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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Progressing On New Painting!

I have completed a picture of sweet peas but my photographer is out of town until next week so that will have to wait. So I began another painting and thought I would show you where it is at this time. It is 9 x 30 and I am using the Daniel Smith Primatek colors to get the granulation for all these rusty sprinklers! It has been difficult as these are only about 6 inches high so each area where all the mechanical parts are is quite small and they have become miniature paintings I guess. There is still work to be done on them but I am already scared of the background to go around all these little parts since I do not use masking!!! I will have to come up with a plan on how to proceed with that for when the time comes. I have included a close up so that you can hopefully see some of the granulation that occured.
These are copyrighted pieces so you are not allowed to be painting them for yourself. I am just showing you in hopes that it will inspire you to try these paints and do something similar! Good Luck!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Small Painting of Pomegranates

I tried my hand at a small painting a few weeks ago to see if I could do something in a day. I decided since I had not used acrylics in many, many years it was time to drag them out just for the fun of it. I love watercolor so much that I never have had a desire to paint with anything else since 1989 but lately I have been thinking it would be a medium that I could be looser with. I cut open a pomegranate to eat and decided to draw it out first and eat half and then paint it...ha! The painting is approximately 4x6, acrylic, and painted on multipurpose archival board.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Long Time No See!

Well, this time I have really been missing in action and I am sorry. I have done a few little fast things just for the fun of it so that I did not go completely nuts! Besides a dear friend discovering cancer and trips, my son moved home after selling his house! He wants to live in his old hometown but finding work has not been easy. It surely is a change to start cooking for a strapping young man again but such a joy. I just find that after all the cooking, cleaning and washing dishes I have little desire to paint...mostly because I am too tired! Ha! But I have been working slowly on a full sheet of sweet peas from my garden and I do believe it is really almost done. So once I get it to the photographer and get some shots I will post it. I am thinking this is a bad time of the year for such a thing as he very well could be in New Mexico skiing for all I know! So we will see how this goes.
I have 2 paintings running around in my head that I am anxious to do. I will be posting them and they are very different from what I normally do. Hopefully they will be fun. So apologies for my tardiness and hang in New Year resolution is to be more faithful to this blog! Thanks, Janie

Monday, September 22, 2008


I would like to thank everyone for all the nice emails I have been receiving. I did not mean to ignore all of you but I had a family reunion and knee surgery and several other things going on and posting just got difficult. I am just beginning a new painting and hope to post something one of these days. It is going to be simple and just enjoyable until I begin another competition piece later this fall. I did take a week to work in the garden, which is where I ripped my knee!! I guess I was trying to do the impossible in record time! I guess gardening will wait another year now as fall is definately here and the hummingbirds have migrated south already. Mowing this fall is taking a long time as our yard is full of beautiful leapord frogs...some the size of a deck of cards!!! They are everywhere so one must do everything slower so they can decide to get out of the way. The cats have enjoyed a number of good chases after them and the grasshoppers so they are getting in the last of their exercise before winter settles in. Wish I could say the same!!
Thought I would show you one of my little friends again...this fellow must have 50# of peanuts now under the deck...he should have a good winter!
Thanks for your patience!

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Final Paintings

The final photos are back of the last two painting so thought I would post them. They both have been purchased and owned by the same people. They purchased the peony painting while yet a drawing when they viewed the drawing of their commissioned Norway painting. It is nice to have it complete. Now I am taking some time off to garden and enjoy what is left of summer. I am also reconsidering teaching or posting step by steps...I have alot of think on. Thanks for looking.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Copyright Issues!

It has come to my knowledge that my images are being copied and painted by others. I will no longer be putting up large images. I did that so you could see what I was doing and learn but it also has allowed people to print off these images and use them. This is an infringement on my ownership of this image. I am surprised that so many do not understand this principle. ALL photos are owned by the person who took them. So if you copy out of books and magazines you are breaking the law. Copying my images is breaking the law. If you are a true artist, you must create your own work. Many artists have copied in the past to learn...but then that piece is never shown because it is truly not their created piece and it must be stated somewhere in the title. It is also wrong to enter such pieces in shows...even those produced at workshops. These are still not your images or done completely by you. When you begin to get input on how to improve your painting and guidance, you no longer can say it was entirely painted by you and that should not then be entered into a show. Many art clubs help each other and have critique sessions and then upon those suggestions things are changed in the painting. It now is a club painting and should not be entered into a show. If a judge discovers that this is a copy or was a critiqued piece, it cam be disqualified and you can be asked not to exhibit there for 3 years. I hope I have impressed upon you the importance of doing your own work. Get your cameras out and get your own references...that is part of being a real artist. CREATE YOUR OWN WORK!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Getting Closer!

