Friday, July 21, 2017

New Halloween Paintings

Pumpkin Guards   16" x 12"  acrylics
I know it is way too early for Halloween, but..... I have been asked to paint some paintings for the Halloween themed show at the Tracy Grand Art Gallery (in Tracy, CA) for the Sept / Oct show.  I am so excited about the way they turned out, I just had to share them now.

I am trying something new.  I never thought I was very good using my imagination, but I am so excited about this new painting process for me.  It is called "Intuitive Painting".  It is begun with putting lots of globs of acrylic paint on the canvas and mixing them all about with scrapers, brushes, sticks, sponges, etc.  Let that layer dry (or not) and add stamps, stencils, more brush strokes, etc.  Let that layer dry again. The idea is to play with the paint and not worry about anything, just trust yourself that it will be alright whatever you do!  

The next layers seem to paint themselves.  I had an idea what I wanted in the paintings... crows and a halloween theme... and somehow the images just popped into view as I started blocking in the various images and painting over parts of the background.    My mind just flowed with the paint.  I painted over many of the background layers, but some stayed and more layers of stamps & stencils and brush strokes appeared too.  

It was an amazing experience creating these paintings.  I hope to do more like these in the future!  Let me know what you think of them!

In the Pale Moonlight  16" x 12"    acrylics 

I wanted to keep the Halloween theme light and fun, not gruesome and bloody.  There are children who visit the gallery and the paintings need to be fun.  

Spirit Dance    16" x 12"   acrylics
Candy Thief   16" x 12"   acrylics

See my paintings at the Tracy Grand Art Gallery, Tracy, California
September and October, 2017

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Painting the Town with Red Party Shoes!

Party Shoes   8" x 8" on deep cradled ampersand board
My friends and I were waiting for a restaurant to open for lunch and we spotted a thrift shop.  Well, we simply could not pass up that opportunity!  I was poking around and spotted these fantastic, high heel red shoes with a "rose" on the toe.  I just had to have them.

Now these are shoes I have always dreamed of wearing!  So pretty with the open toe.  They were made of silk-like material with a silver lining.  And oh such a high heel!  My feet ached just looking at them.  But some gal wore them.  They probably hurt her feet so badly that she gave them up to the thrift shop!  I wonder what she was like, the girl who wore these shoes.  What story she might tell of her adventures in these shoes!

Value Studies in pencil

I set up my light box in my studio with a spot light to one side to show the highlights and shadow pattern on the table top.  I began by making some pencil studies to get the feeling for the values and their shape.

Photos of the shoes in my light box. 

First stage in the painting process

 I toned my board with red, wiping off most of it.  This was just to give a little color to the background and to cut down the white glare.

I next drew the shoes with burnt umber to get their shapes right.  Then the real painting began.  I started with the bright red.  I found red is a difficult color to work with.  If you want a light area, you can't add just white as it turns the red pink!  So I had to darken the areas around the bright red to make them show off.  

Below are my finished paintings.  

Red Shoes    6" x 6" on cradled ampersand gessobord

After the Party    6" x 6"  oil on cradled ampersand gessobord. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Baby Mourning Doves Mixed Media

Baby Mourning Doves
Here is my second attempt at doing an ink and pan pastel drawing / painting.  Since it uses acrylic inks painted with a brush and then pan pastels on top.... would you call it a painting or a drawing?  Hummm.

Well, I guess I will just called it a Mixed Media piece.  My reference photo is below.  These mourning doves find our carport perfect for their nests.  This is the 2nd brood this year!  Momma is very watchful of her babies.

My photo reference from my own photo. 

Here is my oil painting from the mixed media project below. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Drawing a Mourning Dove using acrylic inks and pan pastels


This has been an interesting project for me.  I am trying some new techniques and using some new materials I have never used before.  I am still struggling learning to accurately draw birds.  They are more difficult than one would believe. I bought an online class on Craftsy on drawing birds.  The teacher is a very fine bird illustrator and he had us using acrylic inks in many layers.  This creates a beautiful, stained glass-like affect. Wonderful! We have Mourning Doves nesting in our carport every year.  Last year there were 5 broods of nestlings!  They are so cute to watch as their parents care for them.  Mourning Doves are so sweet.  I just love them and thought I would  try my hand at this bird. 
Before we began we made a value drawing and graphed it out to transfer to our final paper.  I learned that I really did not observe the bird very well.  John Muir Laws says he often makes the head too big and yep, so did I.  Amazing how you learn from your mistakes.  I also wanted to slim down the bird a little as I thought she was too fat and puffy.  This was probably another mistake.  I should have followed the photo more closely.

Photo by Pandeeswaran Bhoopathy
Thank you to Pandeeswaran for letting me use your photograph.  He is an amazing photographer!
Here is my value pencil drawing from my source.
I made a photo copy of my drawing and then graphed it out to transfer to my mixed media paper. 

This is the beginning stages of inking my drawing.  I used very thin, pale ink.  
The final stages of inking. 

