Sunday, December 30, 2012

Brighter Days Ahead

This slightly crazy looking cardinal was how I choose to use my brand new set of reds!  I received several sets of pastels for Christmas, and before I broke up this gorgeous set  I decided to use them in a painting.  I have never done anything so red before, and I love it!  I think I will end/start off the year doing a series of birds, (sorry Melanie).  I need to stretch my wings, and have very little experience with our feathered friends.

The days are getting longer again, there is hope!  We finally have a nice thick covering of snow and I was able to start the day with a ski.

Looking back over the year I have not spent as much time painting as I had planned, and I have not conquered that fear of wasting paper yet, so I have plenty to work on in 2013.  Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas is coming.....

One of the precious pieces of Wallis paper got used today!  I discovered that chamois does a great job of removing trees, you can see a ghost image if you look closely.  Of course this is a view of Acadia, we took a long hike last year, following a mysterious set of stairs at one end of Sand Beach....we were well rewarded with some beautiful cliffs. 


Christmas is a few weeks away, and I have only purchased one present.   I am avoiding watching TV as I get so tired of the commercial's and the hype.  Thanksgiving is now about Black Friday, and Christmas is about gifts...really?  

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December 1st

My friend Martha celebrates her "Birthday Month", and I think this is a wonderful idea!  I am going to give myself a gift every day, it won't be "things" but real gifts.  One is permission to use my good paper and don't worry about using it up!  I am going to set aside 31 pieces of Wallis paper to "waste" every day this month and I am going to enjoy it!  I am going to give my self permission to burn a few paintings too, and gesso over even more. 

This is of Sand Beach in Acadia on Wallis paper.  There are a lot of things I love about this painting, mostly that I did not approach it as precious, I just had fun.  Having fun will be my biggest gift to myself this month.  I think that is an awesome way to honor the gifts I have been already given by the one who I share my birthday with! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Acadia Drive

Today is the last day of rifle season here, so tomorrow no more excuses for long walks.

I moved my french easel upstairs  for the worked well last year to have a painting in progress that I can work on in bits and pieces throughout the day. I hope to keep a painting going on in my studio also, but it can get chilly this time of year.

 This scene is from Acadia.  I even love the rainy days there.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

October 27th.

Today was the first day of deer season here in Maine, but I did not remember that until I got home from my early morning walk, safely.  I heard a shot when I was coming out of the woods, but I just assumed it was someone after birds....

I took this reference as I came out of the woods, it was a foggy morning, punching up the intensity of the colors.  This is a mixed media, starting with a triad of watercolor, then a little acrylic for fun, and then I rescued it with a dash of pastel.  Then I spent a productive but painful hour breaking my pastels in half.  It hurt a bit, but they are much easier to use this way, and I have room for more!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Rainy Morning in the Studio

We stopped for a picnic at the newly landscaped scenic turnout at the "height of land" just south of Rangeley.  I painted the typical view of Mooselookmeguntic, but as I was getting in the car I looked up the road and took the reference for this.  It was a perfect day all around.

Today rain kept me inside and I did this quick pastel sketch.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Summers Final Month

I did this pastel two weeks ago, it almost ended up in the woodstove, but after careful consideration I kept it, for now.  It was one of those very hot humid days, and a winter scene was in order.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Owyn, and getting back on track.

I purchased some velour at the art store in Rockland, and decided to actually try it out instead of saving it, (for what?).  Owyn is my grandpuppy, and he is a cutie.  Some parts of this really bother me, and I will try again, but one thing with velour, you cannot remove the pastel and it gets full, so you can not add any, so at some point you are done.  I am fairly satisfied with this, as it does look like Owyn, and people keep telling me I am to hard on myself.

I have a still life on the easel and I am going to try to get back to painting daily.  Looking back I could see that I was making progress, and now I have to start all over.  Daily painting works.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fourth of July in Weld

This pastel is the view of Tumbledown I had from my kayak this past 4th of July.  I will someday work on painting from the kayak, but for now I have my trusty waterpoof bag and camera. Yesterday I made a few more sheets of pastel paper, using old failed watercolor paintings and gesso with pumic.  I still have to perfect the technique, as the brushstrokes in the gesso interfere with the pastel application.  This was a quick study, and that is why I want to reuse material....still worried about wasting paper.  Under this scene is a pretty horrible painting of birch trees.

