Monday, February 12, 2018

Twiggs Studio * Pansies in Smokey Blue Original Oil Painting

Study of Pansies in Smokey Blue, 8x8, Oil on Canvas, Click to Bid

I'm slowly perusing my way through this humbling, hard to digest book. In the book, Ryan Holiday tells how the media lures us with lies and rumors and their motives for doing so.  He tells how they need you to click to their page because the more clicks their page gets, the more they can sell ads for.  Whatever gets you to click - that's their job.  They are working for a paycheck like everyone else. Essentially, their job, isnt to report facts as we would like to believe but collect clicks, page views, impressions.  

Joe Friday would never make it in our world. 

Like gristle in a steak.  Mold on an otherwise sweet and juicy strawberry.  Or a chunk in your milk.  eeew - we bite, we follow links, we read, share and re-tweet (well, I dont re-tweet) until rumors become "facts" by the sheer nature of "everybody is saying it".  Like driving by an accident.  It's hard to look away, so we click.  Maybe the article is boring after all so we stop reading and venture elsewhere, but we already clicked, we landed on their page, they got their impression, page view, click, so they did their job.  The advertisers are happy. The blogger is happy.  The reader rarely knows nobody dared to fact check the pack of lies they just digested.  The cycle continues.

 I stumbled across Ryan Holiday while shopping for a workshop on Creative Live on how to use Etsy.  Scrolling through the "sale" page I came across the workshop "Smart PR for Artists & Entrepreneurs" with Ryan Hoilday.  Okay, I'll bite.  So I watched his blurb video and was intrigued.  But first, I thought, I better read his book to see what he's all about.  

So instead of spending the first part of my mornings studying, reading Southwest Art magazine, Hawthorne on Painting, [insert miscellaneous art publication here], I spend them reading this book.  Etsy workshop delayed.   

And it's all fact. Absolutely true.  After all the guy says, trust me....I'm lying.  :/

BTW,  Pansies are back and I'm filling my studio with them!  

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Twiggs Studio * Study of Red Blooms Original Oil Painting

Study of Red Blooms, 8x8, Oil on Canvas, Click to Bid

It is raining hard today.  Actually it was raining hard yesterday and I think the day before but such is late winter here in the PNW.  Maybe that's why I'm drawn to darker, deeper and atmospheric paintings.  Because I relate to less sunshine, less clarity but I also seek out that spot of color?  Maybe.  If that were true then more artists in Western Washington would paint the way I do - but they dont.  I see more high key, brilliantly colored paintings than deep, dark, chiaroscuro paintings.  Many, many more.  

I do own one bright painting.  It was given to me by an artist that died soon after.  I was a new artist at the time and it inspired me when I walked by it.  It is brushy, painterly and has a very Van Gogh appeal to it.  It also goes with the couch.  But mostly, I have a connection to the artist and the work from an artist point of view.  I can relate to it.  As I look at it now I doubt I would look twice if I were to see if for the first time.  My experiences have changed the way I perceive art but this piece will always be special to me because I know a little bit about the artist.  Only a little bit but enough to give me a connection to him.  

It begs the question, why do people buy the art that they buy?  Why purchase one painting over another.  What is the appeal, the attraction, the connection?  Especially if you have never met the artist and know nothing about him/her.  Because it goes with the couch?  What if you buy a new couch?  What then?

I'll be touching on this more in future posts.  I suspect the answer is wide and varied but I have a few insights I might share.  After all, my house if filled with original art, mostly mine of course but I do pick and choose which pieces I display.   :)


I did this painting in steps.  While it was drying I realized I did not get the glow on the petals that I wanted.  I took it back to the studio and proceded to overplay the glow.  Again, I took it back to my studio for a third pass and was finally happy.  :)

After having fragmented studio time during the holidays I am slowly working myself back into a stronger routine.  It's frustrating to have other tasks interfere with studio time but I am finally getting some momentum.   Looking forward to a productive year !  :)

Friday, January 19, 2018

Twiggs Studio * Study in Lavender Original Oil Painting

Study in Lavender, 8x8, Oil on Canvas, Click to Bid

Pink and purple.  Uber femenine.

