Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time."
Laura Ingalls Wilder

This Santa is a  gift for my 90 year old Mom. She is hosting a party for 35 of her children, grand children and great grandchildren tonight. They come home from both coasts and all around the mid-west.
 It will be  a wild wonderful party on Christmas Eve. 
The Santa painting is my first portrait attempt. Hopefully the subject will over come the errors. Acrylic on gessoed paper, framed and beribboned for Mom.
Brunch and presents to open on Christmas morning with my own children and grands. Love this time of year.

Blessings to you and yours in this holy season celebrating our Lord's arrival here on earth. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Showing my Chrome in a Classic Location

As I mentioned last month, the show at the Emy Frentz is followed immediately by a one person show at the Unique Specialties and Classics store. We took down my display at the gallery and hung the paintings at Unique the next morning. Owners Dani and Jeremy Thomas are very generous to let me show my work in an atmosphere that reflects exactly where my inspiration for the chrome hood ornament paintings come from. After all, they are selling the cars that the ornaments decorate. The following is one of my press releases. I tried to cover more bases than I have before. The local paper, an online listing of activities for the whole Mankato area and an announcement for one of our local radio stations. This release was sent to KMSU the independent public radio station at MSU Mankato.

Mankato native and former MSU employee, Margie Larson has a exhibition of her chrome series open at Unique Specialties and Classics at the intersection of South Victory Drive and Stadium Road. Margie retired from a career at Minnesota State University Mankato where she was the study abroad adviser in the International Office. She now has a studio in the Emy Frentz Art Guild at 253 Second Street in Mankato. Working full time as an artist and having the studio has made retirement a great experience for Margie. Her chrome series is the result of years of attending street rod and classic car shows where she photographed the chrome details of the cars and now has translated those images into paintings. Any one who loves color will enjoy these paintings. Unique is open from 9- 5 daily except Sunday.

Margie is proud to have been awarded a PLRAC/McKnight Emerging Artist Grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council which has made this exhibit possible. 

Here are a few photos showing the paintings on their walls. It would be nice to have enough paintings to cover more walls in this bright space. Thanks again to Dani and Jeremy for letting me show my work in their store.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

November Arts Guild Show

The artists of the Emy Frentz Arts Guild have a show every November. We had our opening reception on Thursday night. What a great turnout. The place was crowded with friends and family. Our theme was "A Spicy Concoction"  so we served a really good taco bar with lots of spicy side dishes... and wine of course.
I decided to use my chrome painting series for this show. They make a nice group. Next month after the show comes down they will be in a new show at Unique speicalty auto store here in Mankato. They specialize in selling really great old cars. Let's keep our fingers crossed that someone will want to buy one of these for a Christmas present for someone who loves those old cars.

Here we are, Jen, Antje, Margie, Joellen, Tim, Jane and Eileen. A really great group of artists who work together in a really great organization -- The Emy Frentz Arts Guild.
New photos coming soon of the works in the show.

Fall fell into winter

Here we were hoping for a really great Thanksgiving when we could take a long walk in mild weather after the big dinner. We probably will not be doing that long walk this year. This is what we woke up to this morning.
We have never seen the branches of this tree sag to the ground like this. When we shoveled we measured 15inches of the wet stuff in our driveway. It has settled considerably. And the trees have bounced back up except for the branches that broke under the heavy snow. We could hear the branches cracking and falling while we were out shoveling. Heres hoping most if not all of this will melt sometime soon.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

