Thursday, August 29, 2013

Studies - another way to improve

August 29, 2013

Painting studies and doing the same thing multiple times is another good way to improve.  When I took a workshop with Maggie Siner she recommended doing between 5-8 small studies to perfect your composition.

This goes along with painting the same subject until you have it right. 

My last blog showed examples of my efforts to improve on my first painting of the donuts with a white paper bag.  My last painting includes a paper bag along with an apple.  My last painting is the one I like the best so practicing on the subtleties of the paper bag was worth the number of practice paintings for studies.

Monday, August 26, 2013

my own challenge - finding ways to improve

August 26, 2013 - Look at the work of other artists to see how they solve problems, then practice practice practice.  (or should I say Paint Paint Paint)

This weekend I did a painting of two donuts.  I was disappointed in how the paper bag that I used in the background turned out.  So I did a little research to find examples of how other artists accomplished this.  I came across an outstanding demo by Karen Appleton that she did on her blog. 
I'm including a link to her blog.  It sounds simple to paint a paper bag, but it isn't. 

My plan is to do a few more.  I love the way Karen Appleton made value changes and brought in interesting colors.  Thank you Karen putting this especially helpful demo on your blog

Here are the photos of my own challenge.

photo of still life

 almost finished - need to push darks and lights
I'm on the right track, will probably do a few more for practice.  I used the blue-green because it is the complement of orange, but next time might use neutral. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Best Way to Improve your painting skills

August 23, 2013

Join the Leslie Saeta "30 Day Painting Challenge".  There are practically no rules to this challenge except to have fun with it.  The best part is that you will see an improvement in your painting skills by painting a small painting everyday for 30 days.  I joined yesterday.  Leslie makes a number of suggestions about theme and organizational plans, but really you can jump right into challenge, all you need is paint and 30 canvases or panels.  (or pastel paper)    Maybe a few brushes, too. 

It starts September 1st

Click here to link to the blog:  Leslie's Blog

This might make you start a blog if you haven't already. 

If you have questions just let me know under comments.  When I first started I didn't even know what a URL was.   I'm still not sure, but I know where it is and how to copy one. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Experiment with pastel paper

August 22, 2013

I am experimenting with something new.  Can you tell which painting was done on pastel paper?  The reason I am trying this is because quite a few years ago I purchased two big packs of pastel paper at an estate sale.  Since I am some what frugal, at least I like to use what I have, I tried doing watercolor studies on it, some pastel work (I have never had any instruction with pastel and never seem to do anything worthwhile with it) and some charcoal.  So I thought why not do studies with oil on the paper.  It turns out to be a really nice surface to work on.  I'll try gluing it to foam board and framing it.  I'm not sure which painting I like better. The second one is kind of moody and I like the greenish neutral background with the color of the figs. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013


August 18, 2013

The sale yesterday was a big success.  It is because I followed the advice of Leslie Saeta and her co-host Dottie Leatherwoods.  They do a radio show called ARTISTS HELPING ARTISTS.  The last show I listened to suggested having some kind of sale during the summer and to do some advertising.  This is exactly what I did.  In the last couple of blogs you read about the steps I went through.  I  prepared myself mentally that maybe no one would show up, but it turned out that we had quite a crowd and made a lot of sales. 

I have concluded that marketing and business are definitely a part of being an artist.  Apparently a lot more people buy art online than in the past.  Social media and internet make it so much easier now. 

I included the widget for Artist Helping Artist on the right side of this page.  You can select the shows that interest you from all the ones that have been done.  This weeks show was about "To Blog or Not to Blog". 

Still the most important part of being an artist is to paint as often and as much as you can.  I got a little behind with the sale, but finished yesterday's painting of the donut and plan to start another today. 

This is a reminder to myself when I realized that marketing could be full time job and you wouldn't have time to paint and something is wrong with that picture. 

6 x 6

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Newsletter for Sale

One more step in preparing for sale...

August 15, 2013

I need to send out a reminder about the sale on Saturday to the people on my email list.  I would include it here, but I can't seem to figure out how to attach a file from Publisher. 

If you are on my email list, you will receive a copy.  I also posted again on Facebook about the sale.  I'm  looking forward to Saturday, but it is possible no one will show up. 

My painting from yesterday and I am about to start one for today of a donut..


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Getting Ready for Sale on Saturday and Info about visit to Quang Ho's Studio in Denver

August 13, 2013

When we visited Denver the beginning of August, we went to visit the studio of Quang Ho.  Unfortunately, he was not there, but I got to see some of his breathtaking paintings.  I pinned one of them on my Board called "Favorite Artists",  I also pinned a youtube video that introduces one of his DVD's.

