Sunday, September 30, 2012

60 Back Lit Trees (SOLD)

60 "Back Lit Trees" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
In his book "Landscape Painting", Mitchell Albala suggests that we paint landscapes from life, rather than from photographs. He likes to take black and white photos of outdoors and then re-imagine the colors. I've been working a bit with this concept, and yesterday's painting was done entirely from a black and white photo.

This painting came from a photo of a local sunset with it's misty tones, which I modified by bringing in more color, and lightening the back row of trees. The foreground trees were borrowed from another. I like the overall feel of this little painting--with all it's layered paint, reminiscent of van Gogh. Did you hear about the paintings where he was squeezing color right onto the canvas, during his frenzied period. Art restorers have taken tiny pins into his deep mountains of paint and discovered that they are still wet deep inside. Amazing.

Happy 60th painting. I think I'm getting on a roll here ... though I do feel like I have no life outside of painting. ;-)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

59 Bygone Era

59 "Bygone Era" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
This little vignette was based on an old photo I picked up at the Roxy Antique Store. She has the neatest treasures tucked into her shop. It's quite a community there with Ann Steiger and her many vendors. Last week there was a box full of old photographs from a family, long passed. I found this little black and white and really enjoyed the composition. It was a treat to experiment and make my own color choices. I've been in a nostalgic mood and this was just the perfect painting for this perfect day.

 I have no idea if this is a common color of old cars back in this bygone era. I'm not that up on old cars, so if anyone can help me identify the make of car I would appreciate it. Perhaps it is an old Buick??

Friday, September 28, 2012

58 Autumn's Foliage (SOLD)

Today's painting uses the warm Autumn palette, and a rich greenish blue for the water. Today, I studied the amazing art of Joaquin Sorolla, a Spanish painter born in the 1800's and died in 1923. A master colorist, he painted rich shadows, luminous skin tones, and was masterful in his treatment of water. I am in awe. Check out his amazing body of work.
You could say this painting was influenced somewhat, by his exquisite work.

58 "Autumn's Foliage" 6x6 oil on panel, copyright Laura Gable

Thursday, September 27, 2012

57 painted chair and "Vision"

Painted Chair, Laura Gable
The Painted Chair auction event is a fundraiser which includes many of the downtown merchants. The auction will take place during the Women's Expo on Oct 14 & 15th. I'm really loving this sweet little chair that I painted today, with its turquoise and aqua peacock seat and metallic taupe back and spindles. It looks great in my studio. Kinda don't want to part with it. ;-)

Painted Chair, close up view of seat, Laura Gable
I was able to double up a painting on one day so I can still count this day towards my goal of 100 paintings in 100 days. It's gone through a few revisions, and has a softer element than what I'd previously posted. An old painting that didn't quite work out, made the perfect under painting for this little painting... with parts of the original peeking through.

57 "Vision" 8x10 oil on canvas, copyright Laura Gable

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

56 Parisian Kitty

56 "Parisian Kitty" watercolor on paper, copyright Laura Gable
Fran-swah, the Parisian feline, models the new Fall collection "Bad Doggie" by acclaimed designer Puzz N. Boohtz.

(Having a little fun today with my watercolor class at the local Cancer Center.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

55 View Off Gibbon Road

55 "View Off Gibbon Road" 12x12 oil on panel, copyright Laura Gable
I had an opportunity to paint outside today. Most of the haze from the Wenatchee and Ellensburg wildfires had settled down, and so there was some blue sky to be seen. Though the very back hillsides of Rattlesnake Mountain were barely visible. It made for a moody afternoon. I feel my composition is getting stronger. I am finding the value of doing more extensive planning before the brush hits the canvas.

Monday, September 24, 2012

54 Pristine Vista

#54 "Pristine Vista" 5x7 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
Today I visited the most beautiful place in the United States. Well, at least I went there for a few hours by way of a mental painting excursion.
A few years ago in late September, we visited the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park -- a gorgeous time of year to visit. Down the path from us and tucked further back in the reeds was a moose feasting in the marshes. We could see it from the path but kept our distance. It was amazing to be so close to the wilds of nature, though some people get aggressively close.

