Saturday, December 31, 2016

Carthage Courthouse in Ink

I think the historic Carthage Courthouse is the most beautiful courthouse I have ever laid eyes on!  It is clearly visible as you approach the town, and looks far more like a fairy tale castle than the county seat!  It is very challenging to paint a night scene with watercolors!  I was longing for my oils as soon as I started dropping in that night sky!  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  This is certainly one of those things that will only improve with practice.  Here's to another year of pushing my artistic boundaries!  Happy New Year!  Painting number 1451 in 1451 days and I will be linking to another 30 in 30 painting challenge, which is the catalyst that started me on my daily painting adventure 4 YEARS AGO!!  WOWZA!!
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Friday, December 30, 2016

Statue of Liberty Nutcracker

This is one of the sweetest nutcrackers that I have had the pleasure to paint!  Having primed all the panels in the manner I prefer most, I am in my element with my paints.  I can paint on many surfaces, but I love the way this kind of texture grabs the paint from my stiff brushes, when layed down almost flat.  It reacts in ways that could never be the same way twice, which makes every painting unique!  What shall I work on next?  Painting number 1450 in 1450 days.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Elmwood in Ink

As I started this rendering of the historic Elmwood Cemetery, my intention was to simply draw this landscape with pen and ink.  As I completed the complex drawing, it seemed to call for some color.  So, I pulled out my classic Prima "Watercolor Confections" pan set, and added a little color with my brush pens.  I can't believe I like this set so much!  I wish I had all of their collections!  They are small, I can pack them in pocket or purse, and who knew I would be so happy with the brush pens?  I thought I could only use my favorite, very pricy watercolor brushes for such work!  Many, many thanks to fellow artist Peggy Wilson for turning me on to these babies!  This painting makes 1449 in 1449 days  :)
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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Buttons Jester

This adorable nutcracker has a European flair, with the almost mime like features.  The red ball nose and the rosy red cheeks certainly have a clown like feel to them!  I love the serious expression to the face, and the applied red buttons to the front of the coat!  The little legs are so shapely - which is not the norm of stick straight legs on most nutcrackers!  The colors work so well together here - it has been one of my favorites to paint!  This painting makes 1448 in 1448 days. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Jester Nutcracker

What fun this nutcracker had been to paint!  This unusual nutcracker has been shared with me from another collection - and what a gorgeous or it is! The purples and blues are a wonderful complement to his features, and that collar is amazing!  The eyes are dramatically painted - unlike any other with those sweeping eyelashes.  SO cool! This beautiful nutcracker is painting number 1447 in 1447 days :) 

Monday, December 26, 2016

December Afternoon

I am christening my new Guerilla Painter thumb box easel that I got for Christmas from my oldest son! I love it!  Small, at 5x7, it is easy to hold in one hand while painting with the other! So cool!  Guess what my palette is? An Altoids tin! I just loaded it with my new sample Williamsburg paints, in ultramarine, permanent crimson and Indian yellow. These paints are rich and creamy, and a little challenging to work without my red oxide, but it totally works.  What's better than new supplies?  Another slice of pie?  Painting number 1446 on 1446 days :)
Oil on panel, 7x5
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Friday Night Lights in Fairfield

The Fairfield paintout is one of my very favorites!  This year, we had the unique opportunity to go out and paint their undefeated high school football team from the field! It was quite cold, but the rush of the crowd and fast pace of the game kept me moving!  I had to paint fast to get all this down during game time!  Each time the boys moved in front of me, I raced to get them painted!  As they moved up the field, I painted all else in my composition.  It was a wonderful experience and so much fun!!  This painting makes 1445 in 1445 days.  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Flying Santa in Ink

Many years ago, I found this wonderful, whimsical flying Santa in a special Christmas shop while out with my sorority sisters. The blown glass present ornament came in a fancy gift basket we got one year while attending Mike's work Christmas party. The little mouse on the airplane is an ornament my mom gave to one of the boys when they were little.  Every ornament on my tree has a story, some reaching back into my childhood.  My tree is completely loaded with these ornaments!  So much so, that I hang 6 heavy window weights on the back side, just for counter balance.  That is 60 pounds. So, basically, there is a large child hanging on the back of my tree!  Happy Christmas Eve!  This drawing makes 1444 in 1444 days, and I'd better get to sleep before Santa gets here!!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Four Nutcrackers in Ink

Three of these nutcrackers I found in antique shops, while the policeman was new last year.  He is writing a ticket, and has handcuffs, too!  I am drawing them in ink, and though this paper is super amazing, I am leaving it without paint.  At least for now!  This day has been spent entirely with family, and it is only as we sit visiting that I can do a little drawing of the nutcrackers on the table.  On this Christmas Eve Eve, this painting is number 1443 in 1443 days :)
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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Tree in Ink

After a family night of Rogue One and board games, I am doing a little sketching in my treasured watercolor journal.  Once the pen and ink is down, I then decide to add some watercolor.  I have a tiny kit that fits in a pocket, and that's what I pull out for this.  I am getting used to the very opaque pigment of these pan watercolors, even though my preference has always been for the transparent hues.  Painting in low light, the color is a little stronger than I intended!  Painting number 1442 in 1442 days :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Creek in December

