Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dog Portrait of Sam

This will also be a Christmas gift. Sam is the cutest little guy and I had fun getting his character just right. He is standing beside a brick wall in the yard. I had to do some manuvering to get this accomplished as they were 2 separate photos and there were issues of scale to deal with. All in all, I think it turned out great! Cute doggie and lovely brick work all in one painting! I'm hoping the owner will like it!

Newest House Portrait

This is my latest house portrait done in watercolor. It will be a Christmas gift. I love this wonderful home with wrap around porch and quiet setting. I am pleased with the soft colors and porch details. Each house has a distinct personality and the owner and I are both pleased with how this one is depicted!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Whistle Stops and Depots - Historic PA Railroad Stations - Elmhurst Station, Rowlands Station, West Hawley Station, Lackawaxen Station

These are paintings of historic railroad stations in Northeast Pennsylvania that no longer exist. They were done from old photos predating color photography. The photos were small and did not show much detail so some things were left to the imagination. I enjoyed depicting these charming structures in colors I imagine might have been used at the time. They were done with fine and ultra fine point black sharpie markers and then watercolor was added to to enhance the drawing. It was challenging because I did not use any preplanned pencil sketches and had to really think about every mark I made on the paper as there was no erasing. This really forced me to closely examine the photos as I drew the images. I am pleased with how they developed and the fact that they have a fluid charm and movement to them because of the quality of the line work. The stations depicted in order include:

Elmhurst Station
Rowlands Station
West Hawley Station
Lackawaxen Station

Benton Road Railroad Tunnel North Side

I painted this at the end of April, a week or so after painting it from the South Side. (See previous post) Again parking and set up were precarious but I prevailed and got a great mate for the other painting. I'm hoping to frame them similarly and perhaps sell them as a set. I like the stone work above the tunnel and the feeling of "light at the end of the tunnel". This will be part of the PEPS "Whistle Stops and Depots" project as well. See the previous post for details!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Benton Road Railroad Tunnel Pastel Plein Air Painting

I just did this painting on Thursday afternoon. It was a beautiful day and I have been wanting to paint this scene for a project with the Pennsylvania En Plein Air Society called "Whistle Stops and Depots". The project involves plein air paintings of existing railroad structures in Northeast PA or paintings from photos of demolished structures. We have a big show opening in July!

At any rate set up was tricky because the angle I wanted to paint from involved being precariously close to the drainage ditch along the roadside. I made the executive decision to park my car along the road and stand behind it to paint. It is a small local road with not too much traffic and I figured that way people would see the car and move over. Besides it is easy to set my pastels out in the back of my SUV with the back door up to be used for shade or rain shelter if need be. What started out to be a beautiful afternoon digressed into part sun and part shade and a brief barely there sprinkle. Luckily for me it was mostly pretty pleasant. A neighbor stopped with her dog and watched me work for a while and I explained part of my process.

After several hours I was satisfied with my result and began to pack up. As fate would have it, one of the legs on my french easel telescoped in unexpectedly and the easel overturned into the drainage ditch which, of course, was full of mucky water. On the upside to this minor catastrophy, the easel drawer was closed up and locked down and the painting was safely nestled on the back seat of my car. I proceeded to resurrect my soggy easel and clean it off. Another neighbor driving by stopped to chat and admire the artwork. All in all, I consider it a successful painting and a lovely afternoon. I may do some minor touch ups, like adding the date at the top of the tunnel, but I'm pretty pleased with it just as it is! I hope you like it too!

Technical Info: The image is done in soft pastel on sanded paper and is 12 x 9 in size. It will be part of the PEPS show at the Schulman Gallery at Luzerne County Community College in Naticoke PA. The show opens on July 23 from 6-8pm and will be on display until August 25. There will be many other wonderful railroad images there. I am planning to have a number of pieces in the show. Some of them new and some that have been done in the past few years as the project spans multiple years.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Latest House Portrait

