Blog

Jan

17

2011

I have many other hobbies and things that I love to do besides paint. Some have come and gone (and I still have the “stuff” to prove it!) but scrapbooking is one that remains. I have a great group of friends in my “Scrapbooking Club” that meet once a month to visit, share, eat, and hopefully record some of those memories for our families! Although I now have moved on from “paper” scrapbooking to digital only, I still meet with them and now bring my laptop to scrap on!

On this particular day, we were meeting at one of the member’s farms which they just built and is a working hay farm. I brought my plein air supplies and set up and painted their home there while everyone else worked on their scrapbooks. My friend loved it and gave it to her husband for Christmas. I loved painting all the angles and the pretty red color of the house. Although I just intended it to be a “sketch” and not a “finished” painting, it turned out okay and was so fun to do!

Jan

14

2011

"Blue Plate Special"
6x6 oil on panel
Another still life, small format painting. Love those green apples, both for eating and painting! I like experimenting with different background colors when setting up the still life in my studio. You can create so many different looks just by changing the background colors.

This painting is available for purchase in my Etsy shop, Denise Rose Studio.

Jan

13

2011


This painting was painted from a photo I took while in the Nashville area for a workshop this past summer. Like many artists, I have a "thing" for barns! It might be cliche, but I can't help myself! They just speak to me when I drive by so now I veer over (safely, usually!) and take photos if I can't whip out my paints and paint it right then and there. This one is located in the lovely little community called Leiper's Fork. If you ever get near Nashville, you have to drive around here. Cool little grocery store/restaurant that is really a Southern landmark called Puckett's Grocery to eat a great, southern lunch too!

Jan

11

2011

"Lean On Me" 
6x6  oil on canvas panel

This painting was one that I did in my workshop with Carol Marine in Louisiana back in December. Since my comfort zone is landscapes, I had never really done a still life painting from life before attending her workshop. I have been following her work since I started painting again, and just decided not to try still life until I took a workshop from her. Sometimes for me, it seems easier not to "crowd" my brain and I wanted good information in there about still life painting before I gave it a shot. Anyway, as many have said before, she is a WONDERFUL teacher and a very kind and cool person on top of that. I was hesitant going anywhere in December since it is always such a busy month, but I was so thankful I did after the workshop was over! She has years of experience and is very sharing and giving in helping other artists. Plus, I met so many fun people and fellow artists there too! This is one of the benefits of going to workshops that I have truly enjoyed and keeps me going to more of them. Her workshops fill up fast, and I can see why now! Needless to say, if you have not had her workshop and enjoy still life painting, try to enroll in one if you can sometime.

This painting is available for purchase in my Etsy shop Denise Rose Studio

Jan

07

2011


Old Cordova Train Depot  
8 x 10

plein air version

For today's post, I am showing another painting with two versions. Sometimes when painting plein air, things just don't work out as you plan! 

I loved the yellow color of this abandoned train depot and wanted to capture it. Plus I like any building with vines growing on it, so I couldn't resist this one! I stood out with my painting buddy and painted the first version. Although I thought I was well on my way to a good painting when I was out there, things did not look as good to me when I got back in the studio with it and out of the hot sun! I saw that my drawing was off, and just probably could not be fixed easily. 

So, a couple of days later, I took what I learned and liked and did not like about the first version (second photo above) and painted it again in the studio. I had also taken some written notes about the light and shadows on my sketch pad when I did my thumbnail sketch that helped me in recreating the "moment" inside the studio. And, I also had the photograph that I took when I began painting so I could get the light on the building just as it was when I started painting. All of these things act as "tools" for me and help tremendously. I think the changes I made using these tools made the second version work better and I was pleased with it. 

Although I did the painting in the same size as the outdoor version (and did not enlarge like yesterday's post), I still was able to use what I learned when outside to create a painting I was happier with and felt captured the building as I saw it. Hope this helps some of you to remember not all "failure" paintings are worthless!




Jan

06

2011

 8 x 10 plein air version
16 x 20 enlarged studio version

Last year, I was fortunate to take a workshop from Dawn Whitelaw, a marvelous teacher who has mentored so many talented artists over the years I can't even name them all! She is not only a gifted artist herself, but her gift of teaching and kind spirit made the week long "Bootcamp" workshop a joy for me and a memorable experience.

At this plein air workshop (painting outside from life, for those readers who don't know what that is!), the workshop participants went out with a buddy in the early mornings (it was summer in Nashville with the daily temperatures to go along with that!) and paint a small study of a subject. We would also go out in the afternoons and do the same. Both of these times were good to capture that special "light" you can only get in the morning and the late afternoon and evening. Then, we would take our small studies into the studio from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm and work with Dawn to choose those that "work" and paint them again on larger canvases. It was a great learning tool and a good thing to practice for people who enjoy painting plein air and also want to do some larger canvases. Dawn would also spend time each day instructing the group on various painting related topics and doing demos, which were just amazing to watch and so helpful. Anyway, despite the exhaustion I felt at the end of each day of bootcamp, I would not trade anything for the time spent with this wonderful teacher and artist. If you ever have the chance to take a workshop from her, do it!

I show these two paintings to illustrate one of my exercises. The small one is 8x10 (done outside in the open air) and the larger one is the one worked on back in the studio. The great thing about this technique is that you don't have to try to finish a large canvas outside with all the light conditions constantly changing, and you also learn things painting the scene the first time that you either correct on the larger canvas or improve upon if needed.  I have learned to look at these smaller studies as a kind of note taking for the larger canvases. However, I will also point out that the smaller studies sometimes have a freshness that you don't end up getting sometimes in the larger paintings. Either way, it is a great practice and I have learned so much from painting like this when doing plein air painting.