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

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Beautiful flowers of North Carolina

Last month we were enjoying our condo in North Carolina, trying to get it ready for visits from family and friends.  It is so beautiful here during at least three of the four seasons.  I have not been here in winter and cannot speak to that, although I imagine the snow covered mountains would be a sight to behold.

On this trip, there are flowers blooming everywhere.  Each morning, I set out for a walk, with my trusty camera in hand.  Come along with me.......

A garden of hosta
Calla Lily
Rose abound!
A cute little playhouse, or maybe a gardening shed?
Sit for a moment and enjoy the scenery.
Mountains surround the area,
Who knew day lilies grown wild?
I love purple flowers.  Do you know their name?

My goal is to interpret many of these scenes in oil in the comming months

Thanks for reading my blog today.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Experimental Flowers

by Kathy Garvey

I haven't blogged in a while, but I have been busy - just not with as much artwork as I would like. Many of my fellow Pieces are authors and I'm helping one with the editing and layout of a book that I can't wait to tell everyone about - but it's still in progress!  However, I did take some time recently to convert a quick doodle in my sketchbook into a post card in Illustrator. (I had just determined that I hate my new soft cover sketchbook. So, I decided to just fill it up with whatever came out of my pen in order to use it up quickly and replace it with a hard cover sketchbook.)

I scanned the page and placed the scan in Illustrator.
This was the sketch!

Then I started drawing and filling the shapes. I used a line with three different strokes - one of them dashed - to create the checked borders.
This was what I had after about an hour and a half!

I had planned on red being part of the design all along, but it's kind of fun and easy to experiment in Illustrator so I saved to a new file and replaced the red with shades of gray. I liked that version better.
This was my final! Actually, I should never say that! I'll probably tweak it again!
Every time I use Illustrator I fall in love with it all over again. It's such fun software for creating graphics!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Floral Still Life on Linen, Daily Painting, Small Oil Painting, "Mary's Vase" 9x12" Oil

I did this painting a few weeks ago with my paint group, Pieces of Eight.  Mary brought in a set up of fresh flowers and her favorite vase.

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 I wanted to keep it free and loose, so I started painting with both and palette knife and a brush.  I was painting on a linen covered panel, and left much of the background unpainted for added texture and interest.

I have never seen a mum in this colors before, white petals and a purpley blue center.  This is where the knife action came in.

Thank you Mary, for bring these beautiful fresh flowers and thank you to all who are reading my blog today.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Whitewater Grannies by Carmen Beecher

Donna, Carol, Denette, Carmen
One year when we went on our artists' retreat to Carol's house in North Carolina, several of us decided to go whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River. After a very brief briefing, we set forth (no one told us that helmets would be a good idea). Off we went, gaining confidence with each stroke and completely forgetting our one admonition was to "stay to the right." We were gloating about being the only grandmothers on the river, and commenting about a boat that kept getting in our way. We were way down the river when we forgot to stay to the right and went into the "Slot," which stood our raft on end.

The laws of physics being what they are, we flew out of the raft, and Donna and I were on the wrong side of the river and had to be rescued by--of course--the folks we criticized earlier! You can see below that though we looked like drowned rats, we were very happy. Getting to live another day is always worth smiling about!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Spring Bouquet, 6x8 Oil on Canvas, Floral Painting by Carmen Beecher

The Pieces of 8 ambitiously painted this still life during one of our sessions. It was a lot of fun. I am trying to get it into my head to simplify, along with all the other disciplines in art that I am trying to get into my head. People always ask, "How long did it take you to do that?" They should be asking how many successes and failures, trials and errors, immersing oneself in values, composition, drawing, color, brush strokes, perspective, form, lighting, subtleties--it goes on and on. That's why there are so many aged artists. Doing art is a constant striving for improvement, and if "artist" is something you are, not something you do, you will do it for as long as you can hold a brush.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Abstract Seascape | Daily Painting | "Tropical Blues" by Carol Schiff | 6x8" Oil SOLD

Living close to the sea, I find it turns up in my painting in both a representative and non-representative form.  I guess this little daily painting falls somewhere between the two.


 I painted this with a palette knife.  I like texture and feel it adds additional interest to my art.  I was thinking about the beautiful greens and blues of the tropical waters off the coast of Florida.  Further south they turn the most amazing shades of azure, but that will be another painting.


I almost always show my paintings in black frames.  It would be hard to find an artwork that would not work well with black and it just makes the colors pop.

Start planning that tropical vacation today!


Don't forget to pin it on your vacation board.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Daily Painting, Small Oil Painting, Rose Still Life, Small Floral Still Life, "Mother's Rose" by Carol Schiff, 6x8" Oil

On this small oil painting, I tried to capture the beauty and feel of this lovely flower, without being too worried about duplicating the actual image. I painted with a knife and worked hard to keep my colors clean and my strokes pure.The knife has left a lot of texture to the piece that makes you want to reach out a touch it. I think it has a wild feel, which is just what I was working towards. The colors of pinks, purples and greens work well together with a touch of orange.

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I thoroughly  enjoyed this painting, so much so, that I painted a second in the same manner.  I will post the second painting next week.  I plan to try more of the same in the future.

Thanks for reading my blog today.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Daily Painting, Small Oil Painting, Blue Paintings

I like to post on facebook, as I am sure many of you do too.  I started a group called "Online Artists" to give self-representing artists another place to post their work.  Every week I "suggest" a theme for the artists to follow, although it is not mandatory by any means.  A few times, the theme has been a specific color, which I really enjoyed.  So today, I decided to post "blue" paintings for you here.

 I really had fun with this textured piece!

6x8" canvas panel

 What is it about oriental culture that is so fascinating?

Blue Lagoon
6x8" on canvas panel
 A view of the intracoastal waterway in Grant Florida.  This is close to my home.

Mountain Farm
8x10" canvas panel
A view of our neighbor's farm in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.  One of the most beautiful scenes on earth, I have painted this farm dozens of times.

Misty Morning
12x12x1.5" canvas
 The mountains are absolutely gorgeous when the sun comes up and burns off the morning mist.

A Touch of Blue
6x8" on canvas panel
 A Florida sky.  The coastal areas are often filled with fluffy clouds as the afternoon hot air from the west collides with the cool sea breezes from the east.

Candlestick with Palm Shadows
4x12x1.5" canvas

 I love to set objects on my windowsill in front of these cool shadows from a palm tree.

Antique Bottles
8x10 canvas panel
 From my antique bottle collection.

Seascape with sunset
11x14x1.5" canvas

I had to put a seascape in here somewhere!

Well, that's it for celebrating blue today!  I hope you will join us on facebook.  Just go to your account and search for Online Artists.  We would love to have you join in the fun.

I hope you have BLUE skies today.

Thank you for reading my blog.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Daily Painting, Small Oil Painting, Fiddlehead Fern Painting, 11x14x1.5" Oil

A few posts back, I showed you a painting of fiddlehead ferns.  I decided to do a companion piece.  The original painting had a very dark, some would call it black, background, but on this one I decided to go light,

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 The background is photographing a little orangey...it is really more of a nice yellow.  I wanted it to suggest the sunlight that was pouring in around the ferns.

I am considering one more fiddlehead painting,,,,,a really big one!  What do you think?

Thanks for viewing my blog today.