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Monday, October 9, 2017

Where Does Your Heart Lead You?

Are You LED Somewhere?

Have you ever been led somewhere?
Your life is going a long OK
and then you are LED in a new direction.
Someplace you're not really sure about,
but you're being told over and over again,
to try that, do that, go there.

Does your heart lead you places?

The other day I was weeding flower beds.
And I was thinking about these questions
and others.

 
Like, why do I always have to be on time?
Why do I need to have order?
What is it about me that wants to give more than is asked?

Are they my "natural tendencies"?

When we consider the how and why we do things,
I think we learn a lot about ourselves. 


I'll be painting this soon!

As I look over my natural tendencies,
I realize they are mostly about control.
I already knew that I was a control freak,
but sometimes in all my controlling,
I feel like I have no control.
Is that weird?
Case in point,
I was in charge of a local political event,
and the more I tried to make sure my bases were covered,
the more bases I found to cover.
It's hard to know, sometimes, what to do and worry about,
and what to just let go.
Cause worrying accomplishes so much!


I donated an original painting and some drawing supplies
as a silent auction item at said event.
Another lady, Mary, won the items
and then gave the painting to
 Kentucky Treasurer Allison Ball.
She bought the whole basket to give the painting to
Treasurer Ball,
because there was a "Ball" jar in the painting.  
I would have never thought about that. 
I was led to raise funds,
and she was led to give a thoughtful gift.

I guess my point is,
we may all be motivated by the same thing or item,
to do different things with that thing or item.

Whether we realize it or not,
that's creativity at work.
Our inner selves leading us in a direction
that we don't really understand,
but turns out wonderfully when we follow.

I love these lantana. 
Maybe I better not notice any more flowers.
I get a little crazy!

Have a great week and let's paint together soon.

  

   


 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Still Struggling to Get Back On Track

I'm Still Struggling
to Get Back on Track

Wow!
I can't seem to get it together.
I'm working on several personal and community projects and I haven't got my ducks in a row yet.

But,
I did buy this really cool t-shirt.
A friend of mine has a business doing vinyl
 for t-shirts and other items.
She has a son, Sean, who needed extensive physical therapy 
but their insurance would not pay for the many visits he needed.
She put her skills to work and vowed to create 100 t-shirts
in 100 days and sell them for $20 each to pay for the rehab.
This is one of several shirts I have purchased,
and I totally love this one!
Click HERE to visit her page and see Sean's story. 
 
 Here's a fun painting we'll be working on in 
The Blue Iris Art Studio
here at JumbleBerry Farms in Ghent, KY.
This painting can be done by itself,
or, (and this will be fun)
as part of a set of 4.
We'll paint this on Thursday, October 19, 6-8 p.m.
and you can come if you just want to paint this one,
or if you want to do the whole set.
The set will include one for
Halloween,
Christmas,
Valentines Day
and Easter.
 
To do the pumpkin is $40.
To do all 4 is $120, (it's like getting 1 free).
 
Leave a comment below if you'd like to get signed up.
 
Here's a rocking chair I did for a friend.
This chair sat outside for a number of years,
so it was pretty rough.
The owner painted it dark green.
I made a few repairs,
gave it several more coats of green paint,
and then let sunflowers loose on it. 
 
I had a great time completing this project
and it now has a new home on a front porch.
 
As we learn something new,
like painting,
we should try to use it whenever we can.
It brightens our lives, our homes and surroundings.
 
If you would like to learn to paint,
I have just the program for you.
Click HERE to see the painting classes I offer.
 
Thanks for stopping by today.
Hope you're enjoying this beautiful fall weather.
 
 
 

 

 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Hurricane Irma Impacts My World

Hurricane Irma Impacts Kentucky
or
Getting back in the saddle

I have an 87 year-old uncle who lives in Naples, Florida
with his wife Beverly.

They live on a golf course, and he plays golf every single day.
He plays golf all over the world.
He just returned from playing golf in Iceland and Sweden.

He's lived in Florida for 25 years,
and has never evacuated before.

Until IRMA!

They arrived at our house, Thursday before Irma hit.
I think Bud thought he would be here a few days and then head home.

Didn't exactly work out that way.

While his condo was spared any structural damage,
they had no electricity, no water, 
no gasoline or food was in the stores.

Two weeks after they arrived they headed home.

But while they were here,
we had a great time.



We put Bud to work picking green beans.  
That's a lot of bean!!!


We went to the Louisville Slugger Bat Museum.
Had a great tour and it was a super day.
It was cold the first week they were here.


Above, my uncle, yep my 87 year old uncle was in the batting cage at the Louisville slugger museum.  He got off a few hits!  He's amazing.  
The pic on the right is the 4 of us out for dinner one night.


Here his is at our farmer's market.  


This is me and my aunt Beverly being silly!

Lots of fun was had by all!
But,
no painting or blogging took place.

And it's OK!

But now I need to get back in the saddle
and get back to work.

Leave me a comment about how you get yourself back on track.

I'm way behind in everything,
so today I'm in the studio trying to get caught up in something.

