Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Original Oil Painting Cyclamen Blue Bird of Happiness

Cyclamen with Blue Bird of Happiness


12" x 12"
Painted on gessobord.

I bought myself a cyclamen plant for Christmas. I thought it would be fun to paint. I found it a bit of a challenge with its' flame like petals going everywhere but the festive Christmas red and green is just what I was in the mood for this holiday.
 Happy Holidays everyone!


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Original Oil Painting Hydrangea



10" x 10"
Painted on gessobord.

Yeah, the sun finally arrived today. I was so happy and painting this pretty, blue, purple cluster was just what I needed. This beautiful hydrangea is a perfect addition to my series: Big Flowers on Small Boards. I used a reference photo by Orphie Barella, which is shown below. The photo looked a little washed out so I used photo shop to increase the color and contrast. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Original Oil Painting Boulder Wash

Boulder Wash

12" x 12"
Painted on gessobord.

I painted this using Cindy Deadrick's photo for inspiration. It reminds me of the Wisconsin Dells area in my state: Wisconsin. It has been so cloudy here for weeks that I am having trouble getting a good picture of it. I will put it away for today and take another look at it on a sunny day. Thanks for viewing.

Well I tried photographing it again and no luck. It was another grey, windy day in Oshkosh,Wisconsin. I can't remember the last time I saw the sun for more than a few minutes. The price we pay for not having to shovel snow.  

Friday, December 11, 2015

Original Oil Painting Pom Pom Pansy

Pom Pom Peony


10" x 10"
Painted on gessobord.

Painting with lots of fractured color can be a challenging but I can't seem to ignore what I see. Yes I do exaggerate color a bit to express the feeling I get looking at the flower. The first thing I noticed was the bright yellow green in the peony. It seem to show up everywhere I looked. The white petals in the center seem so reflective of the environment that surrounds them, I love how they frame the golden, furry ball in the center. The gold center seems to glow through the petals, how captivating.

 When I saw this photo that is what caught my attention and that is what I tried to express in my painting.
 The photo was from Gladys Ning.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Original Oil Painting Bright and Fuzzy

Bright and Fuzzy

10" x 10"

Painted on gessobord.

I found these crazy little flowers on Morque File. com. It is a free photo reference site for artists. What attracted me to these flowers were their bright florescent orange and fuzzy centers. I have no idea what they are. If you know please email me. I am going to see if I get a responds from Melodi2 on the site where I found the photo and see if she knows. These cuties sure make me want to shout or am I crazy too? It was a blast painting them.  

I think they are call nasturtiums, Alaska flower?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Original Oil Painting Iris

Reflective Iris


10" x 10"
Painted on gessoboard . 

I completed the iris today. I spent about two hours going over the whole painting. This is a slower process. Towards the end I am adjusting colors with some glazing and painting with more nuggets of color. I check highlights to make sure they are clean and bright. I look for any muddy colors and correct them with a fresh stroke of color. I did add a discord color with the blue to draw attention to areas but only in small amounts. I also added a tint of lemon green to reflective parts. This has to be done very carefully or it can quickly muddy things up. Thanks for viewing my painting and if you would like to know more about my process please scroll down. Have a great Thanksgiving and now I need to walk the dog and make pies!! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My process steps for an Iris painting.

Step One

Sketch in basic shapes of the iris and a few shadow shapes to remind me of where the light is coming from. Then paint in the background. This is where I am thinking of using the dark values of green and yellow ochre. I mix olive green and transparent red with a little black and ultra marine blue to start putting in the dark areas on the top mostly. I am not worried if I leave spaces between the paint strokes because I will use a soft brush and blend the whole area together. On the bottom half I use transparent red, yellow orchre, a little purple, and permanent rose. The background is painted smoothly with a soft brush. This gives me a good background to paint on later with stems, leaves, buds etc. 

Step Two

Now I draw my attention to the iris. I am painting from a reference photo. I decided to start with the top and work my way down mixing a variety of yellows, golds, and white. I mark the dark values first and then a few of the lightest areas. This way I get a feeling of form. 

