Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mandarin With Leaves

"Mandarin With Leaves" 5.75 x 5.75 art panel, oil painting, ©Laura Gable
This hearkens back to cooler weather again today. I guess it's because the weather here of late has been a bit autumn-like with it's rainy days and cloudy skies. I'm not complaining, as I love cooler moody days especially after we have a string of really hot ones in this almost Summer season.

"Nestled on a shelves and tucked into nooks, these mandarins add elegant pops of color throughout the studio. I love it that you can tell the holidays are approaching when these arrive at the stores with their lush green waxy leaves and stem type branches attached."

Enjoy this walk back in time to our pre-holiday days.

And another quote for the day:
"If you keep a green bough in your heart, the singing bird will come." 
-Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Solitary Pear

While we are on the subject of fruit and still life... this is a delightful little painting of a pear that I just adore. The board was primed with a black gesso which was allowed to peek through in places.
I love the contrasts of the blues to the greenish yellow of the fruit. Want to take a bite?

"Solitary Pear" 5.75"x5.75" oil on art panel, ©Laura Gable

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hearkening Autumn

"Hearkening Autumn" 8x8 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
On a warm day I think of cooler weather and the fruits of that cooler season. This little painting was a joy to paint - and I love the juxtaposition of the orangish red tones agains the lavender & periwinkle tones of the shadows. Some of my favorite colors. This has a more effortless quality that I love and strive to do more of in my work.

During this time of transition, I am reminded of a very lengthy quote full of artistic advice by the artist Milford Zornes. I find it most assuring.

"To decide to become a painter or an artist in any field is not so much a matter of choosing a profession as it is following a way of life and thought. An art career cannot be a business. One may have to be professional in order to work successfully and he may have to be business-like in order to survive, but to be an artist, 
one must be a person.

My suggestion would be to simply set about being a good painter and a good designer. Paint pictures. Let every picture be a challenge to speak graphically in the most forceful and colorful way possible. Let every picture be an effort to speak some truth about a subject, or to present an abstract form from your imagination to 
stimulate the imagination of others.

Do not be afraid of making a bad picture, but never make a bad picture by intention to make it acceptable or salable. Always paint a picture for yourself;
never paint one to sell.

Be sure that if you are a good painter, you are needed and that your pictures are needed. In the world of stereotypes we live in there is a need for what a painter can see and what he can say. Do not use your painting;
use yourself for your painting.

Best of luck to you. Milford Zornes"
(as published in American Artist 1986)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Friendly Nod

"A Friendly Nod" 12x12 oil on board, ©Laura Gable, $350 + s&h
The head dips low as I pass by -- it seems as though this friendly flower has something to say. Beyond just embracing it's cheerful beauty with the full yellow petals and wide open faces, I feel these flowers display a level of personality like the endearing faces of loved ones. Can't you just hear the sweet dialog beginning?

Like this painting? You can buy it online at the Daily Paintworks website:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

There Was a Crooked Man (sold)

"There Was a Crooked Man" 6x6 oil on canvas, ©Laura Gable
This painting, with it's fresh color and lively brush strokes, has had quite a evolution bringing it to a point where it is likely overworked (perhaps happily, she squeaks). What started out as an abstract... eventually became a landscape with young trees and a light pole... that then eventually became a landscape with a little crooked man. It is fraught with issues, but still there is something about it that I find a bit interesting. Like there is an inordinate amount of unexplored dialog here.

Perhaps I'd do better studying from life, rather than focusing on these made-up landscapes. But somehow when I'm not limited by what nature supplies, this allows me more free reign of my imagination. And somehow when I am looking at the real thing, I fail to be imaginative. A conundrum to be assured.

Anyway, there is a storyline in here none-the-less. A little man looks down the distant road, while waiting for the bus to come barreling past, he wants to go visit his sweetie in the next borough ... or it's a teenager waiting for his friends to ride by on their bicycles so they can catch a ride and head off up town to grab a movie at the cinema ... or maybe it's just a kid coming home from his baseball game. It was a long and harrowing game, they were up in the top of the 9th inning with all the bases loaded when little Johnny O was struck out and everything shifted direction after that. The opposing team managed to rack up just enough runs to take the game in the final inning. Such a sad story. I think I'll stick with the little man waiting for the bus. ;-)

(sorry it is quite late in the evening for a post such as this)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Autumn's Paintbrush (SOLD)

"Autumn's Paintbrush" 6x6 oil on board, landscape, ©Laura Gable
Today I passed by this lovely tree along the Columbia River while on a walk. Though it's colors weren't quite this lively on this June day, I was reminded of the magnificence of this tree and view of Pasco farmlands on the other side of the river. On the weekends this park is filled with people, renting wave runners and kayaks. The shores are lined with families--their little ones dipping their bodies and toes in the water to cool off. It is a very cold river. Understandably so, as it's head waters are in Canada. Once on a trip up north, I stood at a view point looking out at this mighty frigid Columbia Lake in British Columbia. Twas a spectacular sight to behold.

Per Wikipedia:
"The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. It flows northwest and then south into the US state of Washington, then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state of Oregon before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. The river is 1,243 miles (2,000 km) long, and its largest tributary is the Snake River. Its drainage basin is roughly the size of France and extends into seven U.S. states and a Canadian province"

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Miles of Furrows

"Miles of Furrows" 8x8 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
This little painting is part of a 2 part series of stylized landscapes. Posted below, is what they look like sitting side by side. Each is a finished 8x8 board.

The swirly, windy sky is reminiscent of Van Gogh's depiction of wind. It feels like a tumultuous day here in the windy side of Washington state. The miles of furrows traverse across the myriad of undulations in the land, receding into the distance. This is a land built on agriculture, feeding a hungry nation.