I decided to add a branch under my bird, but the source photo did not show me the feet.
This made it very difficult.  I am not very good at drawing feet without a source.
So I searched and searched for a photo that might show me a Mourning Dove in this position
where I could see the feet.  But I did not have much luck,
but I finally figured out what to do which you can see in the final photo. 

I was not really very happy with my results.  I felt the bird looked like a pine cone
(a quote from John Muir Laws) because I had drawn every feather!
 A big no no.  So what could I do?  Well I decided to go over my drawing with pan pastels.
They are amazing pastels.  I have worked with stick pastels for years,
but these new pastels are amazing.  They are very transparent and can be put
over the inks making a softer look.  
Doves have a softness to the feathers and the pan pastels really made the dove
look nicer and smoother.  I loved it!

I wanted to add a soft background, so I decided to try my hand at using the pan pastels.
Here is my effort as I was progressing with this.
The pan pastels are so soft and create a fuzzy, soft background.
So here is my mostly finished project.  For a first project using this technique, I am satisfied, but feel I have much more to learn.  But that is a journey I am willing to work toward improving.  And I had fun doing it!

    John is an excellent teacher and has some great bird (and animal) drawing lessons on line. Check his website out.

    Drawing Birds in Brush & Ink with George Boorujy
    George is a very fine bird illustrator and this is an excellent class. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Trip to SF to see Monet Show

Feb. 25 through May 29, 2017
Luncheon on the Grass   about 97" x 85"

Yesterday 60 art lovers and I climbed a bus in Modesto, CA which took us to the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.  I had not been to San Francisco in a very long time and I was very excited to see the city again.  Our bus driver was an excellent driver and managed the tight streets beautifully.  

Street below new
SF Skyline from new
Bay Bridge
    We crossed the new Bay Bridge all    painted white and it was the first time I  had seen it.  We had a nice view of the  city from the bridge and saw some of the  new, very tall skyscrapers being built.    They were so tall they disappeared into    the low clouds.  It was amazing. When we  reached the museum it was drizzling and  my glasses were all wet when I got to the  front door.  

The show exhibited some of Monet's early work (1858 - 1872), which I like very much.  There were even some paintings created when he was just a teenager!  Some paintings have not been seen in public in many years. 

We went down the stairs to the exhibit and the first thing we saw was these two huge paintings! (see above) "Luncheon on the Grass"  One was very long and tall and the other square and tacked to the right side of the first one. This seemed very odd to us, but I later read that Monet was working on this very large painting for the Salon, but he was behind in his rent.  So he gave it to his landlord to keep until he could buy it back.  By the time he had the painting returned to him, it was dirty and moldy.  So he cut it into two pieces.  Thus this is what is on exhibit.  To show how big they are I caught a visitor in my photo standing next to them.

Note: the frames are fabulous!  

"The Magpie"   1869   about 35" x 51"

"Still Life with Melon"  

I loved this still life!
the melon is yummy and the blue plate is beautiful... the peaches are so fuzzy looking!

I did not catch the name of this painting, but it really caught my attention since I had just spent time painting my own almond orchard in bloom painting near Modesto a few weeks ago.

To learn more about this amazing show, click on the link at the top of this page.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

2017 Artists Open Studio - A Great Two Days!

 I want to thank Henrietta Sparkman for hosting us in her studio/yard.  She is such a lovely lady and so generous with her time.  Sharing the studio tour with us was Carol David, Chloe Fonda, and Corrine Robson who all make wonderful art!

It was a wonderful weekend!  The weather was near perfect and I met so many nice folks.  Everyone had an interesting story to share.

And a grateful thank you to Vickie Ellis, Diane Woods and Linda MacDannald for all their help!  We could not have had this event without them! 
Here is my display on the fence!
I had to be so careful of Henrietta's newly planted garden!  I sold several of these paintings!

Friday, April 14, 2017

2017 Artists Open Studio Tour


Saturday APRIL 22nd 
Sunday APRIL 23rd  2017
11am - 5pm

This year I will be making a change.  Instead of opening up my own art studio in Turlock, I will be joining Henrietta Sparkman at her Modesto studio.  We are # 20 on the map.

FIVE ARTISTS: Henrietta Sparkman, Carol David, Chloe Fonda, Corrine Robson, Rhett Regina Owings

Henrietta works in a variety of media creating fascinating abstract works of art.
Joining us at Henrietta's studio are three other artists:
Carol David (impressionist pastel figures and California landscapes),
Chloe Fonda (watercolor abstracts and monoprints)
Corrine Robson (hand crafted jewelry).
Rhett Regina Owings (paintings, embellished paper cranes, note cards & prints)

$10 tickets/tour booklets will be for sale at our location:  2409 Sherwood Ave, Modesto, CA.
From McHenry Ave. turn onto Bowen then right on Sherwood.  
We will be open from 11 am - 5 pm.

Additional tickets are available at the Mistlin Art Gallery (Modesto), Carnegie Art Center (Turlock), Chartreuse Muse (Modesto), and the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce (Oakdale).