Friday, March 29, 2013

Long Shadows in Lotus

Long Shadows in Lotus
8 x 10, oil

Reference for this was taken 4 1/2 years ago when I went to California to help with my daughter Trish's first baby. At the time they lived on a 5 acre spot that was wonderfully remote in the town of Lotus. This odd little drive thru carport drew me in. I guess that I waited for my skills to develop enough to get a satisfying painting out of it. I do enjoy putting color in those shadows.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Big Mama

"Big Mama"
12 x 16

There are 6 Jacob sheep on the farm here where we are living while we are in England. There are also some gypsy horses and alpacas. The sheep - 1 is a male that has been fixed and the others are females, including this one. She is known to have a bit of testosterone in her, but even the male's horns are lots smaller. A fact about Jacob Sheep - they can have up to 6 horns! None of ours do.

This painting actually had me working a bit bigger than normal. You may be seeing more of them down the road. It has an acrylic undercoating that was actually very colourful. In fact, you may see some of the purple showing through. I'll let you find it.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Guest Blogger Linda Fisler of the AMO Art Chat on Blogtalk Radio- Part Two

Part Two : Linda Fisler on the AMO Art Chat. See the previous post for Part One where Linda give a bit of background on herself.....

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Linda continues her thoughts from yesterday's post:

Today, I am writing, directing, producing and host a very popular Blog Talk Radio Show called AMO Art Chat as well as continuing to paint and write.   AMO Art Chat just celebrated our first birthday and we average about 8400 listeners per episode worldwide.  These phenomenal numbers, I believe, are due to our awesome listeners and the mission of the show.  Our mission is to provide our listeners with food for thought on our artist skills.  Since we are artists ourselves, we can focus on digging deeper into different art topics—from  the evolution of seeing to controlling edges to the current art renaissance and what that means for us, as artists.  Ours guest have included, Quang Ho (Evolution of Seeing), Kevin Macpherson (Staying Inspired), CW Mundy (Foundation aspects of painting), Michael Pearce (21st Art Renaissance), George Gallo (Study Past Masters & Painting Large Plein Air), Sherrie McGraw and DavidA. Leffel (Classical Realism) to name only a few.  The list of guests and our numbers of listeners continue to grow daily! We hope you’ll stop by for a listen.

When I started this show it was to fulfill a dream of being a writer, director, producer, and creator of something appreciated by all of you, our listeners and all artists, and that it would bring something valuable to our creative lives.   Personally, the show is near and dear to my heart because it is a labor of love that is being so well received and recognized as a high quality show by so many people.  It has led me to create a series of eBooks and now opportunities to write two additional art books with two wonderful artists.  The show quality has been recognized by many master artists, as well as others in the art world. This has just been reinforced by the invitation by California Lutheran University’s Art Department Chairperson, Michael Pearce, to be involved in and broadcast live from The Representational Art Conference in March 2014.   To have academia acknowledge that your show is of high enough quality to cover their art conference is one wonderful confirmation!!  The rewards have been endless; from the notes from listeners expressing their love for the show to the honor received by the CLU invitation.  All compliments are so gratefully appreciated and honestly keeps it going! 

Probably the most memorable moment in this creative life was when I first called David A. Leffel to work on the show with him.  I expressed to David that I was so in awe of him and his life works, that I was very intimidated to talk with him at Weekend With the Masters.   The soft spoken hero to all us artists everywhere (my humble opinion) answered:  “Well, Linda…what took you so long?  I’ve been waiting for you to call.”    This wonderful man just inspired me with two sentences to throw my inhibitions aside and just ask for it.   Besides, what is the worst thing that could happen to us if we reach for something we want to do or have?   The answer may be no or we may not get it; but more importantly what have we learned along the way?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Guest Blogger Linda Fisler of the AMO Art Chat on Blogtalk Radio- Part One

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This is Part One of a two-part blog by a guest blogger. It is most especially for my painter followers (and art interested followers) as it will be talking about a Blog Talk Radio Show called the AMO Art Chat hosted and directed by Linda Fisler. Linda has developed a show that highlights interviews with some of our present day masters in Representational  Painting.  I personally have been inspired, motivated and educated through her show and am hoping that my support of it will help increase it's listenership.  

Welcome Linda.

First, I’d like to thank Eileen for the opportunity to guest on her blog.  It is a very nice honor!

Allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Linda Riesenberg Fisler.  I grew up around Cincinnati, Ohio and always have had a flair for creativity.  As a child, I would create stories to entertain and like most children, would say “Let’s pretend…” a lot!   A happy childhood, filled with sports, make believe, crayons, pens, paper, typewriter and a vivid imagination.  Then high school and the question of what I wanted to be in my life arrived.  Did I mention I loved movies?  Chuckling now as I recall the look on my parents’ face when they asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and what college I wanted to go to; my answer “University of Southern California to become a film director.”  Did you hear them faint?  The disbelief—a young girl in 1979 going to USC for Film—not my little girl!

So being sent to my room for some “soul searching” and knowledge that I’d never turn them around brought my Irish stubbornness to the forefront.  No degree in film making, not interested in college.  “Get a job then.”  And I did.  I worked at Procter and Gamble for 26 years, resigning after achieving the goal of manager (one of only a very few who achieved management without a college degree) to follow my dream of living a creative life.  During my years working at P&G, I wrote like a madman—creating a novel I’m putting finishes touches on now.  I also picked up my love of painting.......

Tomorrow - Part Two.... The AMO Art Chat Show and it's prestigious guests

Friday, March 22, 2013

Watching MY Valley

Watching MY valley
9 x 12, oil

There is something I really am drawn to about a person or animal from the back, as many of you know already. There is a bit of mystery in not seeing the face - especially the eyes.  As the painter pulled to paint this, I feel like I am part of an intimate moment without disturbing it's energy. 