I love writing on my blog,
so that's where I headed first.
Although I had so many computer issues, took me about 10 hours to get it ready to publish.
That dang rainbow wheel of death. 

I'll be painting later today,
and we'll see how that goes.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

I sell various items on eBay,
and right now I have 2 paintings that have the insane opening bid of $.99.
I told you it was insane!!!

Click HERE to go to one of the two paintings I listed at that ridiculous price.

It's a 12" x 12" acrylic on a panel.
Listed for $100.
I do this once or twice a year so you have a great opportunity for some original art.
Now's a great chance for you to bid on a painting of mine, if you've always wanted one.  
Here's the link for the second painting.
  
Happy bidding!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Doing What I Do - Landscape Painting

Haven't Done This In A While

17 years ago, I started out painting landscapes.

Since then, I've painted lots of other things,
like flowers!
I've gone crazy painting flowers.
I've painted old trucks and tractors.
I've painted baseballs, basketball, footballs, soccer balls
I've worked on figure painting
I've painted still lifts
I've painted indoors and out.
I've painted realistically and abstractly.

but I often come back to my starting point.
Painting Landscapes.


I started out with a 16" x 20" canvas I toned using burnt Sienna and some white and a little ultramarine blue in spots.  
I used a mixture of burnt umber and ultramarine blue
to sketch in the darkest parts of my painting.  
It gives me a place to start and helps keep me on track.
It also reminds me where the darkest parts of the painting will be.


I added sky starting with a mix of Ultramarine blue, dioxazine purple and turquoise deep with some titanium white.
You can see it starts darker at the top and gets lighter as it comes to the horizon line.
That creates depth.
I also took some of the same color as the sky for the water.

Started adding clouds here.

 Working on the clouds getting them more 3D looking.


I'm adding in most distant trees and varying layers of rocks.


I'm working from a photo my son James took in Utah.
So I have my iPad on a stand and this is how I work.


I've added some pine trees and I'm working on a lot of tree trunks that might be dead or might become pine trees.
  

I'm working on the trees and rocks here.
There are always a minimum of three values on the rocks and then sometimes you pull in a few other colors to bring them to life.
 Starting to add more water in deeper tones to add depth later.
I've also refined the rocks.
Notice how the ones in the foreground are warmer and brighter than the ones further back. 
 That also aids in the depth of the painting.


Starting to get movement in the water.


I'm really trying to get the water churning.  
There's lots of shades of white with touches of green, turquoise, and yellow added for more depth.

Here's a closeup of rocks on the left of the painting.

Here's a closeup of the rocks and water on the right side.


I made this short video near the end of the painting as I was adding more debris to the background and bringing out more trunks of the trees.

This was a really fun painting to do
and I hope you enjoyed the process photos.

Here it is.
Done and done,
and signed.

16" x 20" acrylic on stretched canvas - unframed

$200



Thanks for stopping by today and 
I hope you enjoyed seeing this process.

If you haven't signed up to receive my blog in your inbox,
you should.
Scroll back up to the top right and put your email in the box that says "Subscribe to my blog"
I give away a painting every month and I'd like you to win one.
Once you enter your email,
you will receive an email that asks you to click a confirmation link.
Please do that and then drag that email out of your promo folder and into your priority folder and then say yes to the question, do you want to do this for all future emails.
If you don't do the last part,
you won't receive my blog in your email
and 
(here's the sad part)
you won't get in the monthly drawing to win a painting.
Just sayin. . .

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Encouragement - Motivation Monday

Encouragement

(ok so it's not really Monday, but we won't split hairs.)

Encouragement is my word of the week!

For my online students I have a private Facebook page where they can post photos of their work, ask questions, and encourage each other.
My students are basically all beginning painters,
so their fear level of "not doing good enough" is pretty high.

That's where encouragement comes in.

There are enough critics in the world,
especially recently,
and I really think we could use with more encouragement.

Encourage:
your friends,
your family,
your classmates,
your co-workers,
your employees,
your spouse,
your children,
and
ESPECIALLY
Yourself!

Enough with the negativity,
the I can't's
the I'm no goods,
 the they are betters,
the I'll never get this',
the I'm pathetics,

and bring on the:
I did so much better on this than the last time,
I like this part of my painting,
I'm excited I learned how to . . .
I've finally gotten that and it makes me feel great. . .
I understand how this works. . .
I am beginning to see things differently. . .
I learned this, so I know I can learn that. . .

There are enough people in the world to bring us down,
don't you add to that by bringing your own self down.

Great art doesn't just exude out of some people 
and not others. 

Artists that we love today, like Van Gogh were not successful in their day, and yet, they kept painting.
Monet struggled financially for years and yet,
he kept painting.

Photo of Monet painting Water Lilies.
Photographed from a book 
Monet  A Retrospective
(That's not exactly how I pictured him)

Let's encourage each other and ourselves
in a world that is nearly taken over with negativity
and watch as our own art improves as will our state of mind.

