Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hollyhocks with sky - oil painting, 12x9

Hollyhocks Know No Bounds
12 x 9 inches
oil on board

Finally, a new painting to post after a much longer than expected absence from blogging and the studio.

Actually, I shouldn't say that I haven't been painting...I have, but not much and it's not been a noteworthy showing.  We moved last Friday, and I always underestimate how out of sorts I am after any relocation.  Unpacking and the general clutter and disorganization that accompany a move make it difficult for me to sit down and paint, even though I got my studio set up rather quickly.  

I did manage to do four more ACEO's of The Tree series earlier in the week.  However, I just couldn't get around to photographing or posting them.  Perhaps because of all the amazing work I'm seeing other bloggers post lately just made me take a pass on that.  I did finally take photos, and may post them at some point, simply because this blog also serves as a journal and documentation of my work - good and not so good.

And, I even attempted a plein air pastel painting of one of the tulips in the raised garden right across from our new place.  It went straight into the trash, and I learned that my Nupastel set isn't coming with me the next time on the next flower plein air trip.  It's been far too windy and cold recently to consider a dedicated trip outside to paint, but hopefully this dry cold front delivered to us by the pacific northwest will leave and give warmer temps and calm air very soon!

This painting is today's keeper after yesterday's "three strikes and you're out" studio effort to paint a group of tulips on an 11x14 panel.  If you have to wipe something three times because it isn't working, it's time to move on.   Unlike the smaller surrealist-edged florals I've done, this one is based on two photos.  The beautiful crimson hollyhocks just needed to be freed from their ho-hum garden existence and visit the sky.  

Does it work?  I hope so.  Maybe it's hard to tell with this photo, which is just awful.  The camera sensor just doesn't take kindly to these bright colors and has created a variety of unsavory optical effects, not helped at all by the glare of wet paint.  Just believe me that it really does look much better in person.  I also hope it is dry by Monday.  A new frame awaits.  

To push the drying on this (nothing like waiting until the last minute to get something done), I broke out my unopened jar of Liquin.  I got hooked on using Liquin back during my equine art days, but since I'm not painting in thin layers and glazes anymore, I haven't used it for landscape painting until today.   I don't think I'll make a habit of using it unless I do decide to try glazing techniques.  

I'm hoping my studio dry spell is over, because I have tons of ideas bouncing around to work on.


Some random photos taken recently:

My beautiful Easter cactus posing on our deck today.  I've thought of painting it, but it's so busy that I'm sure I'd just end up wiping the result

Nelson performs his daily sunbeam meditation on the guest bed

April 26 sunset from our new deck.  Perins Peak and Smelter Mtn. are no longer in the view, but Twin Butte is


  1. nice painting! i like the "Hollyhocks Know No Bounds"! Great job! By the way, If u have time drop by my painting blog. Thanks!.. .daniel

  2. Glad to see you're back. Moving is not fun, although I do enjoy putting up pictures and unboxing my books. It's the packing I deplore. And my daughter's cat has much the same ideas as yours - sun is everything.
    I do like the hollyhocks painting. I am such a sucker for reds these days. My Christmas cactus is blooming too, though not as lushly. Maybe it thinks it is really an Easter one.

  3. Thanks, Daniel. I've visited your website, but there's no place to leave a comment. Nice work!

    Hi Ruth - thanks! I find that I can get a little bit done at a time, re the unpacking. Today, I hung some more pictures in the bedroom. And put away a few more things. I actually re-worked the painting a bit today - added a second layer on the flowers and grayed down the sky a bit. Looks much better, I think.
    I have two Christmas cacti, and they were in full bloom last year at this time as well...but this year, they bloomed when they were supposed to...go figure! :)

  4. Another nice surrealist flower painting.

    Glad you're getting settled in now.

    Nelson is adorable and I want to pet him.

    Your cactus is so gorgeous.

    Love this dramatic sky photo.

  5. P.S. Having art ideas in the brain is always a good thing.

  6. Beautiful, this is very summery!

  7. Hi Jala - thanks much! I am really liking sticking my toes into the surrealism waters. I've always been fascinated by this genre of art, although much of it is dark and creepy.

    Nelson would love to climb up in your lap and receive all the pettings you want to provide :). His fur is velvety soft.

    Hi Jill - thank you! We got 1" of snow yesterday, and cold temps today, so I'm looking forward to summer about now :).


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