Friday, December 14, 2012

A Cold Night (SOLD)

A cold night with winter moonglow,
soft beams bathe regal pine sentinals,
the shifting breeze stirs whispered messages
not quite audible.

"A Cold Night" 7x11 oil on museum board, copyright Laura Gable (SOLD)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

2013 Calendars

My 2013 calendar is here. These are 4"x6" desk-top sized calendars, printed on 14 pt gloss paper, double sided on 7 pages. They are held in a clear plastic case, which the top flips around to create a holder with easel back for displaying. Each page showcases a piece of artwork created this year. I will have them around December 6th.

Price $12.00 (plus tax of $1.00) = $13.00
[For non-locals: shipping cost is $5. You will be notified how to pay online.]

If you would like a calendar, please let me know your name, email address, how many you would like. If you are outside the Tri-City Washington region, please add your mailing address. Please contact me one of 3 ways:

- by commenting here on this blog:  Click comments below.
- on my studio Facebook page:
- on the contact form of my regular website:  (this is now fixed as of Dec 4. If you sent me a note via this modality in the past couple weeks, I may have missed your note so please try again now. Or try one of the other methods).

Here is the cover art and a sampling of months. If you want to peek at last year's to get an idea what we are talking about, click here.

Cover Art, copyright Laura Gable
February, copyright Laura Gable
March, copyright Laura Gable
June, copyright Laura Gable
September, copyright Laura Gable
calendars ready for sale in the studio.

Thank you for following my blog!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


By: Alice Cary

The leaves are fading and falling;
The winds are rough and wild;
The birds have ceased their calling--
But let me tell you, my child,

Though day by day, as it closes,
Doth darker and colder grow,
The roots of the bright red roses
Will keep alive in the snow.

And when the winter is over,
The boughs will get new leaves,
The quail come back to the clover,
And the swallow back to the eaves.

The robin will wear on his bosom
A vest that is bright and new,
And the loveliest wayside blossom
Will shine with the sun and dew.

The leaves today are whirling;
The brooks are all dry and dumb--
But let me tell you, my darling,
The spring will be sure to come.

There must be rough, cold weather,
And winds and rains so wild;
Not all good things together
Come to us here, my child.

So, when some dear joy loses
Its beauteous summer glow,
Think how the roots of the roses
Are kept alive in the snow.

"After the Harvest" oil on canvas, ©Laura Gable (SOLD)

This was my grandmother's favorite poem, and seems fitting for a chilly day in November.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A bit weary but contented

We entertained a lot of visitors in the studio this weekend for our annual Open Studio Tour. The tour has such a nice flavor, with many guests finding themselves interacting more, and lingering a bit longer. One guest commented that she felt our tour was very "civilized" like she was in the big city. I had an opportunity for some quick demos, showing my supplies and workspace, offering tips, and acting as "tour guide" for my 100 day challenge. These paintings all had sequence numbers on the little tags underneath so you could tell in which order each was painted. They were arranged by color, size and content to make it more pleasing on the eye. At one point a large group of 14 people stood in a line, at a respectable distance looking at the art. As a result, I felt a bit out of body--like I had created a "museum" or "art gallery" wall in my own studio. There was even "whispering" at one point.
In my studio space, with iPad and Square ready for sales:
"Stalwart Elm" and two plain air landscapes "McNary Vista" and "Afternoon Respite", ©Laura Gable
So to reiterate and wrap up the challenge, I will summarize some of the earlier posts and musings here.

What was the 100 in 100 Challenge?
It was a self-challenge I adopted on August 2nd to create 100 paintings in 100 days. Most of the painting was done on 8x8 or 12x12 Ampersand gessoboards, or smaller supports (using mostly oil paints and some watercolor). The purpose of this challenge was to create a more definite habit of creating art, pay attention to the process, and to see my evolution as an artist, with a larger goal of joining the online daily painting movements in the near future. The challenge just ended Friday Nov. 9th - the day before our tour.

Lessons Learned:

- the process became a little bit easier each day as it integrated into my daily life
- vision and daily goals help, though often the daily painting informs the next day's piece.
- some days are better suited for doing loose rather than studied paintings (a good fit for the goal-less days)
- daily painting creates it's own momentum
- I do need occasional breaks
- there were days that it was a struggle to create --usually when I made it a task or job like doing the dishes. To alleviate this, I started scheduling "joy moments."
- the studies from life require more concentration and focus, and can be hard work. But like any task when one can see the fruits of the labor, I came away feeling refreshed afterwards. As long as something was learned, the expectation of the quality of the end result could be relaxed a bit.

