Thursday, May 16, 2019

Paintus Interruptus - Back to the Mom Cave

Spice, 16x20. Oil On Canvas, Cole Gallery

November brings a slew of interruptions to my already sketchy daily schedule.  Thanksgiving is pretty much just the icing on the cake but November is more than just TG.  It's the real onset of the "Holidays".  Or maybe it's actually October these days but I'm too caught up in the Oldfield Show to deal with it until November.  So about November first, I'm already on that slippery slope where so many other things start to take "priority" over my artwork - and my horse.

December, of course, is the crux of it all - but then we find ourselves thinking about New Years and the going-ons of that event. One could pretty much just throw in the towel if they were not mindful of all things fighting for our attention.  

So I saw what was going on.  I was losing steam and had to stay focused.  Artwork first - all other things at the end of the day- but that's when I'm fried, exhausted, mentally wiped out.  The juggle was on.  I did not prevail (this time) but I learned a lot about myself and am developing better habits. 

So with New Years behind me, I was able to get back into my studio, brush in hand (and between my teeth - yep.  A story for another time) and practice some new disciplines.  

Then I get a call.  

For the next 3 months I had the privilege of being able to help my son and his wife as they maneuvered the rocky road of a tiny little baby born waaaay to early.  This was my new priority.  Painting was on the back burner, not getting cold but simmering.  I had 3 months to think about paintings,  compositions, style, technique and the lot of it.  But no time (energy) to act on it.

The good news is baby and family are thriving.  But also, I am back in  my studio more disciplined than ever and more inspired than ever.  

Maybe I needed a little Paintus Interruptus.  Maybe we all do from time to time.  :)

Friday, November 30, 2018

Yuletide Greetings * A Christmas Painting

Yuletide Greetings, 16x20, Oil on Canvas, Available through Cole Gallery

Aaaaaannnd back to posting:
So much for consistency.  I want to blame it all on my lack of photography skills but I'm sure we could create a list of my discipline issues.  However, photography is my nemesis.  

Frosty Noel, 12x24, Oil on Canvas, Available through Cole Gallery

How to get the correct colors , the saturation, exposure, not to mention all those little sparkly reflections that happen with oils.  It's all a mystery to me.  Even with the Googles for reference, I have to set aside a full day for nothing but photography and editing.   My job is to make the image look exactly like the painting.  Sometimes it's enough to make my hair fall out.  

North Light Tulips, 16x20, Oil on Canvas, SOLD

But not everyone loves EVERY aspect of their job even if it IS their DREAM JOB.  So, I let the paintings stack up then I pull out the camera and all my little camera gadgets, light box, lights, umbrellas, filters, blah blah blah and get the job done.   


Still, after all the fuss, I think they are best seen in person.  Which you could have done at the Oldfield Show in October.  Love that show.  So much going on.  Food, wine, coffee, music, auctions - live and silent, rows and rows of artists all in doors!  Put it on your calendar for next year.  It's usually the first weekend of October but there is a rumor they may be changing that.  

North Light Roses, 16x20, Oil on Canvas, Available through Cole Gallery

Of course you could make a trip to the Cole Gallery in Edmonds, Wa.  I love that gallery too.  Featuring ME.  And several other artists, of course.  I  was asked if I would consider painting some lighter pieces (because I have a tendency toward darker palettes).  
My knee jerk was: No.  
But I percolated on it for a while and thought, maaaybeee.  I can still paint the same concept with in a much higher key.  Much, MUCH higher key. A key so high one might need an oxygen mask.  (Did I lose you?).   Because, frankly, if it's not overplayed, it's just sitting there.  So I overplayed.  I lit.  I over lit.  I blew out edges with light. Over exposed.  And that's saying a lot since I paint from life 99% of the time.   

The galley calls it my "White Period".   

BTW, I am back to chiaroscuro.  :)

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Good News & Thank You

Study of Pears, 8x8 Oil on Canvas, Etsy


Holy Smokes, what have I got myself into now?!  I already feel like there is not enough time in the day and now I've added a whole new platform to learn for selling my artwork on.  

Dont get me wrong I'm really excited to be on Etsy.  I signed up in 2008 and just let it sit there which was good because apparently they have made a lot of changes but I'm grandfathered into some of the "old ways".  Whatever.  It's all I can do to figure out some of the basics.  The Etsy hand book is like a rats nest of do's and dont's.  On top of that, they have forums and teams and groups and so on.  You can really get lost in there.   I can really get lost in there.

