I love to paint. So much! But I do other things too…like travel to some very fun places. With an empty nest and family spread all over the US, we have been able to get to Vermont, Michigan, Florida, California, Washington…and hopefully, soon, to Colorado. My earliest art teachers admonished us to do something with art every day: look at it, read about it, study it, draw & paint it; so on our travels I have the iPad loaded with art magazines and am frequently dragging my dear husband into galleries. He's a good sport about it, thankfully!
We recently went to the Monterey Bay area for my nephew's wedding and enjoyed all the wonders there. Oh my goodness! There were sea otters hanging out in the kelp beds right off the bluff where we were staying! We were treated to a sunset sail in the bay and saw dolphins and more otters. One of the days, we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and then on to Carmel…to wander through a dozen art galleries where the pros get to display their labors.
The wedding was so lovely and in such a beautiful setting up in the hills above the bay. I'm pretty sure I could happily paint there for a few days :) Being with extended family, deepening our relationships, and witnessing the bride and groom make lifetime vows to each other was the best part of the trip. The worst part? Maybe when our plane had to make an unplanned return to the Dallas airport and landed amongst a dozen-plus emergency vehicles. Thankfully, it was a faulty heat sensor and they got us another plane right away and we made it home by midnight!
This may sound odd, but framing a painting starts when the canvas is a complete blank. The artist chooses the scene or subject or even an abstract and then must figure out the boundaries…where should the upper limit be? Is the painting about the sky? then that is what should make up most of the picture plane. If the subject is a landscape filled with distance and interest, the canvas should be in a horizontal orientation. Vertical canvases work well for the still life, portrait, a specific street scene.
The mood of the subject can also influence whether the painting is vertical or horizontal. A wide, horizontal painting tends to be more restful, more welcoming. The vertical painting demands attention and focus.
Most oil paintings like to be framed, but, as with makeup, subtlety is best. I'm pretty sure no artist wants to hear how much you love the frame! A well-chosen frame will enhance a lovely painting without drawing too much attention to itself. A frame can enlarge the total size of the painting, turning the small 9x12 canvas into a sizable 15x18 piece of art for your wall. Many oil frames are quite wide, 3-5", yet relatively plain, so the painting gets all the drama. I love it when I find a frame that looks "just right" for one of my paintings!
Look how this elegant gold-leafed plein air frame dramatizes the shell painting…(and to think that shell was once a tomato!)…and the simple black frame on the heron painting allows the sky to glow more than ever. Now these are ready for the Monthaven Fall Exhibit.
I've been thinking ahead to the October Autumn Artisan Show that I will have a booth in, pondering the subject matter that would fit with the season and found myself in a fun little world of painting umbrella scenes. I've done six so far and it's been a blast! Pushing myself to make good choices with values, colors, edges…all the topics I've covered in my blogging so far. A new discipline I've been trying is to use decisive brushstrokes. I promise you, it is so hard! "Piddling" is what I am more likely to do…dabbing, correcting, not using enough paint. But I am paying attention to my teachers and role models, watching how they do it and loving the painterly results. Doing a series like this is giving me ample opportunities to challenge myself. These are rough photos, but what do you think?
Hello! My name is Wendy and I am passionate about oil painting! Whether in the studio or out in Mother Nature, I get lost in the experience of capturing on canvas the moment and the feel of what I am painting. I pour my love and energy into every single piece of artwork and I hope it shows! This blog is a place where I can use words to talk about art, painting, life, faith, things that make me laugh, and things that inspire. I love every response, so don't be shy about leaving a comment...