Life has certainly been in the way of my painting lately, with the latest thing being the death of my father.  He of all people would be telling me to get back to work.  And so I dedicate this and all my future work to my Dad, Arthur Davis. I doubt he will be spending time reading my blog from where he is, but I know he is watching!

And after a bit more time on the easel, I calmed the greens down a bit, I hope!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tumbledown Plein Air

I finally wrenched myself out of bed today, loaded up my gear and went outside to paint.  The only goof I made was not packing the bug spray.  I am not sure how many times I have attempted to paint Tumbledown Mountain, but this is the first time I have done it plein air and I feel pretty good about it.

There are a few peaks that are a bit sharp, but I am making progress outside.  A wide brim hat and no sunglasses help tremendously with the colors.   I am afraid I really do need some more pastels however, as I had a hard time with the greens...and some bug dope!

Back to painting after a week in Acadia.  I did get some sketches done, but not enough.  

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spring showers!

Our daffidills are nearly done blooming.  We are finally having a good hard rain, and we are watching everything turn green, it is amazing.

 Technology has had me miffed for a few weeks.  My laptops motherboard quit, but I had enough warning to subscribe to Carbonite, so my new laptop has all my old photos!  Then my old camera's memory sticks are too old for the new laptop. and Sony does not make a driver for my camera to hook up with Windows 7.  I did not want to buy another camera, so I hunted around cyberspace until I found a way to work around the problem.  It is not perfect, but it works.

The whole camera issue made me long for my old film camera.  I have a huge telephote lens, which would be awesme for my digital.  They do make some digital cameras that take the old standard lenses, but of course, not for my model.  I don't think I can go back to film, but I can't quite say goodbye either, so it hangs in a bag and collects dust.  I like being able to manipulate my reference photos easily.  I finally got comfortable using Picnic, and that went away last week.  Now I will have to use some program with monkey in its name.   I guess I will have to stop getting used to things and keep embracing change, because everything certainly does and frequently.  A new week ahead and I will try to fill it with ART!

Friday, April 20, 2012

I snapped the reference for this during an early morning bike ride last Sunday.  I wish I had done this small study before I wasted paper doing a pastel....I would have left out the center tree.  I am training myself to stop putting in details that do not support my intentions.....not easy for me.

We are on the verge of a week of much needed rain.  The weekend is hours away, and I  hope to find something more to do than clean the fridge, necessary as that is.  Perhaps a series of still lifes are in order...that usually gets me going.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

#93, Wilton Road Farm

This is a small, postcard sized gouache.  We pass this barn on the way back to town, I just love old barns.  This time of year there are a couple cows tied outside.   I am feeling a little better about painting today.  Doing it every day really keeps you in shape, and I am quite rusty, but I am going to plug away!

Hopefully this is the last Winter scene for a while.  My lilac bushes are half way leafed out, the grass almost needs to be mowed and my daffodils are blooming away....

Painting 92, I'm Back!

I have had a long vacation from painting, and while I have a long list of excuses, (laptop crashed, camera won't interface with new laptop, helping kids move into new home, severe eye inflammation, lack of inspiration), it has been a very depressing time for me.  Every day I thought about painting, and every day I felt I had let myself down, but I still felt like my brain was full of glue and I could not paint.  I bought the book , "Art and Fear" and it reaffirmed the need to just work.  All the angst I went through did confirm for me that I am meant to do this.  So, the break was a good thing, no matter how painful.

One of my "issues" is still that I am "wasting" materials.  I don't know why I can't get past that.  This pastel of a local barn was done on Wallis paper, a very precious surface.  The next two days I did small gouache paintings on postcard size paper, and I am pleased.  They serve two purposes, I can do one per day, and they make great color studies for larger pieces.  I will post them tomorrow.

I wrote to Dick Blick for samples of the new product from Canson, the Touch paper.  They sent me samples of all the colors, and while the surface is not as gritty as the Wallis, I think I might like it. So, back to work!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Painting 91

Snow shoeing is getting a little rough due to lack of snow! This is a long over due post. Family obligations and lack of inspiration have slowed down my painting, but this morning I woke up to 34 degrees and took the dogs for their early morning walk. My camera did not get used, but soon it will and hopefully the paintings will follow. I am longing to get outside and paint!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Day 90

Marshes seem to be my "thing" this year. We have gone for several rides just looking for photo ops of them. This is another of Thompson Marsh near Acadia. We plan on a week there in about three long months.