I love the play of the oranges against the soft blues of this pristine sky and water. The majestic peaks just lift the spirit. Can't you just feel the brisk air on your face as you stand in awe looking at this fabulous sight.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

53 There Was a Crooked Man (sold)

This little painting has had a few revisions. At one point there was a "light pole"which I have since painted out and replaced with a figure. A little bit crooked, he's waiting for a friend to come by, or perhaps the bus, in this rural street scene which reminds me of my hometown in Nebraska (the pines are not native).

53 "There Was a Crooked Man" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable

Saturday, September 22, 2012

52 Green Vessels and Figs

DS Watkins brought me the most beautiful clay bowl full of these lovely figs. It pairs nicely with my green tea pot. So I made a little vignette still life. (The figs were tasty, but when I went in today to the studio, they were covered in a fuzzy mold. Oops. I'm glad I'd blocked in their colors yesterday ... bye bye figs). I redid the background, and just reposted if you saw it before, you might notice the difference.

52 "Green Vessels and Figs" 12x12 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable

Friday, September 21, 2012

51 Figure Studies

Zen Moment, china marker on drawing paper, copyright Laura Gable
A local gathering of very humble and talented artists, share fees for a model and draw together for a few hours every week. It's always an enjoyable and peaceful time to join in with this group. I decided to count today's sketch I did there which will eventually (hopefully) become a painting. She is a lovely model.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

50 Batter Bowl and Figs

50 "Batter Bowl and Figs" 8x8 oil on panel, copyright Laura Gable
My dear artist-neighbor-friend dropped in today, bearing a gift of a bowl of these beautiful figs ... in various shapes and nuances of color, some sliced open. What fun I had adding them to a still life I was setting up. Isn't artist, DS Watkins a real sweetie. And quite talented as well.

My most recent treasure is this beautiful dark aqua batter bowl that I found in the local Roxy Theatre antique shop down the street. It was from an orchardist's estate sale in Yakima, and in pristine condition. The sides have concentric half moon shapes, which I didn't identify here.... but look for them in more paintings to come. I thought the painting came together nicely, and even had an audience as my artist-neighbor-friend decided to watch the painting process for awhile. It's funny when painting in front of someone, I'm compelled to talk ... though I don't think I really draw conclusions or end stories, just bits of flax and errant thoughts that come tumbling out while the brush and hand move the paint about. But it's a good idea to get into the practice of doing this, as we can all learn so much from watching demos!

And I'm quite excited to complete my first 50 paintings. A bit astonishing, I must say. I'm proud of myself. Time to order some more paint!! Now, my challenge is directing me to do the same thing over the next 50 days. No time to rest on laurels, eh? Can I hang in there?? Only time will tell ... so stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

49 Still Life with Butter Crock

49  "Still Life with Butter Crock" 12x12 watercolor and acrylic on aquaboard, copyright Laura Gable
This painting began on a late night Sunday a few weeks ago. I ran into some trouble with the perspective on the ellipse of the butter crock. It gave me fits for awhile, so I redrew and scrubbed it out a few times. I wonder if painting these ellipses are a bit of a learning disability ... like the way I always misspell "lable" - or is it "label"? hah.

Today I was bound and determined to finish this painting or toss it in the scrap pile. I discovered in my aggressive scrubbing, that I'd removed a lot of the texture in the foreground and other areas. You see these Ampersand aquaboards come with a lovely pebbly texture to their surface. That's what allows the watercolor to lay down in successive layers so nicely. I've always liked the correctable quality of these boards ... you can so easily lift the color, even staining colors, and bring it nearly back to white. Successive scrubbing can cause problems though. I pulled out the old acrylics to finish it up. I'm not a huge fan of acrylic, especially after switching to oils. They don't have the blendability, and dry so quickly. I muddled through it though, and had an enjoyable experience after all. I wanted the painting to have a bit of a vintage sketchy quality. So I'm glad to call this one "completed".