Step Three

This is the step where I really start painting. I have premixed several of the values I see in the yellow petals. I have a sense of form to work with so now I start from the edge of the petal and paint to the center of the petal with beautiful brushstrokes and clean colors.  I consider this the fun part! Not worrying about mistakes because with oil paint it is very easy to change things later. This is a great time to watch for beautiful nuggets of color. So if I see a nugget of lemon yellow color or pure cadmium yellow deep while painting the shadows, I just pop it in. Sometimes, I will have a couple of brushes going at once. One brush for dark values and one brush for light values.

Step Four

Here is the yellow petal filled in. I know the whole thing will be evaluated later and probably changed several times but I do not want to continue on it until I get the bottom filled in. Everything in a painting relates to each other. It is nearly impossible to paint one part to 100 % finish without the other areas at least filled in.

 This is also a great time for a break. Put a load of wash in, feed the dog, take out the trash, stretch, get a snack, etc. Nothing to stressful or requiring brain power, I save that for painting. It is amazing how many decisions you make when you create. I use to tell my students it is not unusual to feel your brain racing, it always happens when you are creating! If it isn't you're probably stuck and do not know what to do. That would be a good time to get advice. 

Step Five

Now that I have taken a small break, I cleaned my palette and premixed colors for the bottom half of the iris which is mostly warm purples with bits of gold on the edges and center. 

I love mixing colors! When I taught art, I would mix almost as many different colors as students in the class. Of course the primary colors, secondary colors, white and black usually were repeated a couple of times. I would spend 30- 40 minutes mixing beautiful colors, it was always fun seeing the students eyes light up when they saw the choices they had.

Step Six

Here I go marking the different color areas. Noticing the large color areas in the middle of the petal and the small fractured shapes around the edges to give it a ruffle affect. Just having fun trying to keep the colors clean. 

Step Seven

I painted the bottom petals just like I did the top yellow ones: working from the edges to the center of each purple petal. Trying to make beautiful brushstrokes and keep the colors clean are my top priorities. While doing this step I notice the reflective lavender color in the gold petals. If I notice something I put it in right away so I don't have to try and remember it later.

Step Eight

I added some strong highlights to the yellow and call it a day. I need to walk away for a longer time to get a fresh look. So now would be a good time to take my dog Tuck for a walk.

Step Nine

Taking the dog for a walk!

Step Ten

Started working on the background. I used a Q tip to wipe some areas off where the buds will go.

Step Eleven

When I finished the background I hated the white in the purple petals. It was too obnoxious. This is where I do not look at the photo much. I focus totally on the painting. What looks good for the painting is more important than having the painting look exactly like the photo.  I will post the finished painting tomorrow.  

Monday, November 23, 2015

Original Oil Painting Disco Pansies

Disco Pansies

10" x 10"
Painted on a gessobord.

These multi color pansies are vibrate and disco like. They make an excellent addition to my big flowers on small boards. When you look at them do you feel the urge to tap your fingers or toes? 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Original Oil Painting Rose Blossoms

Rose Blossoms

16" x 20"
Painted on linen panel. 

I painted this using a combination of photos. One for the vase and another for everything else. Of course there are little ideas of my own all over the place.  I made the bowl the flowers are lying in silver, to reflect the colors around it. The ties hanging off the pot help pull the viewers eye in. The background which I did first was a bit of a challenge. I wanted it to use all the colors I plan to use in the painting put making them a darker shade to help them recede. The pattern I painted as if it was on a shear transparent fabric, something elegant to go with the roses. Now the roses are more like bush roses. Those I stuck mostly to the photo reference but just push the color contrast more. I was going for a warm, elegant, look. 

Thanks for viewing my painting.

This is what it looks like framed.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Original Oil Painting Rainbow Lily

Rainbow Lily

10" x 10"
Painted on gessobord.

This is the third painting in my series of large flowers on small boards. I used one of my own lily photos. These lovely white oriental lilies are usually my last lilies to bloom. They do have a purple tint to the edges and the white reflects a lot of color. I really pushed the tints in this painting and need to leave it for today. If I feel it is too strong I will probably glaze white over some of the tints in the center when it drys a bit.

I looked at it today and I declare it finished! If you like, please visit my gallery. I place it on auction today.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Original Oil Painting Goldies


10" x 10"
Painted on gessobord

This is the second painting of my series of big flowers on small boards.
Big thanks to Dan Edmundson's  photo reference!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Original Oil Painting Rosie



10" x 10"
Painted on gessobord.