My painting muse seems to be on vacation, this one took a week. I have been relearning how to cut a mat by hand, and I did manage to do one without need for bandaids. Now off to find some inspiration for the next one!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 89

I took this reference while snowshoeing out back. As I get older I enjoy snowshoeing more than cross country skiing, I think it is because you don't tend to fall as often.

This is my second painting on my own ground. Somewhere hiding in plain sight is a cat's paw print, can you find it? Both cats love to wander around on wet paintings, over a palette and now this.

Between painting sessions today we washed and brushed both collies. The cats could use a bath too, but that is for a later date!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 88

This was my first on my hand made ground. My first layer was terribly streaky, due to the texture of the ground. I did an underpainting with it and I used the texture to my advantage, then I went back and put a second layer of ground on the rest of the ones I had prepared. I noticed some little cat prints on them.

Yesterday was perfect for snowshoeing. The snowmobile trails behind the house have not been packed down yet, so we did the best we could. More snow is needed. We now have a nice path through the woods and onto the trails. I took a few photos and will be posting the paintings soon!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Day 87

Last weekend we had the most amazing view of a sunset from our living room window. I played with this for a week, pushing and pulling.

Today we woke up to well below zero temps (-13) and frozen water. There are always a few anxious moments when we wait for those pipes to thaw, but they did and the morning went on.

Yesterday I started to prepare some of my own grounds for pastel. I am using watercolor paintings I am not pleased with and putting a coat of acrylic gesso and pumic on them. Later today I will try it out. I must stop using the Canson paper, as I am not pleased with the results, but I am not accomplished enough in pastel to "waste" my Wallis paper on these learning exercises.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day 86

I took this reference from my kayak, it was one of those mornings I took my breakfast out and enjoyed watching the fog lift. This am it was about 10 below, and my kayak is tucked safely in the barn.

For this pastel I used my Ludwigs and Wallis paper, what a combo! I am off to paint last night's sunset.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 85

These two beauties are Lena and Pal. This spent too much time on my easel, but I enjoyed doing it. I love to look back on forth between Lena and Pals ears.

My Dakota Traveler arrived today, (finally!) I agonized over how to organize my colors, and finally decided to place them by hue and value. My collection looks a bit tiny in the new box!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Day 84

Drawing horses is how I got interested in art. I was the typical little girl madly in love with anything equine, and growing up that was one thing I always remember wanting. My hubby finally made my dream come true one Mother's Day, and I became a horse owner! I didn't bother drawing them, I had one to ride and brush! Milford was joined by his buddy Tonka and we then had two.

I have been thinking about painting Milford for a while, but I am not ready yet. I did this pastel today of another bay horse just to see if I could do it. It was a learning experience. I had a chance to try spraying fixative on layers and work over it....but I think this poor paper is done taking any pigment. The next time I will use my good paper, and try a portrait of two of my friends horses.

Oddly, this portrait ended up looking a lot like Milford!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day 83

My second painting of the year, Sand Beach at Acadia. This day there was a crew shooting an add for LL Bean. We resisted the urge to walk down the beach and snoop.

My Terry Ludwig pastels arrived today, and I was able to use them to put the finishing touches on this painting. These pastels are wonderfully soft and rich in color. I already have his set of intense darks on my wish list. My Dakota traveler did not arrive however, the company made a shipping error, and promised to reship today. Patience is not my strong point.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Day 82

My first painting of 2012, another view of sunrise on Cadillac.

I have been contemplating giving up daily painting and converting to painting daily ....being a little stressed from getting behind over the holidays. I want to spend more time on each image now. But, I have decided to grant myself permission to not worry about being behind and start fresh as of today. Completing one painting a day has made an impact in my work. I will think of my daily painting as a warm up for a more detailed piece that I will be working on over several days. My challenge to myself for the month of January will be trees and rocks, as improvement is needed in both. To paint Maine one must be able to do those well.