Once again I began with a high key concept but ended in a mid key.  It's the deep, unsaturated darks that I gravitate to - although this painting has some very saturated pinky-reds and purples. 

In my quest for "authenticity" I go down many roads.  :)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Twiggs Studio * Study of Red Droopy Tulips 2

Study of Red Droopy Tulips 2, 8x8, Oil on Canvas, Click to Bid

For a moment I started to believe I should never purchase flowers on a Friday.  Especially if it is before a show.  I bought them, put them in a vase and had to wait until after the show, decompression and unpacking before I could get to the actual painting of them.

I have a mini fridge in my studio that I keep flowers in to hold them over from painting to painting but it only keeps them fresh for so long.  At some point they start to lose that fresh cut appeal.

I'm not sure that was a deficite for me.  I kind of liked the droopy, almost done look I got from these.  So much that I did another, larger gallery piece.  So that moment of early purchase regret passed and I learned something really important about myself.  There is real character in imperfect arrangements.  Droopy blooms.  Shortened stems.  Whatever.

Sure, the bold, symmetrical, happy bouquets are beautiful and have their place in artwork but it all depends on what statement you, as an artist, are trying to make.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Twiggs Studio * Study of Poinsettia and Christmas Balls Oil Painting

Study of Poinsettia and Christmas Balls, 8x8 Oil on Canvas, Click to Bid

I actually painted this last December but couldnt let it go at that time.  I did it as a study for a gallery piece that you can see here:  but it sold quickly so I just kept the small study for the holidays.

The balls were trickier than I suspected which is rapidyly becoming a familiar theme with my artwork.  My guess is that as long as I'm branching out into new territory I will always have new challenges to face.

The very reasons painting is so captivating are the ongoing challenges and the opportunity to solve them.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Study of Candy Canes Original Oil Painting

Study of Candy Canes, 8x8, Oil on Canvas, Click to Bid

Hard to believe how much there was to see and translate with 4 candy canes. each twist of each color had to have its lights and darks, not smudge terribly with the neighbor color and still look painterly. Yikes. What did I get myself into?

Friday, November 24, 2017

Study of Blueberries Oil Painting

Study of Blueberries and Depth, 6x8 Oil on Canvas, Click to Bid

This little study of blueberries was to re visit my earlier approaches at depth and atmosphere. The question looming in the far corners of my mind, "just how far back, exactly, IS the horizon?"

Friday, November 03, 2017

Renaissance * A Red Carnation Oil Painting

Renaissance, 10x20, Oil on Canvas, $855

Softly lit and gently splayed carnations.  So many layers, so much to consider.  On the other hand less is more. 

If you like RED, and I do, here it is.  I wondered if I was going to be in over my head when I first started painting carnations but once I got into a groove they all started to come together.  (BTW, the study for this painting was posted here:   )   Here is the study image:  
So from study to gallery painting I am learning more about technique and my personal spin on it.  I've found this principle to be true:

Darker colors recede when warm and come forward when cool
Lighter colors recede when cool and come forward when warm.

But rules were meant  to be broken from time to time.   It's helpful, though,  to have that little tidbit when something isnt working the way you think it should.  

For instance, the interior of the blooms are deep and I want them to recede.  If I mix Ultramarine blue with Crimson I will get a cool dark relative to Ultramarine mixed with red deep or especially red light which is uber warm.  Now I painted this a few months ago so I cant swear to what colors I used but I'm just sayin'.  So to get a deep interior to the blooms I'm inclined to use a warm red mixed with UB.  If Crimison/UB works then fine but if it doesnt give me the depth I want then I go warmer.  See?

This principle is useful for backgrounds and foregrounds alike but opposite (get it?).  If I want a dark background I find it is a bit of a tightrope walk because my darker colors are generally cool, ie: UB, Black.  To warm them I generally use lighter colors, ie: reds, yellows - which in turn lightens the color and I will lose the bold dark background to some degree.  I use a lot of Transparent Oxide Red which is pretty dark but transparent sooo...  I add some UB then warm it with either yellow and go greenish or maybe some red light.  Either way I want to keep the chroma down.  Dont want to saturate my background...  :(

Foregrounds are the opposite.  I want more chroma - but not so much that it competes with my subject.  AAAAnnnnd I want it to come forward.  So in the light areas I will go warmer, generally and relative to the surrounding color.  In the darker areas, like the corners I may try to brighten it with a little cooler color - Cooler, that is, relative to it's surrounding color.  It's all relative..