This is the last step I will be showing until it is done. I think that if I had 4 days I would be done but Tues and Wed I will be gone so my aim is to be done by Friday of next week. There is always those last days when you clean up edges and darken here and there and it just takes so much time to bring it to completion. Here you can compare to the previous one and see I have worked in the dishes and am beginning some of the Hardanger lace. I have taken this in full sun so not sure if it looks washed out for you but hopefully it is ok...thanks for peeking and wish me good luck on finishing this one up!
I took a photo indoors and it seems better, you can decide and also a close up of the linens so you can see some of the work there.
Oh and by the way, I have been considering a title and it seems with the angel carved into the plate rack, a possible title could be Angels Keeping Watch or Angels Among Us...something to that effect. Any ideas?? I would be interested in hearing them! Thanks again!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Norway Painting Is Taking Shape

I posted the drawing for this when I posted the peony drawing and then set it aside until I finished the peonies. I feel like it is taking forever but when you are documenting someone's things, they do need to have some accuracy. The plate rack was pretty difficult but once I had it drawn it was easy to paint. I have begun to gray down some of the blues by adding Daniel Smith Transparent Orange and it is doing a great job. I wish I would have used that to begin with. If you have any questions, please ask. I hope to be done by the end of the month with this piece but will be gone for several days next week too. It is always hard in the summer to get things done isn't it? I want to go outside and play very badly! I am leaving August open just for that!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Peonies are Finished!

I have finished the peonies but still do not have a title for them. Since they were from my girlfriend, Susan Hoosier's garden, I have thought of calling them Hoosier Hotties! Ha! But perhaps that is not the best title so still thinking. If you have a good idea, please let me know!
I thought I would explain the background on the right. I did a pale wash of New Gamboge and let it dry, then a pale wash of Quinacridone Rose in places. When I do this the entire area is wet but I place the paint only in a few areas. Being the paper is wet it makes soft glazes and each glaze will shine through. The last coats which were 3, were a mixture of Naph. Maroon and Sap Green to create an interesting brown that was a unifing color with what I had already done. I like to use a limited palette when I can and use 4=6 colors and mix them with one another to achieve a cohesivness.
This was a full sheet and ended up about 21x29 whuch is a nice size to make a statement.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Getting Closer!

This stage is always very time consuming and challenging...but this part also reveals whether this is going to be a good painting or not so it can be exciting. I am glazing up the colors as I go to try create different values using the same colors. Hopefully you will see what I am doing...if not...ask questions!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

4th Step on Peonies!

I am so sorry this is a little late but my computer just plain made terrible noises and so shut down until someone could check it...when someone finally came it just was the keyboard. Eveidently lightning had done something to it and now I am just fine with my new one! Whew! I was beginning to wonder what to do!
So here is the following snap of where the painting is as of a few days ago. I am continuing to find the shapes and fill in the local color and values but will leave alot of detail value work to the end. That is when I like to really punch in a few more darks. The peony in the lower left is being made up as in the photo it was so dark I could not see I just started putting petals on top of petals to make a couple of nice shaggy ones for variety. They will take alot more work I am afraid to get them to sit back under the white one. Hopefully in a few days I will have the next step ready. Summer brings friends, company and summer cabin people up here so I do get sidetracked some but still find time to paint a little everyday.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Third Step on Peonies

I have been working on the peonies some more and hope to post soon with the next step as well. In this step you can see I am beginning to block in some background. I am going lighter in areas allowing for any negative painting I might choose to do in the next step. Sometimes just getting in some darks helps one evaluate the values in the work you have already done. I never want dark near an area I might want to prime with water as it would bleed so I am pretty careful about that.
Some of you may be wondering about my colors. I am using Daniel Smith Naphthamide Maroon for most of the flowers and adding just a bit of Quinacridone Rose in places. The background brown has been made by mixing the Maroon with Sap Green. I often make my browns by using the pink or red I am using with Sap Green and get a nice brown that is unifing with all my colors.
Now on to the next phase!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Updating Peonies

I am slowly progressing with the Peony painting. I cannot believe how long it can take sometimes but I have also learned that patience does pay off so I am hanging in there. I think that I am going to really love this one so I want to be careful not to hurry something and then regret it. I also took a close up of the white peony so you can see how I work. I have a map in my drawing that will ensure I capture that lovely flower with all it's petals.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Plein Aire Painting

For some time now I have wanted to take the time to learn to do some plein aire work but never found the time. While I had all this company however, I would wait for people to rise in the mornng and decided to use the opportunity to give my son-in-law a lesson even though I had not done it myself! For me the most interesting thing was the water and since we were going to paint for only an hour, I got my sketch in and started with the water. It worked well but I think all my years of layering helped greatly in achieving this. Since I took this jpeg I darkened the background a little more. I did this when I decided I would give it to the lady who lived in this cabin when I first moved here. She no longer is able to live here at the lake but I took her to lunch and she was thrilled with it. I really had fun and learned alot. I believe I will do more of this now as it was such a joy to be loose and not worry so much about the details. I love detailed work but sometimes I just need a break I guess so maybe I have found a new love! We will see. First I have to find the time to do it! Ha!