End of summer beginning of fall

We have had a tremendously busy August this year. We started out with a trip to the Salt Flats in Utah for Speed Week -- a two day trip both ways. We left heat and humidity in Minnesota and were met with the dry heat of the desert. There really is a difference in the heat. I'll take a bit of dry heat any time.
Here is a photo from that week. Dan by his roadster at sunrise. It is cool and beautiful that time of day on the salt. We took lots of photos of the various cars that try to beat the records for speed on the salt flats. Those guys are not only great engineers but also artists when it comes to designing their dream of what will go the fastest.
And right after we got back from Utah, I headed up to Wisconsin for my class with Bob Burridge. (See my previous post). Now two weeks later I am packing up to go on my trip to Ireland. Ten days with fellow artist, Gail Speckmann and 15 other artists. We will tour and sketch and take photos.  I could not talk Dan into cramping his self in to an airplane seat for 9 hours so I called my travel buddy and she will go with me instead. We travel well together and will have lots of fun. I will take photos and post some for the record.
After I get home from Ireland, Dan and I will drive south to Bowling Green, KY for a nostalgic drag race and car show. More photo ops. We will take the camper and stay right on the fair grounds. It is a pretty area there so if it is not raining (like it did last year) I will try to get in a plein air or two.
Gerry and I have been out painting a couple of days. Gerry is good at timing our outings so that we have good weather. The rest of this week will be raining so we went out yesterday. The weather was absolutely perfect.. The Kasota Prairie is a conservation area that is attempting to save the tall grass prairie. It is a beautiful area and has lots of potential paintings. I struggled with the lonely tree in this photo and have some work to do with the foreground. I only have this photo to give you an idea of what I am working on.   No photo of the painting yet.
It is hard to see in the photo but the prairie grasses are my shoulder height with lots of wild flowers growing in their shadow and butterflies flitting all around. It is just beautiful and smells wonderful.
Last week we painted on the Judson Bottom Road, an old wagon road that follows the Minnesota River on the western side toward Judson and New Ulm. It is narrow and tree shaded and twisty turnie with lots of places to paint there, too. Dan and I used to ride our tandem on the road. There were at least two bikers passed us while we were painting. Here is the result of that session. 11x14 on canvas with oil.

I started with an orange under painting that really kept the painting on the warm side. You can see some of it coming through in the trees. They really had not changed this much. Gerry keeps saying that I see colors way different than she does. :-) I chose this spot for the winding hill and the limestone cliff with the over hanging shelf. It was really fun to do because there was a built in composition for the painting. And I have always wanted to put in a road sign on one of my plein airs. ;-)
Gone for a couple of weeks. See you later. Hugs, Margie

Friday, September 3, 2010

Permission to be free

 My workshop with Bob Burridge last week was a week of work and fun. Bob passed out our permission slips to be free in our paintings and to express what we wanted. Being the tight painter that I am, this permission was one of the best things of the week. Our warm up sessions every morning, got us swinging our brushes and our blood heated up for the rest of the day. The short sessions with the model kept us moving a just putting impressions down on our papers.
The second part of the week we worked on our paintings of the model and learned (tried to learn) how to be free with collage. Bob sees collage a just another aspect of his painting. A touch of texture or a note of color on his painting. I had gone to the workshop with a big box of interesting collage items and only used some paper that I brought along. Every one in the class did the same thing. He fooled us all. His collage elements were photo copies of a small kids flag that he cut up and used as stripes or stars on his paintings. Very reserved for Bob. 
This is the collage that was the most successful of the whole week. It is a quarter sheet of water color paper with collage and acrylic paint. It did not come together until I added the greyed back ground. After seeing it here on the blog I think that I will soften the little white circles on the right. Maybe more of the light grey instead of white. Here is another that I was happy with.
This one is small, just a sixth of a sheet about 8x10. I liked how the color scheme came together and the little bit of gold foil paper that I used for added bling.  I think it looks like a group of gospel singers on stage. In the spot light. 
As you can see these are not figures that were collaged. I did not get to collaging the figure paintings. I am just too unsure of what I am doing with them. With more work drawing figures, I may get to that point in the weeks ahead.
I received a grant to go to this workshop. As a result of my contract with the Prairie Lakes Region, I need to develop a body of work for a show that shows what I learned with Bob at the workshop. My goal  this fall is to work toward a show of my work some time this coming spring. I also need to have three paintings ready to hang in January for the grantees show in St. Peter. All the award winners will be hanging their work at this show. Should be fun.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Reclining Nude

