Studio painting on a cold November day.

Medina Farmland
Studio painting 2013
Oil on Canvas

I love this farm.  This is a photo I took this summer.  I'd rather paint en plein air, but....it's been FREEZING here so my cozy studio won out.  I did this one on my own, trying to hear Larry Churski as I problem solved.  Oils are still very new to me...they are messy and clean up is time consuming...and I can't stay away from them!!!


Lessons with Larry November 2013

Late BloomerJoanne's Farm...Hinckly OH
So today I took my life in my hands as I boarded a four wheeler with wonderful Joanne (in her mid 80's!!!) and toured her beautiful farm that backs up against Hinckley Ledges.  I can't even describe the view of beautiful fall colors at the top of her hills.  Nor can I believe that she can drive like that at her age.  I hope to be as active and engaging at that age.  
I wanted to paint the white barn on her property, but something told me to take on the pond as it is the most difficult type of landscape for me and I am here to learn.  So...another day the barn. 
Larry is very patient with my slow starts.  I have so much to learn of this medium!


Virgil and beginning oils

pencil and charcoal on smooth vellum
Akron Society of Artists Model session

Harvest in Medina County
Oil on canvas
Lesson with Lawrence Churski

In my search for a local mentor/teacher, I've started lessons with Lawrence Churski.
He works in Oil and Watercolor...so I am learning oils, something I have always wanted to do!  Larry is funny, kind and an amazing artist.  If you want to see his beautiful work you can go to 
 Lawrence Churski Fine Art.  
Berlin Farm 
Amish Country, Berlin Ohio
Oil on Canvas
Palette knife and brush

This one I did in my studio from a photo taken a few weeks ago.  I was having problems...so I shot a picture of it to Larry and asked for suggestions.  He sent a laundry list of things to fix and as I did each one, I was amazed at how much more I liked it.  Learning my art ABC's all over again with a great teacher and a tricky medium.  


I know it's not the end of September...but this has been my best effort with the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.
I've done 20....some good, some better...and I'll be traveling tomorrow...resting on Sunday and back to work on Monday.  It's been a fantastic week at the Susan Ogilvie Workshop!  Next September, I'll be back for Richard Mckinley.  Life is good...can't wait to see my family and to be home for the weekly google chat with my children and grand babies!

Day 5 at Campbell FArm

Campbell Farmhouse

The last day of the Susan Ogilvie workshop.  It's been wonderful to paint such a wide variety of Plein air paintings in one week.  I've learned so much and have enjoyed being with Susan and a lot of wonderful artists.  I can see where I need to tweak this a bit...but it was a great day.


Campbell Farm

Beautiful old farm...so much to paint, it was hard to decide on a spot!

Campbell Farm
Soft Pastel on Wallis paper with red watercolor under painting

Susan Ogilvie....she did her demo at the end of the day today.

The Farm House
Susan's color study


Painting the hudson river

The Pond
My afternoon painting...please note...these are completely en plein air and need a bit of tweaking!

The Hudson River
My morning painting.  This scene is painted right in front of Frederic Edwin Church's home.

Susan Ogilvie at work...She just did an quick value/color study demo for us today so that we could get to our painting...and sold it unfinished right off the easel.  When asked if she was uncomfortable with selling it unfinished she replied that it would be one less thing to carry home and that the important things must have been in enough that someone else could see and feel the Hudson River valley in it!  

The persian style home of Frederic Church.  Our group watching Susan Ogilvie's demo.
If you haven't seen her finished work....check out her website.  She is as nice and approachable as her paintings are beautiful.  I just spent 45 minutes talking with just her about my art journey and she was really great...very humble but willing to share what ever she has learned.
Susan Ogilvie Fine Art


16 Daily paintings in 30 in 30 challenge

16 so far...when September runs out...I'm going back to spending more time on my paintings. This  has been a good experience to get down what is important quickly and to have 16 starts in 24 days...I've also learned that painting anything from life whether  a model or landscape or still- life...always lends to a painting that is more fresh...

In October...I'm starting a new medium...I'm very excited...oil painting!


Frederic Edwin Church Estate Farm
Heaven....blue sky and red barns all in the same place.
Soft Pastel on Wallis with a wash of orange pastel under tone

Frederic Edwin Church was a famed Hudson River painter.  His estate is beautiful including a persian style mansion called Olana.  The day was bright, with a bit of wind...which knocked my easel over twice! (luckily my pastels weren't opened yet or their would have been tears!) A nice young man at home depot assisted me in a few minor repairs on my easel boards since I'm useless without Mike.  All in all, a beautiful, beautiful day.   

A little closer look at my painting....

Susan Ogilvie blocking in her demo with a neutral warm Nupastel

The group...it did warm up and those layers were coming off in the afternoon.  

Susan Ogilvie's color study for the day...She'll take it back to the studio, work on it for about 45 minutes...and it will be amazing.  She is a great teacher...very kind to everyone.  Offers principles so that you can learn to correct yourself after she has shown you on your own painting.  She has helped me immensely with getting the right values in at the beginning and worrying about color later.  I was pretty excited after yesterday's value lesson at my easel...to have the right initial values in when she came around my easel early into my painting.  I'm amazed at how much the value sketch has helped me before I even get to my board both with composition and value.


