Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Beginning of Summer

Beginning of Summer, 6"x6", oil on archival panel, auction here,
©2013 Cindy Greene
It's late May and the jacarandas are exploding all over Southern California. They are so gorgeous and I am enamored of them. (And please don't tell me they are messy; that's obvious and I don't care. I'm actually very appreciative of the people who clean up after them so that the rest of us can enjoy their beauty.)

I see these two trees most mornings on my bike ride through our neighborhood. My husband and I have a seven-mile loop that we've found (the fewest stop signs possible!), and I really enjoy watching the seasons change. At the end of this block, we turn and sprint to the next intersection, seeing how fast we can go each time. Four loops and then we head home. Anyway, I look forward to the jacarandas each morning. 

PS: Liz, is this a good Isle of Skye tartan painting?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Just Delightful

Just Delightful, 5x5", oil on board, Click here to bid for Fundraiser for Oklahoma Tornado Victims

Daily Paintworks is sponsoring a fundraiser for the Oklahoma tornado victims — participating artists are donating all proceeds from the fundraiser sales to tornado relief.

I'm happy to participate with this painting. I have a lot of Oklahoma in my blood. My great-great grandmother helped to settle Holdenville, OK (about 70 miles southeast of Moore, where the tornado hit) when it was Indian Territory, my mother grew up there, and I lived there briefly as a child.

This is a great opportunity to buy some art and help people who need to rebuild their lives. All proceeds from the sale of this painting will be sent to the American Red Cross and earmarked for the Oklahoma tornado victims. Thanks for your help!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Vineyard Afternoon

Vineyard Afternoon, 6x6", oil on panel,
©2013 Cindy Greene

Look familiar? Yup, same scene I painted and posted on Thursday. In the spirit of last week's Daily Paintworks Challenge, I painted the same thing two different ways. 

I enjoyed this — I kept this one a bit simpler, since it is a much smaller size. Makes me want to be there.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Koehler Vineyard, Late Fall

Koehler Vineyard, Late Fall; 8x10", oil on panel,
©2013 Cindy Greene

Confession: I really enjoy Fauvist art (along with many other types). Think Matisse, Derain, Marquet and sometimes Van Gogh. I stumbled upon Kathleen Elsey's website a couple of years ago and have enjoyed following her work since. She paints landscapes and interior scenes in bright, fun colors, and considers herself a "new Fauve."

So today, being fairly frustrated with my recent paintings, I decided to be wild and crazy, and paint a landscape in a fun, colorful Fauv-ish style. Above is the result. I put out a palette of brighter colors than I usually use and gave myself permission to use them. The reference photo was taken last November at the Koehler Winery in Santa Ynez.

Evidently, it's not easy for me to throw caution to the wind. Other than using quite a bit of purple, I'm not sure this qualifies. My conservative self is fairly strong.

But it was fun and I enjoyed it. I think I'll keep experimenting.

I'd love to hear comments!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Lavender Path

Lavender Path, 6x6", oil on archival board, $100
©2013 Cindy Greene
I found the reference photo for this painting on my laptop, named "practice greens 2" — I think I took it at the South Coast Botanical Garden. At any rate, I liked it and think it's more than just "practice greens."

Greens are challenging, especially in the spring. They can be so very intense, that they look unreal and not always attractive. I almost always mix greens from various yellows, blues and sometimes black, and many of them also include a red to gray the result. Without the red, the greens all scream for attention. By reducing the saturation a bit, it becomes more pleasing to the eye and then small areas of more saturated color can be used to direct your eye through the painting.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Sentinel

The Sentinel, 7x5", oil on canvas panel©2013 Cindy Greene
I've always been fascinated by the eucalyptus, or gum, trees that are everywhere in my part of California. The ones that really get me though, are the ones that line the freeways. I used to snap photos of them at dusk against the sky (only when my husband was driving).

This huge old tree stands at a freeway on-ramp not far from my house. It is just over a bridge that is being rebuilt, and I am so thankful CalTrans did not cut it down. We have a major freeway/overpass/carpool lane connector project going on around here (which is making the population of at least two cities very cranky), and there are a few of these old trees still standing and guarding the ramps.

I took the reference photo for this while stopped at the light, waiting to turn left onto the freeway on-ramp behind the tree.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sycamore Hill Path

Sycamore Hill Path, 10x8", oil on canvas panel,
©2013 Cindy Greene

Last Thursday I painted at Sycamore Hill in Irvine Regional Park with Kim VanDerHoek's plein air class. We have a standing joke that Kim picks the most challenging weather and location combinations that she can find in our idyllic area of Southern California. How bad can it be in May in SoCal? 

Well, the prediction was for 93F, and I noticed the wind symbol on the weather app on my phone. While driving over the hill to the park, I was having to dodge palm fronds and eucalyptus branches in the street. When I found the meeting location, I spent about five minutes picking a parking spot away from the large trees — leaves and branches were everywhere. It was really windy.

My main goal was to find a sheltered spot that had something "paintable." I knew an umbrella would never work in the wind, so I also looked for shade for my easel.

I'm pretty happy with the result. I picked out most of the bugs and bits of dirt and leaves that blew in, and managed to get the painting home safely. My challenges for this painting (other than dealing with the weather) were to paint larger (8x10), and to do a landscape without a sky. Done!

Monday, May 6, 2013

And April Flew By....

Instead of finishing daily paintings the last couple of months, I've been working on studies and spending time on some slightly larger paintings. One of my goals is to do some large studio paintings from some of the plein air studies that I do. I love working small and finishing a painting in one sitting, but I need to move on! 

So I'm going slightly larger in my plein air work - yes, an 8x10 feels large when you're outside with the weather and light changing every 10 minutes. (It's almost twice the real estate of a 6x8!) I've gone up to 11x14 for a couple of studio paintings and I'm aiming at some larger pieces this month.

Above is a collage of a few landscape studies I did in April. A few were in class, and a couple were painted from demos in Elizabeth Tolley's book.
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