Good Grief.  I just read what I wrote and sound like a babbling know it all but it's just me thinking out loud on screen..  It's probably not as complex as I make it sound.  I suppose for some people it's all intuitive.  But I like to think about things like that.  After all, some of the best advice I got was from a workshop instructor  Robert Rohm who said to me:

" Ask yourself, is it lighter, darker, warmer, cooler?  "

That really sums it up.  

Friday, October 27, 2017

Tomato Sfumato * Butterfly Blooms and Cherries * Original Oil Painting



nounFine Arts.
the subtle and minute gradation of tone and color used to blur or veil the contours of a form in painting.

Ahhh.. and Whew!  I am finally recovered from the Oldfield show.  My husband and I have all but perfected the art of R&R so art shows which are polar opposite to R&R can be, let's just say, taxing.  
That said, it was, and always is, a good experience.  

It used to be the Oldfield Western Art  Show but they have recently dropped the Western so collectors will not be limited to those loving only cowboy art - which there is plenty of - and good stuff too but collectors of several genres of art - including my primary genre, still life.

Old Worldly | Quiet | Serene

I heard several buzz words repeated in my booth.  "Old Worldly" was one I heard several times.  Also, "Quiet" and "Serene".  But one that was new to me was "Sfumato".  Sure, I've heard the word and was vaguely familiar with it's artful meaning but never really related it to my work.  When I google imaged Sfumato in Chrome I got a bunch of images of the Mona Lisa and the liqueur Amaro sfumato Rabarbaro from the Cappelletti website.  And from that site I quote:

"The term Sfumato derives from the italian word for smoke "fumo" .

It is traditionally associated with a style of Renaissance painting characterized by subtle transitions between areas of dark and light.

This speaks directly to the profil of this amaro wich marries a dark smokiness with nuanced bitter woodsiness from alpine herbs and notes of sweet alpine berries."

*the direct cut and paste quote allowed for misspelled words.  I did, however, change the font, size and color for emphasis...   :)

So what does that have to do with my artwork?  Hmm. I have considered myself a Chiaroscuro painter to some degree and often think about a smokey piano bar, hazy and blues-y (you know, like the singing the BLUES).  And since the Italian word for smoke is "Fumo" and "Sfumato" is drived from "fumo" then, yeah, I guess it does indeed have Sfumato qualities.  


Neither one really rolls off the lips but when you say them you sound really artsy.  It sounds like you know what you are talking about whether you do or not.  :)   I find that's true with a lot of artsy comments though.  Sure there are sciences and principals to be found but by and large a lot of artsy talk is opinion and theory.  Often no one is really truly right or really truly wrong.  

So, do I paint using Sfumato??  Or do I paint using Chjiaroscurro??  Neither you say?  Both? 
I shoot for QUIET INTROSPECT.   Those will be my new buzz words.  At least for a while.  

Smokey, hazy, atmospheric, quiet.  What ev's...  It is what it is.  And perhaps even more introspective with that bottle of Cappelletti Amaro..    :) 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Another Pansy Painting :)

Study of Pansies and Apple, 8x8 Oil on Canvas, Click to Bid

I was hesitant to list this piece. Partly because I really like it and thought about keeping it. Also because it strays from my current direction in that is it's... well, let's face it, a little more cheerful than I usually paint. Bright colors against a brighter background isn't usually my style.

So much for style and authenticity, right? I guess I was just in one of those moods where light and bright was the song for the day.

As for keeping this piece, I guess I need brushes more. I use my small studies to fund my supplies so for that reason, I'm letting it go. Also, and this is big, I'm learning to NOT hold onto everything. Gotta let stuff go. Otherwise we'll end up on one of those TV shows that would embarrass the bee-geebies out of my kids. You know the ones.

I just gave 2 boxes of art magazines to the library and promised not to come back for 2 weeks to give them any more. :) It's my little effort to minimize the stuff around here.  It's baby steps.  Eating elephants.  A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step...    :)