BIG practice. BIG bargain.
"When are you going to do some BIG landscape paintings?" she asked. And he asked. And they asked.
Well, the truth is anything much above 16 x 20 sets my mind in a whirl. So, this summer, I am facing my fears, taking out my bigger brushes and giving it a go. Facing a big white canvas is daunting. To get myself in gear I prepared the surfaces of a few older paintings and I am painting over them. The Old Masters did this all the time, so who I am to argue with the practice?
This painting of lavender at Sonoma's Matanzas Creek winery is painted over a painting done in a class a few years ago. It measures 24" x 30" which is a great size for a guest room, or over a couch or table or on an entry wall if you need decorating ideas. If it were a "new" painting, this size would sell for $2150.
However, I consider this one of my BIG studies and I am getting ready to break out and buy some brand new large canvasses. So, if you would like to have it for your collection at a BIG price break - make an offer. Anything over 1/4 price (that's $430) will be entertained. Not exactly an auction - but the best offer this week takes it. I can use the money for more paint and larger canvasses! Send me an email if you are interested.
UPDATE: Thank you for all the offers! This went to a new home on Monday, August 4th.
Vacation Memories and Shopping
Vacationers often wander into shops to pick up a souvenir from their holiday. A T-shirt, a jar of local berry jam, a Christmas tree ornament…or even a painting. Here are some paintings from vacation spots - an ocean beach, a country farm, a mountain trail. I think having a piece of art that reminds you of a special place can trigger lots of positive feelings. So if you see something that tugs at your heart while you are traveling this summer - buy it! You will be supporting a local artist in doing what they love and you will have a memory to take home.
On the subject of shopping, I have linked up with Fine Art America to offer print-on-demand copies of original paintings. These prints are created from photographs of the paintings and are available as stretched canvas, framed paper prints and more. You can choose the size and format that works best for your space, and you have control over pricing based on your choices. While I earn a small royalty from the sale, the transaction is with this well-established company. From what I have seen, the quality of their materials is first-rate, and they offer a money-back guarantee.
I will continue to offer signed giclee prints and photographic prints directly through the studio, using photographers and printers that I have hand-picked to create reproductions of my work.
Original paintings are available directly through the studio, at shows and at select retailers. Currently, there is work hanging at the Marin Society of Artists Gallery in Ross, CA, and at Weathered Nest in Mill Valley, CA.
This week I am experimenting with water-soluble oil paints, which are "real" oil paints but can be cleaned up with soap and water as opposed to solvents.
I put a set in my travel easel which I keep in the car for spur of the moment landscape stops. The colors are not quite as vibrant as my usual paints, but I think they proved successful for this small (6"x8") morning painting at Pacheco Pond.
It will be interesting to see how it goes in different light and weather conditions, and to see what kind of colors I can mix up with this new recipe.
An artist is an editor. When faced with a vast scene, choices must be made about composition and where to focus attention. When I was walking on the beach in St. Augustine, Florida, my visual senses were assaulted with sun, ocean, sand, and people. My emotional senses were tapped, too. This was a beach where I spent time with my late parents and brother, and I had not been back to Florida in many years. I was in a contemplative mood when I made my sketches and when I started to paint I knew I wanted to reflect an intimate connection to the location. Though I usually paint from life, this painting was made from my reference sketches and the remembrances of the shadows, the warmth of the sunlight on the sand, the haze of the spring sky, the sound of the waves and the scent of the ocean in the air.
This 8" x 10" painting will be available at Open Studios in May.
Gather ye haystacks while ye may!
I have always loved Claude Monet's "Haystack" paintings - a series of paintings studying the effects of light on the piles of hay on his property in Giverny, France. When I travel in farm country, I am always looking for painting locations with bales of hay in the fields. Sometimes the bales are rolled and round, and other times they are cubed. But this summer, I was quite dismayed to find bales of hay shrink wrapped in white plastic. It's not a look that makes for a painting I want to paint! Here's a hay painting I did, called "Sonoma Hay." The original was sold, but prints are available. I am headed to Sonoma this week for a day or two of painting. I will be on the hunt for unwrapped hay bales before they disappear from the landscape!
Not quite a farm girl...
I grew up in New York City. On weekend visits to my grandparents home in the country, I had casual encounters with a large vegetable garden, some chickens and rabbits. Occasionally, I dug worms and caught a fish from the lake. Not a sheep, goat, horse, cow or barn in sight. But now, farms are one of my favorite things to paint. Go figure!
My Northern California home offers great access to the agricultural land in West Marin, Sonoma and Napa. The colors of the fields, hills, mountains, vineyards and vistas change faster than the colors of the neon lights on Broadway.
Here are a few recent farm paintings. "Grazing" was painted this spring in Sonoma, and today the little lambs are being sent to a new home in Massachusetts where they'll live happily ever after.
The show's over, pick a winner.
