Adding “HAPPY”

July 29, 2017

I first began working on my “Showstopper” for Our Annual Team Senkarik Collector Event several months ago. However, when I got the piece to this point I was not at all pleased with how it turned out. My “Billboard of Happiness” just didn’t have the “HAPPY”. Another problem, the title was “Echoes of the Mediterranean”. But the buildings in the distance blocked the star of the show….the beautiful azure water off the Tuscan coast! If you’d like to see this larger just click on the image.

So I removed the buildings to show more of the bluffs and water. Still……the hanging vines were blah and container on the right felt discombobulated, definitely not cheery; both had been a struggle to paint. So I decided to put the painting back for a while and give it a rest. Jack said many times, “What is happening in your soul will show up in your art.” Well, I’d been going through a tough spot and my sad heart missing that guy showed up in this painting. But I’m not telling you this to gain sympathy. As Jack would say, “It’s a teachable moment!” Let’s turn this around, revisit “Echoes of the Mediterranean” and add some HAPPY!

DEMONSTRATION VIDEO! We begin by letting the Tuscan Sun wash the beach and rocks.

The column in the middle ground seems awfully stark, so let’s place a couple of Ultramarine Blue containers at the base. I’ll come back and fill them with Geraniums.

I’ve warmed up the columns and decided to totally replant the container on the right, we need some zippy color here! After scraping the dry oil paint off with a single edge razor blade (I show how in the video above) the shadow side of the foreground column is repainted. 

Magenta Jasmine is painted over the Trumpet Vine cascading from the arch. My thought was to completely replace the original vine, but as I worked I liked the feeling of the two different flowers intertwined!

Twisting trunks are allowed to grow up the column on the left side, bringing additional interest to the area.

Sunlight splashes over the Geraniums planted in the distant blue containers, coming to rest on the Canna Lilies and Petunias in the foreground. NOW “Echoes of the Mediterranean” is HAPPY! The sound of waves crashing against the rocky shore of Tuscany echoes off the ancient walls and all of the containers reflect the beautiful azure color of the Mediterranean.

But the final test is to let you decide. Click on this image to see it enlarged and compare the two versions. What do you think? Have we accomplished our mission in adding HAPPY? Just remember, there is nothing wrong in falling down, it’s what you do after that’s important. One of Jack’s favorite “Whiteisms” was, “The only failure is in not getting up and making the very best out of the situation.” Thanks to all of you for following my blog and also for being there for me! With Appreciative HUGS, 

Chef’s Surprise

July 25, 2017

 

DEMONSTRATION VIDEO! We begin today by painting the checkered tablecloth over the edge and on the bottom side of the gallery wrap canvas. 

Crookneck squash add another splash of yellow in the foreground. The squash have a slightly green tinge so the colors are mixed with Lemon Yellow + a bit of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + a tiny touch of Pthalo Blue. Please remember as you read through my blog, you may click on any of the images to see them larger.

Eggplants are such a lovely purple. Combinations of Dioxazine Purple + Ultramarine Blue + White are perfect for them. And oh, do I ever love Eggplant Parmesan. 

Fresh Strawberries fill the basket in the front of the flat. You can see the empty spot left where the Chef picked a container of these succulent berries.

ANOTHER VIDEO! Painting the Red Onions. We won’t shed any tears, the Chef can deal with those when he prepares the Onions!

The White Onions are blocked in with mixes of White + MUD + a little Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue. Several shades are mixed, then the color is applied very much like I painted the Red Onions. ONLY these are white! After getting the basic shapes of the Onions the root discs on the bottoms are painted with some of the color leftover from the flats.

Highlights of Pure White are added to those bulbs brushed by sunlight.

Firey Bell Peppers nestle close to the onions. The variations of warm Red, Orange and Yellow bring this corner of the table foreward. 

Chef’s Special     20 inches tall by 24 inches wide

Now all that’s left is to decide what the “Chef’s Special” is going to be tonight! Thank you for following my blog! HUGS,

Basket of Goodies

July 24, 2017

The Daisies next to the Sunflowers are several different shades of Magenta + White and Dioxazine Purple + White. I also make some of the flowers with Reds remaining from the Chef’s jacket. My goal is to make a happy combination of flowers that will provide a dark backdrop for the Sunflowers in front of them.

The large blossoms of the cheery Sunflowers are painted first with mixes of Cadmium Yellow Medium + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson), Cadmium Yellow Medium + Cadmium Orange + MUD and Pure Cadmium Yellow Medium. A couple of shades of each of the darker mixes are made so the petals will have variety. Notice the table in the background, I had previously decided to put lemons there. Even though the yellow is grayed down and cool it still wants to jump forward. As warm as the yellows in the Sunflowers are there is still not much feeling of depth. 

