Thursday, January 31, 2013

Patagonia Landscape

On my visit to Arizona this month we drove down to Patagonia. It's a small town about 25 miles north of the border; a really cool new age type place where the people are laid back and the weather is normally mild and breezy. The town's 5,500 ft elevation keeps the climate fairly cool in the hot summer months and in the winter the temperatures average around 60 degrees. On the day we arrived the overnight lows hovered near 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Pipes were freezing and plumbers were raking in the dollars. The next day was warmer and we drove into the Santa Rita mountain range and found a place to stop and paint. The terrain in the area is unique and beautiful.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

When you want to paint something but you only have an hour

I get antsy if I go a day or so without painting and that's why I stock a lot of small canvases. I just have a strong compulsion to always be working on SOMETHING! I might only have an hour or so to work so if there is nothing in progress I will grab some props and set up a still life. Flowers are always the best subjects and pots come in a close second. Add some fruit or even a vegetable and you are in business! It can be a challenge to use all three in a painting, especially a small painting like this one, but I tried anyway and I love the result. Working small forces you to pay attention to the big shapes and the design.

6" x 8"
Sunflowers with Tangerine

Monday, January 28, 2013

Vanna from the Ukraine

Another talented and lovely model who posed for us at the Scottsdale Artists School: Vanna. She is posing in a dress she made herself, one that would be a ceremonial dress in her native Ukraine. Just a super model who was so much fun to paint.

11" x 14"
oil on linen

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tubac painting

When we visited Tubac, AZ the weather did not exactly cooperate with our desire to paint outside. Cold and windy, with a high of 45 degrees forced us to revise our plans. We spent about an hour painting a cute little row of shops until we decided we needed some hot food and coffee.  I was, obviously, attracted to the red door and the lovely broken bricks. The pot was pretty too. :)

9" x 12"
oil on linen

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Provocative Pose

We drove down to Scottsdale on the Friday before I came home to attend an open studio at the Scottsdale Artists School that lasted five hours. Three hours in the morning and another two after lunch. We had free tickets for the model session, which normally costs $15.00 for the entire day.

It was very crowded in the morning but most of the locals didn't come back after lunch so we had more freedom to move around. There was a lot of discussion about how best to set up the light in the morning. With so many people packed into the room it was not easy to find a place that didn't shine the light in an artist's eyes. Somehow they came up with a 'lit from below' design, which gave the woman an almost malevolent gaze. The lighting, in combination with the tight red dress and the riding whip really created atmosphere. I loved the opportunity to actually finish a painting in one session and it was interesting to try the blue underpainting I worked with in Nancy's workshop. I was a little surprised when I finished and looked around. No one else had even tried to get her entire figure on the canvas --some people had even left the riding crop completely out.

I'm pretty sure no one from the Hyter Group back home would have missed the chance to paint the entire figure. We relish our costumed models.

I call her "The Dominatrix"

16" x 2o" oil on canvas

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Desert Views

The desert is not as pretty in the winter as it is in the spring but it's still a novelty for this northern girl from the flat lands of Ohio. I only had to climb a few hundred feet up the hill behind my friends condo and I was presented with an awesome view of cactus, hills and mountains. It's just a matter of picking out which specimen you want to be the 'star' of your show. With so many different and varied shapes to choose form this can be a difficult task.

I did this 6" x 8" painting in about an hour just before sunset.

Desert Vista

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tumacacori Mission Tubac, AZ

When we arrived in Tubac we found the area experiencing a record-breaking cold spell. The ranger at Tumacacori Mission told us the previous night's temperatures had dropped to 4 degrees. Plumbers were making out like bandits, with unprotected pipes freezing and creating lots of problems for homeowners and businesses.

Even with two pairs of gloves on and a beautiful sunny day the biting wind made it a chilly proposition to paint outside. But we came here to plein air paint and we would not be deterred! We stood in the courtyard, out of the wind to paint a back yard view of the mission. It was still an interesting subject with its block walls and bell tower.

This is an 11" x 14" painting, which is the largest I g\felt I could complete in the short period of time we were out there. Ironically, while it was 40 degrees that day in Tubac, it was closer to 50 degrees at home in Ohio.

Monday, January 21, 2013

10 Days in Arizona

I attended a workshop at the Scottsdale Artists School earlier this month. The three day workshop was given by Nancy Seamons Crookson, and titled Lessons on Russion Colorist painting. The workshop was based on color theory she learned from Sergei Bongard, a Russian artist who immigrated to the United States and taught students in Utah in the 70's.

Nancy did a demo of a still life the first day and we all did the same thing. The second day we had a great model for a half day. His name was Miguel and he was dressed as a pirate. I worked on him for three hours on Saturday and another two hours on Sunday, the final day of the workshop.

I love the way this turned out and I had fun using Nancy's method of making a blue underpainting as a base. Lends the piece a mysterious and unusual feel. I found it was possible to achieve a very realistic looking painting in a short period of time using her strategy. In keeping with what I try to do when I take a workshop, I will use her methods for a three month period and evaluate what I like and don't like at that point.

11" x 14" Miguel

Monday, January 07, 2013

Jessica from our Portrait Group

Thought I had better be doing some painting from life in preparation for my upcoming workshop with Nancy Seamons Crookston at the Scottsdale Artists School.

This is Jessica from our Saturday morning portrait group at Common Space II- corner of Hill and Holland Sylvania in Toledo, Ohio.

She loves to dress in period costume and I have a feeling we will have her back again because she is a great model! Bruce found her at the Toledo Museum of Art when he was up there to see the Manet Exhibit.

I focused on the face while she posed and finished the hat when I got home.

14" x 18" oil on linen

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

First Painting of the Year!

This is a small study for a larger painting I intend to do later this year. It is a 12" x 16" painting of my Compassion daughter, Yasmina. It's based on a photo I found on her Facebook page before the page was removed. I changed a few things but r\tried to remain true to the "feel", although my background is much more interesting and impressionistic than the old school in the photo. She lives in Columbia and I have been her sponsor through Compassion International for four years. This 15 year old loves to dance, and is interested in becoming a lawyer one day so she can help her people fight for their rights. She attends a Christian school and loves God. I am a bit worried. Columbia is a scary place to live in and she lives in Cartagena-- it is even scarier in the cities. I have not heard from her in some time and I usually receive a letter every few months or so. The country has been overrun with drug lords for many years. Yasmina lives in a dangerous place at a very dangerous time and I am requesting prayers to keep her safe from harm.

12" x 16"
Yasmina Pinzon