I have had a really busy summer. Plein aire painting, vacations and last week a workshop with artist Robert Burridge at Dillman's creative arts foundation in northeast Wisconsin. Bob is a very dynamic artist who encouraged us to loosen up and become more colorful. The week was divided into three sections. First the figurative drawing and painting, second we used the figures we drew and painted and did more with collage and finally on Friday we had a mARTketing work shop for artists.
On Monday and Tuesday we had a really professional  model, Vanassa Little Crow pose for both quick and long studies. This is a drawing that I did while she was resting. Usually she was standing or holding an unusual pose. I have more of my drawings and paintings on my Picassa album.  This is on a full sheet of watercolor paper that was coated with acrylic gesso and I used a water soluble pencil and then washed the background. If I had had any courage, I would  have added color and maybe some collage pieces to the drawing. But I did some really bad collages on some of my smaller pieces and didn't want to ruin this drawing. I guess the loosen up and get colorful message didn't get through to me on this painting.
We learned so much during the week. I hardly have had time to digest it all. But plan on doing the exercises that Bob taught us and to use his very unusual goof proof color wheel. Check out his web site to find out more about it.
Will be posting some more paintings as the week goes on. I am photographing some of my work and then editing them for the web.
See you soon.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Time flies by...........

Where time goes is a hard one to figure out. It sure flies by without us looking. Gerry and I have been out painting at least once a week. The hot weather has kept us in doors for much of the lost time. We did get out last week and painted in a friend's back yard. We always look for shade to stand in and keep our painting and pallets in the same light. Here is the result of that painting session. The upper left hand corner of all places gave me a bit of a composition dilemma. I painted the space originally with the roof of the house that had a dark brown trim board on it. After looking at the painting at home. I decided to paint the trim board and roof out. It took too much attention from the center of interest. Then that blank space did the same thing! So I decided to put the trim board back in the painting but lighter in tone. Now that space with the roof and the windows makes sense and I have decided to be happy with the finished painting. All that fussing and I really just wanted to paint the tree and the flowers under it.

Monday we had a chance to get back to the little cemetery so Gerry could work on a panorama. I decided to do the willow clump from a couple of weeks ago again but this time so the tree did not take up the whole painting. It ended up being a very high key painting. The day was quite humid and so we get the blue tree line in the back ground. I over emphasized the humidity to get away from an all green painting. This is a little bluer and darker green than real life.
Today I went out to 7 mile creek park and set up on one of the bridges over the creek. Wow, was it nice in the park today. The stream burbling below me, birds singing and children playing--sweet! Talk about green --- I truly need to find a new subject right now. Either that or take up nocturnals so I can paint something with the other colors on my palette. The painting needs quite a bit of touch up before I show you it. Either that or I will gesso the whole thing and start again. Until later.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Try spelling Minnewishinona

Indian names are so beautiful but awfully hard to spell. This little fall(s?) is in a new county park. Eventually it will be easier to see but at this time, I had to lean over a very shaky fence to see the falls and still had brush and leaves in the way. This was a late afternoon painting and the rocks were in full sun and blindingly bright. I was kind of hoping to have more water in the falls but even with all the rain we have had, it must drain away pretty quickly. We will have more opportunities at this site when the park is made accessible. There will be a bridge build right over the ravine the falls have carved. Should be a good view. Until then, here is the view I had last week.
8x10 oil on canvas.
Next up will be a little one of a friend's back yard. See you later.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Plein Air Again

I finally got some photos of my work outdoors. With luck this hot and humid weather will break tonight and my painting partner Gerry and I will get out again. This time I think we are going to try a water fall and break away from all the green.
Gerry found this sweet little hide away for us. It is a tiny rural cemetery on a little knoll over looking an elk farm, a nice meadow and lots of corn and bean fields. We could stand in the shade to paint and could find a painting with every turn of our heads. We did not try to paint the elk. But my, they are really big with huge racks on their heads. Hope the farmer makes a good living with them.

