Thursday, July 5, 2018

Avocado on Orange

Avocado on Orange
9 x 12
Pastel on Sennelier La Carte in Van Dyke Brown
This is the other replacement painting for my show inventory. These replace the previous avocados (Avocado Slices) that sold. In this one, as I composed my cutting board, I tried many variations. The initial one had the pit in the avocado and the skin with a spoon. I took a few shots of that and just didn't "feel it". So, I decided to try pit out and the knife and just forget how the slices came out of the shell and for that matter where the skin went!

Food prep in real life is quite the adventure with me. I'm always seeing paintings in my head. So sometimes, mid food prep, I have to stop and go get my phone to take pictures. Or, I may rearrange what I've just prepared. Then, there is the whole issue with the significant other rummaging in the refrigerator and I have to say "You can't eat THAT! it's for a painting." 

So many lovely things to paint from the grocery store right now. Further, that made me remember, I need to take my artist on a date to the farmers market!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Tomatoes on Avocado

Tomatoes on Avocado
9 x 12
Pastel on Sennelier La Carte in Van Dyke Brown
This painting is a replacement for the inventory I'm taking to my next show. The last tomato painting (Tomato Wedges), sold the day after it was finished. Truth be told, that painting of the wedges and also Avocado Slices were intended for a husband and wife collector for their kitchen. I just didn't know if they would resonate with them for sure. They purchased some egg paintings (Eggstra Innings and Farm Fresh) last year for their kitchen and wanted to add to the grouping. Therefore, the blue backgrounds were to play off the blue cartons in which the eggs sat.

So, now with these tomatoes and my replacement avocados coming up next, I am working with complementary colors. I did a citrus series and a tropical fruit series a couple of years back that did very well with collectors - they are all sold. Those had complementary backgrounds, but were much brighter. This time, I opted for more muted colors. 

Monday, July 2, 2018

Lime Quarters

Lime Quarters
9 x 12
Pastel on Sennelier La Carte in Van Dyke Brown
And the third in the series is in quarters - lime quarters to be precise. Have you figured out what the series is about yet? I have two more to go. Oh - wait - maybe 3, depends on how I arrange them. I have 3 more ingredients, but I may combine two into one painting and the third on it's own.

When I was a child, we had citrus trees in the backyard. My Dad doted on his citrus trees. We had two tangerine, two orange, one grapefruit, one lime. We also had three peach and one fig tree. I played in the shade of those trees and there is probably a trove of flatware under them since I would take my Mom's spoons and dig under the trees. The soil was always moist from the trees being watered. The trees were small and perfect for climbing and often became pirate ships. They offered quite a bit of shade and my mom would often set me up outside with paper and colors to draw. That's how all this art started.


Budding Artist
and out from under Mom's feet

Enjoying Tangerines


The lime tree had thorns. My brother (who is 16 years older than me) tells stories of going and shaking the lime tree and choosing only one lime to use. I can't even imagine going outside now to pick limes and having a plethora of them falling off the tree. But, later this year, we'll have Meyer lemons. Our tree (in a pot) was very "fruitful" (HA HA) last year. So much so I did 4 paintings of lemons. They were so welcome in the late fall/early winter. We gave some away at Christmas. So, some things come full circle. My Dad used to give away boxes of fruit to clients and professional acquaintances. Yep, a nice trip down memory lane. It's amazing the things that will take us there.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Tomato Wedges

Tomato Wedges
9 x 12
Sennelier La Carte in Van Dyke Brown
Second in the series is next up. I sent significant other to the grocery store to get "pretty tomatoes". He did so well! He chose 2 lovely ones with their little leafy bits still attached. I wanted to echo the slices of the avocados, so I sliced up some tomato wedges. Like the avocados, I wanted a half, slices and a whole. Hmmm...I kind of like that thought. It's like a progression from whole, to half, to quarters. Now, unconsciously, and I had to go back and check to be sure - I sliced 5 in each example!!! I guess I'm a creature of habit. But truly, I don't like even numbers. I like odd numbers. But the next in the series doesn't slice up that way - it's best in quarters. Can you guess what's next?? 

By the way, Dick Blick art supply web site spells Van Dyck Brown on their website as I just typed. I would have sworn it's spelled Dyke. In should probably check another source, like Jerry's Artarama...and the results on that site are Dyke. Hmmm...

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Avocado Slices

Avocado Slices
9 x 12
Sennelier Lacarte in Van Dyck Brown
It's time for a change of pace and to enjoy the fruits of our botanical friends. I've never had an avocado tree, but my significant other grew up in California and his grandparents had an avocado tree. I cannot even imagine how heavenly that would be. What was similar for us was that we both grew up playing in the citrus trees - him in California and me in my backyard in Texas. But this isn't a citrus painting. So back to the point.

I've been toying with this series in my mind for over six months, but just now getting to the easel to make it real. I kept eating the avocados we bought before I took photos. So, this is the first part of the series. Can you guess what's next???

No progress photos today. I was in the zone last night.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Blue Wave Rider

Blue Wave Rider
12 x 9
Pastel on Art Spectrum Colourfix

This guy was just for fun. I happened on him one morning when I was taking photos of agave for painting fodder. I imagine him surfing the big blue agave. 
I toyed with naming this something to do with lizards dreaming since lizards represent dreaming in animal totem speak. But, he's wasn't dreaming, he was catching some rays and some waves.

But then, do I classify this as a botanical painting or an animal painting? Is it about the agave or the lizard. It's about the lizard, but the agave takes up more of the painting. What do you think? I can always reclassify :)

No progress photos, just for fun and silliness.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Incandescence

Incandescence
32 x 40
Pastel on Pumice Primed Board

I was in the mood for a big painting for a big subject. This is my largest painting to date and I will hopefully be taking this one to Rockport Texas with me for the upcoming show over the July 7-8 weekend. 

This is a lovely green agave I visited a few years back at the Chihuahua Desert Research Institute on the way to Fort Davis, Texas from Marfa, Texas. As I write this, I wonder if perhaps I should have named this one "Marfa Lights", but truly, the Institute is much closer to Fort Davis. I have another potential image for that alternate name.

What drew me to this image was how the light seemed to come from within the agave. The sun was reflecting off of the sand and rocks and I suppose I was standing in the shade. As I considered names for this beauty I used my thesaurus to look up glow....and incandescent came up. 

I started by priming my Board with grey tinted fine pumice gel. I tint it grey using the pastel dust I catch in the trough below my paintings. Over time, the collection becomes the mix of all colors and therefore is a lovely neutral grey. Following that, I decided to repeat what I did with "Verdigris Furrows" and over paint the pumice with burnt sienna and iridescent copper. What I had forgotten is that my last pass at this had a primer that was tinted more dark red/eggplant So this came out a bit lighter than I had planned. Every painting is a journey. I don't want to get so formulaic that it gets dull. I like it to be a bit of fun and surprise. Here's some progress shots and the real agave. I decided not to put in the "pitting" or "scarring" on the leaves. I may try that on another smaller painting with an idea I have for that process.