This all added to the exploration and kept it interesting. Mini goals were established - not only subject matter based, but technique based as well. For instance, I strive to express lost and found edges and not feel so compelled to express every aspect of every object (an ongoing effort).

Shelf display in the studio: newly framed "Sequential" finds a new home;
"Red Mountain" and "Vineyard Revelry" display nicely below; © Laura Gable
Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you are equally inspired to do something similar. A potter friend is now on her 4th day of a 100 day challenge. And another inspirational friend is doing something "different" every day -- not necessarily art based, just a unique exploration (like journal writing with the non-dominant hand.) Please share what inspiration you have come away with.

Friday, November 9, 2012

100 "Visionary"

#100 "Visionary" painting, 24"x48" oil on canvas, ©Laura Gable
 I'm pleased to say that my challenge has come to a close. This last few weeks have been equally challenging with getting the messy and cluttered studio in order for the Open Studio Tour. It is in the greater Tri-City, WA area this weekend. Coupled with that was the compassion felt and emotion spent towards the knee replacement surgery of a family member (all is well, and she is healing nicely). So a big sigh of relief "Whew!" for completion. This final painting has been in progress for awhile, so wasn't entirely painted on this final day (though it was finished today). As you can see, I wanted to go out with a flourish. Friends, please meet painting #100.

"Visionary" 24x48 oil on canvas, ©Laura Gable

Here the painting is a little bit closer. She is a lovely brilliant painting and I am quite pleased (above).

David is keeping an eye on things in the studio, especially "Honey Crisp"
 And my studio is nice and organized, finally (thanks to the help of some faithful friends). There's a lot involved with making sure each piece is labeled, tagged, priced, photographed, signed, varnished and hung. I ended up with a few extra pieces beyond my 100, which all fit so nicely on these custom built shelves. I realized today that 2 didn't make the wall, and a few others didn't make the blog. So I actually came out ahead. Here's a nice angled shot of the 100 painting wall (below). At my sister's request, I also made a video of the paintings so I hope to figure out how to get that up on the blog soon.
100 paintings all hung up in a tidy series of rows in my studio.
Another shot of some of my larger paintings on display at the studio is below. These were completed at various times over the past year or two. I'd sure love to see you come by the studio this weekend for my Open Studio Tour. I'm open both Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm. You might even find me there an hour before or after.
Close view of some of my bigger paintings. A collector  is purchasing all three of these paintings.
What a wonderful reward at the end of this 100 day journey
Please share your musings about this blog in person. On Facebook, a potter just shared that she's inspired to do a personal 100 day challenge in clay. I can't wait to see how she does with a similar challenge. I'll post a link. For my other viewers, I'd love to hear your feedback. It's been a bit lonely here on the blog as I wasn't sure how to get viewers to post comments. C'est La Vie ... and so such is life!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

99 Anemone

99 "Anemone" 6x8 oil on boxed panel, ©Laura Gable
Today's effort had a direction and a definite plan, yet once it got underway I found it wasn't quite coming together. So this one got scrubbed out! We love scrubbing, right?? The resulting swirly colorful "mess" of color still had a nice brightness and flow, so I embellished it with my rubber-tipped painting tool that actually lifts paint in a fine line like drawing, and added a few staccato touches of color to give it more definition. I'm enjoying the playful sea anemone feel of this one.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

98 Swirly Sun also called SUNSPOT (SOLD)

98 "Swirly Sun" 6x6 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
My 100 day challenge is winding down, and I'm aching to complete the challenge. I know I'll keep painting, though my regularity may not be quite as demanding since I also discovered I need a little bit of down time here and there. I read once that to create a new habit, do something repeatedly for 21 days and there you have a new habit - good or bad. I've discovered that sliding into the painting mindset takes less time now. In fact, yesterday's piece was completed on the kitchen table while still in my pjs (I was wearing my surgical gloves though - safe painting practices).

With doing smaller paintings I've let my larger brushes stay clean for awhile. So here's to creating and finishing those larger paintings, getting all the brushes dirty at the same time, and bringing some swirly arm movements into the act. And trust the process first and foremost. Some days call for a light hearted expression of color and movement (like today's); while other days a deeper study is needed when realism becomes so very fascinating.