There is also a simplicity of form that can speak to the overall character of the animal / person that is just enough for me to know them in a way. When I view things from behind I put myself in their world rather than have them in mine. It's a place of wonder, curiosity and intrigue.

This cow is one I saw on my first trip to Ireland. He/she didn't even know I was there. I caught the scene and the photo - took in the mood and then was on my way.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Leybourne Lake

Leybourne Lake
5 x 7, oil

My new plein air friend Jane and I go out to paint on Thursdays. Today she took me to Leybourne Lake nearby. I will be going back to this place again and again. The colour was amazing and the bird life was inspiring. We actually had a good bit of sunshine popping in and out of some huge grey clouds. It was actually hard to narrow down what I wanted to paint - too many choices. But I settled on this scene. I enjoy the challenge of the water.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Potpourri of Paintings

The Way Out
12 x 9, oil

This entrance/exit to the park is nestled into a heavily shaded area that is right on the lane beside it. The little sign on the gate actually says "no fishing" and there is no water in the park. I love the mystery that the scene presents. As an exit you walk down into the shadows. As an entrance from the other side it is a walk up the short path to open fields and lighter views. Choosing to do this dark painting was a reminder that even in the darkness there is something to appreciate.

Birling Just Over the Hill
8 x 10, oil

I can't let the grey days of England keep me inside all the time or I would go mad. So on this day Bob and I wanted to walk to a pub in Birling that we had not tried before. It took an hour to get there - a really cold, long hour. The pub, the Neville Bull,  was warm and welcoming and the food was outstanding. Well worth the effort to get there.

In this painting I wanted to capture the atmosphere of the day and the scene that I often see as Bob walks ahead of me and I lag behind taking photos and then run ahead to catch up.

Manta II
12 x 9 , oil

Ah Manta! She is the manager of the Thai restaurant in West Malling. She knows us because Bob would bring groups of people from his classes there for dinner. She is direct, bossy, right, knowledgable, confident and striking. She carries attitude. She's a doll and I love her. The last time we painted her someone in my portrait group had asked her to sit for us - this time she asked us if she could. She went to the hairdressers 2 doors down, just to get a new do for this sitting. 

She wore bright green (this gal is NOT afraid of color - last time it was bright orange). She is an amazing model. I could paint her all day. Unfortunately it was for only about 2 hours. Not enough for me to paint a finished piece but enough to get quite a bit of her likeness, colouring and attitude down.

I do not plan on solely being a portrait artist but I do enjoy the challenges that both live-model and photo reference presents. I learn something each time.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Praaaaacticing My Sheep

I am working on simplifying strokes and shapes in some of my paintings. Since these sheep live right outside my window they are constantly at the ready to model for me, and the fact that they move around a bit is the perfect situation for me to be quick and brief with my strokes and my observations.
In doing this I am partly preparing for my upcoming workshop with Roos Schuring where hopefully we will be dealing with shifting clouds and lighting on the beaches of Katwijk, Netherlands. You can see what I am talking about at her blog: 

The one that has the most white space around it is my favourite so I signed it. It has about 4-5 strokes in it. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Wensleydale Sheep

Wensleydale Grazer
5 x 7 - oil on panel

One of the things I do besides paint is spin wool. England has an amazing amount of sheep of all sorts. I met the owners of this on at the county fair and visited the farm to take reference photos. I ended up buying 2 fleeces - one blue/grey and one white. The cool thing about these guys is the quality of the wool is remarkable. Very luminous. Very long. This is the only time I have bought the fiber here, generally people just give it to me. This was worth it.

I did this painting also in the limited pallet of white, ultramarine blue and burnt sienna. I am very pleased with this one. I do love losing edges as the dark values of one object become indistinguishable from the dark value of another object next to it.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Side Entrance

Tripped on this as my painting buddy and I were looking at a water feature nearby that was much darker that I wanted to do on this really grey day. The photo doesn't really come close to showing the greyness of the day.  


I wanted to play with a limited pallet of white, burnt sienna and ultramarine blue. Interesting what happens to the mind when you don't have a fuller range of colors and you have to reinterpret colors to what you have on hand.

I didn't think that the scruffy little tree would be the center of interest. I was going to make it smaller and have the entrance as the centre of interest. But, as I began to downplay the tree, it's presence started to speak to me of more than just this view. England has many paths and entrances and walkways that have a bit of overgrown foliage in the way. I have come to like that. Not all is neat and in order here, but it remains beautiful for sure. Thus the attention I gave it.

The Side Entrance
12 x 9

Finished product got more of the grey day in it. There are lots of them here. The owner invited me to come back to paint there again. I love the perk of meeting new people when you paint out.
I will do some more paintings with this limited pallet to explore it even more.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

And the Winner is ..........

So I had to choose between this painting(#4) and the cows(#9). How to choose? I put the numbers 4 and 9,  12 times on tiny pieces of paper and tossed them loosely in my hands until one fell out - that was #4 - the chicken. Then I put all the names in a hat and decided that the last one that I pick was the one. Voila!

BenN is the winner!! Congratulations Ben! I will be emailing you to get the details.

Thank you all for joining my blog. I hope that you will enjoy the behind the scenes thoughts and pictures that are only found here. I hope that you spread the word and suggest others to visit my blog - maybe sharing a picture or two here and there.

I will be doing this again sometime. Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Contest

It is looking like there will be some competition in the free painting contest. Glad to see it. All done Tuesday night. Winner contacted on Wednesday. Even from this post I hope that there is more activity. I am kind of excited about the whole thing - especially when someone shares the link. I am leaving the details are in the previous post for people to still check out.