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Friday, April 29, 2016

Down On The Farm

Inspiration From The Farm

I live in Kentucky in the middle of nowhere.
And today I'm introducing you to JumbleBerry Farm,
where my husband and I live 
and grow lots of plants and animals.


My husband raises lots of berries.
Red and black raspberries,
Blackberries,
grapes,
 

This is one of his gardens.
On the left is a row of berries
and he'll plant beans, corn and tomatoes in the remaining
part of this garden.
 
The white runners are currently covering lettuce to protect it from the frost.
Lettuce and other cold crops like the cold, but this year we had some pretty cold nights that would have damaged or possibly killed the lettuce.  The covering raises the temperature about 10 degrees, so it saved the lettuce.
It is growing in two rows right next to two rows of beautiful pink and white peonies.
It is surrounded by our orchard.

Here's a close up of the berries.
There will be some delicious berries my husband will turn into jellies later this year.  
  
Here's a close up of the lettuce beds next tot he peonies popping out of the ground.
There will be so much beauty here in a few weeks,
you won't be able to stand it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Fence Row

Fence Row

Fence Row
24" x 12" Acrylic on stretched canvas
$150 + $15 shipping. 

Painting these holly hocks along a fence row was so fun.
I love the colors here and I loved painting the flowers
with their yellow centers.

One of the things an artist does is to suggest things,
or to fool the eye.
Distance is created in this painting in several ways.
One way is the narrowing of the path in front of the flowers
 as it recedes.
One way is the way the fence gets lower as it recedes.
Another way is the lack of detail the further the flowers are
from the foreground.

As you learn to paint, study many artists and their work.
Ask yourselves these questions:
  1. What is the artist trying to tell me?
  2. How does the artist create distance?
  3. How does the artist show me where to look?
  4. How does my eye move through the painting. 
There is a method to the madness of painting.
Artists show you many things through the use of:
color
texture
warm and cool colors
composition
and perspective.
Click the button below to receive a free cheat sheet 
to use as you complete a painting.

Click Here for the Cheat Sheet

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Technique Tuesday - What's in a Brush

Long or Short Handles
So if you're just getting started in fine art painting,
you might wonder,
what type of brushes should I buy?
Long or short handles?

Click the button below for a FREE resource guide
 for paint brushes.

Click Here to Receive the FREE Guide.

I spent years as a decorative painter 
and I only used short handled brushes. 
Usually I was painting close up work sometimes doing specific strokes to achieve a desired effect.
As a fine art painter, I'm not doing specific strokes, necessarily,
but trying to achieve a specific look with my strokes.
The difference is, you need to back up often
 to see what you are creating. 
With a longer handle brush, your painting gets looser
and it forces you to back up from your painting.
You should be holding your brush as far back on the handle
as you can and still have a little control.
It's not a pencil.
You don't write a painting. 
This takes practice.
It feels kind of odd at first,
but you need to stick with it because it will bear fruit.
You also will want to practice using all the surfaces and edges on your brush to see what you get.
Set up a simple still life
(is there such a thing)
an apple and a pear.
Look,
Squint,
Look again,
Squint some more.
Now, don't paint the apple or the pear,
paint the shapes you see as you squint 
in all the various colors you see.
The apple and the pear will emerge as you paint.
Step back.
Paintings are meant to be viewed 6 feet away,
so step back and you will see where you have it and 
you'll know where to work next.
If you think your work is too tight,
remember to back up on the brush
and take a few steps back.
I still have to remind myself to do both of those things.
 
I give away a painting every month, 
so you'll want to get signed up if you haven't already.
 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sleeping With The Windows Open

Sleeping With The Windows Open

Ya know how in the spring when you have that first really warm day and you want to sleep with the windows open for the first time that year?

I love that.

You know it's going to be cool in the morning,
but you love snuggling down into the covers
and trying to get a few more winks before getting up.
You lay there and can here the birds singing
 a whole repertoire of songs
and if you're lucky enough like me,
chickens begin their clucking 
announcing the arrival of a new egg. 

My husband I always joke about having to knock the frost off us on mornings like that.


Sleeping with your windows open at the beach you can hear the ocean waves all night.
How relaxing is that?

Can you smell the scent of wisteria 
wafting in your window?

The point being,
if you sleep with the windows open,
you are set to hear wonderful sounds you wouldn't hear with them closed.
You can smell the fresh air, fresh grass, and sometimes the scent of rain.
You totally don't get that with the windows closed.

You have to set yourself up for success.
You have to open the windows before you go to bed to have all those wonderful experiences in the early hours of the morning.

Setting yourself up for success is critical 
in all areas of your life. 