Peonies and Norwegian Collections Paintings

Well! Finally! Company has left and I am working on 2 commissions that need to be done...hopefully everything will go normal from here on out! I will keep you posted as they advance and if you have questions I will try to answer them.
The first is a grouping of peonies. The hardest part is over as drawing all those petals took forever! I believe that is harder than lace sometimes however, you can put a petal most anywhere but lace has to be pretty accurate to the perhaps lace is technically harder but it was a challenge on the peonies as well. I thought I would try something different and try to establish this darker area first...I never do that because I fear bleeding back into areas that I wish to keep clean. We will see how it works. These darker flower heads are in areas where I will not be washing glazes too much so hopefully they are safe!
The second painting is of Norwegian furniture, dishes and textiles from the 1800's. I was asked to document just a small part of a very large collection. This is hard as it is a collection and requires some accuracy but I still will make some painterly choices as an artist. I like color and will not change my style so hopefully when it is done they will still like it!
We have been getting alot of rain with the company and the gardens are over run with weeds. I cannot keep up with the bird feeders either. They seem to be so hungry but the April blizzard we had killed alot of insects I guess so I feed them faithfully. I will also have to post a picture of all the pet chipmunks that are here. I have been feeding them organic peanuts and now you have to be careful where you walk! Some see them as pests and I suppose they can be but I enjoy them along with my large grey squirrels. It seems some days it is a zoo I am running! Ha!
Hopefully I will keep up with this better for you this time! Sorry about the delays but life happens and I do not want to miss out on anything! Life is to be lived!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


I am so sorry that I have not kept up here! There has been so much going on. I was in Springfield, Illinois teaching. Made it there in time for the earthquake. My dog had to be put to sleep. I had a commission to get reference work for which took about 4 visits. I will post that and the update for the peonies when I get a day of sunshine! Here in northern Minnesota it has been cool...and I guess it was just over a month ago or less maybe we actually had a 2 day blizzard! Three foot drifts of snow and hundreds of dead birds. It has been hard on the wildlife and believe it or not...all the trees have not yet even leafed out! So we are very far behind.
I have company which is pretty common here on the lake in the summer. I will try to get a picture of each painting where it is and keep you better updated now as company leaves this weekend and I have to get busy painting!
I hope everyone has stayed well...Janie

Friday, April 25, 2008

Next On the Watercolor Board!

I have several things ready to work on. I have been delayed with sickness twice this winter and then a workshop just a week ago in Springfield, Illinois that I had to prepare for. Usually a workshop takes a few weeks out of the schedule. For those of you interested there is still Ouray, Colorado and Dillman's in Wisconsin. Visit my website to see the contact emails there.
I have completed a drawing of peonies...and plan to get busy with that shortly. I also have narrowed down the pictures of what I am working on for a commission. The house is all furniture, textiles and dishes from the early 1800's from Norway and Sweden and they want me to document a few things. Unfortunately the lighting is only for an hour in the early morning as the sun comes up because they protect all the textiles from the sun. I think if I could get lighting, I could paint in this house for the rest of my life!
I am beginning to learn that as an artist we also have to be wise enough to know when something doesn't bring us joy. There are always opportunities out there for us but many are not good for us. The wisdom comes in knowing what is right for you and being able to say no to those things. I am finding that I have been doing so much that the simple of joy of painting has been lost. My goal this summer is to find that back again. I believe I became burnt out doing the book too so needed to rest and figure out my mext move. My next move might be to just stay home and paint!!!Traveling and recognition is not always as wonderful as we imagine it to be. We have this romantic idea that it will spur us on to bigger and greater things when in fact it often steers us away from the very things that would make us happy. For me, a day spent driving in the car and finding subject matter to paint is far more wonderful that doing the computer and business end....and there is far too much of that now. As a wife and mother, there is not enough time. A man usually has a great wife who steps in to help with this and that allows them more painting time. For me, that just is not going to happen so I have to set some boundries. Lesson learned. I hope you can learn from me and not have to go through the struggle. Enjoy where you are and live each day to the fullest. It is not always greener on the other side of the fence! Ha!
As soon as I get some ground colors into things I will begin to post. Otherwise it is so hard to see. I did go into photoshop and enhance the black and white so you can see the beginning drawing for the peonies. Remember, this is not how dark the drawing is. It is actually quite light.

Monday, March 24, 2008

What!? I Finished This Some Time Ago!

Silly me, I finished this painting a month ago or more...but forgot to post the finish. I have too many irons in the fire! Plus, we seem to keep getting sick this winter and then I have had eye thing after another. Somehow I must be better about sticking with blogging! I am going to really try this year to keep this up better starting today!! HEre is the finished painting which is titled "Papa's Pepper" after a book I read called "The Shack" I infact am going 3 hours from here tomorrow to pick it up from the framer and several of the giclees which are now framed...I hope you like how it turned out!
I have been busy getting ready for my summer workshops. If you are interested there is still room in a few so hurry. My schedule is at my website, I would love to me you in Maine or Wisconsin or Colorado!