Newport Bridge

Driving down to California we stopped in Newport Oregon for two days. What a beautiful site on the coast. We ate at the local marina both nights with great views, fabulous wine and food. I captured the top photo out the window when we were having dinner one night. I loved the boat and the bridge, but thought the painting might be a bit bland. So I added a nice sunset. The painting is 12″ x 24″.

At first I missed the spotlight and when I looked back the photo and noticed it, I thought it might add a little life to the painting. I realized bridges are not easy to paint, so I abstracted it a bit and did not put in a lot of detail.

It is nice to be back painting, and when Thanksgiving is done, I will be back in the studio. There are no Christmas parties this year with the Pandemic, so we will have to find ways to celebrate the season that bring us joy. I think I will just cook and paint and be happy! Hope you can do the same!

Newport Bridge

Art Classes

This summer I took quite a few Art Workshops with different painters. From some, I discovered new ways of seeing art. From others, I had a good review of the basics of art, something all artists should think about from time to time.   As would be expected, I enjoyed a couple of my classes better than others.

I am not a floral artist, but I took a studio with Stanley Bielen where we painted small florals, vegies or anything we selected from a table full of fun objects.  My first was a copy of the demo he did for the class. Stanley 1.jpg

Being happy with that, I found a small white teapot and put together a rather whimsical painting with the teapot.  All of these pieces are 6″ x 8″ or 8″ x 10″, a size I had not done much work in before, so small was a little challenging to me.

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The class lasted three days and each day I discovered something new or different. Stanley is a funny and intelligent instructor that kept the class laughing with stories and kept our interest by sharing facts and information about other current artists that he has met.  The class had students from all over the United States and Canada. It was fun being in a class with such dedicated artists.

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Going searching the table for the next object or objects to paint I spotted this beautiful turnip and loved the contrast of the bright orange peppers next to it.  Purple and orange are two of my favorite colors, so this was fun to paint and I was pleased with the composition.

Day three and a lot of the flowers on the table were starting to look a little limp, and having had such fun painting the turnip, I decided to do another vegetable – a Bok Choy. Bok Choy.jpg

I loved the floppy character of the Bok Choy and felt I “captured” the essence in this little painting.  By the last day in the afternoon, I was getting tired.  I was enjoying the class, but my energy level was down a bit.  I often think I am better in a two-day class. The last painting of the class was my worst of the series. yellow.jpg

I started too high on the canvas so I was not happy with the composition and composition, even of small paintings make or break the work.  I think I finally just cut off the bottom and repainted shortening the stems.

Being inspired by painting small, I took the concept to a slightly larger canvas and painted plants with pots from our local nursery.  I am pleased with the result and hope to do a few more of these in the future.  Pink flowers.jpg

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Stanely Bielen’s class at The Winslow Art Center was informative, fun and made me look at smaller objects in a new way.  This was not the first of my Summer Classes, but one I truly tried something I had not attempted before and was quite happy with the result.

One other lesson from taking many classes in too short a period of time is that every successful artist believes their paint color choices, canvas finish, and style is the best way to paint. What you should take away is that there is no one style of painting and that you can incorporate, some but not all that you gather from each professional.  Take too many classes and it becomes confusing.  Take classes from too few instructors and will realize that your paintings start to look like theirs.

I took art class once a week from the same instructor for twelve years.  One day after they opened a small local gallery and I was taking a hiatus from painting I walked by the gallery and my youngest son (in his thirties) said to me: Why do all the paintings shown here look the same, even though there were four or five artists represented?”  It was at that moment I decided to take classes from a variety of different professional artists.

Art Classes

When I am not cooking, I might be painting. It is all art.

 

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I am taking a painting class at the Winslow Art Center on Bainbridge Island on Tuesday and enjoy the camaraderie of other artists and learning to paint small. We paint from small photographs on to 8 x 10 inch or 9 x 12-inch canvases.  This was my painting from the first day of class.

The teacher David Marty asked us to do a homework assignment, and I just finished mine.

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This another 8 x 10-inch painting.  I find it interesting as I usually do paint in a much larger format, but am finding this satisfying for some reason.

Normally I paint abstracts in larger formats.  The one below is 36″ x 24″ and as you can see, it is very different from my smaller ones. Painting one.jpg

This one is 30 x 48 inches with black, gray, and gold leaf interspersed in other colors. I was looking at in the studio and think it is the perfect Halloween painting.  Look at the “evil” eye of the predator on the right side of the painting.  This guy is watching you, and it was totally an accident.

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Just thought I would share something other than food art and interior design. I am doing a 3 x 5-foot commission right now and love the big scale of it.

When I am not cooking, I might be painting. It is all art.

Back to the Studio

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It was a summer that I did not venture into my art studio, and yesterday I realized painting is what makes my heart sing.  That and some great Rhythm and Blues music in the background make for a wonderful day.

Two days ago I picked up a piece from a wonderful Interior Design Studio in Edmonds that sells quite a bit of my work.  The owner took me to house she is redoing and asked if I could do something for the living room to put above the fireplace. The colors were rich grays, taupes, bronze and a little bit of yellow green.  This piece is 30″ x 60″ and painted over a previous piece I had done a long time ago. Purple Abstract 30x48

It was done in a time when everything I did had some purple in it.  In the last couple of years I have finally grown tired of purple. I find painting over a previously painted abstract gives depth and life to a new painting.

