Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lunch at Lola's

Lunch at Lola's, 6x6", oil on board,
©2013 Cindy Greene

I thought about naming this painting "Just Another Day at the Office." I am so thankful to be able to spend a gorgeous spring day outside, with paints and wonderful artists to paint with. But this is Lola Gaspar, a trendy restaurant and bar in the beautiful Santora Arts Building in Santa Ana. Judging from the aromas and happy voices coming from the patio, it would be a good place to eat.

I spent about an hour deciding what to paint — there are just so many interesting scenes in Santa Ana's Artists Village. My intuition kept telling me to keep it simple, so I ignored the fountain, the beautiful buildings, the other cafes ... and I was drawn to this faded orange umbrella and the spiky plant below it. (My family knows I can't resist orange - not!)

my start - see, that umbrella really was faded

midway and working on the greens and shadows
When I finished, I enjoyed a great lunch at the Gypsy Den (behind me) with Kim VanDerHoek and two other artists. My first urban plein air painting, and a great day.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

South Crescent Bay

Rocks at South Crescent Bay, 6x8", oil on linen on board

Last Thursday I spent a wonderful day in Laguna Beach with Kim VanDerHoek and our March plein air class. We were on a spectacular small beach with many painting opportunities. My goal was to choose a simple, strong composition, and not get caught up in the overall view and distractions.

These rocks are looking south, and I eliminated almost all of the bluff. I originally had some sand at the bottom, but it did not really add to the composition and I like it much better without it. As usual, the sun, fog, clouds, tide, shadows and general scene changed every few minutes, and the gorgeous weather and spring break brought in quite a few kids and families. It's very challenging to focus on the painting when there is so much going on (and I'm easily distracted anyway). 

About 10:00 am, a marine mammal rescue center released four rehabilitated seals right in front of us. That was a fun distraction, and it was great to see them dive right into the waves. You really never know what you're going to get when you go outside to paint!

Late morning, after the fog and seals, before many people showed up

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dancing in the Light

Dancing in the Light, 5x5", oil on board

Today I decided to paint more tulips, before they fade away. I spent a few good hours doing a larger painting of the tulips on my kitchen counter in the light from the window. When I finished, I realized I wasn't finished. I grabbed a small panel, and painted the one above. I think I like it better. The light coming through the window turned the tops of the petals a pale pink, such a contrast to the deep red.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Red X Four

Red X Four, 6x6", oil on panel, available here
The tulips are elegant and elusive; they dance and change under the light. I have to paint fast, for they move between strokes. They literally change position as they react to the warmth from the lamp. They don't last very long, but are so fun to paint.

I am so enjoying the quadrant paintings; four tiny paintings in one! I may do a series; oops, I already have. I forgot to post this one I did the other day.

Sunshine on Grey, 6x6", oil on panel, available here

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Personal Space

A Sense of Personal Space, 6x6", oil on board, NFS

Well, a week ago I wrote about how it had been hard to find painting time. This week, it was even harder. I began this painting as a way to paint something, even on a 3x3" division of a panel. After one daisy looked sadly at me all week, I decided to finish it. 

This is for Hilary, who loves daisies and purple, and was thoughtful enough to tell me she wanted it. She writes most of the posts on our family food blog, GreeneFood, and is starting to share some of her own writing and art at Kingsley + Kay. As a fellow introvert, I understand how hard that can be!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Missing Painting / Found Painting

White Anemones, 6x6", oil on board, click here to bid©2013 Cindy Greene

First, missing painting. I've had barely any time to paint since last Thursday morning, and I've really missed it. As a friend says, life happens, and that's the truth. It's been good stuff mostly, but it hasn't let me paint. Today, I finally divided a 6x6 panel into four sections and spent 30 minutes painting one section. Better than nothing.

Second, found painting. While checking a couple of sold paintings that need varnishing, I found White Anemones, above. What? Evidently I never put this on the blog. Fortunately, I had photographed and catalogued it when I painted it in February. So it was never really lost, but I had forgotten about it. I do love white flowers, and this was painted from a couple of reference photos I took last month at Roger's Gardens.