I just finished this house portrait for friends at the lake. I'm happy with the final outcome although it did involve a bit of a struggle to decide what to leave in and what to leave out. It was done from a photograph taken from their boat. They wanted to get the dock area in as well as the gazebo and the house. I had to make some decisions on how much of the neighboring properties to include and what elements to remove. Ultimately I decided to leave a hint of some neighboring properties because it is a close knit neighborhood but I did not put in many details because I didn't want to take the focus away from the main house. I also decided to eliminate the jet ski parked next to the dock because it would have been too busy and would have distracted the viewer from the focal point. These changes worked well and I love the way the dock leads your eye back to the house. The reflections on the water add interest to the foreground. This one took me a long time to complete as I did it in in small snippets but I think that added to the strength of the final piece because I would come back to it with a fresh eye each time. The best part of all is that my friends love it!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Autumn Walk on Benton Road

In this watercolor painting we are once again on a family walk. The composition and the hazy view of the landscape in the distance appealed to me. I also liked the play of the shadows across the road and the colorful foliage scattered about. The figures are enjoying the beauty of the day and each other's company. This painting was started and about 80% completed in a workshop where we were told to look at our photo reference and then put it away and paint from memory. I believe we did a quick pencil sketch prior to the memory painting but honestly I don't remember. It was an interesting exercise and I found it quite liberating since I was basically relying on my memory and my knowledge of landscape painting to guide me through it. Also, this was done on print making paper which has different qualities than the watercolor paper I am used to. I enjoyed this new paper and actually ended up ordering some to use in future paintings. I did refer to my photo for the finishing touches but learned a great deal from the exercise. It forced me to paint in a looser style because there was no photo to refer to for finer details.

Creekside Chat

It has been a while since I posted anything so I thought I would add a few paintings that I did last fall. This watercolor was done from a photo of my hubby and daughter taken while we were on a walk near our home. It was a lovely sunny day and the autumn colors and fall foliage were in all their glory. I loved the way the light cast shadows on the rocks and the white of the bridge is almost blinding in comparison to the darker rocks and stream bed. I also liked the sparkling water and the rocks under the water showing through. The brilliant sunlight reflecting almost white in the hair of the figures and on some of the clothing also made for delicious contrasts. I tried to capture all of that in my painting. The conversation between father and daughter adds additional interest to the piece. Are they discussing the scenery?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Another House Portrait

This is a 16 x 12 watercolor painting I did for a collector to use as a Christmas gift this year. I love the charming feel of the home and the bright light of the North Carolina sun. I was thrilled that my collectors were happy with the piece.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

House Portrait

It's been a while so I thought I would post a few things. This is a house portrait that I did in watercolor a few months ago for a friend. I love the way the brick work developed and the overall scene in this painting is quite pleasant. I am currently working on another one for a Christmas gift and will publish it after Christmas! Don't want to ruin any surprises!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Flowers and Peppers

Found this painting languishing in my portfolio, unframed and neglected. I decided to use it in 3 woman show I participated in this summer and was quite pleased with the way it turned out all framed up. Here is the unframed version. This was probably painted in 2004, although I'm not sure...unfortunately I haven't been super good about my record keeping and dating my paintings....future generations will curse me when they try to record my art history! LOL This was done in watercolor from a still life set up at Renee Emanuel and Bill Teitsworth's studio. They have both been a great inspiration.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Recently I have been dabbling in oils. This is a painting done en plein air last fall. I like the vibrant colors and the composition. The setting is a farm a few miles from my house. The painting title is "Zick's Farm Late Afternoon". The shiny surface of the oils causes a glare when photographing. Something I need to work on.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pastel Plein Air Painting of Factoryville Farm View

My painting buddies and I ventured out on a Sunday afternoon threatening rain to paint this lovely scene. As predicted, we were rained out after about an hour. Two of us returned the following Sunday to a beautiful sunlit scene with a hazy background. Needless to say, we adapted and finished our paintings. This is the pastel painting entitled "Factoryville Farm Almost Spring"

Benton Road and Around the Block Series #6

This is my youngest daughter on a mission to photograph something for a school assignment. We went on a walk together and climbed down to the stream bed off of the dirt part of Lily Lake Road so she could get her photos. I took her photo as she took photos of the stream. The day was a bit gray and the greens and browns all sort of blended together. The way she stood out as having more color against the muted background appealed to me. The title of this watercolor is "Looking for the Perfect Picture".

Benton Road and Around the Block Series #5

This is a charming scene of the creek running under a bridge on Maple Street and along North Turnpike Road, which is on our walking route quite often. I just love the sunlit colors of the sparkling fall leaves and the colorful reflections in the creek. The title of this watercolor is "Creekside Glory".