Sunday, December 5, 2010
First of all, I'd like to extend a huge thank you to those who took home a piece of my art. I'm also very gracious to those who stopped by my table, viewed my art, and gave me the kindest compliments. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and talking to all of you.
I was surrounded by some very talented vendors, a lady who made beautiful doilies into snowflakes, a gentleman who weaves the most gorgeous shaws, and another who makes the most amazing origami ornaments, just to name a few. There was a good show of people who were there to shop and many walked out with a bag in hand.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I love painting barns! Is that crazy? Now I need to start photographing barns whenever I can. They have character and personality all their own. Most usually have a story to tell as well as a rich history hidden within their wooden walls.
This painting was fairly quick to paint, but fun at the same time. It is sized at a dainty 3 inches by 5 inches. It will be featured at the St. Edward Bazaar which takes place this Saturday, December 4. I've been working my tail off painting, matting, framing, and preparing for the event. My 9 year old will be with me selling his creations also. It should be a fun time for mother and son.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
So yes, I am very thankful for Motrin as well as a hot shower and a heating pad.
I will do my best to keep up with all of your wonderful posts about your art and daily activities as I love to read them. But please don't be offended if I don't take the time right now to comment on them. I am hoping to be back to 100% very soon so I can avoid turning into the Grinch.
Maddey's portrait is finished. I will be matting and framing it this week so it can go to it's new home wrapped up in a big bow.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Once he finished the thank yous, he moved on to snowflakes in a watercolor resist technique. He informed me he plans to sell these at the Christmas Bazaar where I will be selling my art as well. I fear he may run me out of business!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
As usual, I got sucked into detail work around her face. So to keep myself from pushing the envelope I made some Dunkin Donuts coffee, poured some in my Mickey Mouse cup, and headed back into the "studio" to view the painting from the doorway. Since this painting is taped onto my drawing table, I don't have the usual luxury of viewing it in different parts of the house, like I usually do.
I've determined that the paws need to be defined a bit, especially the one on the right. I am also wondering if I need to darken the values of the body? And lastly, I need to make a decision on the remaining background. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the progress.
Unfortunately, the image shows up yellowish, due to having to photograph it in poor lighting.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
However, Maddey's story is a sad one. While her owner was burning brush on their farm, Maddey got excited chasing after a rabbit and followed it right into the burning brush pile. She did not survive.
Since I received such nice reference photos, I may try a different pose for Maddey's portrait. She had some really great expressions and I want to be sure to capture just the right one.
Considering she is mostly white on her body, I plan to build up the background around her in order to make the painting "pop". I'll also go in and detail her eyes more in addition to her little paws. There is still plenty of work to be done, but I hope to have more to show by tomorrow.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
As you can see by Frosty to the left, I've been working on some Christmas/winter related paintings. If I can get Zazzle to cooperate, they will end up as greeting cards, however, as of today the website is being very persnickety and it's making me nervous. I'd love to know if any of you use a different site or method to print greeting cards with your art featured on it. I'm ready to jump ship on Zazzle.
Our church is hosting a Christmas Gift Bazaar the first weekend in December and I've signed up to set up shop and sell my art. This will be my first experience offering art for sale in a live public format and my head is spinning. I would also love to hear from any of you who have done this sort of "gig". What do you find sells best (smaller sizes)? Do you sell greeting cards in packs or single lots? Do you paint while sitting at your table? How do you set yourself up....do you frame a bunch of pieces or just place them in sleeves (matted or unmatted?) I know....lots of questions, so little time. I'm just curious and want to be prepared for whatever I may encounter. I just hope I sell enough to pay for my $30.00 fee. (Although, that $30.00 will go to a local charity in the end....so it's all good.)
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Back to the "redemption" part of this painting. If you read my last post, you'll know some paintings are more challenging than others. The challenges are sometimes induced by myself and my wanting to "control" the direction of the painting. Then there are paintings, such as this one, that I can't help but jump up and down and pump my fists, all while whispering under my breath "YES!!!". I vowed to keep things simple and loose before attempting this piece, choosing a limited palette and preserving the white of the paper for the barn.
I believe I was successful.
Thanks to all who frequent my blog.
***If you're a Facebook junkie, I welcome you to join my Facebook page at Gretchen Bjornson ART, if you haven't already. To fuel some excitement for the upcoming holidays I will be giving away a painting to a lucky Facebook "fan". So if you want to join in on the fun, go to my page and click the "like" button to be automatically entered.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
I still think my darkest values are lacking. I'm also frustrated by the left garage door....I can't seem to push it back behind the tree. The left window has also been troublesome. It's suppose to be open, but it almost looks bowed.
