Saturday, August 6, 2016

A Beautiful Day to Go to Prosser, Wa.

Another month of painting and experimenting with media, and I am happy that I was able to take some new work up to Thurston Wolfe Winery in Prosser's Vintners' Village last Wednesday.  Two artist friends traveled over there with me, about an hour and a half from Walla Walla.  With 4 new pieces in watercolor and pastels, and with the helpful eye of experienced artists with me to rely on, we gave the show a bit of a new look.  I have been working on a committee for an artists' PAINT OUT, a new thing for me and it is really very rewarding to get on this track of working outside.
3 of the new pieces I took were painted outside, 2 soft pastels and 1 watercolor.  Then with that experience to draw upon, I revisited some landscape photographs I took several years ago and chose one that I thought was particularly compelling.  I ordered a frame and set to work to portray the panorama of the closest Blue Mountain canyon, a dramatic cleave in the range just southeast of where I live.  The canyon basically dominates any views toward the Blues here in Walla Walla.
This piece is 22' wide and 38" long.  The hues on the sides of the canyons are large fields of wheat and sometimes the farmers alternate crops and plant peas. Then some areas are left 'farrow' for the land to rest.  Also the challenges of planting and harvest is of no small concern when managing equipment on steep slopes.  There is a point where planting gives way to Nature's landscaping.  The combination of the two makes for great visual drama. 
This painting was done 'Plein Aire', from our backyard looking toward the canyon as it looked in June, just before the hot weather hit.  Two days later all the green except the forested areas had turned a golden wheat color.  The field in front was wheat, but then has since been divided into lots, which have been sold for houses to be built.  One has already gone in and this view is to the right of that house.  The weeds have moved in, so the area is now wild grass and weeds where the land was cleared.
Large locust trees remain on the steep parts of the property and there are 3 ponds where Yellowhawk Creek re-emerges, and then flows on to meet the Walla Walla River.  
Carol's Garden is a watercolor done in my friend's backyard one morning.  2 hours of intense observation and trying to catch the sun before it got too high and changed the whole effect was challenging.  Very rewarding to not dilly dally, but produce a suitable interpretation of a garden quickly.  PAINT OUT in Walla Walla is September 19 to 23 and the final day includes an exhibit downtown that only lasts two hours and benefits our local program for art in the schools, Carnegie Picture Lab.
25 artists will paint outside 4 full days in four selected locations on private property with particularly beautiful views and features.  Registration is still open to those who want to try it or professionals who want to paint in new settings.  Any level is welcome.  It's fun and stimulating to see all the ways artists approach their subjects.
Contact Carnegie Picture Lab or Artwalla where the registration is processed.
Oh, and please go see my show in Prosser.  Thurston Wolfe is open Thursday thru Sunday 11 to 5.  There is lots to see and good food nearby. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Pastels to Thurston Wolfe

Gardening, research and pastels have taken up the last few months.  Studying the great art of Monet, starting to work in a more immediate manner with pastels alone or using them to add surface interest to watercolor/acrylic paintings.  The last one, Goldfinch, was small and created after a close encounter with one of these beautiful little birds, who came to call almost every day, tapping at our window.  After a storm, I found a little nest on the ground, soaking wet.  I dried it out in the sun and put it back up in our chokecherry tree.  He came around again and his bride was with him.
I did not see any sign of broken eggs, so hopefully, they successfully hatched a family.
I found a photo on the internet of just what I wanted to portray.  My personal pictures helped with the rendering and with the memories.

The roses we planted are paying off with armloads of roses to share and bring inside.
We finished our landscaping plan in May just before the hot weather came on.  I look forward to the next few years when everything grows up and grows in.  I am talking with another artist about doing a collaborative show based on garden subject matter.
So many ideas!  I hope to make it my best show.

The figure was conjured up from a memory of life when we lived on a farm in Canada.  There was one particularly nurturing woman I was fortunate to have in my life, besides my mother.  Mother worked so I stayed with Aunt at her farm when we were little....she was my "make believe aunt."  Kids remember being loved and shown things and getting to help with chores.