First painting in a series of big flowers on small boards. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Original Oil Painting Lily Bouquet

Lily Bouquet

12" x 12"
Painted on gessobord.

These are some of my lilies. They all bloom in the middle of summer. I took several pictures of them for later references. This painting was based on one of those reference photos. Lilies are a favorite of mine. They make excellent cut flowers because they are so sturdy and their bold colors are always a joy to paint. The vase is a rummage find from a long time ago. I can not believe this is the first time I painted it.  Thanks for viewing my lily painting. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Original Oil Painting Watermelon and Vintage Shakers

Watermelons and Vintage Shakers


12" x 12"
Painted on gessobord. 

This was a painting assignment where I painted from a photo of watermelons and silver dollars. I added my vintage salt and pepper shakers as a surprise.  There is such a rich watermelon color in the photo and I tried to push it to the max. Since there is so many round things in the photo, the shakers make a nice complement. The delicate shakers, transparent silver dollars and the powerful watermelon make a feast for the eyes. I hope your eyes are hungry?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Original Oil Painting Tipped Apples

Tipped Apples

12" x 12"


The leaves this year in Wisconsin are gorgeous! So my dog Tuck and I went on a walk gathering all the lovely leaves. I took about 60-70 pics of leaves, apples and Indian corn. I painted this from one of my favorite photos of the day. Can you tell that I photograph them in direct sunlight? 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Original Oil Painting Alexandra

Girl in a Straw Hat

12" x 12" 
Painted on gessobord.

I added the glazes on today! Glazing was on the shadows mostly giving them warmth and uniformity. I also darken the hair and shoulder on the right pushing it back into the shadows. A glaze is a little paint with lots of medium. I use walnut oil for my medium, less toxic than others. I use it to adjust colors when the paint is dry to the touch. The photo below is what it looked like before I glazed.


I am waiting for it to dry and to add glazing.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Original Oil Painting Geese

16" x 20"
Painted on stretch canvas.
This is a composite landscape. I used several photos of Moraine Park, Colorado to paint the background. I added the geese from my backyard to the painting. Surroundings can have a great influence. Thanks to all my geese friends!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Original Oil Painting Fenced Out

Fenced Out


9" x 12"
Painted on gessobord.

This is a fun little painting. I like how the fence frames the house in the distance. At first I was going to call it "Fenced In " but the more I looked at it I felt the opposite. Here is the first signs of winter with a little of snow creeping in under the fence. As we all know winter is coming and there is no stopping it.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Original Oil Painting Corn and Onions

Sunflowers Feast 

16" x 20"
Painted on Raphael Premium Linen Panel

Here is a nice autumn painting! This is another painting I made for my weekly paint class. I just finished a commission portrait that I can not post because it is going to be a gift. The portrait was such a challenge that it made this one a blast. The object of the lesson was to use as many brush and palette techniques as possible. See if you can count all the different paint applications.  

Friday, October 2, 2015

Original Oil Painting Mountain Stream

Mountain Stream

Not for Sale 

12" x 12"
Painted on gessobord.

This is a painting of the Maroon Bell Mountains in Colorado. I painted it in a thick painterly way using the palette knife most of the time. It will take a little longer to dry but I like the effect of the palette knife. It was a nice break from brushes and was excellent practice for me. I hope you enjoy my mountain stream painting with all the gorgeous nuggets of reflective colors. I love all the colors of fall but the fresh crisp color of spring is something I always look forward to year round.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Original Oil Painting Rock'n Gondolas

Rock'n Gondolas 

14" x 18"
Painted on gessobord. 
This is a painting I made for my weekly painting class. It was the hardest one so far. I gave the background a white glaze to push it back to create depth in the atmosphere. When I painted the poles I tried to hint at a little back lighting so if you look close you will see colors on the edges where the sun is passing by. I spent a lot of time on the water. It seems to me that the water plays a big part as the boats do.  I love painting water and with all the reflective colors it was a blast! The poles were the hardest because if I messed up then I had to touch up the water or on one pole the sky. I hope you enjoying looking at my painting, a lot of work and time went into it but I feel every minute was worth it.   

