Friday, August 31, 2012

30 Rolling Hills with Yellow Sky (SOLD)

30 "Rolling Hills with Yellow Sky" 2x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable SOLD
Today I did a demo for a friend using some of the transparent Winsor Newton oil paints that I got in the Dreama Tolle Perry oil painting workshop. I wanted to show her how nicely they go onto the board surface as an underpainting, using the medium of Gamsol, linseed oil and stand oil. Then over the top of these luscious, pure, bright colors, I floated the landscape's "true" colors to develop the painting...letting some of these under painted colors peek through in places. It's an imaginary landscape based on our Rattlesnake Mountain (the tallest mountain in North America with no trees on it).

Thursday, August 30, 2012

29 Nested Quintet

29 "Nested Quintet" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
I love the symmetry of the nests built by these little industrious birds. Can you believe the whorls and spirals they achieve by laying down one little bit of weed or twig at a time. Nature's little builders are so amazing. Then to nestle their little bodies down into the downy depths of this pillow of natural materials, making just enough room for the eggs and babies that are soon born.

I had a little fun here with the play of colors, and of course a quartet of eggs nestled inside was just what it needed. The oil paint was loose and creamy today, and the brushes had a delightful time moving it around.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

28 Hidden Trio

28  "Hidden Trio" 8x8 oil on board, Laura Gable (copyright)
Nestled among the brambly branches of this rough nest, are 3 small blue eggs. They are hidden for a moment as the attentive parent goes on the hunt for a bite to eat. Hopefully they are safe for this tiny span of time, and won't grow too cold as they await her return.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

27 At Home

27  "At Home", 12x12 watercolor on board, copyright Laura Gable
One late night I got around to painting this in my kitchen. I didn't feel like going into the studio today, so had to find some fodder here at home. I'm loving the way this crockery looks next to the plump ripe tomatoes. Again, a fun study from life. And the aquabord behaved itself this time. A fun new product from Ampersand.

Monday, August 27, 2012

26 Open House

26  "Open House" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
I love the freedom of working with birds nests. The rattan and twigs structure makes for some fun movement and color. The addition of eggs, or in this case, the remnant of eggs, is always a pleasing addition which gives a sense of the feathered family that lived there. Having had a family of young robins in our backyard this year, makes this subject matter all the more appealing to me. They nested at the top of the pergola support which made a wonderful vantage point to view them from our back window. From fledgelings to juvenile, we watched them craning their neck, sometimes multiple times a day, as they sought out the ants, worms and blueberries they were continually fed. But eventually as all the healthy wildlife does, they stepped off one by one and flew off to other realms ... never to be seen again.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

25 Outstanding Fields

25  "Outstanding Fields" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
Sorry but my computer with Photoshop is having difficulty, and may be totally fried. I'll get it checked out soon. So I can't straighten out the corners on this one or crop out the background. It's was a fun little study of a lavender field over in Lowden, WA near Walla Walla (blue mountain lavender farms). This young woman was standing there looking wistfully off into the distance. I thought it had a nice romantic feel. And of course, working with this variety of purples and lavenders was a lot of fun.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

24 Blossom and Shell

24 "Blossom and Shell" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
A nice study of shadows on white objects, with a dark background. You can always learn so much studying from life, as photos have a tendency to lie to us a bit -- shadows are darkened, and highlights are completely blown out. Have you ever noticed that when you look at photos? Often in landscape photos, the back hills have similar values to the front hills. More sophisticated photography fixes a lot, but not always these basic elements.