Number 1--This is a little 8x10 in oil on canvas. It is part of the pasture for the elk. They were in the shade but so far away that they didn't really show. Good excuse not to paint them -- right? The fence is at least 12 feet tall. So you can see that the trees were quite far away from me.
Number 2 -- This one is 10 x 14 oil on board. This day I concentrated on this willow clump. There was an elk in the shade again but not in the painting. Gerry and I are working on green variations. There are plenty to work with this summer. Everything is really lush from all the rain we have had. At least we get some variation in the clouds.  I think the saving grace in this painting is the little gravel road in the back ground. It breaks up the green in the foreground from the back ground fields and  trees.

Number 3 -- 11x14 oil on canvas.  I had an eye on this cross road. It was just down the way from our little cemetery. I had to stand almost in the road to get a good composition. It took about a half hour to set up my umbrella to give my canvas and palette some shade.  I liked the way the corn contrasted with the beans and the way the gravel road complemented the greens. Gerry said I had to add the stop sign. Dan says I need to put STOP on it. Not going to happen!  I did like the way the far road turned out with it's little dips.
While I was painting away my left brain kicked in and said " I like the horizon line in the middle and I love the way the poles are both leaning exactly the same. I am so good. I even fooled the right brain into thinking she got the horizon above the middle. The poles were so much fun to fool her with!"  
The right brain did touch ups at home to straighten one of the telephone poles and raise the horizon line. For a bit of wild life I put some birds on the line.
More paintings later--Blessings to all.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summer is Busy!

But not busy with painting projects. I have taken a bit of a vacation this week. First we had Father's day and that weekend is always a big car show at the state fair grounds. Then it was really busy with running with my mom. My grandson,Avery, was with us this week and I like to spend time with him. He is a talented boy, musically and artistically. Right now he is more interested in his band that he is part of so the art side of his personality is kind of dormant. These are little drawings he did while I attempted to paint outside in our yard. Mine was not successful. You really have to keep your hand in plein air painting to get good at it. He was quite satisfied with his. He told me that his art teacher had them draw from life and he chose the poinsettia to draw. He has it memorized. Two little drawings, 3x5 from my sweet grandson.

Next I would like to get him to paint something on canvas with my acrylics. With some luck I will be posting that soon. Better get to painting myself too.
Here is a photo from the clouds we had last night after a really big storm. That kept us busy cleaning up the yard and drying out the basement and garage. A bit of a flood in the garage. Dan found the reason and we hope that the storm we have coming tonight will not bring the same results.

These are mammatus clouds. They were above us before the storm and then we saw them again after the storm. Wikipeida says they form under an anvil cloud. And anvil clouds bring big storms.That would be what we had. Lots and lots of rain and some pea sized hail. Our yard was flooded with run off from our neighborhood. We live in a rural subdivision and rely on ditches and culverts to take the water away and down our ravine. It was really gushing. The prediction is for more storms tonight. Let's hope that they are not as bad and that we do not get more hail and wind.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fifteen minutes of fame

I think it was Andy Worhol who said that we all get fifteen minutes of fame in our lives. I have had mine at the Foot in the Door show at the Minnesota Institute of Arts. Dan and I picked up my painting on Thursday. It had hung there in the Institute for two months! That is more than 15 minutes isn't it?
This is Bear--our big old black cat. His portrait was my choice to hang in the show. Actually, this was the only painting that was one foot or less square. So he won by default. I guess I could have painted another but I also thought that I could find this painting easily since his eyes stand out so much. My mistake! If you click on the link for the Foot in the Door show, you will see that finding any painting in the exhibition is a frustrating experience. It was an easy job picking up the painting and Michelle's little vase. They were well organized and we were in and out in a half hour. It was fun seeing the walls again and as was true for each time I viewed the show, saw new paintings that I had not seen the last time. What wonderful talent we have in Minnesota. I just hope that I am around next time they offer this experience. I will surely enter a painting again. Then I will have had 30 minutes of fame.
Now if the weather can moderate a bit so I can get out to paint without getting rained on. I will try some more plein airs while we have summer.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Addition to Chrome File

