Sunday, January 6, 2013

It's All In The Ledger

Seems like life is so busy that I forget about my blog. I am going to have to change the name since I haven't been painting daily...I have been working on our hold house instead among other things. I will briefly catchup with paintings that I haven't posted lately. This one is called It's All In the Ledger...the story is below...and happily it is sold...:)
                                                             "It's All In The Ledger"
  In the art world this style of piece is called a Vanitas, although I did not use a human skull. I thought I would give, you the viewer, an explanation of this piece if you are curious about it's meaning.

"I am a strong believer that whatever we do in life is recorded somewhere.....all of our acts of kindness and love or cruelty and thoughtlessness are written down you might say. We will all pay the price at some or later. The objects in this piece all relate to life in some way or another....whether it be the arts, love, music, humanity, the impermanence of things or death itself. To begin...this is a painting, quite itself it represents one of the arts and is impermanent. The cobalt ink bottle and one of the books represents literature, writing and the great thinkers of all time, the Half and Half tobacco can represent many of man's vices, the copper coffee pot, Oriental carpet and blue ceramic pitcher represent the possessions we collect over time and that are left behind when our time on earth is over, the perfume bottle represents of the greatest things we can experience in our lifetime...or, on the other hand, lust often confused with love by some. The butterflies, a short lived life form are an example of our fleeting existence on this planet, so we may want to use our time here wisely. I might add that in the Ancient Hawaiian culture (which I became very familiar with during my 15 years in Hawaii) that the butterfly is representative of the soul, that part of us that is our spiritual essence and will not die. Beneath the deer skull, and upon closer examination, you will see the it what you may....The Stairway to Heaven, God's Roll Call, The Book of Life or The Lamb's is where everything is recorded, all of our acts of kindness and love or cruelty and thoughtlessness and we will be judged accordingly. The background is an abstract impression of a global map representing all humanity, the brotherhood of man and our involvement therein. It also reflects that no man is unknown to Him that keeps this record. The slim green book is a music book, yet another one of the arts represented here. The two wooden blocks were once part of a larger piece of furniture from times past...that bureau has long since fallen into decay as these wooden blocks will, also...all things mortal will return to dust at some point in time. The deer skull is meant to represent death and the finality of our mortal being......ashes to ashes, dust to dust.*
This is a personal viewpoint, although shared by many, and not intended or designed to offend or coerce anyone into this way of thinking.....I have admiration and respect for all spiritual belief systems that are positive and good and cause no harm to anyone or anything, and also for those that follow them. This was just something I thought of and wanted to express.
From an artistic standpoint I don't usually produce such a highly rendered piece. I was asked to have a piece of my work to be displayed on the poster for The Midwest Gathering of the Artists for 2012 and I wanted something that would photograph well and be somewhat different. The setup just seemed to lend itself  to being more rendered."
*"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust", a phrase from the Anglican burial service, used sometimes to denote total finality. It is based on scriptural texts such as "Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return" (Genesis 3:19), and "I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee" (Ezekiel 28:18).

Monday, February 27, 2012

Back Again......

Backstage 16x20 Sold
  I have been gone way too long...not going to say to much at this point but will be catching up with all the work I have done, sold and exhibited. Thank you all who have continued to ask me to post again and all the new followers that have signed on!
 I have an art page on Facebook and links on my website...if you would be so good as to like anything there it would be my honor!
 I will star of by posting a recent commission. The photo is one of mine that I took backstage at a performance by The Dancers Studio in Carthage, Missouri. It is owned by my partner, Max's daughter..I take her as my own. She is also the artistic director and choreographer and teaches a large amount of students there. Max and I help out with props from time to time.
Here is a bit of a progression. Have a fantastic painting week ahead! Theresa

In progress

Closeup of faces

Soon to be a small painting

Closeup of central figure-Our neighbors daughter

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Rest Of The Story.......

The previous blog dealt with the central image of a violinist for a suite of ten paintings requested by a collector.
In this blog I will put together the rest of the images. As I chose the pictures I had it in my mind that they should all face toward the center if he were the Soloist and the rest of the musicians were in the symphony. Here is were I had one problem....aside from just putting paint on canvas in a mature and direct way.
My client had requested certain instruments. So I looked through my file of what I had and traveled the internet for inspiration. I would say all of the paintings came out pretty much the way I wanted them to......except one. I had found a picture of a trumpet player. I really loved the image and could see it translated into paint immediately. There was only one thing wrong....he was facing the wrong way. What to do....I flipped the picture.....problem solved....right??? .......Nope...wrong! What happened was he ended up playing the trumpet in an impossible way because the instrument cannot be played that way....and I had completely painted it and thought it was fantastic (if I do say so myself)! As I brought it downstairs and out of the studio for Max and I to gaze upon and contemplate it's beauty.....Max, a trumpet player, noticed something. Yep....that's when I got the word....! Darn...darn...darn! What to do know? Only one thing....find another image and do it right!
I sent the image and an email to my client and explained what good conscience I couldn't let it out of the studio with it so wrong. My client emailed me back and said whatever I wanted to do was fine with him.....but he really like the painting anyway....felt it was very strong and I would have to agree. Well.....two weeks later after I had finished two more pieces for him......and what do you think happened? He still had to have the painting because he liked it so much! What's an artist to do??? Well....for me the truth never hurts, first of all. I did have another person interested in it...but explained the issue....and her son was a trumpet player also. So, of course she declined. In the long all worked out. Everyone is happy!
Lesson learned......if you are going to work from photos.....check everything twice and beware.....there really is no substitute for painting from life. I have done my fair share and still do paint from life or studies from life for the most part. I just didn't think about how most musical instruments (I am aware of a few left-handed instruments...but not many) are only played one way. It won't happen again!!! I have added the rest of the images in the progression they were done below. Let me know your thoughts!