Friday, August 24, 2012

23 Double Clusters

23 "Double Clusters" 8x10 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
Nestled amid the cool leaves, these clusters are ready for picking. Their juicy goodness beckons. Don't you just want a taste?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

22 Happy

22  "Happy" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable 2012
Wandering among the flowers and vines in my front yard, my heart goes all aflutter when I note that the Rose of Sharon bush is in full bloom. I love this little bush, which came to us in a bare-root state with little inkling as to what it would become. And it had become a beauty with it's pink blossoms that go seem to last forever, and reminds me of the hibiscus bush with it's dinner sized blooms nearby. Perhaps that's how it is with people. We're born all cute and wiggly with mounds of flesh and happy eyes, so much promise as to what we'll become but definitely a mystery after all. To see the child blossom as they seek out their own special interests is truly a string of magical moments indeed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

21 Visible

A segue from the landscapes and still life's of the past few days. I have these small 4x4 claybords so thought I would do a bit of experimentation with watercolors and this new oil paint sharpie pen. It was quite fun to see the colors move around so freely.

21 "Visible" 4x4 watercolor on clayboard, copyright Laura Gable 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

20 Just Down the Road

20 "Just Down the Road" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable 2012
The entrance to the Hedges Estate Winery is so lovely with these tailored lavender plants which front the vines, just off Sunset Road in Benton City. A row of trees lines the roadway (I believe they are poplars) which takes you up to the majestic stone villa. I hope to paint there on location soon.

Monday, August 20, 2012

19 Cool Marshes

19 "Cool Marshes" 12x12 watercolor on aquabord, copyright Laura Gable 2012
Wandering down the Yakima River's edge, this cool marsh was a playground for these large white birds.

Aquabord can be very forgiving, as the colors are easier to lift. I'm starting to enjoy them a bit more, though the washes don't behave the same way as they do on paper.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

18 Autumn Vines

18 "Autumn Vines" 5x7 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
I'm looking forward to the changing of the colors, which compelled this study of the Gooseridge vineyards off Hwy 82 in Kennewick. They lie in a low spot off the highway and the gathering cooler air collects there helping them ripen. The horse heaven hills on the way to Kiona are tucked in the background.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

17 Fishing at Secret Pond

17 "Fishing at Secret Pond" 8x8 oil painting on board, copyright Laura Gable
My friend and former student, Delia, showed me a lovely little pond tucked behind a row of trees and brush out at Hood Park in Burbank, WA a few short miles from home. She lives nearby and in her wanderings found this lovely spot, thus calling it Delia's Secret Pond. I'm not sure how truly secret it is however, as all manner of fishermen and hikers are usually in the vicinity when I've gone there. It was quite nice to paint there with her one day a few years back. We found a shady spot near a young tree and were able to capture some of the beauty of the pond reflections. This painting, however, was a study done in the studio based on the photographs I'd taken that day. I painted it rather quickly in an effort to capture some of the spontaneity that occurs when painting in the field. The fisherman's shirt color was more appealing in red. With that small change, he became more visible and makes a nice focal point.

Friday, August 17, 2012

16 A Friendly Nod

16 "A Friendly Nod" oil on 12x12 panel, ©Laura Gable
One more for the mini sunflower series. I've always loved a yellow sky, and golden heads that are possibly a bit past their prime.

Full of playfulness, and movement, she dips her head to all that pass.
There she is, a friendly sunflower hanging out on the highway's edge.
Perhaps she is an aged ambassador...
Of this she is quite suited, with her gracious presence and friendly nature,
the visitors feel loved and appreciated.
She holds qualities, revered by all,
and is the most adored flower in the entire field.
Gratitude fills her very being, from the roots at her feet to the seeds on her face.
Her fringed face, full of grace.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

15 Serenity Farm

An outing to my friend's farm, on a very hot day, was enjoyable. We didn't get trapped on a dead end street, nor did we get lost (well not too lost that we couldn't find our way back to a known landmark). The horses were rambunctious in their stalls, though they didn't make it into my painting. Some days we get 2 paintings completed, but the heat was a bit too overpowering this time. Multiple photos and a few sketches of the horses, have me prepared for future studies. Hazy hillsides from the Taylor Bridge fires up by Ellensburg had finally cleared out the day before. Hope they were faring well up there, it didn't look too good though.

A nice little painting of a very serene location--not bad for a hard day's work.