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Original Oil Painting Eggs in Glass Bowl

Eggs in Glass Bowl


12" x 12"
Paint on gessobord.

My friend, Mary gave me this lovely glass bowl. So with a little trail and error I came up with this composition. The complexity of the cut glass design was quite a challenge but it worked so well with the simplicity of the eggs and knife I decided to go with it. So with lots of patience, many breaks and luck the bowl turned out. Painting something like this fractured glass design can make your eyes go dizzy so I took one section at a time, one dab of color at a time. I hope you can see all the work I put into this painting and hopefully I captured the sparkling bowl for my viewers. Thanks for taking a look and leave a comment if you would like.  

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Original Oil Painting Autumn Harvest

Autumn Harvest


12" x 12"
Painted on gessobord.

Went to the grocery store yesterday and saw this colorful squash. I knew immediately this was going to be my next painting. So I looked around for vegetable compliments and found some roma tomatoes, pea pods and scallions. Now to get home and put a display together before someone eats it! My husband is very considerate and usually asks: "Donna can I eat this or are you going to paint it?" What a nice guy!

 Below is the photo I took of my still life. 


Monday, September 14, 2015

Original Oil Painting Glazed Vase

Glazed Vase

12" x 12"
Painted on gessobord.

I took a few days off to straighten up the house and yard. The garage is clean, the basement is sorted out and the flower bed is gone. I still have enough flowers to paint from but this one flower bed was too big to keep the weeds out so now it will be grass.
Well now that I have my chores done, I can focus on my painting.  I hope you like my little glazed vase. You probably have seen flowers in a vase but now you can see a vase in flowers. Yes, the top is slated and the black eye daisies are from my garden. These are the ones I saved. Even thou they look a little worn out, they fit the painting nicely.

I posted a photo of the still life I was working from below. Thanks for viewing. 


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Original Oil Painting Jim's Cattle

Jim's Cattle


12" x 12"
Painted on gessobord.

I painted this using a reference photo a generous neighbor let me download. The photos had only grass in for background. I decided it needed a little more so I added: pine trees, stream, rocks, fence post and a lot more color. My favorite cow is the closest. She is not having anymore of this silly business and is heading off the painting. Hopefully she does not take the viewers with her. What do you think? What part is your favorite?  
Here is the reference photo:

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Original Oil Painting Late Summer Golden Daisies

Late Summer Golden Daisies 

12" x 12"
Painted on gessobord. 
These are some golden daisies that came up with my petunias this year. I did not intentionally plant them. They must of been tagging along with the petunia plants I bought. What a nice surprise and that is what painting should have. I am always looking for happy little surprises with the brush strokes. Finding hits of color here and there in my still life and playing with them. Thanks for viewing my painting and I hope you find surprises in your day, too!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Original Oil Painting Pitcher and Glass

Golden Pitcher and Glass
12" x 12"
Painted on gessobord. 
I painted this from one of the challenge photos on DPW. The challenge was to paint with your other hand. Well, I did not so I will not submit it to the challenge. I just loved the photo reference I had to paint it. My challenge was to make everything around the vivid pitcher to look just as vivid. So the blues flower and glass had their colors intensified compared to the colors in the reference photo. Can you tell that I like color? 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Original Oil Painting Begonia

Begonias in final stages.

This is a begonia study I am doing for my class. The objective is to make the background more abstract. I will see how it looks tomorrow and add any final changes. I know the center top background color will be darken and probably have some other colors to it. It is just too annoying. I am also thinking the green is too dense, some holes might be added to give it more an airy feel. So far the flowers are ok except the two bottom ones look like twins. These are the things I look at when I am finishing up. It is a process, when you change one thing it can make you want to change another. Please check back tomorrow and see what happens. Thanks for viewing. 


9" x 12"
Painted on gessobord. 

This is the final. I hope you can see the changes. Some of the leafs are lighter and not as heavy. I introduced blue washes and nuggets of blue to open up the the middle more. Soften and lighten all around the edges of the painting to keep the viewers' eyes  from leaving. Added final details to the center of focus (clusters of flowers in the middle) making them cleaner and brighter. After all that the blue top background only needed a little tweaking and the painting came alive!