It's amazing, but one encouraging comment on Instagram or Facebook or a blog can carry someone through for months.
Years ago, Jim and I took our 4 children out to eat.  They were between the ages of 3 months and 7 years.
(I know, what were we thinking???)
I felt like it was a crazy chaotic meal,
and as an older couple got up to leave  
they headed in the direction of our table.
They stopped at our table and said,
"You have the best behaved children I think we've ever seen,"

That one sentence of encouragement brings tears to my eyes just writing about it now.
The 7 year old is now 43 and that sweet sentence
kept me going for years.
When I felt like I was the biggest failure as a mom,
I'd think back to that day and take a big breath
and go on being a mom.

Encouragement 
is something we all need.

You're doing a great job and I hope you know it!

Thank you so much for following my blog.
I so appreciate it!

Continue working hard at whatever it is you love.

Thanks for stopping by today and have a great day!

Hey, I try to give away a painting every month,
but some months are harder than others.

If you receive my blog in your inbox,
you're golden.
You are in the running for the painting
 I give away every month.

If you don't, well we can fix that.
Go to the top right hand side of this blog
and put your email in the box that says
wait for it
Subscribe to My Blog.

Now here's the really important part!!!
You will receive an email with a link to click to confirm you did actually sign up.
You must click that link to confirm,
and then, and only then,
will you start receiving my blog in your inbox
and then, and only then
will you be eligible to win my monthly painting giveaway!

Now you know, 
so go get signed up,
and click the link in the email you'll receive.

I want to give you a painting.

Every month I send out an email with 
No Joke!  YOU Won! 
in the subject line.
Then you have 24 hours to get back to me with your address,
so I can send you the painting.
Nope, I'm not going to come and camp out on your door step.
I just want to send you a free painting.
I promise.

I send out the email to the 1st winner,
and if I don't hear back within 24 hours, 
I move on to the 2nd email address.
If that person doesn't respond,
(which you might not believe it, but it happens)
Then no one wins a painting that month.

(insert sad face here)

Now you know!

Have a great one.





Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Painting From Life


What Is Painting From Life

Painting from life is a term artists use when they are painting something they are actually seeing.
They've set up a still life,
a vase of flowers,
painting plein air or on location.
You're looking at something and you're painting it.

I like to practice and I want to show you the difference between painting from life and painting from my memory or imagination.

I started this project painting from memory or from my imagination.
As you will see, neither of them must be very good.
I'm practicing on the slick side of freezer paper.
Why you ask?

Well, it's cheap and it's slick.
I can buy a whole roll of freezer paper for under $7 
and
it's slick so I don't have to fight the tooth of a canvas.
I just have to figure out how to move my brush to manipulate the paint.  Once I have it on there, I can almost always transfer that knowledge to paper or canvas or wood.

Then my sweet husband picked these flowers for me from our yard.


  
Sunflowers and zinnias.

The most important thing about painting to me, is learning how to see.  If you can't see the highlights and shadows, the shapes, the negative space, it will be very difficult to learn to paint it.
This short video walks you through a few of the things to look for when painting from life.



Now that I've inspected these flowers,
and looked them over and made some mental notes about what I'm seeing I'm ready to paint them.


This even shorter video shows you both sets of work and how different the final results actually were.

Even I didn't realize the difference until I saw them on this great big sheet of freezer paper, clamped to my work table.
I will probably make some sort of reference book with these flowers, so I can look at it and remember why there were problems and how I fixed them.


It's not just the color differences, but I can see the difference in the quality of the work where I was actually looking at what I was painting as opposed to just remembering it.
The details and the nuances aren't in the memory flowers, 
but they are in the ones painted from life.

If I paint them enough I will get much better at painting from memory, but it will take time and I will need to do a lot of practicing and studying before that happens.
It's like having muscle memory.
I can't tell you where on the keyboard most of the keys are, but my fingers know where they are and that's all that matters.

I hope you will give painting from life a go,
and it won't matter what the subject is.
It could be a chair,
a toy,
a car,
a table,
or sunflowers and zinnias,
or any flower in your yard.

Just get out those brushes and give it a whirl.

Are ya whirling yet?

What would you like to paint from life?
Leave a note in the comments.

Click HERE to go to my online art course and classes.
I have a FREE daisy painting class on there.
Scroll all the way to the bottom,
(after you look at my super fun full blown art course)
and you'll see a box that says 
FREE Daisy Painting Class.
Click on that box and it will ask for your email address.
No credit card or anything like that.
Just an email address and you'll have pretty close to instant access to the FREE class.

You'll see I also have a paid class for learning to paint iris, 
and off course my full blown art course where you'll start at the very beginning learning about color,
learn about brushes,
paint,
brush strokes,
composition,
perspective,
and all sorts of goodies you'll be using forever,
and I'll take you through step by step
as we paint two paintings together.
Nope, I'm not leaving anything out,
there won't be any time lapse video lessons,
you'll learn step by step.

This course is perfect for home school families who would like to add art to their curriculum, but aren't artists.
Just saying.
Give it a look.

Thanks for stopping by today.



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 and flowers. I work almost daily. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at slgraves6@gmail.com and there is also a tab across the top of my blog for available paintings and one for small paintings with buy now buttons. You can also purchase through my Etsy shop using the name of Fine Nature Art. . Thank you so much for stopping by.