This painting will most likely sit in my closet for awhile. If I'm not happy with it, I can't justify giving it away for the sake of gift giving. I am still open to suggestions, but I certainly don't want to "beat a dead horse".
Time to move on.......
And again, many thanks to all who provided wonderful and helpful suggestions. Even though I can't walk away from this one feeling satisfied, I've walked away with additional knowledge to take to my next painting.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I'm hoping I can get the help of some of my fellow "blogger artists" to provide words of advice before I change my mind and end up with a gift card instead of a painting as a gift. Right now I feel I have a very flat painting with little to no interest or focal point.....I'm just not feeling it.
(I don't think the recipient frequents my blog, at least I hope they don't, this week especially, in case this painting ends up in my recycle file.)
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Feeling like I may have gone past the point of no return, I had to lift off some of the darker values. This resulted in nice leaf shapes in the negative background space.
At times I have to listen to that little voice in my head saying "Put down the loaded brush and back away from the painting."
Friday, October 8, 2010
I've discovered I really enjoy creating backgrounds in which things that weren't in the original sketch appear through multiple washes and the painting of negative shapes. For example, indications of leaves and stems are appearing in this one. I've yet to master this technique and it just seems to happen in some of my floral paintings. I believe the lost and found edges make it really interesting for the viewer.
At any rate, I am at the mid-way point with this piece and hope to build more of the darker values which hopefully will bring out the highlights in the petals.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Her attitude did not deter me from the show ring. But once again, as the other pleasure horses loped and jogged quietly around the arena, Geishia would defiantly throw her head and nervously prance and gallop. Don’t get me wrong, I always maintained control of my steed, I was just always in fast-forward with her.
We did have a few successes, one being the showmanship class, where the rider presents their horse from the ground. We were able to secure a spot at the Ohio State Fair and ended up placing in our class. It was a defining moment for both of us.
Geishia was “my horse” for several years before the time came to sell her. I visited her once after she went to her new owner. She didn’t appear as big as I had remembered her. However, it had been awhile since I last saw her and I had grown taller so I was no longer looking up at her. I was now eye to eye with her. Age had definitely mellowed Geishia…no longer the fiery mare she use to be. But she will always be lovingly remembered as “My Horse”.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
I can't seem to recall the name of this one. I helped train this quarter horse and showed it in hunt seat classes a few times. This horse has bay coloring. Looking at the painting now, I could go darker around the muzzle. He had a bright expression in the reference photo and I was able to capture that. Thanks for following my progression of "Equine Challenge" week. Tomorrow's goal is to mat and frame a painting recently sold so it's ready to hand deliver to a Cincinnati customer. I plan to continue with my horses until I run out of horses to paint. At that point, I'm going to need more subjects......anyone own a horse?
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
This is Silver, my Grandma and Grandpa's pony and quite possibly the first "equine" I've ever ridden. This painting was referenced from a photo in one of my old albums dated 1974. As you can see from the actual image, it wasn't an easy photo to work from. Making this one come to life was very difficult, much like riding a pony....as they can be very stubborn and difficult at times. His eye was not clear and may have even been shut in the photo. I did my best to recreate it. His color was a challenge as well, but I really wasn't focused too much on getting the exact color match. I think I was able to convey his "sour" expression.....and who wouldn't be crabby with 3 kids on their back? His other ear is apparently back showing disapproval of the situation. I wanted to be sure to get the bushiness of his mane as well.
That's me in the front with red pants on Silver.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Now horseless, I still hold the passion for riding close to my heart. Last week my son's Cub Scout troop was given the opportunity to visit a barn to learn about horses. Needless to say, I was ecstatic and quickly dusted off my boots. Knowing I was an experienced rider, the Cub Scout pack leader allowed me choice of mounts. I didn't care, as long as I could get back in the saddle again (no pun intended). I ended up riding this Belgian/Paint who was truly a joy. I was in my element. My 8 year old son was kind enough to take pictures of me while I rode. It was truly heaven.
After my visit to the barn, I've been inspired to get back into painting horses again. I primarily worked with oils in college, but watercolors have been my painting passion lately, so equines in watercolors it is.
I plan to continue painting horses this week....my own challenge to myself. It's all coming back to me...the anatomy of the horse, the gentle slopes of the withers and back, the depressions above the eyes.
Someday I plan to have a horse again. For now, I will paint them.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I'd love to hear other artists' experience with greens.....do you use colors straight from the tube or do you mix colors to get your greens?
