Mar 8, 2013

Better Late Than Never

 My "Cutest Studio in the West" right in my own backyard.

I thought I'd post a couple of photos of my studio. My sons helped me build it. We started on April 1st, 2004 and I told everyone I'd have it done by September. I had never built anything before, so when September rolled around and it was still in the beginning stages, I reminded everyone that I hadn't said which September! It was finished on April 1, 2007. It was a lot of work but it gives me so much pleasure. I am so thankful to my sons, David and Dan and the long list of relatives and friends who gave their time and energy to bring my dream to reality.

The little white, lacy Victorian iron bench on the front porch makes me smile every time I walk past it. It was worth every dollar I was so reluctant to spend on something so non-essential. I've received $100 worth of pleasure for every penny spent. A lesson well learned — sometimes the value received is more than the dollar amount spent!

My 'viewing' rocker in front of the window seat. 

I spend time gazing at my paintings from here. "Does it need more work or have I gone too far?" is my eternal question. I'll post my easel and painting set up later.

The Artist's magazine, October 2005 issue opened to H.C. Dodd's article, "Better Late Than Never."

On the counter between the french door and the English birdhouse is the October 2005, The Artist's magazine opened to an article about H.C. Dodd. The article is titled "Better Late Than Never." Dodd began painting when she was 67 years old and within a few years was teaching and winning top awards in national competitions. The day this magazine arrived I had been working on the studio which was only half built. I was really depressed because it was taking a lot longer than I could ever have imagined. And the thought had entered my mind that I was pretty close to retirement and "just what had I been thinking, to take on such a big project at that point in my life?!" I decided to walk to the mail box to calm down a bit and when I pulled out the magazine, it fell open to the page with the words, "Better Late Than Never." The letters were an inch tall and spread across two pages — It was like someone was shouting at me. I felt I had been give a loud message from God! I have never questioned my decision since that moment.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing my creation.  I'll post again soon.

Mar 7, 2013

Spring Cleaning!

Now that my show is safely hanging on the walls of Cusick Picture Frame Gallery in Newberg, Oregon,  I've had the time to take a good look at my studio and realized that it was time for Spring Cleaning! A bright sunny day helps with that decision. For some reason it is easier for me to get inspired to clean and organize when the sun is shining.

So, off I go, with the broom and dustpan in hand. See you soon.

Feb 27, 2013

March Solo Show

I've been busy this month! I've put the final touches on 5 or 6 new paintings for my first solo show which opens March First. The invitation is below:

March 1 - 22
at Cusick Picture Frame
608 E First St., Newberg OR
Open Tues-Fri 10 am to 6 pm and Sat 10 am to 5 pm

Artist's Reception, First Friday, March 1 -- 5 to 9 pm

Drop by if you're in the area and check out my new work.

Jan 31, 2013

#30 Lone Oak, Manna from Heaven

#30 Lone Oak, Manna from Heaven, 6x6, oil on panel, (click here to bid)

Number 30! Whew, what fun. I have learned so much with this series. It's given me the freedom to try some things that I would never have tried if I had been working on one painting. There is a pressure to paint something that you know will become a finished painting — no matter if it is 6x6 inches or 6x6 feet. I've painted two night scenes in this series, which I have never painted before. I've tried some colors that I would never have thought of putting together. I usually tone my canvas with burnt sienna or raw umber. I've toned some of this series with bright yellow, bright cad. orange, bright blue, red, and pink to name just a few.

The most surprising thing for me was that on some of the paintings I would have a plan in my mind of the colors or mood I wanted to create. Then I would lay down the first stroke of color and everything would change direction and go to a place that I hadn't thought of painting. That was powerful! I guess I needed to learn to trust a bit more.

I don't know if I am finished with this series yet. I feel like there might be more down the road. So, I will leave it open to return to, not as a daily thing but when the Lone Oak calls, I will listen.

Stay tuned.

Jan 30, 2013

#29 Lone Oak, End of Hazy Day

#29 Lone Oak, End of Hazy Day, 6x6, oil on panel, (click here to bid)

When I started this "30 paintings in 30 days" challenge I had only planned to do five—spring, summer, fall, winter and a sunset. That was so much fun that I thought I could do the first half of the challenge with the Lone Oak. I never dreamed that I would still be experimenting on day 29! It's been fun.

Jan 29, 2013

#28 Lone Oak, Sunset on Field of Flowers

#28 Lone Oak, Sunset on Field of Flowers, 6x6, oil on panel, Sold, (click here to view)

I love sunsets and flowers — how great is it to paint them together? This is number 28 of the "30 Paintings in 30 Days" challenge. Only 2 more to go!

Jan 28, 2013

#26 Lone Oak, Van Gogh Field

#26 Lone Oak, Van Gogh Field, 6x6, oil on panel, (click here to bid)

After a Hot Tamale Day, I've tried to tone it down a bit. When I was finished I decided that it needed Van Gogh's birds.

#27 Lone Oak, April Path,

 #27 Lone Oak, April Path, 6x6, oil on panel, (click here to bid)

After all that spice, here's a bit of cool spring weather.

Jan 26, 2013

#25 Lone Oak, Hot Tamale Day

#25 Lone Oak, Hot Tamale Day, 6x6, oil on panel, (click here to bid)

Just how hot can it get? It's fun to play with colors and see what they feel like.

Jan 25, 2013

#23 Lone Oak, Yellow Road

#23 Lone Oak, Yellow Road, 6x6, oil on panel, (click here to bid)

This "30 Paintings in 30 Days" challenge has been on opportunity to try out new processes and techniques. This panel was toned a bright yellow — which worked nicely for a yellow road.