Some days I stay too long at a location. The light grows very dim before I can get back to the car.  That late light is magical, dark and dreamy.  The resulting brushstrokes are also a little dreamy, especially as the light fades!  This painting makes 1441 in 1441 days and already has a new home.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Santa and Alastair in Ink

After this very busy day, I am drawing in my favorite journal as my daughter teaches me quantum physics!  Everyone else is in bed, and this is my first chance to get in a little art therapy.  I plan to paint this beautiful childhood scene, so I thought a drawing would help get me very familiar with my subjects.  I'm using my superfine Pitt pen in black exclusively.  It reacts in a rather unpredictable way on this super rough handmade paper - and I like it!  The "scratch" noise the pen makes is also new!  It normally glides over the surfaces I draw on.  This paper is SO cool.  What will I do when this book is full?  Painting number 1440 in 1440 days :)
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Monday, December 19, 2016

Santa with Nutcracker

I painted this Santa while he greeted little darlings at the GotArt Gallery in Lee's Summit a couple weekends ago.   This Santa was so wonderfully dressed right down to his elaborate boots - and I have yet to capture all of him!  I plan to do a few in color, if I can find the time!  I am squeezing in this posting between batches of cookies!!  Painting number 1439 in 1439 days :)
acrylic on panel, 5x7
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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Workshop Santa Nutcracker

These Santa nutcrackers are among my very favorite - and they are SO much fun to paint!   This fabulous one in his workshop attire, complete with toys, apron, hammer and nail, has been shared with me from a private collection.  What fun!  I love the way his colors work together and pop on the panel!  For those lively red highlights, I use cad orange over the top of those masses, and I pull green light permanent over for that rich jewel green.  It's all about pushing and pulling those colors!  This painting makes 1438 in 1438 days as we close in on Christmas!
acrylic on panel, 5x7
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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Waterfall at Mill Creek

Waterfall at Mill Creek
Vivelor Gallery, Independence, MO
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While submitting this for another event, I realized that I had never posted this painting!  Painted on location at Thundering Oaks in Independence, Missouri, this was my very first painting of the two day event.  I did not come out of this creek for three paintings - and then I moved on to the sun setting across the pond!  Spending some time with my daughter's new puppy, I am wrapping things up. The freezing rain and snow is making travel treacherous, and now I think I'd better head for home!  Painting number 1437 in 1437 days :)

Friday, December 16, 2016

Scrooge Nutcracker!

It looks like I have a Christmas Carol theme going!  Another wonderful and unique nutcracker - this one is Ebenezer Scrooge himself, complete with his walking stick, pocket watch and bag of money!  Who knew there were SO many fabulous nutcrackers out there in the world?  My eyes are opened, and the paint is flying!  Painting number 1436 in 1436 days :)
acrylic on panel, 5x7
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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Marley's Ghost Nutcracker

This very unique nutcracker is spectacular!  I have been waiting for days to paint this special character from the Christmas Carol.  Marley's Ghost has a missing tooth and is wrapped in chains, and his expression is very serious indeed!  Scrooge had better listen - this guy means business!  I am painting him today with acrylics on a masonite panel, which is my favorite substrate for this particular subject matter.  I layer on the masses, and before I know it, the nutcracker emerges.  I had all kinds of help with this painting from my very large red lab.  He kept nosing in, trying to get into my palette, then he would move right between my hand and the painting.  I think he's a little jealous of this fabulous nutcracker!  Painting number 1435 in 1435 days :)
acrylic on panel, 5x7
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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Geppetto and his Boy

acrylic on canvas, 4x4
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After a family birthday dinner out, I am coming to my easel late once again!  This charming pair if nutcrackers is Geppetto and Pinocchio.  Geppetto is even holding a wooden mallet, creating his masterpiece. I love the expression on his face, very animated for a nutcracker!  If only my body did not require sleep, I would keep painting all night long!  This painting makes 1434 in 1434 days. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Santa and the Model Plane

My husband loves these model planes, especially ones from his childhood!  He and his dad built these together, just like he has with his boys and now the grandkids. These model planes seem to be reproducing the last few weeks - has Santa been making early deliveries? This vintage Santa is putting a Sopwith Camel under the tree, a nod back to year 1916.  This painting makes 1433 in 1433 days :)
Acrylic on panel, 4x4
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Monday, December 12, 2016

Santa and Dolly

This year, I am painting a series of vintage Santa scenes on small, gallery wrapped canvases.  Some are sepia, and some are in black and white.  In this one, Santa is looking at Dolly with an expression of wonder, and Dolly is looking right back!  The magic of Christmas is in the air and I'm channeling that feeling into each one of these nostalgic paintings.   Painting number 1432 in 1432 days  :)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Santa and the Present

Today, as we were driving around town in my car, shopping with our two youngest sons, the youngest held up my oil can, asking what it was. I answered simply that I kept it in the cup holder, in case I found a scene I must paint immediately, I could.  My easel is in the trunk.  They all busted out laughing, thinking this was the most ridiculous thing they had ever heard!  Will they ever understand? There are so many places that call out to me to be painted, on a daily basis. Perhaps the less said, the better.  Just another day in this artist's life, failing to conform to the norm.  Painting number 1431 in 1431 days  :)
Acrylic on panel, 4x4
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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Nutcracker Family!