NOW….take a look. Compare the two pictures. See how much more depth there is when I replace the yellow with cooler blues and lavenders? Jack would say, “This is an opportunity for a teaching moment!” It’s a perfect example showing how the “Warm Colors Come Forward, Cool Colors Go Back” rule works. This is much better. After painting the foliage of the Sunflowers with mixes of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium, the large centers of the blossoms are made. 

It was fun thinking of goodies to fill the Chef’s basket. I love artichokes so decided to add some for him. 

We’ll bring a few of the lemons we took off the table in the background and plop them in with the rest of the Chef’s selection. Of course fresh Strawberries are a must have.

The entire bowl of the basket is covered with combinations of MUD + Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue + White. Then I come back and apply short brushstrokes in lighter values to indicate the woven pattern of the reeds.

Carrots and Beets finish out the delicious goodies our Chef has selected. But it doesn’t look like he’s finished, I imagine some Eggplant is going to end up in the basket too.

Received a great question the other day,  “How much Liquin do I use when making the oil washes to draw or block in the initial sketch on the canvas?” This is just an estimation but I probably put out about 2 teaspoons of Liquin on my palette. Then using the tip of my painting knife I’ll get a nickle sized amount of MUD and mix it into the Liquin. If I want a darker, thicker wash I’ll add more MUD. If I want the wash to be lighter I add more Liquin. Hope this is clear. I appreciate your questions as well as you following along. HAPPY PAINTING! HUGS,

 

 

Lilies du Jour

July 22, 2017


Work begins on the chef by blocking in the basic planes of his face. Mixtures of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + a bit of Cerulean Blue + White are used. A little Cadmium Red Light is added to the mixes for the red in his cheeks and nose. Even though our chef is clean shaven his lower jaw is made bluer because of the beard hair underlying the skin.

Cadmium Red Deep + Magenta is used for the darkest shadows on the jacket, the highlights of the folds are Cadmium Red Medium.

Our chef’s cap is Ivory Black; a little White and Ultramarine Blue are added in for the highlights. 

The face mixtures are also used for the hand. I’ll come back later and accentuate the light areas where the sun catches it. 

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Lilies.

Another VIDEO: Part II of Painting the Lilies.

Hope you enjoyed following along today. I would like to say THANK YOU for all of your wonderfully kind comments. Not only concerning my paintings but also about “OUR” Jack. He touched so many lives in such positive ways, I appreciate you sharing your memories of him with me. HUGS,

Background and Striped Umbrellas

July 21, 2017

 

The background is painted with soft, cool green blues made of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + a touch of Lemon Yellow + lots of white. Right now the distance looks pretty “warm” but it will change when all of the bright, warm colors are introduced in the foreground. The umbrellas at the booths in the background are also painted with muted colors so they will recede.

Other market goers are indicated very impressionistically; the lady on the right is carrying an armload of Gladiolas! The upright flowers are designed to break the horizontal line of the blue umbrella.

DEMONSTRATION VIDEO! Painting the striped umbrella in the foreground.

ANOTHER VIDEO DEMO! Part II of painting the umbrella.

My easel is on wheels, making it easy to turn in order to work on the side of the gallery wrap canvas.

Background and Umbrellas DONE! Next work begins on the chef, plus I’ll have a VIDEO DEMONSTRATION of painting the Lilies. HUGS,

Shaved…….

July 19, 2017

Now we’re going from the sketch to the canvas. The perspective lines of the umbrella canopies and the flats holding the vegetables are established first. My goal is to get the umbrellas and large containers of flowers in first, they are the “Anchors” of the composition. We’re setting the stage for our chef. The drawing is done with a brush dipped in a very thin oil wash of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin.

I’m giving the chef in my reference picture a shave! The young man we saw in Nice didn’t have a beard, so I’m going to wing it and make up his face. I’ve also decided to turn him a little bit from the reference photo and show his eye. You may click on the picture to see it larger.

Now for his reaching arm. The basic points of the anatomy: the ball of the Humerus bone (shoulder), as well as the Ulna (at elbow and wrist) are indicated. This helps me to get my proportions correct. AND…I just noticed, the ear of the chef is too high, will have to correct that!

The chef’s basket full of goodies is sketched along with the veggies filling the flats on the market table. Strawberries are washed in with a thin oil mix of Alizarin Crimson + Liquin. 