Que sera, sera, whatever will be will be.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

97 Cannon Beach at Low Tide (SOLD)

97 "Cannon Beach at Low Tide" 2x3 inches oil on canvas, © Laura Gable (SOLD)
Recently a group of my friends were discussing where we like to stay along the Oregon coast. Most preferred the Cannon beach area. The unmistakable "haystack rock" is surprisingly about 23 stories high. A bit deceiving until you start the trek towards it, taking much longer than it seems it should. And at low tide, the tide pools are a joy to experience with the star fish, anemones, and other abundant life. I always enjoy the way the sea and all it's breezes seem to wash my cares away. And so filled with these memories, I recall the myriad colors in the sea, the wet and drying sand and on the rock itself. Do you have beach experiences to share?

I hope you are enjoying this election day, and that you got an opportunity to vote. I always think of those suffrage women and how hard they suffered to gain the vote for women, and so I feel it is an honor to have this privilege. Can we even begin to imagine the strife they went through being denied this right?

Monday, November 5, 2012

96 Solitary Rose of Autumn

96 "Solitary Rose of Autumn" 4x4 oil on board
Today I marveled at how lovely the roses are out front of my house. It's hard to believe they are still blooming in November--but it's no wonder without a hard freeze yet and many 60+ degree days. These yellow ones just capture and hold the light. It's as though they lassoed the sun on a bright sunny day and held that glow within, projecting a dramatic burst of color on these cloudy rainy days of late.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

95 Strata II

A pleasing layer of colors produced another Strata series painting. It is more peaceful than the last one, representing the inner glow that comes when we recognize that the heart is the center and guiding force of our lives. (the bottom "heart" area is actually an interplay of orange and red, though not represented too well in this photograph).
95 "Strata II" 5x7 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
In my efforts towards consistency, I find that I still vacillate from realism to expressionism in my paintings. Perhaps you've noticed that? I'm sure it has to do with my level of focus and energy levels, or what moves me on that particular day. Do my other readers and frequent painter friends experience the same thing? Perhaps the next challenge I take on will be more theme based. Like a daily portrait, or daily musings on still life, abstract, or landscapes. A popular art book from a few years ago, "Reflections on a Pond," showcased a profound series by master painter Kevin Macpherson. Over the course of 5 years, he produced a vast portfolio of 368 paintings of the pond near his home. He explained its significance in this manner, which I find so relatable of my own personal challenge:

"While the series is about seeing as an artist, it takes its substance from feelings. Interwoven with the artist's eye is his heart. Emotions emerge in the paintings and echoes in his commentary. In reality, it is also a portrait about the artist--his role in life and as a member of the human race. You know this not only by looking at the paintings, but also by reading his journal notes."

What do you think?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

More on our 100 Day Challenge

My friends at the Entertainer Newspaper have published this advertisement for me. They offer the public a free publication, showcasing entertainment and a section devoted to the visual arts. They have been very supportive of our art events - open studio tours, artist classes, art shows and exhibits, and our monthly art walks in downtown Kennewick.

If you've been following this blog, you are well aware of my current challenge. If you're a new visitor here, you can catch up on what it's all about by reading a previous post from August 1st.

And to reiterate, these 100 paintings will be showcased next weekend during our Tri City Artists Open Studio Tour. We'd love to show you this labor of love and light.

94 Strata

94 "Strata" 4x6 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
I have been wanting to do a Strata series for awhile. I love the movement of layers of things, and the tension that can be created with subtly moving lines and color. It also represents the lovely striations and patterns one sees in cross sections of agate stones. Perhaps this is why I also love the agates so much.

This one has a deep meaning, and represents a familiar familial tension that often results when we come back together yet fail to recognize each other's subtle character changes. As though our inner circle of friends and acquaintances are more apt to accept us as we are, yet family often sees us the way we've always been ... and so an adjustment period sometimes seems necessary. This shows the peace that can come after the strife is experienced. Perhaps this seems backwards to how most others' families work. What is your experience?

Friday, November 2, 2012

93 Minature Moon Glow (SOLD)

93 "Moon Glow" 2x2 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
This little minature was painted a few days back. I found it deserving of its own post. Night scenes always bring to mind the masterful series painted by Frederick Remington. I saw his exhibit at the Denver Art Museum many years back. The room was dimly lit and yet somehow his paintings glowed from within. It was a sight to behold. Here is a sampling of his fireside and moonglow paintings on Google Images.

