Morning nap

Here is another morning landscape study. One of these cows gave his neck a good scratch on this fence for fifteen minutes before joining the others for a snooze under the shade of the trees. I was pretty tempted to join them.

oil painting of cows sleeping near abandoned building in new mexico
Snoozing Cows, oil on canvas, 8 x 10"

A morning painting adventure…

I had a wonderful morning adventure in my car which involved nearly running over a meter-long snake (phew, I didn’t) and watching cows, birds, rabbits and stray cats roaming the plains.

Here is one of two sketches I did from the passenger seat, trying not to get oil paint all over the dashboard and armrests! I had to work both canvases quickly before the day got too hot and unbearable. I packed a cooler-bag of ice water but still got a little dizzy in the open. I drove home after two hours and completed the paintings at home in the comfortable air-conditioned studio. I’ll post the other canvas tomorrow…

oil painting of a bird on a fence post in the desert
Bird on a Post, oil on canvas, 8 x 10"

Long lost siblings

Sometimes the process of making a painting is over in a blink. The ideas come to me in an instant, I make the time to plan, sketch, set up the colours and dive in. My body cooperates (no headaches or back aches) and hours later I stumble out of the studio in a dehydrated daze trying to remember when I last ate… I’m happy when I peek back through the door and see a new creation staring back at me… I’m excited, often surprised as I stare at it… the painting almost seems to be saying, “What? Did I get the wrong address? Isn’t this where I’m supposed to be?”

But quite often, this is not the case. Sometimes ideas germinate for a long, long time. I sketch, I plan and nothing develops out of my efforts so I leave it alone and move on. Often I let the ideas go forever (there will always be more) but some are more potent than others and I keep thinking about them from time to time, curious and hopeful that they might still one day grow.

oil painting of man's face close up and cedar tree
Cedar Falling, oil on canvas, 38 x 48"

I made Cedar Falling a few years ago and it has since been waiting for a “sibling” painting. I had many ideas in mind and never found the time between my four part-time jobs to test them out, always afraid they wouldn’t turn out and I’d have wasted my time. For the past two months however I’ve been walking past the imposing 38 x 48″ canvas of Cedar Falling, which I set against a wall in my living room – a constant reminder of those ‘loose ends’ in this story.

So for the past two weeks I’ve been piecing together more of the imagined narrative and have three new small canvases in various degrees of completion. Below is the first one that I finished today. Hopefully the other siblings will also find their full force and I’ll post them here… maybe they won’t. It’s a mystery. Stay tuned.

oil painting of girl close up with decaying tree in desert
Desert Girl, oil on canvas, 16 x 20"

17 Gerberas

I did this as part of a painting challenge: paint one object 8 times, giving yourself no more than 10 minutes per mini-painting. My surface for painting that day happened to be a square board so I divided the space into 9 and gave it a shot! I was so intensely focussed that I jumped and screamed when my boyfriend knocked on the studio door. Ooops! Must remember to warn him if I try speed-painting again so we can both avoid heart-attacks.

oil painting of gerbera daisies
Gerbera Conversations, oil on board, 12 x 12"

Let the gazing and grazing continue…

A little cold snap has lifted and left the town and it is easy to think of strolling yellow fields again. Here are two from a series that I painted a few weeks ago just before the bitter cold surprised us all.

oil painting of new mexico field and sky
Gazing, oil on board, 10 x 10"
oil painting of cows grazing in field new mexico
Grazing, oil on board, 10 x 10"

Towards the Old House, the warmer colours, the dry scrub

I have always been fascinated by my surroundings and easily get lured into the landscape. This painting may be a good example of this. Lately I see myself favouring warmer colours on my palette, mimicking the gnarled lines of the vegetation with my brushstrokes and inventing characters that are as enamored with adventuring as I am.

Here it is, the second painting in my new adventure series:

oil painting of girl and old house
Towards the Old House, oil on board, 10 x 10"