The green stripes of the umbrellas are washed in with Viridian Green + Liquin, while Dioxazine Purple + Liquin is used for the Eggplant. I really like the way the sketch looks, maybe I should just leave it like this! HUGS,

To Market, To Market…..

July 17, 2017

Appearances can be deceiving! It appears I’ve not been painting; you certainly haven’t seen any blogs this past week that showed me working. Probably everyone thought I was off playing again. BUT…..A surprise commission has been up on my easel, not to be revealed until the gift is given in a few weeks. Now I’m back out in public, starting a new piece for my show in Santa Fe. To be totally honest, when I woke up I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do! I was gravitating toward something Mediterranean but that was as far as I’d thought. Going through our reference I stumbled across some photos we took at the market in Nice, France.

Those Nice pictures combined with the wonderful little vegetable market photos I’d just taken in Charlotte when visiting Paul and Nancy flooded my heart with melodies of delightful memories. Years ago in Nice, Jack and I were sauntering along in the market when we saw a chef picking through field fresh produce at one of the stands. With cap low on his forehead and cloaked in a red chef’s jacket, he selected his prizes for the day with a slight smile dancing across his face. Jack and I tried to guess what his “Soup du Jour” would be!

As we traveled Jack was the official “Photographer” so I could sketch to my heart’s content. If there was anything that caught my eye he was more than happy to snap lots of photos. I never even thought of asking him to take a picture of “Our private chef”! I thought this would be a fun painting to do and certainly different from my usual Santa Fe doorways. So I’ll just reconstruct it from memory; it’s amazing how clearly I can visualize the scene in my mind. I found this picture from another market we saw in Provence; love the stripes and position of the umbrellas.

I Googled “Chefs in Caps” and came up with this guy.

I like how this man is reaching for a melon, but will have to be careful using him for reference. I’ve got to take the camera distortion into account and compensate for the foreshortening when I draw my chef.

Here’s my sketch! You may click on the image to see it larger. The painting will be 20 inches tall by 24 inches wide. I’ll do it in a gallery wrap style with the image extending over on to the sides of the canvas. We’ll start drawing the plan on the canvas in our next session, hope you’ll come watch. If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post please feel free to subscribe to my blog. CLICK THIS LINK and scroll to the upper right side of the page. You will see a heading EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS. Just enter your email address and click the button “Sign me up!”  It’s easy. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!

A Special Man

July 14, 2017

It’s hard to believe a year has passed since Our Lord wrapped His loving arms around Jack and took him home to Heaven. I’d like to share some fun memories of “Our Jack White”, a Special Man who touched the lives of so many.

When Jack lived in Austin in the 1970ies he became friends with many of the Texas Rangers. Stories flew fast and furiously when they gathered for lunch at a local hamburger joint. Jack had a pair of old, ostrich skin cowboy boots of which he was quite proud. They were covered with patches where they’d been repaired several times. Of course Jack had several other pair but he always wore these. The Rangers would kid Jack and say, “Hey man, you need some new boots!” Jack would reply, “I’m not rich like you Texas Rangers. I can’t afford new ones.” So the Rangers began giving Jack their old pairs of boots. Here’s a picture of Jack with his collection of Texas Ranger Boots along with a few saddles and pairs of chaps he was also given by his Law Enforcement friends!  You may click on this or any of the other images to see them larger.

Years later Jack donated the entire collection to The Heritage Museum at Falfurrias, Texas, located by the famous Chisholm Trail. In the five years from 1867 to 1872, more than three million head of cattle were driven up the Chisholm Trail from Texas to Abilene, Kansas. By 1870 thousands of Texas longhorn cattle, Jack’s favorites, were being driven over the Trail to the Union Pacific Railroad in Kansas. Jack would have loved to live during the times of the cattle drives. He worked cattle on a huge ranch as a young man and in his later years often referred to himself as “an ol’ broken down cowboy”!

Soon after Jack and I met in 1990 he acquired a loft studio in an old industrial building. It was huge; almost 6000 square feet and the ceilings were 18 feet high. The north wall of the loft was lined with 10 foot tall windows, perfect lighting for an artist’s studio. We loved living and working there, talk about feeling like a “Real” artist! Jack was very inventive with building our easels, they were old pallets. While we were there Jack designed a line of denim jackets for a showroom in the Dallas Trade Mart. He painted 10 to 12 a day! NOW, how’s that for productive????? Makes me feel a bit guilty!