What a super fun painting to do!  Each nutcracker of this nutcracker ensemble represents a member of a family, and together, this is really a family portrait unlike all others!  I must say, the artist complete with his palette, paintbrush and easel is my favorite - but each is full of so much character!  It is a wonderful idea to find nutcrackers that take on the personalities of family members!  I think I will be on the lookout for my own "family" gathering!  This painting makes 1430 in 1430 days, and now back to work!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Buff Soccer Nutcracker

This buff Soccer player is much more manly than the earlier one I painted! He's got some guns and shapely calves, too!  Another fabulous nutcracker shared with me by another, and he has been a joy to paint!  I start the painting with a crosshatch texture of gesso to prime the panel.  Next comes the painting of the masses by blocking in the central colors.  By using a dry brush technique, I am able to layer additional paint on top of the texture, adding much to the depth of each mass.  I'm having so much fun, I think I'll start another!  Painting number 1429 in  1429 days.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Fireman Nutcracker

This Firefighter nutcracker is super cool with his rope and ladder!  His eyes are not the traditional style, and his head shape also varies from the norm.  It is just like the giant nutcrackers outside Crown Center in downtown Kansas City. It is so fun to paint these characters - and I think the possibilities are endless!  This painting makes 1428 in 1428 days  :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Geppetto and Pinocchio Nutctackers!

When I first started painting nutcrackers, I had no idea how many different nutcrackers there truly are!   It's incredible!   What started with the painting of my son's nutcracker has turned into many paintings of nutcrackers, shared with me from all over the world.  What an adventure!   I find myself scanning the shelves for these little darlings every time I enter an antique shop or Christmas store, and so our collection grows!  This pair today, is one of my very favorites!  Painting number 1427 in 1427 days.
acrylic on panel, 5x7
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Santa and the Nutcracker

I sure wish there were more hours in every day!   I never feel that I have finished all I need to finish at the end of every day.   Why is that?   Too many things to do?  Perhaps, I should give up laundry and house cleaning to make more time for those important things.  I bet Santa doesn't do his laundry and housework.  And look, he's painting a nutcracker right now!  Painting number 1426 in 1426 days. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Santa and the Stick Pony

acrylic on canvas, 5x7
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I still remember the stick pony I had as a child! I remember the shiny coating over his black and white spots, and the glossy black reins - all atop a wooden stick akin to a broomstick!  I would run around with the wind in my hair, as if I were really riding that pony!  Tonight, I am painting this nostalgic scene with all those wonderful memories in mind.  Santa has brought ashiny new pony to set by the Christmas tree!  This painting makes 1425 in 1425 days :)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Uncle Sam Nutcracker

What fun it is to paint one of the coolest nutcrackers I have seen!  I love the whole patriotic theme, and he comes complete with a large drum!  Today, I start this painting with a thin wash of the masses, allowing that color to settle in the grain of the canvas.  I really don't like the little white spots that show up in the weave when using canvas, so I am making sure they are covered before really laying paint.  Next, I start applying more color, building up the layers, pushing the darks cooler and the lights warmer.  Uncle Sam has SO much character - it has been super fun to capture him in paint!!  Painting number 1424 in 1424 days :)

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Santa and the Train

Tonight, I am working in the sepia. I begin by painting in the darks around my subject.  From this beginning, the shapes emerge.  Depth is achieved by layering the short strokes in a fresh, loose way.  While the acrylic paint is still fresh, it can still be manipulated with a damp paper towel or q-tip, even removed right down to the canvas.  A soft touch is essential, or the results could be too abrupt.  I am really enjoying the nostalgia of these Santas.  This vintage Santa is my 1423rd painting in 1423 days.
acrylic on canvas, 4x4
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Friday, December 2, 2016

Santa at the Tree

acrylic on panel, 5x7
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Tonight finds me painting this vintage Christmas scene with my Christmas cards in mind!   I am drawn to all things nostalgic, so I am using sepia tones.  I mix this shade with ivory black and red oxide, and I can bend it warm or cool, accordingly.  I am using the white of the panel for my lights, so I am saving the whites as I would with graphite or watercolor.   I am using a wet q-tip to remove the acrylic, if I get it where I don't want it.  I am having so much fun - I think I'll start another!  Painting number 1422 in 1422 days. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Soccer Nutcracker

This manly nutcracker is brimming over with testosterone! I love his sassy attitude!  It appears that he is challenging the ref!  A nutcracker like this is sure to keep those bad spirits away!  At least, that is what I've read about their place in history.  I come to my easel rather late tonight since I had an Opening at GotArt Gallery for the Summit Art Holiday Show.  I have several Santa paintings and cards on display until January 4th. The days are all so full as I near Christmas - I will certainly be burning the midnight oil for most of the month!  This painting makes 1421 in 1421 days!