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 gabjorn@embarqmail.com.   

Monday, August 30, 2010

Decision Time Has Begun

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

Name My Art!

I've completed my tree painting and I've decided it needs a better title than just "Tree".  Or maybe not.  I'd like your help in deciding.  I've always wanted to allow my blog viewers the opportunity to name a painting and that opportunity has finally arrived.

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 gabjorn@embarqmail.com.

Thanks again for viewing and sharing my blog with family and friends.

Friday, August 20, 2010

My "Right-Brained" Point of View

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

Keeping It Real (Real Loose)

Lately I've been taking a different approach to my flower paintings in an attempt to make them "more interesting".  My approach involves portraying a single bloom up close or from a very different angle than what a person would normally view it. 

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

Project Poultry

My first attempt at painting poultry.  The head needs some refinement.  I believe the window into any creature is the eye.  I need to add detailing to the eye to give it some life.  The feathers are a bit more muddled than I would prefer, but I'm just glad I didn't end up with mud....at least I hope I didn't.  Any suggestions are more than welcomed.

I think I'll try a pig next.......

Monday, August 9, 2010

Small Paintings and Small Miracles

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

More great paintings from art class...

Kendal's (age 6) black and white purse design.
Anabelle's (age 5) value study of a cup of coffee.
Madison (age 4) adding colored pencil to her bubble art.

We are having such a great time during our art sessions this week. Tomorrow is the last day for this group. We will be studying the art of Georgia O'Keeffe and creating our own "big" flower paintings!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Wonderful watercolors from my art class.

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!

Kendal's waterlilies.

Anabelle's version of Monet's waterlilies.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Crazy Colorful Cone Flowers Finally Finished

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 gabjorn@embarqmail.com.  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. 


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