I had never traveled until I met Jack, so he introduced me to the world! Here we are in Cancun. Jack called this our “Caribbean Mafia” picture, he definitely looks Mafioso! 

Me, the tree and the Tower of Pisa are all leaning! This was a fun trip we took in 2004 with some dear friends, Pat and Gary Gerber. We traveled through Spain, France, Italy, Corsica, Greece and Croatia. Jack manned the camera, taking reference photos, so I could sketch to my heart’s content.

Our FIRST cruise! We were living in Las Vegas when Jack surprised me one day by driving up to a wig shop. Looking at him quizzically I asked, “Why are we stopping here?” He turned and grinned, “Let’s make you a redhead!” It certainly shocked our friends on the ship when we showed up at the Captain’s dinner with my new “RED DO”! That little wig brought a lot of smiles over the years, many people didn’t recognize me as “Jack’s new red headed lady”!

We loved going on cruises, especially ones that stopped in a different destination every day. We weren’t big on endless days at sea, we wanted to discover new places! Capt’n Jack at the helm of the “Royal Clipper”, sailing from Bequia to Grenada in the Caribbean.

And, last but not least……bet you didn’t know it but Jack was an official Admiral in the Texas Navy! In 2006 he was commissioned by Governor Rick Perry and given control of the Texas Coast from Corpus Christi to Brownsville. How’s that for an Ol’ Broken Down Cowboy? The official ceremony was on the deck of the battleship, U.S.S. Lexington, anchored in the Corpus Christi Harbor.

I want to thank all of you for being with me this year, your love and friendship has made this new path in my life easier. As anyone who has lost a loved one knows, there are certainly days that are tough. But it’s amazing how much it has helped knowing all of you hold me close in your hearts. And when those pesky blues descend you know what I’ve learned? Gratitude drives Saditide away! Instead of focusing on the loss I concentrate on the fact I’m so blessed to have spent 26 years with Jack. Not only did he teach me to paint, more importantly he gave me the gift of showing me how to live a full and Christ centered life. What a wonderful example he was for all of us! And how comforting to know we’ll all be together again in Heaven for eternity. With Appreciative HUGS,

Barnyard Tussle

July 10, 2017

 

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION. When I walked up to the easel this morning I realized that as much as I loved the Jewel Tone Blue feathers on our Rooster’s chest, there is just TOO MUCH BLUE. I needed to change those iridescent feathers to Magenta. I almost backed out but could hear Jack’s voice in my mind saying, “Just do it!” SO…..like Nike, I just did it!

The long, curved tail or “Sickle” feathers are made with mixes of Pthalo Green + White, Pthalo Blue + White and Dioxazine Purple + White.

The “Saddle” is made of fine feathers draping over the Rooster’s back. These are painted with mixtures left over from the “Hackles” and “Cape”, or neck feathers.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION. I also give a little peek at my painting set up in this video.

Here’s a different angle of my painting set up and how the large mirror is placed behind me. You may click on the image to see it larger. This allows me to easily turn and look at my piece in the mirror as I work. Seeing it reversed moves it from the painting side of your brain to the analytical side, making it easier to critique your own art. This is an essential tool for an artist! Jack discovered that Leonardo da Vinci used a mirror to critique his work! So he said, “If Leonardo used one, I’d better do it!”

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION. Finishing up!

Barnyard Tussle    24 inches by 30 inches

These colorful guys are ready to rock and roll on my collector’s wall. What a fun piece this has been to paint. AND…I really appreciate all of your wonderful comments. My readers are the BEST! Hugs, 

 

Let’s Plant Some Grass

July 9, 2017

 

OK! OK! The lawn kind everyone! Here’s a VIDEO. Mixes of Pthalo Blue + White and Pthalo Blue + Ultramarine Blue + Lemon Yellow are used for the grass.

The Rooster on the left is just about to jump off the ground, he’s up on his tip toes ready to become airborne.

That completes the grass and the Roosters’ legs, we’ll finish them up in our next session. Thank you for following my blog and as I said in the video, “Always feel free to ask questions!”

Now, let me tell you about that Jack. He is the one who would remark with a laugh and huge smile, “Ask me anything. If I don’t know the answer I’ll just make something up!” However, I never knew him not to know the answer to a question. Maybe he was just really good at not revealing he didn’t know and was making something up. He was QUICK, but everything he recommended worked! What a fun guy to be around. I’m certainly blessed for the years we had together. This picture was taken in 1998 at our studio in Pacific Grove, we lived on the beach right around the point from Carmel! With Colorful Smiles,