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

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Small Still Life, Daily Painting, Small Oil Painting, Lemon Still Life, "A Classic Set-Up" by Carol Schiff, 8x10 Original

Yes indeed, this is a classic set-up!  This small still life painting was completed during an Elio Camacho workshop last fall.

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 I found the workshop to be both helpful and exciting.  Elio's gave us some information that I had not heard before, especially about the direction of strokes and color.

I don't take a lot of workshops and always get very stressed in them, trying to follow my instructor's information.  This workshop was no different.  I ended up with paintings that looked unlike Elio's and unlike mine.  However, Elio is a very talented artist and instructor and I immediately signed up for a second workshop with him this spring.  Hopefully I will be a bit more relaxed next time.


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Taking the Challenge by Cindy Michaud

When our Pieces of 8 painting group gets together just about anything can happen!  We like to make up challenges that keep our brains sharp and our creative muses on their toes...so when Carmen wanted us to dig deep into our supply drawers and bring out the tubes of color that we had long ago abandoned, we were ready to take up the challenge.

If you paint, you probably recognize this.  Something you bought because it was a) on sale, or b) recommended in a workshop.  And it has never seen the light of day since!  So we came with our bags and palettes of such.

Carol brought us all a "subject" and we settled in to make silk purses from sow's ears.  It was rather disconcerting at first not having our "go to" standards handy to use.  But slowly we adjusted and started thinking "dark" and "light" or "warm" and "cool" as opposed to yellow, blue and crimson.

Denette was able to find a variation on the colors needed for her apple and pepper and got right into  painting  the details.

I, on the other hand, had a long stretch to paint this green apple with the colors I had.  Add to the challenge that we had under two hours to produce and we have a baaaad habit of talking through the first 30 minutes at least!

Mary does watercolor and although she swore these were not her default bag of trick hues I think she did a pretty darn good job of painting a green apple.

Carol (below) had a board with some wonderful, pre-done texture on it and was able to use that for added interest.  Her red apple is definitely red but these were some strange shades that had luscious names but uncommon tints.

Kathy (below) 

was a renegade and decided not to paint a piece of fruit.  She went after a photo of an owl she had taken at the national zoo.  He was so cute I think he would have been fun to paint in any color.

I share these not because I think they are wonderful pieces of art (I hear the group choking right now) but because you can make an artistic challenge out of almost anything.  As long as your brain has to process the painting basics and your eye can help you execute, there is a way to overcome almost any obstacle and still make it pleasing.  Obviously it would take a bit more practice  to perfect but taking leave of a comfort zone is a boost to learning...and a sure-fire way to challenge your skills.

Now, where is my cad yellow and cobalt blue.....waah, waah, waah.

Colorfully Challenged,

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Daily Painting, Small Oil Painting, Floral with Melon Still Life, 14x18x.75" Oil

Today's art is a workshop painting.  I recently attended a 4-day workshp with one of my favorite artists, Elio Camacho.  Elio is as good as an instructor as he is as an artist.  I would be hard pressed to find another instructor with as much knowledge and one who gave me as much individual attention.  Maybe he thought I need the attention more than others....just kidding.  Everyone in the class got lots of instruction tailored to their individual needs.

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This is my second Elio workshop and I have already signed up for another.  I need constant reinforcement to actually put his techniques in practice.

Elio is not an internet artists, but you can find his work on Pinterest.  He doesn't allow photos taken of him that expose his face.  You will see lots of images of him at the easel, always from behind.

He lives in the Bay area, but travels to Florida in the Spring and Fall of each year to do workshops in several locations here.  Workshop information is available on his website here.  If you decide to go, you will have a real treat ahead of you, as he is also a very interesting person with a wonderful sense of humor.  Enjoy!

Have a great day!


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Garden Painting, Daily Painting, Small OilPainting "Gardens at Hyde Park" 6x8" Oil

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We have all heard about the beautiful English countryside and the gorgeous gardens that are found there.  The cool and moist sea air bring perfect growing conditions to the British isle.  This garden in Hyde Park was a shining example.  May of the flowers were much taller than I.  The cottage was actually some type of Park Headquarters, but was equally charming on the outside.  It was truly a treat to stumble onto this diamond.



Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Just Wait

It is cold in Florida (relatively speaking of course) cold in Canada, the Northeast, the Midwest!! Yikes.  This painting evokes memories of warmth, sunshine and abundance.  Just wait it is coming.

Little Yard Big Garden

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A day at the beach is always a good thing.

Stop and smell the salt spray with these seascape paintings.



A day at the beach is always a good thing.


Friday, February 12, 2016

Yesterday was a very special day for one of the Pieces. Mary celebrated her 60th, yes 60th wedding anniversary. That is such a milestone and we were so happy to be able to share the day with her. Carol made some yummy goodies, we presented Mary with cards and a bouquet then we painted and talked politics even though Mary does not want to talk politics. Happy Anniversary to Mary and Joe.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Vegetable Still Life, Red Pepper Painting, "Big Red" by Carol Schiff, 20x24x1.5" Oil

It has been some time since I have painted a vegetable still life, so I decided to try one this week.  In the past I painted every fruit and vegetable you could imagine, but they were small pieces, usually 6x8" or smaller.

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 This one is actually 20x24" and painted with a combination of palette knife and brush.  You will notice with this next image below, that the the background is actually more gray green than the blue shade above.  I must have taken 20 photos of this, trying to get the colors correct, but in the end I had to choose between the bluish background and the front end of the pepper turning a garish orange mustard hue. Yuck!  At any rate, the photo below seems quite accurate in both places.

Thank you for viewing my blog today.  I hope you enjoy this vegetable still life painting.  Give it a pin!


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sunflower Painting, Daily Painting, Small Oil Painting, 14x18x.75" Oil

Last summer I visited Colorado and fell in love with the state.  The beauty is breath taking and I was trying to record it all on my camera.

Today's painting is a light hearted, laid back attempt to capture the wild sunflowers swaying in the breeze of the Colorado landscape.

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 On a whim, I decided to paint over an old abstract painting, that carried lots of texture in specific areas.

That set the tone of the painting for me.  I stayed loose and free.

Much of the background is from the original painting.

I have a friend who burns her unsuccesful paintings at the end of the year.  I think that is a dangerous activity.  The fumes of the paint and mediums burning cannot be a good thing.  I much prefer to paint over a less successful painting and save a few dollars by reusing the canvas.  I am all about recycling.

Happy Painting!!


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Daily Painting, Small Oil Painting, Portrait Painting, 6x6: Oil on panel

This is a rugged painting of a rugged man!  I felt he deserved a little texture in his portrait.

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I enjoyed the process and will probably use it again.

I created lots of texture on the canvas using gesso.

This piece is unique for me, not only due to the texture, but also the subject matter.  When I first started painting, I started with portraits.  I painted most everyone in my family.....time after time.  My granddaughter probably has more original portraits of herself than any other person on earth.........and then I stopped!  I went on to still life and landscape and found the beauty of not being so exact in my work.  I was thrilled to delete a bush or change the shape of a pear.  I loved painting without trying to "capture" that person's facial features. I could concentrate on color and value instead of measuring the distance between the eyes or the length of the nose.  It brought new joy and freedom to my art.

but so did this!  I want to try it again.

Have a great day.