The technique on all four pastel pieces was totally different.  The surfaces ranged from watercolor board (the finches) 12x12", gessoed panel full of brush strokes underneath the pastel work(farm), (18x24), black mat board (cafe au lait) 20"x32", and again watercolor board and black matting (pomodora).  I look forward to exploring the medium with lots more surfaces and subjects in this coming show.

Meanwhile, if you are near Prosser, stop at Thurston Wolfe (after I add these next week) to see these and many other paintings on exhibit in their tasting room.
Thank you for taking an interest in my artwork!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Life is a Chance

Chance, was rescued and brought home by Rebecca Yeaman, co-owner of Thurston Wolfe,  several years ago.  His job as winery dog underlies the informality of the hospitality of their wine tasting room.  His presence there represents softeness, friendliness and local color.    Prosser is a vibrant community and a visit to Thurston Wolfe and their neighbors is laid back and upbeat at the same time.  This painting is 24" square, acrylic on panel.  I took a picture of Chance as a very young dog about 5 years ago which I used as my inspiration for this piece.
He has the beautiful tricolor coat that the Airedale breed sports.  I decided to introduce colors that compliment his coat and that create a certain electrical energy around him.  The lines on the floor make the composition more compelling and the active brush strokes  in the upper part of the painting are  meant to capture his high spirited personality.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Give Me the Simple Life
This painting, inspired by the young farmers that come to the local farmers market each week, is meant to reflect what the new set of values is for them.  They have chosen to grow their own food responsibly and by sustainable methods, to repurpose old homes and farmsteads from which to make their livelihoods, and to appreciate the products of their own labors.  The cat symbolizes those that they care for.  The composition is iconic and the colors represent both Spring and Fall.  The black and white is the essence of simple thinking, standing for clarity, not extremes.  The technique is direct and the colors pure.   The landscape is embracing, the doorway a symbol of decisions to enter and/or to exit a phase of life.  The surfaces primed but left unpainted show that after many years of filling picture surfaces, some can remain untouched.

This painting is at Thurston Wolfe Winery in Prosser, Washington, as part of a show I put up last week.  They are open Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  This painting is 18x24", $950.  Their Spring Release weekend starts the 22nd, Friday and goes through the entire weekend.  Prosser is a delightful, diverse area to visit.  Hope you have a chance to see the show.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Response to Requests Cards and Posters

Thanks for your interest in my cards and posters.  I have 3 retailers in Walla Walla.
Book and Game, Inc. 1st and Main, has the largest selection of cards.  Sweetwater has cards and posters, and Main St. Furniture has both as well, and the cards are packaged in groups of 4 rather than sold singly.
Whitman College, Farmers' Market, Downtown scenes, onions, bicycles and many other Walla Walla subjects are included in the selection of images that these stores sell.  There are about 12 different poster subjects currently.  The retailers do not have all 12.  You are welcome to contact me for special orders.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Northstar Winery February and March

Northstar WineryI am bringing art to the walls of Northstar Winery starting January 29, which is the day of their January Vintage Experience.  The work will be up for 2 months.  I will be making this a dynamic exhibit by hanging one group and then steadily changing, adding and removing pieces through out the February and March time period.  I will bring some of my Art About Food work to this venue as many people who enjoy good wine also cook and enjoy exploring the restaurants, cafes and bistros that are in Walla Walla.  

I will add more new work based on my current interests that have arisen from some of my recent subject matter and also some new landscape works along the way.  My next new group will go to Prosser in April, to Thurston Wolfe Winery in their Wine Village.  This is a great spot next to Yellow Rose Nursery and very near downtown Prosser.  The Village has several interesting wineries and a great restaurant.  A fun area to spend the whole day!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

On the Wall

Two mixed media 24 in. watercolor, Pastel and and acrylic, about recipes for apples and the famous Walla Walla Sweets, and a 20x32 inch. pastel on the subject of Olive Cafe itself, as seen over a cup of coffee and a pastry, looking through the front door.
Love the brick wall.  There are 27 pieces on view through the end of the year.  The theme is mainly 'Art About Food', and includes Farmers' Market designs and areas in Eastern Washington where people's lives depend on the land and water seen in the sketches and paintings.