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

48 Room One

48  "Room One" 6x6 oil on panel, copyright Laura Gable
Here's another small part of my vintage motel series (see day 38/100 for the first entry). My dad gave me some of these key tags from our old motel. I have one from each of the 6 rooms, though some are in this forest green, and some in a bright orange. Funny, my memory recalls these as being more of a deep maroon color. Some were broken at the top where the ring went in, and some had the plastic label tape stuck on to correct the mailing address. He used a white paint to correct some of the room numbers. The keys were all missing, so I picked these up at an antique store. My sister has the old "Naugahyde" green horse head chair, with a large head of a horse stitched on the back in gold thread. We used to sit with our crayons and draw these horses over and over. There are a lot of funny stories from these experiences of owning, and growing up in a motel in the 60's and 70's. I'll share more later.

Monday, September 17, 2012

47 Rose on Cream

47 "Rose on Cream" 8x8 oil on panel, copyright Laura Gable
"It's not your best one" he says genuinely and kindly when I ask what he thinks of this painting of a floppy old silk flower which has gone beyond it's useful days. I thought about redoing it ... the words of loved ones have a powerful impact. But then I hesitated. Ah but if I didn't paint at all today, then not even a "lesser quality" effort would have been created. So at least progress towards perfecting ones craft is being achieved. Not everything can be a masterpiece, right? So here it is in all it's overly wrought, perhaps overly painted, glory. A floppy silk rose on a lovely cream background, casting the most delightful periwinkle blue shadow.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

46 -- third panel of the triptych series, and reveal of the "whole"

46 right panel of the triptych series, 8x8 oil on panel, copyright Laura Gable
 The final panel of the triptych series is revealed. And so you start to gather that it may be more than what we perceive as a landscape.

44-46 "The Face of Eternity" 8x8 oil on panel, copyright Laura Gable
The three part series shown together here. A stylized landscape and it's horizon line shows the separation we perceive between heaven and earth. The face partially obscured, is perhaps a glimpse of our loved one or God or his angels. Feathers from the wing created by these "landscapes" float around the face and so the furrows in the soil make up this feathered mass. An intuitive painting done without a great deal of thought, instead letting the brush guide the movements and concept. Perhaps you see something a bit differently.

"Each life a traveler, not yet really arrived."
-David Whyte

Saturday, September 15, 2012

45 -- middle panel of triptych

45 middle panel of triptych, 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
More of the stylized landscape is appearing. This intuitive painting's meaning and message will be revealed tomorrow. This is the second part of the three part series -- a triptych. For more info, go forward one day to the 16th for a deeper explanation.

Friday, September 14, 2012

44--right panel of triptych

44/ right panel of triptych, 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
Something a little different today. Painting didn't happen one day this week due to a sick day, so the next day I made up for it by painting 3 panels as one ... a triptych. This is the right panel of the series. It is one of my more intuitive paintings. These come about when there is a lot on my heart or something that needs to be expressed and "in paint" seems to be the best form of expression. So it's a modified and stylized landscape with swirling "Van Gogh" skies and the furrowed fields. The "whole" will be shown on 16th so stay tuned.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

43 Three Plums in Cool Light

43  "Three Plums in Cool Light" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
My little plums are starting to show some wear. They are wrinkling in the wrong places. Perhaps it's like any good model, after awhile they tend to melt under hot lights.
I set up the studio still life with a cooler daylight bulb in the lamp and immediately noticed that the white fabric became very cool. So an effort was made to really seek out the warmer spots, and there were a few as well as areas with reflected light ... a totally cool painting wasn't too appealing. Warmer shadows were added to the shadow side of the plums too. And the celadon tea cup was warmed up in spots ... especially the telling area of the inside right where it received most of the light.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

