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Posts Tagged ‘Paintings’

The Fall was a busy time, for both Art Life, and Family Life. Dave and I were (and still are) busy preparing for winter — putting away the boat, and winterizing machines that will be sitting out the season, cutting trees to saw into lumber,  stacking it to dry properly, making sure we have propane tanks full, etc. etc.  The first snows have fallen, so winter has arrived.

I participated in  a couple group shows with my Critique Group [Artists of Studio 10], and took several sculptures over to Grand Forks, ND for their annual TAG(The Art of Giving) art gala/sale and fundraiser. I also took a couple workshops to learn more techniques, AND have fun! One was to learn the use of Epoxy Clay sculpture, from Wanda Odegard. I still have to paint my piece to call it done, so I will share it in a later post. I also took a wonderful workshop from Tonja Sell, which focused on using a variety of textures in the works and combining media, such as Watercolor or Acrylic with Pastel, or  Acrylic with collage and texture mediums. I started 3 pieces at the workshop, and just now finished the last of them.

Portrait of my son (many years ago!) using the texture techniques from Tonya's workshop -- done in Watercolor and Pastel.

Portrait of my son (many years ago!) using the texture techniques from Tonya’s workshop — done in Watercolor and Pastel.

This one was done using Acrylics on Canvas, texture mediums, and metallic paint -- also painted in a looser style than I usually work in.

This one was done using Acrylics on Canvas, texture mediums, and metallic paint — also painted in a looser style than I usually work in.

Portrait of my Sheltie, Bailey, done in Acrylic on pastel paper, with texturing techniques, and finished with Pastels

Portrait of my Sheltie, Bailey, done in Acrylic on pastel paper, with texturing techniques, and finished with Pastels

If you ever have the chance to take a Tonja Sell workshop, you should do it! Very Fun, and you learn a lot.

Coming up, Studio 10 is hanging a new exhibit at the First Lutheran Church in Bemidji, and after Christmas we are hanging a major exhibit at the Rourke Gallery in Fargo/Moorhead. I am busy with a few pet portrait commissions, and after that I hope to play around with the epoxy clay some more, and also have some started metal sculptures waiting for my attention. There is never a lack of things to work on!!

Hope all of my readers had a nice Thanksgiving — it is so good for us to look for the good things in life and be grateful.

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Hard to believe it is 2014! It is starting out as the old year ended — bitterly cold. We had around minus 36 this morning, and that is not wind chill, just the actual temp. So glad I have a house to keep me warm — how the pioneers and Native Americans lived here in ‘the old days’ is hard to conceive of.

Well, we are sure to have some warmer days and good times ahead. I like to look back at summer pictures about this time, and some of my paintings of fall — which I think is my favorite season, because the colors have so much energy! I’ll post a few of my “Autumn Glory” series.

"Color and Sunshine" 10"x10"Acrylic on canvas

“Color and Sunshine”
10″x10″Acrylic on canvas

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“Reds I” 9″x12″ Acrylic on canvas

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“Look Up!” 16″x 20″Acrylic on canvas

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“Glory Days” 12″x16″ Acrylic on canvas

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“Fall Birches” 10″x10″Acrylic on canvas

These were all painted in what I consider a ‘backwards’ technique: I start with the lightest color, which I paint over  the whole canvas except the areas I know will be tree trunks or branches. I then layer on more colors to create the sunlit leaves. Next are the tree trunks/branches. Then most of the mid-size and smaller branches. Finally I add the sky, which is what gives form and dimension to the leaves, and perhaps a few tiny twigs. This is the total opposite of my usual method of painting the background first, and then giving attention to the subject. It is actually quite fun to do things in a different way once in a while, and it helps me loosen up on these landscape subjects, which really don’t need to be photo perfect. It is the mood and the energy of the season that I’m trying to convey. Every one of these paintings were based on trees in my own yard. I am so fortunate to live in a beautiful place!

Hope your year is off to a good start!

