Artists Statement

I paint as often and as much as I can. I take classes when I can afford it, but the money usually goes to buy more art supplies. This blog is to share the results with you! I am a Work in Progress.

Dianne Lanning Fine

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Once more with feeling!

Lately I've painted a lot with which I was not too pleased. Don't worry, they are not going on line. The backs can be used to try again.
When things sometimes are not turning out as one has hoped there are a number of things to which one should resort. I start Spiritually. It's as basic as you can get, like "centering," it's the time to reaffirm Love. Then I might just paint a pear. This time I added an apple. They are about 8X8" watercolors. I layered them with color endlessly to build glazes. The background ended up so dark, for the signature, instead of painting it I removed paint. That felt better.
I'm going to offer these at about half price, $110.00 each, as a pair.
For sometime I've been wanting to take a drive up to Sonoma for a visit and some painting, but I have had trouble prying myself out of the house. It's an old habit from when I had to be here if I wasn't in the office or the grocery store. Part of that Spiritualizing of my thinking freed me from a "captive" thought. I painted the fish in the previous post, got the scheduled maintenance done on the car and headed out to the vineyards yesterday!
It was wonderful, nice cool breeze, bright sun, fresh air, all the good stuff. A perfect painting day. I sketched most of the day, but there were distractions. The plaza in Sonoma is a lovely place and truly the center of the town's activity. I relaxed and snapped pictures and sketched the ponds and enjoyed myself. Traffic can be more of a parking lot between there and my home, so I delayed going home quite a while.
Well, that was an extra good thing too. A farmers market (perfect for an agricultural area) etc. set up about 6PM on the drive in front of the old City Hall in the middle of the plaza. So...I got tomatoes and onions, then I sat down and enjoyed the live music. While I was just sitting there happy as a clam, a lady walked by who had just bought a big bouquet of flowers and she gave me one, right out of the blue! What a perfectly lovely gesture! Love is reflected in Love. This sweet gesture lingers as I look at this pretty salmon/magenta zinnia today.
A bit later I moseyed (well, waddled) back to the car (right at the plaza) and drove home. I missed the bad traffic and got home in good time. Dinner was some nuked leftovers, Nova, and some more painting. Heaven. I wish all of you the same.

Using magazine photos

This is a little guy I found in National Geographic from last January(2010). There is a whole article on clownfish with wonderful pictures. In one of my rare streamlining binges I pulled the pages out that I wanted and recycled the rest without getting the photographers name! My apologies to that artist. They were amazing. It brought back lots of memories of diving in the waters around Okinawa too. Tropical fish in the wild can be so much bigger than the ones in the tanks.
Anyway, I used the full page of the largest Arches block for this, it didn't feel right to do my usual small format. The results are that it's too big to fit in my scanner so I snapped it with flash and downloaded it. It's taped to the front of a frame that was on sale at Michael's that looks like will fit OK. I noted the source with my signature, but I'll have to do some research to get the actual name of the photographer. I should because I'm going to have to paint some more of those amazing photos!
The background on this is very subtle, providing perfect contrast to my finny friend, but it doesn't photograph too well. At least by yours truly. I ended up using little more than a "dirty water" wash for most of them, some orangish to catch the reflection and others blueish for contrast. Like Christmas in Thailand!
ADDENDUM: Got it, the photographer is David Doubilet.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Challenge, with a do-over

Here is one of the first challenges I ever did. I just discovered "challenges" this spring. The pale one was first, and the most realistic. It was a pale photo, and it was an interesting challenge to match the qualities of the photo. But then, remember that "she can't leave well enough alone" thing I have going? I wanted more color, and to crop it a bit, tweak it. So I did. Not very adventurous perhaps, but it felt good.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Take Time for Art, Monday is for Marketing!

Hello everybody, what a beautiful morning. The only thing missing to make it perfect is I haven't picked up a brush yet. I have been loading pictures into etsy for sale, then realizing I hadn't watermarked them, so I am in the midst of going back and fixing that. Ah, this time saving device, the computer! I spend a lot of time on this thing. Especially for something that saves time. Anyway, here is a painting of the mustard bloom in the Napa/Sonoma area of California (9X12 inches). I finished up toward evening, but the tree shadow seems to be hung up around noon. I'll have to fix that.
The vase was fun, practice for painting glass and crystal. It's 5.5X6.5 inches.

Well, I have some poppies waiting for me in the studio. When I've watermarked the pictures listed on etsy, I can get out there and put brush to paper and be Smil'in! Love to all!

Friday, July 9, 2010


Here are some works in progress. The yellow vase with orchids is an Acrylic (9X11). I used a mossy stick I found while painting plein air last week, the onion has been painted before but now it's sprouted! I can't seem to get the shadow of the onion on the vase quite right, and I don't know if I can get it set up the same again. Always take a picture!
The floral is having background problems, among others. It's a watercolor, about 8X11, and was going to have a watering can in it, but the green flooded the area too much. Hmmm.

Last is a little 3.5X5.5 still life watercolor. I think the composition is too "groupy. The dish set is one from our childhood called "Brown Eyed Susan" and the vase is a cloisonne we brought back from Japan. You'll probably be seeing more of these items.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

More than a painting a Day is called practice

Well, I've been doing a lot of watercolor, mostly for practice. I like the "Painting a Day" idea, but I missed a day and then did a lot more per day to catch up. The purple flower was from a while ago, but I did the eggs yesterday morning. The cantaloupe was part of this mornings breakfast and then the Copper Luster pitcher and lemon were later today. There were more but they were quite dismal. They will be good practice for trying to learn to fix things that JUST DON'T WORK! There is one of some wonderfully deep purple/blue grapes, but the leaves behind the cluster, awful blobs of weird color, there is a table scape from the Fourth that has no discernible perspective. I am also trying an acrylic version of the eggs, but I'll have to get two more eggs. The others I think will go under a faucet, no bad memories.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Here is a little 4X4 Acrylic I finished last night. It was going to be a "Painting a Day" work, but I laid down the background the night before and wanted it completely dry before I worked on the blossoms. It would have been too easy to pick up some of the back ground in the white of the petals if it was still workable.

Have a Happy Fourth of July everybody! Maybe after church I'll do something in red, white and blue.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Spring in Northern California

These are watercolors, the poppies were this Spring, the daisies were from a previous spring when I was taking a local watercolor class with Ron Pratt in Castro Valley. The daisies were definitely an exercise in using masque. Sometimes I avoid using masque, I'm pretty sure it's pure laziness, because other times it seems to solve all my problems. Go figger.