A Sunny Monday in NY

Susan Ogilvie Workshop!!!
My Morning Color Study
Greenville, NY Green County

What a beautiful blue sky day...I'm windburned...but not sunburned because I was covered from head to toe...it was a chilly September day!  I couldn't take in enough of the beauty and joy in being able to capture a little piece of it.  

My Afternoon Color study

Friendly admirers

They wanted to be in the picture too!
Susan Ogilvie's Color Study


My Mother's mason jars Day 17

My Mother's Mason Jars
Soft Pastel on Wallis Paper with a red watercolor underwash

My mother was a canner.  And I being the only daughter, with four brothers...was her assistant...sometimes willing and regrettably, sometimes not.  Those were hot sweltering summers in Pennsylvania peeling peach after peach and pitting cherries. 
 I did some canning when the children were small and Mike had a massive garden...or I would have Mabel a sweet grandma to our family do it for me and I'd give her half!  Best deal ever!
Now, my mother's mason jars are filled with paintbrushes and dirty water.  I hope she will understand.  I like to think she would be knitting beside me as I paint if she were able...and she'd be cheering me on every step of the way...after all, she was my biggest cheerleader ever!


My Studio

When we first moved to Ohio and built this home (4 years ago), my husband wanted to give me a place to create.  (It could have been the fact that when I turned Joshua's and then Christy's bedrooms into art studios when they went to college in our old house that I completely destroyed the carpets...but I think it was really because he loves me so much and knows I need to create to be happy!)  The first two years we lived here...I used it for a study for nursing school...the next two years, I used it for quilting 5 baby quilts for my grand babies.  Finally after feeling more comfortable in my job in the NICU...I pulled out the pastels and have thought of little else.  I knew if I pulled them out when trying to go to school that I would fail related to no studying!  At least I know myself.  I'm so happy to be painting again and to have a beautiful space to create in.
I thought I'd share my studio since I finally cleaned it up and moved everything around in preparation for my new beginning in October...which is to start a NEW MEDIUM...OILS!!!  I have found a wonderful mentor that I'm going to study with in hopes of someday being accomplished in both pastel and Oil painting.  

Day 16 Early Spring Evening

Early Spring Evening
Soft Pastel on Wallis paper with watercolor under wash

This painting is a studio study from a photo I took of my backyard this year in the early spring.
I've missed a few days of the 30 in 30 challenge with working all weekend.  I only had to work an 8 hr shift Friday, but Mike asked me to dinner...we had a lovely time...sometimes painting just has to wait:) 


"Kathryn" Day 12 of 30 in 30

Charcoal on Gray Canson Mi-Teintes
Kathryn is a model I have drawn 3 times at The Art Studio in Beechwood.  She is a beautiful young student with a "dreamy" feel about her.  I'm finding it is getting easier to draw from life although I'm still learning every time and will be forever. It was a fun afternoon with Susie and the group of artists that were there!

I know I missed day 11, but I did draw from life yesterday at the Akron Society of Artists.  It was a wonderful artists loft and there were some very accomplished artists there.  I didn't come away with a finished painting.  I did end up leaving early because I had already worked an 8 hr shift in the NICU and I was exhausted....but what an experience.


DAY 10 Grandmother's Tea cup

Grandmother's Tea Cup
Soft pastel on Wallis Paper

My Grandma Jones collected tea cups.  When she passed away, I was a mother of 4 little ones and a wife of a Medical Intern/Resident.  I left all of my babies with Mike and left South Pasadena for Salt Lake to attend my Grandmother's funeral.  (And yes he only lasted a few hours before he called me to make sure I hadn't changed my mind and was truly coming back the next day!) ha....Anyways, each grand daughter was allowed to choose a tea cup and this has been a treasure ever since.  I am her namesake and I couldn't be more honored to be named after such a sweet lady.  


First 9 days of 30 paintings in 30 Days

Day 9...From My Front Porch... Looking On

From My Front Porch... Looking On
Watercolor, Moleskin watercolor sketchbook, with a few pastel highlights

This is just a quick study from my rocking chair on my front porch.  I'm not a watercolorist, but I like to watercolor journal once in a while.  I kept it simple...in the end I did add a touch of pastel highlight.


Penelope Day 8

Soft pastel study on wallis with a red water color under wash

These little grand daughters with their creamy complexions are about doing me in with the time restraint of a painting every day...
This is Penny.  I made this difficult on myself because this is Penny at least a year ago and in my mind I kept seeing the grown up almost teenager that she is at age four!
She was at our home with her cousin Annie-Mae and they were playing dress up, tottering in play high heals, donning dangly beads and their aunts old ballet costumes.  And....there were giggles and squeals as they were chasing their Grandpa around the kitchen.  


Ocean Treasures, Day 7

Ocean Treasures
Soft Pastel on Wallis with Watercolor under wash

Last Summer we took the whole family (minus Spencer who couldn't come) to the Outer Banks.  This is Jessica and Michael with little Sydney, out for a summer night walk on the beach.  She was doing a little dance when the cold waves would touch her toes.  So adorable.  


