A belated yet well-deserved Sketchbook Sunday post

Hiya!

While making a concerted effort last week to work more in my sketchbooks – they are invaluable tools for artists: they help one learn to see, think, play, practice and hone… I could go on but it could turn into an inarticulate ramble so I will move on to my point.

I discovered that I have been really wanting to make a “Portrait of Portales”.  A collection of drawings or paintings that describe the personality and character of my town.

This is a project I sort-of began over a year ago with small, “en plein air” oil paintings done from my car, of scenes around town. Let me jog your memory with a photo-collage:

8 x 10 oil on canvas paintings
8 x 10 oil on canvas paintings

Grated, the above could really be paintings of anywhere in New Mexico, so common are the scenes of yellowed grasses, cows and crumbling adobe structures. Many of my new works will be specifically Portales, its stores, real estate, lawns, animals, abandoned buildings and neglected alleys. And as the title of this post suggests, they are being worked in my sketchbooks.

So now I’m back to venturing around town in my little mazda, and at the risk of looking like a creep-o or a cop on a stake-out, parking and sketching from the car. It really does make me feel like a cop… or okay, more like Stephanie Plum…

It is SO MUCH FUN and really IS showing me more about where I live. Nothing makes me appreciate a place more than painting it.  Here are some examples of my work so far. I will share more detailed/close-up pictures of them in the future. For now you just get a taste:

sketchbook pic A
sketchbook pic A
sketchbook pic B
sketchbook pic B
sketchbook pic C
sketchbook pic C

Morning Glories

I had a great painting day today. The subject matter just sort of came to me and before I even thought about it I had already gone outside, plucked some morning glories off my vines and begun painting! That’s the joy about studies: I try not to think too much about them. The whole point of studies is just to get me in there and working, free up my hand and warm up my eyes.

The fun part was realizing that I had a small window of time before the blooms completely closed up. The three of them sit now in my studio in their jar, all closed up and looking like they’re huddled to keep warm in the middle of a snow storm. Tomorrow I expect to see them open and smiling happily back at me again.

Morning Glories, oil/canvas, 8 x 10"
Morning Glories, oil/canvas, 8 x 10″

TGIF: painting marathon outcome

Well, it’s been a long day. I spent a total of 9 hours painting and regardless of hot packs, stretching and ibuprofen I am in quite a bit of neck/head pain this evening. I know the painting is not quite done yet, although I don’t know exactly how far I am to the finish line… let’s just say I’m a lot closer.

Here is the progress picture I promised you, complete with an appearance from Dragon, who leapt up onto a chair to look out the window as I pressed the shutter.

Quilted Lake in Progress, oil/canvas, 2 x 4' with kitten
Quilted Lake in Progress, oil/canvas, 2 x 4′ with kitten

TGIF: painting marathon

Good Friday morning to everyone!

It’s 9:30 and I’ve jogged, showered, breakfasted, cleaned, laid with the kitty and prepared my palette. I’ve been working on “Quilted Lake” for weeks now and it’s just really dragging. I did really really enjoy working on it yesterday though so I decided today was the perfect day for a painting marathon!

Meaning? I’m sitting down to paint now and I’m not going to stop until this painting is DONE… or my body gives out… whichever happens first. I’ll take breaks to stretch and eat obviously and maybe to work in a mini solo dance party or two (I listen to really upbeat music while I paint and sometimes can’t help dancing.)

Wish me luck. I will post my progress tonight whether it’s done or not!

Palette is ready!
Palette is ready!

New Palette

I missed posting last week but did finish a 16 x 20 inch painting I will show you soon.

Today I wanted to share with you my purchase of a new palette! This may not seem like a big deal, it IS just a 10 inch slab of unfinished wood… BUT this is only my second palette ever. EVER. Other than the big glass table-top I used in university. I was a bit reluctant to give up my trusty old palette, but my aversion to spending hours scraping it clean got the best of me and I decided to move on. heh.

So here is proof of new palette in front of new big canvas (don’t I look amused?):

New Palette
New Palette

And here is the very first stages of a new painting with my new palette. Oh so fresh!

Quilted Lake IN PROGRESS
Quilted Lake in progress

Cat in the Yard

I managed to finish this painting today and start work on a another piece in this series. You’ll see that one at a later date. For now, enjoy this kitty on the lawn/quilt painting, inspired by a photograph I took when I was 13.

Cat in Yard, oil/canvas, 16 x 20"
Cat in Yard, oil/canvas, 16 x 20″

Back at home…

After five weeks on the road I’m finally back home with my kitten (yes, she’s over a year old now but she’s still pretty kitten-y if you ask me) and my oils.

Here’s a teaser of what I worked on this afternoon:

oil painting in progress
oil painting in progress