#24 Lone Oak, Spring Meadow

#24 Lone Oak, Spring Meadow, 6x6 oil on panel, (click here to bid)

My new process for this painting was toning the panel black before painting on it. I left little bits of black showing through. I was surprised at how bright the painting turned out. I had the opinion that with all the black on the canvas it would make the painting dark. I proved to myself that I was wrong.

Jan 24, 2013

#21 Lone Oak, Nocturnal

Summer's blue velvet sky -- I've seen it a couple of times in my life. I toned this canvas a bright blue before I started painting. This "30 paintings in 30 days" challenge is a good way to try out different techniques and approaches. When I looked at the bright blue it made me think of the velvet blue skies you occasionally see in the summer. It also reminded me of Maxfield Parrish's paintings with the bright blue in the sky. He used the technique of toning the canvas also.

#22 Lone Oak, High Noon

#22 Lone Oak, High Noon, 6x6, oil on panel, (click here to bid)

A bright summer day.

Jan 23, 2013

#19 Lone Oak, Summertime

A perfect Willamette Valley summer day. My not-so-perfect computer is acting up again — hence, the lost day yesterday.

#20 Lone Oak, The Month of May

I love how 'fresh' the month of May always seems. Just made for a drive in the country with all the windows down and the radio blaring with happy love songs.

Jan 20, 2013

#17 Lone Oak, Golden Sunset on a Blue Day

Blue and Gold! This was fun. When I started this series I only had planned to do five, I can't believe that I'm on number 17.

#15 Lone Oak, Fire and Ice

I think this is about as hot as you can get. Silver and red are such classic colors — think 'little red sports car' with chrome trim.

#16 Lone Oak, Embers and Charcoal

 Cool teal and warm orange to spice things up. Reminds me of warm mulled spiced wine.

Jan 18, 2013

#13 Lone Oak, End of Gray Day

Oregon has so many gray days! In color theory I learned that there are 32 shades of gray discernible to the naked eye. We get them all in Oregon in for 6 months out of the year — usually along with a lot of rain. It's been gray and cold so I think I'm needing a lot of sunshine, a.k.a. yellow and orange!

#14 Lone Oak, Coral Twilight

I guess the weather is showing up in my painting again.  This is another one that took on a life of its own the minute I place the first stroke of color down in the field. It's amazing when that happens, it's like someone else is painting.

Jan 17, 2013

#11 Lone Oak, Autumn Glow

This painting says "joy" to me. I'm loving painting this series. I'm making discoveries that I never would if I had painted a different composition each time. It's become a journey.

#12 Lone Oak, Flame and Blue

This blue was really luscious to paint. Again, this also has a happy feel to it. I think that yellow and orange remind us of the sun. What could make you happier than a summer day with blue and yellow-orange?

Jan 16, 2013

#9 Lone Oak, Early Morning

Both of the paintings I'm posting today had a mind of their own. Painting number 9 was in the drivers seat -- it decided to paint itself. It's a very strange feeling!

#10 Lone Oak, Evening Storm

This is the first time I've tried to paint a "night" painting. Well, I don't think I was in charge, but I like the way it turned out.

I'm posting 2 paintings so that I can catch up to my challenge to paint 30 painting in 30 days.

Jan 15, 2013

#7 Lone Oak, spring wildflowers

This turned out to be really cheerful. It's amazing how few "flowers" it takes to give the impression of spring.

I've been having problems uploading my images for the '30 paintings in 30 days challenge' to my blog and have gotten behind. I will post a couple of on each blog and eventually get caught up.

I started out with a plan for this painting, but as soon as I placed the first spot of color in the field, it was like the painting made another decision for me. This is where it took me. I guess it's all about the journey.

Jan 14, 2013

#6 Lone Oak, Frosty Morning

These are so much fun to paint that I've decided to do a few more. Actually, I think they have taken over the drivers' seat and have decided they are not finished just yet. I had planned a completely different painting, but once I put down the first color in the field it started painting itself!

#5. Lone Oak, Sunset

#5 Lone Oak, Sunset, 6x6, oil on panel, (click here to bid)

This is the fifth in the series of a lone oak tree in a field. Rich purple and oranges completely reverse the composition. The path is now the lightest area instead of being the darkest.

#4. Lone Oak, Winter

#4 Lone Oak, Winter, 6x6, oil on panel, (click here to bid)

This is the fourth of the lone oak tree series. It's amazing how different this painting feels with all the cool colors in the snow scene.

Jan 11, 2013

#3. Lone Oak, Autumn

This is the third in my series of oak tree paintings. Switching to warm autumn colors really makes a difference in the look and feel of the composition.

Jan 10, 2013

#2. Lone Oak, Summer

#2 Lone Oak, Summer, 6x6, oil on panel, (click here to bid)

This is the second in my series of a lone oak tree in a field. This was August — very sunny and stifling hot. I didn't linger long though because I was on my way to Lincoln City on the coast where it was cool and breezy.

Jan 9, 2013

#1. Lone Oak, Spring

#1 Lone Oak, Spirng, 6x6, oil on panel, (click here to bid)

I'm joining a large group of artists who have committed to 30 paintings in 30 days! I'm a little late starting, but will make it up soon. I've gotten side tracked from my small paintings—plein air painting and larger studio pieces have called more loudly lately. Now that a new year has started, it's time to get back on track.

For a while now I have been yearning to paint the same scene in different ways. I've tried painting a landscape one way and then the next landscape with a new direction, but that hasn't been satisfactory. I want to see how different colors and effects change a scene. So, now is the time to try it out, at least for some of the paintings this month.

This is a scene from the Mid-Willamette Valley area around Salem, Oregon. There are many farms with flat fields and an occasional large tree here and there. I just love the presence they have, dominating the whole field.