 

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It is hard to believe that the all too short summer is already drawing to a close. It has been busy, as it always is. We have had nights in the 40’s already, and the back-to-school sales are on in full force. I  had many fun art times this summer with my Studio 10 group and at various classes and exhibits I’ve attended. Especially fun was a workshop of Karen Knutson’s that was held at her home studio in Eden Prairie, MN. It made me want to do more watercolor painting! Thanks Karen! It was great!  Here is one of the paintings I did at her workshop.

"Moonlit"  Watercolor and mixed media 11"x15"

“Moonlit” Watercolor and mixed media 11″x15″

I also finished two commissions this summer, and both of the families were happy with my depiction of their pets. [That always makes ME happy!] Here is “Jessie”

"Jessie" 20"x16" Acrylic on canvas

“Jessie” 20″x16″ Acrylic on canvas

And here is “Ruthie”

"Ruthie""  12"x9" Pastel on velour paper

“Ruthie”” 12″x9″ Pastel on velour paper

Another piece I did was a bit of a challenge — working from my imagination instead of a photo of a real animal. My critique group put up an exhibit called ‘Dragons’ at Brigid’s Pub in Bemidji. It turned out to be a really great exhibit, which challenged us all. There is still time to see it if you are in town before Labor Day. Here is my painting:

 

"Legendary Beast" 20"x16" Acrylic/mixed media on foamcore.

“Legendary Beast” 20″x16″ Acrylic/mixed media on foamcore.

I showed this one with the frame because I thought the frame really enhanced this work. It was one I had in my inventory for a long time, waiting for the right painting to go with it. Speaking of dragons, we participated once again with the Buena Vista ski patrol to run the annual dragonboat races in Bemidji. It was another fun and successful event. If you have never watched, or been in a dragonboat race, you should try it!

Before I sign off, I want to share a couple paintings by two of my summer art students. Here is an acrylic landscape by Jenny:

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And here is a pastel painting done by Mattie:

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I have the BEST students! They do some wonderful work and I am proud to be their teacher.

I hope to squeeze some more good times in before the snow flies. (And we must get a new roof on the house too — not so fun, but needed!) Hope all you readers are having a wonderful summer.

 

 

 

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Whoa! Time has a way of getting away from me. So much has happened since my last post. I will catch up on the most memorable parts —

Right after finishing my High School class in April, my husband and I took a road trip out west to visit two of our kids, and some family and friends along the way. This is one big country! Lots of miles, lots of good times. I brought a pastel portrait of my son’s dog, Kuna and gave it to him as a surprise. He said it looks just like her, so that made me happy.

Kuna

These next two paintings were my entries in the Artists of Minnesota show this spring. The one titled “Be Alert” got a merit ribbon in the Super Gold category.

"Be Alert" 30"x30" Acrylic mixed/media on canvas. [There are 5 wolves hiding in the background - can you see them?]

“Be Alert” 30″x30″ Acrylic mixed/media on canvas. [There are 5 wolves hiding in the background – can you see them?]

"BFF" 20"x16" Acrylic/mixed media on canvas.

“BFF” 20″x16″ Acrylic/mixed media on canvas.

Right after returning from the trip, I attended a week-long workshop taught by Karen Knutson. It was so fun! Learned a lot and had good visits with fellow artists. Below is one of my paintings from the workshop, taken during the final critique.

Watercolor and collage painting at Karen Knutson workshop

Watercolor and collage painting at Karen Knutson workshop

That brings me up to the end of May, and I will have to continue in the next post from there. I am glad to report that the snow did finally melt and the leaves came out. [Of course, now we have mosquitoes, but that is a whole ‘nuther story!]

 

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Here it is the Labor Day weekend already! This summer flew by like the wind, with lots of things happening every week. It was a busy time for my art life that is for sure! I was very happy to complete two benches which will be at First Lutheran Church in Bemidji. It was challenging to get them done because of the unusually hot weather this year, and the frequent thunderstorms when it wasn’t hot! Here is a picture of the benches the day we delivered them.

“Northwoods Evergreens” benches. They will be installed at First Lutheran Church in Bemidji.

