* Carmen Beecher * Carol Schiff * Denette Schweikert * Donna Vines * Mary Warnick * Kathy Garvey *Fay Picardi * Jean Thomas

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Wildlife Painting, Small Oil Painting, Daily Painting, "Gray Squirrel" by Carol Schiff, 6x8" Oil SOLD

Have you ever tried to photograph wildlife?  I have, and consider it an exercise in frustration.  Many blurred images later, my friend and photographer, Ted Fuhrer, offered me the use of his images.  Thanks so much, Ted.

This little guy looks very inquisitive and ready to bolt at the least movement.

  I enjoyed experimenting with painting his fur and directing the viewer's eye.  The animal is much the same color as the background in this scene.

 I put it in one of my black frames.  They seem to work perfectly for just about any painting.

Happy day to you!


Friday, January 11, 2019

Where do I go from here?, Daily Painting, Small Oil Painting

Traditionally, January is when we evaluate our performance over the last twelve months, and look at the direction we are headed.  I am a little late!

Artistically, I see nothing but question marks.  I want to have a clear plan, a path to follow and mark my progress, but alas, it evades me.

I looked through my posts from last year, and picked out my favorite pieces, hoping against hope that they will tell me where I am headed.

 Abstract Expressionism?


Thick Paint?



Really thin paint?

Or does it really matter?

All this thinking is making my head hurt!  

I am happy I found this many pieces, from last year, that speak to ME.  I am happy with them which makes me happy with me.

Maybe 2018 will find me treading the straight and narrow.....but somehow, I don't think so.

Thank you all, for joining me on my crazy, unplanned journey!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Mr. Eker is not a farmer, not a history prof or even a philosopher...he is a financial wealth motivational speaker.  I probably don't embrace his agenda for fattening my bank account but I do think he has a point here about roots.  I'll explain.

Lately I've been obsessed with "roots."  In every aspect of the word, in every application of the nuance, the symbolism and the literalness...in short, the word just keeps percolating in my tired little brain over and over again.  I must have hundreds of photos of roots.  Everything I have read, fiction and non, over the past year somehow circles back to a theme involving roots.
What does this mean? I'm not sure.  But the obsession has, of course, crept into my painting and I've decided to ride it as far as it takes me.  Does anyone really want a painting of roots in their living room? I don't know and for the moment I can't care...I need to paint these fascinating twists and turns and see where they take me.  It could be a private project or a fabulous show...no idea.  
These magnificent formations all become anthropomorphic as I paint them.  They are also an excellent exercise in transforming a 2D surface into a 3D visual, it takes a certain skill to make those limbs come out at the viewer or dive back into the ground.
Even my sketches relate to the idea that roots have something to tell us...uptight, snarled root balls don't survive, meandering, exploring ones that graft onto others thrive. hmmm.
In the midst of hardened places you often find hope, there is a lone fern (to be) nestled amongst these (work in progress) roots.  And, and....
And who knows where this will lead or if next week it all comes to a screaching halt.  So bear with me as I dig beneath the surface and see what needs attention.  Or share with me and perhaps I'll discover just why this is grabbing me so.  As always,
p.s. all of the above illustrations are still on the easel, works-in-progress!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Morning on the beach, Daily Painting, Small Oil Painting, Beach Painting, Seagull on the Beach, 11x14" Original Oil

I have run from the snowy mountains, to the beaches of Florida.  Lucky me, I can walk on the beach, and work at the same time.

Purchase Here
 I photoed this guy, during my morning walk and painted soon after.

The birds are so conditioned to people, they barely move when you approach.  In the morning, it is all business, as they are looking for food.

We are enjoying our Florida winter on the beach.  Being a snowbird is a good thing!

Carol Schiff

Monday, December 31, 2018

December Challenge, Mixed Media

Our challenge this month is to step outside our comfort zone and use various media together, or a medium we don’t normally use, to mix it up and have fun! Following is how each member met the challenge.
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Cindy's Response to the Challenge

No problemo for me...I was housebound due to knee surgery AND a major snowstorm. So I looked around at what was at hand and began working, out of my comfort zone, with some new medium which included q-tips, homemade ink, colored pens and eco-printed rejects. For the full story on this particular effort go to my blog here.

These are misprints from my eco-printing process making note cards.  I wanted to see if I could salvage them or at least have a little fun.  Using my homemade inks and then doodling with some colored pens I got the results below.  Not earthshaking art but I had fun experimenting with line and color and moving the eye around.  No idea what to do with them now....but that was not the challenge!!

Cindy Michaud - art@cindymichaud.com

* * *
Donna's Response to the Challenge

I  really debated about which way to go on this challenge and decided to tackle watercolors again.  I  started out in watercolors, they looked so serene, so simple, so forgiving, so easy to use and carry. I was so wrong. They were none of these things except easy to carry. I was immediately reminded why I switched to oils and collage.
With someone of my temperament -- impatient, changeable, yada yada--watercolor is anxiety producing not calming. There is no going back, going outside the area, changing colors in midstream as you will see from my paintings.
Here are two pieces I did of  the same scene.  I really liked the first one I did, gentle colors, whimsical, spontaneous but then I decided to add a few trees behind the houses and it was just awful and I couldn't fix it! The second painting is more stick to the plan but looks labored and just lacks something.  Despite all of this I am going to try some more watercolors.  I liked doing it once I got lost in it and maybe I can learn to relax and stick to the plan.