Friday, September 17, 2010
What a stark contrast between paintings, wouldn't you agree? On the left is a leaf I photographed two weeks ago. As I was walking through our backyard looking for "dog logs", I came upon this one leaf that had such amazing color I had to paint it. I tried to keep as true to the colors of the leaf as I could and I think I did a pretty good job.
On the right is my finished painting of oil cans. I really enjoyed using the three cooler colors on this one. Although my husband mentioned last night that he was hoping I'd paint them in their true colors. Okay, I'll have to file that one away for another painting opportunity.
Fall Leaf 8"x10"
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I think I need to attack the ocean with a darker wash. I'm afraid I tend to paint too delicately and end up having to use several glazes/layers to darken the values.
The waves are always a challenge, but I think I'm going in the right direction.......maybe add some darker shadows under the foam? I'd love to hear some suggestions on making it better. Thanks again for checking out my blog!
Friday, September 10, 2010
My husband and I were at a local Swapper's Day (think of it as an over sized garage sale) and I came upon a table with these oil cans for sale. They were arranged just as you see them in the painting and the sun was hitting them just right to cast these wonderful shadows.
I still have a bit more detail work to do as well as building up darker values. I chose an analogous color scheme of sap green, cobalt blue, and winsor violet. I hope to finish this one within a day or two.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I'm really going to miss the summer.....all the beautiful flowers and blooms that I love to paint. "Daisy Field" is my farewell gift to summer. I hope I have stockpiled enough images of the flowers I've encountered over the summer months to keep me busy once the cold winter days are in full force. I'm sure by February I'll be craving paintings like these.
The fall does bring good things, although the cold is not one of them. At the end of this month the Bryn Du Art Show in Granville, Ohio will take place. Two of my paintings were accepted, however one of them has already sold. I will at least have one painting on display at this show that will feature around 50 artists. In addition, a few local artists in my town will be displaying and selling their art at the local fruit farm. I hope to be one of them. In the meantime, I'll be busy with brush in hand.
"Daisy Field" can be purchased at http://www.gretchensgifts.etsy.com/ or you can email me at email@example.com if you are interested in this painting or any of my other paintings. Thanks again for viewing and sharing my blog with friends and family.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Well, enough of my negative comments. I had big expectations for this one. Half of it makes me happy, the other half doesn't. On a positive note, I always learn something new from each painting I do.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
I built up some darker values on the cornstalk painting. I came to a point where I wasn't sure what to do with the background. I indicated a cornfield at the top, but was trying to avoid getting too detailed, which inevitably I do. I really wanted to have more "lost and found" edges, but so far, it's not happening. I decided to go darker with the background grass and maybe I need to darken it up even more on the left side. I'm now wondering if I should darken up the area behind the boy as well? Maybe that will help to push it back.
Friday, September 3, 2010
The weather turned from 90's to 70's for the upcoming weekend. My flowers are fading and I have replaced most of my potted plants with mums. I've continued working on the field of daisies and once again I find myself on hold trying to decide where to go next with the painting. When I find myself at that point I frequently move the painting to different locations around my house to help figure out what can be done to improve it. So far, it's been in the kitchen, the upstairs hall, the spare bedroom, and outside on the porch (for a quick snapshot). If any of you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
Onto the issue of cooler weather.....
Fall is not my favorite season, however I do anticipate the wondrous colors nature has to offer in the leaves, mums, pumpkins, and corn fields. It's a painters dream. The painting above is the beginnings of a piece I've referenced from a photo I took of my oldest son pulling a wagon of cornstalks at my Grandma's house in Lancaster, Ohio several years ago. A typical rustic fall scene in the country. I have a feeling a certain "anonymous" viewer will have a comment for this one, but I won't name names.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Today was the first day of school for my youngest, who will be turning five this weekend. He's begun Pre-K and will be there every day for three hours. Which for me translates to additional painting time! Don't get me wrong.......I do miss him and him turning five is quite a milestone for me as he is not a toddler anymore and has told me he is okay with leaving me and going to school. However, I am anxious to be able to sit in my studio/spare bedroom for more than 15 minutes to work on art.
So, to mark this change in schedule for me I began a daisy painting. Very bright and happy colors to reflect how I feel about my new free time. Of course I do have other household responsibilities such as cleaning, laundry, and cooking meals that will require attention as well, but those can wait.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
|Mood Flower (8" x 10")|
"Mood Flower" has a new home. This piece was purchased by a customer/collector at the Dawes Arboretum show in Newark, Ohio this month. Thank you!