The art group I belong to “Studio 10”, has an exhibit at the Wild Hare cafe for the month of August. Our theme for the show is “Moods and Foods”.  This was a challenge for me, as it was a bit out of my normal subject range — but challenge is good, and here is what I created for the show:

“Hot Trio” (Coffee, Tea, Cocoa) I wanted to portray the different moods that these 3 beverages evoke in this triptych. It was a fun challenge for me.

In the middle of the month I attended our Region 2 Arts Council board retreat. It was located at Ruttger’s resort here in Bemidji, and was a fun way to meet our new board members and get tuned up for the busy year of grants and art support ahead. How is this for a nice meeting room?

Meeting locale at Ruttger’s resort, on Lake Bemidji.

We’ve been having family and friends visiting now that the kitchen project is done, which is so nice after 2 years of chaos! We also were involved with two dragonboating events, in Bemidji and Duluth. I still managed to finish a pet portrait commission of Kit, a sweet little Border Collie. I also participated in the first ever ‘Art Extravaganza’ hosted by the Art Center for kids from 7-14.  Looking ahead now, I’m preparing for the annual Studio Cruise in October. I hope to get some new works painted for that event, so plan to come out and see me!       Here’s Kit:

“Kit” 9×12 Pastel on Velour Paper

 

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Hey — where did April go?! I guess it flew by while I was doing all the things on my list! I was happy to complete two new works for the Artists of Minnesota annual show — got them done just in time to send them off with my art buddies to the show, while I had a once in a lifetime trip with my family to Costa Rica. (more about that below)  I was thrilled to get back and learn that I had won First Place in the Super Gold division with my painting “Heading Home”. Always nice to get some kudos when you have poured your heart and emotion into a painting, to know that it speaks to those who see it.

“Heading Home” Acrylic/mixed media on canvas, 30″x40″

It was based on a photo I took a couple years ago while canoeing behind my house. I started it with a collaged map in the background, and worked on getting the group of swans in place, then finished with some metal leaf and ink sketching.

The other piece I did was inspired by a shot taken on my trip to Alaska last summer, titled “Watching”. That one was fun to work on because I started it with ‘flinging paint’ — which is very unlike my usual working style, but a great way to loosen up and let things happen.

“Watching” Acrylic/mixed media on canvas, 20″x16″

While working on the paintings I was also busy with our kitchen remodel, varnishing the doors and drawers, etc. which are now installed and in use — hurray! We had our countertops installed as well, so it is starting to really look like a kitchen. This last week I finished grouting on the tile portion of the backsplash and just yesterday did dishes in the new sink for the first time. I also prepared sketches for a commission I’ll be working on, and sent in a proposal for an ‘art call’ here in town. Never a dull moment in April.

After all that, it was delightful to spend 9 days with my hubby, all my sisters and husbands, my niece and her husband and baby — visiting,  enjoying the warm Pacific beaches, horseback riding, swimming, fishing, etc. Wonderful trip for all of us, just what we needed to refresh and ready ourselves for whatever comes next.  🙂   Here is a shot of one of the sunsets on the beach.

Sunset in Costa Rica

Now it is back to real life, so thinking about my next projects, some deadlines, some shows to enter, the garden to plant ….  and on it goes.

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This is for anyone who will be in or near Bemidji next week (and through the end of June). I have an exhibit with my friend and fellow-artist, Pat Shough at Neilson Place, in Bemidji.  We are having an artists reception on Friday April 6, from 3-4:30 pm. The Exhibit is called “Flora and Fauna”, and it features my Pastel and Acrylic animal themed-art with Pat’s Watercolors and Acrylics of flowers. We would love to have the chance to talk to you about our art.

Neilson place is now also called Sanford Health WoodsEdge — located at 1000 Anne St NW. If you can’t be there next Friday, you can still come and see the exhibit, as it will be up until the end of June. If you stop by, write and tell me your thoughts!

Here is one of my works that will be at the show:

"Still Life" Pastel Painting

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