Friday, February 22, 2013

Lovin' the Anemones

Anemones in Glass, 6"x6", oil on panel,
©2013 Cindy Greene

I took the reference photo for this a few weeks ago — a florist shop, with glass vases of anemones on a glass tabletop. Brilliant, literally. I've been quite taken with anemones lately. 

Other than the green stems, everything in the painting is grey. My monitor is showing the background more blue than it is. Oh, the flowers have a few bright white areas, and the glass of course has highlights, but the rest is just grey. I had quite a good time mixing all those greys out of yellow, red and blue. Oh and sometimes white. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Why Hello, Pacific Ocean!

Hello, Pacific Ocean! 6"x6", oil on panel, Sold©2013 Cindy Greene

My daughter's friend Jacq posted a gorgeous photo of one of her friends and her baby enjoying the warm weather last week at Torrey Pines Beach. Jacq captured the moment perfectly, and I borrowed her photo. Thankfully, she didn't mind.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Evergreen Pear Blossoms

Pear Blossoms, 6"x6", oil on panel, SOLD
©2013 Cindy Greene

This week Southern California is dotted with gorgeous Evergreen Pear trees, Pyrus kawakamii, covered with white blossoms. The blooming period is short, because we get either a winter Pacific storm or a warm Santa Ana wind that blows all the blossoms away. When our girls were small, they loved to pretend it was snowing while they danced around under our trees.

I brought a sprig of blossoms in the other day to paint. They last better inside than out!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Plein Air in Laguna Beach, and other frogs

Laguna Morning, 5"x7", oil on panel,
©2013 Cindy Greene

First off,  I am very happy with this painting. There, I said it.

My husband and I have a saying, "If you have to eat frogs, eat the biggest one first." This has morphed into "Anything I don't want to do, or am procrastinating, or am even nervous about, is a frog. Okay, I'll eat it first." This has been a week of frog-eating. 

Thursday morning was my last scheduled plein air class with Kim VanDerHoek. We were going to Heisler Park in Laguna Beach, and the day was promising. But painting at Heisler Park is a sort of mecca to plein air painters, the ultimate gorgeous seaside spot. What if I really made a mess of it? Therefore, it became a frog.

I'm happy to say that the fog lifted, I had a great time, I'm happy with the painting, and all is well. 


Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Heart Like the Ivy Twineth

My Heart Like the Ivy Twineth, 6"x6", oil on panel, SOLD
©2013 Cindy Greene

I love old postcards, and always dig through them in antique stores when I get a chance. I especially like holiday cards. The Valentine's Day card below is one of my favorites.

When I saw the ivy heart topiary last week at Roger's Gardens, this phrase kept running through my mind. This was really fun to paint — and had a title before I even started! I tried to find where the phrase originated, but evidently "the ivy twineth" is in the Christmas carol The Holly and the Ivy, and was a familiar phrase a century or so ago.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Back to Real Life

English Breakfast, 6"x6" oil on panel

Well, the whirlwind week of the Carol Marine workshop at Balboa Island is over. I think every one of us was sad at week's end. Tired, but sad. Actually, I'm sure Carol was relieved to be going home — she taught, laughed, critiqued, painted, ate, lectured, and patiently answered our hundreds of questions. She was always cheerful and patient — I can't imagine how she does that. She's an amazing teacher and artist, and so much fun.

It was a wonderful week. I learned so much, and now need to work through my notes and paint a couple of hundred panels while I assimilate everything. Every painter in the workshop was talented, and the room was always full of interesting paintings as well as the combined energy of about 20 people doing what they love.

I've spent the weekend reconnecting with family, Lily (our elderly cat), and the laundry. I painted some today, and look forward to painting this week. Still a lot of home-work to catch up on.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Workshop Wednesday

Pink #2, 6"x6", oil on panel

Well, the Carol Marine workshop is over the hump, and there are only two days left. 

Yesterday was fairly intense, as we had timed paintings and then stroke-limited paintings (also timed). The 10-minute painting exercise is fun, and a great way to loosen up and just paint what you see.

The stroke-limiting exercise was interesting. Carol announced, "Painting is like golf. The fewer strokes, the better." To help us get to the essence of our subject, we had to plan out how to paint it first in 20 brushstrokes. We complained, but it wasn't too bad. I actually didn't use my 20th stroke. Then another 10 minutes and 15 strokes. Still looked like a pomegranate. Last, 10 strokes. There were a lot of curved strokes in the room. I ended up with time left, but no strokes. Since I had a fourth square left, I did a quick painting not counting my strokes, but trying to limit them to what was necessary. I like this last one best.

Pomegranate Study, 6"x6", oil on panel

Today was full. Another demo (my very favorite part of the workshop), studying composition and then an exercise on laying down a mixed color, leaving it, and then choosing another mixture, laying it down, and so forth. We took some time setting up our subjects, quite some time actually. I scored a lovely pink gerbera daisy and enjoyed the process. I finished two different views by quitting time.

Pink #1, 6"x6", oil on panel

Looking forward to tomorrow.

Monday, February 4, 2013


Today I started a five-day workshop with Carol Marine, and I'm whooped. And we only painted about 90 minutes out of the day!

Just trying to absorb the knowledge flowing out of Carol is exhausting. Fortunately, she is funny as well as smart, and she is an expert at feeding her students information in an organized and entertaining way. There is just so much to learn, and as she says, painting is hard.

We had about an hour this afternoon to set up a still life and paint it as we wanted to, as Carol walked around the room getting an idea of each painter's style and skill. Some of us fiddled with the lights and objects too much, which ate into our painting time. Guess who.

This is a iPhone photo of my set-up. I love red bell peppers. Yeah, there are a lot of bumps.

We then did an assignment to study value — doing a quick painting using only one dark color, and three main values in varying proportions. I finished this pomegranate in about 15 minutes, and then returned to my bell peppers. 

I was able to sort of finish the peppers, although I wasn't happy with the result. Ever notice how bumpy peppers are? Lots of planes, each with a reflection and/or shadow. I couldn't get a good photo, as the room lighting was challenging, but here's an idea. I do like the greens.

©2013 Cindy Greene

I'm very excited about tomorrow. I know it will be another full day, and I can't wait.

Friday, February 1, 2013

February — a new month!!

30 in 30 January 2013

Leslie Saeta recommended using PicMonkey to create a custom collage of our 30 paintings from January. Since it is a free service (very cool), there is no help page, so it took a while to figure out how to create a custom collage. I thought about just using my favorite paintings (there are some here I'm a bit embarrassed by), but decided to be honest and include them all. 

I'm pleased with my progress in January. I can look at each of these with a critical eye and see what could be improved or what I learned. 

I love the first day of the month. Happy February!
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