Mt. Tamalpais, Bayfront Park Spring, 20 x 40 Oil
Hanging an art show takes time and patience. The opening night of a show over in a flash. Then the show hangs, until it's time to take it down. Pieces that have sold are delivered to new collectors, and the rest is packed up and taken back to the studio.
My June landscape show opening (at Alain Pinel in Mill Valley, California) had over 100 visitors for art, conversation, and a glass of wine. It was a great opportunity to show my latest work to old and new friends, collectors and interested guests.
If you weren't able to see the show in person, here's a look at some of the new, and still-available paintings, all beautifully framed. Click on the image for a larger view, size and price:
Mill Valley Depot, 11 x 14 Print, $50.
Tomorrow it will be time to load boxes, padding and tools into the back of the Prius and unhang it all. Some pieces are headed to new homes, others are headed to photography for prints and notecards. But tonight, I will put away wet paints and clean out the studio to make room for what's coming back. And I pick a winner - not a painting, but a person.
At every show, I ask people to sign a guest book and one person is randomly selected to win a print. This time, the print was "Mill Valley Depot," and winner is Lydia Maroevich. Congratulations!
Report from the Field of Greens
My second week at Chalk Hill Residency starts with a whipping wind, but I am not going to let that get me down. On Monday morning, I set up outside, close to the house, to stay out of the elements. I paint the shed attached to the farmhouse. (The color is a nice switch from all the green.) I sketch from inside the farmhouse and from inside the car at various locations on the property.
When it’s too windy to be outside any longer, I head inside and make color charts to help me keep my greens straight.
In the evenings, I paint small still life paintings of the very interesting and colorful objects around the house.
The “field study” is emerging – my pencil thumbnail drawings have made way for small color sketches. The first painting was done at 10 a.m. on Monday. By Wednesday, the weather has improved, and over the course of the week, if I happen to be near the field, I begin each painting on the hour, working quickly to capture the light and shadows.
On Saturday, the field looked entirely different because red clover was opening all over! If my suspicions are correct, my muse could be glowing magenta in a few days – won’t that be fun to paint!
We had visitors this week. On Thursday a group of watercolor artists from a Sonoma mental health program came to paint, and we talked about how to use color to paint a landscape, with cool colors in the background and warm colors in the foreground to create depth. It was great to be able to share art with this delightful group which comes to visit once during each artist's stay.
On Friday, Klea and Nikki, the creators of the San Francisco-based art blog, “In the Make,” came for a studio and site visit. We had dinner at Alice's house, shared a bottle of local wine and they spent the night in the residency house before heading out on the road for a series of more studio visits from here to Vancouver, British Columbia.
An observation. The field study, laid out on the table in front of the window facing the field captures the attention of each person who comes into the farmhouse. And every one has a definite opinion on which “o’clock” is their favorite.
If the point of an artist residency is to devote time to a practice, and to explore and experiment - it is working. I may or may not come away with great paintings, but I realize now that may not be relevant. In just two weeks I have learned that I can spend hours, days, weeks focused on making art without major distraction. I begin to understand that I have a process, and am evolving a practice that is a great learning experience.
Oh, and I am finally figuring out "green."
I was up in the Sierra Mountains last weekend, having a mini-vacation at Lake Tahoe. While much the U.S. is deep in winter, there had been no new snow in Northern California since the end of December, and what was left was under the shade of majestic pines.
Painting the light effects on snow is challenging fun. I found myself reaching for white paint, but always mixing it with yellow for the bright spots and tempering it with blue and red in the shade. The sky over the lake was very bright -- more yellow than blue -- and the trees created dark silhouettes. I used big brushes and worked hard not to fuss, so it has an abstract quality -- packed into just 8 x 10 inches.
Large and beautiful pine cones were to be found all over the lakeside property, but none were more exquisite than the artful interpretation of this pine cone-inspired dessert at the Lone Eagle Grille at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort.
Called a "Baked Tahoe," this confection is built with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream upon a layer of thin brownie, covered in soft marshmallow meringue peaks that receive a toasting with a culinary blowtorch.
It's a dessert you won't want to miss -- share it with a friend!
Several months ago, I commented on a Facebook friend's picture of her three beautiful children on a beach, "I would LOVE to paint that."
What a thrill and surprise to get a message a few weeks ago asking if I would be interested and able to paint the image as a Christmas gift for the children's father.
Painting on an inch-thick birch panel treated with traditional gesso (marble dust and rabbit-skin glue), with brush and palette knife, allows the juicy texture of the paint brushstrokes to show on the surface.
It's an impressionistic landscape portrait that was a joy to paint. If you have a favorite image or location you would like captured and interpreted in oil paint, I'd be happy to discuss a commission with you!
About the artist
Linda Rosso is a California artist who delights in the colors she sees out of the corners of her eyes. Read more...
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