I am coming to understand why I enjoy doing the chrome paintings. Beside the fact that they turn out so cool. ;-) Each of them pushes me to a new color scheme. When I am doing a plein air, I use the tried and true, warm and cool triad of yellow, red and blue with white. With the chrome paintings I find myself using new colors in very different ways. When I go to my class with Robert Burridge in August, I expect that he will be pushing the class to even more new color schemes. I love to learn and the chrome paintings are helping me learn more about color. Here is another new one that I did of the chrome on my own 61 Ford Starliner.  These are the star details on the roof post. This one got even more abstract in the finish. Dan would like to see this one displayed on its side, horizontal instead of vertical. I can see it both ways but like it best in the vertical. So I signed it that way in marker so it is decided. No going back now.
There is an artist across the hall from my studio who is painting wall sized abstracts that appear to be super enlarged close ups of chrome reflections but not that exactly. They are very complex and quite intriguing. Anyway, sometimes I wonder what these would look like if I did them even more abstract and very large. Someday.........................
61 Starliner Stars
11x14 acrylic on wood panel
June 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010


My friend Gerry and I drove over to Waseca  to enter our Minnesota landscapes in a juried show. Then we waited for the word. Good words came yesterday. We both had our paintings accepted to the show!
Lanesboro Bike Trail 
I have posted this one before. It was the only painting that I had of an actual Minnesota scene. Gerry submitted a nice watercolor of a rowboat on shore up north. The show is at the Waseca Art Center. Hope you find time to stop by to see the show.

I have been painting chrome hood ornaments lately so that I will have enough for the Second Saturday at Stones Throw. (Keep hoping for a break in the rainy weather)

This one is a Leaping Impala. I love the gold and blue color scheme. I believe that this ornament is on the hood of a 51 Impala. Cool -- right?

This painting is another version of the Dodge Ram. Dan thinks it is from a 50's era car. I like the way these get an abstract feeling. There is another one in the works that I will have a photo of tomorrow.
Remember Stones Throw on Saturday in St. Peter. If the rain stays away!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

River Rock Show

After hanging the show at River Rock last night, I went back today to take photos of the paintings in the day light. The yellow walls in the cafe are perfect for my paintings. The walls are good for the larger paintings. I saw some photos hanging for their last show and they looked too small with the new hanging system the cafe is using now. Anyway here they are........................
See what I mean about the yellow/

These are above a little sitting area.

River Rock from the outside, just in case you are stopping by to see and "Buy?" one of the paintings. ;-)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Belated Birthday Gift

Here I am two posts in one day. I guess I am catching up with the month that I was not out here. My DIL had a birthday in May. I know that she loves flowers and that orange and brown are a theme in her decorating. What better than a flower painting. This one is oil on board. I loved doing this one. It almost painted it self. The colors are so cheerful and warm. The day lilies are not blooming yet so I did this one from a photo and just used the flowers and not the back ground. I like the way they pop out at the viewer. Sorry here is a little glare on the back ground. I used press on letters for the Believe. Happy Birthday Joey. Enjoy.
Natures Glory--Believe

Shows Coming Up this week!

Hi all--As you might know, I have been painting regularly these past few months and now it is time to show you what I have been up to. Just in time for Father's Day, I will be displaying my chrome hood ornement paintings on Saturday, June 12 (if it doesn't rain) at the Stones Throw Gallery in St. Peter. The chrome paintings are really striking. I have them from a small 8x10 to a very large 34x30. These are the result of many car shows that we go to. I am always drawn to the chrome bits on the cars and all the colors and shapes reflected in them. If, when you see them, you say to yourself I wish I had one of these to celebrate my street rod, just say the word and we can set up a time to take photos and make you your very own "Margie." I may not be Picasso yet but look out world here she comes. ;-)
Hope to see you on Saturday at the Stones Throw in St. Peter. You can't miss the gallery. It is in the big blue house on Minnesota Ave. just a few blocks north of the down town area.
While you are in St. Peter, stop at the River Rock Cafe for a sandwich and a cup of coffee. I have some of my landscapes and still lifes hung there in the coffee shop. The shop is a warm and inviting, with bright yellow walls. Just the thing for my colorful paintings.
While you are in St. Peter, you can see my whole year of paintings. Come to see me there and if you are looking for that special something for Father's Day give me a call and we can get some photos and get you one of those Margie/Picasso Paintings. 
Generation Gap-Not the usual Italian doorway. Modern vs. Ancient