15 "Serenity Farm" painted on location, 11x14 oil painting on board, ©Laura Gable

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

14 Devotion

14 "Devotion" oil on 8x8 board, ©Laura Gable
A much more settled day today (August 15th) and also the birthday of 3 friends and family members. It was a pretty happy day, still a bit toasty outside but nice and cool in the studio. The paint squeezed out into their colorful little ribbons on my palette were just begging to morph into another sunflower. So another sunflower mini-series is born. I hope you, dear reader, aren't tiring of these beauties. They just make me happy. It must be a deeply rooted association. I'm a naturalist at heart, with an inherent love for the flora and fauna that abounds on this loamy soil. The same soil which sometimes oozes up around our toes when we dare to wander barefooted in the summer. As a child, when the weather warmed in Nebraska, and school completed we'd tuck the shoes away and only pull them out if a trip to the library or shopping was in the plans. With toughened foot pads, we'd wander the gravel driveway of our family's motel, and jaunt off into the weeds and out to tend our gardens. There was so much to keep us busy, and always a great deal of interaction with 4 siblings. In the country, staying home for a length of time was just something very natural. Funny that nowadays I can scarcely stay home for 2 days in a row without going batty. I truly wonder about myself sometimes... so much to do. Anyway, I've greatly digressed here--sorry to ramble on so. Enjoy this sweet little still life and come see it in person at my November open studio tour. They will all be displayed together then.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

13 Dalliance (sold)

I have returned to the world of sunflowers. It is in an effort to bring me back to a state of calm. After a day of getting "almost" lost and then getting stuck on a dead end road, while a train crossed behind me ... proceeded to stop and blocked me in. As I made my u-turn and came back to the crossing to wait for him, realization struck that he was going nowhere. I have no idea what that was all about, but I was concerned that I would be there through the evening and it was sweltering hot and I needed to get to the studio - or home - or back to civilization any way possible. Hunting for outdoor painting locations can have it's drawbacks! After some investigation, I fortunately discovered that down a short embankment was a deeply rutted, dirt road that followed the tracks, snaking behind several overgrown properties before letting out on a paved street about a mile up. I could almost hear the banjo's playing from "Deliverance" and was mighty glad to get out of there and to breathe again. Hallelujah, praise the Lord!

The painting is called "Dalliance" and has that energetic brushwork that I find remarkable. Sometimes it's like second nature, sometimes I have to dig it out of the bottom of the well. Today the paint just burst from the brush and this little gem was born. And yes, after it was completed, I felt much more at peace.

13 "Dalliance" oil on 8x8 board, ©Laura Gable

Monday, August 13, 2012

12 Lean on Me

The evening approaches and the canvas surface is still bare. Where to start to continue this 100 day challenge. If I bow out now, it won't be too graceful. Letting oneself down can be very abysmal. Fortunately I have these Ampersand aquabords and my watercolor paints here at home. I'm not especially fond of them as I've yet to master the way they handle the water and the paint. They do not absorb as much as the paper and so there's a bit of a learning curve. I'm sure someday I'll look back and rave about the process. That's usually the way it goes.

Here's a quick still life of that yummy pear I'm just aching to eat. It's just the right season for them and they are so juicy. I find the blush on the side of pears so pretty. The background resembles a summer night of stargazing.

12 "Lean on Me" watercolor on 8x10 aquabord, ©Laura Gable

Sunday, August 12, 2012

11 Wisdom

11 "Wisdom" mixed media on 8x10 clayboard, ©Laura Gable
I have been following artist Julie Quinn on Facebook. Her work is mesmerizing. On a clayboard surface she uses inks, acrylics and oils to create her non-representational thought form works of art. I have no idea how she creates these beauties. This is my feeble attempt at a painting "in the style of" her work.