I've been thinking about ordering his instructional DVD's.  If I sell a few paintings at my sale this Saturday, I think that is what I will use the money for to help me improve. 

link to Quang Ho's website

Getting Ready for our sale on Saturday:


I've been gathering together some of my small paintings to have on sale at LibertyTown Arts Workshop.   To my surprise I have  more than 50 paintings. 

(not a great photo, you can see my feet)


I made a collage and put it on Facebook.  (I learned how to use ipiccy for collages when I did the marketing challenge):

Last and very big step:

I took the big step of getting a "square" so now I can accept credit cards.  It makes me a little nervous to try this, but I tried it out yesterday and it worked.  I had my husband charge something.  He received a receipt and I received an e-mail about it from "square", so far so good. 

and I am still painting.  I am up to #207 on Daily Paintworks.  One was an old one I forgot to post, but here a the ones from the last couple of days.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Good ideas for subject to paint....

August 12, 2013

If your goal is to improve your painting skills like my goal,  here is a great opportunity: 

By now you know that I joined the Daily Paintworks website founded by Carol Marine and her husband.  There is a weekly challenge that I started doing and yesterday I discovered that you can go back and do the many earlier challenges, at least it looks that way to me. 

My challenge for yesterday is posted already.  The challenge was to paint your house.  A couple of weeks ago it was to paint a pet and photos were provided.  When I discovered I could go back and do older challenge it seemed like a way to try new things. 

Here is a challenge posted by Carol Marine. Your could use the photo provided of these cute little piggies or paint one of your own choice.  She said the ceramic pigs pictured in the photos could be purchased at HOBBY LOBBY.  I zoomed out and bought them and now can use them in future paintings, but I did this one from the photo provided.   

Click here for link to challenge

Ever since I took the Dreama Tolle Perry workship I've been using magenta on my palette.  In this painting I used three values, the darkest was magenta, the mid-value was permanent rose and the light was magenta mixed with white.  Within each big shape I used a warm and cool version of each value.   (the underpainting was Rembrandt's Transparent Red medium)

Challenge for a couple of week ago to paint from the photos provided

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Medium for Oil Painting

Medium that I use for Oil Painting   (answer to a question I received)

Over the years I have used different mediums, but the one that I like the best now is the following recipe:

1 part Damvar varnish
2 parts stand oil (sometimes I use linseed oil)
3 parts odorless mineral spirits (gamsol)

I use a small amount with the paint in the later stages of the painting to help it dry faster.  In the first stage of the painting I use gamsol only. 

Note:  Sometime I don't use medium at all.  Fresh paint can be just the right consistency without medium. 

August 10, 2013

Catching up......


I was out of town for a week on a lovely trip to Denver where I got to see my family and visit places I like to go like the Denver Art Museum, Botanical Garden, Art League and some galleries. 

The Rothko Exhibit  ( click here to link to this site).  I included a link, much better than any of my photos.

I had never seen Rothko's work up close and was surprised at the way he applied the paint.  At least on some of those I saw the paint was fairly thin.  I had always imagined there to be a lot of texture.  Just the opposite was true in seeing Edward Hopper's paintings  up close the paint was very heavy in most of his paintings.  (that was on a trip to Boston)

At home, a lot of my paintings had a chance to dry so today I varnished a bunch.  My favorite varnish is GAMVAR by  Gamblin.  It is not too shiney, not too dull, but just right.  It has been recommended to me by past teachers.

Be sure to apply it evenly and let the paintings dry flat otherwise you might get drip marks.  Two thin coats are better than one heavy one.  Although one coat works fine.  Wear plastic gloves when you do this and use a soft lint-free cloth. 


I've only done one painting since I've been home.  I saw a show about pandas and how they are becoming extinct.

I also did my newsletter over the past two days.  If you want a copy, just enter your email address on top right corner of this page. 

I almost forgot  Summer Celebration Sale  (I reached my goal of 200 paintings on Daily Paintworks)  20% off all paintings, 50% off some of small ones at LibertyTown Arts Workshop, one day only.  12-5pm

August 17, 2013
12 Noon until 5 pm
LibertyTown Arts Workshop
Fredericksburg, VA

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Secret Garden, Show of Lynette Reed at The Workhouse Arts Center

The Secret Garden

A Collection  of fantastical fiber sculptures  by Lynette L. Reed

 Opening Reception Saturday August 10, 6-9pm

Show Dates August 5 -31

Vulcan Gallery, BLDG 16
The Workhouse Arts Center
9601 Ox Road
Lorton, Va  22079

Lynette is one of the artists in Studio 26 at LibertyTown  Arts Workshop. I hope you will attend her show to see her outstanding work.  It is both imaginative and colorful, overflowing with creativity.  I am one of her biggest fans and want everyone to see her beautiful art.