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 25, 2012

Good Grief, look at the date! What happened to July!!!

Nicasio - oil 8X10
Starting with the oldest: This is a plein air I'm still trying to get right. The enormous group of incredibly tall eucalyptus on the right are still defeating me. "Only God can make a tree." It's sooo true. I've been studying the work of very accomplished California artists, and some trees are starting to look better, but I still don't have it right. Hmm, and then there is that sky. Van Gogh-ish?

The Plaza, Sonoma - oil 6X8
Another plein air, a little "less-old" than the one above. I'm not sure anyone would recognize the building, I used my artistic license to try to simplify it. Bummer, the photo is less than focused. Skip it.
Still Life, Watercolor, 10X14
I did this a while ago, and just fixed a little bobble then photographed it. It's too big for the scanner. The mat is one I found in a thrift store, but the items are mine. The wiggley bit in the center is a reticulated helmet I picked up on a beach, I especially like the square bottle, the crock with the blue band was my grandmothers and dates back to the 'teens. I don't remember where or when I collected the smaller jar on the left, it's crockery too.
Garin Park - oil, 5X6
 This was originally an attempt (plein air) to use a limited palette suggested in a workshop. It has reinforced my general objection to Veridian. This version has the addition of Sap, Hookers and generous amounts of yellow ochre. OK, I confess, a touch of black. Some artists seem to think it is some how cheating to use black and not mix your own. However, you can find just as many who swear by it, so I pick my battles. I'll use it when I need it. Why do I feel the need to apologize? Whatever works. Unless I claimed my self the strict student of a particular school, I can feel free to use what I need. Er, Uh, right? Wow, have you seen the subtle variety available in Charvin paints!?
Hopi Adobe - Acrylic, 12X15
Sorry this is leaning away from the camera. This is from a black and white photo from the 1930's. They back onto a cliff, so they must have an incredible view. They might not have much in the way of windows at the back, but a lot of time is spent on the roofs.
Carquinez - oil,  6X8
It was a gorgeous day, but difficult to settle on what to include in the picture. The road way on the left that includes a "bridge" has gone through a major change. I think I'll stop (or give up on) this one.
Coyote Hills - oil, 9X18
A studio work based on photos taken during a plein air paint out. Not very accurate, the hills are smaller, the rocks are way smaller and the foreground field is way bigger. It may be best to strip it and start over, to bring it back into proportion. A challenge in composition. Ick, veridian is an awful green.
Coyote Hills 2012 - oil, 8X10
Hmm, too recent, I need some perspective provided by time. It was dawn at the park and the reflections and shadows kept changing.
Niles Canyon - 9X18
Not a plein air, I have driven by near here, and I was imagining it before the urban sprawl. The oak on the right has been really re-worked, and some things about the gate and cattle guard.
Tulip - oil, 8X10
This was to be a palette knife painting. I don't have the knack for it yet, had to repaint the blossom completely, and the leaves and stems a bit. I probably couldn't leave the background alone either, you know me. I normally would have done this in watercolor, but it seems important to try a variety of subjects in each medium.
Canyon, AZ - oil 8X10
The rocks on the left look too soft, like pillows. They need flatter tops. There is a village on the valley floor, but it looks amateurish. Time to study the work of some experts. The depth seems pretty good.

Beach, Cape Cod - watercolor 6X8
This is using the American Journey watercolor sticks. I can't find half of them, so that meant a really limited palette! It sure is easier when you can find your browns instead of mixing them.
Toy Boats, Paris - watercolor 4X6
Again, the A.J. watercolor sticks. Boy am I out of practice on water ripples! Ick.
Provence - watercolor 6X8
At last. Same session, only half of my colors in A.J. watercolor sticks, no mixing surface, and no pencil. I tried to lightly sketch shapes with the only thing I could find, a ball point pen. I should have just gotten up and scrounged a pencil! Oops, the balcony shadows are way too light. Obviously this is not finished. Especially now that I see an out of focus photo of it. Sorry to inflict it on you! thanks for your patience.

OK, now I'm hungry. I can't believe July is almost over!


  1. Hello Dianne:) Well, if you paint that much, yes the month is over before you know it:)
    I thought I made a long post, but, as I see, they always can longer:)
    I love your plein are paintings. I don't see what's wrong with the air. It's beautiful fresh! The building is done great! The still life is very nice and I love the items you have used. Especially the square bottle you did great. Also love the shadows!
    Why are you so insecure about your landscapes? I find them really quite beautiful. Especially the compositions are great. I also think the oak is beautifully!
    I love your pallette knife tulip! Great to see the thicker layers of paint!!
    Your house in Nice (last painting) is beautiful. Promise me to send it for the challenge. Love it.
    I couldn't find anything ugly. All your works are great. You did a very nice job. I think there's just one who doesn't like them and that's you! Take care:)

    1. Dear Renate, thank you so much for saying that. I am so glad you are feeling better!
      I suspect you and I have the same situation, there are so many established artists around us, we are always comparing our work to them. My art training consists of a few years of modelling for the illustration department at a famous Art Academy, I listened intently to the instructors as I posed.

      Like you, I love and enjoy the act of painting. I love the practice to make them better.
      I think that makes me a true amateur (one who does it for love) because I'm certainly not making any money! LOL

  2. Thank you Dianne, for visiting my blog and your nice comments. I like your plain air paintings, they are so full of colors and good shapes, do you paint with a group or solo?

    I am addicted to Plain Air right now, and I am painting almost every day, I find it very difficult to see the values and colors right and have problems with the compositions ( did I leave anything out), so most at the time I have to correct at home via a photo.

    1. Hi Horst, Thanks. I must say I experience "all of the above" problems too.
      I do paint with groups unless it's a populated place. I found local plein air groups on line then asked around. It's great, very convivial. I finish at home from photos too!