The first painting and the inspiration for the suite was sold several months ago. When I painted this I had not thought about a series.
My client was inspired to order several more paintings in a symphony series.

The second piece...a pianist.....One of my favorites.

The third....there must be a conductor! Hands....arrgh!
I need good to have someone who has faith in the fact that I will just get better!

I next decided to get the big one out of the way. This is a 16x20 the rest are all 8x10.
This makes the fourth piece.

The client was anxious for a classical guitarist....this may well be the best one!
This is number five. I believe I am getting better!!!

Before I got to this one I had to stop on the series and produce a few other pieces and some other plein air activities. I did a still life with a stuffed turkey....more on that turkey later!!
The client requested woodwinds...I chose the Bassoon...I just like the shape of it! This makes number six.

My client then asked for a trumpet player. This is the painting that was wrong.....but sold anyway! He should be reversed. Number seven.

This is the replacement for the backward trumpet...also sold. I like it!!! Learning a lot!
Number eight.

Tuning the Timpani....number nine.

One left the harpist...she is giving me fits......:)
See you later,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Long Time No See............

"The Soloist" 16x20 Oil Sold

I was beginning to think (and you may have, too) that I may never blog again. There always seem to be so much out there to do, that I feel like writing a blog can be a complete waste of time.....but I do miss communicating on some small level. So here I am...yet again....playing catching up. To all you regular bloggers I have much admiration for you!
There has been lots going on (isn't there always) I will try to play "catchup post" from where I left off and go on from there. I believe I mentioned a step by step portrait? This piece was part of a series of musicians for a collector....nine in all. This was to be the central painting with 8 surrounding pieces. I am as we speak on the last one.
We as artists know that commissions are a strong source of revenue and a valuable tool to our learning. They can have a downside though...don't get me wrong I am extremely grateful and could not survive without them....but they can dull you somewhat creatively. Mostly because you are painting another persons vision and not yours. Fortunately my collector is patient and gives me lots of creative room. So on the whole I have learned an awful lot! It has been a very rewarding experience!

Some of the things I learned:
The value of doing many images of a similar subject.
Planning small canvases to their maximum and how to devise a series that will hang together.
Color and paint application. A constant learning process!
Work ethic and timely response. (I don't really have a work ethic problem....but staying on top of an assignment does take planning.)
The sheer value of just working.
Not seeing the image as a face, violin, trumpet, etc. but shapes of color, value and paint application.
How much more I need to learn!

Below is the Demo for "The Soloist"

The beginning....a quick pencil sketch secured with hairspray.
I don't like to get too detailed with drawing...and many times I just begin with paint.
Because of the violin, hand and face I chose to do some drawing.

Close up of the face and beginning with thin paint and various colors.
Skin has many colors in it....look and you will see green, blue or purple among others in the flesh tones. Trying to keep edges in the face soft.

Some more work and laying in broader shapes and background.

Continuing to work on the face and the areas around it.

The hands and violin started...checking the accuracy of the perspective of the violin.
The collar is done the face is 90% done.

Almost there!.....the jacket is finished , the bow needs some fine
tuning and the neck of the violin needs to be finished. Also the hand needs refining
and a tiny bit of work on the head with glazing and paint application.

Voila! The finished piece. Details worked out on the violin such as strings, keys, frog and moldings, glazing and some more tweaking on the face and hands!

Thank you to everyone that continues to sign
to my blog, support me via Facebook and my website,

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I have entered a few piece in the Bold Brush Painting Contest. If you would like to vote for can access in the sidebar or go here and vote for me or whoever you like! I don't think helps winning....I just like to see if there is any positive reaction.
Thank you ahead of time for your vote!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Best Laid Schemes O' Mice An' Men.........

