Sunday, April 28, 2013

Along the Way on a Sunny Day

I heard this a while ago and it hits home everyday:

     The more you learn about painting, the harder it gets. The more experienced you become, the more effort and time it takes to get to the next level. In the words of Monet:
“My painting...obsesses and torments me. I don’t know which way I’m going. One day I think I’m at work on a mas- terpiece, then it turns into a nothing. I fight, I fight on with- out making any headway. I believe I am seeking the impossible, but I’m filled with confidence.” Monet, 1888.

I am determined!
Here is my most current painting....

Along the Way on a Sunny Day
12 x 16, oil

And as always I am a bit disappointed in the colouring of this photo.

I am very pleased with this painting. The light is doing what I want it to do as parts of it seem to glow in the bath of sunshine. I am doing what I have been wanting to do and that is to start with larger, simpler shapes of colours and values and then cut into them with other colours and shapes to sculpt the images and give them life. Like... the tree trunks were loads thicker to begin with so that I could be freer with the colour nuances that I wanted the trunks to have, then I chiselled  them down adding the cool tones of the background. Same thing with the sparse leaves in this painting - cutting into larger blobs of colour to create the illusion of the leaves against the sky.   Doing this has me appreciating the abstract basic shapes of the composition lots more.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What do you want from my Blog?

Hello my respected followers,

 I just thought that I would go to the source with some questions that are crossing my mind --

What is it that you want to see in my blog?
Photos of the paintings?
Photos of paintings in progress?
The stories behind the subject of the paintings?
Comments on the paint technique or other particulars on how I created the piece?
The struggles I may have had while doing the piece or about painting in general?
Painting advice?
Guest Bloggers?
Showing other artists work?
Do you look at anything else on the page besides the post - links, archives, etc?
Do you ever follow another link to any of my other web - presences (FB, Pinterest, Daily Paintworks, etc?
Did you ever share my blog with others?
Do you follow any other artists blogs?
Do you ever go from the email of the post that you get when I post, to the blog itself or do you simply see it in the email and leave it at that?

Ok. That's enough with the questions already. If you feel so inclined to answer any of the questions it would really help give me direction for my blog entries. You can put it in the comment section of this post or email me at

Thank you all so much for your support.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Paintings From the Roos Schuring Workshop

The Long Beach of Katwijk
9 x 12, oil
3 days of workshop had us going to the same spot each day. It was amazing to get 6 completely different paintings out of the same location. It inspires me to just walk out my door where I live and do the same.

The Tide's Leftovers
9 x 12, oil
There was this dip in the beach where water collected and stayed between the cycles of the tide, leaving somewhat of an island between the two waters of the sea and the beach. It was too tempting to paint from the middle strip of dry beach. Of course, that meant that we had to keep our eyes open for the tide as it came in so that we would not get washed away. Hard to do when you have lost all sense of time and surroundings being very involved with the painting. There were many times we had to yell to the artists to get out of there as the water started coming onto the feet of their easels. All part of the adventure.

Walking the Beach Waters
9 x 12, oil
Tide was going out so the thin layer of water on the beach was very walkable, and many, many people did walk it. In fact, on a daily basis we saw one woman come down to the beach and just walk her unsaddled white pony, saw a great and picturesque horse and buggy take to the trot along the shore, saw lots and lots of dog walkers and of course we saw scores of people and school groups as well.

Trolling for Fish
12 x 9, oil
The fishing boat was another of the out-of-the-ordinary scenes we saw. Big multi-sailed boats were way off in the distance too, as well as plenty of barges. Katwijk is not that far south of Amsterdam which is a major port for Europe.

Painting Against the Tide
12 x 9, oil
I couldn't resist painting painters. All of us there fighting the elements - the wind, some rain, the tide, heavy fog, cold weather, more wind,  more wind. Every one of my paintings has a souvenir of Katwijk beaches on it from the wind kicking up the sand. When they are thoroughly dry I will hopefully be able to brush some of it off.

Fishermen in the Mist
9 x 12, oil
Fog is so magical. Maybe it makes for good fishing too. The beachside fishermen just anchor their long poles into the sand and stand and wait for the show to begin, in the meantime they do whatever fishermen do. 
This was the last painting I did in Katwijk. By now I was really pooped but still invigorated. Lots I learned and can't wait to apply at home.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Seascape Workshop with Roos Schuring

Roos Schuring and me sharing a laugh. Her in her iconic coat and me just dressed for the elements.
There were two things I really wanted from this workshop: One was to learn as much as I could from her and one was to get to know her. I got both and that makes me very happy - although I know that I can learn lots more from her and I also know that the friendship will just grow.

This one is out of order but ... oh well...
This was our last day of painting. The fog was so thick we could barely see anything. The challenge was amazing but we trudged on and I got a couple of nice paintings from it. 
Posts on them in a day or so.

Day two had some rain as you can see. Our group made it to the papers 2 times during our 3 day workshop. I am here with the black umbrella. You have heard of extreme sports - well, here is extreme painting, and, just like the sporters who get addicted to extreme sports, I may be getting hooked on extreme painting. Love a challenge.

Day 1. Painting #2. Just starting to get into the groove of the workshop. Getting used to a different subject matter - I have not painted plein air seascapes before - and I was still getting over being in a new country and the "pinch me - where am I and who am I with" thing. I had been following and looking up to Roos for several months by now - and here I was in her workshop. WOW!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Trimming the Bamboo

Trimming the Bamboo
8 x 10, oil on panel

The photo reference for this painting was one I took of my oldest grand daughter, Mya, as she sat trimming some of the smaller branches off of some bamboo so that we all could play with it (There's soooo much bamboo in the yard!). She was so intent on her job that she seemed to forget where she even was.  I was luck to capture her in action.

I posted this onto Facebook 10 minutes after the last paint stroke and it sold right away. Made my day.

And by the way, if anybody is interested in buying any of the paintings that you see on my blog you can go to the Daily Paintworks link that is listed in the right hand column here.