We're heading into a warm week, and I am really looking forward to a couple of painting days!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Rain's Coming — Upper Newport Back Bay

Rain's Coming, 10"x8", oil on archival panel, click here to bid
©2013 Cindy Greene

Today was a gorgeous day to paint outside. The early morning rain cleared the air, there were brief moments of sun, and then the coming storm brought more clouds in from the north. So beautiful to watch the clouds moving in and building up through the morning.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Uplift in Praise

Uplift in Praise, 5"x5", oil on panel, SOLD
 ©2013 Cindy Greene

“Daisies infinite 
Uplift in praise their little growing hands, 
 O'er every hill that under heaven expands.” 
 — Ebenezer Elliott

 More cheerful, happy daisies, bringing thoughts of spring! It's chilly and promising rain later this week, but little vases and bottles of white daisies around the house are definitely making me think about working in the garden. I pruned back the last (forgotten) rose this morning, and planted a few white impatiens that had been sitting around for a while. 

It's been great having painting time in the studio this week, and I'm heading to the Back Bay tomorrow for a Plein Air class with Kim VanDerHoek. I'm really concentrating on painting from life, either plein air or from set-ups in the studio. I have several paintings in mind from reference photographs, but I'm putting them aside for a bit.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Simplicity, 5"x5", oil on panel, SOLD©2013 Cindy Greene

“The daisy's for simplicity and unaffected air.” — Robert Burns

 I enjoyed the daisies so much, I decided to do another one, and maybe a series this week. The whites can be challenging, but I'm enjoying the light and shadows. This little green bottle is one of my favorites — I've used it for many years to hold a rosebud or sprig of daisies.

Our warm winter weather has disappeared, and today was overcast and grey. It was a great day to stay in the studio and paint.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Under the Lights

Under the Lights, 5"x5", oil on archival board, SOLD©2013 Cindy Greene

We went to a new farmer's market on Sunday, and I came home with a huge bunch of daisies. Well, they are actually chrysanthemums, but shh. I now have three vases around the house and am enjoying them immensely. I set up this little vase with a spotlight and a background of some of the new scrapbook paper I recently bought. I'm enjoying the colors.

I wanted to try a looser version than usual of these, so I gave myself a time limit of "finish this before making dinner." I think it worked. We did eat a bit late, though.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

San Elijo Lagoon, and North County fun

San Elijo Morning, 6"x8", oil on linen,
©2013 Cindy Greene

We had a quick fun trip this week, to the North San Diego County area. Our eldest daughter's friends arranged a birthday dinner for her (her husband was out of town and she was a bit down), and we were the surprise guests! How cool is it that your adult children are thrilled when you show up unexpectedly? I am very grateful for that. We had a fabulous time at PrepKitchen in Del Mar. I delivered a sold painting at the same time — I highly recommend delivering work at fabulous restaurants. Here's Emily with her parents, photo taken by daughter Hilary, who was also a surprise guest. (Sorry, Mel, we wish you could have been there!)

Thursday morning we made a quick trip to the San Elijo Lagoon Reserve, just a mile or two down the road from our hotel. I set up my painting gear and enjoyed a wonderful hour of sunshine and paint. The painting at the top is the result. This was my first experience painting on a linen Raymar panel — oh my, I loved it. I don't usually like canvas, but this was a wonderful experience, and I plan to order more of them.

We ended our short trip with a very quick visit to see some friends and their three-month-old darling little boy. Cuddling with little Ellis was a highlight of the trip. Time with your kids, plein air painting, and cuddling a baby — what a great couple of days!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Still Painting...

Mum on Green, 2.5"x3.5", oil on Arches oil paper;
©2013 Cindy Greene

A friend asked me yesterday if I had taken the week off from painting, as she hadn't seen any blog posts. Bless her, she looks for them! I haven't taken time off from painting, but it hasn't been a week of post-able paintings. I did this little ACEO-size mum last weekend, playing with the new Arches oil paper and a package of colored scrapbooking paper that I recently bought. It was fun setting up glass on the paper and playing with the lighting. I'm happy with this one. The Arches paper is fun to use, but pretty thirsty. I had to use quite a bit of medium to get a good flow. 

On Tuesday, I painted a 6x12" panel of sunflowers. Wednesday morning, I wiped it off. Some paintings just aren't meant to be, and this was one of them. Liz asked me to post the wiped panel, so here it is.

It's about to get a couple of coats of gesso, on its way to a happier place. This is a Dick Blick "Artists' Board" – not sure I like the surface.

There was more painting, some travel and a family celebration, but that post will wait until tomorrow.

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