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New Oil Paintings

I continue to be inspired by my visit to the Burren in County Clare, Ireland last September. A new body of work is slowly starting to emerge in my studio, and I am in the midst of it all.

One of the challenges for this series has been my desire to incorporate a variety of mediums. To date: encaustic, oils, mixed media, even encaustic collagraphs, all depicting the Irish landscape, have started to take form.

Green Valley
oil on canvas
24” x 18”

 

Light in the Burren
oil on canvas
12” x 24”

The newest additions to the series are posted above. Working with oil paints has been an education in itself! I used photos I had taken and after establishing the general composition reached a point where I stopped looking at the photos and focused on re-creating a feeling rather than being exact to the actual photo. Color mixing has been a challenge as the oils beg to be combined; using a limited palette has forced me to learn color theory at it’s core. Most important to these landscape paintings has been to create wide open space, big sky, along with a purple tinge in the rolling limestone hills and mountains reflected by sun (or lack of it).

My next painting will feature the incredible stone walls seen during a visit to the Aran Islands. How can I have a series inspired by the Irish landscape without incorporating a stone wall or two?

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Overcoming the Fear of Painting Portraits

Artist Self-Portrait
12″x12″
Haley
8″x8″

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, after at least a decade (or two) of apprehension, I decided to take a workshop to learn how to paint portraits. Lora Murphy is an Irish artist I met a few years ago, and in September I attended the “Art and Soul Journey”, a 10 day trip to Ireland to learn about the people, places, and culture. The trip included art workshops offered by her and Kathryn Bevier at the Burren College of Art. I put what I learned from Lora on the back burner of my brain until most recently when I had to force myself to finally practice what she taught! It’s intimidating, trying to capture the essence of a personality, combined with accurate physical features. After several failed attempts I overcame insecurities and felt pretty good about this most recent self portrait attempt.

I used Lora’s color palette (her paints combine microcrystalline with encaustic) along with a strong contrast between lights, darks, shadows, and mid tones. Using her paints reminded me of watercolor – maintaining a focus on translucent layers and washes of color, always striving toward keeping the colors crisp and clean.

The portrait of Haley was challenging because there were very few shadows in the photo I used for reference. I tried to keep the skin tones pure and focused on facial planes more than the contrasting shadows.

Hopefully I will continue to practice painting portraits, I have my adult children I can use as models. It makes a difference to me that I am familiar (intimately) with the subject matter.

My self-portrait is currently included in “It Figures, 2017” at ARC Gallery

Exhibition dates: Nov 22 – Dec 16, 2017

Gallery hours: Wed-Sat 12-6pm Sunday 12-4pm

http://www.arcgallery.org

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Holiday Shows

All three of my submitted paintings (below) were accepted into “Imagine Denmark”, November 10 – 25, 2017, Kunstvaerket Galleri, Vitapark, Odder, Denmark. This is Denmark’s first International Encaustic show!

“Night Shadows” (below) is on display in Denver at the Knoll Gallery “Wax Stories II”, November 3 – January 6, 2018.

The Copley Society of Art annual Small Works Holiday Show opens November 9 – December 24, 2017 and will include the following five paintings, all inspired by my recent trip to Ireland.

Stone Wall in Ballyvaughan
mixed media on board
3.5″ x 2.5″
Out to Pasture
mixed media on board
2.5” x 3.5”
Roadside Freesia
mixed media on board
3.5” x 2.5”
Remember
mixed media on board
2.5” x 3.5”
Sacred Stones
mixed media on board
3.5” x 2.5”