Saturday, July 28, 2007

July 28, 2007

This is a recent painting of bluebonnets in the Texas Hill Country area, probably around Fredericksburg. I have so many photos of bluebonnet fields that it is hard to keep up with where each one is from. This painting is 11 x 14, oil on canvas, available for $395.00.

Bluebonnets are scattered throughout this area of Texas, and many varieties extend into the western states and Mexico. We have a small patch on our property. Some years it is outstanding, other years are sparse. This spring gave scant blooms with our dry weather last year. The "Texas Bluebonnet" generally blooms March through May. There are several different bluebonnets (lupine) throughout the state, and some have a longer blooming time. It is a member of the legume family.

When you see a field of bluebonnets, you see mostly the intense blue violet color, and in the foreground, a bit of the white tips. If you can inspect a flower up close, you’ll see marvelous variations of cream to lime green and yellow green, as well as a beautiful dash of crimson on the flower petals. It makes me want to paint a close up of one!

If they are blooming late, you may see the flowers alongside the blooming prickly pear cactus. That is quite a show. In this area, the prickly pear usually bloom after the bluebonnets are gone. It is a treat to see them in bloom together. Even without the show alongside the cactus blooms, they are accompanied by many other wildflowers, so a profusion of color is always there - yellows, whites, oranges, reds, etc.

Flora and Fauna update...............

The deer are so fun to watch. (We have white tail deer). There is a cleared area in front of our house where we feed deer and all manner of birds, bunnies, ducks and whatever else cares to eat there. There is a drinking pond off to the side also. Last summer, several doe had their fawns with them in the clearing. Usually, we don’t see fawns, they stay hidden in the brush until they are older. One of my cats likes to stalk the deer, until the deer tire of her presence, and stamp their front feet and send her away. I painted out not too long ago, and had deer in the field with me while I painted!

The fruit of the wild persimmon trees is ripening. It turns almost black when it is ripe. Just until it is ripe, the fruit is the same color as the leaves, so even when the trees are loaded with fruit, it is hard to see unless you are up close. The fruits are about the size of a nickle, and animals and birds love them...people do not.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

July 21, 2007

I just cannot resist another flora and fauna report! We have 2 baby chickens, so cute ...and so noisy. They are in the brooder, happy and growing. Our rooster is apparently doing his job. And as to flora, well, I have never seen such lush green growth here in July. The rains have been pretty constant, (over 5 1/2 inches today) and the abundance of foliage is amazing. The last years of drought must seem a distant memory for the trees and grasses. Wildflowers are abundant, and our bunnies and deer seem very happy with lots to eat.

One of the baby chicks:

Wildflowers everywhere:

This is one of the paintings I'm working on of the lavender fields at Becker Vineyards in Fredericksburg Texas. A November photo was the inspiration for this painting, an 8 x 10, oil on canvas panel. Ready on the easel for this week are photos of the fields in bloom.

I've been asked about size designations for paintings, so from now on, I will include more information for artists and collectors to better explain different aspects of my craft. If a painting is sized 6 x 8, that is not the same as 8 x 6. The first number designated is the height, the second is the width. Thus, 6 inches high by 8 inches wide is designated as 6 x 8. Often this is called “landscape” orientation (wider horizontally), and an 8 x 6 would be called “portrait,” (taller vertically.) Please let me know any questions you have, either by email at or in the comment section of my blog just below the post.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

July 14, 2007, Saturday

I've been busy this week, working on my July themes of the Frio River, and painting the lavender fields of Becker Vineyards in Fredericksburg, Texas. You can see the paintings I'm working on and read about my studio happenings at: .
This page is updated at least once a month, with studio news and photos.

I painted a little vase of plumbago blooms this past week. I have plumbago planted in my garden, and am trying to coax it to grow a bit. The blooms are so pretty, and I decided to paint it from life. I photographed the progressions, and will show the the process of how I paint.

I toned the canvas with Transparent Orange, and used the same to draw my vase of flowers. My initial drawing is often very sketch, but I do spend a lot of time making sure that my placement is correct, and the design will be appealing.Next, I cover the canvas with the approximate colors of the subject, not being very particular about staying true to the original line drawing. The canvas is covered with paint. Next, I begin to add shadow and light.
Refining shapes and colors,
more refining,
The finished product. This piece is 10 inches by 8 inches. This painting is available for purchase at $200.00 at the following link on my website:

This is a close up of the focal area.This is my palette at the end of the painting. I use a large palette, this one is about 22 inches square.
I had fun photographing the various stages. I'll probably do that for the larger still life I have set up in my studio now.

Till later!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

July 7, everywhere!

I have painted this beautiful area many times. It is the San Julien Creek, in the Bandera area of the Texas Hill Country. It runs through the back yard of my dear, dear friend, Vanaly. We've painted together in the creek bed for several past springs. At times it is dry, but all of the recent rains have made it a creek again!

Behind Vanaly's house, there is a little area where there are small "falls" and I love painting that spot. I painted the creek this week from photos. It is 9 x 12 size, and it is already sold.

Here is a close up of the "falls" area:

Green, green, green everywhere these days, from so much rain. Green is a difficult color for most artists I know, and it certainly is for me. You must tame it down from the tube, yet create enough varieties of green to make an interesting painting. This painting was no different, as each painting is a challenge, and creates problems to solve all it's own.