Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 53

Lavender Field Study, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

This study took about an hour, and was painted on location at the Loess Hills Lavender Farm. After the study, I started a larger version of the scene, but will have to finish that one in the studio, as it was nearing 100 degrees and the shade from the tree I was under had moved, and the wind broke my shade umbrella. (Did I mention I was a plein air diva?)

The hills of Iowa are so incredibly beautiful to me.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 52

Melancholy Pear sees the beauty around him, and is Happy
6 x 6 inch oil on panel, © 2012 Kathleen Coy

And this ends the story of Melancholy Pear. I hope you've enjoyed it. When I bought these pears, I didn't plan on a series of six paintings, but I was having so much fun, it was hard to stop. 

Here is a photo of the cast of characters, Melancholy Pear and Friend Pear. There was a third pear who played the role of Pear at the Support Group, but he was just an "extra" as they say in Hollywood, and my husband ate him. :-/

Melancholy Pear and Friend Pear are ripe now, and will be going to a better place. Thanks, guys. I will miss you. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 51

Friend Pear gives Melancholy Pear a Flower
6 x 6 inch oil on panel, © 2012 Kathleen Coy

Friend Pear keeps trying to cheer up Melancholy Pear. Will this do the trick?

It was fun to paint the other side of Melancholy Pear. He doesn't look quite as sad turned this way. 

I need to wrap this up soon. The pears are getting soft...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 50

Support Group for Melancholy Pear
6 x 6 inch oil on panel, © 2012 Kathleen Coy

In the ongoing drama of Melancholy Pear, we see him at a support group for depressed pears. Friend Pear tags along for moral support. 

I think I can paint Melancholy Pear in my sleep by now...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 49

Melancholy Pear and Friend Pear talk about it over a Cup of Coffee
6 x 6 inch oil on panel, © 2012 Kathleen Coy

The ongoing saga of Melancholy Pear. Will having coffee with a friend cheer him up?

I'm having fun with these pear paintings. Don't worry, I'll feel the need to paint something different soon...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 48

Everything Will Be Ok, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

Friend Pear comforts Melancholy Pear.  Thanks, Friend Pear. 

I really like the brush strokes and colors in this one. I didn't intend a pear series, but I bought several pears with leaves on them, and they all want to be part of a cast of characters.

* Cloud update: He is feeling better every day, and is off pain meds, starting today. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 47

Melancholy Pear, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

I found a few organic pears at the store that still had leaves on them, something I don't see often. This one, with it's bent shape and downward pointed stem caught my eye. Droopy little guy looks kind of sad. 

After painting from photos the last few days, it felt good to paint something from life. I like to do both, as there are advantages and disadvantages with each.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 46

Blue Steel, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

I painted this Monday while Cloud spent the day at the vet receiving IV fluids and was kept under observation. There was nothing to do but wait, and there was no question in my mind to paint him again, since he was all I could think about. I've wanted to paint this photo of him for a while - I call it his "Blue Steel" look, which is taken from the movie Zoolander, a comedy about the male modeling world. The hero, Derek Zoolander (three time VH1's Male Model of the Year,) gives his signature pouty-face "looks" different names. The joke is, they are all the same face:

The reason this painting is black and white, is because I received a free tube of special paint the last time I ordered some of my Gamblin brand of oils. Every year, Gamblin makes a color created by pigments taken from their air filtration system. They call their mix Torrit Grey, and give it away each year while supplies last. 

They have a competition every year of paintings created with only Torrit Grey, black and white. Maybe I'll enter it. 

I do love how this painting turned out. I hope you can feel how much I love my dog when you look at it. He means the world to me. He is on the mend, by the way. He is no longer on fluids, and is keeping food and water down. Still on pain meds, and getting lots of rest and love.

Here's more info on Torrit Grey:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 45

I am the Watcher on the Couch
6 x 6 inch oil on panel, © 2012 Kathleen Coy

We had a pretty big scare with Cloud on Sunday - we rushed him to the emergency vet clinic because he couldn't stop vomiting, and there was blood in it, and he was in a lot of pain. They got him stable and ran tests, and said they would call us when the results came back.

I painted this on Sunday while I was waiting for the doctor to call. Artwork is my solace and how I express myself. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I adore this little dog. I was a wreck, and painting him was a way to focus, and channel my anxiety. 

His blood work and x - rays came back pretty normal, and they kept him on pain meds and IV fluids overnight. We transfered him to his regular vet Monday morning. She treated him for pancreatitis, and monitored him all day. He is home now, resting quietly, still on pain meds. It may be 10 days before he is feeling better, she said.

About the painting, Cloud likes to hang out on the back of our couch so he can look out the window. He takes his guard duty very seriously. The title comes from George R.R. Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire. The oath that is sworn when a man "takes the black" and becomes a brother of the Night's Watch is very beautiful, and goes like this: 

"Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come."