One of my favorite chrome paintings. A mustang grill badge.
Be sure to come to St. Peter to see them all.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Airplane with final touches

Put the finishing touches on the Blue and Chrome Airplane yesterday. It was a busy day painting and today was a day of just doing other things. I wrote out the notes that I took at the Parish Council meeting last night. I am not used to doing that kind of work any more and it takes longer than it did when I was taking notes for money--before retirement. ;-) Then the Friday Muses got together. We had a new artist visit us. We hope Ruthann Miller can become one of our regulars. She is a multi-media artist with lots of creativity in her work. Later a visit to my Mom to catch up on family goings on and to show her the new painting of the poppies that I finished this week. And finally a casual dinner out with Dan and some street rod friends. Busy day and time to crash for the night.
Here is the new chrome airplane--oil on gallery wrap canvas. 24x 16. Hope you like it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I am happy to show you this one. My sister, Mary, needed something special for her newly remodeled guest bath. She loves her poppies in her garden and wanted to have a reminder of them that lasts longer than the poppies in the garden. She lives in a windy area of the state and could visualize the poppies blowing in the wind. With that good information from my sister I pulled this painting together. It is oil on a gallery wrapped canvas. 24x18. Lots of reds and greens but definitely not Christmasy.
This painting is free and breezy with lots of movement. Hope it reminds you of a wonderful spring day. Thanks for the inspiration Mary!

My next chrome painting is almost done. I am working on the bitsy parts that drive you crazy trying to get the color just right so the shapes read correctly. You can see how it is coming here. My goal is to get several smaller chrome paintings done by mid June for the second Saturday at the Stones Throw in St. Peter. Patty Conlin has given me a place on her lawn for the day. Dan and I are taking some of our street rods over there to catch the attention of the passers by. We want them to stop and look at (buy) my paintings after they look at the cars. 

Air plane hood ornament on blue. Dan, who knows all things automobile -- is not sure what kind of car this one is on. So if you know drop me a note. Other wise, I will be searching for it when we go to "Back to the Fifties" in June. 
Oil on gallery wrapped canvas 24x18. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New showing set and Plein Air

What a beautiful day! I drove to St. Peter to sign the contract with the River Rock Coffee shop. They were really hopping and I am excited to be able to hang some of my landscapes there for the month of June. Alli the manager said that they get traffic from the Dakotas, the twin city area and all of southern Minnesota. She also said that they have had luck with selling a few paintings from each show. Could I be so lucky/fortunate? They have room for 18 paintings.My chrome paintings are reserved for the Second Saturday at the Stones Throw so I will  be able to hang some of my small plein airs to fill out the space at the cafe. St. Peter is also having a big Spring Fling this month on the 22nd, Patty Conlin, owner of Stones Throw, is having a big to do on her lawn and she said that I could set up then, too. Did I say that I was going to be busy? I guess!

I finished this little painting when I got back to the studio a couple of weeks ago. The photo has been in my camera.
Tenacity--tree growing around a rock at Minnewisinona Falls on the river bottom road near Mankato.
I had to deepen the shadows on this one once I got back to the studio. It was a bright day and my eyes must have been tired. The whole painting was too high key. The deeper shadows really made a difference.

More outdoor painting tomorrow. See you later.

