I've been a bit remiss in my blog posting, but have been busy at work in the studio. Life in general is busy too... we have a new rescue puppy named Lily (she's awesome!), and with two kids life seems constantly in motion. In the studio I've been working slowly on some paintings on panel.
Besides the slowly-developing works on panel, I also wanted to make some small scale and affordable art for the holiday season. That's right! A Studio Sale! I'm creating a series of small work, some on un-stretched canvas that will be matted, ready for framing. Prices will be in the $50-$100 range.
Some pieces are drying, and I'll post them right after the Thanksgiving holiday. In the meantime, I'm going to jump start the Studio Sale with a small work on panel. This painting is of a hawk, flying low over the trees. Hawks fascinate me. On one hand they're gorgeous and it's always a little thrill to see them. On the other hand they are big enough to carry away any one of my chickens, so I really don't want to see them around my yard.
A small hint of paintings to come: birds, bees, salt marshes and chickens.
Also, please take a moment to look through my available paintings. You just might see the perfect painting to give as a gift or keep for yourself....
On a personal note, I wanted to mention the loss of our beloved greyhound Soprano. I know that I've mentioned him on this blog before. We adopted Soprano from Greyt Expectations, an organization based in Maryland. He was almost 5 years old when we brought him home to live with us, which is quite old for a retired racer. Two years ago Soprano moved across country with us, and I like to think that he enjoyed his last years of retirement out here in California. This last summer he would go out on the deck to bask in the sun, then come back indoors to find a nice cool spot to doze. He was really starting to show his age & was slowing down, but after we got our Lab puppy Bella, Soprano found new energy. Bella showed him how to play, run and bark at neighbor dogs again, which was so great to see. We'll miss our gentle boy.
It's been crazy busy the last few weeks. Life has gotten hectic with both planned events and the unexpected curveballs that usually come flying out of nowhere when one is already feeling maxed out. Things are looking up though, and I'm anticipating some much needed studio time coming up. I love this time of year, before the rush of the holidays start displacing studio time.
I did have the opportunity to dust off my little French easel and take it out on site. A friend and I packed a lunch and headed out to a favorite spot of mine. It was gorgeous and we vowed to come back as soon as we could. It got me back into the practice of painting outdoors again, which I really love. There's something about the immediacy of Plein Air painting that resonates with me, and it was nice to reconnect with that.
My neighbors have this lovely Redwood grove in their driveway. There are days, particularly when the light is just right, or a there's a bit of fog left to the morning, when this view just pulls me in. It's so great to have this on our little road, where every-day errands and business has my family in the car and rushing everywhere. It's nice to slow down & just pay attention to our everyday surroundings.
I made this painting with a special event in mind. My children's school has their annual fundraiser. It's a small public school, and with the severe education budget cuts, it seems more important than ever to pull together as a community and give our kids the best education and resources that we can. This painting is being donated to the upcoming Gala and Auction. Being relatively new to this unique community, I'm looking forward to making my contribution.
It's coming up on our two year anniversary of moving to California. Our first winter here was memorable. We were renting a beautiful, yet remote house here in the Santa Cruz Mountains. In the master bedroom was a large window, and framed perfectly in that window was this Redwood tree. The marine layer would pour in from the Pacific nightly, and every morning this tree would loom, ghostly and magestic. I began this painting while renting that house, and put it away for a while. Recently I pulled it back onto the easel, and finished those delicate layers of fog, of morning light, of a hint of blue sky behind that morning grey.
The calendar says September 1st, which for me and a lot of people means back to school and back to work. Summer flew by as we were busy with back to back house guests. All together we had over 30 days of visitors. I got to the studio when I could, but mostly I embraced summer for what it was... time to be with my kids and enjoy playing tourist with our company.
So last week, the kids began their school year, and I've been getting reacquainted with my studio work. September for me is officially the New Year. This is the time of year where I make plans and resolutions. My deadline is next June, when the kids get out for the next summer break and havoc resumes. I've picked up where I left off, and I have my list of goals and plans. I'm working on a painting which will be offered for auction at the local school's fundraising Gala. The 20"x20" sized canvases will continue, and I'll start a new batch of small scale work priced for holidays & tight budgets. There is also a large canvas in my studio that I'm stalking.
Hopefully I'll be back to my previous blog posting schedule.
I got another commission to paint another bee hive for friends. The first bee hive depicted their lovely view from the Santa Cruz Mountains. This one would feature Magnolia blossoms, as this is the preferred food source for these particular bees.
The hive box arrived, all plain wood. Here I primed the sides & gave the front a coat of artist's grade gesso...
The finished box, all varnished & ready for it's new occupants. I'll post pics of that too when I get the opportunity!
Apologies for the quiet this week. My mother is visiting from Vermont, and so the studio work is on hold for right now. Last week, in addition to working on the new paintings with bees, I also worked on another commissioned piece. I was asked to paint another custom beehive. So that one is completed and delivered. I'll be sure to post pictures of that project early next week. I'm not sure if the bees have been moved into their new home, but I sure hope that they like their pretty new digs.
I also wanted to mention that I got a thoughtful mention in a local blog. Check out the YouTube link she has on the site titled Pacific Coast Highway Drive. It gives you some idea of this local landscape that I'm exploring out here. Plus her site is a wonderful exploration of all things California Coast, in particular Highway 1.
About the painting: This painting is based on one of our many visits to the Outer Banks of NC with my family. Standing on that sandy beach, a bank of clouds approached. The light & sea changed color, and the storm just passed to the south of us, so we didn't have to rush to pack up our blanket & kid's sand toys.
I was commissioned to paint the front panel of this new beehive for friends. I was thrilled to hear that my friend S. was on her way home with approximately 20,000 bees, all in cardboard boxes on the backseat of her car. I got to hear about how heavy the box was, and how it felt warm to the touch. I couldn't wait to come see the bees in their new home.
I've been told that the bees like having the painting on their hive. It helps them find their way home. They apparently are loving the magnolia blossoms nearby and beat a steady path back and forth all day. I look forward to trying some of their honey.
I received a commission to paint a front panel of a new beehive. The hive belongs to friends, and I'm looking forward to visiting their new bees. The view depicted is from their house, of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The panel, albeit a bit crooked & blurry & with a fair amount of glare:
I'll post more photos later, of the beehive in it's new location, with the new occupants.