It is a fun super smooth surface to work on. I used a paint sharpie, acrylic inks, and acrylic paint. My "mark" work resemble the patterns left behind by traversing birds, while her marks have a zen-Asian writing quality to them. Some people are master "mark" makers, a talent that in it's simplicity is actually harder than it looks. Anyway, with doing a painting a day there must be room for experimentation, so I'm saying this one qualifies. Not my favorite, but the process was fun. I'm now  a little over 10% completed with my 100 day challenge. It's more fun to look back than to look forward to the number that I have yet to do. ;-)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Helping a Friend

I firmly believe that constant practice will greatly aid the artist's evolution. Sort of a chipping away at the larger vision. That's why I like painting on the small canvases - they are a quick "instant gratification" effort, they can really capture a mood, and from a buyer's viewpoint they are more affordable, allowing them to purchase an original -- with all it's luminosity and deliciousness.
Anyway, my recent effort involved assisting a friend with her business cards. These were designed in Photoshop, using her images of hand woven textiles and mixed media art. She lives in Fernandina Beach, Florida, and truly captures the beauty and lightness of their oceanside area. I know this isn't a painting, but thought I would post anyway. Isn't her work remarkable. And if you know her, she used to live her a few years back, go ahead and drop her a line .. the phone number is below.

Tomorrow the paints will come out of the freezer and I'll make more progress on the large canvas that's gathering dust in my studio. Oh and of course, the little daily paintings will continue as my November goal comes closer.

© Lynette Holmes, Fernandina Beach, Florida Artist

10 "Vineyard Glimpse"

10 "Vineyard Glimpse" 8x8 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
This is the fourth painting in this little mini series that explores the alternative colors from some different primaries. As you can see here, I'm dipping back towards some more vibrant tones using  reds and oranges that vary a bit from the original primary mix. All 4 of these paintings were drawn from the same photograph... this one a bit closer up. I like the abstract feel of this one.

One time I took a workshop by Donna Watson. She had us isolate sections of a photograph and then convert that into a painting. These little snippets of the photo gave no information about what the subject matter was and quickly became an abstracted image. It's a great jumping off point towards abstraction. The subject matter goes away -- and it truly does become non-representational. What remains is the movement and flow through the painting, and the colors applied in a supportive way that tells the story or message you are eager to reveal.

Mine isn't quite that abstracted, as I think it's still obvious that this was a view from the vineyards. But don't you think that would be a fun tool to explore to move your own paintings a bit towards abstraction.

Friday, August 10, 2012

9 "Soft Harvest"

9 "Soft Harvest" 12x12 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
Besides painting in muted tones originating from alternative primaries, I'm also focusing on varied brush strokes, and mass tones to suggest passages rather than reveal the entire story. Elements of abstraction are always present in a successful painting too. So many little things, all strung together create a painting. Do you sometimes marvel at the appearance of a pleasing image when you consider it all started with blobs of paint, a pure white board, and a couple of brushes. It's a story of the eyes ... the eyes teach me to paint. And I think sometimes, a little magic helps too.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

8 "Pale Vines"

8 "Pale Vines" 12x12 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
Experimenting with unusual primaries lends some subdued colors quite dissimilar from the brights used earlier in this 100 day challenge. The pink underpainting shows through, adding an element of delight. The network of vines and leaves support the slightly shaded chardonnay grapes in this "Pale Vine" painting. I can't help but add in a few zinger colors, as I feel the painting becomes more balanced. I'm enjoying this.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

7 "Within the Summer Heat"

7 "Within the Summer Heat" 12x12 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
This ensuing series of 4 paintings was inspired by a color wheel exercise I taught to my local Cancer Center students. They were so delightfully enamored and amazed by the many combinations of color they could derive from just the 3 primaries. I explained to them, that depending on which primaries you chose, you could come up with even more options of a myriad of color.

So using a slightly dulled yellow (naples) and a brownish red (transparent red oxide), along with a brighter blue (thalo), these vineyard views showcase some interesting muted color and tones. I'm enjoying the slightly greyed greens and blues. A few other colors were allowed in, but the palette was pretty limited. Sometimes the extreme summer heat and overcast skies from our smoky air mute the colors this way. Have you observed this? Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

6 "Pinky Drinky"

6 "Pinky Drinky" watercolor on Aquabord, ©Laura Gable
I was drawn to this teacup because I like the it's bowl shaped cup, and the delicate almost chintz pattern. Working with watercolor on aquabord, I experimented with more interesting composition by revealing only part of the saucer, and adding some disconcerting angles of the cloth and panels in the table surface. Also shown is a further exploration of the blue vs orange complementary color palette. For lack of a better title, Pinky Drinky was what popped into my noggin. Enjoy

Monday, August 6, 2012

5 "Demitasse Tea Cup"

5 "Demitasse Tea Cup" watercolor on aquaboard, ©Laura Gable
The tea cup collection includes this sweet little nicely shaped demitasse tea cup, just perfect for that little shot of espresso in the morning. Not that I drink shots of espresso, but the delicacy of the cup is what intrigues me. The saucer is a square shape, and contrasts nicely with the scalloped edges. This painting was done quickly on aqua-board (another Ampersand product). It offers a bit of a challenge, as washes don't go on quite as evenly as they do on the nice watercolor paper I use (or at least I've not yet mastered that aspect of the materials). But none-the-less, it is very nice for correcting mistakes, and color lifting. Even the staining colors can be taken back nearly to white.

Hope you have  a little spot of tea and think of me, today. My exciting daily self imposed challenge continues. It's an effort to create a piece of art daily until my studio open house in November.  Look for even more details to come.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

4 On a Blue Day

4 "On a Blue Day" 8x8 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
Still life paintings are always a treat. This one was styled after the exercise we did in the Dreama workshop last March. It's from my vast tea-cup collection. I am enjoying the contrasts of the orange on blue and the blue against red and then the shadows represented in the white tea cup. Have a cup of chai today!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

3 Somber Figurine

3 "Somber Figurine" 3x6 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
The daily painting continues. This little figurine sits in my studio. Painting whites are always a challenge.

Friday, August 3, 2012

2 After Picasso

2 "After Picasso" 8x8 oil on board, © Laura Gable
Enigmatic faces, swirls of orange and yellow, full light on the right, the evolution of a study in abstraction ... or was it perhaps just a portrait that went awry? You can choose.

I've titled it, After Picasso ... as I am assuming this is how his portrait series' of misplaced facial features came about. But then again, he was just genius so does one ever really know where the idea came from?

My personal challenge to create 100 paintings in 100 days continues. More on this later (tease tease). Comments are welcomed here, as are more followers.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

1/100 and a "Sonnet for the Red Onion"

1 "Sonnet for the Red Onion", 8x8 oil painting on board, ©Laura Gable
Have you ever tried to find a small red onion? The grocery store didn't offer me any the day of my search, so this giant about 6 inches in diameter was chosen. I like the mild flavor, especially in Greek alads. But also a treat is to capture one in oil paint. The background was giving me fits and I was not happy with the harsh straight lines that delineate the flat from the upright planes. Ah so a perfect solution was found - to obliterate these planes altogether. Using these bright colors at full capacity with a few areas softened with the addition of white, it became a playful story for a studied still life.

And more about the 100 piece personal challenge in a few posts to come.

100 in 100 explained

What is the 100 in 100 Challenge? 
A self-challenge I adopted on August 2nd to create 100 paintings in 100 days. Ideally that would mean doing a painting a day, though I do allow myself a few exceptions. Most of the painting is done on 8x8 or 12x12 Ampersand gessoboards. The purpose of this challenge is to create a more definite habit of creating art. The end of the challenge coincides with my annual Open Studio on November 10th and 11th. These paintings will be displayed together then and will be for sale in my studio. So please won't you make it a point to come by and visit to see these little gems up close and personal. I would love to show you around.

Comments are welcomed here on this blog!

The Tri City Artists Open Studio Tour, in it's 9th year, is featuring 16 artists in 15 studios. A driving tour about the greater Tri-Cities region with an opportunity to peek into the artist's secret lair, living room, or studio. Some artists rent studio space but most of the studios are home studios, making this a once a year opportunity to visit some of them. Admission is free. See you soon.