But I have several paintings listed and already made a sale which made my day.  Rather than pester my customers to leave reviews (beyond the thank you note), I am at their mercy to help me out in that area.  That is, if you are happy.  If not...  please get a hold of me so I can fix that.  I want happy, elated, WOW'd customers.  :)

After all, many of my customers purchase my artwork from an online image having never seen the painting in person and that is real trust.  I am grateful for that and wouldnt want to do anything to damage that trust.  

I think about it in the studio when I'm finishing a painting.  Again when I'm varnishing it.  And again when I'm backing and labeling it.  I think about how it will be received.  I'm ALWAYS thinking about whether I would hang it in my home or give it as a gift.  

SO --  For those of you who have purchased from me, thank you.  Thank you for trusting me.  Thank you for your kind words to me upon receipt of the artwork.  Thank you having faith in me.  It has molded me into the artist I am today.  To push myself to better prep work, better brush work, better palettes, better compositions for elegance.  Better artwork for your home (and mine).

Thank you for your patronage.  

Lori    :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Original Oil Painting Stormy Pansies

Storm Watch, 12x16, Oil on Canvas, Cole Gallery

When they are fresh, I paint as many pansies as I can before burn out.  As usual, I focus on light.  Where I want it and how much do I want it there.  It should be noted , I am supremely influenced by our weather here in the PNW and that may have (did) influence my palette and consequently the light.   Early spring can be that way around here.  Wet, stormy, drizzly, cloudy, windy.  Little if any sunshine.  Maybe enough to mow the lawn once a week if I'm lucky.

All that said, when I was midway through this painting I began thinking about Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven....  Once upon a midnight weary...  and so on.  With all that and it being relatively dark outside even at noon, due to the storms, this was the result.

Frankly, it's one of my favorites.  :)

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Original Oil Painting Poof Pansies

POOF, 10x20, Oil on Canvas, $855, Available through the Cole Gallery

If you've ever had baby powder you know what Poof is.  Give the container a little squeeze and watch the atmosphere haze up.  In creating the glow around the pansies I was preoccupied with that memory.  Essentially, I was poofing baby powder with paint - not literally, of course, but that was certainly my mindset.  :)

Creating a glow or atmosphere or mood - that's foremost in my mind when I'm painting.  When I first started painting I was all about painting "things".  Paint the apple.  Paint the pear.  Whatever.  All that gave me good practice with some essential elements such as paint, medium and brush handling.  

But the more I learned, the more I learned I needed to learn....?  Yep.   

Concept is everything at this point.  Sure, I try to start with a good representation of my subject but once I have that established ( to my liking) you might be surprised by my next move.  

A bigger brush and edge obliterating.  Yep again.  Once I have my elements in place (speaking as a general rule of thumb, not exclusively) I find hard edges that need softening or even all together losing completely and go at it with full abandon with brush in hand and no holds barred.  Followed closely with color smooshing and, conversely, dashing pieces of paint in contrasting temperatures for effect.  Some thick paint, some thin paint...  VOILA!

Sometimes, I just think the painting is better off left alone.  That is rare though.  

With POOF  I mingled a little this and a little that but focused on getting that powder explosion behind the pansies.  I really had fun with that.  

How much is too much?  How far can I go?  If I dont overplay it I havent gone far enough.  The end.  I overplay.  It's what I do.  

I dont take a lot of risks these days.  I get my taxes done on time, I dont eat any grapes on my way to the check stand, and I use cruse control on those long rural roads.  HOWEVER,  when I'm in the studio, 
"I am the master of my fate, 
      I am the captain of my soul. " 

Whatever happens, happens.  I'm the author of success as well as failure.  It's all on me baby.  :)

Monday, March 19, 2018

Twiggs Studio * Red Tulips Original Oil Painting

I love red.  No secret there.  In fact, my home AND my barn have red and black accents.  So it 's no wonder that I go there in my studio often  enough. 

A very long time ago, I was told that red, not black, was the color for SIN.  Whatever that means.  I dont know anything about the color of sin or much about the psychology of color at all except that red is is supposed to be threatening..  even aggressive.

If a soccer team had an all red uniform from jersey down to the socks - solid red- they could - in theory, have a powerful psychological affect.  Enough perhaps to overwhelm the opposing team.  In theory anyway.  According to a study I read.  Online.  So we know it 's true, right?  :)

But I like it anyway.  I like the lavenders in the shadows and the orangey yellow glows.  And I dont think this painting is in any way, shape or form threatening.  Maybe quietly confident.  It wont scream from a hallway.  It's not loud.  And despite the 9 clear tulips and a few ambiguous ones it's a long way from busy. 

Do you have a spot in your home ( or office, or wherever )that needs a mood-setter?  What mood are you looking for ?  :) 

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.