I use cored Red Delicious apples to hold candles for the table decoration. It seems in line with the pioneer spirit and using what is easily to hand.

A few days after Thanksgiving last year I still had these on the table and was sitting contemplating the world when I noticed a beautiful morning light on them that really brought them alive, even without flame in the candles! I quickly took several photos and painted this from one of the photos with my Geneva oil paints.

Leaving the Nest

Leaving the Nest, 8 x 10, oil on canvas panel

As I was raking up the leaves in the fall, I found this small and beautiful nest on the grass. All sorts of fibers are wound into it; pieces of grass, trash and even animal, and possibly human, hair. It is such a marvel of skillful engineering that I wanted to celebrate it in a painting.

I placed it with a maple leaf (from our lawn) and an oak leaf (that probably blew across the street from the neighbor’s yard) and gave it a title that is in line with our stage of life-they’re nearly all gone!

Painted with Geneva Oil Paints.

Ducks

What’s Up, Duck? 8 x 10, oil on canvas panel

When we lived in Bath, England for 8 months in 2006-7, we used to walk past a music supply shop called ‘Duck, Son & Pinker’. Since ‘Duckie’ is sometimes used in England as a term of endearment, my husband thought this was an appropriate title for me, our 4 year old son and baby daughter!

From that time, the name stuck in our (half-British) family too. This male duck (from a photo I took in Holland, MI last year) seems to be talking to his mate with some concern, echoing both a marital communication and the famous line from Bugs Bunny.

New Paints!

Some of my sons gave me a new set of paints for my birthday, (something they’d noticed from my birthday wish list)!

They are the Essential palette of Geneva Artist Oil Paints from Geneva Fine Art, made by Mark Carder in Texas. I had been watching videos by Mark Carder on DrawMixPaint.com, and on YouTube. I liked his limited palette ideas, his method (drawing on a mid-toned neutral background, careful paint mixing and placing color shapes in their right place from the beginning), description of his paints (high pigment load mixed with slow-drying medium), and his finished painting results and those of his students. I have been using them ever since then and am very pleased with the results.

Here is the first painting I did with them:

More about this painting in the next post!

Street Reflections

Main Street, Holland, MI, at sunset.
8 x 10, oil

I took the photo behind this painting because I liked the striking light patterns on the side-walk in front of the shops. It’s easy to think it is light coming from within the shops, but in fact it is the late afternoon sunshine reflecting off the shop windows. It gives me a pleasantly warm feeling.

Landscape Tutorial II

Beach Scene

Beach Scene, 6 x 8 ins, oil on canvas sheet

This was another tutorial by Paint Coach Chris Fornataro, from his Patreon site. I like the Patreon system; you can find good instruction at whatever level or tier suits you and the artist directly benefits. I’m a ‘patron’ of Paint Coach at the lowest level ($5/month) which lets me see one new video a month. That seems to be plenty for now. Since I became a patron his number of patrons has doubled-so also has his income.

The tutorial was emphasizing the use of thick paint and was a lot of fun to do.

Beach Talk

Oil on Canvas panel, 12 x 16

I loved painting this picture of my husband and grandson. Everything about it felt sunny and happy. I took the photo at the end of a very pleasant week that the grandchildren stayed with us, at the end of which we delivered them back to their parents on this beautiful beach on the shore of Lake Michigan.

My favorite part of the painting is my grandson’s fingers and their shadow. His pose is so characteristic of him, including the way he is concentrating on pushing his foot into the wet sand. I also enjoy the shadows and their part in the composition.

My husband’s Tilley hat features again!