Annie-Mae Day 6

Charcoal on Wallis

Annie-Mae...my beautiful porcelain skinned grand daughter.  All little children are difficult to draw because their values are more subtle...Annie is especially difficult because of her creamy complexion and very soft features.  I started in pastel and trashed it...deciding to concentrate on the drawing more, and went to charcoal.
I spent a lot of time with Annie in July.  She went up to Great Grandma and Grandpa Jones' house in Idaho with me, along with her little cousin Sydney and her brother Porter and their moms!(Thank Heavens...did my kids have this much energy)  One morning I got up early to get a walk/run in before the day started and Annie met me at the door as I was trying to sneak out. Rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, she asked if she could go with me.  I promised her that if she got dressed and had breakfast, I would be back really soon and take her to the slides at the playground.  It didn't take me long to exhaust myself and as I came up to my parent's door, there was Annie peeking through the window, waiting for me.  Life doesn't get much better than that.


Day 5 of 30 in 30

Nevis Catamaran
Soft Pastel with red under wash of watercolor...wallis paper

We went to Nevis/St. Kitts this past February...the colors were this Heavenly.  We went out in a boat and saw this big Catamaran.  


Day 4 of 30 in 30

The Boathouse
Hinckley Lake
Soft pastel on Wallis paper with watercolor wash in complimentary colors

I just got back from the lake with my friend Carol...What a beautiful morning to paint.  This is from today...en plein air (which means "in the open air" in French) with a 5 minute touch up in the studio.


Day 3 of 30 in 30!

Patrick's Chicken
Soft Pastel on Wallis paper with a red/orange under painting of watercolor

My brother Patrick is a country vet in Idaho.  I was able to visit his home this July.  Lori Ann and the kids put on a beautiful patio breakfast and then they took me on a tour of their amazing herb garden.  If you want to learn a lot about herbs...ask Patrick!  Here's a link to his blog 
HomeGrown Herbalist  
Anyways...along with a few goats, lots of kids and grand babies...a few chickens also have place at the Jones home.  This one caught my eye...had to paint her.


DAY 2 of 30 paintings in 30 days

Little Red Boat
Soft Pastel on a complimentary water color wash.  Wallis paper.

This is a darling red row boat at Hinckley Reservation.  It is always parked by these large pontoon boats that overwhelm it.  I walk around the lake often in the summer and I always look to see if this little boat is still there...a beauty amongst the generic paddle boats, canoes and pontoons that people rent.  I think it must belong to the owner of the boat shop?  (It actually has a small motor on the back...but I painted it out!) Day 3 tomorrow!


DAY 1 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

Purple Cone Flowers
Soft pastel on Wallis paper with an underpainting of watercolor.

Our home is surrounded by beautiful perennial gardens.  One of my favorite ways to unwind from a stressful or busy day is to sit on my front porch and just enjoy the flowers!  Yes they are a lot of work, but there is a constant flow of color and texture Spring, Summer and Fall.  This is my first painting for the 30 in 30 challenge...the paintings will be small and quick studies...Come back again tomorrow to see Day 2!  If you want to follow the blog...please feel free to sign up by email or as a member of this blog!


30 paintings in 30 days...

September is going to be a BUSY month!
 I've signed up for Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. These will be small, quick studies in pastel.  I know it will be a crazy challenge...but just think...30 starts, (beginnings of paintings....sometimes the most difficult part) in 30 days.  Since I started my journey back to pastel in May, I've only done half that much, so I think it will be good for me.  I'm going to paint my gardens, and landscape...the first week.  Then in the second week I will venture into some still life with ordinary objects around the house.  The third week I will be at a week long workshop in NY with Susan Ogilvie! I can't wait, but that week I will just post what I am working on every day...thumbnails and value studies for plein air and studio paintings and hopefully a few finished works.. For the last week, I will paint quick gestures or portraits...very simply.  I make no promise to finish exactly 30 paintings...with my work schedule and life in general...but I'm going to try to do 30 starts.  You can visit here everyday to see what I'm up to. The cone flowers above will be my first painting....our gardens have been lovely this year.



Foot bridge at Chagrin Reservation

I went back to this plein air painting at Chagrin Reservation.  I took out the post on the right and worked on the shadows under the bridge a bit. The photo is more accurate in color.
Pastel on wallis board with golden under-wash of pastel.


Judy Carducci workshop day 2

My plein air painting today at Judy Carducci's workshop.  It was cold and cloudy...I was painting in a creek bed with wet feet, splashing kids, wandering dogs and interested bystanders...and great artist friends...all in all a great plein air day!
Chagrin Reservation
Pastel on Wallis board with a golden under-wash of pastel.
Judy Carducci
To watch her paint....mesmerizing!

Everyone trying to fit in the creek bed to watch closely!

Susie Porges and Judy Carducci!
This is the second painting I did plein air yesterday.  Yes...another red barn.  Can't help myself!
Hale Farm and Village
Bath, OH
Soft Pastel on Wallis board with an under-wash of complimentary pastel.