Our Open Studio Tour includes 3 artists in historic downtown Kennewick this year--
- a weaving studio featuring useful hand woven towels, rugs and artful wall hangings;
- a thoughtful, clever book artist who also does assemblage and is a master calligrapher;
- and myself with a plethora of paintings including this showcase of 100 new ones, never exhibited before.
It's certainly worth a visit!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

92 "A small statement of great prominence" (SOLD)

92 "A Small Statement of Great Prominence" various sized miniatures, copyright Laura Gable
This is another of the little miniatures that I had done a few days back during this challenge. Since I've decided to count them as a separate painting, they get their own post. This one will have a small frame, so it all makes sense being connected together like this. I am loving the long title for such a small abstract study.

These little ones are color studies for much larger paintings, on my to do list for a future date. A small format is a great way to work out color and design, without a huge investment of canvas or time. And I love that they are effortless, and have no expectations of grandeur.

Do you ever consider framing your own small sketches or doodles to give them a bit more presence? It really honors the work.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

91 Monster (SOLD)

92 "Monster" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable (SOLD)
It seems fitting to do a monster painting today, on Halloween. It's loosely based on a studio shot of William Henry Pratt, more commonly known as Boris Karloff, from his heyday as Frankenstein's monster. Onto a sea of red and yellow oil paint blended loosely together with medium, The face developed with additional strokes of transparent color. I was happy that the finished portrait looks like it is bathed in firelight.

May all your little ghosts and goblins have a fun evening getting dressed up and sugared up. I'm sure we will have a few scary faces to share our treats with tonight.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

90 Moody Blues

90 "Moody Blues" 8x8 oil painting on board, copyright Laura Gable
Soft whispers of color on this lovely blue Hubbard squash, affects the neighboring forms with these subtle tones. Another exercise in looseness and seeing these slight variations in color and their impact on other forms. The orange form reflects onto the blue form and that bounces back onto the orange form.

I titled it Moody Blues since that's how these greyer days in our wet Mid-Columbia region have been feeling recently.

Monday, October 29, 2012

89 Somber Vineyard

89 "Somber Vineyard" - 7"x3" oil on canvas, copyright Laura Gable
Saturday's drive up the Columbia Gorge to the Canoe Ridge Estates vineyard, garnered a few moody images that are begging to become paintings. The rains were starting to clear on this area of high slopes that overlook the Columbia River on the Washington side. The ridge resembles an upside down canoe, aptly named by explorers Lewis and Clark many years ago. Though the ridge isn't visible in this painting, it shows the southern slope. Nestled high on top is their lovely gallery style tasting room, and red wine production facility for all of Chateau Ste. Michelle. I was part of an art show that ran all summer. Now they close for the season, though the wine making is just beginning. On this visit, I met the vineyard manager, Mimi. She has a deep love of the soil and thriving vines that grow there. She is featured in a video on their website--her love of the vineyards is evident:

Plan a visit next season to enjoy these vineyards, their finely crafted wines and look for new art displays to be showcased then.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

coming up ... Open Studio Tour

Mark you calendars for the upcoming Open Studio Tour, which I will participate in again this year. It is Saturday and Sunday, November 10th and 11th from 11a.m. to 4p.m. each day. In it's 9th year, this tour has been a fantastic way to start off the holiday season. Step into the creative world of these fine artists and craftspeople. This year we will feature 16 artists in 15 different studios located in the Tri-City region, plus Benton City and West Richland.

88 Heavenly Choir

A quick study for a rainy chilly day. Wanting to complete this 100 day challenge -- the end is in sight and I'm getting a bit antsy. There is an inner calling to create, when the day winds down and I realize I've not yet made anything. Sort of like the impulse to brush your teeth before bedtime (good hygiene and good habits!)

This was created using the paint sticks. I found a creamier section in the stick which made it a bit easier to use. Also a bit of oil paint added later, to create some dimension. The brighter and softer sections gave this a sacred feeling. I see a choir there creating beautiful music. What do you think?

88 "Heavenly Choir" 6x9 oil painting on box, copyright Laura Gable
I'm so excited, my studio shelves were hung yesterday. If you need a carpenter or tile artisan, I'd highly recommend Todd Ralston ( He came up with a great creative solution and implemented it quickly and effortlessly, using tools I'd not seen before. Shelves were hung using a laser level, attached to a rod suspended between the ceiling and floor. The laser line is based on the earth, so regardless of whether floor or ceiling are level, the shelves are. Pretty slick.