Monday, May 3, 2010

One Down another to go up

It is hard to believe that two months have passed since I put up my show in the Landkamer building. This morning Dan and I took all of the 17 paintings down in in less than a half hour. Clean walls for the next artist to hang her work. This was such a special thing for me. I had NEVER had such an opportunity before. And it was very satisfying to hear that my friends liked my work.

Now I need to prepare for another small show in the River Rock Coffee house in St. Peter a little town just north of Mankato. St. Peter has a very active arts community and I am sure that many people will see my paintings there. I will put up my landscapes. When I talked to the manager there she said that they have room for about 18 paintings. I should be able to do that without the chrome group. I need to keep them down because I also have a little show scheduled for the second Saturday of June at the Stones Throw Gallery in St. Peter. That means that June will be nice and busy for me. YEA!

I have been painting a group of poppies on commission for my sister. Sorry Mary-- I do not like what I have started and so I am tossing what I have and going to start over. There are just some parts of the painting that I do not like. The composition was hap-hazzard and I need to study how poppies grow before I start on the commission again. I want this to be right for her. So Mary it will be a little longer before you get to hang the new painting.

Speaking of hanging paintings. I finally was able to give my Mom her birthday present. It was hanging in my show from the beginning of March until now.  I did show this watercolor earlier in the blog. Now it is framed in a black mat and frame and looks very impressive if I do say so myself. ;-)
Mom had to wait from her birthday at the beginning of March until now to have her gift at home. Thanks for your patience Mom. We had a hard time trying to find the right wall to put it on. I will be surprised when she finally decides where she will hang the painting. All for now. Tomorrow more plein air.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Plein Air Time!

The weather this spring has been wonderful. After getting my commission done and after the Easter rush, I finally made time to get outside and paint. What a wonderful feeling to be outside and finding so many things to paint. Even though I love going other places to paint. Mankato has many really scenic places to set up an easel. Every where I go I see potential paintings, from the parks, to the bike trails, to the old mansions and the old buildings on River Front. There are so many sights that I have a hard time settling on one and get started painting. Here are three from Tuesday--I have a couple more from Wednesday but need to take photos so will post tomorrow.
I love painting flowers. Could do it all the time. These were blooming in Sibley Park. I set up my easel right under this branch. And painted away. Sighhhh... what a wonderful afternoon.

I love willow trees. I have found a spot on a pond near home that has this beautiful willow on the shoreline. There is nothing quite as calming as viewing the tree swaying in a breeze and reflected in the almost calm water. I think I will be back for more of this tree this summer and fall.

One more of the willow. I got right down to the shore to get this angle. The lady who owns the land the tree was on stopped by to see what I was painting. She mentioned topping the tree and I said please don't do it. I love willows and she said she did too but the sticks that it drops all year long get tiresome. 
I did do some touch up of this one. I will post the updated one later. I did some defining of the trunk of the tree and the reflection in the water. I also found the right color to paint the water once I got back to my studio. I was using a limited pallet and did not have the right colors to mix the brownish/greenish of the water without reflections.
More tomorrow after I get new photos of my other little paintings. BTW these are all 8x10 oil on canvas. I have found that I like using oils much better I use a dryer in the paint. That takes care of my impatience with slow drying oils. I love how they blend but hate waiting time. 
Hope my readers are not impatient like me. More to post tomorrow.
PS--I just read over this post--I seem to love everything. I guess I should say I love to paint! ;-)


Earlier this month I was able to go to an art show of a works by a famous art forger, Elmyr de Hory.  It was amazing how he was able to copy the styles of many 20th century artists. He sold these paintings around the world letting each purchaser think that they had an original--just not an original from the artist they thought they were buying whether it was a Picasso, a Modigliani or a Matisse.  The show booklet had a couple of good reproductions of his forgeries. I was inspired to copy the copies and had some fun pretending to be Modigliani and Matisse for a a couple of afternoons.
These are my takes on Elmyr's forgeries. I am positive that they will not pass any tests for forgeries.
In the style of Modigliani 
I wonder why he did the empty eyes. She seems sad and spiritless.