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 44

Welcome to the Farmer's Market, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

Another study for my upcoming farmer's market series. I'm trying to get familiar here with the colors of asphalt in sun and shade. This little guy seemed to be welcoming people to the market. I've been enjoying taking photos every week.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Day 43

Tin Roof, Rusted
7 x 5 inch oil on panel, © 2012 Kathleen Coy

This one was painted on location at my friend Linda's farm. She has several lovely old barns, but this long, white building has always caught my eye, and this day I decided to paint it. I like the rusty old tank in front of it, too.

This painting gets it's name from a line in a song from the 80s. Bonus points if you know what it is.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 42

Fran, 7 x 5 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

Another pose painted at my figure drawing group. Again, the 40 minutes flew by. I like the sense of form here, the way the hips are stacked with the hand resting on them. 

For these figure sketches, I lay down a wash of paint thinned with odorless mineral spirits (Gamsol) first, then wipe out the form with a paper towel. I then paint shadow to light.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day 41

Kissing Nectarines, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

After the intricacy of yesterdays skull painting, I wanted to paint something loosely. This happy pair of nectarines looked like they were kissing as they ripened on the counter, so I set them up the same way in my studio. I rather like the colors in this one.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day 40

Turkey Skull, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

I found this turkey skull on ebay and thought it would make an excellent still life subject. I love skulls because they remind us of our mortality, as well as reminding us that there is far more to us than what we see as our physical bodies. As an artist, I'm interested in anatomy, and skulls fascinate me for that reason also. I find them incredibly beautiful.

This was a very complex painting, and I really took my time with the drawing and getting the proportions correct. Things like this require my entire focus and become a zen-like experience for me. 

Here is a shot after I had sketched it out with paint thinned with a little odorless mineral spirits, and a shot of the actual skull in the still life box:

I really enjoyed this one. Expect to see this skull show up in more paintings...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 39

Bridge Lights, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

We were on our way home from a rodeo last week, (I got lots of great reference photos for paintings!) and since I had my camera next to me, I was able to snap a quick pic as we went over the new bridge at night. This is my first time painting a night scene, and it was really fun for me. I'd like to do more of them.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Day 38

Shallot with Fresh Garlic, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

We bought a couple fresh garlic bulbs with the green tops still on them at the farmers market last weekend. My husband said I needed to paint the last one before he ate it. It seemed lonely on the still life table, so I had him pose with a shallot. They became good friends, and will probably end up together in a stir fry.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day 37

Blanket, 5 x 7 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

Another one painted at my figure drawing group. This pose was almost an hour, with 2 breaks for the model. I loved the blanket, but I didn't want to get too detailed with the pattern, because a. I didn't have time to get too detailed, and b. I like the look of suggesting details and letting the viewers eye fill in the rest. I really enjoyed painting this one. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 36

The Business of Being a Terrier, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

Well, here I am painting my dog Cloud again, just for the simple fact that he is so incredibly beautiful to me. (Not to mention, he is awesome and I'm crazy about him.) As much as Cloud loves to cuddle and be part of the family, once he's outside, he shifts into business mode. Anyone who knows a terrier knows what I'm talking about. The back yard is his domain, and he must constantly secure the perimeter and be vigilant for any small invaders of the furred or feathered kind. He is so business-like in his demeanor, I always get a kick out of watching him.

On to the painting, it feels like a break-though piece for me - the looseness of the brushstrokes and the strong values is what I've been reaching for. I am incredibly happy with this piece.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day 35

Cadmium Red Light, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy
Click for purchase information.

This color is on my palette 99% of the time, whether it's a limited palette of only a few colors, or my main palette of 11 colors. The reason there is yellow paint on this tube is because I always lay my colors out in the same order, with yellow coming before red, and for the life of me I can't open any tube of yellow paint without getting some of it on my hands. Hence the yellow paint on all my other paint tubes.

In case you were wondering, this tube of red paint is Gamblin. Gamblin's Cadmium Yellow Light looks like Windsor Newton's Cad Lemon, which kind of bugs me. So instead, I use Windsor Newton's Cadmium Yellow Pale for my bright, sunny yellow. Colors can vary between brands, which is irritating in a way, but good when you find one that seems better than the others.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 34

Don's Jar, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy
Click for purchase information.

My husband had some new pottery fired in our friend's wood kiln last week. Our friend Don had some pieces in the firing as well. When we opened the kiln a few days later, amidst all of the beautiful pottery sat this little jar of Don's. I loved the shape of the jar, and the colors of the raw clay next to the green glaze on the top.

I knew right away I wanted to paint it. One of the benefits of hanging around with mud-slinging pyromaniacs (aka potters) is first dibs (usually, haha.) Since Don was out of town that day, everyone thought it would be ok if I took the jar home to paint. Hope you don't mind, Don. I'll give it back when you get home, I promise! ;-)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Day 33

Sally, 5 x 7 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

Another oil study painted at my figure drawing group. I had to move my seat to capture this view, but the trade-off was the lighting on my easel wasn't very good. I got a little frustrated trying to mix the right flesh tones, but once I got home and looked at it, I thought the colors turned out ok. I think I need to invest in a small clip-on light for my easel, (maybe similar to a Kindle light) in case I'm in another situation where I need more light on my palette. 

I rather like this one.