At the end of the day, I took a moment to arrange the almost 90 pieces. And there is room for a few more. Here's a quick shot.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

87 Escape to Lavender Valley

87 "Escape to Lavender Valley" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
A few days ago I did a miniature study for this larger painting (check out entry #77). Though 8x8 is not significantly larger, it was still an interesting exercise to show a bit more information from this visit to the Blue Mountain Lavender farm outside Lowden last summer. Late in the season, the visitors are allowed to cut handfuls of these wonderfully fragrant blossoms. They filled the car with a soft scent for the ride home. Here's a link to their website.

When I was moving the boards around for my new studio shelves, I accidentally scraped across the top of this wet painting. Silly me for leaving it on the floor. And so the figures bending over on the right side of the painting were obliterated. Funny, since I was considering removing them anyway since I thought they resembled sheep. Perhaps if I do an even larger painting, I'll finally add them in.

Friday, October 26, 2012

86 Fire and Ice Goddess

85 "Fire and Ice Goddess", 12x12 oil on clayboard, copyright Laura Gable
Using a nice wide palette knife, I spread some gesso thickly in the center of this clayboard, forming the shape of a figure. So it has a bas-relief sort of feel. After it dried overnight, it made for some enjoyable effects when the thinned oil paint was skimmed over the top. I wanted to depict the goddess standing between sun and moon, but the more I started to develop the painting, the more I realized that most of the elements were emerging. Can you see them all??

She has already survived a lot, as she landed face first on my hardwood floor here at home. Fortunately she had a light coating of paint, unlike some of the prior juicy painted surfaces I've done recently. So not much was disturbed in the "butter side down" debacle. I just added a few tiny stones and dust from my messy floor (which have been removed.)

She has such wonderful movement and flow. This one was truly inspired and I feel I really got "out of the way" and just let it happen.

81 & 82 Revised

81 "Crayon Box Jungle" 12x12 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable

82 "Technicolor Hills and Dales" 12x12 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
If you scroll back to the prior entries of 81 and 82, you can see where these paintings started. I was enjoying using the oil crayons, yet the colors weren't feeling too cohesive, the design was off, and it just didn't feel representative of my style. A friend came in yesterday, and confirmed this speculation "those just don't feel like your art, Laura" she kindly said. Once in a while it's good to trust the wise guidance of a friend. Especially one who collects a great amount of art.

So more paint was applied today, with a stronger design in mind. Parts of the original painting can be seen peeking through. I love the color expression here, and think they are much stronger paintings. They even pair nicely together. The titles were also changed to be more representative of the paintings: "Crayon Box Jungle" and "Technicolor Hills and Dales".

Thursday, October 25, 2012

85 Oak Wreath

This is a painting I did with my watercolor students. We traced actual oak leaves from the trees outside the center. Their colors are so fabulous right now--greens shot full of red and russet, golden and deep eggplant colors... a joy to paint. And just like the leaves we painted, and the people who painted them, each one was uniquely different.

85 "Oak Wreath" watercolor on paper, copyright Laura Gable

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

84 Winter Squash 2 (SOLD)

84 "Winter Squash 2" oil on board - 2.5x2.5 inches, copyright Laura Gable
My friends at the You and I Framing and Gallery are cutting these tiny little fillet frames for my miniature paintings. And then if I find the right pin backers, I'm planning to make them into a broach. One of my friends bought 4 of them (the little apples and leaves paintings). I'm on the hunt now for the pin backers. I'm not sure the traditional ones will work. If I could locate some of the high powered magnet backers, those would probably be best. Any leads out there?

This little acorn squash is choosing to keep this larger blue pumpkin-squash company. I'm loving the pale lavender tones in the background, leftover from a lavender fields painting I did recently.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

83 Winter Squash (SOLD)

83 "Winter Squash" 2.5" x 2.5" oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
A sweet little painting of a lovely blue pumpkin or squash. I'm not sure what variety they are, as I tossed the label. The greenish heathery color is so unique, and their little twisted up stems, full of character. I've about exhausted these little boards. They complete a bit quicker since they don't hold much detail, yet my eyes tire more quickly while working on them.

The other day, a young man in an effort to describe me and my art, said he thought I was "that detailed painter". And then he made a scrunched up writing motion, pulling his shoulder in and putting his hand up next to his face. Interesting though, I don't really think of myself as a detailed painter, as I've been known to omit a great deal of detail. But then when you consider that I am painting these very small canvases, I suppose I am.