42 "Five Plums on Blue" (SOLD)

42 "Five Plums on Blue" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
The plums are still giving me some wonderful opportunities for arrangements and background colors. This is aqua is actually the color of a squarish bowl I have. They pair beautifully with this color, as it brings out all the dusky nuances of color along their rinds. They are disappearing though, as they are so tasty. Plus after a few days in the studio they start to get more prune-like in appearance.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

41 Five Plums (SOLD)

41 "Five Plums" 3x16 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable (SOLD)
We have very generous neighbors that bring us a farmer's markets' worth of fruit and vegetables every summer. Gary lives up around the corner and has over 2 lots worth of property (several acres) which is filled with vegetables and fruits. In fact, I don't think he has any lawn to speak of. We've picked blueberries, boysenberries, and raspberries there. And he's brought us all manner of vegetables - tomatoes, string beans, winter squash, pumpkins, peppers, plus more. Plus, the dear neighbor friends across the street bring us tomatoes, plums, apples and zucchini. And my friend, Theo, has provided us with apricots, tomatoes, and even canned goods that last through the winter. Wouldn't this world be a different place if everyone converted their lawns to growing plants that could feed the hungry. There are many such movements born of late, for a greener planet which is really what everyone did in prairie times before sprinkler systems were developed.

I am especially fond of these little almond shaped Italian plums. They have a dusty coating like a concord grape, that when washed reveals a deeper eggplant colored skin. Inside they are the most beautiful limey green and that sweet-tart flavor I just love. The finishing touch is the lime green stems. This is the first study I've done ... and so many more are planned.

Monday, September 10, 2012

40 Inquisitive in Half Light

40  "Inquisitive in Half Light" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
This is based on my nephew when he was little. He has the sweetest toothy grin. The eyes are not quite right to achieve a likeness, but I think it still captures his mischievious ways.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

39 Mini Floral

39  "Mini Floral" 2.5 x 2.5 inches, copyright Laura Gable
I zoomed in a lot on this one so you can see the brush strokes. With bits of juicy color this little effort came to life. Seems like not much accomplish for one day ... but actually it is just part of the story. There is another larger painting that didn't quite get finished and will be posted tomorrow. I started way to late and just ran out of time today. Sundays are like that, sometimes a chore to motivate myself.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

38 Signs of Americana

38 "Signs of Americana" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
My parents owned a small motel on the outskirts of Sidney, Nebraska where I grew up. The cleaning of the 6 rooms was part of our daily chores in the summer (and unfortunately fell on the shoulders of my Mother during the school year). We had this lovely old Americana sign that was so representative of 1950's style structures. This is actually it's modified look, after it was raised to accommodate the new elevated highway interchange that went in during the 70's. The rooms were outfitted with western style furniture, including genuine green vinyl horse head chairs. I've been told that they are quite collectible today. I hope to paint one of the chairs soon so you can get the rest of the story. My sister rescued one from the old place recently.

Friday, September 7, 2012

37 You're A Star

37 "You're a Star" 2x2 oil on mini board, copyright Laura Gable
I love the clayboard surface, though it does seem to absorb all the oil out of the oil paints. I discovered after completing this little bit of effort today (on a very tired day after Art Walk), that if I put a bit of gesso on these boards they don't absorb quite as much of the oil. So the future ones will have a nice coat of gold gesso applied first.
I was creating a slurry with fairly thinned paint, using the medium I've grown fond of (Gamsol, stand oil, linseed oil). It was fun to do a small experiment using paint and this medium.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

36 Solemn Moonrise (SOLD)

36 "Solemn Moonrise" 1x2.5 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
Artist Duane Kaiser, who paints on a very regular basis and was the originator of "A Painting A Day", is known to paint on leftover canvas or board pieces. He titles his little gems "Oddments" and they are barely over 3 inches in size. I just love that term, and love his paintings. They are quite detailed little studies of the objects he paints from life - just on a much smaller scale.