If you are interested in any of my pieces or would like to commission me to paint something special, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Thanks everyone for offering ideas on how to title this piece. It seems some common themes to this painting are the color blue, strength, an upward direction, and perspective. I should have an official title by tomorrow. Again, I can't thank everyone enough for your comments!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Let me know what you think I should name this painting and on August 30 I'll consult with my art critics (that would be my two boys, ages 4 and 8) and we'll choose our favorite.
I can't wait to see what you come up with!
The dimensions of this painting are 10.5" by 14.5". To purchase this painting visit my Etsy shop at www.gretchensgifts.etsy.com or email me at email@example.com.
Thanks again for viewing and sharing my blog with family and friends.
Friday, August 20, 2010
I admit it, I am most definitely right-brained by nature. I possess most of the characteristics of being right-brained. For example, I am a very visual, emotional, and intuitive person. I love the arts and I love getting lost in a good book. I read whenever I get the chance. However, I also possess characteristics of the left-brained type. For instance, I like to be organized, I tend to be cautious, and I am diligent about following rules and schedules. But I have to say, my math skills are poor and I'd be a horrible contestant on the show Jeopardy (aren't most of those people left-brained?).
In being right-brained, I enjoy seeing things from a different point of view, such as in the painting I'm currently working on. This is an ordinary tree that I photographed from a very extraordinary perspective. Seeing things in such a way allows me to pick out interesting details and discover new features that I may not have noticed. Sometimes when I step back from my paintings I will turn them upside down to see whether all the values and colors work together in harmony. Again, seeing it from a different point of view.
The tree is not finished. The left-brained side of me wants to go in and give it more detail and I think the right-brained side agrees.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
This is an extreme close up of a pansy. I began with a light wash and gradually added darker layers of color. Halfway through the painting process I realized the piece was much "tighter" than I had intended. I was hoping for a much looser more fluid look and I wasn't accomplishing it. In frustration I added the winsor violet to the center very generously and picked up the painting to direct the drips of paint. In addition, I helped the paint move along by blowing on it, hence the splatter effect. I would've liked to have more lost and found edges where the petals meet the background color.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I think I'll try a pig next.......
Monday, August 9, 2010
This week I have been working on two paintings. I bet you can't guess what my subject is for the first painting. I'm trying to branch out and paint non-flower subject matter. I'm also intrigued by how some artists paint on a much smaller scale. I discovered ACEO or "Art Cards, Editions, and Originals" on Etsy. They are pocket sized collectible art and are extremely affordable. They are sized 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches. I took on the challenge of painting on a smaller scale, hence my painting on the left is an ACEO sized painting. If I'm successful I might just paint an entire barnyard in miniature.
The image on the right is the beginning wash of an 8 inch by 10 inch painting. I have these pansies in a hanging basket under my deck that refuse to give in to the heat. Everything else in the basket has died, except for these vibrant pansies. I occasionally remember to water them, but I'm still amazed at their longevity. I felt they deserved a place in my watercolor collection of flowers for that reason alone.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
|Kendal's (age 6) black and white purse design.|
Anabelle's (age 5) value study of a cup of coffee.
Monday, August 2, 2010
|Madison's interpretation of Monet's waterlilies.|
Today our focus was on watercolor.
I borrowed this project from the "Art Projects for Kids" blog which has all kinds of wonderful art projects. Monet's waterlilies painting is used as inspiration for this painting.
We used oil pastels to color and detail our waterlilies and flowers. I then had them add blue watercolor with a bit of green to the entire page to indicate the water.
How cool is it that all three participants have 3 unique looking works of art!
|Anabelle's version of Monet's waterlilies.|
Sunday, August 1, 2010
These flowers were so much fun to paint! I really tried hard not to go into too much detail and let the watercolors do what they do best. My focus was mainly on using a minimal number of brush strokes along with a bold use of color.
If you have a picture of a flower or flowers you think would be fun for me to paint, send them to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or commission me to do a painting featuring your favorite blooms from your garden. A painting is a great way to remember those summer colors once the season comes to an end. Again, thanks for viewing and sharing my blog and paintings with family and friends.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I didn't want to leave a post without a picture, so as I was reflecting on what to post I remembered a painting I did in college of my niece. It's titled "Maddie" for obvious reasons.
This was my second attempt at a watercolor portrait and although there are some flaws, I was able to capture her personality and the shy expression on her face. I always promised myself to paint my own children's portraits and have yet to fulfill that promise.