Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Fire in the Sky
Oil on canvas panel, 8 x 12 inches

This is from a nearby camping park in very early morning. It was amazing how the sun's fire lit up the clouds and the contrails!

On another note, I'm changing things up a bit. I've been working on a new website for my art. You'll continue to find my artwork on Daily Paintworks here or by clicking on the Daily Paintworks box to the right. I'll be using the rebeccahelton.com URL for my new website, which should be connected in a day or so (let's hope!). I'll also remain on Facebook (@RebeccaHeltonArt), as well as my personal page.

I'm so excited! It will be a beautiful venue for my work. My blog will be integrated into the new website, and I'll have the ability to send newsletters on occasion. Don't worry - I'm planning to send newsletters only every month or so, just to let you know what I've been up to. You can sign up without being flooded with emails! Once the new website is running, I'll send out another notice here, in Daily Paintworks, and in Facebook.
Wait for it... wait for it...

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Need a Reminder?


Where You Find It
Pastel on sanded pastel paper, 10 x 10 inches

Need a reminder to stop and enjoy? I was just shopping, when I looked up and found this. This incredible sky. Over a strip mall. Nearly everyone else was just going about their business, and I wanted to shout to them to take a moment out of their day to see. So now I'm wishing I had shouted to all the strangers about. How many missed this beauty and joy?

First I did an oil painting of this sky, which was a failure. I was still fascinated, so I tried again in pastels, and painted the above. I'm going to have another go with the oils sometime soon - we'll see... In the meantime, what makes you stop and look? 



By the Driveway
Oil on archival panel, 9 x 5 inches

Here's another reminder to stop (and smell the irises?). In a rather inhospitable, narrow strip of garden between my house and the driveway, these irises grow. They were planted by the folks who lived here before us, and they've been coming back for years and years. They're huge and lovely, deep maroon to almost black.

When such things as these flowers or a glorious sky are juxtaposed against the mundane - the driveway or a strip mall - it seems to magnify their beauty. Maybe because they take you by surprise? Some artists would have changed the surrounding scenery, but I know others who love to find the beauty in the mundane. I think we get a kick out of the contrast, and it feeds at least some of our art - as well as our spirits. 

Friday, February 10, 2017


Lately, I've been trying to keep my paintings fresh, make them more painterly, use color more boldly. I painted the oranges and grapes above after looking closely at similar paintings by pastel artist, Jen Evenhus. I learned while doing this, and I do like the results. However, putting the lessons into something entirely my own (not looking closely at similar paintings) is quite a bit harder and less successful. 


Above is a pastel painting in which I was trying to keep things fresh and at least somewhat bold. I'm still on a fairly steep learning curve with pastels, and in addition, I used some old fixative, which accounts for most of the splotches. Yet I did learned from this one, as well.


Last, another oil painting. This one seems farther from the freshness and boldness I was searching for. Too fussy, not very painterly. Seems to me a step backwards even from the pastel, yet better than many things I've painted. In fact, I recently compared some of my latest paintings from those done a year ago, and I've definitely grown! It just never feels fast enough! Back to the drawing board - literally! 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Favorites
Oil on panel, 7 x 5 inches
$65

These are some of my favorite foods (if you discount things like ice cream, chips, and pizza). After I finished, I promptly ate the apple and later made a curry from the eggplant. Yummy colors and tastes!



Follow the Poles
Oil on canvas panel, 10 x 14 inches
$95

This painting was from a drive near Troy, Missouri. Below are a couple of small sketches, working out the painting. 


I said I'd post the good, bad, and ugly this month (only this month!). I spent January working on whatever I felt would be helpful, rather than thinking about finished paintings. I'm also taking an online workshop with Mary Gilkerson (thank you, Mary!). So here are several of the sketches and exercises I've been doing lately. 



Above, a couple of sketches, oil on the left and pastel on the right.



To the left is an underpainting from the workshop. To the right is what happens when you let the underpainting dry to crust then paint over it! 




 More broccoli... workshop exercises examining lighting conditions.




A rainstorm and below it, a foggy evening. I'm pleased with some passages, but certainly not all! Both after M. Gilkerson. 


Both of these are of an old pecan tree, again examining different lighting conditions in the workshop. 



This one is just flat-out embarrassing. I worked it so long I lost the drawing and fussed it to death - it happens! Better to cut my losses - I think I've learned all I can from this one.

More to come...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Another of the 30 in 30 - I've lost count how many actually. Anyway, this is another wiper, but a baby step closer to the target I have in my mind. Problem is that the target keeps moving - and probably always will! 😖

Monday, January 9, 2017


Some days...it just doesn't work out. Yesterday, I ran into a friend I vacationed with in Michigan a couple of years ago. She asked if I'd used any more of my photos from that trip for a painting, and it reminded me of these roots growing in and out of rocks near the shore of Lake Superior. So I fought with this thing for several hours, and just became more and more frustrated. Finally decided to just wipe it out and begin fresh. Well...I said I'd post the lousy ones too this month (only!). Of the good, the bad, and the ugly, this is somewhere between the latter two. Now I need to sit and figure out what I learned today. 

On the other hand, at least I have a nice pile of olive/gray paint and a wiped board to use later!