I think I'd have to get a few more small brushes to get any more detailed or intricate in these small studies. So for today, this is about all the effort I was able to expend towards this daily painting challenge. It was a day that didn't afford much time for painting due to cleaning and organizing the studio and then hosting Art Walk from 5-9 p.m.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

35 Paint Slurry

35  "Paint Slurry" oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
This one is called "Paint Slurry", which actually hides deep underneath, a study that didn't go as planned -- enough said! I always have found it interesting how the laser imaging of the old masters paintings revealed the thought process of the artist. I recall one such old one - "Blue Boy", by Thomas Gainsborough - that showed a little dog in the lower corner that the artist had painted out. It must not have been important to the composition, or some other unknown reason. I doubt this will ever be examined under these processes, so you will have to guess what is lurking underneath.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

34 Pear and Quail Eggs

34  "Pear and Quail Eggs" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
These eggs were a gift from a friend, which she got in a gift shop. They had been hollowed out with a small drill bit and have managed to retain their beautiful shape and patina. The pear is actually a studio prop -- the best kind made of plastic which doesn't rot when the artist takes way to long to finish the project. The cloth was sort of an ecru color, and was interesting to see the cooler areas as it turned away from the light. Painting from life does afford a more complete view of things. I'm hoping to get over to the local figure drawing sessions with my paints so I can do the same sort of thing with faces and bodies. They are more telling than fruit as to whether the artist can convey what she truly sees there without it's distortions that come from our perceptions.

Monday, September 3, 2012

33 Shell Study

33 "Shell Study" 12x12 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
My friend and longtime painter, Deanne Lemley, suggests the student will see more progress if painting from a still life. So heeding her time honored advice, I set up a nice little still life in the studio. I quickly learned how difficult it is to paint these white objects on a very dark background. It was actually black, though in places it resembles chocolate brown and eggplant in other areas. The shadows were a bit cool. The eggshells were in my still-life stash. An excellent subject matter to help see the color of these shadows. And the shell was picked up along the beaches in northern Florida. I heard another artist recently say that he doesn't paint sea shells because they are "cute". I guess I've never thought that way, as I see a myriad of artistic fodder there -- much to paint and see. Amazing really, that these little creatures build their own homes with all their ridges and whorls which become these shells that wash to sea shores so that wandering nature enthusiasts can bend and select the ones they find the most interesting.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

32 Regal View

32 "Regal View" 12x16 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
I joined my friend for a fun outing to paint the courthouse in Pasco on a lovely cooler day here in one of our neighboring tri-cities. The shadows were sneaking around to the backside, but the front facade in full shade still provided an excellent opportunity to capture this majestic, historic essence. The bluish shadows on the front sidewalk were luminous against the new concrete around the rose garden. Even though I stood in a flowerbed (that had weeds, but no flowers), it was right up there as one of my favorite plein air experiences. Superior Tree Service was quite close by, removing old dead trees in the park. The loud vibrating saws actually created an interesting melody which managed to drown out the inner critic. I was glad that the critic took the day off -- it is always more fun when that sound is silenced or muted.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

31 Domicile of Color

Here's the fourth little painting I've done recently of bird nests. This one has some fun movement in the background and the little eggs got so big that they look like chicken eggs. I'm not too sure that some of the technical aspects are totally accurate here, and so "fun" won out.

Also, my little challenge is coming along nicely. I'm excited to say I'm moving into my second month and so I'm getting pretty close to 1/3 completed on this challenge of painting 100 paintings in 100 days. I've got a bit more to do, but by keeping the sizes small I've been able to produce on a very regular basis. The best aspect is that you learn to let them "be" and not fuss over them too much. Since tomorrow will dawn like any perfect day, and a new challenge will be placed onto the easel. Take good care and hope to see you visiting here often. Let me know your comments too, as they are always welcomed. That way I can rest assured that I am not singing in an empty hall, or talking to myself as I do so well. ;-)

31  "Domicile of Color" 8x8 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable