Got Juried In at Kalamazoo Nature Center!

I’m excited; I just found out today that I got juried in to exhibit at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, which shows some wonderful art by local artists. Their head curator sent a very nice letter, letting me know she will be contacting me soon to make arrangements for an exhibit.

So, time to get the paintings all ready; and to go pick up a few of my bird paintings from some places they are being kept at.

Hopefully, by this summer, any of you that live in Michigan can go and see some of my art on display there.

Birds of Michigan: Robin

I decided to tackle a robin. He turned out okay, but I want to work more on the background. Here’s the start of it.

Robin,original oil painting of Michigan bird

Birds of Michigan: Robin, original oil 11 X 14

He’s a hungry fella, and is busy eating a bug as robins like to do. I enjoyed creating a bright light atmosphere around him; I wanted the feel of a sunny day. The feathers in the front were a mix of cad. yellow deep, orange, cad. red light, and alizarin, with shadows in ultramarine blue and alizarin. The brown and gray feathers were a mix of burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, black and hints of yellow ochre, with varying mixes of titanium white. The grass was a mix of sap green, ultramarine blue, lemon yellow, and white mixed in.

I’ll finish the background this week. It was fun doing a sunny painting, since it’s been cold with snow on the ground outside.

How to Paint a Barn with Oils: Part 1

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! If I had thought about it, I would have painted a wild turkey for today…a few weeks ago, there were tons running around everywhere. Now, they are all gone, in hiding. Smart birds.

I’ve decided to paint a barn; I plan to keep it fairly “loose”. In painting a landscape, I like to start with the background, or sky, first. After all, the trees will have their branches against it. So…here’s the start:

How to paint a barn, lesson 1, sky blocked in

Michigan Barn, sky getting blocked in

I like ultramarine blue, so I created the sky areas with a mix of this and titanium white, deepening the sky further up in the painting. I then created the clouds, painting wet into wet, with a mix of yellow ochre, dioxide purple, brown and titanium white. I added bits of blue as well, and brushed the clouds in to make them soft and give depth.

In the next lesson, I will be working on the barn and foreground. Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

deck and flowers

It’s cold right now in Michigan. In fact, little tiny snowflakes (that my Michigan-born friends tell me is called “lake effect” and my Texas used-to self calls “too early”) are falling even as I write.

So, when a friend asked me to paint a picture of her deck and flowers for her, I was delighted. What better reminder of sunny summer days?

beautiful flowers on a deck, oil painting

Deck with flowers, oil, 18
X 24

I did a side photo of my painting, in hopes to reduce the glare. It only reduced it on the right side (that’s the actual wood deck color in the painting I did). I’ll keep working at taking photos; I should really wait until my paintings dry. The lake is one of the many around here in Lake County.

Birds of Michigan: Mourning Dove

I’m back to painting birds again, this is a mourning dove in golden light, sitting in the grass.

I wish I could my photo here┬áto look like the original painting; it’s a lot more washed out looking than the original on my easel (probably because of glare, etc.). I enjoyed painting this one; I love the variety of colors these beautiful birds have in their feathers.

picture of a mourning dove in summer grass

“Mourning Dove” original oil 11 X 14