Here is the diptych:

Diptych: An Unknown Landscape, and Miles of Furrows
both available for sale on Daily paintworks.

Friday, June 7, 2013

An Unknown Landscape

"An Unknown Landscape" 8x8 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
After a series of realistic landscapes, I thought this would be a good time for an altered one.

This is part of a 2 part series of alternative landscapes. I just liked the way the foreground rows created this interesting pattern. Almost as though you could get lost in this "Unknown Landscape" ... because even though it's dreamlike familiar, I've probably not travelled there any time recently.

I'll post the other section tomorrow.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pristine Vista (SOLD)

"Pristine Vista" 5x7 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
A look back in time to a lovely unspoiled vista in the Grand Tetons of Wyoming. I have a hankering to return to these pure and pristine parts of the world that are so close to the natural state they've been in since the dawn of time. This was painted on board, from a photograph I took a few years back when we went to the parks in and around majestic Yellowstone.

Quote of the day:
If you keep a green bough in your heart,
the singing bird will come.

-Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

River Willows

"River Willows" 3x6 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
The oranges of the river weeds are so lively against the hues of the water. I wanted it to look like a bright and crisp day. We are blessed with our many rivers and trails here in the mid-Columbia region of southeastern Washington. We are entering our dry months, so the river offers a bit of dichotomy to enrich the area.

I wish I'd painted this onsite, but it's inspiration was drawn from a photograph. The colors of the front bushes were pushed a bit to enliven the tones of the water. Nearby Bateman Island is barely visible from the shore.

This is an odd size. It was painted on a bit of scrap from a larger gessoboard that I'd cut. It also is framed in a small profile reddish toned wood.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pear and Quail Eggs

"Pear and Quail Eggs" 8x8 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
A sweet little still life in the studio, painting quail eggs and a pear revealed a delightful light blue shadow on the front egg.

This brings to mind the lovely little quail that frequent our yard during the year. With their various calls and there floppy top-nots, they are a treat to see and hear. One call in particular reminds me oddly of "Danger! Danger! Will Robinson!!" from the old Lost in Space TV program I watched as a child. It's an urgent high pitched call, obviously indicating they are feeling threatened. Yesterday on my walk, I spied the neighbor's black and white kitty hiding in the sagebrush. Eventually there was a ruckus of urgent calls with a scuttling about, and several quail flew low across the road into a nearby arborvitae. The kitty wasn't quite as stealthy as she thought she was, as the birds found refuge elsewhere. I'm not sure if they were nesting there in the sage, but I have occasionally come across there speckled little eggs tucked into soft places on the ground. Little treasures like these are a joy to find.

Today's quote is on my bulletin board at home, and I see it often when I look up from the computer:

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, 
Speaks to us in our conscience, 
but shouts in our pains. 
It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world." 
--CS Lewis

Monday, June 3, 2013

Late Bloom and Harvest (SOLD)

"Late Bloom and Harvest" 8x8 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
It certainly feels like the unofficial start of summer. June 1st always does that to me. So why am I posting pumpkins and late harvest roses? Well this is a painting on my shelf here that's in need of some love. SO... I thought I would share it so that "you" could send it some love. It's got some little issues all it's own, but then that's what makes it unique. 

What I do like about it ... is the way the periwinkle reflection on the cup shimmers, the reddish shadows cast on the punkin grab at my heart and attention, and the limey greens on the cup's brighter side have a luminous, playful feel to them. Don't we all feel better about ourselves if we focus on the positive aspects rather than what is "wrong" with us (and our work ;-). Afterall, we are only human and so fraught with shortcomings.

For today I also thought I'd share a lovely quote that so speaks to my heart. While cleaning out cupboards in my art room, I found this lovely quote I had scrawled on a torn piece of paper. I love revisiting it. Hope you enjoy.

"To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart ~ 
and to sing it to them when they have forgotten." 
-Thomas Chandler

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Double Clusters

"Double Clusters" 8x10 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
This colorful piece, was painted on an Ampersand aquaboard that has been primed with yellow ochre gesso. Why use the aquaboard, you ask? I have an abundance of them and seem to paint more in oils lately so I wanted to see how the texture and absorbency would work with oils. The gesso allows the paint to sit on top a bit more than if it wasn't primed. The oils from the paint do soak into the substrate a bit more than the gessoboard surface, but some of the paint's gloss is still retained. I brought the shine back up with Retouching varnish to give it an even luster.

I was enjoying this close view of one of our local vineyards when the leaves were just starting to turn to crimson and burnt orange last Fall. So harvest time was nearing and the grapes were reaching their most juicy and succulent levels. I'm sure there was a bountiful harvest and a lovely vintage is now aging in the oak barrels housed in this winery's cool cellars, built back into the earth.


On another note, I went to a artist talk at the local gallery. The painter from Portland gave a very nice discussion about the emotional aspect behind some of his current paintings. This painter has a strong point of view, and clearly wants his paintings to emote a certain narrative about underlying themes, concepts, and discoveries. The viewer could easily discern these themes with just a bit of study of his art, with the titles giving a window to the concept. He had visited his family's homestead in the Midwest and so the pieces had a dominant feeling of Americana, with a wistfulness of discovery about his rich familial heritage.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Wooded Path

"Wooded Path" 8x8 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
Beyond this thicket and down a path, there lies a lovely serene pond. The softness of the scene and the variegation of blues and greens were most appealing. I was imagining what Monet may have been feeling about the scene, as I painted this wooded path.

Painted in oils on a 8x8 primed board.