Theresa's Pansies 8x16 Oil Sold
I always say I am going to blog continuously like so many other bloggers...then life gets in the way...or should I say living life gets in the way. I have been plenty to say (just ask my boyfriend and friends...I am more than opinionated at times....and always have something to say. So here I am yet again...and yet again behind in blogging...I haven't even been on Facebook but momentarily.I have been more than busy living life, also.
As last mentioned I have acquired a patron who is more than generous in keeping me busy....and more than generous with emotional support. I have completed several paintings for a musically themed suite of paintings. Several other pieces have been acquired to there collection. You can see them below.
Gardening is another lifelong hobby and the vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers are rolling in. Thank goodness Max (who also has a very green thumb) likes to garden also or I could not do it all!! I have pictures and will try to get them up also.
I have also been doing a lot of studying....just trying to get better with edges and color. So I read a lot, I am especially enjoying my two new books one on Sorolla the other on Sargent. That makes five Sargent books I have now.....Oh, if I could only paint like him now...or Schmid or 100 other artists who have aspects of their work that I deeply admire!
I also attended a plein air paint out that was great fun even if rained most of the time...I still got a couple of decent paintings out....and one sold. There is no better training than painting from life!!!!
I hope everyone is enjoying there summer...we have been. There has been everything from a party on Memorial Day at our house to a sadly attended funeral of our 92 year old neighbor and dear childhood friend of Max's to toiling in the garden in unbelievable humidity and enjoying thunderstorms on our front porch.
Below find some recently sold pieces and some not sold yet.
Next up large step by step portrait and the story of a painting that I never cared if I sold...but did!
Best to Everyone and Enjoy Life,

Rose Bower Oil Sold Plein Air

Rose Trellis Plein Air (finished at home)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Worthy Opponent.......

Abendessen (Dinner) 20x20 Oil Sold

When I was asked to paint another crab for a first thought was "oh, what fun" and it truly was! On the other hand my self-challenging and creative ideas often get the better of me. I immediately had an image that came to mind.
I grew up with this old stein and a few more...seeing them often in the house and creating little stories about the pictures represented on them. This has always been my favorite ever since I can remember. I loved the color, shape and decoration since I was a little girl. was the first thing to go in the setup aside from little crabby that has been stored in my fridge since last year. After all I wasn't going to eat it...just paint the age of this crustacean being frozen was not an issue. Then with a little more consideration...I decided on the green glass mug...the little brass pitcher and the onions...and finally some beer to go in the mug. I had a considerable debate with myself on choosing the backdrop. I made my final decision and I was off an rolling!
I set the still life up at Cherry's Gallery and completed it there....many people stopped by and watched the this painting come to life. Then, as sometimes happens....difficulty set in. I began to over think...the stein started to give me fits. I did not realize that there was so much detail and how was I going to handle it. almost always....I soldier on...and completed it. The client loved it...and wanted periodic reports while it was in progress since he was out of town while I painted it. He has paid for it since and picked out the framing material. As an added benefit he also bought the one off the easel that I was working on at the time. I will post it next.
No one knows how grateful I am for such wonderful things happening to me.....and no one knows how hard I am on myself when I am temporarily in doubt over what I am doing.......until now...:)
I am actually very,very pleased with this that I am not looking at it anymore. As artists I think we sometimes tire of what we are working on....we become blind...and I think many of us are perfectionists....I know I am!!!
As always...I will continue striving to grow and learn and improve my technique....a little looser is what I am trying to accomplish in my still life work.
Until Next Time,

Day One and Setup

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

Day Five

Day Six (Final)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A New Work....

It's Spring and we are so glad to be out and about! Working with the soil makes me feel connected on a very elementary level...which is an extremely good thing.
I have also been painting regularly at Cherry's Gallery ( and helping put together a website exclusively on art) has been a wonderful place to work! I still like being home but unfortunately dishes, laundry and other domestic chores continually call my name and compete for attention. So I have taken up semi-permanent residence here and am forced to get dressed (no more painting in jammies..that I rather love) , brush my hair and attend "work" on a more regular schedule! It feels good and it is a good work habit. I have just finished a commission which I will post next. I have also "cut up" another painting....and I must say it is better than ever now!!
The above piece is a plein air piece...the heron was added later in the was just missing something in my eye.
Gardening is a priority now also....peas, lettuce, spinach, onions and more. Twenty eight lilies are now planted and also nasturtiums and up English and cabbage roses.
There is also a picture box of my my baby brother and I.....:)
Until next time,

Monday, April 5, 2010

Back From California and Arizona....

Me and Max at Disneyland

I am making this real quick...and I mean really quick....I have been gone for three weeks to California and Arizona....visiting and seeing Disneyland. Upon my return I started painting at the local gallery here in Carthage, Mo, Cherry's, and spent a week painting there. It was a great deal of fun.....old students and aspiring painters stopped by, friends, supporters of the arts and collectors, also. At times there was a whole lot more talking then painting! Normally this piece would take far less time...that's okay...I had great fun catching up with everyone!! I will be back again this week. Painting another crab.....I think it is going to be great....but only time will tell!!!
Below a few pics of paintings and moments on vacation. Until more time allows have some fantastic creative days!!

Me and my baby happy to see each other...

Setup for painting at Cherry's

First day (which was very short)...

Second day.....

Final....Oil and Onions 11x14