Adding in those things you want in your life,
order - success - peace.
 
Discarding those things that are not beneficial.
Chaos - noise - distraction.

Can it really be that simple?
Yes!
It can and it is.
I didn't say it wouldn't take work,
but the results are so worth it!

So sleep with your windows open
and get ready to reap some pretty incredible benefits.

 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Workin Wednesday

Workin Wednesday
or 
what's happening in the studio today?

Well, I got off to a slow start today because I had to make a dish for a church picnic this evening.

Check potato salad off the list.  

Then I saw a great low-carb recipe on my fitness pal
for a sweet potato, spinach, egg and cheese dish.
Well you know I had to make that for lunch.
If you'd like the recipe click the button below.

Click Here for the recipe

Then I had to eat the lunch. 

So after all that 
I finally made it into the studio
to paint,

Irises.

I love irises.  Don't you?
Iris Garden
12" x 12" acrylic on a panel
$100


Enter for a FREE Panting Here

Monday, April 18, 2016

Chocolate for the Soul - Motivation Monday

What is the Chocolate for your Soul?

Beauty
Music
Art
Nature
Color
Meditation
Candles
Fountains

What is inspiration?

What inspires me may be different than what inspires you.

As an artist, I am a visual learner.
I am inspired by all of the above.

But what is inspiration?
Inspiration lifts.
Inspiration motivates.
Inspiration teaches.

How or why are we inspired?

Being inspired isn't the same thing as being motivated to me.
I can be motivated to improve many parts of my life through podcasts, quotes, check lists, etc.

But, to be inspired is to be the very best I can at whatever I'm inspired to do.
  
Do we seek inspiration?
We should!

Oh yeah!  This inspires me!

To me, to be inspired is the best form of motivation.
I am inspired by beautiful flowers to learn how to paint beautiful flowers. 
I am inspired by beautiful clouds and light to learn how to paint beautiful skies and how to use light.

Beautiful music inspires or lifts me. 
I am a child of the 50's and 60's,
a time of some of the best music ever.
Great fun popular music,
Rock and roll,
Folk music,
Protest music.
 I give it a 9.5 because you can dance to it.
(Channeling Dick Clark's Bandstand).

But inspiring music is timeless uplifting music.

Sets your soul free to wander around in the heart and mind and soul. 

I need that in my life.
I need color.
I need nature.
Just as I need air.

I seek out things to be inspired by, daily.
It's not enough to let inspiration come to me wherever it has a chance to find me.
I seek it out.

Find those things that inspire you,
lift you,
make you better than you are,
that awakens something deep inside of you,
then seek it everyday, if only for a few minutes. 

Here are some pics from my inspired morning.


 Got the background blocked in.



Here's my view from the office.
Love it out here on the porch.
in Kentucky,
painting flowers! 


Here they sit, side by side.


20" x 10" acrylic on a canvas panel.
$150



 
Inspired or Motivated?

I was inspired by the beauty of the flowers,
and then I was motivated
 to see if I could do them justice.

Hopefully, you're one or the other or both today.

Thanks for stopping by today.
 





I'll be giving a painting away at the end of the month.



Thursday, April 14, 2016

Strutting

Strutting

Ok, well, he definitely was strutting
 the day I photographed him. 


Strutting
12" x 12" acrylic on a panel.
$100.



Down on JumbleBerry Farm, we now have 6 new chickens and 3 new baby Jersey calves.

I'll be posting pics in the future.
The calves are entirely too cute.

I give away a FREE painting every month and you don't want to miss out on that do you?
Click the button below and get signed up.
Enter for a FREE Panting Here

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Technique Tuesday and It's All About Practice

Practice,
Practice,
and more Practice.

It's all about the practice.
There are things I want to get better at
and there's no way to do that without using the "P" word.


I usually practice using some type of heavy paper, like 140 lb paper.  I also use a product, canvas paper, for practice sometimes.

This paper is 12" x 16" and I tape it on a masonite board and then run a strip down the middle to section it off into two pieces of paper.  Sometimes I section it off into 4 sections.
(I know, it's not even, but it's OK for me.)


 I want to have the orientation different on each piece, as well as the background.
It gives me a chance to see what works and what doesn't.
I use a color wheel to select colors that are complements.
(colors across from each other on the wheel are complements.)


 Working on glass here. 


 The paper has dried and was lying flat.
It has a tendency to look like it's warping while you paint on it,
but if you leave it taped on the board until it's dry,
it will lie flat.

If I get something I like, I can cut the sheets in half,
and matte it.

I learn all along the way and I can study what I've done and learn from them. 

 Happy painting, and keep practicing.

