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.

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!

A White Mug

The next still life adventure was a white mug from my pantry and four pieces of colored paper (see the still life set-up below). I followed the guidelines by Carol Marine in her book ‘Daily Painting’ for the set-up and painting the ‘vulnerable’ areas first (the white cup). I loved painting the colors of the paper reflected in the white mug. My favorite is the lower right painting. (They are each 6 x 8 ins).

Then I tried a square format (below). The shape was interesting but i felt it didn’t add anything to the painting. I also changed the pink color, and I didn’t like this one as much (not so bright).

One hour Portraits from Photos

Recently I tried two more one hour portraits, but this time from photos I’d taken in the past year. They were useful studies, again with good learning experiences involved. The process forces quick decisions, and sometimes they are wrong! In the first picture, the angle of the face should be tipped forward more. (I used this study as a practice for a more finished painting).

In the second painting, the general positioning is good, but the eyes are too low, even though I was comparing distances with the end of my paintbrush. However, she has the right look of intensity and concentration. I’d like to do this one again as a more finished painting.

They are both oil , 11 x 14, painted on canvas board (toned chromium oxide green).

Bellevue Gallery Show III

This is my third month-long Show at the Bellevue Gallery, which is attached to the Farmer House Museum in Bloomington, IN. I had 16 paintings on display for the month of October. There are 4 portraits, 4 landscapes, 4 flowers and 4 figures. Paul Kane, artist-in-residence at the Gallery, hung the Show and placed them in unusual dimensions to show that I was working in different directions. I think my next Show should be more uniform and cohesive?

We had a reception on Friday, Oct 18, which was mid-Show. Attendance was low, but we had a great time playing music and talking! I am very grateful to be able to display my paintings at the Gallery.