Saturday, January 4, 2014

Winter in the Studio

Once the outdoor painting season fades, the holidays are soon upon us. With all their wonderful distractions of family, friends, parties, shopping, cooking, and a bit of stressing! But once that settles down I can focus my full attention on art once more. The days are short, dark and cold and I am not very tough when it comes to venturing out in those conditions. So I find myself scrolling back through all the hundreds of photos I took last year, and the years before. Sometimes I will break out a photo that I have previously attempted and give it another try. It's always fun to (hopefully) see the improvement. This year I broke out this photo:

I took this one about 4 years ago, just across the street from our old house in Sutherlin. It was an amazing year for wild daisies, they were everywhere :)
So that winter I used this photo, painted a 10"x 20" and called it Daisy Dance. It was, I think, my best painting to date at that time. I still like it very much, though it lives in Colorado now!

So a couple of weeks ago, I was looking for a warm summer scene to take me out of the dark winter. And one I could use to demonstrate painting flowers in the landscape for my teaching website. I ran across this one again and thought it would be perfect! Here's how the painting turned out this time. It is a 9" x 12". You can watch me painting it here if you are interested! 

Kind of fun to see the changes in my technique over time....

This winter I've started going down another path as well. I have so many photos of beautiful places and sometimes on the dark days of winter, I escape into my imagination as I am scrolling through them. The first of these to appear was this one "Hermit Birdman". I found myself in a pretty blue mood, feeling isolated. So I started painting this imaginary scene, and then this bird/man creature came out of my brush. I had a lot of fun, and it totally lifted my mood as well! :) Original is available here

 Revisiting this thought, I found a photo that I took last summer and decided to do another in my fledgling "Creatures of the Forest" series...

And I ended up with this one "A Chance Encounter with Mossman". 9x12. I often feel a living presence when I'm out in nature and I'm really enjoying exploring these ideas on a cold winter day. This one is available here

So, that's what I've been up to lately! Happy 2014 to you all, may this be our best year yet :)

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