Friday, April 19, 2013

The Greeting Committee

A month or so ago one of my neighbors - Elizabeth - donated a paint box to me.  But when I say "paint box" - this thing is so much more than that ... it's like a portable studio.  It's not quite as compact and portable as a French Easel, but it's really cool.  I've never seen one like it before.  It's perfect for when I want to sit at the computer to work from photos ... or when I want to sit out and paint plein air.  It has lots of storage capacity - even has several drawers!

So, to thank her for it ... and for the frames that she gave me some months ago ... I did a painting of her dogs.  They have three dogs that greet me whenever I have to go up or down our shared easement.  They're beautiful dogs and I'd thought many times how I would like to paint them ~ so I already had lots of pictures of them (because I'm continually making photos of stuff).
Coming up with a design that was strong and yet showed off their distinct personalities was a nice little challenge, but I think it turned out well.  I always liked the way that Chris, the big white dog, looked in the evening light when he'd chase me along the fence-line ... the two little guys yapping away at a full gallop, too.  The long, dark pooch has such a difficult time keeping up with the others, that I sometimes slow down so that he can catch up.
Elizabeth, runs a local restaurant and we took the painting down there to deliver it to her tonight.  She was thrilled with the picture and we got a free meal, too.  They make a great veggie wrap.  It will be good advertising to have the painting in her restaurant, but, really, I did the painting because I felt that she deserved it.
Thanks again, Elizabeth, for the easel and the frames!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Lilacs

Well, it's that time of year again ~ when everything blooms at the same time so that it's hard to decide what to paint first!  I had to work in the Timberline Gallery in Oakhurst on Wednesday, so I brought along a sprig of lilacs and a small vase.  When I was done with other projects that I had to do, I painted a little 8"x10" of the still life.
On Thursday I had to work in the Sierra Artist's Gallery in Mariposa.  I brought along the little still life, intending to fix it up a little, but only took a few pokes at it.  I was taking down another painting which had been up there for a little while when I realized that it was the same size as the lilacs.  Why not swap the frame out?  I thought.... so I did and then hung it up, still thinking that it wasn't done, and intending to take it home with me to finish it.  Only a few minutes later, a couple came in who were on their way back to Cor D'Alene, ID.  They ended up buying the painting.  Nice. 
Later that day I started the painting of the lilacs in the tea pot (also 8" x 10") ... inspired by my friend, Del Gish, who did his best to teach me how to paint lilacs ... and who regularly kicks my butt in chess.  It will be some time before I can paint lilacs as well as he does, and even longer before I can figure out this whole chess thing!