Click the button below to receive 10 ways to get more out of your practice.


Monday, April 11, 2016

Plan To Succeed

Are YOU Planning to Succeed?

Well, I'm not planning to fail, you might say.

. . . but not planning to fail, is not the same thing as planning to succeed.



 I set several goals at the beginning of this year -
  1. Lose weight ( who doesn't).
  2. Feed my spirit.
  3. De-Clutter my house.
  4. Improve my paintings.
  5. Get my art and my course in front of more people, thereby selling more.
Each of those goals required a plan.
So, I made a plan.
 
I wrote down the plan.
 
I wrote specific goals and deadlines for each plan.
 
I re-visit the plan almost daily.
 
I put checks in the boxes when I accomplish part of the plan.
(May I just say how good it feels to put a check in the box)  

Let's just look at one goal and plan.
I wanted to lose weight.
 I have said that for several years, but my mind wasn't really in that game.

I don't really know what changed in my head this year, but it did and I was ready.
That's a pretty important piece of the puzzle, 
getting your head in the game.
Without that, I don't believe most plans will work.
 
I joined an online group of women, who I mostly didn't know but all had the same goals.
We each downloaded sheets with daily goals and points for achieving those goals.
We had to be accountable every day to each other on a private facebook page.
We were supposed to exercise 5 days a week and go without a sugary treat 6 days per week.
 
Every week we got more points for a particular segment.
I did pretty good as a whole, but I'm not a huge vegetable eater, but on the week we got double points for eating veggies, you can bet your sweet asparagus, I planned how to get my veggies in every single day.  I was not losing those 10 points. 
I had to make a plan how I was going to get those veggies in every day.

 Yeah!
I hear ya!
Planning takes time and effort.
Yes it does.
And it also produces results.


Nothing great starts without a plan.
Some sort of plan.
I want to get from where I am to where I want to be and I will get there by doing A, B. and C.

It doesn't really matter what we want to change or improve in our lives, planning will get us there quicker than anything else.
 
I'm sure you've heard the saying,
Plan your work,
then,
Work you plan.
 
Want a new job. . .
Want to learn a new skill. . .
Want to improve on an existing skill. . .
Want to make a lifestyle change. . .
 
Three steps you need to follow:
  1. Get your head in the game
  2. Create a workable plan
  3. Daily work on accomplishing the goal.
Good Luck on your goals, whatever they are.  
 
Sign up to receive my blog in your inbox, and I'll see you back here next week for Motivation Monday.
 
If learning to paint is on your bucket list,
I've got you covered. 
 
 Click HERE to see how I can teach you how to paint from the very beginning fundamentals of art.
 
Have a GREAT week!
 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Back in the Studio Again!

Back In The Studio Again!

Yea!!!!!
It's been about two weeks since I've painted
and I sure felt rusty when I started this morning.

I went outside and picked tulips and various types of daffodils and had every intention of making several still life set ups and painting all of them today.

Well. . .
things didn't go exactly according to plan.
(Do they ever?)

First problem -
no canvases primed, toned or ready to go.

It's always a great idea to have a few canvases already toned and ready to go so when you get the inspiration, you can actually paint.


 So, why do you tone a canvas.
Many artists tone canvases so the warmth or the cool colors show through the painting rather than that bright white.  
Burnt sienna is often a color used, or a light grey.
I went for a greyish purple because I wanted the color to contrast with the orangish-yellow daffodils.
If you go to your color wheel and look at the color opposite it, that is a complementary color, and they work well together.
So I knew what I wanted in these paintings so that tole me what color to tone my canvases.
 

    Next I put a lot of different colors I would be using in the paintings and then went over the paint very softly with my wet hake brush blending all together.
I used several different color schemes and on the top left, I got  the paint really wet and let it drip. 
I don't know where I'll go with that one,
but it's ready when I am.


I have several different size blue Ball jars in my stash of props
and I love to paint them.
 I set up several still lifes using the various jars and flowers.
 

 If one is good, two must be great, right!

 Then three must be near perfect.

Unfortunately,
since I haven't painted for a while,
I struggled with the first one so badly,
I wiped it off.

But I did get something I wasn't quite ready to torch.

 Any way,
here is today's efforts.
Nothing else is coming out of hiding.

Have a great day.

About Me

My photo
Ghent, Kentucky, United States
I'm a nature artist and I love to paint old barns, rivers and lakes, trees and fence rows. I work almost daily trying to improve my art and all that entails. I try to learn all I can from others and from the earth itself by being aware of all God has created and its beauty. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at slgraves6@gmail.com. You can also purchase through my gallery website at www.riverrungallery.com . Thank you so much for stopping by.