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, April 27, 2011

Three Mangos and a red winged blackbird

Three Red Mangos
It's time to take on the challenges again, and keep in practice with the watercolors. This is the 22nd challenge from RookiePainter and can be found there already. The picture is a 4X6 watercolor done with Lukas aquarelle paints on Canson's smallest watercolor block. This was probably an opportunity to try impressionism once again, maybe there will be a quick one with oils on a 6X8 canvasboard. For some reason it seems necessary to do it first very realistically just to get familiar with the shapes and shades involved, to get the detail in mind.

Next is the Paint and Draw Together challenge. This one is #19.
It's a red winged blackbird on some kind of fuzzy twig. Again it's a 4X6 watercolor on the small Canson block with Lukas paints. It would have been better to take the time to use friskit but, impatience won out this time. To the really experienced painter watercolor is amazingly fast, but to the (much) less experienced painter it takes planning and forethought. Many things in life would be better with planning and forethought. Hmmm. At some point this lesson too will be learned.

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter! We did!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The plein air season has begun!

Last Saturday was my first genuine Plein Air Paintout. Courtesy of the East Bay Regional Parks, we were at Coyote Hills. What a lovely group, so many excellent painters. Mine looked like it was done by a school kid. It helped me learn a lot. Above is the view from where I was painting.

Here is about 9AM (We started at 8AM, well most of us) The light was changing gradually, but the water changed constantly, and always looked better than before. Have to pick a version a go with it!

In avoiding a decision, more reeds went in as well as the tower from Cal State Hayward way, way in the back. Starting to put in some shadows now in the water. Need to mix a deeper green, nothing comes out dark enough. It's all coming out medium to light values. BLAH!      

Getting toward noon, time for judging. Working on the water and reflections. Time to buy some really dark green oil paint. There is some veridian at home, but I seldom use it, may be with some white mixed in it will work for the sage on the left! Still mostly medium values, somewhat accurate, but not interesting. The park ranger kept coming by, he loved it. We can always use supportive fans!

This may look odd, but the top one is the plein air, with a little more work on it this week, including bug and leaf removal, it got windy. After looking at all the great stuff the real pro's did I was inspired to give some techniques a shot. The bottom one was done about half with the palette knife. It was the only way I could think of to loosen up, get more vivid, and not get so buried in the detail. I wanted to put a big tree on the right in the foreground, but I didn't have the nerve. I did put in the Canadian goose that was hanging around. There was also a bumble bee that visited me a few times that morning! I hadn't seen one since I lived in England! what a treat!

This is for a friend. She wants something pink for the bedroom, and watercolor takes constant practice, so I thought I'd try this for her. Sort of a semi-permanent lend. It needs a little more deep pink in the center and something more interesting done with the negative space in the upper left. Watercolor is very calming...when it isn't totally exasperating!

Current acrylic on the ole easel, a still life I set up in the studio. The blue bottle turned into a blue jar. The golden yellow table cloth under the white scarf had to go. Thanks to this photo, I noticed a perspective problem with the green jug. That fruit could use a little tuck here and there too. On the whole though, I think I will like it. The strange brown blotch by the grapes is a grape leaf, OK?

Today was a plein air session at Stowe Lake in Golden Gate Park with the California Art Club. Sorry I missed it, I just didn't have the gas to get there. Next time!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Some Acrylics and my first oils in ages.. and a plein air date tomorrow.

This is a watercolor, 4X6. I wanted to paint "Five Smooth Stones" but it looked incomplete, unbalanced and needed more somehow. I found another black rock and added it. Nope, needs something. So I found the clear glass stones, nope, then the little lacquer box (it contains some myrrh) and it felt right. I have a lot to learn about design. The challenge was supposed to be painting shiny rocks.

This little dog is a Work in Progress, 8X10. I follow a blog "A Day Not Wasted" of a wonderful photographer who puts up an artist challenge once a month. This is Zoe, in oils, 8X10. I haven't done her nose yet and I want to try some feathering techniques on her fur.

This is an acrylic of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, 12X16(?) (including the background where it was sitting). This is from a photo my watercolor teacher had for his workshops. I did it in watercolor then, and it looked very Japanese. Which isn't too surprising. But putting the yellow leaves in the foreground  seemed impossible, I hadn't masqued out enough, so I tried it again in acrylic, where you can go back and add in light things on top of dark. Way better.

 This cabin is an acrylic blast from the past. When I was a kid we lived in the American southwest. On Summer weekends after church we would through lunch in the car and head on up to Cloudcroft, NM. This was a cabin near Weed, that though looking ramshackle, had a brand new roof. I think my Mother saved this picture of it from the Sunday paper insert all those years ago. She was a painter too. She never painted it, I think she'd like it that I did. This image is a bit cropped, the picture has more at the bottom and at the right side. Not sure how I did that. (?) It's about 12X16
This is a little 6X8 acrylic I did from another picture my mom saved all those years ago. Trees are still a challenge, but practice helps. The wheel must have been there for decades, it really was bleached white.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ah Spring, A couple of warm days and I'm smiling!

After a recording stint the other day I treated myself to a restaurant lunch at The Fish Market. It was such a beautiful day and I got a table right on the water! Fortunately my Winsor & Newton pocket watercolor set came in with me in a little green nylon bag. However, the results were mixed. I did the view twice. I used my little view finder very briefly because it was too difficult to keep using it without drawing a lot of attention, but it did help. The watercolor version was abysmal, althought the waiter loved it:
(well, I just tried to put the image of the watercolor version HERE, and it went to the top. How do other people get pictures where they want them?)

Anyway, then I did a quick pen and ink. It may have come out better because after the painting the watercolor the scene was more familiar and it made it easier. (I'll try to put the pen and ink here:)
Well? Howcum that worked and the other didn't? Sheesh.

Anyway, that's how I celebrated the coming of Spring! Next Saturday is a plein air Paint Out in a local park. You can register for two start times 6:30AM (to get the sunrise) and the one for sane people at 8:AM. I am the latter, thank you very much! Although it would be a treat to paint the sunrise, I know myself too well.
It's odd though, they will be having a judging at about noon. A bit early. All entries must be framed or be gallery wrapped canvas. ?? That pretty well eliminates watercolor doesn't it? Unless there are some remarkably prepared artists out there with frame selections in their cars. Hmmm. Nope, not me.

Fortunately, knowing myself as I do, I am going for the experience and fun of it, and if I come up with something viewable, great! This will be the first road test of my Christmas present, the Monet Traveling French Easel. It has attached wheels and a telescoping handle.

Late last night I thought I was going to bed, but I found myself sitting at the easel with an oil still life on which I've been working. The new Charvin oils had arrived and they needed to be tested, right? So, some of the shadows are better, the leaf I didn't like because it looked like a plastic leaf (well, it was) was turned into a lime and a couple of citrus leaves. Better (IMHO). Fortunately, at that easel is a floor standing Ott light from my needle work equipment so working after dark is not so bad. Actually, I like to never got to bed! The lime needs some dimpling though.
My thoughts and love are with the people of Japan, land where I was born, and remembering:
"The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea."  There is no good that is beyond the power and scope of God, Father and Mother of us all, and he cares for us all, even as "the lilies of the field."