In this case, since it was already framed, I just used green guerrilla painters tape to cover the frame, so did not have to remove it and could get right to painting.

Whenever I do a bigger piece, I make it so you can hang it vertically or horizontally. It is one thing I do to make it easier to use in what ever environment you hang the art.  In my own home, I may hang it one way for a while, then change 90 degrees in another place.  That way I don’t grow tired of the piece as quickly.

At the end of the day yesterday I felt this piece was complete and had a great start on a second piece.  I plan to spend a lot more time in my studio in the days to come.  It makes me happy!

Back to the Studio

Back in the Studio

I took the day to spend in my Art Studio and redid a painting I did last year.  Purple was my favorite color for many years and I always put it in paintings. I took the purple out of this one, replaced it with my new neutral – Gray.  I defined the flowers a little more with oil crayons and feel the result is much more successful.  It really seems to pop!

While I was in the studio, I wanted to paint something new for my entry, as I had repainted the wall and redid the wood.  Originally it was fence wood, unpainted with purple on the wall.  The new look is shown below, so I think my new painting will be perfect. I had one I was going to use that I was showing at Interiors of Edmonds, but when I called to pick it up for a photo shoot, I found out it had been sold.

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So I think this new 30″ x 40″ will work well.

Upside down sunrise

Sometimes knowing you have something coming gets the creativity flowing.  Our beach home is going to be featured in West Sound Home and Garden magazine this summer, so I wanted something fun to be on the entry wall.  By jove, I think I got it.

Back in the Studio

The Choice of Direction is always yours.

Looking up to Pink

Picked up my paint brushes for the first time in six months.  It felt glorious.  This painting has been sitting on the canvas half done for over six months.  Life got in the way, and that should never happen to an artist.  I truly enjoy selling real estate, but was with a team that wanted you to work 7/24 and cold call people whenever they signed online to look at houses.  It made me feel like I was “Big Brother” watching what people were doing.  I don’t like it when I get email for months when I was interested for a short amount of time, or now on Facebook anything that you have viewed online or in Amazon shows up on the side bar, till your next choice of searches.

Pink & White FriendsWhen I finished this painting tonight and photographed it, I could not decide which I liked it best.  Horizontal or Vertical.  That is when I started thinking we all have choices to make every day of our life.  Today I chose to paint after having a wonderful lunch with my beautiful God daughter.  She inspired me to get back to what I love doing.

Not that I am not going to help people buy and sell houses, I am just going to take some time for me to do the things I love.

So you choose, which way do you like it better?  Vertical or Horizontal? Life is so full of wonderful choices, just take one and get on with it.

The Choice of Direction is always yours.

Home of my Interior Design Client

Van Buskirk

Over the course of about two years, we totally redesigned my friend’s house.  She loves it and is the best client.  Our last task was to select colors for the exterior and for her door.  Benjamin Moore HC 45 for the exterior and bright aqua for the front door.  The house looks great.  It is so heart-warming when things come together and everyone is happy.

Home of my Interior Design Client

Five Little Dresses all in a Row

Five Little Dresses all in a Row

The other day, I was on a roll and made all these little dresses in one day. Getting close to being ready to have my booth at the Vintage Fair.

As we go through life we invest time and energy into different things and some of them work and/or you just enjoy them and others hopefully can be a bit profitable. When I first retired after teaching for eight years for The Art Institute I painted furiously, and joined a cooperative art gallery. I sold a few pieces and actually sold another this week; but found I was giving more to local auctions than actually selling. Hummm…. What next?

Wrote a Slug Wars book, self-printed and took to several shops. It sells a little and people seem to like it. I went to class to learn how to collage on boxes, made a few and sold several of my Paris design, but still wasn’t satisfied.

Started sewing for my beautiful granddaughter Claire and I think after forty years of not sewing I might have found my new passion. I love putting together fabric for little girls dresses and will see where this adventure takes me. The artist in me loves seeing what different combinations I can put together. The ones featured here are fun everyday dresses made quickly with T-shirts and a yard of fabric.

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Shining Through

Shining Through

Imagine the sun slipping through the gray clouds with a little glimmer of gold on the roof tops.

It is fun to try different things.

When I was in the same painting class/group for twelve years, the lead painter/instructor was always telling me what I could do and what I should not do. Now that I no longer go to that painting session, I feel the freedom of feeling good about trying a lot of different things without someone trying to put a stop to my experimentation.

I realized when I left the class and walked by this persons new studio/gallery that all the paintings looked alike and that mine were mini replicas of the artists work.

At that moment in time, walking with my youngest son, who pointed out the same thing I realized I could make my own educated choices about what worked and what did not work (for me)

For an artist it is important to sell your work so you can sort of make a living, but it is also even more important to feel good about what you are doing.

In my other painting experience I was doing a lot of traveling and bringing in enlarged photos, which I shared with everyone in the group. Later I thought about it and it devalued what I was doing, for there would be four or five paintings of the same scenario, that photo I shared with the group.

Sometimes it takes doing and looking back later to realize you learned all you could from that situation and it is time to look forward.

If you look closely at this painting, there is gold leaf attached to the oil paint, and if you look even closer you will see more drawing on the clouds. I love sketching and this painting combines those two loves.

Hope you like it.

http://www.dianakingsley.net

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