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 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

Oil on panel, 7 x 5 inches

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

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 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!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Just a Dusting
Oil on canvas, 10 x 10 inches

A dusting of snow and cold enough weather to keep it around for a few days. This is the 4th in the 30 in 30, and though it is okay, I could fuss with this one for days. However, I believe it was better before I fussed as much as I did! Hard to put down the tools at the right time. The sculptor Giacometti is said to have had a brother-in-law who "stole" his sculptures and sold them so he, his wife (Giacometti's sister), and Giacometti himself could eat and keep a roof over their head. Left to Giacometti alone, they likely all would have starved. I'm far from starving, sell or not, but maybe I need a brother-in-law like that just to stop me at the right moment!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Fog Across the Ball Field
Oil on canvas panel, 8 x 12 inches

Third of the 30 in 30 (never promised I'd make it to 30 this month!). I walk and bike frequently in this park. This is early morning on a slightly threatening day, but the trees against the light and the fog over the ball field were what caught my eye. This one, also, is done with painting knives. My major focus on this was to simplify shapes yet keep the sense of light coming through the upper trees. I also focused on staying very conscious of the color relationships.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Fall Dogwoods
Oil on canvas panel, 8 x 10 inches
Not for Sale

Here is #2 of the 30 (or so) in 30. This is actually a rework of a painting that didn't work before. It's certainly better than it was, but not really what I was aiming for. I said at the beginning that this is a learning experience. Trials and errors! Often, I just figure I've learned all I can from a particular painting, and it's time to move on. So move on it is...  

Monday, January 2, 2017

Oil on canvas, 6 x 10 inches
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Happy New Year to everyone! I had a long break with LOTS of family, lots of food, Christmas, 3 birthdays, and another birthday party/anniversary party/engagement party combination. It's been BUSY, but lots of fun! I'm back to painting now... 

I'm trying something new this month. Artist Leslie Saeta has been hosting a "30 in 30" painting blog once or twice a year for a while. The point is to paint - learn, have fun, try something new, whatever - just paint. Doesn't matter if you get 30 done this month (hence the "30 in 30" name) or 3. Painters from all over the world are posting to the blog, and it can be viewed here

For me, I'm using this blog and this time to give myself "permission" (I'm kinda type-A about certain things) to work towards more abstraction and impressionistic work. To try painting without my glasses. To work with painting knives more. To try whatever comes into my mind. This is opposed to working towards very finished paintings - whether they're detailed and tight or not. I'll be posting everything - really lousy ones to "I like that!", and everything in between. (The really lousy ones may give insight to my battles, and you're certainly free to laugh at them!) I'm hoping to learn a lot and really push forward this month!

I'm working on canvas taped to a foamboard support. Likely, most of these I will not consider saleable. They'll be posted here and on my Facebook page, but won't be posted to my Daily Paintworks (DPW) website. Should I decide to sell any, I'll let them dry for a couple of weeks, archivally mount them on boards, and then post them to the DPW site. Should you be interested in one, please contact me by email or wait for them to show up on DPW. 

Thanks for looking, and I hope everyone has a wonderful 2017!