Monday, October 22, 2012

82 Monkey Mind (this has been revised - no longer for sale)

82 "Monkey Mind" 12x12 oil on clayboard, copyright Laura Gable
Like a monkey, my mind jumps about and I'm often comparing myself to the dog named Doug, on the animated feature "UP!"  Do you remember how he was talking and all of a sudden he'd shift his head and say "squirrel!" Well that's how my mind seems to be lately. This painting was started earlier and then after a bit of a break pursuing other creative activities with my neighbor's printing press, I thought I'd resume the process. It's as though the thoughts shifted and completing the conversation took more effort. I wanted the darkest color to play across the page in a T design, with the lighter more subdued colors playing in the background. I've got a hankering to paint a few autumn squash I've picked up, and so this is the closest things I've come up with yet.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

81 Bubbles (this has been revised - no longer for sale)

81 "Bubbles" 12x12 oil painting on board, Copyright Laura Gable
One of the artist's I follow online gave me some insight as to how she works on clayboard. She uses paint sticks or oil pastels. I have a few old Shiva paint sticks - the kind that grow a heavy film over their surface, so you have to carve it off. I don't have many colors, so have to supplement the rest of the colors with oil paints. It's amazing how quickly they dry on this clay surface, the oil just wicks into the surface. I didn't use much medium this time - but it would be interesting to prepare the board first with linseed oil, as one of the websites suggested. Perhaps I'll try that another time.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

80 Birds Eye View

80 "Birds Eye View" 5x5 oil on canvas, copyright Laura Gable
The little bird looks outward expectantly, as with each passing day the earth sheds it's mantle of summer, while days of harvest and melancholy are before us. Last week's brightly lit skies of early Autumn, gave way to cooler winds and brisker temperatures yesterday. Mentally I can't quite grasp this transition, yet I'm finding that last month's light khaki clothing isn't quite warm enough. I'm digging deep into the closets to bring forth those cozy sweaters and today wore a neck scarf with my jacket for the first time. I really wish Autumn wasn't so fleeting. The foliage colors are so glorious and the light quality is so pure. But alas, these days of transition and change will happen no matter how much I pine, whine and rumble.

Friday, October 19, 2012

79 Discovery (SOLD)

79 "Discovery" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable (SOLD)
She is reborn.
She rises from tragedy and years of tears.
With these small steps,
she launches and releases herself
to explore a life she had ignored,
in order to give herself to another.
Through this exploration,
she discovers that deep inside
lives a beautiful woman and soul
she barely knows.
She is slowly releasing this bondage of the past
and allowing this beauty to shine forth.
She is "Discovery".

Thursday, October 18, 2012

78 Treeless Mountain (SOLD)

The tallest mountain in North America with no trees at all - isn't that a fun claim to fame our local Rattlesnake Mountain holds. This painting was based on a photo I took from the south across from the Yakima River - and high atop another curving peak in the Horse Heaven Hills near Kiona. It looks down onto the hamlet of Benton City. A very steep climb, it affords a most beautiful view. The terrain off to the south is very level from this topmost vantage point. I've not attempted to paint up there as I'd expect it to be quite windy at all times.

78 "Treeless Mountain" 2.5" x 8.5" oil on cradled board, copyright Laura Gable (SOLD)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

77 Lavender Valley

77 "Lavender Valley" 2.5"x2.5" oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
It feels like such a small effort, this small painting, so I'm looking at it as a "study" for another larger painting I'd like to do of this Lavender Valley near the town of Lowden by Walla Walla, WA. Using juicy oil paint, it was painted alla prima. The color of the barn was played down, as from a distance it wouldn't read as brilliant red as it really is. 'Twas hard to fully identify the shadows these lovely round plants were casting. So imagination is required here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

76 Reminiscence

76 "Reminiscence" 12x12 oil on clayboard, copyright Laura Gable
In a reminiscent mood today, as evidenced by this wistful still life. The large decaying sunflower head reminds me of ones famously painted by van Gogh. So I guess I've been day-tripping to the French countryside, since I've been spending time recently with the bygone painters from that famous region. Though Vincent van Gogh was actually Dutch, he spent a great deal of time painting in and around the Arles region of France.


With the completion of painting #75 comes the passing of a pretty significant milestone. In the beginning, I was unsure if I would be able to keep with the challenge. It's quite rewarding to see the 75 paintings I've created in the past 75 days. And I'm looking forward to completing 25 more in the next 25 days.