In the style of Henri Matisse

One of the reasons these were easy to emulate is because they were relatively simple paintings with large plain areas of paint. I had a good time with the Matisse, scraping in the lines in the wall paper and painting the blue lines on the chase lounge. This lady is stylish by even today's standards--just a little midriff showing.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Commission

Spring is defiantly here. It was 81 degrees at 9:00 last night as we came home from Holy Thursday Mass.  It was calm and as warm as a summer night. I was happy yesterday to finish this commission for my friend and her daughter. These will decorate a toddler's bedroom. Pink butterflies were fun to do. I could be really loose and playful with them. I painted these in oil on canvas using quin red for the pinks. It is really strong and you only need a touch of the red to make a strong pink. Here they are for your viewing pleasure. ;-)
Flight of the Butterflies
I hid a few little butterflies in the back ground.

Dotty Butterfly
The turquoise is very bright in this photo -- a bit softer in real life.

Happy Easter Everyone!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A little more spring

I had some more fun this week working on another tulip painting. This one is a close up into the cup of a pink tuilip. Oil again on gessoed board. I used a quin red which makes a very bubblegum pink. I learned a good lesson on this one. When I painted the leaves they turned out quite garish, much to green. I have always read that if you place a glaze of a complementary color over another you can tone down a color. Tried this on the green green leaves and it worked perfectly. That red glaze on the greens is totally invisible as red but has made the leaves the perfect complement to the very pink tulip.

Happy Spring
On Friday afternoons, some friends and I get together to either work on our projects or learn something new. Eileen Hinz helped us learn how to do Ukrainian Easter Egg painting this week.  Here are mine set up in a nice basket that Eileen brought in . 

The black, yellow and orange egg, I call my aborigine egg because of all the dots. The dye baths were yellow, red and then blue. the lighter egg is a blue bath with a second bath of yellow over the blue. I thought I would get a darker green but ended up with the lime green. Really a nice springy combination, I think. The one that is white is a blank egg for comparison. ;-)   It was fun to see what the different color baths did to create new and unusual colors. 
Eileen really did a good job of letting us use our own creativity to come up with designs and colors. She is a good teacher, encouraging and complementary to our efforts, which were pretty crude. She tells us that this can be a meditative art. The artist has to take time to draw the designs with melted bees wax, and make each quarter of the egg the same as the others, then cover over colors you want to stay. Needless to say, it takes concentration. I enjoyed the process but would need to slow myself down a lot more than I did on Friday afternoon to reach the meditative state. Miss Impatient is my name.  

BTW-- I got my birthday present on Saturday. Dan and I finally painted our bedroom after 23 years as a pale blue with pink tulips stenciled around the top of the walls. It is a beautiful warm creamy yellow with an accent wall of a light cinnamon. It is just beautiful. Thanks so much to my dear Dan. Smack!

Passion Week starts with today, Palm Sunday, the day I was born. The birthday is on Tuesday this year. A busy week. I need to work on my new commission. Hope to have it done for Easter. Wish me creativity.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A birthday gift

It feels funny to have my show up and no deadline hanging out there to meet. This week I made my MIL's birthday my deadline. Like a lot of elderly ladies, she really does not need another knick knack. I decided a spring like painting would cheer her up. Here are her tulips. 11x14 canvas with oils. I have really enjoyed the little painting I have done with oils this spring. They are so much easier to work with than acrylics when you want to blend and shade. just like everyone kept telling me. Well I have a good supply of oils, acrylics and watercolors so when I want to switch up my medium I can without any problems.
Mom's Tulips

I participate in an online forum called WetCanvas. The acrylic forum had a challenge for it's painters. A high res photo is posted and then the challenge is to paint it and then post your painting. The people on Wet Canvas are so friendly, talented and willing to help with good criticisms. I have been a member since 2002. A long time in the internet world. What do you think?

Eggs all washed and ready to boil for Easter colors.

I have more tulips to paint for next week. See you later.