 Scene 1: Notice how I tried to add the trees.
I even tried to turn the trees into mountains
but that didn't work.

 Scene 2:  No trees. Already one lesson learned but the
sense of spontaneity is gone.

Both scenes together.

* * *
Kathy's Response to the Challenge

Collage is definitely not my media, so I saw this challenge as the perfect opportunity for me to use up some of the many parts and circuits I like to extricate from my old laptops. I searched for a couple of real beauties, mapped them where I wanted on my watercolor paper and started ruling some lines with Elegant Writer pens that I could wet to get some interesting starting shapes and colors.
9x12 Watercolor sheet with space for the circuits marked off
and Elegant Writer Pen lines sprayed with water.

I still have a data flow template from my programming days so I drew some symbols on the background and filled them and the background in with watercolors. To add some more "mixed media" I thought I would embroider with some really shiny special thread on the paper. Disaster! Slow, hard to keep my lines straight, and way too easy to snag the thread on the little barbs of the circuits. That little square one is sharp!
Definitely need to rethink the embroidery idea!

I actually love it when I think I've ruined something because then it doesn't matter what I do to it. So, I went to town with adding gold foil, white, gold and green-gold acrylic applied with a pin, colored pencils and things through stencils. Then I emptied my sewing machine of thread and by staying away from the circuits, I was able to stitch some straight lines to get perfect holes. Hand sewed them in with my fancy threads.

I used a micron pen to add a little Hello World code in Basic, Cobol and Pascal (that tells you how old I am). Topped it off with more watercolors and colored pencils. Fun, fun, fun! I have to sign it, name it and put it out of sight so I don't keep adding more stuff to it! 

May the Circuit Be Unbroken
Mixed Media, 9x12
by Kathy Garvey
Just for fun I started another watercolor collage using a really old circuit. I was barely in to it when my oldest daughter decided she loved it. I added some things meaningful to her in some of the circles and kept it much simpler than the other.

Crossed Circuit
Mixed Media, 9x12
by Kathy Garvey
* * *
Carmen's Response to the Challenge

 Woman in Gold
Mixed Media, 11x14
by Carmen Beecher

Having just been to Vienna, I had Klimt on the brain, so I used the challenge as my excuse to use gold gesso, gold acrylic paint, stamps, pen and ink, and oil paint in a Klimtish manner. I painted the face in oils, then just went a bit crazy with the rest of it. I had noticed that with Klimt, too much was not too much. None of that "less is more" nonsense, although I didn't completely cover the canvas with designs. I didn't want her face to get lost.
* * *

Carol's Response to the Challenge.


I packed up in November and left my North Carolina home, heading south to the beaches of Florida.  The plan is to stay in a beachside condo until the mountains become a little more hospitable......meaning warmer!

Even though, we packed two cars to the gills, I could not bring everything I wanted or thought I needed.  As a result, the only art supplies I brought were my oils.

Why am I telling you this?  I am feeling a little guilty, for not doing a new project for the challenge, but showing you one of my past adventures into other medias.

These are two tiles, painted with alcohol inks.  A few months ago, I became quite interested in working with alcohol inks and experimented with them on several supports.  These are two of my early efforts.  Nothing special, but I do like the colors, and this challenge has re-ignited my interest in this process.  I cannot wait to return home, to my studio, to dig out my inks and further my experiments with them.

Carol Schiff


Fay's Belated Response

Ink drawings with water color wash were how I started my limited art career. I drew and colored very simple wild flowers. No depth, no detail, but lovely colors. I haven't attempted those in years, but thought I would take up the medium again for this challenge and try to apply it to a scene from our hotel window on a recent trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Below is the first attempt at a watercolor with ink drawing that tries to capture the San Juan Bautista Cathedral. After this feeble attempt, I decided I should take a photo and try again at home. The third work is a my attempt at an ink drawing with a wash. I have a long way to go to perfect my drawing skills, not to mention to conquer watercolors, but I had a lot of fun doing this challenge.

Jean's Response to trying a different media

What are these images (below), you may ask? 
Well, take some blank, white, quilted pot holders. Hmmm, what to do with them? Gifts? Yes!
Get some acrylic paint, white glue, permanent marker, and a little creativity. 
My goal in choosing a new medium is to use the glue as a resist, then paint the surface with acrylic. Once dry, remove the glue. (see the third image) That proved a challenge. So then I concentrated on drawing on the quilting with a permanent pen. 
Still have more holders and I'm determined to find a better resist. Any suggestions? 
Happy New Year! 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

A Very Special Day

I hope you all enjoy your holidays and find peace and love in the upcoming year!  I want to thank all my online friends who visit this blog and follow my art.

Our painting group, Pieces of 8, at our fun Christmas luncheon at The Dove. The Dove always makes  it a specal day, they do it right!

Clockwise, Fay on the left, Carmen, Denette Jean, Donna, Me, Mary and Kathy.
Carol Schiff