Here's a bit I wrote in the beginning, explaining why I chose to do the "100 paintings in 100 days" challenge:

A friend asked me yesterday about the lessons learned along the way, which has gotten me thinking. So here's a few things I've learned:
- that painting this frequently is easier than I thought it would be.
- that it's easier to create what I've set my mind on--"what the mind can perceive, it can achieve"
- that it's enjoyable to see some artistic progress in working with the medium. The paint manipulation comes much easier, and confidence grows ... so even though I think I know how to work the medium, there are always aspects to explore every time I pick up a brush.
- painting more frequently creates it's own momentum and I find I often want to paint more.
- there are days that it's a struggle. Romanticism aside, this can be very hard work--emotionally and physically. (My feet standing on hard studio floors have been speaking to me for awhile too).
- I've set mini goals as I've gone along, and so that's added to the exploration and kept it interesting. Of course, I've not quite achieved the looseness and lost and found edges I'm after, but I do see the art easing in that direction. Do we ever really "arrive"?

Stay tuned for more insight at the end of the challenge, and possible future goals.

Monday, October 15, 2012

75 Sage and Gold

75 "Sage and Gold" 5x7 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
Driving home tonight, the sky was clouding up and rain was imminent. These golden trees just beyond a ridge of blooming sage, were so vibrant. I pushed the yellows a bit in order to see the contrast. Trying to remember color and value, and then translate it later into a painting is a challenge. Hope it was successful.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

74 In a Cezanne Mood

Clayboard has a very smooth surface. The Ampersand website says that many people use it for oil paint applications. I've tried it a bit but not on a very large scale. It requires a bit more practice than this one session, in order to feel any sort of control over it's slippery surface. So I did a bit of scumbling. With a limited color palette, this one is part of my experimental series. I do enjoy the lost and found areas and edges.
74 "In a Cezanne Mood" 12x12 oil on clayboard, copyright Laura Gable

Saturday, October 13, 2012

73 Aspen Glow

72 "Aspen Glow" 12x12 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
Here you see a local scene that attracted my attention. I love the way this young tree just vibrates against the shadows of the backdrop tree. Looking through the branches there is a smokey view down river. The smoke from recent wild fires is clearing, though it hugs the horizon on cooler days.

There is some debate about placing a large tree on the left-most side of the painting, per a recent discussion with my artistic mentor. Since we read from left to right, placing a large object there would block the eye from entering the painting. So in that regard, perhaps this composition has failed. And I admit composition is generally the biggest hurdle to achieve as an artist - it demands constant attention. Perhaps though in this case, I am attempting to capture the wandering eye that sneaks itself in from the lower right. (humor intended).

What other compositional rules do you follow? While watching a plein air teacher doing a demo, he proceeded to remove the silo from a distant farm. He thought they appeared too "cute" in his classical composition. Yet many other artists embrace these tall curved topped agricultural structures. Sort of the Empire State structure of the farmer, adding interest to their rolling landscapes.

Friday, October 12, 2012

72 Back Lit Blue

72 "Back Lit Blue" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
A Russian vase from the antique store placed onto the window sill, produced some of the most luscious shades of indigo and ultramarine blue. It all appeared intensified by the cool edge light from the dusky sky. The small flowers tucked into the top of the vase, brought the element of yellow into this almost-primary painting.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

71 Morning Shadows

71 Morning Shadows, copyright Laura Gable, oil on board 11x14
A beautiful autumn day, changing colors, cooler mornings, all create a beautiful combination for an artist. I love the play of colors and building's shadows in this back yard.

I like a quote I read in a book by painter, Julian Merrow Smith "Degas called plein air painting a sport. I like that. I think he meant like mud wrestling -- but less pleasant." Though it is always fun going outside to paint -- it is work, and discovery, and decision, and judgement so takes a lot of concentration. Maybe not as "romantic" as the casual visitor would imagine.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

70 At the Seashore (SOLD)

70 "At the Seashore" 8x8 oil on panel, copyright Laura Gable (SOLD)
This little painting started yesterday and finished today. It shows that idyllic time of youth, and is based on my niece and nephew's first visit to see the Pacific Ocean many years back. They were strolling there on the wide expanse of shore at Seaside, OR with no cares in the world. He was collecting sand in the little bag that he is holding. It was fun to experience this adventure through their eyes, along with the rest of the family.