Traveling

Nope,  I am not talking about going anywhere... I am talking about how shapes can be put to use through design to travel around an image. A master? Norman Rockwell. Last week I came across this image on Facebook. It stopped me in my tracks and not for the reasons you...

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Artist Guild

5 months ago I moved to an amazing little town 15 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. My location was deliberate. There are artists here. And as I have walked around town going to pilates, the grocery store and even while snacking at the wonderful eateries here, I kept...

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Ferrari Red

“You can only paint the smell of damp pine needles by being there: a photograph is a poor substitute for working from the real thing when painting a landscape.” -David Bellamy

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Three of a Kind

I have 2 daughters and when we get together like this week, when my oldest daughter comes home from college for the holiday, we are like 3 peas in a pod... Last May I wrote about turning 50 and how in order to celebrate I ran way with my best friends and got a tattoo...

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The POWER of Pastel

This week I have a secret ... Well, maybe not a big secret. I have been talking about it for a while now, but I am writing a book! Over the years, artists have told me that I needed to do it since they have taken my workshops and then said that I have warped their...

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A Swan is Born

Just like giving birth to triplets, a painting is not born all at once ... Last week I was a bit sassy talking about all the things that can get out of control when starting a painting, so it is only fair to show the meandering path one recent painting took and all...

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Demons

It is Halloween and since I have been talking about scary topics like divorce and botox, let's talk about an even scarier thing... starting a new painting. Gulp. It can fill ya full of fear. But if the hope is stronger than the weakness in your knees, you can approach...

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The Joker

Recently I was teaching a workshop and talking about the bone structure around the eyes.  For some reason, this lead to a discussion in the class on everyone’s need for botox….hmmmmm…. I have a hard time watching the news anymore. No, not from all that political noise...

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The 1700

Over the past few weeks I have had the honor to serve as one of the "Jurors of Selection" for the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) International Web Show. This means that I was asked along with two other artists - Jacob Aguair and Brenda Boylan...

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China

When I grew up my mom only used her china dishes for “good occasions.” Christmas and Thanksgiving usually. I thought they were so beautiful and even as a young child I could appreciate the care she took with them. But recently I have decided that every day is a good...

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Tangled

Since I consider this blog to serve as a diary, not only of my artistic journey and discovery, but also how my personal journey affects my art, I need to speak of the sabbatical that I have taken from my work and blog over the past 2 months. Above is a photo of some...

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Coat Hangers

Using diagonals or “armatures" became very important to me about 12 years ago. I found it was like taking coat hangers and finding ways to carefully hang the "coats of my designs" on them. Since I have been talking about the use of diagonals to enhance a painting, I...

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Diagonals Rock!

Just like using color harmonies, planning compositions can be a complex issue. And if anyone knew how to plan out composition, it was Vermeer... One of the reasons we like to look at paintings is that reality is filtered through someone else's vision. Painters select...

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Dolphins

Commissions of animals can be complex. So much to think about! This is Phin. A commission from a mentoree and it is quite spectacular. Look at all that texture! But maybe too much texture? Phin is named after the Miami Dolphins and so the artist wanted to know if it...

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Snap To It

Now let's put color harmony knowledge to work. I love taking a painting and then making it “snap” to a color chord. I have gotten a bit off-track with all the analysis of color harmonies, so let's go back to paintings from mentorees... Here is another lovely painting....

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The 5-Chord

I had a harder time finding a painting based on a 5-color chord from Sorolla, and this one below may even be stretching it a bit. Some of the violet seems to run to red-violet. He mostly seemed to use 3 or 4 color chords, especially triads in the primary hues, but...

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Quad Chords

Going back to Sorolla as our master of color, we can see he knew the value of using more than just 3 colors in his paintings. There are 2 “chords" that use 4 colors instead of 3. The first combination consists of rotating every 3rd color around the wheel.  (thirds...

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Harmony

So last week I touched on how to use color harmonies in a painting. Since then I have had requests asking to talk about color harmonies some more, so this week I thought I would take a break from mentorship pieces to show how a true color master, Sorolla, used color...

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Time for Color

Another way to add “wow” to a painting is through effective use of color harmonies. They can give big impact to a painting with just a little bit of planning... Here is the original from another lovely artist. The thing that is fighting for attention the most here is...

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Hat Trick

Just because an object looks a certain way, it doesn’t mean it has to be painted that way... Here is another painting that I think has so much going for it. His face is beautifully done. There are so many subtle shifts in color showing clear form and structure and he...

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